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ELEMENTARY 1.07 ‘One Way to Get Off’

While Sherlock's on the case, Watson digs deeper into his past with a trip to Sherlock's old rehab haunt.

Episode Title: "One Way to Get Off"

Writer: Christopher Silber

Director: Seith Mann

 

It was one headache of a case (especially for Captain Gregson), but this episode of "Elementary" definitely kept you guessing while delving deeper into Sherlock's past.

Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) made his career on putting away serial killer, Wade Crewes back in 1999. But when a copycat killer emerges, Crewes' insistence that he's innocent is given new weight. Also troubling is the possibility that Gregson planted the mug found with Crewes' prints at the original crime scene.

Truth be told, I'm more interested in Watson and Holmes, but we got to know a little bit more about Gregson in this episode. Or rather it was more of the same. He's a gruff, rough around the edges police vet who'd rather hand over his badge than let an innocent man rot in prison thanks to his doing. Not a lot to chew on there, but it's something. At the very least it explained why the Captain was so obstinate when Sherlock presented his theory on Crewes' innocence.

Still sore over Watson prying into his personal life, in particular the mysterious Irene, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) ditched his sober companion/partner, leaving Watson (Lucy Liu) to nose around his old rehab facility. There she questions a couple of staff members who recall Sherlock's stay with a mix of frustration and bewilderment. However, the grounds keeper and Sherlock bonded over their shared appreciation of bees. And he's been holding on to a stack of old letters Sherlock left behind. Letters from Irene Adler.

Of course, Adler is a well-known figure in the Sherlock Holmes universe. Beautiful and brilliant, the character is sometimes portrayed as Sherlock's love interest. That appears to be the case here, as Sherlock tells Watson at the end of the episode that Irene was very special to him. But she's also supposedly dead, according to Sherlock. So this should be interesting…

While it was important for Watson to get some more intel on Sherlock's past, I really missed watching these two work together in this episode. Their dynamic is fun and they're are also very good at pushing each other's buttons, which can also be pretty revealing. Even though they spent most of the episode apart, "One Way to Get Off" wasn't without humorous moments. Like Sherlock informing Watson that his "bodily fluids are at your disposal." To that end, he later tells Watson that he left some urine in her room. Hopefully, it's in a cup, she responds. And then there's the scene where Sherlock assaults a suspect with an orange and declares him innocent. And of course, he's right.

In the end, it wasn't the angry contractor with the sex-slave locked up in the basement or the half-blind ex-con Czechian football fan, but Crewes' illegitimate son "whodunit." A satisfying enough twist, but the fun in "Elementary" and really, any good procedural, is found in the clever ways Sherlock solves the crime, not the crime itself.

Despite their independent storylines in this episode, Watson and Sherlock shared an important moment at the conclusion of this episode, as I mentioned earlier. How the introduction of Irene Adler, either as a realized character or just a painful memory, affects Sherlock going forward will be interesting. So far, "Elementary" has delivered a fairly unique and very entertaining take on "Sherlock Holmes." But as characters from the larger mythology are introduced, the creativity and originality of "Elementary" will be put to the test. What Sherlock Holmes stories will "Elementary" tell that haven't already been told? How will familiar characters get updated in new and different ways that are still faithful to the spirit of the original? With a full-season ahead, I'm excited to find out.

In the meantime, "One Way to Get Off" was another excellent episode. Though they're better together than apart, Watson and Sherlock each had an important mission this week. While Sherlock's mystery was solved by episode's end, the one Watson uncovered is just beginning to unfold.