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Unbreakable: Elementary ‘The Leviathan’ Review

By on December 14, 2012
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in Elementary. Image: © CBS

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

Are you ready to say goodbye to Elementary for the holidays? ‘The Leviathan’ is a strong episode to help hold us over during the show’s hiatus. Holmes is put to the test when presented with a supposedly unbreakable safe. Watson juggles Holmes’s eccentric behaviour while simultaneously dealing with her visiting family, though Holmes decides to involve himself in the latter bit as well. We gain some more insight into Watson’s character, particularly when Holmes steps in to defend her career choice. Does his kind gesture count if he later brushes it off? It was sweet, we’ll take it.

Watson is rather surprised when she comes downstairs to find two sisters – twins, in fact – as Holmes’s guests. He tries to talk with her about the mutually beneficial relationship he shares with them, but she emphatically reminds him that she did not ask. It’s a fun way to start the episode.

Since Holmes is the type of person to pick locks in his spare time, it is quite fitting that he is asked to consult on an ‘unbreakable’ vault case. The safe is named the ‘Leviathan’, and is supposed to be impregnable. A team of four men previously proved it was not impossible to break into, but were caught and convicted. They all refused to come clean about how they got into the safe. Now there has been another security breach, so the company in charge asks Holmes to have a look.

Holmes getting agitated with the “Leviathan” Image: © CBS

Always humble, Holmes predicts that it will only take him an hour or two to figure out the safe. The quirky man takes a seat, cross-legged on the floor, and studies the Leviathan. Watson joins him, but ends up falling asleep. By the time he wakes her up (at two in the morning), he is maniacally referring to the vault as a ‘she.’ After pleading with him to leave, Watson threatens to smash the fire alarm and have them thrown out. Always agreeable, Holmes asks for one more try, but then proceeds to break the fire alarm case. He takes the axe and breaks the display in what looks like a bit of a temper tantrum. He notes to Watson, “Before you say anything, I would like to remind you that I am holding an axe.”

It is pleasant to see Holmes in such an entertaining mood after being ill in last week’s episode. Him and Watson are back to ribbing each other, which makes for great TV.

The case continues, and the two of them are sent on a bit of a wild goose chase with inaccurate information. For a while it appears to be a case without any casualties, but when they discover a murder the NYPD gets involved. It doesn’t take too long for Holmes, with the assistance of Watson, to narrow down some suspects.

Eventually they figure out that the thieves were jury members on the trial of the first robbery. Phew, complicated! Four of the jury members decided to pull off the same crime they were watching unravel in court, but they didn’t get caught. That is, till Holmes came along. One of the four criminals got a little greedy and started killing his co-conspirators. That is how he gets caught.

Crafty as ever, Holmes pries into Watson’s personal life by texting her brother. He invites himself along to the family dinner, even though Watson had tensely declined earlier in the episode. When she finds out, she starts going on about putting a lock code on her phone. That’s not terribly threatening to the man who was just hired to break into the Leviathan vault, and she knows it. Holmes taunts that it would be good for him to accompany her to dinner because he might be feeling a little ‘relapse-y’!

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Image: © CBS

At the dinner, Holmes proceeds to praise Watson enthusiastically. He goes on about how helpful she is on cases, saying she rebuilds lives, restores careers, and catches criminals. Since Watson’s mother has been disapproving of Watson’s current career choice, this rather uncharacteristic flattery is appreciated. Later, Watson thanks Holmes for saying all that he did. He says he meant very little of it. Who believes that one? He also mentions that Watson shares his same ‘love for all that is bizarre’, but her family is too conventional for that sort of perspective.

Holmes is not the only one to make a comment of that kind. Watson’s mother pays her daughter a visit after the dinner. She claims that Watson has a certain excitement and ‘spark’ about her when discussing the cases. While Watson agrees, she adds that she is not a detective. Her mother responds that people find their paths in mysterious ways.

This offers a possible explanation as to how Holmes and Watson will stay together after their six weeks are up. There are a variety of ways the show could postpone or avoid the two of them separating, so it will be intriguing to see which option they go with. It could be that Holmes relapses and requires further assistance, but that sad spiral admittedly seems a bit weak and/or typical. Since the show has done such a wonderful job of building these two characters, it would be better for them to move forward as two equal halves of a team. They are strong individuals that share mutual benefits from working together. At this point, it would be hard to argue that it is just Holmes who needs Watson. The playing field has evened out since we first met them in episode one.

After all his hard work throughout the episode, Holmes is not thrilled to receive champagne as a thank-you gift. He whines a little about this while Watson dutifully pours the alcohol down the drain. However, the funny steal of the night has to go to Watson. When the doorbell rings near the end of the show, she flashes Holmes a look and asks, “Triplets?”

What did you think of the episode? Who else is going to sorely miss this show during the break? Check back in January 3rd on CBS to see what unfolds next.


  1. chris hughes

    December 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Elementary Is a very good Series Great Acting By Jonny Lee Miller.I of our British Actors

  2. Buddy2Blogger

    December 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    This was one of the better episodes in quite some time. Lets hope the show can improve further in the upcoming episodes.