Inside an upscale New York home, a masked intruder empties the contents of the wall safe, then goes to the living room, where the husband and wife are bound and gagged, and executes both of them with a shot to the head.
The next morning, things are tense between Holmes and Watson. He is still furious at the fact that she has gone prying into his past history, while she urges that they need to trust each other in order to cement his recovery. After receiving a text on his phone, Holmes pretends to agree, admitting that he has been shutting Watson out, and excuses himself to the kitchen to retrieve his coffee cup, so they can drink a toast to their newfound spirit of cooperation. Watson is pleased... until she hears him go out the front door.
Sherlock meets Captain Gregson at the crime scene, which he describes as "a nightmare I thought I stopped having a long time ago." Right away, Holmes notices the striking similarities to the home invasion murders perpetrated by Wade Crewes in 1999; Gregson was the head of the NYPD task force that caught Crewes, and the success made his career. Gregson guesses that the murders are the work of a copycat, but Holmes has a different theory and goes to the wife's closet to confirm it. As with the three invasions in 1999, the latest killer took one expensive ladies' shoe as a keepsake. The M.O.s are not similar, they are identical. Holmes believes that Wade Crewes lied in 1999 when he said he worked alone; Holmes thinks he had an accomplice, who is now killing again.
At the precinct, Gregson briefs a newly-formed task force to deal with the murders. In private, Holmes proposes that he and Gregson interview Wade Crewes at Sing-Sing, but Gregson says that is not a lead: Crewes would implicate anyone in order to shave time off his own sentence.
Throughout this, Watson has continued calling Holmes on his cell phone, and he tries to put her off, only to hear her standing right behind him. Holmes tells her that their arrangement will work just fine if she stops trying to "reach" him and pry into his personal life. She does not agree, so Sherlock "welcomes" her to their new arrangement: he will keep to the letter of their agreement and check in with her every two hours, and submit to any drug tests she decides to administer, and otherwise, they will be total strangers to each other.
Bell comes in, announcing that the murdered couple, the Myroses, fired a contractor they had hired named Julian Walsh, who later sent anonymous threats to them by email. Walsh has prior convictions for weapons possession and sexual assault. Gregson smirks at Holmes, "That's a lead."
Gregson, Bell and Holmes, interview Walsh at his apartment. Walsh admits to sending the emails but denies that he followed through on them in any way. His alibi for the previous evening was that he was home, alone, watching TV.
Holmes pulls Gregson aside and whispers that Walsh is clearly hiding something; he has glanced at the floor three times since the interview started. Gregson proposes that they cut the interview short and return with a search warrant, but Holmes has a more direct approach. Asking to use the bathroom, he slips away and heads downstairs. Hearing muffled whimpering behind a heavy utility cabinet, Holmes looks closer and sees a padlocked door behind it. In horror, Holmes shoves the cabinet aside, creating a racket that draws Gregson, Bell and Walsh downstairs. Holmes grabs a heavy wrench and smashes the padlock, breaking down the door to reveal a young Russian woman, huddled on a threadbare mattress in her underwear and chained to the pipes by her wrist and ankle. Holmes softly tells her that they are police, and she is safe now. The woman collapses into Holmes's arms, sobbing, and Gregson furiously orders Walsh arrested on the spot.
Watson visits the Hendale rehab facility and meets with Holmes' therapist, who confirms that Sherlock was there for six months, and never revealed anything of his past history.
After speaking with the girl, Katya, Holmes explains to Gregson and Bell that she was brought to the U.S. to work as a prostitute, and her handlers sold her to Walsh a few weeks ago and that he has "visited" her almost every night since then, including the previous night. Gregson and Bell are disappointed: Katya could hardly have less of an incentive to lie on Walsh's behalf, yet she is giving him an alibi for the Myrose killings. Holmes respectfully suggests to Gregson that they need to re-examine the case files on the original murders in 1999, to confirm if there is a connection between the crimes, as Holmes believes.
At the police lab, Holmes compares the bullets from the Myrose murders with the photos of the bullets from the 1999 killings. They are a match, and Holmes says a computer analysis will confirm it. Holmes says there can now be no doubt: there is a link between the two series of murders, and the murder weapon that was used in 1999, which the police never recovered, is now being used again.
At the precinct, Gregson is surprised to see his old partner, Detective Terry D'Amico, in the hallway, asking for him. Holmes says that he called her there; since they worked the Crewes case together, she might have some important insight. Bell briefs the task force, saying they are looking for two possibilities: one, Wade Crewes has an accomplice in 1999, who has re-started the killing spree; or two, Wade Crewes worked alone in 1999 but has recruited an accomplice to commit the recent murders, in the hope of commuting his own sentence. Holmes proposes a third possibility: Crewes is innocent, and the real killer is starting up again. D'Amico says that is impossible, Crewes confessed to the killings. Gregson dispatches the task force on various errands, saying that he himself will be going to Sing Sing to interview Crewes.
Watson meets with Hendale's group therapist, who likewise says that Sherlock never opened up during group therapy sessions. It looks like Watson's trip to Hendale is a dead end, but then she notices the groundskeeper, Edison, applying warm smoke to a beehive in a tree. She approaches him, and he says most groundskeepers would poison the bees, but, "what can I say? I find them interesting." Watson shrewdly guesses that, alone of all of Hendale's staff, Sherlock took a liking to Edison.
At Sing Sing, Crewes says he isn't surprised to see Gregson there; he has read about the murders in the newspapers and believes its only a matter of time before his innocence is proven. Crewes is remarkably sanguine but confesses to being angered when Gregson asks him for the name of his accomplice. Crewes says they both know full well that he was framed, that the coffee mug bearing his fingerprints was planted at the third crime scene, and that his alibi witness - his mistress, Carla Figueroa - only refused to support his alibi to avoid trouble with her own husband. Gregson says he won't even dignify that with an answer.
At Hendale, Watson asks if Sherlock ever mentioned a woman named Irene. Edison says no, but as Watson is turning to leave, he admits that Sherlock had some old letters when he checked into Hendale, and Edison has been keeping them safe for him. He gives them to Watson.
Holmes and Gregson are parked in the driveway of Carla Figueroa's house. Gregson says it is a waste of time trying to figure out if Wade Crewes is telling the truth, and Holmes says that Gregson was noticeably uncomfortable when Crewes accused him of planting evidence. Holmes says he has the highest respect for Gregson, but those kinds of tells, on any other man, would indicate something to hide. A teenage boy knocks on the roof of their car and introduces himself as Carla Figueroa's son, Sean. Carla, however, died four years ago of leukemia. Gregson expresses his condolences and they leave.
Holmes asks why Gregson is so resistant to the idea that Crewes might be innocent. Gregson furiously tells Holmes that he, Gregson, investigated the case, Holmes didn't. Crewes put on a good show in Sing-Sing, but Gregson tells Holmes to watch the tapes of Crewes's interrogation in 1999: the man couldn't help gloating about what he'd done.
Holmes watches the tape at home, and notices a crucial detail: the coffee mug, that was found smashed in shards at the third crime scene, was originally handed to Crewes during his interrogation, by then-Detective Gregson.
The next morning, Holmes confronts Gregson in private and says that he takes absolutely no pleasure in pursuing this, but he knows about the coffee mug. His voice pure stone, Gregson says that every cop gets offered a few "perks" - some legal, some not - but Gregson has never taken a single one, much less planted evidence. Holmes asks him, then, to explain the coffee mug, and Gregson silently points Holmes to the door.
That evening, Holmes returns home, deeply troubled. Watson shows him the bundle of letters that Edison gave her. She admits that she was sorely tempted to read them, but did not, and Holmes may talk about it if and when he is ready. Holmes thanks her for retrieving the letters, before dropping them in the blender with Watson's smoothie and shredding them. She is incredulous, and he explains that it is simple: he didn't go back for them because he didn't want them, nor does he now. Watson throws up her hands in exasperation, and Holmes reminds her of his rule: he will talk about Irene if and when he feels like it, and not before. She suggests that, for the moment, she focused on helping him with the case.
Examining the old case files, Holmes turns up a promising lead: Victor Nardin, an early suspect in the 1999 murders, has been in prison for the past 12 years but was released three weeks earlier. If he was the real killer, this would explain why the killings stopped in 1999. From his tattoos, Holmes deduces that he is a fan of Chechen football, that there are only a handful of bars in New York that receive the satellite feed for the sport, and only three within walking distance of a long-term stay hotel. Holmes calls the hotel and tracks down Nardin through one of his known aliases.
On a street, Gregson meets in private with Terry D'Amico. Gregson has realized that she planted the mug at the third crime scene. Coolly, she says she always thought Gregson knew. Gregson says he thought it was convenient, but believed it was their good luck because they were both sure that Crewes was guilty. But the recent killings have shaken that certainty, and Gregson has started to wonder if Crewes really is innocent. Furiously, D'Amico says that if that were true - a big if, as far as she's concerned - then she could go to prison, and Gregson's career will be over. He says he doesn't care: if they put an innocent man in jail, he will not hide from that. "Fair warning, partner."
After ascertaining that Victor Nardin is not home, Holmes picks the lock to his hotel room and looks around. He notices several odd details about the room, including that a corner of the carpet has been lifted, but not from age. He pulls it up, and, beneath the floorboards, finds the gun that killed the Myroses. Gregson calls, saying there have been another three murders with exactly the same M.O.
Holmes examines the crime scene along with Gregson and Bell. The couple who owned the house was killed in exactly the same way, and the only difference is that there is a third victim, a houseguest who tried to run when he heard the gunshots. The intruder shot him in the back as he was trying to get away. Bell says they also found cigarette butts that match Victor Nardin's brand, on the ground outside the house, probably when he was scouting the location. In a resigned voice, Gregson says that, if the gun Holmes found in Nardin's room turns out to be the murder weapon, it will be an open-and-shut case. Holmes notices something odd and stands where the killer stood when he shot the third victim, covering one eye with his hand. Gregson steps in front of him and says, in a low voice, that if Wade Crewes is innocent, Gregson will not try to escape the blame. Holmes tells Gregson not to "fall on [his] sword just yet." Gregson is confused when he receives a call informing him that Nardin was picked up outside his hotel room. Holmes says, excellent - it should be that much easier to prove that Nardin is innocent. He walks out, leaving Gregson staring after him.
At the precinct, Holmes walks in on Bell as he is interrogating Nardin, and throws an orange into his right eye. Nardin starts to protest, and Holmes pulls Bell out, telling him the man is innocent.
In Gregson's office, Holmes explains that he noticed several clues in Nardin's hotel room that indicates Nardin is blind in his right eye: all of his belongings are out of alignment, the toiletries in the bathroom cabinet are all arranged on the left side, and on the ceiling over his bed are the marks of a racquetball being bounced - a common exercise used to improve depth perception. Nardin's perception is so poor that he spilled orange juice all over the floor while trying to pour it into a glass - the odds that he could hit a moving target with a pistol shot at twenty feet are virtually insurmountable.
Confused, Bell says they have evidence placing Nardin at the scene, and Holmes says both the murder weapon and the cigarettes were planted, and that Nardin is being framed, by the only person who has something to gain from someone else being implicated in the 1999 murders: Wade Crewes. By law, Crewes is allowed access to his own case files; he could have picked a suspect to the frame, then shared with his accomplice the details of the original crimes, plus the location of the murder weapon.
Gregson is even more confused, saying that Holmes has spent the last three days insisting that Wade Crewes is innocent. Holmes says, on the contrary, he has been insisting that there is a connection, and there is: Crewes recruited an accomplice to frame Nardin for Crewes's own crimes - but as to the identity of that accomplice, Holmes admits he has no idea. Gregson says no one wants Holmes to be right more than Gregson, but unless they identify the accomplice quickly, Nardin will be indicted, and Crewes will walk free.
At the brownstone, Holmes and Watson pour over Crewes' prison records, while watching the latest news coverage, as the media speculates that Crewes might be innocent. Watson confirms that, as far as his records show, Crewes has no family and has received no letters, telephone calls, or visitors while in prison. She wonders if the accomplice might be an old cellmate, and Holmes says no: Crewes has had only one cellmate, who is still incarcerated, and besides, "this is no casual acquaintance" - whoever the accomplice is, he has killed five people for Crewes's sake.
Crewes is interviewed on the news and says he will be exonerated soon, throwing in a quote from Oscar Wilde. Holmes remembers that when Gregson interviewed him earlier, Crewes threw in a quote from Leo Tolstoy. According to his records, Crewes was practically illiterate when he first went to prison, yet now he is not only reading, he is reading at an advanced level. Looking closer at these records, Holmes and Watson see that Crewes never took a class while he was in prison, but he did take a job in the prison library. Holmes also remembers that, a few years ago, Sing Sing's library was in danger of being shut down, but was kept open through a charity drive by a New York literacy association. Holmes realizes the connection.
At the association's office, Holmes and Bell confront Sean Figueroa, who works there (Holmes remembers seeing the logo on his t-shirt when he and Gregson met Sean). Holmes points out that, while Sean has his mother's Hispanic features, Sean's bright blue eyes came from his real father, Wade Crewes.
Holmes asks when Sean found out that Crewes was his father, and Sean admits that he went through his mother's belongings after her death, and found her secret diary. Holmes asks if that is what prompted Sean to volunteer for the literacy initiative at Sing Sing's library, so he could meet his real father? Holmes further asks, at what point did Crewes "seduce" Sean into killing five people, and framing Victor Nardin, to secure his father's release from prison?
Sean denies it, but Bell says they will be able to link him to the latest crime scene, and to Victor Nardin's hotel room. Holmes commends Sean for his extraordinary loyalty to his father, but invites him to consider how loyal that father will be to Sean - will Wade Crewes even hesitate, when the District Attorney offers to commute his sentence in exchange for ratting on Sean? Will Crewes visit Sean in prison, the same way Sean visited him?
At Sing Sing, Crewes is brought into an interview room to meet Holmes and Gregson. Crewes is confidently expecting a humble apology from Gregson, but instead, Gregson opens an evidence case and pulls out three plastic bags, containing three individual ladies' shoes, that Crewes took from the original crime scenes. His son Sean has already confessed to everything, including where Crewes hid his murder weapon and his trophies. Crewes acts confused, saying he doesn't have a son, and Gregson coolly informs him that, instead of being exonerated, Crewes is getting five additional counts of conspiracy to commit murder tacked onto his rap sheet.
Crewes explodes, screaming that Gregson framed him, and that is the only reason he is in prison. As the guards drag him out, still screaming that he is innocent, Gregson returns the shoes to the evidence case. "Satisfying?" Holmes inquires. "You have no idea," Gregson replies.
That evening, Holmes is sitting in an easy chair, staring into the fire. Behind him, Watson starts to head upstairs to bed. Just before she is out of earshot, Holmes says, "She died... we were quite close... I did not take her passing well." And with that, he bids Watson good night, that being all he is willing to say for now.
- Passenger - Feather On the Clyde plays at episode end.
- Holmes' ringtone is the music from the famous shower scene in Psycho (1960).
- Titled Ways and Means in German.
- Titled The Only Way Out in Russian.
|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|
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