To Sherlock Holmes, a blizzard is simply a factor in making a case more interesting.
With a storm on its way, Sherlock and Joan take in an old friend and consultant of Sherlock’s named Ms. Hudson. In Elementary, the canon character of Holmes and Watson’s landlady takes on the form self-taught expert in ancient Greek, and muse to rich and powerful men. Played by the lovely Candis Cayne, Ms. Hudson has been thrown out by her most recent lover, Davis, and is welcomed to stay by Sherlock while she figures out what to do next. Joan barely has time to get acquainted before she and Sherlock are summoned for a case.
The murder of a security guard and the subsequent theft of a shipment of brand new smartphones are hardly enough to keep Sherlock’s attention. Before he was fatally shot, the guard had wounded one of the thieves, a woman in a blonde wig. She would have to have gone to one of the nearby hospitals. But when the storm knocks out the power, Sherlock decides it could be fun to solve the case with the extra challenge.
Which is lucky, because this case runs deeper than they’d initially thought. Using Instagram, Sherlock finds where the stolen phones are being sold by a homeless man. The man had simply found the phones abandoned, leading Sherlock to believe that this crime was never about the phones. Upon returning to the crime scene, Sherlock and Joan find that some blueprints were stolen from a different floor of the building. The phones had been a distraction.
That night, as Sherlock tries to figure out what building the thieves intend to hit, Davis shows up and confronts Ms. Hudson. Sherlock and Joan leave them to talk (or yell) it out all night as the blizzard picks up outside. In the morning, with the blizzard in full swing and no way to contact the police from home, Sherlock wakes Joan for an adventure through snow to alert them that the thieves intend to break into EROC, which has the largest cash vault in the world.
Along the way, Sherlock and Joan take shelter in a snowplow with Pam. They radio the police, but Gregson isn’t there, so Sherlock commandeers (or, rather, pays Pam to drive) the snowplow to EROC so they can stop the break-in themselves.
But they’re too late. EROC has been infiltrated and they find that $33 million worth of old bills that were meant to be shredded were taken and replaced with shredded paper. Sherlock is so impressed by the ingenuity of it all, he says he would consider letting them get away, had they not killed the security guard.
They do have one lead. Unable to find any gunshot victims in nearby hospitals, Detective Bell starts looking for patients with any abdominal wounds and finds a woman who claims she was stabbed. The nature of her wounds, plus a synthetic blonde hair on her coat, are enough to bring her into the police station, where they learn her name is Elle.
Following a lead on how the thieves might swap out the old bills for new ones, Sherlock, Joan, and Bell stake out the home of a man in the business of horse racing, waiting for an ambulance driven by the thieves to arrive. But like the phones, this is another trick. A fake emergency call had been made from the man’s home. The ambulance that arrived was empty.
So where could an ambulance full of money have gotten away to in a snow-filled city littered with emergency checkpoints? Sherlock maps out all the checkpoints (and uses our favorite tortoise, Clyde, as the ambulance) and he and Joan realize, with the help of a log book, that several of the checkpoints had been quietly, but strategically shut down. Once they realize it was an inside job, all eyes turn to FEMA representative Denise Castor. They catch Denise trying to sneak Elle out by staging a riot in the station.
With Denise and Elle caught, they are able to locate the missing money and close the case. Sherlock and Joan had returned to find the house spotless, thanks to Ms. Hudson, who dealt with her breakup with Davis by cleaning and rearranging everything, so Sherlock hires her on to clean the place weekly while she decides what she wants to do next. Here’s hoping she becomes a series regular!
Though the waits between episodes are frustratingly long (the next episode isn’t until April 25) Elementary’s title of #1 new show continues to be well-deserved, with increasingly complex cases, A+ casting, and a lovely sprinkling of canon quotations (I practically squealed when Sherlock said my favorite quote, from “A Case of Identity”: “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent”).
And if you’re not following the Elementary Staff Twitter, you should be. They give tons of interesting tidbits about the episodes as they air!