Elementary: Step Nine (2×1)

Synopsis: Sherlock and Joan travel to London to find Gareth Lestrade, whose gone missing with his reputation in shambles after pursuing a man he believes to have committed murder.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Elementary returned last week with more classic characters, Joan Watson kicking ass (physically, and in the deductions department) and a quirky sign-of-the-times murder case that I think we as viewers have come to expect after the show’s first season. It’s like it never left.

Good ol’ Gareth Lestrade has been pushed past his limits, suspended from his work at Scotland Yard pending investigation. He claims that Warren Pendry has gone about destroying his career to cover up the fact that his son, Lawrence Pendry, murdered his wife. Lestrade decides to address this at Warren’s funeral, with a (fake) explosive in hand, before disappearing. Sherlock is called to by DCI Hopkins to find him, so he and Joan hop on a plane and head over to London.

The dynamic duo arrive in London.
The dynamic duo arrive in London.

As Sherlock had left London in a sorry state, the only thing he’s really looking forward to about being back is his old dwellings at 221b Baker Street. But instead of finding an eclectic collection of artifacts and experiments guarded by Sherlock’s pal Geezer Bob, the place is rather surprisingly sanitary. And that’s how Joan meets Mycroft Holmes who, as we know, is Sherlock’s brother. Whom Sherlock not-so-affectionately introduces as “fatty,” despite Mycroft’s rather slim figure.

As it turns out, Mycroft lost weight not from exercise, but from being very ill, and it’s Joan who figures it when she sees scarring on Mycroft’s wrist indicative of graft-versus-host disease, meaning he’d recently had a bone-marrow transplant. This truth comes out over dinner at one of the restaurants Mycroft owns – a dinner date that Sherlock believes Mycroft has arranged in order to sleep with Joan (to be fair, Sherlock apparently slept with Mycroft’s bride to be to prove she was just in it for the family fortune).

But no, Mycroft wants to make things right with Sherlock. “I want to know how you did it,” he says to Joan. “I want to know… how does one become Sherlock Holmes’ friend?” It was at this point that I said, “Ohhh maaaaan,” at my TV before remembering my roommate was home and probably wondering what was wrong with me.

Okay, but onto the case. So Lestrade is convinced that Lawrence killed his wife and, after a little sleuthing, Sherlock is too. He tracks Lestrade down fairly easily, but doesn’t turn him in so they can finish solving the case. Like in the pilot, it is an allergy that breaks the whole thing open. Lawrence is lactose intolerant and his wife was a vegan, so why does a crime scene photo indicate that there was milk in their fridge? Oh, because it wasn’t milk, it was a plastic gun, created by a 3D printer, destroyed in a jar of acetone.

(For those of you still trying to tell fans that Elementary!Sherlock isn’t Holmes enough because he doesn’t make quick deductive leaps, well, try again. I’d also like us all to take a moment to appreciate how Lestrade puts Sherlock on a pedestal and, as Sherlock’s partner, Joan’s having none of it).

With the help of the mysterious Langdale Pike (a character lifted from the original story “The Adventure of the Three Gables”) Sherlock and Joan gain access to the records of all recent 3D-printer purchases and Lestrade assists them in narrowing it down to a handyman of Lawrence’s, who they believe Lawrence paid to buy the 3D printer. But when they go to confront him, they find him stabbed to death in his home.

Sherlock summons Langdale Pike via CCTV.
Sherlock summons Langdale Pike via CCTV.

Though the murder weapon was determined to be a knife, they now know to look for evidence of a plastic gun. Shards of plastic are found embedded in fruit that was in the vicinity of the crime scene, and with a warrant to check Lawrence’s arm for injuries from a shattered gun (that had been loaded with the wrong type of bullet) the case is closed and Lestrade’s reputation is mended. However, Lestrade has become addicted to taking the credit for Sherlock’s detective work, which Sherlock allowed him to do for years, but asked him to stop. Sherlock and Joan watch disappointedly as Lestrade takes the credit all the same.

And as for Mycroft and Sherlock? Mycroft calls all things even, and then forgives Sherlock for all things done in the past. But not before blowing up Sherlock’s stored-away belongings with the help of one of Sherlock’s own build-your-own-bomb books.

A brotherly reconciliation of sorts.
A brotherly reconciliation of sorts.

I’ve seen that a lot of people were unhappy with the pacing of this episode, and that’s fair – I enjoyed it more the second time around, myself. But with the promise of more Mycroft and Lucy Liu as director, I’m totally stoked to see what they’ve got in store for the rest of the season.

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