Joan Watson returns to The Brownstone in the evening and is surprised to see the foyer light is not working. Then a man in a ski mask appears behind her, demanding to know where Sherlock Holmes is or else he will kill her. Watson gropes in her purse for a can of mace, but the masked man holds it up in mockery. As he advances on her, she panics and runs into the living room, where she falls over a trip wire. Then the "intruder" says "That's pathetic" and removes his mask, revealing Sherlock.
Furious, Watson demands to know what kind of sick game Holmes is playing, and Holmes reminds her that she was held at gunpoint inside their home barely a week ago. His work is dangerous, yet she insists on following him virtually everywhere, so he decided to test her ability to defend herself. Since the results of the "test" have confirmed his doubts, he has already reached out to a handful of martial artists in the city, one or more of whom he hopes will agree to instruct Watson. She storms up to her room, even as Holmes tells her to expect more "tests" in the near future. After her door slams, he smiles and remarks to himself, "You have been warned."
Elsewhere, Detective Bell is driving home, leaving a phone message for Captain Gregson. A car pulls up behind him and honks insistently. Bell pulls into the right lane and waves for it to pass. When the car pulls alongside, the driver opens fire with a submachine gun, and Bell ducks, trying to avoid the gunfire. He is unable to avoid hitting a construction site, flipping his car.
In the evidence garage, Gregson, Holmes, and Watson examine the wreckage of Bell's car, while a bruised but otherwise unhurt Bell looks on. Gregson and Holmes both recognize the distinctive bullet traces of an MP5 submachine gun, probably modified after-market with a rifled barrel. From the pattern, Holmes guesses that the shooter either had lousy aim, or was deliberately missing Bell. He then goes on to "compliment" Bell for his excellent work as a policeman: based on Holmes's review of Bell's case files, he has put a plethora of dangerous criminals behind bars, meaning there is no shortage of people who want him dead. Watson wryly says they should try to narrow down who exactly was trying to "compliment" Bell before he or she tries again, and Bell tells them not to bother - he knows exactly who it was.
In Gregson's office, Bell shows them the file on Curtis Bradshaw, "aspiring drug kingpin and all-around scumbag." When Bell was still a uniformed officer, he was assigned to a special detail tasked with bringing Bradshaw down before his gang provoked a bloody war with the others in New York. Bradshaw, however, was much smarter than the average thug, and though he was suspected of crimes ranging from murder, torture, racketeering, and drug trafficking, the detail could never find evidence connecting him with anything. Eventually, the detective in charge of the detail, Mickey Hudson, became so frustrated that he stole heroin from the evidence room and planted it in Bradshaw's home. This failed to get Bradshaw off the streets, however, since an anonymous tipster called the police and informed on Hudson. The police tried a different gambit, arresting and convicting Bradshaw for possession of stolen property, getting him off the streets for a few crucial months. Bell went undercover as one of Bradshaw's gang, and managed to get enough evidence to convict most of his lieutenants, who weren't nearly as careful. By the time Bradshaw was released from prison, his empire was gone.
Watson points out that Bradshaw certainly has motive to want Bell dead, but asks how he can be so sure Bradshaw was the shooter. Bell shows them photos from the file of Bradshaw's prize auto, which Bell recognized as the car that followed him the previous night. Gregson says Bell can't be assigned to the investigation, but asks Holmes to consult, and Holmes agrees.
As they are leaving the office, Bell is hailed by Officer Paula Reyes, who expresses relief that he is okay. After she is gone, Holmes casually asks Bell how long he and Reyes were lovers, and Bell stiffly tells Holmes that Garces is "an old friend." To Watson, Holmes observes that Reyes is a boxer, and suggests that Watson ask for lessons.
Gregson, Holmes and Watson confront Curtis Bradshaw as he is "holding court" at a neighborhood basketball game. For a gangster, Bradshaw is remarkably smooth, claiming not to know what they are talking about, and that the car carrying Bell's shooter was stolen several nights ago. When Gregson asks Bradshaw to account for his whereabouts the night before, Bradshaw's two buddies speak up, both saying he was with them, at different places. Bradshaw grins, "you pick the alibi you like the best!" Holmes offers Bradshaw a bet: if Holmes sinks the basketball from where he is standing, Bradshaw will tell them the truth about where he was. Bradshaw and his cronies laugh as Holmes winds up his shot... then throws the basketball straight back and out of the park. "He wasn't going to tell us anything anyway" Holmes shrugs as he walks away, ignoring the protests of Bradshaw and his cronies.
Alone, Marcus Bell knocks on the door of the rundown apartment of his elder brother, Andre. Marcus has dropped by with some groceries and spare clothes, since Andre was just released from prison and is getting back on his feet. Andre is offended to see Marcus "casing" his apartment, looking around to see if Andre is getting into trouble again. Andre notices the bruises on Marcus's face, and Marcus reluctantly tells what he knows about the drive-by shooting. Andre offers to help, but Marcus says no.
At the Brownstone, Holmes and Watson are looking through the files on the former police detail's investigation of Curtis Bradshaw and his gang. Holmes remarks that Bell was putting it mildly when he said Bradshaw was much smarter than the average thug; Holmes says he can even sympathize with Mickey Hudson's frustration and his desire to plant evidence to convict Bradshaw. Watson asks whether Hudson could offer some insight into the case, and Holmes says he might, if he wasn't dead - Hudson was brought up on charges after being caught for planting evidence, and committed suicide shortly before the trial. Watson observes that it was uncharacteristic for Bradshaw to go after Bell himself - if he wanted the detective dead, why wouldn't he use one of his trusted lieutenants, as he did before? Holmes says it is no great mystery: "Nothing makes a smart man stupid like a thirst for vengeance - as you well know, I speak from experience."
Watson calls a break to order some takeout food. Once her back is turned, Holmes winds up and throws a tennis ball at her back. She wheels around, furious, and he shrugs, "Could have been a knife." He raises his fists, encouraging her to tap her anger and show him what she's got. Instead, she turns to his rack of locks, asking him how they are organized. Holmes proudly points out that they are arranged by country of origin. She tips over the rack, spilling the locks into a heap on the floor. "Do it again," she says, and walks out, leaving Holmes staring forlornly at his locks.
A woman looks out the door of her home and sees a man resting on her steps. She tells him he can't loiter there, and he doesn't respond. She says she's calling the police and ducks inside. What she can't see from where she is, is that the man is Curtis Bradshaw, lying dead against the wall.
Holmes examines the crime scene, while Officer Reyes and her partner look on in some confusion. Gregson rushes over and tells him the media is already running with a "killer cop" angle, guessing that someone from the Department retaliated for the attack on Bell. Holmes whispers that it is worse than that: he has found clues that it was Bell himself who shot Bradshaw.
Gregson and Holmes meet Bell at his apartment. Holmes shows Bell a picture of a boot print, worn by Bradshaw's killer. The print matches a pair owned by Bell, but Bell says that is not evidence. Bell reminds them that he was at home the night before, and his door was guarded by two uniformed officers in case Bradshaw tried for him again. Holmes says that is not an alibi, since he's already calculated seven different ways Bell could have slipped out unnoticed. Bell angrily asks if Holmes really thinks he would kill a man, even a scumbag like Bradshaw. Holmes says anyone can kill, under the right circumstances - but no, cold-blooded murder is not Bell's style.
After a tense pause, Holmes excuses himself to use the bathroom, and Gregson agrees the clue is not conclusive, but, in the absence of other suspects, Internal Affairs is sniffing around, and Gregson has no choice but to place Bell on administrative duties. He assures Bell that it is just a protective measure, to ensure that when the real killer is caught, Bell will be completely free of suspicion.
Watson has her regular therapy session with Dr. Reed, who is shocked to hear that Watson was held at gunpoint with Sherlock's former drug dealer. She finds it still harder to believe that Watson is insisting on staying with Sherlock, without pay, and maintaining the fiction that she is still his sober companion. Watson starts to explain that Sherlock is not indifferent to her safety, or else he wouldn't be pressuring her to learn self-defense. Dr. Reed has to question Holmes's motives: if Watson's safety was his sole concern, why isn't he telling her to move on and end their companionship?
When Watson returns home, Holmes has the stereo turned up full blast and she sees him firing a pistol into his practice dummy. She says if this is another test of her reflexes, he can time how many seconds it will take her to call the cops. He apologizes for the noise and turns down the stereo, explaining that he doesn't want the neighbors to hear his homemade ballistics test. She says ballistics test are a job for the police, and he says, not in this case.
Marcus meets Andre outside the pizzeria where he works. Andre wanted to tell Marcus that he reached out to some of his old gang friends, who may have a line on the shop that modified the gun used by Marcus's attacker. Marcus is furious, telling Andre that he is risking violating his parole by consorting with his old buddies, and Andre, equally furious, says he is just trying to help his little brother, who has someone trying to kill him! Marcus insists that he doesn't need Andre's help, and walks away.
Receiving a message from Holmes, Bell comes to the Brownstone. Watson shares Holmes's theory that someone is trying to frame Bell for Bradshaw's murder. The boots were only the first part of the plan; the second was the pistol that Holmes found hidden in the vent of Bell's bathroom. Bell, stunned, says he has never seen the gun before, and Holmes believes him - however, Holmes's homemade ballistics test has just confirmed that the pistol was the same one used to kill Bradshaw.
Holmes hands over the gun to the police, where lab tests quickly confirm Holmes's findings. However, Holmes tells Gregson a small lie, claiming that he found the gun in a dumpster near the crime scene. Gregson says that, since there were no fingerprints on the gun, Bell is still technically a suspect.
Leaving Gregson's office, Holmes sees that Bell is uncomfortable with lying to Gregson, and Holmes tells him it is the best thing under the circumstances. If Gregson knew the truth, he'd have no choice but to inform Internal Affairs, which would only impede their search for the real killer. Holmes is already quite satisfied that Bell didn't kill Curtis Bradshaw - because, moral considerations aside, only a complete idiot would have stashed the gun inside his own apartment after using it - but they could hardly expect Internal Affairs to take Holmes's word for it.
Bell asks what their next move is, and Holmes asks for the key to Bell's apartment, so Holmes can take another look around. While Bell is removing it from his key ring, Holmes asks if anyone else has one of those keys, since whoever planted the gun didn't force their way in. Bell says no, and tells Holmes he will continue to try and think of potential suspects.
Marcus calls Andre to the station and confronts him in the conference room. Bell recalls that the clothes he gave to Andre included a pair of boots, and asks if Andre killed Bradshaw, in a misguided attempt to protect his brother. Andre is outraged at the suggestion. Marcus says he is just checking out potential leads, and Andre says the fact that Marcus called him to the station shows that Marcus already believes Andre is guilty. As Andre storms out, Marcus tries to stop him, and Andre decks him with a punch.
Holmes and Watson examine Bell's apartment for four hours, but find no clues to his framer's identity. Holmes says that the fact that Watson is still refusing to learn self-defense skills is adding to his frustration, and she expostulates that, as fascinating as she finds his work, she is not an apprentice detective, she is just his sober companion.
"No, you are not!" Holmes shoots back. He reveals that when he telephoned his father the week before, he learned that Watson lied to him when she said the elder Holmes had extended her contract. Caught in her lie, Watson doesn't know what to say, and Holmes assures her he is not angry, he is grateful. At first, he assumed that Watson was staying out of concern for him, having seen how the events of "M." put him in a raw state. Holmes went out of his way to show her that he was recovered and stable, so she could move on without any fears for his sobriety. But as time went on, he realized she was staying not for him, but for herself.
Sherlock makes her an offer: he asks her to stay on permanently, as his assistant and apprentice; he has savings set aside, from which he can pay her a stipend equal to the salary she was receiving from his father. She may reside with him, or elsewhere, as she chooses.
Watson is silent, and Sherlock urges her not to say no yet, but to discuss her decision with others, and when she does, to explain that her help has been invaluable to him, and that he believes she has the potential to be a true partner in his investigations. Holmes turns to leave, but then turns back and, embarrassed, hastens to assure her that his offer is not an act of charity, or gratitude. If Watson can no longer deny her fascination with his work, nor can he deny that her companionship makes him a better detective - even if he himself cannot explain why. "Perhaps in time I'll solve that as well."
Marcus knocks on the door of Andre's apartment, wanting to apologize for his earlier words. There is no answer, even though Marcus can hear the TV on. Finding the door ajar, Marcus pokes his head in, and sees Andre lying on the floor, shot twice in the back. Marcus rushes to his brother's side, finds a weak pulse and calls for an ambulance. He starts to pull Andre to him to treat the wounds, but is taken aback by the floor, on which Andre has used his own blood to write, "WAS NOT MARCUS".
Holmes stares contemplatively at the message while the police go over Andre's apartment. Holmes remarks on how effectively Detective Bell purged any trace of Andre from his daily life: Holmes and Watson were in Bell's apartment for four hours, yet even Holmes could see nothing that indicated he had a brother.
Watson asks why Holmes has been staring at Andre's message for over five minutes. Holmes reflects on the admirable loyalty of Andre's actions: bleeding to death, losing consciousness, he still managed to guess that he had been shot in a further attempt to implicate his brother, and tried to thwart it. Watson is skeptical: Andre is an ex-convict, with a lengthy history of gang affiliations and crimes, so who knows what kind of trouble he got into? Holmes retorts that Andre himself knew he wasn't in any trouble at all - or else he would not have used "what may have been his last breath" to clear his brother's name. Holmes motions Watson to the window where the shooter exited, pointing out another matching boot print.
Watson asks whether it is time to tell Gregson about the frame-up, and Holmes says he wants to consult with Bell first. Whoever is trying to frame Bell was stymied when Holmes removed the gun from Bell's apartment, and tried again by going after Andre. Holmes doesn't want to set another such event in motion without Bell's approval.
Holmes, Watson and Marcus are waiting in the hospital outside the operating room. Marcus agrees that it is time to tell Gregson the truth, then gets up and starts to pace, saying Andre's surgery was supposed to be finished twenty minutes ago. Watson assures him that the extra wait is a good sign, and Marcus saved his brother's life.
Marcus says if anyone could survive two bullets in the back, it is Andre, and ruefully adds that it is about time being such a "stubborn bastard" started working in his favor. Marcus confides that, three years ago, Marcus "cashed in a big favor" to get Andre an early parole hearing, and all he had to do was identify his gang's drug connection - a fairly modest concession, since the police already knew who the man was and had arrested him. But Andre, who "has his code," refused to say a word, and served his full prison sentence.
Watson realizes that Marcus was the "anonymous" tipster who informed on Mickey Hudson for planting evidence: Watson remembered from Andre's legal file that the date of his first parole hearing occurred one month after Hudson was arrested. She points out that Marcus is a "straight shooter" in every aspect of his life, from the organization of his sock drawer to his frustration with his brother's stubbornness.
Bell admits that he blew the whistle on Mickey Hudson, but insists that he didn't do it to earn the favor, he did it because it was the right thing. Holmes, exasperated, says they have been wasting their time looking at the wrong pool of suspects: any former member of the Curtis Bradshaw detail would have both the skills and the motive to frame Bell. Confused, Bell says no one knew he was the tipster. Even more exasperated, Holmes suggests, "perhaps they found out!"
In the precinct conference room, Officer Reyes is called in to meet with Gregson, Holmes and Watson. She asks what this is about, and Gregson explains that they have been looking for a killer who fits a certain profile: a cop, a former member of the Bradshaw detail, and someone who had a key to Marcus Bell's apartment. Only she fits all those particulars, and Gregson also notes from her file that Internal Affairs suspected her of being the officer who helped Mickey Hudson steal the heroin that he later planted from the evidence room, even though they could never prove it.
Reyes gets up and starts to leave, telling Gregson to address any further questions to her union representative, but Gregson tells her there is one more damning particular: Reyes was part of another detail that arrested a notorious gun dealer, whose arsenal mysteriously disappeared. The police reconstructed several pieces of that arsenal from the dealer's past crimes, which included a rifled MP5 submachine, gun, a Beretta automatic of the same model that killed Curtis Bradshaw, and a .22 caliber pistol, the same caliber used to shoot Andre Bell. Gregson says they have obtained a search warrant for her home, and expect to find the remaining weapons.
Reyes slowly sits back down. Bitterly she says it shouldn't surprise her that Bell isn't there to confront her face-to-face. "That's not his style," she says.
In Andre's hospital room, Marcus and Andre watch the news report on Reyes's arrest. Marcus guesses that, even if she pleads guilty, Reyes will be imprisoned for life. Andre jokes that the worst thing any of his ex-girlfriends did to him was cut the spokes on his bike back in seventh grade. The two brothers share a laugh, even though laughing is painful for Andre. After an uncomfortable silence, Marcus starts to apologize for everything he said and did, but Andre tells him not to worry, he is already forgiven.
After another pause, Marcus asks Andre about the message he wrote on the floor. Andre shrugs and says (much as Holmes deduced) that he knew from Marcus that someone was trying to frame him, so Andre guessed that whoever it was had tried again. Marcus says it still doesn't make sense: Andre was shot from behind, the day after a fight with his brother, and could not have known for sure that it wasn't Marcus. Andre says simply that he did know: he knows his brother, and knows that Marcus could never shoot any man in the back. "And you got to look out for family, even when they disappoint you."
At the Brownstone, Holmes is rearranging his locks, this time by manufacturer and year of production. Watson tells Holmes that she has decided to accept his offer, with a few extra conditions: she will reside in the Brownstone, rent free, until she finds another apartment, and Holmes will continue to attend group support meetings as long as they are together. Holmes starts to congratulate her on her new career, but Watson has one final condition. Holmes asks what, and she slams a basketball into his face, crimping his nose. "Could have been a knife," she shrugs.
- Losers - No Man Is an Island plays when Holmes does a ballistic test by shooting into his practice dummy "Bob".
- Dr. Dog - Exit for Sale (Losers Theme) plays at episode end.
- Watson tells Holmes that she prefers to be paid on Thursdays. Elementary aired on Thursdays in Season One.
- Holmes jokes that the NYPD "Caponed" Curtis Bradshaw, a reference to the fact that notorious gangster Al Capone was convicted and imprisoned for income tax evasion (a non-violent crime).
- Several references are made to the events of "M." and "A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs".
|Elementary Season One Episodes|
|Pilot • While You Were Sleeping • Child Predator • The Rat Race • Lesser Evils • Flight Risk • One Way to Get Off • The Long Fuse • You Do It to Yourself • The Leviathan • Dirty Laundry • M. • The Red Team • The Deductionist • A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs • Details • Possibility Two • Déjà Vu All Over Again • Snow Angels • Dead Man's Switch • A Landmark Story • Risk Management • The Woman • Heroine|
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five • Season Six • Season Seven|