Case in Point #2: Elementary
Nominally a CBS crime drama procedural, Elementary came out of the box last fall in its debut season with something special to offer fans of Sherlock Holmes. Besides its modern, New York City take on the Conan Doyle canon and a female Watson, what distinguishedElementary from the rest of the plentiful film and televison Holmes offerings was its ability to get under the skin of its protagonist and explore what makes Sherlock tick. Like Once Upon a Time, Elementaryhas been plagued by multiple lengthy hiatuses, but only recently. The series benefited from a nice long fall run of episodes that extended with few interruption until the end of February. But since February 21, there have been only two episodes aired: March 14 and April 4. When the show returns, it will do so for its final run on four consecutive Thursday nights, beginning April 25.
Because Elementary is at its core a procedural, the hiatus effect is not as easily apparent. So what if the show is off the air for a few weeks? What’s missed? A new murder mystery? A new puzzle? No problem. But because the series also endeavors to be a character exploration (and a damn good one, too!), we lose the thread of Sherlock’s story in the process.
To me, the series has been running on the less exalted air of procedural cases of the week since February 7th’s “Gun Filled with Drugs.” Where is the devastation of Holmes’ encounter with “M”? The impact of “The Deductionist?” Those episode was breathtaking, and the impact of it on Holmes, Watson, Gregson and the entire narrative arc of the series should have been shaken (and stirred?) by it.
But we’ve seen little of that as the series has dipped back into procedural terrain. I can understand why, with only a meager handful of episodes in the interim, separated by weeks of pre-emptions and reruns. And it’s clear that the series is saving the remains of its powder keg for the May Sweeps.
Part of it rests on the fact that we’ve only gotten