Elementary: Over a Barrel Recap

Synopsis of 05×13: One man will go to any length to get justice for his son, even if it means holding a diner full of people hostage in order to get Joan and Sherlock’s attention. 

Flashing back through various cases, the audience learned that just outside of our view was a gentleman approaching Sherlock and Joan to request their assistance in finding whoever assaulted his son and led to his death. Each and every time Sherlock turned him down indicating that the case was not worth his time and that there were bigger fish to fry. Once again he showed up in February of 2016 to try and convince them to take the case before the statute of limitations was up, but again they said no. 

Given Sherlock’s multiple refusals Jack, the gentleman in question, decide to take an entire diner hostage in order to get Sherlock and Joan’s attention. If they would not help him bring his son’s perceived killer to justice when he was nice about it then it was time to pull off the kid gloves and get angry. Sherlock agreed to see him and both he and Joan went into the diner. They were given a time frame and told if they were unable to solve the case by midnight then Jack would kill everyone in the diner. 

Joan was kept with the hostages while Sherlock left to work on the case. He and Bell chased a few leads after believing that Jack’s son had been sleeping with a married man which led to his beating and death. When that came up empty they went to check out a law firm in the area where Conner had been assaulted. Joan held her own in the diner and tried to make small talk, saying she did not believe Jack would kill everyone, pointing out he only had twelve rounds. He agreed, but said he would at least kill one individual – a retired NYPD officer who knew about his son’s case and did nothing. 

Still on the case, Sherlock came to the conclusion that Conner, Jack’s son, had been attacked while standing guard at a warehouse in order to leave the warehouse unguarded. Calling in a favor with the NSA he was able to get drone footage from that night and found what appeared to be a smuggling operation utilizing a number of large semi-trucks. They approached the gentleman who managed the fleet and he told them that he had let a gang, the Shoreline 99s, use his trucks because they threatened to kill him if he didn’t. After the big haul that night they dropped off the face of the earth. 

In need of finding anyone with ties to the Shoreline 99s, Sherlock took a sign that said “looking for bad guys” with pictures on it into a Nicaraguan gang’s territory with Bell trailing behind him. Gang members approached and took him to the leader of the group for a conversation. 

At the diner, Joan correctly observed that Jack was sick with untreated skin cancer. Even though she had a suggested doctor friend who might be able to help, Jack was reluctant. He told her it was easier for him to die than to be left behind, clearly still brokenhearted over the loss of his son. After all, no parent should have to live long enough to watch their children die. Clearly he wants to die. 

Sherlock and Bell spoke with the gang’s leader and asked if he knew what happened to the Shoreline 99s. They did not know. However, one of the current members of the gang used to run with the Shoreline 99s and told them that after the shipment was smuggled they were all gathered together and told it was over. He had not seen any of the other Shoreline 99s for over two years after he paid up his dues with Tyrell, the leader. With little information to go on Sherlock managed to locate an abandoned building across from where the 99s used to do business and claimed he heard the “sound of evidence being destroyed” in order to get into the warehouse. 

What they found was unexpected: barrels of maple syrup. Apparently the 99s had gotten into black market syrup. Sherlock taste tested the syrup in order to find what restaurant was buying it. That led them to the distributor who was a former Shoreline 99 member who explained that Tyrell was dead and that the deal with Conner had everything to do with an old friend of Tyrell’s who said he would take care of security. He told a story about how the friend was known by reputation for having beaten up a number of guys and a dog. 

With the clock ticking Sherlock finally figured it out and made the connection. Tyrell’s friend was none other than the trucking manager they had spoken with earlier. Unfortunately, Sherlock figured it out at 12:05am which meant he missed the deadline. They would not be able to prosecute because the statute of limitations was up. No justice would be served.

Gregson, on scene at the diner, told the SWAT team to back down. He refused to let them go in. Jack, on the inside, appeared to be ready to shoot the NYPD detective. Outside, the SWAT team had managed to find a view for the sniper and if Jack stepped into the right spot he would be dead. Gregson texted Joan and warned her about the line of fire and Joan got Jack out of the way which brought him pause. Her willingness to save his life finally got his attention after they had a heart-wrenching conversation about how what he was doing was no way to honor his son’s memory. The incident ended with Jack leaving peacefully. 

In the end neither Joan nor Sherlock could sleep though Sherlock found a way to “scale the unscalable peak of time” thanks to some help from Everyone. They brought in the trucking manager and got him on a technicality: because he was out of the country in Canada for 27 hours the clock for the statute of limitations had 27 hours tacked onto it. They were going to be able to get their guy after all, for the price of Sherlock’s shaved head in order to appease Everyone.