This week’s Elementary, “The Cost Of Doing Business,” features one hell of a cold open. A man walks down the street in the financial district of New York City and puts earbuds in his ears. As “Little Green Apples” plays, the man encounters one, then two people running by him in a panic. As he rounds the corner, he sees bodies lying on the ground. He takes out his earbuds and hears gunshots.
From inside a building, a man is murdering people one by one. Once finished, he takes off his gloves and leaves everything behind. It’s a stunning, scary sequence that immediately injects this episode with a sense of urgency. The other thing that does that is the presence of Morland Holmes.
While paying off his debt to a few hackers, Sherlock is interrupted by his father, who’s come to the brownstone to give Sherlock some information about the sniper. He believes he knows who’s responsible for the killings. His theory? The killer is a man named Pierre Gagnier, a for-hire assassin whom Morland previously encountered in Mumbai.
While Sherlock is wary of the lead, Morland provides some hard evidence to back up his theory. He says the man has a pattern of not only killing victims, but also injuring others with leg wounds so as to hide his motives and skill. When Sherlock looks through the evidence, he sees that his father is right, and that pattern is too big a coincidence to ignore.
While combing through the list of victims, Sherlock and Morland, who’s managed to work his way into the investigation by telling his son about his connections, figure that Ethan Paris, an executive working on a negotiation for a hydro-electric dam in Peru, must have been the target. He’s the most high profile of the bunch, after all.
That leads Sherlock and Morland to question the people he worked for, and the head honchos there agree to hand over some documents after a little persuasion (a.k.a. a threat) from Morland. The evidence suggests that a Mr. Pruitt, a junior executive who was working with an opposing party on the deal, was part of the assassination plan, or at least reported to someone who could have hired a killer.
That theory is quickly debunked, though, as the spot where Ethan Paris was killed doesn’t make sense in terms of hiring a killer. It was hardly reliable for him to be in that specific spot that day, so why would someone post a killer there? That means Ethan must not have been the target of the hit.
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The only person to regularly visit that place is Frank Bova, a plumber who eats his lunch in that spot almost every day. But what could the motivation for murdering a plumber possibly be? Sherlock and Morland go to visit Frank’s widow, via Morland’s helicopter no less, and determine that while he did a lot of work on Wall Street, she can’t imagine him having any real enemies.
Still, when looking through Frank’s possessions, Sherlock notices a tracking program on his phone. He manages to find out where that program was first uploaded, leading him and Morland to a Turkish bath where Gagnier first started tracking Frank.
A little bribe from Morland leads to more information about Gagnier, including the location of his apartment. The NYPD sets up a raid on his place, but things don’t go as planned. A shootout ensues and in the chaos, Gagnier falls from the fire escape and dies, the mystery of why he killed Frank and who hired him still unsolved.
NEXT: The face behind the mask