The rest of the world may celebrate the holiday season with Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pauses to retch into her mittens) and very-special-episodes featuring at least one Santa Claus hat, but not Elementary. Sure, there were pumpkin spices involved in this week’s cunning installment (and the second to last before the new year). But the lingering aroma of nutmeg wasn’t on hand to teach Sherlock or Joan, or even Kitty a lesson about the reason for the season courtesy of Gregson’s very special pumpkin pie. Oh no. The nutmeg was just the top-note of a magical concoction used by a professional “cleaner,” someone responsible for wiping the scene of a murder. And thus were pumpkin pie and internal organs liquefying forever fused in my mind. Thanks for that, show.
I loved this week’s central case, it was gory and layered, and wonderful, and much, much, much more engaging than the hot mess that was last week’s plagiarized map ordeal (good God, has it really been a week already?). My expression of affection makes me sound like a monster. It’s not that I exclusively enjoy stories about corpses being melted (though I do), it was how well the trio of Sherlock, Watson, and Kitty worked together on the case. For the first time this season, there was no odd man (or woman) out. I mean, unless you count Claude the turtle. And we should always count Clyde, I guess. I wonder what he’s doing right now? Probably not a lot. The case, while gripping and gross, was secondary to letting the audience enjoy the trio as they hit their stride, work-wise. We needed it!
This Elementary also showcased Sherlock as rescuer of women — but not, to be clear, in a sexist, superior type of way which, as a person with a vagina, I find a tremendously nice change of pace. He goes out of his way to deliberately reward and recognize Kitty for her work which enabled them to solve the case. He sasses Joan hardcore when he senses that she’s about to pull the plug on the good thing she’s got going with Andrew. I cannot overstate how canny it continues to be of this show to feature a Sherlock who understands everything — even the deeps of human emotions and complexities. He makes mistakes (like accidentally getting arrested in attempt to lure out a suspect using the dark Internet, ha) but his zest for life and the same yearning for adventure that he identifies in Watson is what drives him. Sherlock’s worldview isn’t bleak, it’s all encompassing and he thrives when he has partners like Kitty and Joan to share it with him. Do we think that Joan is actually considering ditching Andrew to get back with her kind of creepy former almost-fiancée? I feel as though that would be ill-advised.