TV Club: Elementary is right on time with “Ill Tidings”

“Give to a gracious message a host of tongues, But let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt.”

There’s no mistaking the theme of this episode; Sherlock and Joan go over it three times. Sometimes things are awful, and there’s no point pretending they aren’t. Face up, ‘fess up, and prepare for what’s next.

After a week like the States has had, the twisty case in “Ill Tidings” reads as slight in some respects. As an adaptation of “The Speckled Band,” it’s (pardon the pun) toothless, absent any Elementary touch to the racial or gender tensions that underscored the original. Instead, it’s business as usual, starting in a ridiculously fancy restaurant and irising out into an art heist at the stock exchange. Nobody’s even particularly interested in the internet security council subplot, because there are too many poisonous snakes. Against real-world upheavals …

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