Elementary delivered on “creepy,” “intriguing,” and “entertaining” in spades last week with its final sweeps episode. It started out interesting enough, with a young woman standing on a bridge, aiming a gun that was weighed down by a dumbbell at her face before pulling the trigger. It appeared to be a simple suicide, even if it was elaborately staged to look like a homicide, but it turned out that she had called the police earlier in the night to claim that a man named Lucas Bundsch was going to kill her that night. The woman, Samantha, believed Lucas had killed her sister, Allie, six years prior. Sherlock, a man of details, doesn’t take long to deduce that the young woman had killed herself in order to frame Lucas.
Lucas was still brought in for questioning, and Sherlock believed him to be innocent until he was hooked up to the polygraph. Unfortunately, that’s when Lucas showed signs of lying, leading Sherlock to believe that Bundsch had killed Allie, and that he was, in fact, a serial killer.
“I should’ve let Samantha Wabash frame that man.”
The episode twists and turns from there, and for the first time, the viewers are aware and certain that Bundsch is the murderer for the entirety of the episode. The intrigue lay in watching Sherlock struggle to pin the murders to Bundsch, who is always two steps ahead of him. Bundsch even shows up to the Brownstone to subtly threaten and mock Sherlock and Watson, which only serves to infuriate Sherlock.
After a punch to the face, Bundsch files a restraining order against Sherlock, which seems to stall the case. Sherlock prepares to frame Bundsch for another woman’s abduction (one which Bundsch gloats about) until he figures out that Bundsch must be keeping his hostages at his recording studio, which was renovated and soundproofed when he purchased the property.
Bundsch was a repugnant man, played brilliantly by Troy Garrity. He is deeply unnerving, and at some points, it’s downright difficult to watch certain scenes. That Sherlock was provoked enough to punch him was no surprise to the viewers, as some of us were crawling out of our skin most of the time.
The episode ends with a small victory: a young woman who had been abducted in 2011 was discovered alive along with the woman Bundsch had kidnapped during the episode.
Sherlock and Joan are at odds for most of the episode, though, because of the way Sherlock treats the not-Bell police officers at the 11th Precinct. Joan disapproves of the way Sherlock talks to Detective Coventry, the man who had led the investigation on Allie Wabash six years ago, and Sherlock refuses to apologize for his actions, insisting that he’s simply asking for excellence from everyone around him.
Joan chooses to work separately from Sherlock as much as possible, angry that Sherlock can’t see that his actions have consequences.
“What does it cost us to tread lightly around the people that we work with? I’ll tell you: attention and effort. Which I am not willing to spare.”
To be fair, Detective Coventry was way out of line. He gave Lucas Bundsch the address to the Brownstone just to spite Sherlock, which should’ve gotten him suspended with pay at the very least. Later, Coventry tells Gregson over drinks that he’s embarrassing himself by keeping Sherlock around, because Sherlock is constantly checking over the shoulders of the detectives and officers at the precinct. Gregson stands behind Sherlock because of his track record (and he lays a pretty epic smackdown on Coventry in the process) but Coventry insists that “half the precinct” hates Sherlock and resents Gregson for utilizing him. He then threatens to call the union before storming out of the bar. Gregson later addresses his entire staff, saying that if anyone has a problem with the way he runs his precinct, they’re welcome to leave.
I’m wondering if we’re ramping up for an internal affairs investigation, maybe in May sweeps, in which Sherlock has to go to bat for Gregson in order to help him keep his job. This episode lays a good foundation for such a storyline, and it could even make a great two-parter.
After the case is solved, Sherlock is painting blood spatter onto the wall of a dollhouse when Joan approaches him. “I am not a nice man, it’s important that you understand that.” He goes on to list all of his negative attributes, adding, “I am neither proud of this, nor ashamed of it.”
“I’m not going to change.”
“You have. You’re not the same person I met a year and a half ago, you’re–”
“Good to you? Yeah. For the most part. I consider you to be exceptional. So I make an exceptional effort to accomodate you. But you must accept that for as long as you choose to be in my life, there will occasionally be fallout from my behavior. That must be a part of our understanding.”
“No one can accept something like that forever.”
“To thine own self, Watson.”
That exchange doesn’t bode well, either. Looks like a Sherlock/Watson schism is on the horizon.