“As if men had a monopoly on murder” — Elementary: the Complete Finale of Season 1

Previously on Elementary: Dead Man’s Switch.

Because the last four episodes of Season 1 of Elementary focus on Sherlock’s hunt for Moriarty, I wanted to take the time and watch and review it in one go. I have found that complex stories often work better when watched in marathon, so I wanted to give it a try for this. Each page of this article contains one episode review so you can go in steps, if you like. Onwards!

Episode 21: A Landmark Story

It really is very handy living with a surgeon when you’re Sherlock Holmes: those pesky dislocated shoulders aren’t much of a problem anymore. It’s funny little scenes like these that make Elementary not just more lively, but endearing.

Joan: “No! I’m dissecting a body in the middle of the night, we are not having a moment.”

The beauty of an illicit autopsy at a funeral home.

Sherlock: “The thing that’s different about me […], is you.”

But, more importantly, the beauty of Sherlock changing because of Joan, and acknowledging it unreservedly.  He was going to be alone again when he found Moran, with no-one to be there for him — and no-one to answer to, no-one to feel responsible for, and no-one, basically, who needs him to not be in jail. Since then, Joan has decided to stay with him, and they have come to be such close friends that getting himself into that kind of trouble — into that kind of murderous mindset — again is unthinkable to Holmes. Their closeness is a funny thing: there are still so many things they don’t know about each other, and yet, when they’re out and about fighting crime, they work seamlessly. They may not know everything about each other, but they know who the other is, at their core. It’s a beautiful thing in terms of how their relationship develops on the screen. In addition, there’s the apology note that Watson finds in the morning. Sherlock didn’t leave her behind because he wanted to commit another capital crime, however, but because he deemed the situation too dangerous. Moriarty may have decided to take her out as well, had she been there. Sherlock’s bag, though, was filled with legos, not surgical instruments conveniently sharp enough to maim and kill. He wasn’t going to betray her, he was protecting her.


Sherlock: “Good evening. Welcome to our home.”

Sherlock’s relationship with Moriarty also seems to go back much longer than he thought — he’s the only job that ever got cancelled. Seems as though Moriarty observed him, became interested, and decided to keep him around for a little bit of fun. In light of the revelation who Moriarty really is…. wow, that hurts. In the meantime, Moriarty uses Sherlock as a message donkey, delivering to Moran the note that either he or his sister are going to die. A few hours later, Moran nearly kills himself in his cell, with no chance of surviving the swelling of his brain. It’s ambiguous whether Sherlock is merely upset about being outsmarted, or upset that he couldn’t prevent Moran’s suicide and the threat to his sister. Joan assumes the latter, perceives his gestures as shame — hiding the face generally is — about the fact that someone died, not that he feels like an idiot. He then deflects, but doesn’t exactly object. Perhaps, this one has to count for both.

At the end, they receive a call, and a voice invites Sherlock for a chat. Oh, goodie.

P.S.: This may have been murder. Continue reading →


  1. Been away for a bit, but had to let you know how much I enjoyed your take on this show. As always great writing and your insights are spot on. Loved it!



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