Elementary: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown

First of all, for those who missed the article- which can be found here– the site isn’t covering shows on a weekly basis from here on out, due to budget constraints, so I haven’t been neglecting my duties or what have you over the last few episodes of “Elementary,” we just simply don’t do weekly reviews anymore. If this changes, I will certainly let you know.

Obviously, this saddens me, as I’ve quite enjoyed interacting with my loyal readers down in the comments section and elsewhere on social media, but rest assured, aside from this major change, that will not change- we’ll just have to do things in a more compact manner moving forward, I’m afraid, which means less elaborate and detailed reviews. What are you gonna do?

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That said, the good news is that I only have to get through two episodes in this inaugural edition of my monthly review, and thankfully, the two episodes were conveniently tied together thematically in a way that lends itself nicely to a dual review. Basically, both episodes dealt with the pros and cons of unity, and what happens when someone stops working together as a unit with others and tries to go it alone- hence the title of my article.

In the first episode, “Be My Guest,” we dealt with a man (Wade Williams, “Prison Break”), seemingly working alone, who was holding a woman captive against her will when Holmes got wind of it and tried to take matters into his own hands to stop it. In short order, Holmes realizes that he can’t do it alone, and recruits Watson, as well as Bell and Gregson later on, to help him bring down the nefarious kidnapper.

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However, in a neat bit of parallel action, we discover that part of the reason the kidnapper was able to get away with things for so long was that he had a partner- no less than his ex-wife (Deidre Lovejoy, late of the underrated CBS summer series “American Gothic”), who didn’t take kindly to her former hubby getting sloppy and promptly killed him for it, likewise attempting to go it alone.

This, of course, led to her getting caught, as her own shoddy moves to take matters into her own hands ended up backfiring and leading to her arrest. We also discovered along the way that the girl Holmes knew about was only one of multiple victims the gruesome twosome had terrorized over the years. I won’t soon forget the cringe-inducing sight of a woman chained via a dog collar to a wire attached to a ceiling rig track that allowed her to move about the house- but only to a certain degree. Ick.

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Meanwhile, Shinwell (Nelsan Ellis) fared better in realizing the negative effects of trying to go it alone against terrible odds that weren’t in his favor by pulling out of a half-cocked plan he had to take down a bigger fish than the SBKs by attempting to recruit a new drug dealing connection for the gang on his own.

Despite seeming to not be paying attention to the lessons Holmes and Watson were teaching him in his training to be an informant for real for the FBI, it was precisely those lessons that saved his bacon in the end, when he recognized that his plan was doomed to fail. Thankfully, this realization came before it was too late and Shinwell was able to extract himself from the situation before he paid the price for it.

Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown

In last Sunday’s episode, “Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown,” what seemed to initially be a take on the ridiculous “clown epidemic” sweeping the nation as of late, in which people dressed as clowns were seen terrorizing kids and others within various communities across America- they actually shut down schools over it in my neck of the woods because of perceived threats by these “killer clowns,” believe it or not- actually turned out to be a nefarious plot by someone to “mildly” poison the area’s water supply in order to spur sales of a particular filter that wouldn’t have sold well otherwise.

As such, the slain clown was actually someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, who ran into someone he shouldn’t have- the man planting said poison into the water supply via an isolated manhole in the woods. Here, the idea was to divide and conquer by setting off an epidemic that drove people to buy the pricey filter in question, but, as tends to be the case in such nefarious plots, it was by sussing out the individual people involved in the conspiracy that Holmes and company were able to turn them against one another and get to the bottom of things and solve the case.

Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown

Meanwhile, Bell ran afoul of the ex (Robert Christopher Riley, “Hit the Floor”) of his current love interest, Chantal (Chasten Harmon, “BrainDead”), who intentionally started a fight with him in a bar, after a planned date with her went south. But was his being there just a coincidence? As it turns out, no.

Instead, the man was looking to get Chantal thrown off the case by starting a scene with her at her place of work by confronting her with a threatened lawsuit against her supposedly antagonistic new boyfriend, despite the fact that he himself started it. Granted, Bell did indeed take the bait, but in the end, cooler heads prevailed, as he and Watson were able to get to the bottom of what was really going on by working together to that end.

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Both of these episodes were fairly solid, and like I said, bonded together by similar notions of what can happen when people turn on each other and/or work against their best interests, and how those outcomes can be changed before it was too late by allowing for some help by others, and how it can bring them down if they don’t. Fortunately for all concerned in our main cast, the various outcomes were essentially positive- but for those amongst the guilty parties in the two cases at hand, not so much.

I liked the way that the first of the two episodes seemingly had Shinwell prove Holmes’ worst fears by being unable to learn the things he was seeking to teach him and justify his trepidation in taking Shinwell on as a potential new recruit in the first place, only to show that, in the end, Shinwell was paying more attention that it seemed at first- and what’s more, it was precisely that which saved him from making a dreadful mistake that could have gotten him killed.

Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown

Likewise, I also enjoyed the fact that Bell also caught himself playing right into Chantal’s ex’s devious plot before it was too late and was able to not only extricate himself from it, but Chantal as well. That final scene with him confronting the ex was enormously satisfying and nearly had me cheering for Bell when he gave the rascal his comeuppance. Hell, even the ex seemed impressed, as if to say: well, at least my ex ended up with one of the good guys. Pretty sweet.

All in all, it was two decent episodes in a row, and I look forward to what’s coming next for Shinwell, as well as the impending return of Kitty and how all that plays out. I haven’t given up hope that there might be a return from Moriarty (Natalie Dormer) as well at some point, with a good half of the season still remaining, after all. What do you think?

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I realize I wasn’t able to do a “deep dive” into the episodes under the circumstances, so by all means, feel free to fill in the blanks down below and point out the things I didn’t pick up on in this more abbreviated review. I, as always, look forward to your comments, and apologize that we won’t get to talk as much over the course of the next run of episodes until my next review.

On the plus side, thanks to our new way of doing things, I can tell you when that will be: look for my next review to drop on Wednesday, February 15th. (Don’t ask me why it’s on a Wednesday, I couldn’t tell you.) Not sure how many episodes that will cover, but whatever the case, I will do my best to do them justice!

Thanks for reading, as always, and see you next month!