Elementary – M.

by Alan Rapp on January 13, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Elementary – M.
  • tv.com: link

“I didn’t help you stay sober so you could become a murderer.”

Elementary - M.

An investigation into the murder of a victim whose body was drained of blood before the body disappears leads Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) to deduce an old enemy known only as M. (Vinnie Jones) has followed him from London and set up shop in New York. Holmes educates Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and his men on the methodical manner of killer with at least 37 victims (of varying age, appearance, and social status) and with no known photograph or description of his appearance.

While talking with her therapist (Linda Emond), Watson begins to have second thoughts about leaving Holmes.  A talk with one of Holmes’ associates, a young street thief (Bobb’e J. Thompson), only raises her concerns when she discovers M.  is responsible for Irene Adler’s death and the vengeful detective has no intention of putting him behind bars. His plans for M. lean more to torture and a painful death.

After stopping M. from killing his latest victim (Marsha Stephanie Blake), Holmes has a little talk with the killer while Watson and Gregson hunt for the pair of them to catch one killer and stop their friend from becoming another. During this session Holmes discovers three important facts. First, M.’s name is actually Sebastian Moran. Second, he is a hired assassin and not a serial killer. And finally, he couldn’t have been responsible for Irene’s death. That murder was committed by his employer, who has just sold him out to Holmes. A man known only as Moriarty.

The choice to cast Jones as Moran instead of Moriarty is a good one and the show definitely keeps tension high as Holmes begins spiraling out of control. I’d like to see the search continue but would prefer the season to end without an actual appearance by Holmes’ nemesis (especially given the show’s success which makes a second season almost a certainty). Watson agrees to stay on longer, of her own volition, and the deeper mystery can begin in earnest as Holmes is presented with his first lead to track down the most elusive adversary of his career.

CoosCoos January 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

This was my favorite episode so far. Brilliant writing and build-up of tension. I was disappointed Holmes caught “M” so easily, only to be fooled myself because it wasn’t the real “M” at all. Nicely done. And although Vinnie Jones isn’t known for his acting (so much as his scowl), the scene where he realizes he has been a pawn, has been sold out by Moriarty, and now has to explain it to Holmes was great.

I was a bit shocked by how dark it got, and how willingly Holmes gave in to revenge.

I was also intrigued by the difference between this Holmes, who admits he thinks much clearer now that he’s sober, and the Conan Doyle version who used cocaine to stimulate his thinking. Much more PC to be sober these days.

Alan Rapp January 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Vinnie Jones would have been a bizarre choice for Moriarty. I’m glad they went a different way with the twist.

The classic Holmes uses cocaine to stimulate his brain when he doesn’t have a case or particular problem to occupy it, something this Holmes mentions as well. I don’t know that the drugs actually helped his process, I always thought they simply kept his mind busy during his darker periods. But I agree it is interesting that this episode points out being sober, and the help of Watson, has helped this Holmes hone his skills even further.

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