While Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes had sworn off the fairer sex – leading to all sorts of literary speculation about his proclivities – Elementary’s Sherlock has a rather too-much-information tendency to trumpet his bedroom athletics. So when he gets out the ‘sex blanket’ – yewww! – and books Watson three days in a luxury hotel, she’s probably well advised to make herself scarce.
The subject of Holmes’ lubricity is Agatha Spurrell, a British climatologist in town for a conference. He met her while he was investigating a murder in the Splugen Pass in the Alps (that would be the case of The Illustrious Client in the original canon, though not in Elementary).
We suspect (since she worked for Sherlock’s father), that Agatha has ulterior motives in agreeing to the conjugal visit, and such proves to be the case, as she asks Sherlock to impregnate her (not an unappealing task as she’s played by plummy Anastasia Griffith). Despite his admitted misanthropy and lack of paternal instincts, he does consider the prospect, however distantly, if only because he claims that he is the only chance to pass down his familial genes – what about Mycroft, then? He might be on the run, but he’s not dead.
In rejecting Agatha’s request, Sherlock manages to make probably the first ever use on television of the 17th century term ‘fetch-mettle’ (look it up, we had to). Remarkable he may be, but didn’t it occur to Agatha that his children would inherit his failings as well as his higher functions?
Meanwhile, the driver of a Zooss ride-sharing car is being mown down by a yellow cab; it’s meant to look like a product of the dispute between cabbies and Zooss drivers, but Sherlock figures from the timing, tyre-marks, spilled gin and broken cab trim that it’s personal – the cab used was too old to have been in service.
The dead Galen Barrow turns out to have been an investigative journalist undercover, and the old yellow cab to have belonged to a sex-offender who says he was blackmailed into doing the killing. So who could have known of his proclivities and sent him threatening texts?
Barrow’s employer can’t shed any light on his work, but Watson figures out the two were having an affair. Could blackmail have been involved here too? Holmes, already prejudiced against them for their mangling of the English language, suspects car sharing service Zooss.
Zooss’ megacomputer, showing the movements of cars all over the city, proves to Sherlock to be the perfect source of all sorts of blackmail material, and a programmer for the company turns out to have been using it to pay off gambling debts – but he was killed in an apparent robbery a month earlier. So who had taken over the blackmail business and killed Barrow?
Analysing the travel data points Holmes to the perp, a Zooss employee who had been stalking a woman using the system, and killed Barrow to protect his secret.
Sherlock’s Olympian view of people’s everyday doings via the Zooss system informs his reasoning for turning down Agatha; he doesn’t do what he does because he’s a good person, he explains, but because it would hurt him not to. His skills allow him to focus and distract himself from the ugliness of life, but they’re not gifts he would wish on anyone else.
Though he denies being downhearted by the outcome, Sherlock is slightly comforted by Joan’s offer of ice-cream – perhaps he is human after all.
But as for Joan, does she intend to reproduce? The clock’s ticking, and unlike Sherlock, she’d make a good parent. Could the next addition to the team be a Baby Watson?
For all our Elementary review, go here