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Elementary Review: "While You Were Sleeping" (Episode 1.02)

October 5, 2012  |  3:50pm
<i>Elementary</i> Review: "While You Were Sleeping" (Episode 1.02)

The premiere episode of Elementary was great exposition. We learned how this adaptation of the great Sherlock Holmes character was going to work and who exactly this version was. It was very nicely done. However, the case they worked on was formulaic in the sense that it tried to not be formulaic: too many twists and turns that didn’t give the viewer time to digest what happened. Yet this time around, the show tightens its grip on the viewers’ hands and leads us through an interesting case and great character development.

If you’re not looking for a case-of-the-week procedural, then step away. I said it last week: this is going to be more like House than BBC’s Sherlock, and I meant it.

This week a cop’s cousin is shot in the head by a burglar. Or is he?! Holmes quickly deduces that it’s not a burglary-homicide, but a burglary and a homicide. He deduces that the next-door neighbor committed the burglary after a female with a specific brand of deodorant waited in a chair and shot the victim.

When the thieving neighbor says he saw a mysterious woman right before he found the victim, Detective Bell doesn’t believe him, but he meets with a sketch artist. Then the perpetrator is ID’d as a woman in a three-day coma after trying to commit suicide. So it looks like Holmes was wrong yet again around the second commercial break. Or was he?!

After sitting through some advertisements (which reminded me that I absolutely need to get some Cheetos and test drive a Chevy today) Holmes notices a book by the patient’s bed that reads: “To Yvette and Rebecca on your 5th birthday.” But the twins are fraternal, not identical. So…what’s Holmes to do? Luckily he gets another chance when another victim is shot with the same gun. The victim also has the same rare genetic disorder.

Character-wise we learn just enough, without being spoon-fed. Holmes is forced to go to group sessions, where he has hypnotized himself for the time there, showcasing his immense knowledge of just about anything and everything. Yet we see cracks in his character. Captain Gregson notes that “he wasn’t brought on for his charm.” A few times we see Holmes start to boil over the fact no one is listening to him, which sets up his fake boiling-over scene later in the episode that helps him trap the perpetrator and eventually solve the case.

In the end, Holmes solves the case in the most absurd of ways (much like Dr. House). Now my only question is what will be the Elementary form of House’s lupus?

One last deduction about this episode: does everyone in Manhattan work in offices with floor-to-ceiling windows instead of walls?

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