This scene was actually when I went from feeling more or less neutral on Joan to actively disliking her.
Because wow, that was patronizing.
I loved that scene in Elementary.
1) Firstly, because it immediately deconstructs the “hero throws and breaks something in frustration” cliche (Sherlock throwing a glass slide in HoB, anyone?) it might even be seen as a parody of that cliche.
2) Secondly, because the dynamic is different between a man and a woman than it would be between two women or two men, the visual of a man smashing something in a temper in front of a woman can be taken as threatening or borderline abusive. Joan Watson immediately shows that she is not intimidated by Holmes’ behavior.
3) Lastly? One of the running themes of Elementary is the deconstruction of Sherlock Holmes as the solitary, antisocial genius, and his becoming a member of a community. Holmes’ gifts are given their due respect, but no one in Elementary plays the game of Because Sherlock Holmes is a Bloody Genius He Can Do Whatever He Wants So There. When Sherlock goes after Moriarty (“M”), Captain Gregson suspends him. When Sherlock doesn’t want to talk about his addiction, Alfredo says “You’ve got to get over yourself.” And when Sherlock behaves like a spoiled child, Joan tells him “Use your words.”
You see Joan patronizing Sherlock. I see a member of Sherlock’s community teaching him how to behave like an adult member of that community.
Additionally, Watson’s done good work for a number of years as a sober companion, not a manchild enabler. It’s quite literally her job to deconstruct people’s shitty self-defeating habits and demonstrate that there are better ways to live your life. She’s not in the business of humoring anyone or playing along with their tantrums, she’s in the business of fixing them. And what she does works! It gets spelled out explicitely in the text of the show: Sherlock himself admits that what’s changed about him, for the better, is her.
This is the best show, THE BEST SHOW.
"She’s Mrs Doctor from the future, isn’t she? Is she going to be your wife one day?”
All I can see is this :
Her whole life Maura secretly had always wanted to be normal. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy being her quirky self, it’s just sometimes she wished she could fit in; no, she longed to fit in.
Growing up, Maura never received her most desired gift; a sibling. When she asked for one for her 4th birthday, she woke to a beautiful new bed. Her 5th birthday she asked for a sister, she received a ballerina music box instead. Her 8th birthday she wished for a brother, and the morning of her birthday, she sat back and watched as the Isles family helpers rearranged her bedroom to fit Maura’s brand new antique bookshelf.
Her 11th birthday, she decided to ask for something different, a pet. That was close to a sibling, right? She wrote a letter to her parents requesting a golden labrador for her birthday. Her mother and father had said yes to a pet, and the morning of her 11th birthday, Maura Isles ran down stairs in hopes to see a puppy or maybe a kitten, but oddly enough, she was happy to find a tortoise. You see, Maura’s father had a severe allergy to dogs and cats. So once again, Maura Isles was to miss out on something she longed for for so long.
She loved Bass, her tortoise, but going to school and hearing about everyone’s animals; their dogs, their cats, their horses; and Maura having to talk about her pet Tortoise instead. It just made Maura feel more and more isolated.
The day before Maura’s 40th birthday had arrived, and her best friend Jane Rizzoli was freaking out, to say the least. She wanted to get Maura the perfect present. But what exactly do you get the woman who has everything?
Jane knew Maura always wanted a sibling while growing up, and she eventually got that one wish when Cailin came into her life. She lay on her bed, thinking deeply about the perfect gift to get her perfect friend. And that’s when it hit her. Maura Isles had always wanted a golden labrador puppy. A puppy to call her own. A “normal” animal. A socially acceptable animal.
"You actually dressed down," Jane smirked as her eyes wandered Maura’s body. "You look great."
"I feel 40." Maura dropped her bottom lip.
"You are 40," The detective moved in closer and placed her hands at the base of Maura’s hips. "Happy Birthday, Maur."
"Thank you, Jane."
Those eyes sparkled at Jane, and she felt a wave of nerves crash through her body.
"We need to go, lunch is packed and I’m starving."
Jane lead Maura to her car, opened the passenger side door and waited for Maura to slip inside before closing it. Maura’s favourite music sang through the cars speakers as they traveled to the destination that Jane only knew.
Pulling up outside the park, they made their way to a lovely green patch of grass where Jane set out the picnic blanket and prepared the food. They began to eat the food that Jane had prepared (…admittedly with the help of Angela), when the detective’s phone began to ring.
"I’ll uh," Jane looked up and smiled. "I’ll be back in a second. Don’t move, don’t turn around, I’ll know if you have."
Maura couldn’t suppress the smile on her face as she hung her head low and focused on her mobile phone that now rest in her hands for distraction.
"Thank you for picking him up."
"That’s okay, Marley and I have been having fun."
"Mar…Korsak, no. His name is not Marley. You can’t name this breed of dog Marley after that damn movie, it’s too sad and has bad vibes!" Jane glared at her friend and colleague. "I’m sure Maura will have some name picked out as soon as she saw him."
Bidding Korsak farewell, Jane cradled Maura’s gift close to her chest.
"Close your eyes for me, Maur." She instructed as she reached their picnic area.
"They’re closed." Maura truthfully replied.
Jane moved quietly and sat in front of Maura, placing the puppy on the picnic rug in between the two, but having the adorable little guy facing Maura.
"When you open your eyes, you will see your present, which I really hope you like." That nervous laugh made it’s way up Jane’s throat and she cursed herself for sounding so lame. "One, Two, Three…open"
"Oh," Maura had opened her eyes and sought out her present. "Oh, Jane!" Tears were forming and falling down her cheeks.
"I hope you like him."
Maura shook her head and pulled the pup into her arms. “Oh Jane, I love him. Is he really for me?”
"Of course he is, he’s yours to keep. Korsak and Frost, they chipped in and have booked him into puppy training school for your present."
Jane looked on as Maura cradled the pup in her arms, talking to him in the most adorable of voices. “Got any scientists you want to name him after?”
"Alfie." Maura didn’t look up, she didn’t meet Jane’s eyes. "I’ve always wanted my little Alfie dog. And now I have him. Thank you, Jane. He is the best present ever. Thank you."
"That’s okay, Maur." Jane couldn’t hide her grin if she tried. "Why Alfie? Who’s he named after?"
"Alfie has always sounded like a normal dog name, don’t you think?" Maura smiled down at the relaxed puppy. "A normal name for a normal pet."