Previously on Elementary: M.
Apart from this being one of the more convoluted cases of the season, this is the fall-out. If last episode hadn’t ended any differently, Sherlock could have been facing trial and a hefty prison sentence now—but he’s free, he’s fine (mostly). He’s also suspended from consulting with the NYPD.
Sherlock knew what he was doing—and if I’m getting this right, he wasn’t even planning to escape after murdering Moran. He was fully prepared to go to jail and have his entire existence taken away from him… because he’d already lost it the day Irene died. He kept count.
He knew that he would disappoint and sadden at least two people who cared about him, and, well, possibly infuriate his father. And while Joan stays with him, against all odds (and probably would have supported him throughout the trial, if it had come to that), Captain Gregson has waited long enough for the other shoe to drop. He’s livid and hurt and disappointed, and he sure packs a mighty punch. Whereas it’s unclear to what extent Joan trusts Sherlock at all, and how exactly she is going to deal with the fact that he maimed and very nearly murdered someone and that she still wants to stay with him, Gregson is entirely unambiguous: he knows the department needs Sherlock; but he serves the law, and it’s not a matter on which they can agree to disagree. It’s not just the fact that Sherlock was ready to kill without remorse, but that he didn’t trust the NYPD to close the case. Give them the name, let them find him. Or, failing that, apprehending him and then handing him over. In two ways, Sherlock has betrayed someone who thought they knew him well enough to trust him. To learn that he was wrong, that he doesn’t really know Sherlock at all must have stung; especially after Sherlock hid his addiction from him. Gregson knew, but Sherlock being dishonest opened a chasm that now seems almost impossible to cross.
Joan is, inadvertently, revealing more about herself as well. She’s seeing a therapist—but at least in the scene that we got to see, she talks about Sherlock. I’m hoping that we’ll get to the real meat of her story soon; because then getting straight why she’s staying with Sherlock can become the catalyst for her finally dealing with why exactly she let her medical license expire. Not that she has to become a doctor again; but so far the explanations for her actions—past and present—are hogwash and slim, and there’s still a cloud of obscurity surrounding her abilities as a surgeon. If that therapy doesn’t go down that route on-screen, then that would mean that Sherlock only subsumed the problem, not that she solved it.
Of course, talking about why Sherlock needs her is, by omission, also asking the question: Why does Joan need Sherlock? Why should she spend her own money on someone who is no longer her client? For now, the answer to that is probably, ‘Because it’s the right thing to do.’ In time, it will become, ‘Because she wants to.’
’cause, here’s the clincher: Sherlock kept count for Irene. He also kept count for Joan.
P.S.: I entirely forgot about Clyde! Dear Clyde, you are my favourite turtle paperweight. Clyde is, basically, Gladstone. Holmes and Watson have a pet!
Next: The Deductionist.