AVClub: The rule of thumb about recapping is to judge the show against the Platonic ideal of itself. It reduces unfair comparisons (and, let’s be honest, keeps you from spending two hours debating relative quality in the era of Peak TV). But it means the show is always in competition with its best self, and when you have a first season as layered and satisfying as Elementary‘s, you operate under a long shadow. Elementary is rarely bad; it has duds (what 24-episode season doesn’t?), but you hardly ever find an episode without something entertaining. However, its high points seem, sometimes, to be equally elusive. It leaves me somewhat in the lurch when grading episodes like this, which have so much to recommend them until something comes to a screeching halt.