Elementary Review: The Masks We Wear

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"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. 

Watson & Holmes Question an Overdose

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?


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


This was the episode I was waiting for -- one that sold me on the show and broadened my interest. The relationship between Watson and Holmes just became a Holmes-Watson relationship, a friendship (not a budding romance) where it's plain Watson is invested in Holmes (like in Sherlock at Christmas where Watson's girlfriend says Watson is a great boyfriend and that Holmes is lucky to have him ... and now I can believe Lucy Liu's Watson is the same kind of friend -- which should make for a lot of great dialogue, even some a bit lighthearted, in future episodes). Bravo!


This series is totally entertaining and am entranced by Millers portrayal of Sherlock. Lucy and Aiden bring so much to their characters. Kudos to the series for bringing in such accomplished actors to play along side Miller. I like the procedural shows and because Sherlocks process is so interesting, I look forward to each episode.


I like the show, but it really doesn't seem like Sherlock Holmes to me, it's more like I'm watching a better version of Monk (by that I mean plots that don't insult a person's intelligence), with a lot of fine actors doing excellent work. But even if I didn't think the show was any good I would still watch because I get to enjoy seeing Lucy Liu every week.


Bloody LOVE this show. Jonny Lee Miller continues to astound with the depth of his acting. The nuances, and light and shade in his face and body is breath taking. I think he outshines Lucy Liu but he is the star after all. I think he manages to make Sherlock odd but endearing unlike Cumberbatch's Sherlock who is just plain annoying and unlikeable.

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Elementary Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Jim: My name is Jim Fowkes. I am the chief vestment officer. This is Daniel Cho our Chief Financial Officer another in-house board member.
Sherlock: Yep. You're all chiefs of something. What do you want?

Aaron: What is I.M.L.T.H.O?
Sherlock: In my less than humble opinion.
Watson: You're abbreviations are becoming borderline indecipherable. I don't know why, because you are obviously capable being articulate.
Sherlock: Language is evolving Watson becoming a more effective version of itself. I love text shorthand. It's a way you to convey content and tone without losing velocity.