Here’s my review of Elementary season three episode “A Stitch in Time.” Please note that this isn’t a recap of what happens. I’m assuming that you’ve already seen the episode. There are spoilers in this review.
I suppose that any episode after an Everyone episode is going to be disappointing, and while this wasn’t a bad episode, it just wasn’t a very exciting one either. “A Stitch in Time” lacked the strong character story we usually get and felt a little too convoluted to keep up with.
Let’s start with the main case. It’s always fun to have a strange and quirky case to investigate, and starting off with an attempted train wreck cover-up and a piece of a lawn gnome seemed promising. But once we got into real estate and ghosts and maybe terrorist tunnels, things got complicated. It was hard at times to follow the logic of the investigation. And things were very arbitrary. The cult just happened to have surveillance photos of Garrison Boyd and Colin Eisley. The old lady in the house just happened to have a recording of Nadim swearing in Arabic (and that just happened to sound similar to the name of a guy she had an affair with.) The company managing Eisley’s money just happened to be in a building with slower servers. The logic seemed less natural and more like “we need something new to explore,” only introducing new elements to the plot to keep it moving. They solved this one with the magic of television, really.
On the bright side though, Bell got to contribute more than usual since Joan was occasionally occupied. Sherlock and Joan may be considered top detectives but Bell isn’t dumb. It’s nice to see him get to help out with the actual investigation instead of off-screen like usual. Now if only we could get some more character development for him like we got with the shooting incident last year…
Speaking of character development, there wasn’t much of a b-story for Sherlock or Joan this week. No difficult topics to explore. No philosophical discussions to consider. The episode just felt kind of empty without the random chats between Joan and Sherlock while they investigate. There was really only one part like that here and it ended with Joan getting annoyed and leaving the room.
Of course, Sherlock and Joan aren’t the only characters in the show so other people can share the spotlight too. But the light was shining on Gregson and his daughter Hannah this week, and it just lacked an emotional punch. The biggest problem might be that Hannah has only appeared once before, earlier this season. And she wasn’t the main focus of that episode either. So the audience doesn’t know her very well yet. We aren’t invested in her problems. I know this is entirely dependent on actress availability, but it would have been nice for Hannah to make more appearances even if just briefly. Or maybe even just mention or occasionally, like other recurring characters. But even if none of that happened, the least they could do is make her storyline and case the main focus of this episode. There was too much going on in the main story to keep up with Hannah’s too. All of that action took place off screen so it’s less interesting just to hear about it afterwards.
The good thing is that we got to see more of Gregson but it still wasn’t very much. The last scene between Gregson and Joan seemed like it was supposed to be important but I’m not really sure how I was supposed to feel about it. There wasn’t any major revelation in Gregson or Joan’s characters so… what was the point?
Basically we had a standard episode of procedural TV but without all the usual toppings that make Elementary so good. But perhaps this is only a brief “stitch in time” and we’ll be back to par next week.
Extra Case Notes
- I’m beginning to think we need an episode where Sherlock and Joan go on vacation and Gregson and Bell are left to deal with everything on their own again. Just to see how that would go.
- While I think Hannah’s character was mishandled, I do appreciate Elementary’s dedication to include recurring characters when they can. It was nice to see Mason again even though he’s still “grounded from the internet.” And it looks like the ME will keep appearing whenever Sherlock and Joan visit the morgue. Now if only we could get more of Ms. Hudson…
- How would you feel about getting paid in Picasso for murder?
- The opening with Sherlock and the bees was HILARIOUS! I wish there had been more. “But I didn’t consider table collapse,” Sherlock says. “You don’t mean my table?” Joan asks. And then Sherlock hastily ends the conversation. LOL
So what did you think of the episode? Love it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.