In another sign of the way that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has seeped into the pop consciousness of the US, it now appears that he is being used as the inspiration for TV show villains. Why is it obvious that the character was based on Musk you ask? Well, how many other people are simultaneously involved in autonomous driving technologies and rocket engine production?
And why a villain and not a hero, you ask? Well, Musk is rich, involved in cutting edge technology research and production, and he was born in a different country — things which largely establish him as a villain going by conventional pop standards.
Here’s a bit of the rundown of the episode of Elementary in question, via EW, to give you an idea of the depiction:
Outside of a nightclub named OBSESS NYC, a man and his bodyguard are gunned down in a drive-by shooting. As the killers flee, something happens to their car. Suddenly the driver can’t control it, and the car flies off the side of a bridge and lands on the pavement below, killing the murderers inside.
The man killed outside the nightclub turns out to be Maxim Zolotov, a Russian oligarch who was perhaps in town on business. The question is who would have wanted him dead. And as Sherlock notes, the bigger question is how do they find the “true” killer when he’s all but covered his tracks by murdering the assassins he hired.
…When Sherlock and Joan show up at Pentillion to question Fiona about her potential involvement in the murders, her boss, Phil, assures the detectives that Fiona couldn’t possibly have done it. That’s because she’s autistic, and it makes it nearly impossible for her to lie. She can’t even tell Sherlock that the sky is green when he asks her to.
But with Fiona cleared, who had access to her software? Phil informs them that a number of people could have been in possession of it, not only because it passed through so many hands at the office, but also because Pentillion was hacked a couple weeks back. For Phil’s money, though, he thinks the CEO of rival tech company Tetrabit could be the culprit. He says he remembers seeing some of her emails in a hack written in Russian, clearly connecting her to the murders.
…That leads to Joan and Sherlock questioning an ex-CIA arms dealer, but he also insists that he stood to benefit from the war ending and would therefore have no reason to kill Maxim. He says that if the detective are looking for who would benefit from the war continuing, it’d be best to look at the sanctions put on what Russia is allowed to export during the conflict.
Sherlock has an idea of who committed the crime once he gets a look at the list of sanctions imposed on Russia. He sees that certain rocket engines are banned from being exported by Russia, even though they supply most of the Western world, including NASA, with those parts. And guess who else is building rocket engines? Pentillion.
Thus, Sherlock enlists Fiona for a little sleuthing. He gets her to hack her boss’ car, driving Phil straight to Sherlock. Sherlock then tells him how Phil hired the assassins to take out Maxim so that the war could continue, giving Pentillion more time to get their rocket engine, which Phil had a significant financial stake in, to market.
Phil says Sherlock can’t prove it, but he assures him that he can because of the car-controlling app on his phone. When they get back to Fiona, she’ll be able to trace its use and see that he used it to cover his tracks with the assassins. That doesn’t even need to happen, though, as Phil begins to scramble and admits to the killing, not knowing that Fiona, the FBI, and the NYPD are recording the whole conversation in the car. Phil just handed them a nice, tidy confession.
Would Musk really be as stupid as the character in the show? Who just goes around incriminating themselves any chance they get?
Hmm… The plot lines of most TV shows make me really wonder about the intelligence of the people who can stand to watch them. But then maybe I’m just an asshole.