ELEMENTARY 2.15 ‘Corpse de Ballet’

Episode Title: “Corpse de Ballet”

Writer: Liz Friedman

Director: Jean de Segonzac

Previously on “Elementary:”

Episode 2.14 “Dead Clade Walking”


Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) is always on the case, even when he’s between the sheets with the lead suspect in a murder investigation.

Indeed, Sherlock’s behavior in “Corpse de Ballet” gets lots of eye-rolling from Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and Watson (Lucy Liu), from acting like a “fanboy” in front of celebrated ballerina and known diva, Iris Lanzer (Hey, it’s “Angela Darmody” from “Boardwalk Empire,” Aleksa Palladino) to then bedding her. Watson worries that Sherlock’s sleeping with Iris could threaten the investigation. But quite the contrary; during their encounter Sherlock deduces that Iris has a torn rotator cuff, ruling her out as the killer.

“Corpse de Ballet” has shades of Black Swan, but what makes the episode great isn’t the subject matter itself so much as Sherlock’s colorful behavior. When the NYPD detectives are called to the ballet to investigate the murder of up and coming star, Nell Salange, whose body was found cut in two, they find themselves a bit out of their element. But of course, Sherlock is no stranger to the ballet and while he’s fawning over alpha ballerina, Iris he explains that it’s normal for dancers to carry personalized box cutters to fix their slippers. With Sherlock, it’s always an education.

Like so many of the cases Sherlock and Watson tackle, there are plenty of red herrings here. One in particular stands out; the stripper ex-boyfriend of the victim who hand washes his gold glitter boxers in front of the detectives. The stripper and sleazy paparazzi who tried to make a sex tape out of Iris and Nell’s affair are both cleared, leading Sherlock and Watson to suspect Iris was set up.

But who would profit from making the star ballerina go down for murder? Sherlock’s acute analysis of a voicemail Iris left for Nell, whom she was secretly having an affair with, leads him to the answer; Iris’ famewhoring lawyer, Nolan Sharp. Sherlock hears the automatic door in Sharp’s office closing on the voicemail and realizes that the lawyer is the one recorded the message and leaked it to a reporter. He and the detectives arrive in the men’s room, just as Sharp is getting ready to meet the press, with the stolen hard drive containing footage of Sharp doing the deed.

Aside from sleeping with a murder suspect, we learn that Sherlock practiced “coitus” with a number of interesting women of late, including an archeologist, a schoolteacher, a mortician, a magician and a pastor. In the process, Watson’s made a habit of sending his lovers off with a cup of coffee. “Elementary” may be a police procedural, but at times it seems like it would just as good a reality show, as evidenced by the look on Watson’s face after Sherlock brings up the “commemorative photos” Iris took during their sexual romp.

Aside from the case of the “Bisected Ballerina” this episode also offers up a side investigation as Watson searches for the Army veteran friend of a mentally ill homeless man she got to know while working at a charity. Everyone questions Watson’s persistence, even Sherlock, leading her to explain the motivation behind her actions; her birth father is schizophrenic and homeless. Watson’s determination to find the veteran leads her to the home of a woman pretending to be his sister. The truth, Watson and the NYPD soon learn, is that the woman and her husband were holding the veteran and two other men prisoner in their basement to collect their benefits.

Two compelling cases in one hour plus some curious, and in some cases, comedic asides into Sherlock and Watson’s personal lives make “Corpse de Ballet” one of the best episodes of the season.



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