Liss and Ana Talk About Elementary

[Content Note: Discussions of violence and hostility to agency. Spoilers for the most recent episode of Elementary.]

image of Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) from the latest episode of Elementary; they are both wearing grey blazers, and he is holding up a book titled 'Global Research in Theoretical Computer Science' from which she is taking notes
Holmes & Watson: In sync and color coordinated!

Liss: Welp, it's Monday, so it's time to talk about Elementary! What did you think?

Ana: This one felt more like a last season one, though I still didn't think it was AS GOOD as the older ones. (Maybe I'm just burned from last week.)

Liss: Agreed. On both counts.

Ana: I did find the mystery more engaging this time. I was a little torn on the ending; I liked the return to the domestic violence angle (because that is a Real Thing), but then it was a Law & Order SUPER SECKRIT TWIST where it was all the conniving woman's fault and she was trying to frame a blameless man by framing herself. Which made no damn sense because if that video had gotten erased or the police weren't very good at their job, they could have steamrolled her on the initial framing of herself. And if you're going to go to that much trouble to fake-frame yourself, why not just NOT LEAVE EVIDENCE. On the other hand, it meant that a lady was the world's greatest mathematician, so I guess that's something?

Liss: Ha ha! Yeah, the story was a little tepid this week. And, uh, Sherlock? I'm pretty sure holding out a picture of the suspect on your mobile won't fly in court as a legit line-up for witness ID, lol. But I did enjoy the concept of high-intrigue maths! What I liked a lot less was Joan's interaction with the son of her dead patient. I knew something was up when he coerced her into a cup of coffee at the cemetery—"Come on, just one cup." And although I don't think she should have let him guilt her, I wasn't as big a fan of her solution as Sherlock was.

Ana: The Watson plotline I'm conflicted on. I couldn't help but think about all the TV chefs we've seen compete and how they talk about some life tragedy or something made them realize that college was a waste of their money and that their passion was cooking. So when Joan offered him 22k to go to college… I have to say I was kind of with him on the whole, "So you're willing to give me money to help, but only if I spend my life in the career YOU want?"

Liss: Right. Particularly because she didn't even seem to consider the possibility that his dad wanting him to be an engineer is not the same thing as HIS wanting to be an engineer—and that maybe he only felt free to pursue something else once his dad died. Which, hello: She's been through precisely that kind of tension with her own mom over her current career choice.

Ana: And that was ESPECIALLY JARRING given how many times Joan has changed her career and how many people have tried to (wrongly) convince her otherwise.

Liss: Exactly! Joan's famous empathy just seemed to disappear. Buried beneath all her guilt, I guess. Or the writers forgetting how they've written her up until this point, lol.

Ana: Did the writers even watch Season 1?? Like, I liked that the point was made that she didn't owe him anything and that it was her choice how to invest in him—she doesn't have to fund him backpacking through Europe, for example—but it felt really out of character for her to not respect a job decision.

Liss: Yup. And, hey, there was always the option of just saying, "No, thanks—I don't want to invest in your bar. Byeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Ana: But I did like the bits in the Watson plotline which talked about her past and which had Sherlock asking and supporting her in non-asshole ways—I liked where he said he didn't mean to pry, and I blubbed when he said he would like to visit with her next time.

Liss: That was very nice. It was no NEW BEE NAME, but it was nice.

Ana: And I liked that he tried to protect her from Jason, although I cringed when he first put forward the "pay him off!" plan because it seemed like he was telling Joan how to spend the money. Which, while in character for him, seemed all the more reason for her to NOT turn around and do that to Jason. I dunno, it just felt… off, somehow. I would have liked to see Joan use her Powers of Empathy to solve the problem a little better.

Liss: Me, too. And finally: I repeatedly commented about how I loved the costuming in this show last season, but Lady Mathematician's "sexy librarian" look was just too clichéd for words. What is happening?! Come on, Elementary! Let's get it together!

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