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TV REVIEW: Elementary “The Female of the Species”

By on February 13, 2015

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock holmes. Image © CBS

By Cindy Jackson

I will do my best to form coherent sentences for the recap of this week’s Elementary, but I can’t make any promises. I am still shaking from a ridiculous surprise towards the end of the episode. And maybe hyperventilating a little. Well anyway, here goes.

The first scene sees Joan at the prison talking to Elana March, the crime boss she brought to justice earlier this season. Of course she denies knowing anything about the woman who killed Andrew with hemlock in Joan’s drink, but two seconds later she mentions she knew Joan was at the coffee shop to break things off with Andrew. What a creepy, creepy woman.

Joan goes to Captain Gregson, who arranges to have Elana put in solitary for a few weeks, and orders police protection for Joan. The way he says, “We’ll keep you safe,” I totally believe him.

Joan confronts Elana. Image © CBS

Joan confronts Elana. Image © CBS

Sherlock offers to bring Joan food, or be there for her if she needs to talk, all of which he does in that awkward way that Jonny Lee Miller has perfected for this character. He hits a very delicate balance between Sherlock’s sociopathic tendencies and his genuine deep feelings of concern for Joan, which results in these incredibly awkward but heartfelt overtures.

“Don’t ignore Sherlock Holmes” is this week’s lesson, friends. His brain continues to get him pretty much anything he wants. Last week it was a Superbowl ring. This week, it’s published articles on Colony Collapse Disorder. Oh and also making the dude from BeeCircuit.com change his username from BeeBeeKing17. (Applause from “musicians and apiarists alike.”)

What the man wants from Sherlock is his assistance in locating two stolen pregnant zebras from the zoo at which he holds the weird but cool title of Curator of Mammals.

Sherlock calls in Detective Bell to consult since he doesn’t want to bother Joan so soon after Andrew’s death. (Sherlock and Bell working together in harmo-, erm, working together! Yay!)

They are hilarious:

–“You recall the unfortunate business with you and a bullet?”

“I remember when you got me shot.”

–“How did you know I didn’t have plans for the day?”

“People who are forced by their employers to take time off don’t generally have thriving social lives.”

And Bell is also pretty darn funny on his own:

–“So, we’re looking for a purple truck with two pregnant zebras in the back. These guys really know how to keep a low profile.”

–“You say that like it explains why you’re weighing a toaster.”

-He also calls Sherlock out on the fact that sometimes he gets his facts from Google, just like everyone else.

Holmes and Bell. Double act. Image © CBS

Holmes and Bell. Double act. Image © CBS

Long story short, they find where the zebras were dropped off, minus their babies. (Observation/opinion: There are very few forms of life lower than zebra baby stealers.) They also discover a dead body, which belonged to a veterinarian specializing in equine births. (Way to thank a guy for helping you out with birthing your stolen baby zebras, jerk.)

Meanwhile, Andrew’s father drops off a box of Joan’s things at her apartment, with a heaping pile of guilt on the side as a bonus. ‘Cause she wasn’t feeling badly enough about it already.

Despite Joan’s initial objections, Sherlock comes over and makes her lasagna. She opens up to him and apologizes for backing away from him. She admits she has come to the conclusion that Sherlock is right for not letting anyone close to him, and she feels she should live the same way from now on.

BANG!! In what I thought was going to be my favorite part of this episode, Joan drops a stack of books right next to sleeping Sherlock’s head in the morning. (You know what they say about payback, Holmes.) He explains the details of the zebra case to her, and she lets him know about a closed psychiatric hospital in the area where they were searching for the animals. When it was open, the inmates ran a small farm.

A search of the property reveals one of the baby animals. Strange thing is, it isn’t a zebra. It was a quagga (pronounced ‘kwa-ha’), an equine animal that has been extinct since 1883.

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Image © CBS

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Image © CBS

De-extinction is apparently a thing. It is the process of using DNA…something something… closest living DNA match….quagga. Everybody got that? Okay. Moving on.

They bring in a man named Ben Reynolds for questioning. He works at the zoo, and has the knowledge and resources to attempt de-extinction. He immediately requests a lawyer. They find DNA evidence to arrest Reynolds, but he seems to have escaped despite the police presence outside his home. Sherlock discovers an escape tunnel in Ben’s floor, whilst explaining the interesting origin of the term “eighty-six.”

Their next course of action is to try to intercept the illegal sale of the other quagga baby. Sherlock arranges a police set-up to catch him, while letting Bell sleep on his couch. (Writers? Last chance for these two as roomies, you guys…) They solve the case, and Sherlock buys him breakfast and calls him Marcus. Aww.

So, now for the thing that has me completely freaking out. Joan receives a letter from the prison where Elana is being held. She opens it and a voiceover begins, of Joan reading the letter to herself. As she proceeds, the voice morphs into that of none other than (ohmygod) Jamie Moriarty. She says with her soft, almost flirty words, as she does, that her game is with Joan and Sherlock and no one else is welcome to play. Elana March is found dead in her cell.

I literally did not hear any of this week’s final scene, what with my Dormer-based flailing and all. Upon rewatch, however, I saw a lovely scene between Joan and Sherlock.

Joan elaborates on their earlier conversation and confesses that she has gotten some clarity. She said she is ready to fully embrace her life as a detective and live in Sherlock’s world.

“It isn’t my world, it’s our world.”

“I understand that now.”

(Sigh.)

She then tells him that she belongs at the brownstone and wants to come back. He is, by Sherlock standards anyway, elated.

Every single line and reaction in this scene was purposefully and beautifully executed. Much credit goes to Lucy Liu who directed this episode, and Jeffrey Paul King, who wrote it.

Next week’s episode has a bit of a twist, as we will learn the identity of the killer before Sherlock does. Sounds like fun.

3 Comments

  1. J.L.

    February 14, 2015 at 2:24 am

    I am so enjoying these reviews! Cindy is clearly a fan of all aspects of the show, and therefore notices a lot more (and mentions a lot more), than an average media critic would in such a review.

    Yes…Marcus & Sherlock as roommates would have been fabulous, but getting Joan back into the brownstone so the two can work their magic together is even better. Then, bring back Moriarty, and we’ve come full circle…back to the Holmes roots. Can’t wait for another episode…and another review!

  2. Lucy Montrose

    February 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Observation/opinion: There are very few forms of life lower than zebra baby stealers.

    Not only that: I think the thieves separated the babies from their mothers right after birth, which you should never do. Horse (and zebra) babies MUST nurse immediately after birth to get colostrum for their immune systems. Because of the way an equine placenta is structured, horse babies don’t get antibodies from their mothers in utero the way a human baby would, and so they have to get the antibodies from the first mother’s milk.
    So besides being even crueler than we thought, the thieves really shot themselves in the foot with making their sale, too. Who’d want a rare animal that’s going to be sick all the time and have a drastically shortened life?

    • George

      February 16, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      It might be wrong to assume the intention was to keep these babies alive.
      Perhaps they were destined for the “rare and exotic’ meat market?

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