Thursday, May 30, 2013

Elementary: Final Thoughts on Season 1

First of all, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my post about the Moore tornado. Please remember that Moore is going to be rebuilding for a long time, and people still need your help. You can make a donation to the United Way of Central Oklahoma which has a long-term fund for Moore tornado victims. There are more links here.

I intended to do this last week and have only just gotten around to it: I fucking loved the finale to Elementary. For real.

Elementary is my favorite adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. End of. It has surpassed every other version in my mind, including the Grenada Holmes (which remains a close second). Yeah. I love it that much. I love it more than Cumbersherlock. I love it more than RDJ and Jude Law Making Sweet, Sweet Love With Their Eyes. It is my absolute favorite. 

Note: I am not saying that any of these are better than any other, I am just telling you which my favorite is. Do not tell me I am wrong, because I don't care. But keep in mind, that every adaptation I listed, I absolutely do love, in spite of any flaws it has. There are other adaptations I love that I haven't listed, either, and at least three or four which I haven't tried but fully expect to enjoy. :)

Spoilers below.

You have been warned.

Let's talk about the episode before the season finale for a second. Lucy Liu is a truly excellent Watson, and Watson's growth as an investigator and as a friend to Sherlock has been wonderful to watch. She really stands her ground when the people around her are trying to do things or get her to do things ~for her own good~ (and that's been true for the whole show, actually). She actually tells Holmes "Look, I have worked on this just as hard as you have, and I deserve answers too," in regards to the Moriarty clue, and also points out that she's a grown-ass woman and can make her own decisions about whether something is too dangerous for her.

Jonny Lee Miller is also a PHENOMENAL Holmes, and I have to say that his reaction to seeing Irene Adler alive and well was incredibly well done. (Seriously, not everyone can look like they're about to faint, puke, and burst into tears at once on command. He actually turned a little grey, though that may have been a special effect.) We knew Natalie Dormer had been picked for Adler, so we knew she was going to show up, but throwing her at the end of the episode before the finale was pretty cool.

So, the finale: oh my god. I can't tackle it in order, it's been too long since I've seen it, so I'm just gonna talk about shit as I remember it.

I spent the WHOLE time (up until the reveal) going "I wonder why they went out of their way to cast Natalie Dormer as an American?"

Ha ha. Ha. Ha.

I actually paused when she revealed herself as Moriarty so I could just take a minute to process it. (Also so I could wordlessly point at the screen while looking at Greg like DID YOU JUST SEE THAT? HOLY SHIT! I am sometimes annoying to watch things with.)

Seriously, before that Holmes had suggested the whole "Adler works for Moriarty!" thing which... had been done, and honestly I don't think it's been done particularly well. So I was like "Eeeehhhhh I dunno," and then the reveal kicked my ass and made me love it.

I love Irene Adler as Moriarty (or vice versa), and here is why (in no particular order):

1: I hate the "oh, she works for Moriarty" plot point, but I also don't think it's been done particularly well. Especially in the RDJ/Jude Law movies.
2: Natalie Dormer has got some FANTASTIC villain body language that she put to great use.
3: More powerful, smart women in popular fiction!
4: Natalie Dormer
5: Holmes did not defeat her.

See, I was seeing this go around a lot on tumblr with "Oh, I didn't like that plot point because Adler actually beat Holmes in cann, she's supposed to win." Which... okay, yes, it appears that Holmes won. In that scene, however, he was the bait, not the trapper.

Joan laid that trap out, guys. She won.

Joan Watson was amazing. She was fearless in the face of Moriarty ("too angry to be scared") and just as helpful and knowledgeable as Holmes would have been. She ran that investigation without Sherlock's help, figured out Moriarty's blind spot and used it against her. These were all things Sherlock was too emotionally compromised to do himself. (These were all things that Moriarty knew, too, proving she was superior to Holmes in some ways, perhaps ONLY because she could see more clearly than he how emotionally compromised they both were in regards to each other.)

Also, they TOTALLY HAD ME with the whole "Sherlock ODs and it's ALL MORIARTY'S FAULT" plot, an excellent parallel to the false fall. Not that they're NOT going to fake a death later (though I would love it if they have JOAN fake her death so she can go haring off after an escaped Moriarty, because*) but I also like that the first season wraps up pretty neatly.

In the ongoing theme of me interpreting Elementary as a dark AU where Watson was an American and therefore couldn't be in London when Holmes started to need someone like Watson- not so much an interpretation as what is actually going on. Anyway, this totally works out. His first interaction with Adler in canon is that he is after her because of a case, then she bounces to America. In this interpretation, she fakes her death and... bounces to America! Well, eventually. Anyway, it all still fits, is what I'm saying.

 *OMG I just realized how fucking traumatizing this would be for Sherlock. *evil laugh*

TL; DR I love every tiny bit of this show (except for the Bing product placement, but I'll deal with that if it means I get to continue to have my BroTP), especially Joan Watson, and was left extremely satisfied with the finale.

What did you think? About the season in general, or the finale? Or anything else. I'm open!

1 comment:

  1. I read this entry back on Sunday, after I finally caught up, but I kept trying to think of what to comment, since your post already expressed my thoughts on the finale pretty well.

    And then, a faulty Internet connection ate my comment.

    So, to repeat what I said in the eaten comment, I had nothing to add except that, looking back at the entire season, I was pretty impressed with just how far Sherlock has come as a character. Joan's plan required Sherlock to serve as bait. It required him to seem vulnerable. And the fact that he agreed to be part of the plan showed that he was willing to acknowledge that his judgement was compromised and trust that Watson knew better.

    Could you imagine the Sherlock we met in the pilot doing any of that?

    And the best part is that the change happened gradually, in the way that was a believable culmination of a series of changes. That's a mark of great character development. And great character development isn't easy to find - especially on police procedural type shows.

    (Now, yes, Watson received good character development too, but she didn't change nearly as much as Holmes)