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Stockholm Syndrome: Elementary ‘Child Predator’ Review

By on October 19, 2012
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in Elementary. Image: Giovanni Rufino © CBS

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in Elementary. Image: Giovanni Rufino © CBS

Elementary took a two week break and has come back stronger than ever with its third episode, ‘Child Predator.’ The case that the ever bickering Holmes and Watson deal with in this episode is focused on a serial kidnapper known as the ‘Balloon Man.’ At first glance, the case looks relatively cut and dried. Upon closer inspection, Holmes and Watson find a complicated situation that forces some introspection. If you haven’t watched it yet, be warned there are spoilers ahead.

At the beginning of the episode, Watson expresses some concern for the sleep-deprived Holmes. Unimpressed with Watson’s suggestion of exercising, Holmes busies himself with old case files. Hoping for a call from Captain Gregson about the Balloon Man case, he shows little interest in anything else, including Watson. When he realizes he is missing his shirt, he says he could have sworn he was wearing one at some point (not that the shirtless look is a bad one for the tattooed eccentric). Watson insists she had his approval for going jogging, to which he replies, “For future reference, when I say I agree with you it means I’m not listening.”

Disheveled or not, Holmes is at the top of his game after receiving the call from Captain Gregson for assistance. He appears to notice every little detail, and puts together rational conclusions before anyone else has a chance to catch their breath. It isn’t long before his sleuthing leads them on a car chase. When they catch the driver of the suspicious van they are surprised to discover it is Adam, the first kidnapped victim of the Balloon Man.

All of the regulars in this cast have an easy chemistry with each other. Image: © CBS

Holmes convinces Adam to take an immunity deal and give up his kidnapper, Samuel Abbott. Though hesitant at first, Adam seems to trust Holmes and agrees. It is only after Holmes has inspected Abbott’s apartment that he begins to question things. Since the case seems to be solved too early in the episode, one can sense a plot twist in the air.

Of course, Holmes figures it out. The surprising part is that he was tricked in the first place. Perhaps the connection he felt to Adam’s story rendered him incapable of seeing Adam for the psychopath he was. Something in Holmes’s guarded history could have contributed to this, and hopefully we will learn more about that past soon.

Holmes confronts Adam, whose entire demeanour shifts when he realizes he has been caught. He goes from a tortured victim to a smug, calculating criminal in just seconds. It is an interesting scene to see these two highly intelligent rivals argue, though it is mildly disconcerting to see Holmes caught off guard. The worst part is that Adam has an immunity deal and cannot be prosecuted for crimes in consort with Samuel Abbott.

Fortunately, after talking to Watson, Holmes has an epiphany. He finds a loophole in the immunity deal’s wording and delivers the news to Adam himself. Cop cars show up. Holmes says Adam is welcome to make a run for it, but that Holmes has been working on his core lately so he would appreciate the opportunity for a work-out. It is good to see him back to his charming self.

Holmes looking contemplative as usual. Image: © CBS

Watson has a less prominent role in this episode, but as Holmes kindly tells her, she provides a valuable service. Reminding Holmes to shower and eat is helpful, but above all she is an excellent person for Holmes to bounce his abundance of ideas off of. Though he (sometimes rather obliviously) insults her numerous times, Watson remains poised and determined. They share a cute scene at one point when Watson shows Holmes how to do squats to stay awake.

It appears that the two of them are finding a way to live and work with each other, while occasionally testing the boundaries. Admittedly, it is Holmes who pushes past the barrier of common tact most frequently. It will be fascinating to watch as the two of them learn more about each other and, quite possibly, help each other heal their inner demons.

What did you think of the episode? Tune in Thursday on CBS to see what antics Holmes and Watson get up to next time.