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Holmes Hunts Moriarty in “A Landmark Story”: Elementary Review

By on May 3, 2013
Vinnie Jones as Sebastian Moran.  Image © CBS

Vinnie Jones as Sebastian Moran. Image © CBS

All of the factors that make Elementary so enjoyable are present in this week’s “A Landmark Story”. The hunt for Moriarty, if it wasn’t before, is now officially on. The show is doing a very good job of making viewers really dislike this character that we have never met. Undoubtedly, hearing more about Irene Adler will only make us more eager to see the man brought to justice. It will certainly be a relief (in a way) to see the real Moriarty, since we’ve now had two fake-outs.

There is a case that Holmes and Watson take on, though the focus is more on the bigger picture of tracking down Moriarty. A serial killer (guest star F. Murray Abraham) specializing in deaths that look like accidents is on the loose in New York City, and some of his tactics are rather gruesome. One victim is killed by his own pacemaker, and another is merely walking down the street when an air conditioner falls on him (“murder by home appliance”). Fortunately Holmes, bee expert that he is, intercepts the “army of bee assassins” before they can attack their intended target.

This serial killer is of particular interest to Holmes when it looks like Moriarty is behind it all. When they catch him, it is very disappointing to hear that the man does not know who Moriarty is. However, after a brief car chase (Holmes is, unsurprisingly, a backseat driver), they get a rough image of what Moriarty may look like.

The other guest star, Sebastian Moran (played by Vinnie Jones), is just as frightening as he was in his first appearance. Jones does a terrific job as Moran, and the chemistry between him and Holmes is fraught with dramatic, unnerving tension. Every time Moran is on the screen, we feel the need to brace ourselves for something shocking – such as the abrupt strangling of a security guard.

Watson is particularly sassy in this episode. By now, she is quite comfortable with Holmes’s bizarre antics. Finding the man dislocating his own shoulder or burning a doll on a stake is not a real cause for concern at this point. She has many snappy one-liners, with one of the best occurring above a dead body. Holmes insists she perform an illegal autopsy, and then proceeds to compliment her “lovely” technique. Her response: “No. I am dissecting a body in the middle of the night. We are not having a moment.”

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. Image © CBS

Holmes studies his suspect. Image © CBS

But have a moment they do. When Watson worries about Holmes going off the rails again in his quest for vengeance, he tells her things have changed. He no longer wishes to behave in that way because he has a meaningful connection in his life – Watson. When Holmes says this, the warm, sappy smile on Watson’s face may or may not have mirrored my own goofy one (am I alone?). It is nice that the emotional moments on this show never feel cheesy, and that is partially because they are something of a rarity.

Since Moran was eager to work with Holmes in the beginning of the episode, his sudden change of heart after reading a coded text message is very suspicious. Holmes is not sure why until he cracks the code. Moriarty used Holmes to get a message to Moran. Either Moran had to commit suicide, or Moriarty would have Moran’s sister killed. It is a well-done and chilling scene as Holmes puts together the pieces a little too late. Moran attempts suicide, though we do not yet know if he was successful. If he was, it will be a sad loss for the show.

As Holmes’s frustration with Moriarty grows, so does ours. The episode ends on a suspenseful cliffhanger when the villain himself calls up Holmes. We have to wonder what it is that Moriarty wants from Holmes, or if he just wants to torture him. As Watson points out, it seems that Holmes is “the game”. Either way, we are definitely building up to a very captivating conclusion in these final few episodes.

What did you think? Be sure to catch the next Elementary episode May 9 on CBS.