ELEMENTARY 1.14 ‘The Deductionist’

When a notorious serial killer escapes, Sherlock is forced to work with an old colleague who thinks she's got him all figured out.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: 'The Deductionist'

Writer: Craig Sweeny and Robert Doherty

Director: John Polson

Previously on "Elementary:"

Episode 1.13 "The Red Team"


The title, "The Deductionist," hinted at the fact that this post-Superbowl-rific episode of "Elementary" was all about the man of the hour, Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). And more specifically, how the brilliant police consultant reacts when someone gets inside his head, for a change.

Sherlock is a whiz at figuring other people out, but when someone, namely FBI profiler and former lover, Kathryn Drummond (Kari Matchett) pegs him for a man destined for "self-annihilation," his vulnerability is laid bare. We've seen Sherlock's ego tested before, but what Kathryn suggested isn't something he can solve with wits, alone. It's a matter of the soul, an area where Sherlock still wrestles with his demons.

However, he isn't alone in the struggle. Escaped serial killer, Howard "The Peeler" Ennis (Hey, it's "Tim McManus" from "Oz," Terry Kinney), has a bone to pick with Drummond, who in her book about the "The Peeler," suggests Ennis was sexually abused by his father. The allegations, which Ennis denies ever happened, destroyed his family and now he's out for revenge.

Sherlock is able to easily triangulate Ennis, after he calls Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) while tuning a radio and the two talk about Drummond's profiles. While he's able to manipulate Ennis into foolishly reaching for a gun he's placed on the table before him, the real challenge for Sherlock is on a philosophical level. Is he destined to be the man Drummond described in the article she wrote about him, from the title of which this episode gets its name?

It's an interesting question and one that drives the episode, rather than the pursuit of Ennis and the not-so-shocking reveal that his terminally ill sister is helping her brother get revenge on Drummond.

While Sherlock ponders freewill versus fate, Watson deals with much more mundane matters. That is if you call finding out your apartment is being used as a porn movie set, "mundane." Now evicted from her place, Watson has another excuse to extend her stay at "Chez Sherlock." Still no real resolution here but the porn subplot is a humorous diversion.

And speaking of porn, the opening of this hour, in which we see Sherlock in the midst of a prostitution police sting, was an obvious play for male viewers coming out of the big game. That's not a complaint; I was actually hoping that scene would have more to do with the episode than provide a bookend to Watson's porn problem.

Otherwise, "The Deductionist" was an interesting detour from the usual, as we saw Sherlock struggle with the possibility that he's just as flawed and human as everyone else. And the more troubling truth, that as humans we are creatures of habit, some worse than others as Sherlock knows all too well.