It was all about getting out of one's comfort zone.
The case of the week almost seemed secondary on Elementary Season 6 Episode 19.
Still, it did add up to something diverting, none the less.
I'm in favor of any excuse to bring in one of Sherlock's Irregulars, and this episode featured two.
First off was mathematician Harland Emple, who last visited on Elementary Season 3 Episode 3.
The socially awkward genius (is there any other kind) hired Sherlock and Joan to find Lily, his grad student upon whom he had a none-too-subtle crush.
Harland was the natural suspect in the disappearance, especially to the pair of somewhat linear FBI agents assigned to her case after her wealthy family received a ransom call.
But this being Elementary, nothing was as evident as it seemed. At least one kidnapper wanted her for her mind.
The ransom demand was a red herring, a hiccup perpetrated by an ex-con accomplice buried in gambling debts. Before that he was, well, just buried.
Instead, Lily had to do some high-level math stuff. We didn't need to see the complicated equations. Just break it down into dollars and sense for us to understand it.
Since her principal abductor was a money-grubbing buffoon and not a criminal mastermind, Lilly cut herself free and escaped from a car trunk, going not to the police but Harland instead.
That's probably why the crime-solving came together rather quickly and neatly.
Lily was kidnapped to supply the math to cause a redesign of flood maps which Harland had helped create for FEMA.
Then it came down to figuring out who benefitted from the revamped map. The name of the ex-con's landlord/property owner popped up; evidence was found that incriminated him, boom, bang, it was over. No mitigating reason for doing it, just greed.
That left a good part of the episode to talk about feelings, nothing more than feelings.
Harland had done the inappropriate thing and fallen for his grad assistant and had even gotten his hand slapped for that.
Since Harland wasn't subtle, despite his best efforts, his feelings were obvious to everyone who was emotionally aware, and even Sherlock.
Yet Sherlock seemed put out by Harland's actions, or inactions as was more the case.
That in itself was not that strange. Peevishness is one of Sherlock's basic emotional states. It's a burden being right most of the time.
It seemed that Sherlock had been acting as Cupid for Harland, urging him to tell Lily how he felt, academic decorum be damned.
As Joan pointed out, kettle, meet pot.
Sure, Sherlock has never ceased to have his physical needs met. But she confronted him about the fact that he hasn't been in any sort of relationship since his pairing with Fiona faltered in Elementary Season 5. No one would live up to Moriarty in his eyes.
He seemed to blow off this line of discussion until later after a euphoric Harland came by to tell him that Lily reciprocated his feelings, although they were going to keep things on the down-low until after she got her doctorate.
This led Sherlock to have an actual talk with Joan about how, just maybe, he was lonely and unhappy about not being in a relationship. She made the good point that every love is going to be different.
That not Joan should be lecturing on that front, as she's had more rendezvous than relationships lately. Maybe there will be someone for her next season.
She's redirected her search for loving to adoption. Any chance we'll be getting back to those efforts before the season runs out in two episodes? I'm doubtful.
It was wonderful to watch Sherlock's fumbling attempt to ask out Irregular Athena for dinner and her smooth acceptance. It was a bold step for him to try to take their relationship to a riskier level.
I'm afraid he may have just put Athena in danger, with Michael returning for the two-part season finale. Hopefully, one storyline has nothing to do with the other, but we'll have to wait and see.
There's also Marcus's proposed departure for the Marshal's Service. Is change actually going to happen, or will something keep that from happening?
To catch up before the finale, watch Elementary online.
Did you enjoy seeing Harland again? Like Harland, can Sherlock find love? How did you like the case of the week? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.