Elementary – Risk Management

by Alan Rapp on May 12, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Elementary – Risk Management
  • tv.com: link

“Consider me a spider. I sit motionless at the center of my web. That web has a thousand radiations and I know well every quiver of each of them. I do little myself. I only plan, but my agents are numerous and splendidly organized.”

Elementary - Risk Management

After being contacted by a man claiming to be the ever elusive Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) agrees to investigate a unsolved case the voice on the other end of the phone brings to his attention concerning a man stabbed and robbed in Brooklyn several months ago. Despite Watson’s (Lucy Liu) legitimate concerns, Holmes agrees to investigate, hoping the case will reveal a connection between the murder victim and Moriarty’s organization and get him one step closer to the man he suspects murdered Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer).

Holmes and Watson talk with the owner (J.C. MacKenzie) of one of the most profitable private security firms in the country and his wife (Francie Swift) who were surveilling the victim in the days leading up to his death. Far from convinced with the explanations offered to him as to why the company was tracking their victim, Holmes believes he has already found his murderer and the cause of the crime when Holmes matches the sketch of the man who murdered the security magnate’s sister 20 years ago to a picture of the man Moriarty was so keen on having the consulting detective investigate. However, the truth is a bit more complicated than the consulting detective originally surmises.

Without hard evidence to tie him to the crime, Holmes uses a different tack by telling the suspect of his suspicions concerning the murders and of the existence of Moriarty who Holmes believes wishes to profit somehow by weakening the security company when its CEO is tied up in a murder trial. Rather than take Holmes up on his offer, the man decides to turn himself in and plea down the charges as much as possible. Anxiously awaiting a phone call from Moriarty, Holmes is genuinely surprised to learn that the man who confessed isn’t the killer Moriarty is after. Halfway through the episode we get our first major twist as the mysterious voice reveals that their murder victim couldn’t have possibly have murdered the magnate’s sister as he was out of the country 20 years ago during the time of her death.

In the episode’s B-story Gregson (Aidan Quinn) tries to convince Watson to give up her job and return to his job as a sober companion by making a compelling case that those around Holmes have a way of meeting unfortunate ends. Unable to find a motive for someone wanting to trick the security head into murder to destroy the man’s life, Holmes becomes increasingly agitated and anxious. Watson, however, comes up with an alternative hypothesis of events to explain the complicated motive behind the bizarre series of events. Good to his word, Moriarty offers Holmes some answers concerning Irene Adler, but not those he was suspecting as the episode has one last twist in store leading into next week’s two-hour season finale.

Holmes’ personal connection to the case, and the involvement of Moriarty (or someone pretending to be him) adds to the rising tension of “Risk Management.” The episode’s final scene offers up a large number of possibilities concerning Ms. Adler and her connection to both Holmes and Moriarty and I’ll be interested to see what the show decides to go with concerning the motives behind the deception of Adler’s death beginning next week (and possibly into next season). Gregson’s concern for Watson’s safety was handled well, as was Watson’s decision to refuse to let the Captain or Holmes protect her out of the life she has chosen for herself. Even though I would have preferred if the show had waited to introduce Moriarty, I have to admit the episode does a good job of introducing the shadowy figure without giving anything substantive away (other than playing on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own words of a spider in the middle of a vast criminal network). I can’t wait to see how the season ends.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

CoosCoos May 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I simply love this show. It has quickly risen to #1 on my season pass.

While I agree with you on the need to slow the introduction of Moriarty (something the Cumberbatch-starring Sherlock botched terribly), I’ll be glad they introduced him quickly so long as they stretch it out. These last two episodes have been fantastic. So much so that I went back and re-watched Hackers for the first time in a decade.

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