ELEMENTARY 1.10 ‘The Leviathan’

Sherlock charms Watson's family but struggles to crack his latest case.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: "The Leviathan"

Writer: Corinne Brinkerhoff and Craig Sweeny

Director: Peter Werner

Previously on "Elementary:"

Episode 1.09 "You Do It to Yourself"


The case of the uncrackable safe, "The Leviathan" was a little on the sleepy side, but this hour of "Elementary" was really more about our two investigators than the investigation, itself.

Having developed a reputation for picking locks and breaking into places he’s not supposed to be, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) was sought out by Casterly Rock Security’s head engineer (and apparent George R.R. Martin fan) when his impenetrable safe, the "Leviathan" is broken into, once again.

Sherlock generally gets his cases from the NYPD, but I like the idea of private individuals seeking out the eccentric detective. It allows Sherlock to get involved in much more interesting (and inevitably dangerous) cases. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them

Yes, Sherlock was as unorthodox as ever, smashing computer keypads, insulting higher-ups and generally making people uncomfortable. But the investigation, which involved a heist team assembled from jurors assigned to the first "Leviathan" break-in trial, amounted to a lot of talking and standing around. No "Elementary" isn’t an action-intensive police procedural like CBS sister show "Hawaii Five-0," therefore it has to engage viewers on an intellectual level. This episode tried to do that, but seemed to get tangled up in its own details.

That might be because "The Leviathan" was also a kind of metaphor for Sherlock’s unquestionable faith in his own intellect. As intelligent as he is, Sherlock can also be his own worst enemy – even now in this much less self-destructive state. The detective spent a good amount of time in this episode resisting the idea that someone out there could possibly out smart him by cracking the safe he couldn’t. In the end, his "copycat" theory was more or less correct, but that doesn’t mean Sherlock’s ego isn’t an occasional liability.

As for Watson (Lucky Liu), we got another glimpse into her personal life during a brunch date with her mother, who seems to not approve of her daughter’s current employment. Picking up on this, Sherlock crashed dinner with Watson’s mom, brother and his fiancée and talked up his "modest" companion and all her on-the-job "life saving." Everything Sherlock said about Watson was true, though he later claimed he was just telling Watson’s mother what she wanted to hear. Sure you were, Sherlock.

With the end of her "sober companionship" with Sherlock looming, Watson’s mother paid her a visit to let her know what we, Sherlock and everyone else knows. Watson likes being a detective and she doesn’t really want to quit Sherlock, at least not yet.

This is probably my only real gripe with "Elementary." Watson is resistant to stay on with Sherlock, even though there’s no compelling reason for her to leave. Yes, she’ll be assigned another client, but that’s not enough of a pull to make this "stay or go" dilemma much of a dilemma. Sherlock’s made it as clear as he can that he wants her to stick around. Maybe if there was a real sticking point here this storyline wouldn’t feel so contrived.

On a more positive note, "Elementary" continues to be funny, which is always good. This week, we saw Sherlock studying "the differences in the genetic material" of a set of gorgeous twins. We also saw Sherlock take a page, or rather a painting from "White Collar’s" Neal Caffrey’s book when he "borrowed" a Van Gogh. And on a guest star note, if I’d be remiss if I didn’t say "Hey, it’s Chris Partlow aka Gbenga Akinnagbe from The Wire" as the baddie in this episode.

"The Leviathan" was a mostly enjoyable episode of "Elementary" though the case was a little laborious. We’re still getting deeper into the backstories of our two leads while pushing forward with the main story. Hopefully, Watson decides to put down roots sooner rather than later, as all this talk of her moving on is really a waste of time. Sherlock and Watson are good together. No mystery there. Once they both accept this and move on, "Elementary" will be a much better show.