Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Elementary: A Family of Spies?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Who runs a non-profit brothel? Apparently, a Russian spy. Aside from the crew on Burn Notice, I had largely forgotten that there are still allegedly spies among us. I guess you can chalk up my naivete to the fact that the USSR dissolved when I was in second grade. Still, I cannot imagine the shock that Carly must have felt upon learning that both of her parents AND a longtime family friend were all playing for a different team, demanding she attend Georgetown and major in governmental affairs. But, what I found most interesting about this episode was actually Holmes' near insistence that Watson stay near him as an apprentice of sorts. Her interest in doing so has been building, but I remain intrigued about the separation that must occur in the near future as she takes a different position, at least for the interim. I worry that Holmes will turn to drug abuse in an attempt to woo her back to detective work, but hopefully the writers are better than that. How do you think Watson and Holmes will reunite after she moves on to another client?

Elementary "Dirty Laundry" (S01E11): A maid opens a dryer in a hotel and finds the body of a manager who apparently died from blunt force trauma to the head. The washing machine makes it difficult to determine time of death, and it washed out any fingerprints. [I hadn't thought about how that worked.] The only clue they do have is a broken pen but no ink. Holmes and Watson talk to the victim's husband, who recently lost his job and has been having marital problems. The duo then talk to a nosy neighbor, who thinks that the victim was having an affair. But, no, it's just a guy who runs a charity group where the victim volunteered. [still...]

Some hookers used to hang around the hotel and the victim got rid of them, so Holmes and Watson go to the hotel bar to look for prostitutes. He asks one if she knows anything, and she shares that the victim would help prostitutes find clients under a lower profile. Curious as to why anyone would provide this service for free, Holmes searches the victim's office and finds that her computer monitors nine hidden cameras - the victim didn't need money from the prostitutes or pimps because she'd blackmail the businessmen. [gross shirt on Sherlock.] Holmes watches all nine video screens at once to pinpoint someone with motive to kill, but he gets nowhere. He then realizes that the victim's computer had hidden information in photos. [how he discovered this is not revealed.] There are videos in there of businessmen speaking in foreign languages, and Holmes thinks that the victim was a spy, thinks the husband is, too, and that the charity guy is the spy handler. [I'm missing a step in his deduction, I think...]

When Holmes and Watson initially visited the husband, Watson learned that the victim's daughter, Carly, formerly had an addiction to pain pills, so Watson gives out her number. The first time she calls, she abruptly hangs up when her father shows up. Later, Carly calls again and Watson goes to meet her, where she learns that Carly found out the day of the murder that her parents were spies. She goes on to explain that her mother did not like Carly's plans to attend college in Michigan, wanting to force a Georgetown degree in government studies and create a second generation spy. [I don't understand someone who is so dedicated to her career that she cannot allow her offspring to dedicate her own life to something about which she is just as passionate.]
Photo: Tom Concordia /CBS

Carly shoved her mom and she hit her head on a desk. The handler came in and told Carly to go home and stay quiet. Watson doesn't want Carly's life ruined, and she and Holmes realize that the handler had killed the victim when she woke from the head wound. In the end, Carly and her father end up in the Witness Protection Program. [that's gotta be rough!]

Case aside, there are ten days left in Watson's stay and the kitchen is a wreck. Everything is dirty or spoiled, but Holmes doesn't care, teasing Watson about wanting to be his apprentice. He later offers to fake a relapse so his father will pay for her longer, though she has taken a new position.   
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