Elementary: Worth Several Cities – Made in China (Review)

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Elementary visits historical antiquities theft in “Worth Several Cities” and harks back to the “old” Sherlock Holmes in that Miller’s character actually takes on a job commissioned by a villain, aka a drug lord, El Halcon.  Holmes refuses payment and asks instead for a Quid Pro Quo deal; the seller of the tainted heroin from last week’s episode in return for whoever killed the  Halcon’s smuggler.

(It hurt a little to see the fine actor Jon Huertas, face all covered up with fake tattoos that practically hid his features, playing what amounted to a cameo in this episode. The death of ABC’s Castle did not leave “Javi” in a good place apparently. The tattoos worked for a short while, it was only when the camera caught El Halcon’s face from a certain angle that suddenly Javier Esposito’s visage peered out of all that camouflage.)

Shinwell is definitely a regular feature on this season’s Elementary.  In this episode, Watson gets the ex con a job that comes with accommodation  and tries to help him find his daughter.

The crime this week involved a North Korean ship captain, only briefly, China, Taiwan, a broke millionaire businessman, a local drug lord and the Jade Seal of China.

Holmes is kidnapped by El Halcon who wants him to find out who killed his “favorite smuggler.” The best exchange of the episode takes place between Halcon and Sherlock after he is brought out of the car trunk.

El Halcon: “Holmes.”

Holmes: “Are you calling me by name or is that short for something…”

As in the previous seasons Holmes and Watson have a brilliant give and take in their dealings with one another.  Although there were none of the side-glance admonishments or queries from Holmes this week.

Viewers learned Joan’s Chinese name in this episode; Yun Jing Yi, something that the Taiwanese officials who offered up $50 million knew already. We also learned what Watson’s price is, not able to be bought for a measly $50 million, Joan will settle for a cool billion.

Shinwell has a lot going on as was evidenced last week when he answered that door, gun in hand. The parolee finds his daughter through other means and he tells Joan that he has no plans to approach her.

The girls auntie warns Watson not to trust Shinwell. One wonders if her act of kindness to the man whose life she saved will not cost her dearly later in the season.

Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu make a marvelous Holmes and Watson as usual. Their chemistry is spot on and they play off one another perfectly. There is not one false note from either performer and it is their interaction that makes the show work.

Both Ron Rifkin and Jon Huertas gave good bad guy. Rifkin as the “under-the-table” crook and Huertas as the overt drug lord each delivered. Nelson Ellis still commands any scene he is in.  His eyes show a depth that suggests an inner peace and a little something else.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS. Tune in and check more of the cases of Holmes and Watson.


Guest starring  Jon Huertas as El Halcon and Ron Rifkin as Wayne Vachs. 

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

3 thoughts on “Elementary: Worth Several Cities – Made in China (Review)”

  1. I found the usual conflict between Holmes snd Watson to be absent, even when he revealed that her life was part of the price for failure. The Bible talks about the association of friends sharpening one another. In this episode there was no sharpening, no sparks.

    The plot, while duly complicated, wasn’t as exciting or entertaining as an old B&W Sidney Toler “Charlie Chan” movie.

    And I must agree with your assessment of Jon Huertas’ part. Sad.

    In this case, the writing harks back to the days of the writer’s strike.

    Neilson numbers unfortunately indicate I’m not alone in my assessment. Prognosticators show Elementary shy of the “bubble” of indecision.


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