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

Mycroft and Sherlock have a heart-to-heart.

While the first episode was very Sherlock-driven, the second episode, “Solve for X”, focuses on Joan and her backstory.

Joan visits Gerald Castoro's grave.

Joan visits Gerald Castoro’s grave.

In season 1 we learned that she became a sober companion after losing a patient during an operation, and in this episode, we learn who that patient was and how deeply he affected her.

Joan is learning, and learning fast. She’s able to analyze handwriting, pick out patterns, and is a real asset to Sherlock and his crime solving. But more than that, she’s complex. Before becoming a sober companion, she operated on a man named Gerald Castoro, whose wife and son she’d gotten close to in the weeks before his operation. The operation went south when Joan somehow nicked a major artery, and afterwards, Castoro’s wife sued Joan. His son, Joey, however, sent her a letter that said he forgave her for her part in his father’s death, and in the years after Gerald Castoro’s death, Joan bought Joey a car, and it’s suggested she may have lent him more money or bought him other big items as well.

When Joan goes to visit Gerald Castoro’s grave, she runs into Joey again, who insists on taking her out for a cup of coffee. There, he spill the beans about his latest endeavor. He’s dropped out of college and is about to partner with a friend and buy a bar. He also asks Joan for a $5,000 (!) loan, claiming that “anyone who invests in it will double their money, at least.” When Joan asks Sherlock for an advancement on her paycheck and explains her situation, he is naturally concerned that Joan is being taken advantage of. Joan seems to have her doubts as well, but she also wants to keep herself in Joey’s goodwill. Sherlock sums it up very succinctly: “I have studied many poisons, Watson, and I have come to learn over the last few years that there is nothing in this world quite so toxic as guilt.”

Joey Castoro

Joey Castoro: Don’t be fooled by his cuteness.

The next time she meets Joey, Joan offers him $20,000 instead of just the $5,000, but only if he uses the money to return to school. His true colors come through when, instead of being grateful, he is angry that she won’t give him the money to invest in his bar and basically tells her “My dad would still be here if it weren’t for you.” Ouch.

Despite the pain, Joan has now pulled out the poisonous fang, and we’re treated to lovely final scene, where Sherlock asks to accompany Joan the next time she visits Castoro’s grave. “I’d like to pay my respects,” he says, warming the hearts of Joanlock shippers everywhere.

 Elementary is off to a spectacular start with its first two episodes, chock full of character development and interesting cases, and promises to continue deliver mysterious, crime-filled, banter-y goodness. Let us know what you thought of the first two episodes below, and keep an eye out for next week’s review on “We Are Everyone.”

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