Thursday, December 5, 2013

'Elementary' GifTweetCap: Sherlock's Actions are 'On the Line'

Quick note: I've had this almost finished for over a week, but got sidelined by Yahoo! TV telling me they'd begin publishing the recaps, then failing to review them, then by the holidays. Please enjoy this belated recap.

"Elementary" changed things up this week, by going with a cat and mouse plot over the usual whodunit plot line in the episode "On the Line." By all accounts, the tweak was a huge success, with many fans exclaiming that this was their favorite episode of the season.

First off, we have what initially seems to be an appetizer of Arthur Conan Doyle canon: a woman named Samantha Wabash commits suicide by gun on a bridge while framing a man named Lucas Bundsch, whom she believes had killed her sister Ally six years earlier. Sherlock is called to the scene for a quick look at what the cops believe to be a suicide, and quickly finds the truth.

This has happened before. Sherlock has solved a small case in the first five minutes of the episode on several occasions, before moving on to a bigger case. This time is different. The man being framed for the crime had already agreed to a polygraph test to clear his name, and this is where it gets interesting. Sherlock notices that the man bites his tongue three different times during the polygraph, so Sherlock goes in to ask one more question: "Did you kill Ally Wabash?" With the answer, and the sensation of antiperspirant deodorant as he shakes Lucas's hand, Sherlock believes they have a serial killer on their hands. 
The original investigator on Ally's case, Det. Coventry, believes that Samantha was nuts for believing that Lucas had anything to do with her sister's murder, and shows Sherlock and Watson a photo of Ally calling Samantha from a payphone the day after her abduction. Sherlock isn't phased, and berates Coventry in front of the other cops in the station for doing a sloppy job.
Later, Lucas shows up at Sherlock's home. Coventry gave him Sherlock's address! Sherlock grabs a knife as he invites the suspected serial killer into his home, then proceeds to tell him what he and Watson have found this far: Lucas had kidnapped Ally and kept her somewhere for two weeks before killing her. When she called her sister from the phone, she was wearing a fake bomb that she thought was real.

Lucas gives Sherlock a veiled threat, saying that Samantha ruined her own life by obsessing over him, and Sherlock should not make the same mistake. Later, Lucas dupes Sherlock and Watson by making them believe that he is about to murder someone who wants to give them more information about the case, only to find that the original call had been faked. 
Lucas's antics send Sherlock over the edge, causing Shetlock to show up at Lucas's studio to have some words with him. Instead, Lucas goads Sherlock into punching him out (resulting in a broken finger), which forces Gregson to kick him off the case (which was also exactly what Coventry had wanted). Lucas also takes out a restraining order. 

Lucas abducts another girl, and calls Sherlock and Watson to the scene using the same fake phone number he had tricked them with earlier. Sherlock has had enough, and decides to frame Lucas, just as Samantha had tried to do when she committed suicide. Before jumping in on the frame job, Watson gives Sherlock an idea of where to look for the abducted woman.
Sherlock finds that Lucas submitted smaller square footage for a storage closet in his sound-proof studio than it had originally been built with. Gregson gets around the restraining order with a warrant, and Sherlock is the one to pull the abducted woman from Lucas's dungeon.

There's also a surprise inside: a woman who had been abducted earlier is also inside. Watson had interviewed the husband earlier, and he is both surprised and immensely relieved to find that his wife has been found.

Meanwhile, Sherlock and Watson have a spat because Sherlock gets so snarky with other people who are on the same side, leading to problems such as having a serial killer sent to their home and getting kicked off cases. Sherlock absolutely does not agree, and frustratingly throws out a childish piece of paper depicting Sherlock and Watson relieving themselves, which had been posted at the police station.

Later, Sherlock's snarkiness seems to pay off somewhat (at least for viewers) when Coventry's (or "Detective Hip-flask," as Sherlock calls him) true nature is revealed as he seems annoyed that a serial killer has been captured with Sherlock's help, just because he was wrong about the case.

At the end if the episode, Sherlock tells Watson how special she is to him, but that is the only reason he is nice to her. He explains that he is not a nice guy by nature, and that is usually an advantage for him rather than a deficit. Watson ominously informs him that a person can't live with that sort of attitude forever, and Sherlock simply responds, "to thine own self, Watson."

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