"The Rat Race" proved that the Case of the Week, even on a procedural, can play second fiddle to character development, as Elementary viewers witnessed both Watson and Holmes grow significantly.
Let’s start with the investigation Holmes was called in on. If you didn't figured out that it was his secretary behind the murders right after Jim Fowkes admitted he was the only one who matched the pattern Holmes explained, you may need to spend some more quality time with Holmes.
To be fair, the case itself was pretty transparent (as I suspect it was intended to be). In fact, I only mention it because it was the catalyst for the growth we saw in Holmes. Watching Sherlock as he admitted that he had forgotten how cooked Heroine smelled was such a great glimpse beyond the vanity/ego shield he keeps up all of the time.
Then we hit gold as we got to watch him completely shed his rough exterior and lay his cards on the table to be totally honest with Captain Gregson. Jonny Lee Miller did such an amazing job of subtly expressing fear and hope in his expressions, slight stuttering and pauses. Mix that with the honesty he was expressing and you can’t help but want to hug the guy.
Which lead to the episode's biggest shocker. I was totally surprised and blown away when Gregson admitted he already knew about Holmes and his condition. And before I could even get over being taken aback, he followed up with the compliment about Holmes skills having not slipped one bit.
You could see such relief in Holmes, that the chance he took in allowing Gregson to see beyond his normal mask had not gone as wrong as he expected it to. Quite the opposite, in fact; their heart-to-heart has strengthened their relationship.
Craig Sweeny, the writer for this episode, did such a terrific job of feeding us a red herring during the opening when Gregson played ignorant about Watson and Holmes that I completely fell for it.
And if watching Holmes grow (and trust) wasn't enough, we had Watson using her budding deductive skills to determine her date was lying. Her conversation with Holmes at the end about the cost of seeing the puzzle in everyone was a powerful way to end the episode, and was just one of the great Elementary quotes this week.
What did you think? Are you getting use to Miller as Sherlock? Has Liu impress you as Watson yet?
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.