Here we are at the end of the season, and I am still asking myself why they aren't throwing all sorts of gold statuettes at John Noble.
While Elementary Season 4 hasn't been perfect, his acting has been top-notch.
And in Elementary Season 4 Episode 24, we got to see Morland Holmes vulnerable. Afraid, even. Having sorely underestimated the scope of Moriarty's organization, he became all too aware of the threat to his son.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of the sort of feeling of personal stakes for Joan and Sherlock; we certainly saw what Morland had to lose, but the only real threat our heroes faced was a ridiculously-easy-to-disarm bomb in the brownstone.
I was also sad, though not surprised, at the demise of Joshua Vikner, played with understated gusto by Scottish actor Tony Curran. Part of me hoped that he would serve as a more long-term antagonist for our heroes.
Possibly because I just love listening to him talk. Seriously, he could read the phone book.
I found it a bit bemusing at how readily Joan and Sherlock dove into framing Vikner for a murder committed by one of the survey psychopaths. Of course, Sherlock would see it as serving the greater good, while Joan was totally cool with blackmailing a guy into spying on Morland a few episodes ago, so what's perverting the course of justice?
I am curious as to how the FBI read Vikner's demise, however; he clearly didn't kill himself. Furthermore, Sherlock had made some statements about Vikner possibly having a hostage. Would Agent Burke be content to just leave well enough alone and take Vikner's death as a gift horse?
It seemed wierdly convenient that the Iranian Zoya Hashemi provided them our heroes a huge exposition dump on the background of Moriarty's organization. Pretty much free of charge, no less.
Then again, she was in favor of Morland taking over in the first place, which seemed to me like asking Wyatt Earp's dad to take over the Clanton gang.
On the other hand, the encounter with Zoya Hashemi gave us the funniest line of the episode, if not the whole season:
Zoya Hashemi: What else have you learned?
Morland Holmes: You're a murderous hag.
John Noble's delivery was perfect, so I'm willing to overlook the blatant violations of the Evil Overlord List in return.
Morland was forced to examine his whole life in this episode as he came to the belated realization that everything he'd done, every ruthless business decision, every coldly logical and calculated move he made, had led to an organization that dealt in murder to wish to recruit him to run it.
It was a bitter pill, indeed.
While Morland didn't break into a gushing of emotion or anything so sappy, he did make his priorities quite clear. Lives were important to him, most particularly Sherlock's life. He fired his entire security detail to protect them, and took up with Moriarty's murder brigade to keep Sherlock safe.
I always imagined you have a secret lair beneath a volcano for such an occasion.Sherlock [on his father's being in danger]
Oh, yeah, and Morland planned to dismantle the organization from the inside. Sounds like a challenge worthy of Morland Holmes. Sherlock called it a suicide mission, but Morland would do anything to keep him safe. It came across as remarkably heartwarming, under the circumstances.
This was the same man, mind you, who wouldn't keep a dinner appointment with Sherlock back in Elementary Season 1. The man whose own son spoke of him in such affectionate terms as performing black magic and making deals with demonic entities.
Character development, thy name is Morland!
I was sad that the season finale episode pretty much didn't feature Captain Gregson or Detective Bell, but it was probably for the best from a plot perspective. Plus, Sherlock's in-universe reasons for not involving them in the whole frame-job spoke to his respect, which was a nice touch.
A few final notes before I turn the discussion over to you:
- Be sure to check out the Elementary quotes page for some of the notable lines from this episode.
- I'm admittedly rather curious as to the backstory of "Great Uncle Willard," to whom Sherlock compared Joshua Vikner. I wonder how quickly someone will write a fanfiction about him?
- Agent Burke of the FBI previously appeared in Elementary Season 4 Episode 2, "Evidence of Things Not Seen." Was anyone expecting him to turn out to be subverted when he called Joan to the office the first time?
- Mycroft got name-dropped a couple times. I wonder if he'll ever pop back up again?
- It was a funny moment when Joan disabled the home security system at the beginning, but she really should have done it when they first walked into the house.
If you missed this episode, you can always watch Elementary online to catch up! Elementary is slated to return in the fall with its sixth season of crime-solving duo Sherlock and Joan.
So, what did you think of "A Difference in Kind"? Was it a good way to wrap up the season? Were you surprised that Morland is taking over Moriarty's organization?
Did you miss Captain Gregson and Detective Bell? Let us know in the comments section below!