Elementary Premiere Recap: Quid Bro Quo

Elementary Season 2 RecapElementary‘s Season 2 premiere on Thursday took a trip to London, but the real highlight was the introduction of Sherlock’s brother Mycroft — or “Fattie,” as the P.I. calls him.

While I expected a little more from the on-location shoot – this episode could have been filmed anywhere, given how much the international setting played a role, yes? – Rhys Ifans did not fail to give a performance that was equally idiosyncratic to that of Jonny Lee Miller.

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Here’s how it all played out…

Sherlock and Watson travel to London to help out his former colleague, Inspector Lestrade, who’s convinced that a wealthy man killed his own wife and has taken to harassing the suspect. He’s right, of course, but the case isn’t so much important as is Sherlock and Lestrade’s partnership. Back in the day, Sherlock helped him on the condition of anonymity. As a result, Lestrade became accustomed to the spotlight, and thus, in a fascinating parallel, former drug addict Holmes turned the inspector into a sort of addict, too. When, at episode’s end, Lestrade once again goes on television and takes credit for solving the case, Sherlock remarks, “Curious. I’ve never felt this particular cocktail of emotions – anger, exasperation and a hint of –”

“Worry?” interjects Joan. “Welcome to caring about an addict.”

Sherlock’s personal life also gets fleshed out as he takes Joan to his former dwelling, 221 B. “Stepping inside it is not unlike stepping inside my very brain,” he describes to her. “You will no doubt see things that will confuse or even upset you.” But when they enter, it’s totally nondescript.

“The inside of your brain is…kind of boring,” remarks Joan.

It turns out Sherlock’s brother Mycroft has taken up residence in the space. Joan is shocked to learn Sherlock has a sibling whom he never mentioned. There are a lot of reasons for that. Holmes thinks his brother is lazy because he doesn’t apply his brain the same way Sherlock does. Instead, he opened several restaurants with his trust-fund money. Mycroft’s reasons for the estrangement are a bit more emotional. Sherlock deduced that Mycroft’s fiancée was after his money, and he slept with her – seven times!

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Mycroft asks Joan to dinner, which, per Sherlock, means he intends to bed her to get back at him. And this way, through psychological transference, she gets to sleep with Sherlock. (Well, that’s one way to address the “Will they ever hook up question?”) Sherlock gets into Joan’s head enough that she starts to question Mycroft’s intentions when she shows up at an empty restaurant. But it turns out he just wants to fix things with his brother. He had a bone marrow transplant, and even when he was sick, he didn’t call Sherlock to find out if his brother was a match. His one regret is the state of their relationship.

“I want to know how does one become Sherlock Holmes’ friend?” he asks Joan like it’s one of his brother’s complex crime puzzles.

When the two men meet up the next day, Mycroft reveals that he had Sherlock’s stuff put into the storage room behind them, then shares Joan’s advice: “When someone has something to tell you, one must make really sure that you’re listening.”

Cue the storage space blowing up.

“I consider us even now, which means I can tell you I forgive you – for everything,” Mycroft continues. “Have a safe trip back to the colonies, and know that things are different now.”

Like two apples fallen from the same tree, yes? It was certainly an unusual and perfectly odd way to make peace. Even the fact that Mycroft never mentioned his illness, something that might bridge the gap, seemed right for this estranged and fraught relationship. Instead, he spoke to Sherlock on his (unlazy) level.

Elementary fans, what did you think of the introduction of Sherlock’s brother Mycroft? Before you hit the comments with your thoughts, grade the episode below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. My says:

    I thought London looked wonderful!

  2. kate says:

    the best part of this show is that it’s interesting AND makes me laugh.

    • NeglectedNYBee says:

      I already love the Holmes Bros.They communicate in a way normal people don’t, yet it works better for them than it works for other TV brothers. More of Clyde’s uncle!

  3. clickboulder says:

    This episode was upsetting. No jokes, no mystery, no interest at all. It seems like this episode was more of a gimmick to tie back to the original sherlock holmes. We get it. You’re in England. You live at 221b Baker. People dial 999 instead of 911. Time is read in military 24 hour style. How bizarre.

    A swing and a miss for the return episode of the best show on television, Oop I mean “the tele” since we’re going out of our way to point out minute differences in cultures.

    Let’s not forget, the cast and crew were on-site in London. One of, if not the greatest cities in the World. Whittled down to non-descript vacant streets, run of the mill buildings, and commercial pubs. It looked like they were back in new york for most of the show.

    Oh yeah, the writers decided to blow up all of sherlock’s s*&# ? Everything in his house had a tale to tell. All of his trophies, his awards, mementos, the basis for most of his stories. C’mon now. That’s just lazy writing. Thumbs down.

  4. Tori says:

    I thought the episode was excellent. I would’ve loved more info on the Holmes family,what was the mother of the two brothers like? I think we already have a idea what the father is like.

  5. James D says:

    good episode, i so love JLM in this role perfect casting choice, as was Rhys Ifans who i hope to see more during the season. i was vocal at the end of last season that i didn’t like the direction they were heading, but this alleviated it somewhat. the case did lack mystery but it was still more than adequate for the start of the season.

  6. David says:

    This was a great episode. From Watson taking down the criminal in the beginning to Holme’s brother making peace by blowing up his stuff–excellent job all the way around! I loved the fact his own brother asking Watson how to be a friend to Sherlock–job well done.

    • Nancy T. says:

      David — Good post. Ifans did a marvelous job in the Mycroft-Watson scene — trying to be stoic but his strong emotions just getting the better of him.

  7. The Kaibosh says:

    Great episode. Loved it. 2 things to mention: I noticed that Joan remained silent when Sherlock was going on about psychological transference. Didn’t really openly challenge him on it. And secondly did anybody chuckle just a little when Joan mentioned “graft vs host”? My mind went straight to Arrested Development with Tobias’ hair plugs.

    • Melanie says:

      ^^this!^^ I just watched the Arrested Development episodes with the graft vs. host plot line. I totally went there, too. Very funny. I wonder if that was intended. ?? I love Rhys Ifans. I wish they had promo’d that he was in the episode. I would have watched it live rather than online. Oh well. Great episode, but do wish there had been a bit more London in it. :-)

  8. Sheldon W. says:

    In canonical Holmes, the brothers work together (sort of) a few times. Given the way Elementary has used other oddiments of canon in new and startling ways, perhaps they will figure out a way to have the two work together on a case.

    Given this version of their relationship, that might a considerable amount of fun.