TV Club: Elementary pokes the surveillance state in the hunt for “Lady Frances”

“’Now Watson,’ he added as our client hurried away, ‘he will set the regular forces on the move. We are, as usual, the irregulars, and we must take our own line of action. The situation strikes me as so desperate that the most extreme measures are justified.’”

– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”

Not too long ago, Elementary lifted some elements of “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax” for an episode about those who prey on vulnerable women. “The Ballad of Lady Frances”—on the surface a much more direct lift from canon—has a story with a two-act red herring that’s largely spoiled by any promo photo featuring a guitar (and with a villain spoiled for those who’ve read Doyle’s original story). What the case leaves us with, then, is an opportunity to look at how this show revisits elements of the …

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