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TV REVIEW: A Deadly Surprise Awaits Joan in Elementary’s “Hemlock”

By on February 6, 2015

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. Image © CBS

By Cindy Jackson

Sherlock is bored and lonely since Kitty left, and this episode begins with him trying to cope with that. He doesn’t want to intrude on Joan’s independence, so he tries to talk shop with various random people (and inanimate objects), none of whom care one iota about crime-solving. Thank goodness his boredom is short-lived, as a woman, Jill Horovitz, shows up at his door. She wants to hire Sherlock because she suspects her husband Steven is having an affair. She hasn’t seen him in days and thinks he has left her.

The ‘not wanting to intrude on Joan’s independence’ thing apparently does not extend to her privacy as she meets with Sherlock and he tells her that her stride indicates she recently had sex, and also he notices that she is not happy Andrew is back in the states permanently.

He and Joan go to the law firm where Steven’s wife assumes he works, but when they arrive they are told he has not worked there for six months. Sherlock calls the number on the business card Jill gave him and a woman answers, stating that it is Steven’s office but he is not in at the moment. Sherlock tracks down where in the building this woman is, and questions the reason for her dishonesty. She tells them that Steven is paying her (in cash) to answer his line as if he is still working there. She says the only people that call are his wife and some “shady” people. Sherlock asks if she has been paid recently and she lets him see the envelope containing her latest remuneration. He deduces the city from which it was mailed via the postmark, and then licks a stain on the envelope (yes, you read that right) to determine Steven may be staying somewhere close to a Salvadoran restaurant. (Can Sherlock say “horchata” in every episode? It’s delightful.) He then hands the spit-laden envelope back to the girl and tells her she can resume her “life of tedium and petty deception.” (Um….thanks?)

Joan and Sherlock chat and she asks him if he has considered getting a roommate. His response: “At times you seem to understand me quite well and then you do something like ask me (that).” He also tells Joan that she and Kitty were not “people” which I’m pretty sure was his version of a compliment, as is telling Joan he’s sure she is strong enough to bludgeon a grown man to death with a fire extinguisher.

Pictured: Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in Elementary. Image © CBS

Pictured: Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu in Elementary. Image © CBS

They find Steven’s recently abandoned office. There are several phones hooked up, and a missing carpet, as well as broken glass, blood and brain matter. They meet with Bell and Gregson. Sherlock suggests he and Joan go back to the brownstone. She tells him she is having dinner with Andrew and that he should really consider a roommate. Then this happened:

Bell: I’m not moving in with you.

Sherlock: I didn’t ask you to.

This, of course, prompted me to immediately tweet the writers and beg for these two to become roomies, even for just one episode. Could you even imagine?

Sherlock figures out that Steven worked for, in essence, a super-shady collection agency. One of his employees came in and said Steven just closed up shop one day without explanation. This man also had possession of the list of debtors.

Steven had been to a town in Connecticut recently, and Sherlock discovers that one of the debtors, Owen Downey, has an address in that town. They go to visit the man, who has emphysema and could obviously not have killed Steven. Owen’s aunt said Steven originally came to the house to collect a debt but on a subsequent visit said the debt was forgiven and that he couldn’t do this line of work anymore.

Sherlock discovers there is a lot of land around Owen Downey’s home that is supposed to be turned into a ski resort. There is one problem, Owen’s home is in the middle of the land.

Our duo pays a visit to the board of this project and Sherlock quickly realizes that none of them, for all kinds of Sherlocky reasons, could have killed Steven. He takes their lawyer’s business card and quickly makes an (escorted) exit.

Someone from Stephen’s old law firm, Coleman Brown, represented the board building the resort. Sherlock believes that it was Coleman who killed Steven when he realized he had forgiven Owen’s debt, costing Coleman millions of dollars.

They pay Coleman a very brief visit at his office and Sherlock steals a painting of Coleman from the lobby. (Again, yes, you read that right.) Upon looking at the painting later on, Joan notices that in the portrait, as well as his photos online, Coleman is wearing horn rimmed glasses. When they met him in person earlier that day he had on a different, frameless pair.

Image © CBS

Image © CBS

During questioning of Coleman Brown, Joan explains that they think he killed Steven. He stands up and says that he’s calling his attorney, to which Gregson replies, “That’s a good idea, ’cause you’re gonna need one.” Even though he may not have a lot of lines in every episode, Aidan Quinn totally owns this character and it makes me smile.

Joan explains that they reinspected the fire extinguisher glass found at the crime scene and there were also pieces of eyeglass lenses mixed in. Sherlock says that when they put the pieces back together, they find a really clear fingerprint belonging to Coleman. Gregson places Coleman under arrest.

Earlier in the episode, Joan comes back from dinner with Andrew and his father, and punches Sherlock pretty hard in the arm for being right about her lack of feelings for Andrew. She knows she has to end it.

In the final scene, she meets him at a coffee shop. He takes a sip of her drink by mistake and Joan breaks the news. Andrew immediately begins to look like he’s choking and falls to the floor, likely dead. I’m pretty sure that officially qualifies the worst breakup in the history of ever.

There is so much of Sherlock being Sherlock in this episode…making deductions, invading boundaries, doling out flippant insults…Frankly, it makes me a bit giddy as these moments have been a little less frequent lately.

 Other notable points in tonight’s show:

  • Sherlock must have done something EPIC for Phil Simms at some point in his life.
  • Clyde the turtle is quite the artiste.
  • Sherlock is quite observant of Joan’s fashion sense.
  • Apparently, “There really is no version of meeting someone’s parents that doesn’t involve actually meeting their parents.”

Next week looks like a great episode. We follow up with what happened to Andrew’s poisoning, which was clearly intended for Joan. Also, it looks like Sherlock may be getting a flat mate after all. Well, if it can’t be Detective Bell, I guess this one will do nicely.

One Comment

  1. J.L.

    February 8, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Very much enjoying reading these recaps and getting another perspective on the episode. Sherlock and Bell as roommates — there’s a spinoff in the making. Think it might be called, “The Odd Couple.” Wondering what the writers tweeted back….

    Looking forward to next week and next week’s recap!

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