Elementary Review 03 x 11 – The Illustrious Client

For weeks, I’ve been wondering how long it would take for the Elementary writers to tip their hat to Doyle’s original stories and Kitty Winter’s origins. After all, they aren’t afraid of using the titles from canon for their individual episodes. If you don’t know about Kitty’s canonical backstory, the writers finally pointed viewers in the right direction OR you can read our post here.

 

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After the previous episode, I said, the game was on. In fact, it is. When Kitty learns that the man who hurt her is now in New York, she is convinced that she is ready to find him. Sherlock, on the other hand, thinks she should go back to London in case he is hunting her down. They don’t know anything about him other than what Kitty told him – but now they have another case – and with any luck they will be led straight to him.

In the meantime, Joan has spent less than an hour at her new job at Lida Insurance when she gets the call to help Sherlock solve this case. She instantly asks for a temporary leave of absence, which furthers my theory that Kitty and Joan’s relationship has extended beyond colleagues. This is a master class in character relationships, my friends. It’s worth watching a few times just to see how well Lucy Liu carries these small and subtle scenes.

The evidence in this new victim’s case leads the team to a prostitution den where women have been sold into sex slavery. As the NYPD investigates and starts taking the women to the hospital, it all seems too clean. Too tidy for someone who has evaded Kitty’s grasp for years. However, it does lead them to Simon de Merville, who also gets his name from the original story. Simon is a repeat criminal who has ties to organized crime and has basically cut himself off from the outside world, except for his sister.

The turn of Kitty’s character from investigator to avenger is truly troubling and can be difficult to watch. After visiting Simon’s sister at the hospital where she works, Kitty realizes she is hiding something about him. Later that evening, she pays the woman a visit and abuses her until she gets more answers. The answers: a phone number where Simon could be called. But this is the cue that throws it all off balance: Kitty doesn’t recognize the man’s voice.

Even after they find Simon, who has been burnt to death in a boat he has bribed a fellow neighbor to use as a hideout, Kitty seems deflated. She’s been put on suspension by Captain Gregson for her irresponsible investigation tactics and it would be easy to chalk up her quiet behavior to that, but her tense confrontation in the morgue with Holmes is more telling. She insists that when she escaped her captor, that she had broken his fingers. This man, despite being burnt to death, had perfectly in tact fingers. Holmes suggests she just doesn’t want it to be over. In fact, he couldn’t be more wrong.

The final minute of this episode is the most important in the series to date, tying up so many loose ends that you feel like you’re part of the hunt yourself. Kitty shows up to Joan’s home and hears her new boss, Del Gruner, on the phone. Immediately, she knows. Del Gruner is actually a canonical reference to the original story’s Baron Adelbert Gruner. The book’s Gruner is a known murderer and adulteress. This Gruner has taken that reputation up a notch.

———————–

lizgiorgiLiz Giorgi is the Baker Street Babes’ Elementary Guru and runs the fantastic nerdy blog Being Geek Chic. You can find her former reviews of Elementary here on her site.

She’s the founder and director at Mighteor, a video production company that focuses on creating beautiful and meaningful videos for the web. She’s also a contributor for Apartment Therapy and The Mary Sue.

You can contact her at elizabeth@beinggeekchic.com and follow her on Twitter @lizgiorgi.

 

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