Previously on Elementary: Solve for X.
Social conventions come back to haunt Joan as her friends fail to understand what autonomy means and sign her up for a dating website, while Sherlock stages crime scenes in a manufactured doll house to test her considerable skills. Just another day at work on Elementary. But that’s not all, as this week’s episode presents us with the show’s answer to Wikileaks and Edward Snowden.
Elliot Honeycutt, Joan and Sherlock’s mysterious employer, who claims wants them to help bring Ezra Kleinfelter, the whistleblower who leaked secret government documents to the press, in and help him gain political asylum in one of the embassies in New York, until a fair trial can be arranged. Apparently, someone’s out to kill the man. But who?
Turns out, it’s Honeycutt himself. Or, rather, his company, Redding. A former CIA contractor, he is now out to eliminate his own former employee, Kleinfelter, before the true scope of the operations he blew the lid off of comes to light.
Joan, reading Ezra’s blog: “Turns out that most of Ezra’s thoughts on a broken world have to do with how he can’t get a date with his neighbour.”
Meanwhile, Joan’s friends feel that she’s becoming isolated while holing up with Sherlock at the brownstone and not going out a lot. Hence, they decide to do stuff without her consent (again) and sign her up on a dating website, drew up her profile and everything. Of course, when you’re someone who works a lot and doesn’t necessarily get out much (did you mean: my life), becoming a bit of a hermit is something that crosses your mind. Loving your work, being good at it, and devoting most of your time to it and possibly wanting a relationship shouldn’t contradict each other to the point of mutual exclusion the way they do in our contemporary understanding of work-life balance. At the same time, something that, I would argue, most women (and men, though maybe to a lesser degree) feel acutely is the pressure to not be alone, to have meaningful relationships. Singledom isn’t exactly appreciated in our society, and even when someone is happily single, especially women feel the spinster on the one and cheerful independence and flipping the bird to patriarchy tugging at them from the other side. Especially for women, the expectation to find a mate as soon as possible is still pretty much universal and going strong. Choosing to be alone is seen as unnatural and unhealthy — and when you choose not to be alone, it’s seen as compliance with the status quo patriarchy extols, when, in fact, it’s just another goddamn individual choice you might make over the course of your life. But, you know, Joan isn’t alone. She has significant relationships: the folks at the precinct are steadily becoming her friends, she keeps in touch with her friends from uni, and then there’s Sherlock. That’s another talking point, actually: anyone who might qualify as a potential partner for Joan will have to meet Sherlock and put up with his presence in her life. So there.
That is, until Sherlock declares himself to be, now and forever, “post-love.” He’s convinced Joan won’t actually bring anyone home because “romantic love is an illusion.” Uh. That’s all fine and dandy, Sherlock, but your emotional trauma isn’t Joan’s. Which gets her thinking.
Joan: “In other words, you’re planning on arguing on the Internet all night.”
Clyde! As an alarm clock.
Ha! And the hacker/cyber activist harbouring Ezra is a woman. Away with the pimpled nerdboy image, I say! Of course, the makers of Jamaica Quay/Everyone are initially still made out to be somewhat involuntarily comedic, but all of that goes to hell when Hector, the security guard, realises his phone has been stolen, traced it back to their address, and then unleashed all hell upon Sherlock and Joan. It gets to the point that they’re being arrested for maintaining a blog hosting plans to kill the President.
Sherlock, about Joan checking out profiles of guys who winked at her on the dating website: “I weep for the whole desperate lot.”
Jeff Heinz, we like you, you’re a good guy.
Who we do not like, however, is Ezra fucking Kleinfelter. Lovely bloke. Whistleblowing is not a bad thing to do, malpractice and injustice can’t go unpunished; and if whistleblowing is the way to achieve that, alright. In the intelligence community, however, there’s an ethical dilemma entering into it that chills the blood. Exposing operations also always means exposing agents, often in deep cover, who cannot afford to be burnt because their lives are in immediate danger if they are. And now, Ezra, the little shit, is ensuring his flight to Venezuela by threatening to expose fourteen deep cover agents. Not only that, but he killed Vanessa Hisky, the hacker who volunteered to shelter him, when she wouldn’t have sex with him.
In this case, the whistleblower is a vindictive, self-centered, potential rapist and murderer. Not at all the white knight he probably chooses to see himself as.
Thanks to Joan, for saving the day, however. Utilising what Sherlock told her about pickpocketing, she steals Kleinfelter’s watch — securing a DNA sample, by which they can prove that Ezra is the person the DNA under Vanessa’s finger nails belongs to, obtained when she tried to defend herself against his unwanted sexual advances. Meanwhile, Sherlock pressures Honeycutt into securing the fourteen agents under threat.
At the end, it is revealed that Sherlock received a letter from Irene — pardon, Jamie Moriarty.
Joan: “I think you’d have a lot to share if you cared to. I shouldn’t be the only one who knows you.”
Y’see, Joan isn’t saying that her friends were right. She isn’t saying that patriarchy is right. The only thing she realised is that her life might be a little sequestered, and that, since she used to be a more outgoing person, perhaps a little more real world mixed in with the murder and the corpses might be nice, just to relax. But what’s more, we now see another turning point in her relationship with Sherlock: deciding to write a book about him, this is the moment she becomes the chronicler, the author of best selling stories detailing their exploits. I’m looking forward to the impact this will have on the show.
Next: Poison Pen.
I liked the whistleblower theme of the episode, too bad he turned out to be “a vindictive, self-centered, potential rapist and murderer” like you already said.
The pickpocketing was pretty kool, Sherlock must have been very proud^^. Good job Joan.