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S03.E02: The Five Orange Pipz

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When Sherlock and Joan join forces on a double homicide, Sherlock’s new apprentice threatens the investigation when she allows her jealousy of Sherlock and Joan's work rapport to override her better judgment.

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Can we NOT have jealousy? Seriously, this is not a romantic story and it kinda looks like 2-gals-1-guy-but-in-regards-to-work-not-love-ha-ha kind of setup, which truly pisses me off. I hope they stop this or at least don't develop it in that vein.

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I just want Mycroft back. I dreamt RI's and JLM's characters last night. I almost NEVER dream fictional TV characters. I want RI purely back for the brotherly goodness, but yeah. That dream just reinforced how much more alive JLM seemed in scenes with him last season than really anyone else, including LL.  Weird dream, but fun, and they were totally working as brothers, which is how it should have been all along.  I don't really care for jealousy of anyone or hookups or anything else on this show. Give me some good stories and emotional punches and good acting.  Hopefully, this season will get back on track and give us that.

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What is this little girl, Kitty, doing in my Holmes and Watson story?  Good Lord, get rid of her!  Not a necessary part, producers.  Unlikeable and obnoxious, love interest NOPE.

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Unlikeable and obnoxious, love interest NOPE.

The unlikable and obnoxious part is purposeful. Although, I liked her a little better this ep. And it's obvious, she's more like a younger sibling than a love interest to Sherlock.

I kind of hope they keep what happened to her vague, no need for all the gory details.

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Why was Scrappy-doo added to the show?

 

I kind of hope they keep what happened to her vague, no need for all the gory details.

Oh, you know they're just saving it for a big mid-season reveal.

Edited by Trini
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I'm trying, but I'm still having problems warming up to Kitty.  I can understand her being obnoxious with Sherlock (I mean, Sherlock does bring that out of almost everyone), and I can even live with her being jealous with Joan, but having her be cold and hostile to poor Bell, is certainly not the way to make me like her.  I guess her back-story does explain it (was wrong about being a criminal; she was apparently a victim of a kidnapping?), but I hope this goes somewhere.  I did find her a bit more bare-able at the end, when she told Joan to look at her files.

 

Damn!  They get Sonya Wagner and Zach Orth as guests, and neither one of them was the killer!  Curse you, Elementary, and tricking me.  I'm so use to the actor I know doing it!

 

It's early, but I'm still not sure if I'm going to enjoy this season or not.

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Interesting episode. I liked it.

 

I vaguely remember in the Holmes canon somewhere a 'Kitty' so this could be a reference to that.  I am not versed enough in the details of all things Holmesian to be sure!

 

Some intriguing plot points - DO very much wish they would make more use of Aiden Quinn!!!

 

I will go along with out of the box plotting as long as it is well written and acted and not absurd - here's looking at you Blacklist, stopped watching because they couldn't meet any of the criteria -just sayin' - even I have standards!

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I'm just glad that Mycroft no longer exists on my screen, so I'll give Kitty some more time. I'm sure Kitty is more likely to have a romance with Marcus. 

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I'm a little confused at what exactly that toy was supposed to be?  Small plastic beads that a child could swallow - wouldn't that be a no-no even if the beads weren't poisonous?

 

Kitty - actually, I kind of like her, even if she is a bit rough around the edges.

Bell and Gregson -- I know the show is about Holmes and Watson, but I wish we could have more of these two

Joan's new boyfriend -- how long will it be before we find out he's really a serial killer, international spy, or paid assassin?

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I couldn't care less about the attempts to gin up sympathy for Kitty. I still don't like her teen surliness, but worse than that, she unbalances the show and not in a good way. She really is not needed. She's also too much of a break with canon.

It's one thing to reinterpret characters, make Watson and Moriarty women and Mrs. Hudson a transvestite, or make Gregson an effective and competent detective instead of a buffoon. They will always be the primary characters in any Holmes adaptation, along with Mycroft and Lestrade.

Holmes was characterized by knowing many people, most of them clients or criminals, all of them transients in his life and the stories. This new protege is, I assume, supposed to be evidence of social and emotional ferment on Sherlock's part. Sorry, it doesn't work for me. She clutters the scene and her smoldering petulance is more distracting than intriguing.

I agree that I'd prefer to see more of Gregson, Bell and Ms. Hudson rather than wasting screen time on an annoying new character. I'm counting on Kitty returning to London before the winter break.

Edited by BungalowSummer
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I am not enjoying Kitty either, she's like the bratty little sister that always comes along with the older kids. She's like Dawn from Buffy, instead of screaming "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT" all the time, she asks inappropriate questions & pouts. I'm hoping Mycroft shows up & says he's going to be a detective in London & Kitty goes back with him to work with him.

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I liked the mystery; I know the Five Orange Pips was an original Holmes story, but it's been a long time and I don't remember if there were any similarities between it and this one.

Did Watson have that sweater-as-doctor-coat thing going on last week as well? Pretty obvious metaphor there.

Kitty is Holmes's methadone for his Joan addiction. Plus I think the actress is cute, so I'll see how it plays out.

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Kitty Winter (from canon) was, to put it nicely, a guttersnipe. Probably a prostitute. She had been used by Baron Gruner and gave Holmes valuable information regarding Gruner which he used. Sadly, she gave in to her desire for revenge and threw acid in Gruner's face asHolmes was making off with the important black book and Watson was posing as a Chinese pottery expert. Watson tended to the man's melting face until help arrived. I always think it's The Illustrious Client, but then I go and check and it's wrong.

 

So, seeing this Kitty somewhat unstable matches what she was in the original. She didn't hang around all that long, but then again there was more Lestrade than Gregson, too.

 

The Five Orange Pips was about the Klu Klux Klan. They would send a decreasing amounts of orange pips and then kill the person. Holmes' client had started receiving them and told the story how his uncle had also received them and died. The client was killed walking back to his hotel in the London fog. I believe the perpetrators died in a shipwreck not long after though Holmes was depressed about not saving his client.

 

So, it was similar in something was sent in the mail as a warning, but that's about it.

 

I was just glad to see that Joan handled the situation with patience and maturity. The drama came not from Joan reacting to Kitty's issues, but rather Kitty's issues. I'm willing to see how it plays out. Initially I liked Mycroft, too. And then the character soured on me. But I'll give them credit for not transforming Joan into a shrill harpy about it and rather see her gradually accept Holmes back because she finds as much joy in working with Holmes as he does working with her.

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I'm a little confused at what exactly that toy was supposed to be?  Small plastic beads that a child could swallow - wouldn't that be a no-no even if the beads weren't poisonous?

 

Kitty - actually, I kind of like her, even if she is a bit rough around the edges.

Bell and Gregson -- I know the show is about Holmes and Watson, but I wish we could have more of these two

Joan's new boyfriend -- how long will it be before we find out he's really a serial killer, international spy, or paid assassin?

It would be more likely that he is Moriarty's brother from another mother or something. We could get a more stable Mel and Susan Profit. As well as Kitty being Moriarty's protege. She has been one step ahead of both Joan and maybe Sherlock.

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The Five Orange Pips was about the Klu Klux Klan. They would send a decreasing amounts of orange pips and then kill the person. Holmes' client had started receiving them and told the story how his uncle had also received them and died. The client was killed walking back to his hotel in the London fog. I believe the perpetrators died in a shipwreck not long after though Holmes was depressed about not saving his client.

So, it was similar in something was sent in the mail as a warning, but that's about it.

 

Yes, and I'm glad to see both Elementary and Sherlock having taken a run at this tale, because the idea of the pips in the mail is very compelling, but the KKK angle makes it a bit challenging to navigate in the modern world.  I thought this take on it was relatively clever.  No, no toy company would have gotten away with selling small beads as toys since they could be easily swallowed, but there was just enough mystery in this particular case to keep me entertained.  

 

But I do agree that Kitty can leave any time.  Even with a tortured back story, she is still reading as a spoiled teenage brat, and I don't really find that amusing.  But I do agree with whoever said that JLM knocked it out of the park with the delivery of the line about Kitty having been "taken by a man."  

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I really enjoyed this episode. I don't mind Kitty - I think they're handling her well enough and she's not a moody young woman because she's a moody young woman - it's not just a character decision, it's obviously going to feature in the plot somehow. I'm fine with that.

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Last week Kitty didn't bug me too much; this week she kind of did. But it was more the writing surrounding her than the character herself. This week they kept beating us over the head with what a special snowflake she is: the requisite Tragic Past, the social skills that ostensibly push others away but actually attract attention to herself, the remarkable raw talent. Sigh. And, of course, she had to be a step ahead of Sherlock and Joan, though she got there by intuitive leaps rather than refined deductive processes: she picked up on the fact that the DA was involved in the plot, and that the pips themselves were significant to the FBI agent's motive. 

 

On the one hand, I don't like it because it feels like the writers are trying to shove her awesomeness down our throats, and I want her to just go away. On the other hand, I don't like it because it feels like they are setting her up to be killed or otherwise booted off the show -- attach to her quickly, audience, for she won't be here for long and we want her death (or exile back to London) to seem meaningful! Though that would resolve the problem of what to do with the character so that we can get the show back on track, I'm not keen on having an already-victimized female character re-victimized.

 

Shifting topics a little, I wonder if we will ever see Sherlock's sponsor and sponsee again. I loved Alfredo, and I liked what having some responsibility brought out in Sherlock when he was trying to be a sponsor himself. And I would understand THEM being upset about Sherlock's abrupt departure. This isn't directly relevant to the current episode, but whenever I see Sherlock trying to be a mentor to Kitty, it makes me think of the semi-mentoring relationship with his sponsee that he presumably broke off when he left the country. Actually, it would be kind of awesome if we learn that he did not break off these relationships, but stayed in contact with them.

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Regarding the "lpipz"  there was a toy company having similar items recalled (these were small magnets) after several kids swallowed them and got sick (or possibly died). This was just 2 or 3 yeas ago.  (None of this means that Gladys Knights' "Pips" was involved in any crime.)

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Craft beads are definitely a thing; they just can't be marketed to small children.  http://www.michaels.com/bead-landing-multicolor-acrylic-faceted-round-beads-6-mm/10442714.html#start=6 for instance.  And, of course, they can't be made of hallucinogens.

 

Trying to remember from last night... did they ever explain why the father who was framed would be covering for the FBI agent?

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I don't think the father was intentionally covering for the FBI agent. The father decided to take the blame for the crime so that his ex-wife would see him as someone who took action to kill the man whose actions killed their son. Apparently the father's inability to do anything after the boy's death (sounds like depression) contributed to the break-up of their marriage, loss of his job, etc. 

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On the other hand, I don't like it because it feels like they are setting her up to be killed or otherwise booted off the show -- attach to her quickly, audience, for she won't be here for long and we want her death (or exile back to London) to seem meaningful!

Perhaps they will dip back into the Kitty story in canon: the man who "took her" will reappear and Kitty will want revenge.  Sherlock will first want to talk her out of it and then finally look the other way when she does so.  Kitty has to go into hiding to avoid justice (probably in the form of Gregson) so Sherlock arranges for Mycroft to meet her at an undisclosed airport and arranges for her disappearance from there.  Sherlock is a bundle of nerves and ambivalence which allows Joan to go back to being his emotional anchor.  Sherlock waits for Gregson to figure this out all and punch him in the stomach.  Oh, Bell gets his heart broken somewhere along the line, and, hopefully, avoids getting acid thrown on his face.

Edited by MaryHedwig
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That reminds me -- I love Bell :-)  His needling of Sherlock, staring at him, saying "you're really back" was awesome!

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There were some rumors last seasons that Liu and Miller weren't getting along on set. While I wrote them off as BI shit stirring, the way this season has opened does have me wondering if there was some validity to those claims. On the one hand, I think it's great and daring to split up Holmes and Watson to keep the show fresh but on the other, that seems like a tactic for a later season.

 

I don't really quite believe it myself. I think one reason for splitting them is that they were on screen all the time. I like the show has a small cast and the character drama aspect of it, but that means Watson or Holmes is in almost every scene, usually together. Watson was kidnapped last year and that was the only way Lucy Liu could direct an episode. I also think it's interesting that they are trying the splitting up because logically, it developed both characters. 

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It's weird that I enjoy the Holmes-like show Forever, better that I do this show right now.

Maybe because on Forever, the characters are deeply bonded and friendly-- no bickering-- and right now the characters on Elementary are irritible and the bonding that we used to see is frayed, making all parties seem like petty teenagers.

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...Kitty is Holmes's methadone for his Joan addiction...

Nice description. And it looks like Sherlock is in part relating to her the way Watson did to him as a sober companion.

I think the split of Sherlock and Joan was to sidestep the path toward romance between them--or at least postpone it.

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Nice description. And it looks like Sherlock is in part relating to her the way Watson did to him as a sober companion.

So in real life, a woman that has been "taken by a man" probably should not be kept by one as controlling and oblivious to his companion's feelings as Sherlock.  Such a victim needs to make her own choices and have those around her aplaud and encourage them such as admiring their art instead of chiding them for their creative initiative. However, such a victim co-habiting with Sherlock would make a lot more sense, and perhaps be clinically indicated, if Sherlock has a personal bond with her, i.e. knew her before the trauma happened and is clearly commited to her for the long haul, which is why I love the idea of Kitty being somebody in the Holmes' world's love child.

 

Just saying...I love this show even when it disappoints me and can't wait to see how they enfold the Kitty story.  But, forgive me, I just had a need to put a real life spin on this in case some victim out there thinks that finding and bunking with their own Sherlock is going to make them feel better.

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If the dad had been the killer, it would have matched the story in being a revenge-murder.  So it started similarly but moved on from there.   

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I would rather see more Bell and Captain Gregson than Kitty. Kitty can go bye bye now. I don't what happened in her past still isn't going to make me like her.

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Did they spell it "pipz" with a "z" just for SEO (Search Engine Optimization--ability to find information about the episode rather than other "pips") or to avoid defamation law suits from Gladys Knight's people, or for both SEO and copyright related to the original Sherlock Holmes story, or what?

Edited by shapeshifter
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Did they spell it "pipz" with a "z" just for SEO (Search Engine Optimization--ability to find information about the episode rather than other "pips") or to avoid defamation law suits from Gladys Knight's people, or for both SEO and copyright related to the original Sherlock Holmes story, or what?

I sure wondered the same kinds of things.  I think that Arthur Conan Doyle's works are out of copyright, but it would make sense that Glady's Knight name is protected intellectual property.  Never heard of SEO but it sure makes sense.  I had wondered if the "z" was some British way of pluralizing things left over from the Elizabethian ear.  Also thought that maybe "Pipz" was the toy manufacture in the episode's copyrighted name (like Riteaid or something.)

 

Did we ever figure out what those pipz are for?  How are they used as a toy?  The only thing that makes sense to me if that they are a noise maker in a rattle or something.

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I just figured the company making the toy put a z on the end to make it sound cooler and appeal to kids, like "Bratz". So it might have been done for search optimization, but that works as well for the company inside the show as CBS outside it. I thought it was pretty clever, actually, and a great way of updating "orange pips."

I'm liking this new direction. Sherlock and Watson are a little distant but they're not sniping and back biting. I make a point of giving new female characters a chance when they end up on my shows and so far Kitty is nothing egregious to deal with. I am hoping to see a mentor/mentee relationship grow between Joan and Kitty as well as Sherlock and Kitty. Almost like giving Sherlock and Joan a chance to "play parents" without any of that pesky UST involved.

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I find it interesting what silence conveys when done by Joan versus Kitty. With Kitty there is an almost tangible pouty-ness (sp?) and frustration. With Joan, it comes across different - more contemplative or steely resolve (at times).

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I find it interesting what silence conveys when done by Joan versus Kitty. With Kitty there is an almost tangible pouty-ness (sp?) and frustration. With Joan, it comes across different - more contemplative or steely resolve (at times).

Interesting point.  I wonder if it that steely resolve was Sherlock's anchor for the past two years.  Can't wait to know what happened in England.  Did Sherlock attend AA there?  Where is that packet of herion now anyway, I don't trust it around Kitty (remember her comment about taking a few pipz and a nap?)

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I am a newcomer to the show. I love the work/friendship dynamic between two adults. And they have proper conversations. Kitty does clutter the screen but I don't mind her. That said, I do want to see them working on totally separate cases. They can meet up in the morgue or vending machine but I want Joan to fly solo a bit longer.

Edited by jeansheridan

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Hello all. I want to remind everyone that a couple weeks ago that David T. Cole linked the GLAAD Media Reference Guide in Announcements. Since this show has reoccurring characters from the LGBT community, I'd recommend you checking the guide out. The show has been generally very good about how it writes these characters and the posters here should reflect that as well. Thank you!

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I found it seriously stretching the imagination having Kitty tagging along.

 

"Hello, I'm a police detective and with me is this NYPD consultant, his ex-but-kind-of-not partner, his current partner-in-training, a homeless man from across the street, my great aunt Peg and your neighbor's cat. We are all going to interrogate you now."

 

Three's a crowd.

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Vesper, I don't disagree with you at all.  It is getting crowded.  Which is why I really hope they let them do separate cases and just meet up at the station or morgue for a few episodes until they decide what to do with Kitty.  I'm relieved to see she's not in the opening credits.  That bodes well. 

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Miss Dee, I do agree with you that Joan has taken a very professional and older (unthreatened) woman approach with Kitty.  I've always liked how the show has managed to avoid jealousy between them other than the weird Mycroft business, but that was more he was Sherlock's brother thing than straight up jealousy.  Sherlock is just naturally more petty and clingy (his eye rolling when she dates for example). 

 

I think it is realistic too that characters around them assume a romantic relationship.  They work and live together and she obviously puts up with a total oddball--it must be love!  I like that this world doesn't ignore their gender, although I do think the writers go to some extremes avoiding any contact between them.  He ought to have hugged Joan after her kidnapping.  Real friends would have hugged.  Friends who love each other would have hugged.  Touching can be platonic. 

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Actually, the toy bead GHB thing really happened %u2014 in 2007. "The arts and craft beads, aimed at children 4 years and older, were sold at major U.S. retail stores as "Aqua Dots" and in Australia under the name "Bindeez Beads." So that's where they got the idea.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/08/toy.recall/

sorry for the gibberish in that post. That %u2014 is supposed to be a dash!

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Thanks for posting that, pucacodog.  I had no idea those toys were actually real.

 

I checked on Amazon, and found that they are still being sold, under the name "Pixos", presumably without the toxic ingredient.

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I like Kitty. It came to me as a shock. I think her attitude is a bit juvenile but understandable and she is making quick progress. After the... well... not hate but negativity here I expcted I will be really irritated by her but... no. I really enjoyed her in the last episode. I liked that she made a mistake but after that her gut feeling proved somewhat true. :) I like that she acts out of emotion... but also learns. If she was perfect, it would have been boring to watch, she is developing as a character and in turn affects those around her. She is guarded, snippy and negative but there is a promise for change, I do like stories in which characters develop... hell, this is the basic idea of this show... people change. ;)

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Vesperholly:

 

 

I found it seriously stretching the imagination having Kitty tagging along.

"Hello, I'm a police detective and with me is this NYPD consultant, his ex-but-kind-of-not partner, his current partner-in-training, a homeless man from across the street, my great aunt Peg and your neighbor's cat. We are all going to interrogate you now."

Three's a crowd.
 

This is why we just don't need another character.  I don't understand shows that would prefer to add another character instead of dealing with what is in front of them.  As others have said Gregson and Bell are seriously under-used.  And maybe Kitty is just an arc in which case okay but I can't say it's really working for me.  I watched enough soaps back in my day to know you need to give the new girl a chance because I would end up loving them.  But Kitty's story is not one I am anxious to know; I think the actress is doing just fine with what she's been given.

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Am I the only one who has trouble hearing this show? Every week I have to turn up my tv to high levels to hear Sherlock. And now I'm having trouble with Kitty's accent. It's starting to grate on my nerves.

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Am I the only one who has trouble hearing this show? Every week I have to turn up my tv to high levels to hear Sherlock. And now I'm having trouble with Kitty's accent. It's starting to grate on my nerves.

I would not think of watching this show without the close captioning on.

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If Kitty dropped the petulant attitude, she could be an interesting character.  When she flounced out of the brownstone because she was in a huff at how well Sherlock and Joan were getting on, I was afraid she was going to pull the Mary Sue of all moves by going of on her own and solving the whole case single-handedly, so imagine my surprise when that didn't happen.

 

I liked that Sherlock wants to give Kitty a chance at bettering her life because he saw a glimpse of a good investigator in her--just like he saw in Joan--but the trouble is, Kitty isn't Joan, Kitty is impulsive and rash and she doesn't stop to think and in my opinion, that is going to be her downfall.

 

And if Kitty's back story is that she was horribly abused by a man, then I'm okay with her being wary and hostile to Bell.  We know he's a good guy but to her, he is an unknown man and she's keeping her distance.  I have zero problem with that.

 

All in all, I'm liking this episode and looking forward to watching Joan and Sherlock getting their partnership back, hopefully becoming closer friends and maybe helping Kitty along the way.

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