The "Elementary" episode "Child Predator" was the best episode of the series thus far. It had some gripping emotional moments, as well as humorous moments between Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu). Those humorous moments led to some serious character growth for both characters.
Sherlock craves concentration
Holmes can't be bothered with sleep when he's stuck in an OCD-like search for criminals. Unfortunately for Watson, he also can't be bothered with any type of input. When Watson tries to provide what she believes is helpful information, Holmes shuts her down. He insists that he must be the one to do the talking, to work his way through a problem and concentrate on a solution, not the other way around.
Watson is able to worm her way in eventually, offering a few helpful tidbits. Holmes at least acknowledges that he prefers speaking with the "animate" rather than "inanimate." Watson is sarcastically pleased to at least make it to the "animate" category. When Sherlock realizes that he has upset his new companion, he softens a bit. This leads to his acceptance of input on how to stay up all night without coffee and an inadvertent clue to catching a killer.
All the exchanges between Watson and Sherlock in this episode were the most entertaining scenes we've seen between the two characters to this point. Watson is a big girl and can take Sherlock's insults with a grain of salt, because she knows how he can be with people in general. But there's no way she can ignore some of the incredibly rude insults hurled at her without piping up to let Sherlock know where he's going wrong with her. It was humorous, but also led to a more productive relationship between the two characters.
Sherlock makes use of intense emotion
Although Holmes is not a highly emotional person, he is able to use emotion to get what he wants. When questioning a supposed victim, Adam (Johnny Simmons), Sherlock tells a partially fake story about his tumultuous childhood. The fake story leads to an intensely emotional moment, and the victim finally agrees to sign off on an immunity deal so he can hand over the location of a man who had held him captive for many years.
The acting in the scene between Johnny Simmons and Jonny Lee Miller provided for the most riveting moment on the show to date. It also allowed for a more emotional reaction from viewers once we learned that Adam was no longer a victim.
Sherlock turns the tables on the table-turner
It turns out that the first victim (Adam) of the child predator being sought in the episode was a brilliant psychopath who had turned the tables on his abuser. He probably would have become a child predator and serial killer anyway, but his abuser just made it happen much more quickly. Sherlock was duped by Adam into giving him a "get out of jail free card" in the way of an immunity deal! Holmes, of course, doesn't get fooled very often, and quickly turns the tables on Adam with some helpful words from the "animate" Watson, which spark an idea.
Again, the final scene between Johnny Simmons and Jonny Lee Miller is all the more captivating after the first emotionally charged scene between them. Instead of helping Adam, Sherlock gives viewers the satisfaction of nailing the evil-psychotic child-murderer to the wall. Nicely played, Holmes!
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