Elementary Dual Recap: S2 E1 – Step Nine/E2 – Solve for X

Mycroft and Sherlock have a heart-to-heart.

Most people were a little skeptical when CBS’s Elementary premiered last fall. By the season finale, however, many viewers, me included, were thanking whatever higher power they believed in that it had been renewed. It really is that good, ya’ll.

If you need to catch up on what happened in the spectacular first season, you can purchase it on DVD, but if you just need a recap of what’s happened so far in season 2, keep reading!

The season 2 premiere, “Step Nine,” brings Sherlock reluctantly back to his roots in London, which he left in disgrace about a year before the series began. We are introduced to Inspector Greg Lestrade (played by Sean Pertwee), Sherlock’s old partner on the Scotland Yard, and Mycroft Holmes (played by Rhys Ifans), Sherlock’s elder brother.

Inspector Greg Lestrade begs Sherlock for help on the Laurence Pendry case

Lestrade begs Sherlock for help on a case.

After Sherlock fled to New York, Lestrade’s police work suffered, and he began taking ethical shortcuts in order to close cases and continue being in the limelight. It all comes to a head when Lestrade accuses media mogul Laurence Pendry of murdering his own wife and threatens him with a hand grenade before going into hiding. The Scotland Yard calls Sherlock to help find him and bring him to be persecuted.

Instead of bringing him in, however, Sherlock and Joan follow Lestrade’s hunch and close the Pendry case. Along the way, Sherlock learns what it’s like to care about an addict when he realizes he inadvertently created one out of Lestrade. He attempts to apologize for turning Lestrade down the path of addiction, but Lestrade rejects his apology, too focused on getting more of his drug of choice: fame.

Mycroft Holmes introduces himself to Joan Watson as Sherlock's brother.

Mycroft introduces himself to Joan.

In the meantime, Mycroft has taken over Sherlock’s old apartment, the famous 221B Baker Street, and graciously allows Joan and Sherlock to stay with him while they are in London. Mycroft – affable, easy-going, and charming – is almost the exact opposite of Sherlock, though just as witty, and the two fall into childhood habits, bickering and generally getting on each others’ nerves. Also, the last time Mycroft and Sherlock saw each other, Sherlock was, and I quote, “face-deep in my [Mycroft’s] fiancee”. So there’s that between them as well.

Mycroft seems to take an interest in Joan, remarking that Sherlock doesn’t have friends after Joan clarifies the nature of her and Sherlock’s relationship. Though at first it seems his interest in Joan is romantic, Mycroft reveals he simply wants to know how to communicate with his arrogant, argumentative brother. You see, Mycroft is only just recovering from a bone marrow transplant. Even though he had desperately needed a donor, he had never contacted Sherlock to ask if he was a match, never even told him he was sick, because of their broken relationship. After his brush with death, however, he’s decided it’s time to try and rebuild burnt bridges.

The title of the premiere episode, “Step Nine,” refers to the ninth step of Sherlock’s journey towards recovery from heroine. He’s supposed to apologize to anyone he may have hurt while under the drug’s influence and try to make up for his past mistakes. Though Lestrade ends up not wanting his help, something that clearly distresses Sherlock, Sherlock and Mycroft have a sort of reconciliation, in which Mycroft blows up all of the possessions Sherlock left when he went into rehab. Oh, you Holmes men. You know just how to blow your way into my heart.

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