TV REVIEW: Elementary “The Best Way Out is Always Through”
By Cindy Jackson
In this week’s opening scene, we see Joan as she discovers the Stanley Cup in the shower at the brownstone. (What? Where do you keep yours?) Sherlock explains he is trying to determine if it’s a fake, but decides it doesn’t need to be in the bathtub for him to do so.
This week’s case is introduced to us via two guys who have clearly stolen a wallet or two. They are about to target their next victim but when they go confront him, they see he had been stabbed in the chest. They call paramedics, but it was too late.
Wait, what is this? Detective Bell is on a date!!!! They just left a club and it’s about to get pretty interesting, but both he and his companion, Shauna Scott, are called in to work.
They see each other a short while later as they both show up at the murder scene (she is also a detective in another department). The victim is a New Jersey criminal court judge named Vaughn. It is determined the judge had sex the night he died. He was at a fund raiser at the Waldorf Astoria. They track down a woman, Miss Nichols, that left around the same time he did and has a room at the Waldorf.
She says they had been seeing each other since she was in law school and he was her professor. She states she did go to her room with him but when he left she went out for a drink with a friend named Andrea Schuster.
Bell pops his head in and says he found out that a woman named Nikki Moreno, whom Judge Vaughn had convicted for drug crimes, had escaped from prison two days earlier.
While investigating at the prison, Joan asks Bell about Detective Scott. She says next time he and a secret girlfriend show up at a crime scene together maybe they shouldn’t have matching hand stamps. (Insert adorable “oops” smile here. Thank you, Hill Harper.)
They find an inscription signed by someone named ‘Jeff’ in a poetry book in Nikki’s cell at the prison. There is no Jeff on her guest register, but an attorney named Jeff Harper gives seminars at the prison.
Joan asks Sherlock what he thinks about Detective Scott as he pours soup into Lord Stanley’s Cup (as one does when one has possession of a famous sports trophy). He states that he figured out that she works for internal affairs. Joan says that she has to warn Bell.
Deputy McCann, a guard at Moreno’s prison has been killed. Bell and Watson go to talk to Attorney Harper. He explains he liked Nikki, but he was trying to help her get out, legally. He said she never spoke ill of the judge, but she hated Deputy McCann and most of the guards were abusive. McCann assigned Nikki to dangerous work in computer recycling – an unsafe job with no safety precautions being taken.
Joan tells Bell about his girlfriend’s ‘other’ job and he confronts Shauna. She admits she does work for IA. They argue a bit and Bell walks out, saying she was not the person he thought he knew.
Joan speaks with Sherlock, who has used her toothbrush and the underwire of one of her bras trying to figure out how Nikki escaped. Joan seems completely unsurprised by the whole ‘invasion of personal space’ thing.
A visit to the prison reveals that Nikki hadn’t escaped at all. Someone killed her. McCann’s prints implicate him for Nikki’s murder, but he was on duty the night the judge was killed. He recently came into some money, so it’s possible someone paid him off.
McCann had previously worked for another company. Bell and Sherlock question someone at his previous employer, Mr. Franklin, who gives them access to McCann’s personnel file. He was let go for doing favors for a crime organization.
Sherlock wonders if maybe this was a political move to make the Governor look bad. Turns out his biggest competitor’s campaign manager is Andrea Schuster, the woman Miss Nichols claims to have had a drink with on the night of the murder.
They speak to Miss Nichols again and she states that they were going to turn over another prison to Reform Enterprises. Now they cannot because of the PR nightmare it would cause.
This leads our team back to the company for whom McCann used to work, and Mr. Franklin who is in charge of expansion. Getting another large account would mean millions to him.
Mr. Franklin: “I think I’d like you to leave now.”
Sherlock: “I would want us to leave, too.”
They proceed to tell him everything they know, and also that they had executed a search warrant for his home and found the murder weapon. He is arrested.
Holmes apologizes to Bell about Shauna Scott. He says he has a pattern of unintentionally guiding those around him into isolation; Joan, Captain Gregson, now him. He says Bell is more lonely than he is because at least he has Watson.
Then Sherlock tells Bell, “You deserve more.” (Note: JLM’s delivery of this line deserves ALL the awards.)
Bell: “She’s IA.”
Holmes: “The great love of my life is a homicidal maniac. No one’s perfect.” (Touché.)
He adds that if Detective Scott made Bell happy, maybe she’s worth another shot.
Bell tries to reconcile with Shauna and apologizes. She is going to IA full time because she wants everything out in the open. She tells Bell it will be a big adjustment and she will need some time, but he can call her when the dust settles if he still wants to.
Bell shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep. (I love these two together SO much!!) They sit and flip cards into the Stanley Cup – it’s the real one, by the way – and talk relationships. Sherlock even offers to set Bell up.
Bell responds, “Tonight, I’m pretty sure this is all I need.”