TV Review – Elementary S04E09: Murder Ex Machina

This week’s Elementary dealt with reveals, intrigue, self-driven cars and a war between Russia and the Ukraine. It was an entertaining episode but it felt like there was something missing? Like they were trying to do too much and yet most of it fell through.

“Murder Ex Machina” was a good episode that introduced us to a great new character but the case itself was lacking. Part of the fun of these episodes is trying to figure out the killer or culprit alongside Sherlock and Watson. So making the killer easy to figure out, kind of takes the fun out of it. The show tried to sell us on different situations (it even tried to go to the political route) but it just didn’t work this time.

Elementary S04E09 - Murder Ex MachinaFrom the first suspect we are told that everyone in the company had access to the software. It brings to mind Occam’s Razor  which in simple terms is “the simplest solution is usually the correct one.” The audience was supposed to be misguided by all the rest of the candidates except for the fact that they had nothing to gain from this death. The show kept asking who had the most to loose and that was Pentillion.The reason itself was intriguing in a way but it didn’t redeem it. The way they caught him was weird to say the least. If you used the software to crash a car, and you know the cops are looking into your company why would you still use a car that can be controlled by the same software?

It’s a nice break from the sometimes-brilliant adversaries that Sherlock and Joan face on a weekly basis but I don’t know it just felt strange. It was the case of trying to fit too many things into one episode and instead of keeping you engaged it just didn’t make you feel anything. It wasn’t a loss because it was still a good episode with really good moments, despite the lackluster case. The scene of the strip club was pretty hilarious especially Sherlock explaining to Bell why he found strippers fascinating. Seeing Mason again was awesome; it’s always great to see one of Joan and Sherlock’s helpers. And we probably have another character to add to that list. Betty Gilpin was great as Fiona the software coder who just happens to be autistic and love cats. I’m sure we’ll see more of her.

Elementary S04E09 - Murder Ex MachinaThe truly interesting part of this episode, and probably what saved it if we’re being honest, was the reveal about Morland. Joan goes to dinner with Morland in which he tells her he’s been banking his blood and asks her to evaluate it, given her medical background. This makes Joan investigate the situation of course and she finds something quite interesting. While it’s understandable why they didn’t show it, the episode was already jam-packed as it was, It would have been great to see Joan investigating not just the aftermath of the investigation. She observed how Morland ate and the vitamins he kept taking and knew they were important for some reason. At first she thought it was cancer which was the logical conclusion. But it turns out that Morland was exhibiting the actions of someone who had stomach surgery, or rather who is missing part of his stomach. This leads her to a case about a woman who was shot to death, and it turns out Morland was involved with her. Sherlocks wonders if Morland was responsible but it’s rather the opposite, Morland was the target. And he seems worried that whoever tried to kill him will try again.

Elementary S04E09 - Murder Ex MachinaSo that’s definitely going to be an interesting storyline going forward!


Sherlock: Clyde is a Horsfield’s tortoise and needs to hibernate in the Winter.

Marcus: Is anything this kid is doing legal?

Sherlock: Define legal

Sherlock: No murder should go unsolved and no murderer should walk free.


Additional Insights:

*Can we stop with Sherlock prodding into her sex life? It didn’t used to be a bother but now it seems that every episode there’s a comment about it.

*Also the comment about Joan’s past relationship with Sherlock’s brother was not necessary.

*Clyde mentions are incredible. Clyde is now hibernating in the fridge because the New York climate has been very unpredictable. It’s lovely how much Sherlock and Joan truly love Clyde.

*As a proud cat lover and cat owner I should probably have been offended at Mason’s “She likes cats so sure” when asked if he thought Fiona could be a killer but I just thought it was a funny quip.

*I can’t help but think of how screwed the Murder Quartet of ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder would be if Joan and Sherlock were on the case.

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About the author

Maii Trueba

Maii is a 27 year old writer, who can get emotional and protective over certain characters and their stories, also pandas. And don't get her started on A Song of Ice and Fire because you'll never hear the end of it. She graduated in film and has a certificate in Art History so the nerdiness comes out from time to time.

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