S02E15-Watson Holmes Gregson severed ballerina

"Corpse de Ballet"
◀️ Dead Clade Walking Elementary intertitle The One Percent Solution ▶️  Transcript Script icon

Season: Two — Episode: 15
Director: Jean de Segonzac — Writer: Liz Friedman — Aired: February 6, 2014 — Viewers (millions): 9.45
Summary: Holmes' latest investigation takes him inside a professional dance company when an up-and-coming ballerina is murdered. Meanwhile, Watson embarks on a solo enquiry to find a homeless veteran when his friend alleges he was abducted.


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I don't think I've ever seen you treat a suspect so politely.
— Watson to Holmes

Holmes has sex with Tatiana, who is a pastor. And apparently, he's been getting a lot lately as noted by Watson. He reminds her he views it as an exercise.

A ballerina is seen getting ready for rehearsal. The ballerinas rehearse on stage and suddenly there's a noise and they turn and see a dead body has descended from the rafters.

Holmes, Watson and Captain Gregson arrive. The body was a ballerina. The killer messed with the surveillance cameras and they get nothing. Turns out the dead woman, Nell, who was cut in half, was meant to dance the lead but didn't connect with the role and so the ballerina we saw earlier took the part. They deduce the throat-slitting killed her and the body being cut in half was merely for drama. Detective Bell arrives, off desk duty and back on the job. They notice markings on the box-cutter that was the murder weapon had a flower on it. This noted artwork leads them back to the lead ballerina, Iris Lanzer who owned the box-cutter which was personalized and used to trim her soles. She thought someone took it as a souvenir.

Iris' alibi is she was home and her housekeepers can vouch for her. She points at Nell's angry ex-boyfriend as the perp.

Watson gets a call from the homeless charity she works for and learns one of its clients went off his meds and is in the hospital. The cops tell her he was looking for someone named "Freebo." His name is Morris and he says his friend was abducted. She promises to do her best to find him.

Bell and Sherlock go talk to the ex-boyfriend who is a dancer both in ballet and at a Chippendales-type club. He says the break-up with Nell was bad and that she was cheating and points the finger at the new boyfriend. He has an alibi, he was dancing.

The ballerina's alibi is no good though, her housekeeper wasn't home but she still says she's innocent during interrogation. She says Nell wasn't seeing anyone that she knew of and the ex-boytoy is deflecting suspicion. She has plans to go to Montreal and Gregson doesn't want her to go. She says she's going. She then threatens to sue. So they arrest her. Sherlock tells Gregson he has doubts about Iris's guilt.

Joan and Bell work on finding Freebo, who is real, and is missing. Se asks him to put out the call to hospitals and radio cars.

The next day Sherlock is enjoying himself with a lady friend again. And it turns out to be Iris. Watson can't believe he's sleeping with a suspect on their murder case. He says Iris hit on him. He says he mainly had sex with her to advance their case. He noticed she has a rotator cuff injury that would make it impossible to have raised Nell's body to the rafters. Sherlock is meeting with her lawyer to go through her files. Joan's off to find Freebo who was recently seen.

Her lawyer says he reps her not only because she's a great artist but he admires her single-mindedness. Sherlock wants to take the files but the lawyer won't let him but tells him to take all the time he needs.

Joan goes to see the person Freebo was seen arguing with and it turns out it's his sister who says he's been on the street since returning from serving in Afghanistan and returning with PTSD and developing a drug problem. She's tried to look after him and take him in but he resisted and hence the fight the neighbors saw. Joan reassures her if something has happened to him it's not her fault.

She meets with Sherlock who says there are no viable suspects in Iris's stalker files. They do go visit the paparazzo that Iris pushed and destroyed his camera. She took a restraining order against him because she thought he was following her. He says she ruined his career. They ask for his alibi for Nell's murder. He was out stalking celebs. He asks them to leave when they start asking how he knows about her whereabouts.

They head back to the precinct where Bell has a voicemail from Iris to Nell that came from a reporter. In the message, Iris is chastising Nell for acting immature in the wake of an affair that she and Iris had.

In her lawyer's office she admits to the affair but insists she didn't kill her. She admits her interest in Nell was practical, she seduced her so she could ask her to step aside from the role and she did. But then Nell ran into another old flame her told her that Iris did the same thing to her. Problem was that Iris actually developed feelings for Nell and was sad. She says the day after she left the angry voicemail she apologized to Nell but she deleted it in front of her. They wonder how the reporter got it. Sherlock asks to look at her phone and says unusual heat is evidence of spyware. The paparazzo put the spyware on the phone but says he didn't leak voicemail to the press or kill Nell. He says he has an alibi, he was setting up video to catch the two women on camera in flagrante delicto. It checks out. Sherlock still thinks she's being framed.

Joan is planning to visit the homeless man who his now on his meds and can give her more info on his missing his friend. Sherlock asks why Joan is doing this. She says her biological father is schizophrenic and homeless. He and her mother divorced shortly after her birth and her mother remarried. Her father was in and out of institutions but is on the streets. She volunteers at homeless shelters and sees him from time to time, and he sometimes recognizes her. She has let go of the idea that she can help him. She say him last two years ago. She heads off to the shelter.

Meanwhile, Sherlock has scrubbed the audio of the voicemail message and deduces it was a second hand recording. He's trying to figure out the ambient noise. He figures out that it was Iris's lawyer. Turns out that Nell was also using him as her lawyer. Sherlock accuses him of killing Nell, framing Iris, because it would be a media sensation, which would be good for him. Iris is now not reachable and the lawyer has her somewhere "safe." Sherlock says the lawyer set the case too high against Iris and he can't win this thing he's put in motion. The lawyer says he can guarantee Iris isn't going to jail.

Joan goes to see the homeless man who now explains he saw Freebo shoved into a van by a man. Joan looks through Freebo's bag and finds photos. The homeless man points out his sister, which, confusingly, is not the woman that Joan met.

Joan goes to her house with the cops, the woman has been cashing Freebo's veteran checks, she's got him locked in the basement, because she and her husband are horrible people. There were two other men, the couple was also cashing their benefit checks. Sherlock commends her on her work. As they chat he has a lightbulb moment.

He, Gregson, and Bell go to arrest the lawyer since they found the hard drive from the theatre's surveillance cameras in his safe. They arrest him.



  • The title is a reference to Corps de Ballet, which is the group of non-soloist dancers in the background. This gives the hint that the criminal of this episode works in the background, behind the diva (i.e. Iris's lawyer).


Elementary Season Two Episodes
Step NineSolve for XWe Are EveryonePoison PenAncient HistoryAn Unnatural ArrangementThe MarchionessBlood Is ThickerOn the LineTremorsInternal AuditThe Diabolical KindAll in the FamilyDead Clade WalkingCorpse de BalletThe One Percent SolutionEars to YouThe Hound of the Cancer CellsThe Many Mouths of Aaron ColvilleNo Lack of VoidThe Man With the Twisted LipPaint It BlackArt in the BloodThe Grand Experiment


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