Synopsis of 3×06: Sherlock and Watson have different styles when it comes to mentoring Kitty while all three work on the case of a missing map and a couple of murders.
Week after week I find myself completely blown away by Elementary. Just when I think it can’t get any better, it does. Somehow the writers manage to create the perfect combination of intelligent crime procedural and heartfelt exploration of the human condition week after week. The case this week was intricate and intriguing. It felt a lot like reading one of the old Sherlock Holmes stories. Yet on the flip side, there was also a lot of character development that sort of hit me right where I was. It struck a chord. There’s not a lot of television that manages to do that week after week.
It all began this week with Joan encouraging Kitty to have boundaries. Sherlock had been sending her on a multitude of errands, preventing her from being social with a group of young people she’d connected with at a coffee shop. Joan encouraged her to make Sherlock wait so that she can go and enjoy herself, but Kitty continued to give in to Sherlock’s demands.
She got called to a library where a lot of precious paintings and other historical pieces are kept. Upon first glance it looked like just a run of the mill theft. The curator assumed that the theft was an inside job, since one of the security guards had disappeared shortly after the map in question had been stolen. Kitty dissected the scene on her own, however, and found the body of the security guard stashed in a drawer somewhere. It quickly became obvious that the whole ordeal was more than just an inside job to steal a map. It was murder. So all discretion went out the window as she called in Sherlock and Rafael, the curator, called the police.
The best part about it was that Ms. Hudson got a mention. I’m hopeful this means we’ll get to see her in an episode soon.
Naturally, in regards to Kitty, Joan wasn’t pleased that Sherlock was trying to keep her away from engaging with people socially. This entire episode was pretty much about Joan and Sherlock acting like parents to Kitty. Both of them want to mentor her. They both feel for her and care for her immensely. Joan wants her to be social and have friends outside of Sherlock, because I think Joan regretted in a small way just how much she’d forsaken outside social relationships for the consultant life. Sherlock had his own motives which were equally as valid.
It is definitely nice to see the switch in their relationship, though, from one leading the other to both being on equal footing. Sherlock listens to Joan in a way I don’t think he was quite willing to in earlier seasons and it is growth on both their parts.
Back to the case, one murder quickly turned into two as they tried to track down the map. Sherlock turned to the internet and pretended to be a girl named Amber in order to get an art dealer who had possession of the map to sell it to him. He agreed to meet Mr. Pornstache out in a park, but it was Detective Bell who appeared and made the insinuation that Amber had “misrepresented herself.” It was a really nice way of boxing Pornstache guy into a corner, since he automatically assumed that Amber had been underage instead of inquiring further into how she had been misrepresenting herself.
In the end, Bell offered to not mention anything about Amber in exchange for information about who bought the map from him. That led everyone to a law firm and, ultimately, a real estate magnet named William Hull. He turned the tables and claimed that he wasn’t the killer, but would very much like to hire Sherlock and Joan to find the map for him and make sure it ended up in his hands. He even offered them the rest of the Atlas the map was from as if it didn’t matter.
Well, after a bit of searching around, Sherlock discovered the real reason Hull wanted the map. Apparently, another group of people were planning on building a casino on property owned by a reservation in Virginia. However, the genuine map everyone was looking for would prove that the land where the casino will be built doesn’t actually belong to the reservation. Someone stole the map and started circulating fakes in order to keep the casino on course. Hull, being a businessman invested in Atlantic City casinos, wanted to stop his competition.
Meanwhile, Joan and Sherlock had a tense discussion about Kitty while she was out of the room. Sherlock finally admitted that he was attempting to keep Kitty away from a certain boy who had begun to express interest in her. When Joan called him out on it, insinuating he was keeping Kitty away from the guy for selfish reasons, Sherlock snapped. He insisted that he was trying to protect Kitty and Joan couldn’t understand. Sherlock revealed a lot about his growth and Jonny Lee Miller deserves some serious credit for his portrayal in this particular scene. It tugged at my heart strings because he not only revealed a bit of his heart, but showed just how far Kitty had come.
There’d been a point where she hadn’t even been able to look him in the eye because “he was a man and a man had hurt her.” There’s more Kitty needs from him than Joan needed. Joan had somewhat of a handle on her life and her trauma only came after the fact, through their investigations together. Kitty came to Sherlock traumatized and hurt and he gave her a new purpose and has helped her become someone new.
Anyway, the team ended up in Atlantic City to talk to someone they suspected had arranged the murders. Turned out it wasn’t the case and the man they spoke with had actually never been able to go through with his plan to replace the real map with a fake. The map was already fake, people were already being killed over it. His job had been done for him, and they hit a dead end. Except for Joan, who looked at a model of the casino and realized what the connection was.
Back to the young woman at the beginning who was part of the family the map belonged to. It turned out she was the one who arranged the whole ordeal. Her family still owned land just outside of where the casino would be, meaning she stood to benefit financially from the new project. If it was derailed and the original map was brought to light, she would be out a lot of money and opportunity. She’d created the forgery, and in the process eliminated the people who could pin her to it. Checkmate.
The episode ended in a scene that brought tears to my eyes and showed we’re really dealing with an entirely different man than the one we met in the first season. Sherlock has changed, and he sat down with Kitty to apologize and explain what he’d been doing. Kitty, portrayed by the ever talented Ophelia Lovibond, sat there and listened, but admitted she’d already figured it out. Even more, she’d appreciated it. His protectiveness had left her feeling “loved.” It was such a human thing for her to say. Who doesn’t have a desire for someone to watch out for them? I certainly can’t say I haven’t been touched when people have gone out of their way to protect me. It reinforces a sense of worth I believe Kitty may have lost somewhere along the way during her traumatic experience.
After all, if someone is willing to protect you, obviously you are something worth protecting. It was an affirming scene for her, and for Sherlock as well. Not only was he faced with his own actions but he was given another chance to realize just how much of an impact he can have on another person’s life. When he opens himself up to relationships, people benefit. He benefits, too.
In a ‘rip my heart out, set it on the floor and step all over it’ moment, Sherlock followed Kitty to the kitchen and made her an offer. She liked the young man who had shown an interest in her, so he offered to essentially take them on a chaperoned date. In some ways it could seem overbearing, but I honestly think the writers took a wonderful risk in writing this scene. It might seem odd, but given the context and the people involved, it ended up being extremely touching. He, in essence, offered her a chance to feel safe while exploring something new with someone she was interested in.
A trauma victim like Kitty would definitely need that safety net, and the fact Sherlock is offering up his time and his protection is endearing. He’s willing to be the parent, the hub in the midst of chaos, so that Kitty can begin to piece her life back together without feeling like she’s in danger. I loved it. I love the psychology the writers are tapping into and I adore the relationship dynamics they aren’t shying away from. Kudos, Elementary.