Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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ep: elementary 1.01

Elementary pilot was, in a word, really goddamn awesome.

Going in, I was predisposed to like it because a.) It's Sherlock Holmes, b.) It's Lucy Liu, and c.) I really like male/female partnerships in shows and it's often my primary reason for watching.

Fannishly, I'm way more watch-only and watch-read than watch-write, and I approach them differently. I love watch/write because I love to write, but I love watch-only and watch-read because I really like tv and I like reading. Watch/write is also a form of human suffering, because canon at any moment will severely either piss me off or joss me like whoa. Hence, Teen Wolf is one of my favorite fandoms to date since I got my watching and my reading, but as right now my writing fandom is a novel that is now at 212,000 words with no end in sight, you could say writing is off the table until that shit is either burned out of me or finished. After six months, I do not hold hope I will burn out on it. It's depressing.

Things I like in no particular order:

1.) Sherlock and the kinky sex possibly with a professional (implications suggest professional, but that's my understanding of television framing tropes at work, could be a really awesome friend).

2.) He was trying to be a dick with Watson about it (regarding handcuffs), but I do get the impression (hopeful!) that it's very much a blase topic for him, which makes sense with the kind of character he's supposed to be.

3.) His sheer lack of dress sense is endearing. Not only does nothing match, each piece of clothing seems to be consciously aware of this, which weirdly brings it 180 degrees and makes it workable. Also, the actor could be wearing leaves and burlap and I honestly would think that was the new black, so go figure.

4.) The lack of impulse control. Okay, bear with me on this one, because unlike Sherlock of BBC, or Doyle's Sherlock, or any Sherlock I've seen, this one feels new to me in that I'm not sure he has any real control over his impulses in a conscious sense (yet), and with very little calculation. I don't think of him as an unstable genius in that sense, but the Sherlocks all come across as Control Masters for the most part, and even their impulse-driven actions had some calculation. Sherlock here just kind of--doesn't. It's interesting, and it's consistent with addict behavior. The car thing was just unreal.

5.) Christ, he's pissed at something. That is the most interesting thing of all, and I bet anything that is a huge factor in why Watson didn't dump his ass very early on in the ep. Like recognizes like.

6.) I am not a huge fan of cold-blooded genius. Nor am I a huge proponent of crazy!genius. I think it's mostly because the spectrum seems to require genius = lack of emotional intelligence or require a psuedo-autistic-like grasp of humanity and people's feelings. Sherlock here is--in a shocking turn of events--minimally if not moderately aware of other human beings feelings and--here's a kicker--aware of it enough at least in retrospect to admit that causes problems. Awareness. Who saw that coming? And I loved, beyond words, that argument with Watson that made her leave was a deliberate--very deliberate--attempt to hurt her, because again, emotional awareness--and he was sorry for it. And apologized. I don't get that from most non-genius television characters.

7.) I like he went to her first. I like he realized he was going to lose someone that was unexpectedly extraordinary and wasn't willing to do that.

8.) Whoever said he was pissed about the doctor fucking over a patient nailed it for me. Why Sherlock does what he does is the eternal question, and the answer always seems to be reasons, because genius. That's fine, but reasons, because crime sucks and perpetrators ought to be punished, and they did things wrong, and hey, reasons being feelings. I like this.

9.) Bees. Christ, that made me happy.

Watson - I don't even know where to start.
1.) I was trying to think of reasons why Watson would have a job being the sober companion, since if that's a full time job for someone, it probably has to pay pretty well and people who can pay out like that tend to be in a class one or two levels above mine and is in some ways the equivalent of a glorified babysitter. Having said that, I'm taking it back on how freaking useful that would be to an addict in recovery who wants to recover but creating a new lifestyle drug-free is probably a nightmare, so I feel bad for thinking that.

Besides being a visible reminder that Sherlock's an addict, with an addict's particular weaknesses, it also gave the perfect excuse for the roommate situation, constant and consistent presence and attention, and here's what I didn't see coming, a job that Watson could do with a client aka 'patient' that her medical experience could still be useful for, but never risk any actual interaction with her former profession (though surreptitious autopsies may be in her future). Also, low odds on patient death.

2.) She doesn't like her job (in general), and she's still recovering from the patient death and teh end of her profession, but here's the thing that gets to me; she's also really angry, and not necessarily just about how her life turned out, or at herself, or even at the world. I get the feeling that something went sideways badly, possibly due to that patient or after, that was either unjust, CYA for someone, or fucked her over, but the death thing keeps pushing that into the background and she can't/won't/hasn't yet admitted or gotten past that part enough to really acknowledge it. Which again, is a reason I think she and Sherlock clicked; like Sherlock, she turned her anger inwards (with different results) but I get the feeling it'll manifest itself eventually for what it is.

3.) I worried with a more volatile Sherlock, she'd be cast for killjoy to keep him on the straight and narrow, so huge relief, she's not. She's got two distinct modes and will quite happily switch between them when necessary, but when she's professional, she's fucking professional and doing her job. When she's not being a professional, she's just fine in investigating. I like how she started in following from sheer curiosity and almost immediately made the leap to invested and participatory. I like how he caught her imagination, but she was wary about it, but once she could verify his results, so to speak, she was into it. Watson has always been a doctor, but it's fairly rare he was also a scientist and acted like one. Watson here feels a lot more like a scientist in how she evaluates the situation.

4.) I like her clothes. Just leave it at that. I half want to revamp my wardrobe, she looks so damn comfortable.

5.) I like how she walked out on Sherlock when he was a dick and meant it to be for good. Even though the audience knew it wasn't, Lucy played it without any sign of reluctance or regret. It put on the table she has limits, and when he passes them, done. For their relationship to go anywhere, he has to know exactly what she will and will not deal with, and she was eloquent in that. It also was a really interesting view into where her hot spots are; what he said was bad, yeah, but I think it was the surface accuracy, combined with the above anger thing, that set it over the top for her, combined with his attitude up until that point. He was trying to piss her off, that was obvious, and she had the common sense to realize that was no way to have a sober companion working relationship, much less have to live in the same goddamn house.

6.) I also like that she came back, which she wouldn't have if he hadn't apologized, yes, but also because--and this may be just me--she really did find the entire crime fighting thing pretty damn cool.

7.) I like a lot that she can figure him out probably as easily as he does her--again, the scientist is showing--combining what she knows about him with both simple deduction and I hate to say intuition because that's just so cliched, but not in the sense of special women intuition, but most likely experience with patients. There's this horrible comparison to House that I want to make, but of the two of them, minus the douchery, she seems to have a similar understanding of people and what makes them tick to House.

8.) Sending Holmes away so she could handle the interview with the first victim. She handled it far more sympathetically, but again, she never slipped over the line of being a professional and getting information.

9.) The rice thing. It was a brilliant use of her medical training and also something that even Sherlock would miss initially but she wouldn't miss because this is her area of expertise. It was the perfect way to showcase her strengths as a doctor because yeah, Sherlock's a genius, but that doesn't mean Watson doesn't have a part to play and a large contribution to make because this is her training.


I have a theory on why we're starting off with recovering junkie!Holmes and not!doctor!Watson, and it comes from the idea that part of the show's arc is to set them both at what is, pretty obviously, the lowest point in their lives and on more or less equal footing. Their lives suck, they're both deeply unhappy and pissed off, neither of them are doing what they really want to be doing, and both of them are feeling like failures.

Also, and this wasn't really noticeable in the trailer or in the description, but she has a lot of power over him, more than I realized until I'd thought about it. (I have a theory that was also a huge part of his reaction to her; she literally could make him homeless with a phone call). She tests him for drugs, she is basically there to make sure he doesn't fall back into that, she reports to his father, and I say this with love, her entire beginning attitude of compassion and mild patronization (again, this isn't a critique, I like the fact she was pretty much on automatic with that and it's not only realistic, it's kind of necessary) combined with that must have seriously pissed him off and reminded him in equal measure of the sheer mess his life has become.

The idea they're both working from a place where it's almost a 'why the hell not, it's not like I have anything better to do' both with each other and their lives is kind of charming. And again, I see this as another reason Watson is willing to try again with him.

A lot of the charm here for me is Detective!Watson as well as Genius!Detective!Sherlock. In a way, Watson started for the mystery and the job, but hopefully, the relationship will be shown to grow into a reason she'll want to stay as well.

Also, and I may be one of the very few, but I totally ship them like you have no idea. They embody all my favorite partnership tropes, and they already have the reluctant-admiration thing going on that they don't want to admit to, and they play off each other very, very well.

Future hopes: there is The Mystery of Watson's Career episode (two parter!), hilarious cliches where they hate people the other person dates (I love this. I just do. It's my bulletproof trope.), Irene is The Reason for Sherlock's Drug Thing, and my personal secret love, undercover ballroom dancing competition to fight crime. True Lies occurred at a very formative moment in my life and I am so not over the tango.

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Tags: crosspost, fandom: elementary: episode review
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