Elementary Season 7 Episode 8 Recap and Review: Miss Understood
A spoiler-filled recap and review of Miss Understood, episode 8 of the seventh and final season of Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu
(Spoilers ahead for Elementary S7E8, and episodes prior to it)
Miss Understood, Elementary Season 7 Episode 8, is largely disappointing save for the re-introduction of a certain character, who might be playing a major part in the story as the show comes to a close. The writing is quite weak and exposition-heavy to the point of ridiculousness (At one point Joan explains how a character's last name is the phonetic version of the court's equivalent of John Doe... to that very character!). Add to this how uninteresting and overly complicated this week's case is, that after a point, I simply lost interest and stopped following because a) there were way too many players introduced for a case so dull, and b) I knew it really did not matter in the grand scheme of things since this episode is clearly all about that returning character and how they will affect Sherlock and Joan going forward.
Much like the previous episode, Odin Reichenbach only gets a passing mention, but I think it's safe to say, this re-introduced character will have a role to play in the longer arc of this season of Elementary. Also getting mentions are the "three Garridebs" who appear in one of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes short stories, but this is just a shoutout, most likely. The opening sequence with the man who poisons someone with a carbon monoxide filled balloon baffles me and rings no bells. It feels tacked on and pointless, but perhaps I am missing a reference. If so, please do enlighten me.
Now, let's get down to the real story of this episode. The character that reappears is Cassie, the girl who pretended to be Mina Davenport in Miss Taken (hence the title of this episode), episode 7 of Elementary Season 4. Sherlock had called her "one of the best liars [he'd] ever met" in that episode, and clearly respected her intelligence. Cassie, who was suspected of causing the murder of an FBI who was investigating her impersonation, has served a term in prison after pleasing guilty to attempted fraud. She now goes by her real first name and her court-assigned last name LNU (Last Name Unknown, which she pronounces phonetically as Lenue). Cassie approaches Sherlock and Joan with a case — a woman, whom she claims was once an unofficial foster mom to her, has been murdered under mysterious circumstances.
This is our case of the week, and it is, well, weak. I won't go into the details of it, because I don't think I can. It's all rather hazy and complicated, and as I said before, quite unnecessary. Suffice it to say, these parts too suffer from a case of over exposition and convenient coincidences. The only point of it is to serve as a conduit to see the interplay between Cassie and Sherlock, and to a lesser extent Joan. Sherlock believes from the beginning that Cassie has an agenda beyond solving the case and bringing the guilty to justice. He soon finds out that she was lying about the dead woman being her foster mother. And that she has only gleaned what she needed from information out there on the Internet, in order to use it to ingratiate herself with the widowed husband. Joan confronts Cassie with this, when the two are alone, and the latter confesses that she indeed has no connection to the case, and her only purpose was to get in touch with Sherlock. She also implies that Sherlock is her biological father, but Joan doesn't buy this. Cassie also does a bit of clever deduction about a potential suspect, thus showing she has the makings of a detective.
Sherlock, meanwhile, figures out that Cassie's target was, in fact, him based on the cases she seemed to be considering before picking the one she brought to them. He thinks this is because she is lonely and wanted to make a connection with someone who was like her (in that they're both unlike other people). Sherlock then proceeds to give her some encouragement to use her intelligence for good — not necessarily as a detective, but to find her own way of contributing to society.
Cassie appears to take this to heart and even spots a potential thief when they are going over some surveillance footage in connection with the case of the week. She later helps them nab the person responsible for the murder by using a clever ruse. Not before Sherlock suspects her motives for the ruse, only for her to prove him wrong.
Captain Gregson, when he finds out Cassie helped with the case, asks Joan if she is now part of the team, but Joan is unsure what her role will be. The episode ends with Sherlock acting all fatherly towards Cassie. He gives her an envelope that he says will help her find out who she is. She thinks it might contain information about her real parents, but it turns out to be just a name change form, that will enable her to choose her own name and thus decide who she wants to be. Sherlock agrees to help her choose a name. Like Joan, we too are left in the dark about who Cassie really is, and what her role will be going forward. My guess is that she could end up being the adopted child of Joan and Sherlock, something Joan wanted before they were forced to move to England last season. It would be a nice way to wrap up Elementary, which as a friend pointed out, has historically treated all its characters well. Whether this happens, remains to be seen.
(Elementary Season 7 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and will soon premiere on television on AXN)