Sherlock and Joan investigate the murder of an undercover agent, and a romantic pairing comes into play
Credit: Michael Parmelee/CBS
S4 E12
  • TV Show
  • CBS

Elementary has been killing it with the cold opens lately. They’ve been fun, smart, and the perfect introductions to a string of episodes that have made this season rather compelling. Tonight’s cold open is no different. Sherlock is brought in to meet the head of the narcotics division. They need his help planning a heist that would see a “small army” raid the headquarters of a heavily armed and dangerous biker gang. Sherlock can hardly contain his excitement, and that allows the audience to get all giddy with him.

Sherlock will be planning the heist based on the information provided by an undercover officer, Ryan Dunning, who’s been working to snag gang leader Nick Farris for months. The goal is to infiltrate the headquarters and give someone time to copy files from Farris’ computer. Dunning says that’s where Farris keeps all of his information about the gang’s drug-dealing operation.

Meanwhile, Fiona, the Pentillion employee who helped Joan and Sherlock bring her boss down, asks to meet with Joan. Now that Pentillion is getting a new boss, Fiona is worried about her code being used to hurt people again. She asks Joan to do a background check on him and make sure that everything’s aboveboard.

So, after Sherlock begins planning his heist by buying up all the stock of Sparkle Poodle Play Houses and constructing a glittery pink replica of the gang’s headquarters, he heads to Staten Island for a meeting with Dunning. Dunning isn’t too happy to have someone else brought into the case, but he deals with Sherlock anyway, giving him more photos that he’d requested.

Just as Sherlock begins to finalize the raid, though, having moved all the apartment’s furniture onto the brownstone’s roof so that he could run a mock heist and time it, the plan falls apart. Dunning is found murdered, and the video from the camera he’d been wearing suggests that he went after Farris’ computer on his own.

WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

While examining the video, Sherlock notices that the shooter, who briefly reaches into the frame, has a mole on their right wrist. With Dunning murdered, the police have raided the compound and rounded up all the gang members. Thus, if the detectives can find the biker with the mole, presumably they can find who killed Dunning inside the headquarters.

The lead suspect is Farris, but once they capture him, they notice he doesn’t have a mole. He agrees to help the cops find the guy, though. He says that he’s just as pissed about the murder as anyone, as it brought the cops down on him and his operation.

While Sherlock is trying to figure out who could have wanted Dunning dead, Joan meets up with Fiona again. She assures her that her new boss is a stand-up guy and that she shouldn’t be worried about anything shady going on. She also gets a book from Fiona. It’s a book of cat-related poems by T.S. Eliot that Sherlock lent to her, and she’s hoping Joan can return it for her.

NEXT: Biker gang double cross

Back at the brownstone, Joan teases Sherlock about his affection for Fiona. She can tell that he’s into her, that he “like likes” her and encourages him to pursue a romantic relationship. Of course he scoffs at the idea. Later, when he tells Joan that things would be too complicated with her, that he might end up hurting her, Joan reprimands him for bailing before anything even gets started.

When the autopsy report for Dunning comes back, Sherlock notices something big: There’s a mole on his right wrist. That leads him to one conclusion: Dunning and an accomplice faked the shooting, and the accomplice later killed Dunning. Re-watching the video footage, Sherlock determines that the accomplice who was wearing the camera must be about 5′ 7″.

The motive for the murder becomes clear when Detective Hagan goes through Farris’ computer and finds that all of his foreign bank accounts were cleared shortly after the raid to the total of about $5 million. When Sherlock watches Hagan walk away, he suspects that she could be Dunning’s accomplice. She has a slight reliance on her right side and is the right height based on the video footage.

Joan pokes a few holes in the theory, though, saying that Dunning couldn’t have possibly got Hagan into the headquarters and then out with the laptop. So if she’s the lead suspect, how did the laptop end up in her hands? The answer comes when the detectives find a discarded rug, last seen in Farris’ office, in a landfill.

That rug is different from the rug in Farris’ office, as Sherlock points out in a creepy demonstration in Joan’s room. What he means is that he believes Dunning and Hagan staged the video offsite, that they built a replica room and filmed the video there in the hopes of getting the NYPD to raid the headquarters, which would get the computer into Hagan’s hands. The only problem? Hagan then double crosses Dunning and makes off with all of the money. When the detectives find an old warehouse owned by Hagan’s father, their suspicions are confirmed. They shot the video at that location, and then Hagan murdered Dunning for the money.

With the case solved, Sherlock seems ready to confront his personal issues; namely, his hesitancy to engage in any romance with Fiona. After Fiona stops by to give a gift to Joan, she tells Sherlock how she feels. She says that she had a nice time talking to him and that it’s hard for her to find anyone she can talk to. She says he can kiss her if he wants, but Sherlock is so flustered and scared that he fumbles the moment.

He redeems himself later, though, by going to Fiona’s apartment and admitting that, yes, he has feelings for her, as well. “I’m not typical,” she says, to which he quickly replies, “I abhor typical.” It’s a really adorable and heartwarming scene, with the episode ending as the two go out for coffee to see if there’s anything real between them.

Episode Recaps

  • TV Show
  • 4
  • CBS