Posted: by Tyler Olson
***The review below may contains some spoilers.***
It's been pretty obvious since day one that Sherlock is not a team player. He is brash and insulting with an ego the size of the universe, but he is really good at what he does. Even with his track record, it was inevitable that one day he would step on someone's toes who would make his life hell, and it would appear it finally happened.
After seeing Chris Bauer stand up to Jonny Lee's character, I don't think anyone could have pulled it off any better. I may not have been too understanding with his character's actions (specifically giving a suspect someone's home address), but acting-wise he was the perfect fit. I really hope this isn't the last we see of him, though, since I can see Coventry actually getting along with Sherlock and Joan... once they go a few rounds in a boxing ring.
In addition to Bauer's appearance, "On the Line" also had one of the most amazing cases I've seen on Elementary in a very long time. Unlike most cases, Sherlock already solved the identity of the participants at the start, but only needed to fill in the gaps and proof to please the justice system, while being blindfolded and his hands being tied behind his back due to his own foolish actions.
Troy Garity's role was also a fantastic addition. It took a certain type of criminal to stand up to his accusers as he did, especially the way he did it. I'm not sure if he was just that brave or that arrogant, but it created the type of unrealistic mastermind that far too many mysteries fail to create in this era of TV. In just a few short minutes this character went from an easily forgettable suspect to one of the most colourful villains we have seen. Many viewers won't find the "realism" they seek from police dramas with these types of characters, but they are a great match for the larger-than-life, Sherlock Holmes character.
I did find two things very troubling about this episode, though: the laziness of the police force and the inability of Captain Gregson to control his officers. I'm sorry, but Gregson should have immediately assigned Coventry to work with Sherlock and Joan as partners, just like Bell has in other cases. This would have easily dropped many of the problems Detective Hip Flask caused since he would have been with them the entire time, plus it would have provided an opportunity for some of Sherlock's deducing abilities to rub off on the man. I think anyone would have turned rebellious if they were treated as Coventry was.
If it wasn't for the two holes in this episode, "On the Line" could easily have been the best episode so far this season, but those two problems are too hard to ignore, especially since the laziness of the police seems to be such a recurring trend in this series. Sure, we fans love to see a great detective solve cases that the police can't solve, but it shouldn't be at the expense of police themselves. Society already has a low enough impression of the law enforcement as is, so wouldn't it be a good idea to bolster them up instead?