With Lucy Liu directing – including shooting two or three beautiful scenes outside in the middle of winter – and Watson taking a back seat after last week’s events, Sherlock teams up with Bell to solve the Case of the Week. Two pregnant zebras (defiantly pronounced zeh-bras throughout by Jonny Lee Miller) have been stolen from the Bronx Zoo. The motive remains out of reach until Sherlock and Bell discover that the zebras were actually pregnant with quaggas. The quagga has been extinct for over 100 years, which means that Elementary is once more just over the boundary separating science from science fiction, an area which has been fertile ground for the show in the past. Sherlock and Bell are a good combination, the city looks great, the quagga is adorable, and as before with the pseudo-science we aren’t offered – OMG! The quagga’s actually a horse with stripes painted on! – an easy way out. It’s very good, although perhaps lacking a bit of a spark.
The spark comes, though, from the other storyline. Khan from Homeland is indeed dead, and – as implied by the previouslies – Joan accuses Elana Marsh, the baddie in the first episode of this season, of being behind it. Which she is. But that, in turn, annoys an even bigger baddie, who regards Holmes and Walson as her playthings. So when Elana is killed for that reason, it doesn’t offer much comfort. On top of that Khan’s father kinda sorta blames Watson for his son’s death. Watson’s conclusion is that she can’t outrun her destiny, which is to be a detective, working with Holmes, in the brownstone. But she isn’t happy about it; and I’m not sure that even “resigned” would suffice as a description. It’s something closer to despair, and that’s not something you get from too many network dramas when a main character acknowledges her true calling.