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TV REVIEW: Elementary “T-Bone and the Ice Man”

By on March 13, 2015

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. Image © CBS

By Cindy Jackson

At the beginning of this week’s Elementary episode, “T-Bone and the Ice Man,” Sherlock and Joan get called to a crime scene. It seems at first to be a simple case of road rage, until it is revealed that the victim, Allie Newmeyer, was mummified by refrigerant. The cause of her death was a pipe to the side of the head.

They search the vendors and buyers of the brand of this unusual brand of refrigerant, called R-22. It leads our duo to an ice rink where some of the refrigerant was stolen. The facilities manager shows them the closet from where it was taken. Sherlock realizes that, since the manager has the only key, he faked the break-in and took the R-22 himself, so he could sell it. The manager’s assistant reveals that she saw a white van parked outside on the morning of the break-in, matching the description of the vehicle involved in the auto accident and murder. The manager admits what he has done and tells them the address where he was originally supposed to deliver the canisters, before plans changed.

They arrive at the address, an old industrial building with a white van parked outside. Sherlock, having zero chill when it comes to patience, does not want to wait for Joan to call Captain Gregson for a warrant.

“It’s twelve degrees. How long would you wait here listening to the unattended infant crying inside?”

“There’s no baby in there.”

“Now I hear TWO infants.”

“There’s no rush. Nobody’s here. There’s no reason not to do this right.”

“You would blindly dismiss the risk of acute hypothermia.”

Joan walks away to get better reception on her cell, and Sherlock breaks in. (Of course he does.) He walks around a bit and discovers a meat locker lined with bodies in plastic bags.

We next see Detective Bell, Holmes and Watson interrogating the owner of a life-extension firm which preserves bodies in stasis until a later date when technology allows them to be revived. They apparently overbooked their cryogenic chambers, so they put the extras in the meat locker. (Totes logical.)

Sherlock accuses the owner of Allie’s murder. He says that two nights ago the van was stolen. They go to his office to speak with the chief engineer, who explains that the body of someone named Jim Sullivan was also stolen.

Back at Police HQ, Joan proposes that maybe the van really was stolen, as  Sherlock points out the fairly low resale value of “corpsicles.” Dear God, seriously, writers? *blows kisses*

Holmes states that if they found Jim’s killer, they would likely also find Allie’s.  They interview Vance Ford, a patient of Sullivan’s, who found the body.  He describes the man he saw leaving the scene.  All of the accounts of the thief are very similar. Not just in their descriptions, but in specific language usage as well. This raises Sherlock’s suspicions that they may be lying.

Vance turns up dead shortly thereafter. The autopsy reveals he had leukemia which would have killed him in about a month.

Holmes and Watson deduce that Vance killed Sullivan because he was a bone marrow match. They speak to one of the other men who ID’d the thief, showing him a photo of a man who matches the detailed description they gave. He says that is definitely the man, before Joan reveals that the person in the photo was in fact an actor who had been dead for years. He then confesses everything.

This would not have been one of my favorite episodes had it not been for a beautiful secondary plot line. Joan’s mother tells her that her brother is having an affair, and that she saw him kissing another woman. This turns out not to be true, so Joan has to deal with the strong possibility that her mother is exhibiting early signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Sherlock is so supportive and encouraging during the whole thing.  There was actually quite a bit of time spent on this story and it really saved the episode for me, especially the moment where Joan was leaving to meet her mother for lunch and Sherlock refers to her mom as a small vegetarian.

See you next week!

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