Elementary – Pilot

by Alan Rapp on September 30, 2012

in Television Reviews 

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


Taking a page from the success of Sherlock, BBC’s modern-day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, CBS gives us Elementary which stars Jonny Lee Miller as the drug addicted, but brilliant, former Scotland Yard consultant recently relocated to the United States and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, a personal live-in doctor hired by Sherlock’s father to help him transition from the rehabilitation center back to, as she puts it, “everyday life.” For Sherlock this means picking up where he left off by becoming a consulting detective in New York City.

Less than ten-minutes after meeting Watson, Holmes takes his new “valet” to a crime scene to help an old friend, Captain Tobias Gregson (Aidan Quinn), with a case involving a woman murdered in a safe room of her home that her husband (Dallas Roberts) didn’t know existed. Believing the murder to be the work of a serial killer, Holmes tracks down a former victim (Kristen Bush) who survived her attack and has the same physical features and long red hair of their victim and several other unsolved murders.

Despite finding the killer, who the police find dead in his own home of an apparent suicide, Holmes isn’t satisfied with nagging questions involving the killer’s missing cell phone and the victim’s recent plastic surgery to make herself more resemble the killer’s preferred prey. After doing his best to try to push Watson away, Holmes, much to his surprise, discovers he very much needs her help to prove the series of events that led to the woman’s death.

It’s certainly not Sherlock, but Elementary proves to be far better than the trainwreck I was anticipating. I’m still not sold on Liu in the role of Watson, but Miller is pretty good as the maniac detective with impulse control problems and anger issues. Although rough around the edges, and able to wound deeply, this version of Holmes isn’t totally oblivious to the feelings of others giving the show a small but important difference to the BBC hit series. Our first mystery of the week certainly has some nice twists and turns as well, but if the show is going to be successful it will have to spend more time developing the Holmes/Watson relationship on which the Holmes oeuvre relies.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Not Bad October 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I love Sherlock but I enjoyed Elementary as well. I agree the first episode was better than I was expecting and I actually liked Lucy Liu as Watson. With the male female dynamic I wonder if they will try to introduce some sexual tension as we know this version of Holmes isn’t the eunuch of the other show.


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