All in the Family.
“It doesn’t come that easy for the rest of us.”
Last week’s episode was a biggie, a return of the biggest villain/love interest of the series and a continuation of a plot that has had threads throughout numerous episodes throughout both seasons of the show. Thus, this week’s episode should be crap -- a sub-par time-filler designed to push us one step further towards the next big tentpole episode.
Lucky for us, that’s not what happened. This episode was better than last week, better than most of this season if I dare say. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We got some grading to do.
“I am not a deranged maniac, Mr. McNally, but by all means, keep pushing me.”
I don’t know how Sherlock manages to be so humble and so arrogant at the same time. Most of the time, he’s just arrogant. This episode was no different, with him spending most of his time on camera being annoyingly confident and being right all the time. As Bell observed upon first meeting him, things come easy for Sherlock.
What was different about Sherlock this week was that he shared his being right with others. There is no way Sherlock could have solved this case without the help of Joan and Detective Bell. And he did so with what is the closest thing to a smile Sherlock can muster. He seemed impressed by Joan’s obscure knowledge of mobsters, and was intensely fascinated by how Bell managed to pinpoint the barrel with the body (Barrel with the Body would make a great album name. Maybe some guys on the force should start a band. It might help with Bell’s recovery).
Despite his customary arrogance, tonight Sherlock showed that he’s more than happy to share his genius deductions with anyone who wants to take up the challenge. Pestering Bell into realizing his true potential is further evidence that Sherlock’s got a big, fat heart under his somewhat emotionless exterior and he cares more about people being their best selves than being his friend.
I’m trying picture little Joan in Queens chatting with the boys about the latest developments in the crime world. If there were a mafia in Minnesota when I was growing up, I would have assumed that if I overheard mention of them I would be next on their hit list. So clearly little Joan had way more guts than little me.
I’m a little surprised this little pocket of Joan-knowledge didn’t come up earlier in her relationship with Mr. Holmes, and I still don’t entirely understand how she recognized Pardillo's half-decomposed body 20 years later, but whatever. Kudos to her for getting the plot moving, and finding a suspect and all the other interesting and relevant things she did this week. I hope she keeps it going. Maybe next episode she can hunt down a perp based on her complete knowledge of cuban cigars inspired by her father’s old smoking habit. Or something cooler. She’s capable of something cooler.
Da Silva dug himself into a hole when he sent Bell on that mission to scope out the anonymous tip he left himself. I wonder if he kind of wanted to get caught, if he knew that he should pay for all the favors he paid to the mob all those years, and although he wanted to be out of their grasp, he also didn’t really, deep down, want to get away with it. Maybe, just maybe that’s why he sent Bell, because he knew the guy was good. He knew Bell and his friends would catch him out and could spend the rest of his years receiving a little bit of the punishment he so deserves while catching up on all those episodes of the King of Queens he missed over the years.
That’s right, I minused him. I can’t think of anything worthwhile Gregson did this week, but Aidan Quinn got a paycheck, and isn’t that all that matters?
He’s been underwhelming, underused, and overly whiny, but this week he rocked it. He used his mad skills to find a dead body and investigate his new boss, and he swallowed his pride and let Sherlock be right about what he’s meant to do. Plus, he got his old desk back. The man had a very good week.
“All in the Family”
The mob stuff lost me a bit, to be honest. I’m the opposite of Joan Watson when it comes to understanding who owes who, and what company is a front for what, and who’s giving who offers they can’t refuse and why those offers are so refusable. I need to make myself a flow chart to track it all. But even without understanding the intricacies of Da Silva’s long-standing relationship with a crime family, there was plenty to enjoy in this episode; Joan’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the New York mafia, secret meetings with the NSA, inept detectives, and most importantly that epic argument between Bell and Sherlock regarding Bell’s reasons for transferring to the Demographics unit in the first place. Sherlock always being right is starting to get a little annoying, but I was glad that the writers didn’t pick this opportunity for him to be proven wrong. He was completely right about Bell, and while I was never a huge fan of the detective, it was fun and satisfying to watch his journey this episode.
- Nice PRISM reference -- way to stay current!
- “We are all dressed up with nowhere to go, aren’t we?” (I really wish they could stay in their black tie wear longer. Those two really know how to rock their formal wear.)
- "We visit a mobster in hiding and you order Italian. Could a Godfather marathon be far behind?"
- Joan’s cowboy hat.
- Pardillo’s murderer gets a demerit for his disgusting killing tactics. Dissolving a head in battery acid?! Really?! Ew!
- Joan’s cowboy hat.
Episode Grade Points: