Elementary S2 Ep11 – “Internal Audit”

Sherlock, Gregson, and Joan trade theories about what happened to the murder victim.

If you ask me, “Internal Audit” was one of the best episodes of season 2 so far. It had just the right mix of personal drama and case drama, the perfect balance between the two main leads and the rest of the cast, and really compelling story lines for nearly every single character.

oan and Gregson at a crime scene.What I really appreciated this episode was Joan and Sherlock fighting. Usually I hate when they fight, because it feels like their partnership is in danger, and since the Joan’s ominous conclusion that “no one could put up with that [Sherlock’s behavior] forever,” I’ve been hyper aware of every time they disagree on something. In this episode, however, I found myself grinning and mentally egging both of them on when they began butting heads on how to proceed with the case, because their disagreement felt more like they were “settling in” to their roles as partners and learning how to compromise with each other, and less like they were chafing at the ties that bound them together.

They’re called to investigate the murder of Donald Houser, a “money manager for New York’s elite,” who has recently been revealed to have been embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients. Sherlock’s eye is immediately caught on  Houser’s personal chef, Chloe Butler, who discovered the body and who he suspects is hiding something. What she’s hiding is the fact that she recognized Joan, because Joan used to be her sober companion.

I cackled like an evil villain while watching Joan’s scenes with Chloe, because I was so happy to see her have a story thread that didn’t revolve around Sherlock. Much of the season so far has been focused on him and how he is feeling, growing, and maturing, and while I love the progress he’s made since the first season, I was kind of starting to get bored.

It was so lovely spend some time with Joan for a change and to get glimpses of who she used to be before she met Sherlock. It really speaks to how compassionate and dedicated she was and is to hear one of her former clients gush about how much she helped her. I really liked the character of Chloe as well. She was at once relatable, and though her insistence that Joan keep her past as an addict a complete secret bordered somewhat on the overdramatic, it was also justified, due to her not wanting to lose custody of her adorable son.

It’s not just new characters that are getting  developed, though. Marcus is offered a new job with an “intelligence force,” which would still allow him to help the city, but doesn’t necessarily need him to carry a gun, which he’s still unable to do. It seems like a very tempting offer, but we don’t find out what his decision is before the end of the episode.

I’m really glad the writers decided to carry over this tension with Marcus. Not just the stuff he has with Sherlock, but also the tension he’s facing at work. Marcus was clearly made to be a cop; the fact that he’s made Detective so young tells me that he’s ambitious and driven. And now because of a bad decision on someone else’s part, that future is in flux. I really am not sure what I want to happen here, but I hope we continue to see Marcus grow, something Sherlock is illogically refusing to do.

Alfredo persuading Sherlock to sponsor a fellow addict.Alfredo, Sherlock’s sponsor, asks him to sponsor another addict, a nice-enough looking young man named Pete. Sherlock, of course, is reluctant to make such a commitment, but Alfredo insists (in his patently patient, but firm Alfredo way) that he’s ready.

Ever since Bell’s injury, Sherlock has been feeling guilty for the part that he played in it, but can’t even admit it to himself. He argues that the choices he made leading up to Bell being shot were all the right ones, and yet he can’t get the incident out of his mind and doesn’t know why. It feels like he’s not allowing himself to become the type of person who takes responsibility for other peoples’ wellbeing, who cares about how he makes other people feel, and I’ve wondered throughout the past few episodes why being that kind of person seems so loathsome. I’m betting that the letters from Moriarty have been messing with his mind and making him distrustful. Still, when Sherlock accepted the position as Pete’s sponsor, I cheered. It’s certainly not taking responsibility for how he treats other people, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

All in all, a solid episode, and one that left me hoping for more like it down the road. I would love to see more of Pete, Alfredo, Marcus, and Joan-sans-Sherlock in the future.

What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!

 

Watch “Internal Audit” on Amazon Instant Video.