As the title of the episode might imply, "Elementary" brings in Sherlock Holmes' greatest arch-nemesis this week. For the uninitiated, "M" refers to Moriarty, essentially the evil equivalent of Holmes. While Holmes uses his brilliant mind to solve mysteries and assist the police restore order, Moriarty uses his equally brilliant mind to commit crimes and inspire anarchy.
Bringing in such a notable player in the Conan Doyle mythos is enough of a tall order, made even more overwhelming by the BBC "Sherlock" series' version, exceptionally played by Andrew Scott. The US equivalent is played by... Vinnie Jones. His MO is puzzle in itself: M strings up his victims (37 in total) on a tripod device, slitting their throats and leaving behind only a large pool of the victim's blood but no body. Holmes sees a potential point of redemption when the latest victim pops up in New York City; when M was on his killing spree in Great Britain, Holmes' drug addiction made him less than helpful to the police.
We later learn that Irene Adler, the root of Holmes' addictions, was murdered by M when he felt the detective was getting a little too close. Holmes has revenge in mind, and Jonny Lee Miller's cold measured tone as he calmly explains his plan to torture and murder M upon his capture is some chilling stuff.
Throughout the series, we have seen Holmes navigate numerous mysteries without much in the way of personal involvement -- characterization and the like tends to run parallel to whatever puzzle he is attempting to solve. What sets this episode apart is that the mystery is so personal, so intertwined into Holmes character, that seeing him break down when confronted with the fact that he may have been led astray gave me goosebumps. The Moriarty thread may have a ways more to unravel, and I can't wait to see more.
Final Grade: A