From the moment “Miss Taken” begins, it’s easy to tell that Elementary is about to deliver a stunning, fun episode. That’s because the episode begins not only with some workers finding the shredded body of a retired FBI agent in their wood chipper, but also the reveal that Watson’s father has apparently written a book based on the lives of his daughter and Sherlock. That’s the type of setup that Elementary usually has success with, and “Miss Taken” is no exception.
While sniffing through the bagged remains of FBI agent Robert Underhill — seriously, Sherlock is so gross — Sherlock picks up the scent of pepper spray. Coupling that with other evidence found, including a wrapped condom and some remains on a worksite chainsaw, he concludes that the wood chipper victim must have known his killer. That would explain the pepper spray and intimacy of the crime. Thus, the first person to question must be Underhill’s wife, Sheila.
Sherlock quickly rules out Sheila though, as she has an alibi for the night her husband was murdered. She says they’d been separated though, and that he was spending a ton of time with old cases of his, despite his retirement. She said that only a few nights before he’d said he was close to solving a case that had been bothering him for years. Sherlock thus believes that if he can figure out what case it was and who Underhill was investigating, perhaps he can find the killer.
Meanwhile, Joan confronts her father about the book that he wrote. She’s livid that he based a book on her and Sherlock, and she’s convinced that if Sherlock knew, he’d flip. She orders him to call his publisher and get the books recalled.
Back at the brownstone, Sherlock fills in Watson on all the details of the case. He’s sorted through some of Underhill’s old case files, solving three of them, and has eliminated a number of suspects. There is one mysterious case left though, one that wasn’t even on anyone’s radar in relation to Underhill. Years ago he investigated the case of a 10-year-old girl, Mina Davenport, who was kidnapped and then, 10 years later, escaped and was returned to her parents.
Sherlock believes that Underhill was getting close to figuring out who kidnapped Mina, and that he must have killed the FBI agent. Sherlock, Watson, and Captain Gregson head over to the Davenport’s house to question them. They speak very highly of how Underhill handled their daughter’s disappearance, but can’t think of anything shady happening recently. When the detectives ask to talk to Mina, her parents are hesitant, wanting to shelter her from all the bad memories. Still, they get a very brief word with her when she passes through the room.
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It’s after that moment when things start to get really interesting. Sherlock drops a bomb: that girl is not Mina Davenport. Gregson isn’t sure how that could be true, but both Sherlock and Watson present him with photo evidence that shows a difference in her ears. Still, Gregson isn’t totally convinced, and her parents are going to be hard to convince, too.
That doesn’t stop Sherlock from questioning Mina while her parents are talking to Gregson and Watson. Sherlock applauds her for her ability to lie so convincingly, but he doesn’t get far in his accusations before her parents storm into the interrogation room and take her home.
NEXT: Strange as it ever was