Elementary recap: Up to Heaven and Down to Hell
While Joan helps Gregson navigate his love life, Sherlock investigates the case of a fallen woman
This week’s Elementary starts with Joan and Sherlock staring at meth-infused steak, just in case you were wondering what these two love to do in their downtime. Sherlock can’t help but run experiments to get deeper into old cases, but really the whole thing is a narrative excuse to get Joan to run into Gregson at a local restaurant. When she goes to get food for her and Sherlock, she stumbles upon Gregson while he’s on a date with a woman named Paige. Strangely, he introduces Joan as a doctor that he knows, but Joan manages to play along.
Meanwhile, a parking dispute in another part of the city quickly takes a deadly turn, but not in the way you’d expect. After stealing someone’s parking spot, a guy gets out of his car and heads over to a sidewalk pay station while the man who was going to park in that spot angrily walks back to his car. Then, in the background, a woman falls from the top of the building and lands on the man paying for parking, killing both of them.
The autopsy reveals that Roslyn, the woman who fell from her balcony, was suffering from arthritis and had reportedly been exhibiting signs of dementia as well. It’s a strange diagnosis considering that there’s an ottoman on her balcony that seems to be placed there for her to jump, suggesting suicide. Sherlock posits that there’s no way she could have moved the ottoman on her own, which means that maybe somebody threw her off the roof.
Back at the station, Joan and Gregson have a chat about what transpired the night before. It turns out that Paige was once part of a group of cops who took some money from a crime scene, and while she was never charged, she was forced to resign from the force. Thus, she’s protective of Gregson’s career, worried that being seen with her could ruin his reputation. So, Gregson lied in the moment, but when he later told Paige the truth about Joan being a cop, Paige broke up with him.
Sherlock, meanwhile, searches Roslyn’s apartment and finds quite a few pieces of evidence. He finds blood on the bottom of the ottoman and realizes that it was recently moved while Marcus notices that the arthritis pills in the bottle aren’t actually for arthritis. Back at the lab, the pills are identified as clonazepam, a very strong drug used to treat seizures and psychic disorders.
That means someone switched her pills and that the clonazepam could account for the signs of dementia. So was someone working to cover up Roslyn’s murder? It seems likely, and the most obvious suspect is her son, Alan, a physician who lives in the city. He comes into the station and admits that he switched her pills but says he didn’t kill her.
So why switch her pills? Well, he says that his mother, only a few weeks prior, changed her will and wrote all three children out of it, instead leaving her substantial wealth — she owned the building from which she fell — to her dog. Thus, Alan wanted to show that his mother was mentally unstable at the time of writing the will, forcing the courts to acknowledge the old will.
NEXT: Designer shoe clues
After questioning the lawyer handling Roslyn’s will leads the detectives nowhere, Sherlock takes residence in one of his father’s investment properties in order to enter the mind of a real estate mogul and see if he can come up with any ideas for a motive. That leads him to William Hull, a builder they’d investigated in the past. See, he was in the process of building a huge skyscraper next to Roslyn’s building, and he needed to buy the airspace from her. Now that she’s dead, the airspace will surely be tied up in legal battles, meaning his project is essentially dead. So who would have wanted it stopped?
The obvious answer is the Save the West Side project, and its leader, Derek O’Neal, who was openly against the development. There’s only one problem, which Sherlock and Joan find out rather quickly: Derek was murdered a few days before Roslyn was, stabbed in the Save the West Side offices.
Sherlock looks over the crime scene photos and sees that a footprint was left by an expensive, designer Italian shoe. Furthermore, he finds that O’Neal had obtained an environmental study that the building company, Basquet, had undertaken. That type of study remains internal, so someone may have leaked it to O’Neal, meaning that the murders are likely connected.
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Eventually, things snap into place for Sherlock when a new building plan is put into place. The solution: make the building smaller, which means Hull won’t need to purchase any airspace rights. So the question becomes not who would want the project stopped, but who would want the building to be shortened?
The answer: Basquet, the architect and designer. The environmental study showed that he had made flawed calculations, that his ambitious design wouldn’t hold up in the wind, and he kept it a secret from Hull out of fear of losing the project altogether. Thus, rather than completely abandoning a project that would turn him into a hot commodity, he found a way to have the building shortened without tarnishing his reputation. That is if he didn’t get caught for murder, of course.
With a murder (or three) solved, why not get back to Joan and Gregson? Elementary has really been enjoying ending on melodramatic notes lately. When it’s revealed that Paige actually broke up with Gregson because she has MS and wants to save him from committing to a life of looking after her, he calls on Joan to talk things out. On the one hand, he loves her and wants to make it work, but on the other, he’s scared.
Joan doesn’t mince words, saying that it’ll be hard on both of them and that Paige will need a lot of help in the future. But, as Joan says, he won’t have to do it alone. He’ll have his friends by his side for support. It’s enough to get his chin up, and Gregson walks over to the bookstore where Paige works to, presumably, patch things up. Perhaps there are romances on the horizon for both Sherlock and Gregson this season.