Elementary Review: “Evidence of Things Not Seen”

photo credit: tvequals.com

photo credit: tvequals.com

Here’s my review of Elementary season four episode “Evidence of Things Not Seen.” 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.

After being pushed far away from the status quo with “The Past is Parent” last week, this episode pushes us back closer to the way things used to be. By the end of “Evidence of Things Not Seen,” it looks like Sherlock and Joan will be back to the NYPD next week, and that’s a bit disappointing to be put back into the box, but I think this episode demonstrates well that the NYPD is the only place that’ll work with them.

But firstly, let me say that it was nice to see Sherlock and Joan exploring other options by teaming up with the FBI. And restrictions imposed by the FBI gave our team a small challenge while investigating. Things weren’t handed to them like usual. They had to ask to see the suspect’s apartment, Sherlock had to dig through the trash alone for evidence, they had to sneak around to talk to suspects. Without the NYPD, we didn’t have to watch as many interrogations and it seemed like the killer’s reveal and arrest didn’t last as long as usual.

But in the end, I missed the NYPD and the rapport they’ve built up over the last couple of seasons. The FBI seemed resistant to help from Sherlock and Joan. The consultants are there to make their work easier, but they had a hard time just getting the opportunity to work. Instead of making a strong collaboration together, the FBI’s reluctance to let Sherlock and Joan fully participate made themselves look selfish children who didn’t want to share. It’s true that early episodes of season one were similar with the NYPD. But now they’ve developed into a partnership. Sherlock and Joan are a part of the team. Everyone pulls equal weight, both the consultants and the police.

But more than just the case work is concerned, the episode felt a bit empty without Sherlock and Joan interacting with Bell and Gregson. Not only are they professional colleagues, but also friends now. And Sherlock has recently gone through a tough time. In the premiere episode, we see a concerned Gregson bring over groceries, and Bell isn’t too happy to see them cut loose in his brief appearance. In the past, Elementary has done a great job of exploring the friendships developing between all of the main characters. I’m eager to see how Sherlock’s fall from grace affects these relationships. With the NYPD back in the picture, we will have an avenue to explore that again.

One of the best points of this episode was Joan. On occasion, Sherlock’s story tends to eclipse her own story arc. But Joan’s confrontation with Papa Holmes reminds us all that she’s a force to contend with too. It’s an interesting setup for a continuing story. What will she do with the information that he paid off the DA to drop Sherlock’s charges? The information puts Joan in a weird position, but it also gives her character conflict and choices. Papa Holmes is super shady, but how will that affect Joan as we continue?

While it’s disappointing that the shake up in their lives might just go back to normal, this episode shows that it might not be such a bad thing.

Extra Case Files

  • When will this show win an Emmy for dressing Lucy Liu in such fabulous clothing all the time?
  • “No horns.” If we’re going to keep invoking devilish imagery every time they talk about Morland Holmes, I’m just going to keep imagining that John Noble is continuing to play his character from Sleepy Hollow. LOL
  • Considering that the case involved a study on propaganda and so-called brainwashing techniques, it’s surprising to me that Everyone didn’t show up at some point in this episode.
  • Best line, full of devastating honesty: “I think he just thinks you’re a terrible father.”
  • I like to think the smelly shark meat was just Sherlock’s newest way to wake Joan up. I miss that running gag.

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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