Elementary Season 4 Episode 5 Review: The Games Underfoot

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There's no kill like overkill!

On Elementary Season 4 Episode 5, Sherlock and Joan investigated the murder of a struggling archaeologist who was digging for the lost Worst Game Ever.

In case you're wondering, the legend of the Nottingham Knights in this episode was based on the real-life fiasco involving Atari and the video game E.T., The Extra Terrestrial. The real-world version turned out a lot less violent than the outcome here, of course.

Here, the treasure-hunting archaeologist was being led on a wild goose chase, but ended up finding a completely different type of treasure: barrels of toxic waste that had been improperly disposed. Did he go to the landowner in good faith, or did he have extortion in mind?

Ultimately, it was not revealed, though there was evidence supporting both possibilities. I suppose it comes down to a matter of opinion for us, the veiwers, now that the episode is over.

It was a nice twist that all the catridges in this case were, in fact, in the backyard shed of one of the previous treasure hunters, who had kept it a secret for years, knowing if he tried to sell them all, it would flood the marked and the prices would plummet.

Overall, the case itself was solid, though not ultimately profoundly engrossing. The villain was only lacking a mustache to twirl to make him seem even more evil and amoral, for one.

Where this episode really was strong, though was in its more intimate character moments, especially the B-plot with Sherlock and Alfredo. Sherlock determined (thanks to a pink coconut donut) that his former sponsor has been struggling. In a profound step forward in his personal growth, Sherlock reached out and offered to help him.

Sherlock had expressed concern to Joan that the only thing he shared in common with Alfredo was their struggle with addiction. Maybe that's so, but maybe that's enough. And the fact that Sherlock was willing to metaphorically extend his hand to Alfredo, despite his personal discomfort with the concept, showed how much he had matured since he first became sober.

It's a struggle learning to balance the selfish with the selfless.

On a much less serious note, there were some really funny moments scattered throughout the episode, such as when Sherlock was being defeated by the old game he had to win.

Sherlock: Your 'help' has just resulted in that man's murder. Again.
Joan: Okay, first of all, he wasn't murdered, he was zapped into another dimension. And second of all, he still has two lives left.

It was even funnier when Joan totally owned him at the game. I guess this Sherlock Holmes justs isn't good with '80s console games?

Then there was that exchange between Sherlock and Marcus Bell over the stolen bikes:

Bell: What are you doing?
Sherlock: [has two bikes with him] These were chained to a lamppost down the street.
Bell: And you figured you'd... steal them?
Sherlock: I'm re-stealing them. I peruse the crime blotter when I'm bored, and these were stolen in Chelsea last month.
Bell: And you're just gonna walk around with them for the rest of the day?
Sherlock: Don't be ridiculous. This one's for you.

Be sure to check out our Elementary quotes page to get some of the fun and downright funny quotes from this and other episodes!

A few final thoughts and observations before I turn the discussion over to you:

  • No appearance by John Noble as Morland Holmes in this episode. I'm not too upset, because his presence in this episode would've been more distracting than anything else, especially from the B-story with Alfredo.
  • The Atari video game burial, as I mentioned at the start, was quite real. Around 700,000 cartridges were buried. The New Mexico landfill they were buried in was excavated in 2014, and about 1,300 of those cartridges were recovered. It's worth a Google.
  • Integer Overflow was something of a sadist, wasn't he? Instead of just telling the unfortunate Eddie that he had the cartridges in his shed out back, he led the guy on a wild goose chase that ultimately got him killed. Yeah...
  • Speaking of Integer Overflow: his name refers to a concept in computer programming when a program attempts to create a numeric value that is too large to be represented within the available storage space.

Why is Alfredo struggling? Did you miss John Noble? Were you surprised at the outcome of the Case of the Week? Let us know in the comments section below!

If you've missed an episode, or maybe you want to relive them, be sure to watch Elementary online for all the shenanigans! The final episode of 2015, Elementary Season 4 Episode 6, airs Thursday, December 17 at 10/9c on CBS. Until then!

The Games Underfoot Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (41 Votes)
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Elementary Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

Vintage rainbow suspenders? If there's money to be made in this, I need to get to my parents' garage fast!


Stabbed in the chest and incinerated. Did the killer also throw him off a roof?