Fans of CBS’s Elementary, the show that has a modern day Sherlock Holmes and his partner Joan Watson solving crimes in New York City, have grown accustomed to hearing how it’s the other Holmes story, with BBC’s Sherlock being the real show. But while the latter has been sporadic in quality and arguably in decline since its acclaimed first two seasons, the former has been on a steady rise in quality, culminating in the final 7th season.
And in this 7th season, we get to hear Libertarian arguments throughout. Warning: Spoilers.
Imagine if the founding CEO of one of the big tech companies, whether Facebook, Google, or any of the others who have massive amounts of our personal data on their servers, decided to initiate a Minority Report-esque department that sought out and murdered potential terrorists and mass shooters? That’s the premise behind the final season’s bad guy with Holmes and Watson playing the liberty-loving, privacy-defending protagonists against an omniscient pre-crime division.
They even get to take on the NSA to boot.
It’s very similar to the uphill battle we face today. Big tech really is collecting vast amounts of data on us and the NSA really is using their own access to data to spy on us. Perhaps nobody’s using it for murder on a regular basis yet, but this season put a spotlight on the potential of an “idealistic” social justice warrior whose manufacturers morals demand drastic measures to be taken to prevent potential mass shooters from executing their potential plans.
It’s like red flag gun laws, only instead of disarming the potential shooter with a court order, they’re simply removed from the equation altogether. Once a potential terrorist, always a potential terrorist.
The likely intentions of the writers and showrunners wasn’t to promote liberty, but to instead send Holmes and Watson off with a big enough case and a strong enough enemy for their going away party to mean something. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to see something coming out of Hollywood that depicts both big tech and big government as the oppressive forces they can be.
As the final season, it’s noteworthy to point out that this show really was quite special. It may not have had the creative oomph of Sherlock‘s first two seasons, but it executed seven strong seasons without missing many beats. Jonny Lee Miller’s portrayal of Holmes has been solid throughout and having a female counterpart in Lucy Liu’s Watson was an opening twist that didn’t end up as ham-fisted as it began. By the end, it’s clear that a real partner in Watson, whether it’s a John or a Joan, is better than being a tag-along as the character’s often portrayed.
Big tech poses a much bigger problem than most people are willing to acknowledge. We see the possibilities but willfully ignore them for the sake of keeping our profiles active. Season 7 of Elementary is a warning to us all.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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