Elementary “A View with a Room” Review (Season 4 Episode 12)

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On the latest episode of “Elementary,” much like “Reservoir Dogs” before it, we had a heist plotline minus the heist, for better or worse, in the wryly-titled “A View with a Room.” Once you got past the fact that, despite the promos promising otherwise, there wasn’t going to be a heist in the first place, this was a fairly enjoyable episode, with some decent character development, at least in terms of Sherlock himself, who made a bona fide love connection. This was nice to see, and a long time coming, to say the least, given his predisposition towards call girls and the like.

The main plot revolved around a group of bikers/crystal meth dealers named Satan’s Brood, who Captain Lombardi (Matt Servitto, who apparently played Satan himself in the amusingly-titled “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell,” making this apt casting in a roundabout kind of way), a narcotics officer and a friend of Cpt. Gregson, was seeking to bring down.

While he had an inside man in Detective Ryan Dunning (Marc Menchaca, “Generation Kill”), the problem was, there was a computer at the bikers’ headquarters that almost certainly contained the evidence they needed to bring them down and there was no way to obtain it without blowing Dunning’s cover. Obviously, if he stole the files himself and was caught and it turned out that the files weren’t what they needed and the “real” files were kept elsewhere, then it would have been all for naught.

So, the idea was to plan a heist from the outside, so as to make sure Dunning’s cover remained intact, just in case it was a bust- and not the good kind. Enter Sherlock to plan the ultimate heist, and you just knew there was going to be some insane planning and models, and boy, were there ever, between the miniature “Sparkle Poodle Playhouse” to Holmes’ much-more elaborate rooftop insanity, which involved moving all the furniture in the house- including Watson’s bed, much to her chagrin- to the top of the brownstone!

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Alas, the heist was subverted when Dunning was killed before they could put things into motion in earnest, which, I’m not going to lie, was more than a little disappointing, not in the least as the episode was promoted as otherwise. Indeed, we barely even caught sight of the bikers themselves, save head honcho Nick Farris (Happy Anderson, “The Knick”), which was also kind of disappointing.

Had this actually been up to the level of a “Reservoir Dogs,” then I would have been okay with it, but alas, it was only a straight-forward murder mystery, hampered even more by the decidedly limited number of suspects at hand, only one of which was really viable. The Captain wouldn’t have made sense, as he was the one who came to Holmes in the first place, and Farris was eliminated as a suspect almost immediately, so the only one it really could have been was Detective Lisa Hagen (Zabryna Guevera, herself a former police Captain on “Gotham”) by default, short of someone more random who wasn’t even in the running in the first place.

That said, the crime itself was admittedly kind of neat, if somewhat given away by the title. As it turned out, the “murder” of Dunning was faked by Dunning himself, with the “help” of Hagen, in order to facilitate a bust of the bikers in the first place, sans Holmes’ help. By making the bikers’ HQ a crime scene, that would have given the cops carte blanche to raid the place and take what they needed to bust them. Unfortunately for him, Dunning was double-crossed by his partner-in-crime, who actually shot him for real, in order to have her cake and eat it too, by not only busting the bikers, but using the access she was going to have in order to steal their money.

Oh well. Guess he should have waited and accepted Holmes’ help after all. Greed will do that to you. (Although we never quite found out if Dunning was after the money, too, or if he only wanted to facilitate the bust alone.) While a clever enough idea, plot-wise, it couldn’t help but be a bit of a letdown by design, given that the episode itself was promoted in such a way as to indicate there was actually be a heist, not to mention some biker-related shenanigans, making it sound like a “Sons of Anarchy”-themed heist, which sounded fun in theory.

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Alas, this is not the first time the show has been mis-promoted this way, notably the one supposedly featuring Holmes infiltrating a strip club (“Murder Ex Machina”) and the one promoted as one of the emotionally gripping episodes of the show ever (“A Burden of Blood”), which was not expressly true.

I mean, I get that CBS is trying to drum up ratings and general interest in the show, in order to keep it on the air, which I’m obviously on board with, to be sure, but when you promise viewers one thing only to deliver something else entirely, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed in it. I review the show, so I’m in it to the bitter end, regardless of when it comes, but you have to think that viewers expecting one thing and getting another are going to be a little less forgiving, which is problematic for those of us who’d actually see the show continue.

On the plus side, the show was fully redeemed as something worth seeing by the wonderful subplot involving Holmes and potential love interest Fiona (Betty Gilpin, “Nurse Jackie”). It was kind of adorable seeing Holmes flounder his way into dating the autistic- excuse me, “neuroatypical”- young woman, who was just as quirky and intelligent in her own way as Holmes himself, which is saying something.

When she first cropped up in the show, in the aforementioned “Murder Ex Machina,” I remember thinking that she and Holmes would actually make a cute couple, given their mutual quirkiness, but it seemed like that wasn’t going to happen- until it did. Ostensibly, her reason for contacting Watson was to have her new boss checked out, given her experiences with the last one, but it eventually led to a love connection, which was a nice detour for Holmes, given his usual proclivities.

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Not that I didn’t get a kick out of the whole Athena/Minerva dynamic, especially when they helped Holmes with his cases, but still, you kind of want something more for the guy, especially given his past experience with Irene/Moriarty. Given Holmes’ “unique” personality, he doesn’t exactly lend himself to typical relationships in the first place, so someone like Fiona is actually quite appropriate for someone like him, which is exactly why I liked it.

From Watson’s bemused chiding (“You like her. You like her, like her.”), to Holmes and Fiona’s beyond awkward “flirting” or “wooing” or whatever you want to call it, this was pure win, and completely redeemed the episode for me, least of all given the inherent frustration of being promised a heist and not getting one. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I was “fully engorged” like Holmes, but I was certainly looking forward to it, what with all the fun build-up leading up to it. So, this was one instance where the subplot ended up being the saving grace of what would have otherwise been a kind of meh episode.

There was also some sharp, funny dialogue throughout, which didn’t hurt matters. My favorite was, when Watson came across Holmes and his dollhouse and quipped “You’re finally making up for that childhood you never had…as a three-year old girl.” A close second was the closing scenes with Holmes and Fiona, in which she stated, somewhat defensively: “I’ve had boyfriends before,” which led him to swiftly retort: “I myself have not. Perhaps I just haven’t met the right guy.” Lol. Well played Holmes. Well played, indeed.

As much as I approve of this potential relationship in the making, there is part of me that wonders if this isn’t a set-up for some Moriarty-involved subterfuge on down the line. Like, maybe she gets wind of it and tries to screw it up somehow, possibly even kill Fiona off. I suppose a lot depends on “Game of Thrones”-star Natalie Dormer’s availability, and she said on a talk show recently, that her involvement is much more considerable than it was last season, so that may not happen.

Of course, they could always have it be an off-screen allusion, as we got earlier in the season when it was revealed that Holmes and her were still corresponding. You know, maybe have Fiona either killed or injured in an attempt on her life and Holmes think perhaps it’s his father’s would-be killer, only to find out later it’s Moriarty instead towards the end of the season, thus leaving it for the next season, if there is one. Something along that lines. Is it wrong that I kind of want that to happen?

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Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. But until then, I look forward to more awkward flirting and conversation between the two, and to see where all this is headed. I also could stand more of Watson’s bemused ribbing of Holmes about it, which was also fun. Just no more misleading promos, CBS. Pretty please? You’re only doing the show a disservice in doing so, anyway, and the goal is to keep the show on the air, not swiftly lead it to its demise. Unless they’re trying to get rid of it, I suppose, which seems counterproductive. Who knows with these people?

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Were you also let down by the distinct lack of heist? Did you figure out what was going on before it was revealed, with the staged murder? Did you get a kick out of the burgeoning relationship between Holmes and Fiona as well? Would you like to see them together in earnest, or does part of you also hope Moriarty will use it as a chance to get her revenge on Holmes? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next time!