There are a lot of twists and turns in this week’s Elementary, perhaps more so than usual. That’s partly because there’s a lot going on in this episode, including a double homicide, the ominous (as always) return of Morland Holmes, and the less ominous return of Eugene the Morgue Man. Still, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” manages to balance all the stories and give each a significant amount of time — even Eugene, who’s the subject of a quick pop-in from Joan, confirming that he’s doing pretty well and getting closer to coming back to the job.
After Joan checks in with Eugene at a bar where he’s performing stand-up comedy just for the hell of it, she heads to a bookstore to meet with Emile to get an update on Morland Holmes and his potentially shady behavior. Sure enough, he’s found a few things. He gives Joan some copies of Morland’s financials that show wire transfers to Russians within the justice system, including wardens, cops, and judges. It’s clear that Morland is looking for Krasnov, the man who escaped from prison only a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Sherlock is called to a double homicide. He sees a fairly typical case of a carjacker and driver shooting and killing one another, but knows there must be more to it than that because the whole things looks staged. The gun in the truck is still in the driver’s hand, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and as Marcus points out, the carjacker has a gun in his right hand despite his belt suggesting that he’s left-handed.
When Sherlock discovers a camera discarded in a dumpster nearby, he takes a look at the photos and finds out that the two men appeared to be staging a different murder before they were, you know, actually murdered. The man hunched over in the driver seat is Jared, a guy who owns a land development company. The “carjacker” is Butch, a war vet with a few petty crimes in his past. It looks like the two were staging a hit and then everything went wrong when a real hit happened. So, who wanted Jared dead?
Well, that’s a complicated question. Jared’s business partner Davis can’t think of anyone who would want Jared dead, even as the two were suing the government because of a fracking ban that diminished the value of a property they purchased. When the detectives question Jared’s wife though, she can immediately think of someone who would want him dead: Davis. She says that Davis was refusing to sell off a property that they owned and would threaten Jared whenever it came up.
Things get even more complicated when Sherlock and Marcus question Butch’s girlfriend Roxanne and find bloody shirts in the garbage. Well, they’re not exactly bloody because it’s all fake. In other words, Butch was trying to figure out what was going to look more realistic in the photos, which also means that someone hired Butch to kill Jared. So how did both of them end up dead, and who originally hired Butch?
NEXT: Foiled by soil, roots, and diamonds[pagebreak]
While searching Davis’ garage Sherlock starts to admire the man’s 1941 Indian Scout motorcycle. Of course, Sherlock is curious about where it’s been, and he finds a mile log in the garage as well. He finds that Davis in fact traveled 580 miles on the day of Jared and Butch’s death. Back at the Brownstone, he traces a soil sample and part of a specific dragonfly to somewhere near Lake Placid. Joan remembers that that’s where the devalued property is, so Joan and Sherlock head there to check it out.
After Joan treks through the whole property, offering up that she doesn’t find anything, including “no smoke monster” (I laughed), she comes back to find that Sherlock hasn’t moved at all! Instead, he’s noticed that the property is covered in old growth ginseng, which is extremely rare and sell for about $1,400 a pound. That would put the value of the property at around $20 million, far from the “worthless” tag Davis led everyone to believe.
So, the detectives bring Davis back in for questioning and he confesses to the whole thing… sort of. He admits that he was going to screw Jared out of his portion of the property, and he admits that he hired Butch to kill him once that didn’t happen; well, he really only admits to it once the detectives discover Davis and Butch played on the same school basketball team.
Still, he says he didn’t kill him, that he waited at a bus stop in order to pay Butch for the hit but that Butch never showed. Video cameras show that to be true, but they also show something else. Both locations have the same set of band posters, the type that Roxanne, Butch’s girlfriend, puts up around the city. So, they think Roxanne may have helped out with the whole thing, but it turns out she was even more unaware of the plans than the detectives think.
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As it turns out, it was Jared himself who wanted to disappear. He had purchased a condo in Tahiti and was planning on faking his death and leaving his whole life behind, and Butch was just helping him out. So, who then had the motive to kill them both? That’s an easy jump to make at this point: Jared’s wife killed them both after discovering her husband’s plan; finding the diamond that fell from her wedding ring at the crime scene, scattered in amongst the broken auto glass, is all the evidence they need.
The episode doesn’t end there though. After a creepy visit from Morland, where he more or less intimidates Joan, Emile ends up dead, along with four other victims, in a diner. Marcus is called to the scene and he treats it like any other homicide, but surely it won’t be long before Joan realizes what’s happened and has to come clean to Sherlock. The end of the season is about to get messy.