ELEMENTARY 1.16 ‘Details’

Bell gets caught in a frame-up and Sherlock makes Watson an offer she can't refuse.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: "Details"

Writers: Jeffrey Paul King and Jason Tracey

Director: Sanaa Hamri

Previously on "Elementary:"

Episode 1.15 "A Giant Gun, FIlled with Drugs"


If you’re feeling a sense of relief after "Details," you’re not alone; for this is the episode in which Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) finally have "the talk."

That is, the talk in which they work out the "details" of their future together. Ever since Watson lied about Sherlock’s father extending her position as his son’s "sober companion," we’ve been waiting for the world’s greatest detective to suss out his ever-present partner/associate/apprentice/housekeep’s deceit. But we’ve been waiting even longer for Watson to finally realize that she likes working with Sherlock. It’s been a bit frustrating to sit through at times only because the struggle, itself, felt kind of pointless.

And in the end it was, for a number of reasons. Watson’s therapist, (she definitely needs a new one, by the way) worries about what will happen when Sherlock learns about Watson’s lie, suggesting we’re in for some sort of climactic moment when he eventually confronts her. Trouble is we’re all but certain Sherlock already knows because A. He’s the world’s greatest detective and B. He recently spoke with his father, who probably said something like "How are you doing since I fired your sober companion? Wait, she’s still there? Bollocks!"

Now that’s not to say the supremely-awkward-yet-emotionally-touching scene in which Sherlock confronts Watson about the lie and then asks her to be his partner because he’s "better and sharper" with her wasn’t climactic. It’s just that after fifteen weeks of playing the "will she? won’t she?" game, it wasn’t the most satisfying payoff.

But that’s ok because "Elementary" has so much other good stuff going for it, like jokes about threesomes, physical comedy that’s actually funny and references to the movie Heathers ("What’s your damage?" Watson asks Sherlock when he tests her self-defense skills by posing as a masked intruder).

It’s also a decent procedural. Aside from working out their relationship, Sherlock and Watson also work out the truth about who is trying to frame Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) for the murder of notorious gangster, Curtis Bradshaw (Hey, it’s "Slim Charles" from "The Wire," Anwar Glover). While we get to enjoy Sherlock "pull rabbits out of hats", as Captain Gregson likes to call it, we also learn a little more about Detective Bell. While Bell stayed on the straight and narrow, becoming an NYPD detective, his brother, Andre (Malcolm Goodwin) turned to gang life, which resulted in hard time.

What’s interesting here isn’t so much the old as time tale of "the good brother and the bad brother," but what we learn about Bell’s character. While Andre refused to roll on his associates for a lesser sentence, Bell ratted out a detective who planted evidence to arrest the very elusive Bradshaw; something he did in order to get his brother out of jail. Bell talks about his brother’s "code," his refusal to turn on his partners in crime. Bell has a code as well, it seems. He’s plays strictly by the book, in this case to the point of alienating and hurting his own brother. While Bell isn’t nearly as interesting as Watson or Sherlock, at least he’s got a couple layers to his character. Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn), on the other hand, is still waiting for his close-up.

As for the case itself, Watson earns her keep when she has a breakthrough about Bell informing on the cop who framed Bradshaw and ultimately, committed suicide before going to jail. This leads to Sherlock and Watson focusing on a beat cop and former lover of Bell’s, who was close to the late detective. When accused of attempting to kill Bell, murdering Bradshaw, planting a gun in Bell’s apartment and making an attempt on Andre’s life, she criticizes Bell for not being in the room to level the charges himself – another little insight into the by-the-book detective.

The conclusion to "Details" was a little far fetched, considering all this diminutive female cop did to get at Bell, but the episode was otherwise great. Especially the scenes where Sherlock and Watson throw various pieces of sporting equipment at each other. Watson is right; next time that basketball could be a knife.