EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Elementary' recap: Sherlock has friends in low places

Season 3 | Episode 3 | “Just a Regular Irregular” | Aired Nov 13, 2014

Sherlock and Watson look into a murderous mathematical treasure hunt during this week’s Elementary, and we get a glimpse at why Holmes has so few friends.

It’s always fun when Holmes works with one of his “Irregulars,” the various misfit experts he keeps on retainer for help when a case falls outside his areas of expertise.

In “Just a Regular Irregular,” we’re introduced to a new associate in Phillip, a master blade-slinger who has wasted, according to Sherlock, years of his life in professional football. That would be because Phillip is former New York Giants quarterback, CBS sportscaster and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms (I had to Google that, I don’t know sports).

But it’s our old friend Harlan Emple, the shirtless mathematician from season 2’s “Solve for X,” who takes center stage in this week’s mystery. He discovers a dead man’s mothballed body during the course of an elaborate treasure hunt, or “puzzle hunt,” that requires participants to solve complex equations in order to find the location of their next clue.

Emple is played by Rich Sommer (Mad Men‘s Henry Crane), proved invaluable in solving last year’s mystery of the P versus NP equation (a real-life unsolved mathematical problem that I can’t even begin to understand, let alone describe). But it appears that his relationship with Holmes has stalled since he last performed topless calculations in the Brownstone.

He’s a little miffed that Holmes moved to London without so much as a “Fare thee well,” and he throws a jealous fit when he learns from Kitty that Holmes has effectively fired him as an Irregular and enlisted the help of another mathematician.

“You were my friend,” Emple says.

“I was your employer,” Holmes replies.

Throughout the course of Elementary, we’ve met several of Holmes’ colleagues, associates, and former lovers—and yet we’ve been told repeatedly that “Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have any friends.”

It was a little heartbreaking to see Emple come to the realization that this man he has worked with and revered doesn’t share a mutual admiration, but it also sheds some light on the antisocial nature of Sherlock Holmes. His lack of friends isn’t because people aren’t drawn to him—it’s because he refuses to acknowledge his friendships as such.

But enough of that mushy emotional nonsense, there’s a murder to solve!

Two actually, because the puzzle hunt Emple was participating in is actually an elaborate ruse designed to lure a mathematical crusader known as Mo Shellshocker into isolated locations where he could be killed. Unsure of Mo’s true identify, the puzzle’s creator simply killed the first participants to reach a new stage of the game.

Sherlock quickly deduces that “Mo Shellshocker” is an anagram of “Sherlock Holmes”—and an identity created by Emple as an homage to his favorite detective not-friend.

“You catch people who murder other people,” Emple says. “I catch people who murder math.”

Holmes feeds this information to the rich mathematician who lost his meal ticket after Shellshocker exposed the flaws in a scratch-and-win lottery game. After that, it’s a simple matter of letting the NYPD scoop up the killer when he arrives at a false address to take out Emple.

As for the other half of our crime-fighting duo-that’s-no-longer-a-duo-but-still-kind-of-acts-like-a-duo, Watson enlists the help of Sherlock’s new partner Kitty in a case where a house flipper is trying to make out like a bandit with a priceless painting.

Watson worries that Kitty is carrying more scars than she lets on from her past and suggests she participate in a group therapy program. Kitty is hesitant, but by the end of the episode agrees to try it out and invites Watson along for support.

It’s a small crack in the otherwise icy exterior of Kitty Winters, and has me more curious than ever about the time Holmes and Kitty spent together in London.

Stray thoughts:

  • We finally get another glimpse at Andrew from 6D, without pants, no less. He would have us think that he was trying to literally cover up when he found Holmes in the living room, but I maintain that there’s something nefarious going on below the surface of Joan’s new beau that he would rather Holmes not deduce.
  • Holmes can tell when you’ve has sex by the tone of your voice, which is a wonderful and terrifying power.
  • Holmes, admiring Watson’s utterly pleasant apartment: “When you told me you wanted a life of your own, I didn’t realize you meant you wanted the same life everyone else has.”
  • I, like Watson, cringed when Holmes used a familial metaphor to describe the relationship between Kitty, Sherlock, and Joan. “I am not Kitty’s mother and she sure as hell is not our child.” Indeed, Watson. Indeed.

Elementary airs Thursdays at 10/9C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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