Elementary Review: "Flight Risk" (Episode 1.06)
It was only a matter of time before a major bit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlockian canon made its way into Elementary. But first, let’s look at an incredibly interesting case that featured not one, but two last-minute twists. Quite a shocker if you ask me (note: read that in that sarcastic tone Holmes uses so much).
“Flight Risk” starts with a plane crash and not a murder, but Holmes is determined to prove something. “There’s a story here, Watson” he says, “And it’s our job to tell it.” That seems to be the same notion the show uses when it comes to writing an episode. Every episode the most captivating part of the show isn’t necessarily the case of the week, but the slow-building relationship between Holmes and Watson. I think the writers know it, but know that’s not what crime procedural-loving America tunes in for. So the writers figure they have to find a crime to fit around the character development.
The crimes are quite fun, even though you know that paying attention for the first half of the case will only mean you can be certain that the first suspect (and even second and third) are not the murderer. In this case, the plane crash wasn’t a plane crash; but a murder gone off plan. Three lawyers are on a chartered flight with a pilot. One was bludgeoned before the crash, so the murderer was also on the plane. That’s what we believe for about 15 minutes before another clue is suddenly thrown at us by Holmes’ deductive reasoning.
The lawyer “missed his flight” and was killed before being stowed away causing an imbalance in weight distribution for such a tiny plane. But wait, there’s more. Holmes finds sand that doesn’t belong on the beach they found the plane on. That’s right; he notices different sand. Only the great Sherlock Holmes would be so observant. This leads to him deducing there was sand in the fuel tank and deduces that the first two suspects weren’t suspects at all.
Basically Holmes deduces a lot and I deduce the writers love writing “deduce” into the script.
All joking aside, the final twists are enough to make the case of the week an interesting one, but what I really love tuning into each week for is Watson’s slightly annoying persistence to find some bit of personal information out about Holmes.
This week’s Holmes’ father is in town and wants to have dinner with Holmes and Watson. Of course Watson is oh-so-giddy, but Holmes insists daddy dearest will bail. She shows to dinner anyway to actually meet Mr. Holmes. She finds out about a childhood accident that resulted in a nasty broken bone and scar, as well as Holmes’ fear of heights. Except it wasn’t Mr. Holmes, it was some actor. Except it wasn’t some actor, but a close “friend” of Holmes.
It’s the last few minutes of the show that really make this episode worth it. The friend reveals knowing Holmes when he was an addict and his attempts to sober up the world’s greatest detective. He says that on one particularly nasty bout of withdrawal Holmes mutters the same name over and over again. Cue the fanboys’ shrieks of guessing—excuse me, deducing—who it would be. Moriarty? Sebastian Moran? No, no, no.
I deduce we’re about to take a wild ride down Holmes’ memory lane in the next few weeks. But don’t expect to meet Irene any time soon. They’re better off saving that for the latter half of the season during sweeps time.