Elementary: Ready or Not Review

Elementary’s subplot stood out from the clamor this week, as even doomsday bunkers and axe murderers were outshone by budding romance.

This Elementary review contains spoilers.

Elementary: Season 4, Episode 18

Who said that a show about murder and doomsday preppers couldn’t be romantic? On this week’s episode of Elementary, Season 4, episode 18, “Ready or Not”, Sherlock finally found his romantic and intellectual match in the form of one brilliant, neuro-atypical software engineer. Yes, Fiona is back, and she’s in charge, in all her adorably awkward glory.

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First things first: In between what everyone really wanted to watch — Sherlock and Fiona sharing pillow-talk and mindless trivia over otherwise mundane topics — there was a murder to be solved. When survivalist doctor goes missing and later turns up dead from an ax to the head (yes, really), Sherlock and Joan begin investigating all possible suspects, from the doctor’s wife, to the his alleged mistress (who later, it turns out, isn’t a mistress at all, but a pill dealer), to the founder and owner of a high end doomsday bunker (whose facility is later revealed to be a fraud). Round and round in circles they go, until at last the consulting duo discovers the real motive behind the murder and arrests the doctor’s medical partner. Compared to other procedurals, “Ready or Not” manages to whip up a bit of a whirlwind case, but even with underground bunkers and dangerous drug scandals, it simply isn’t able to hold a candle to its own subplot.

In a curiously intriguing side plot, it’s revealed that Sherlock and Fiona have been testing the relationship waters for a few weeks, sliding into a careful rhythm of purposely timed visits and selective conversation. However, after Fiona shows up and laments that the newly-formed couple’s calculated routine has grown tiring (“You’re being careful,” she claims at one point, noting that Sherlock’s behavior has changed since entering into a heretofore unconsummated relationship with her), she breaks up with Sherlock, leaving him speechless — which, if everyone’s being honest with themselves, is a pretty difficult thing to do.

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Thankfully, the break doesn’t stick, and the two find themselves reunited once again at the end, after Sherlock explains that his past difficulties at maintaining a relationship have hindered his efforts at pursuing Fiona in the way she’d like to be pursued.

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And then, of course, there’s the inevitable make-out session. It’s underwhelmingly sweet, but that fits the duo’s nature. With Sherlock’s previous “great love”, Jamie Moriarty, everything was fireworks, explosions, and unapologetic lust (or so we’re led to believe). This time, it needs to be different if the showrunners want the pairing to survive. The rest of Sherlock’s life is orderly and disorderly in the same breath and it holds a bit of uncertainty; Maintaining an aspect of simplicity in his love life is the only way for him to compartmentalize everything that’s happening without it consuming him.

This is why Fiona’s presence is so important. The software engineer seems to be a mirror of Sherlock in the best way possible and as Sherlock’s character grows, he needs an equal to ground him and understand his misgivings without growing exasperated.

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Better than all this, of course, is the fact that this week’s episode of Elementary provided an important dialogue around the idea of neuro-atypical romance. When Fiona points out that there’s no need for Sherlock to tiptoe around her or treat her gingerly, she’s stating something that should be obvious, but may be a bit unclear to the average viewer. Rather than using kid gloves, Fiona’s relationship with Sherlock should be handled like any other “great love” (albeit with a little more blunt commentary and genius-level observation) — and thus far, it seems as if the writers and showrunners on Elementary have been attempting to do just that. 

Rating:

4 out of 5