Elementary: Rip Off (03×05)
Synopsis: After finding a severed hand in a bloody puddle, Sherlock and the team investigate the world of diamond smuggling. Captain Gregson, on the other hand, has to deal with the blow back he receives after punching his fellow officer.
Murder doesn’t stop just because Watson is out of town, so while she was in Copenhagen with her honey this week viewers got a chance to see Sherlock and Kitty work a case exclusively. There was also a bonus Captain Gregson side story that brought a new depth to his character. Anyway, the murder of the week started with a severed hand in a puddle and ended with a diamond smuggling scheme and an ambitious graduate student.
With Watson out of the picture this week, there was a chance to show the daily life of Sherlock and Kitty. It started with a disclosure agreement which Sherlock insisted Kitty sign. Apparently, he’d never made Watson sign one and was quite insistent that everything which happened during their adventures needed to stay between them. Kitty was certainly confused, considering they’d worked together for months and Sherlock had never insisted on privacy. Kitty signed the agreement and the two got called into the case of the week.
While they puzzled over the severed hand, the story switched over to Gregson who had apparently ended up in lock up. He looked a bit beaten and roughed up and it is later revealed that he apparently punched another cop out in the open. I thought this particular storyline was a nice addition to the Sherlock and Kitty story of the week. Slowly but surely the writers on Elementary have begun to flesh out the supporting characters and this week it was Gregson’s turn to get a little more context.
It is later revealed in the episode that he got into a confrontation with another officer because that officer had laid hands on his daughter. His daughter, also an officer with the NYPD, had gotten involved with her partner who had turned out to be an abusive asshat. When Gregson found out, he went for the guy and punched him. Gregson’s daughter, of course, wasn’t happy about it and gave him a piece of her mind after the fact. She didn’t want to be seen as a victim, and since he’d punched the guy where everyone could see it, rumors had started to fly.
So, Gregson was left with a choice: make nice with the abusive officer in question, or continue to hold a grudge against the guy and cause a rift between him and his daughter.
Meanwhile, Sherlock and Kitty track down the body and begin to look into the history of one Moshi Shapiro, a Jewish man who apparently had been smuggling diamonds. Using his skills, Sherlock realized that Moshi’s hand hadn’t been cut off. Rather, it had been yanked off, which put a bizarre spin on the case. It wasn’t beyond reasonable suspicion because Moshi Shapiro had been a bone cancer survivor, so his bones would have been weakened by the disease. Nonetheless, it would have required incredible strength to snap a guy’s wrist and pull his hand off.
Naturally, Sherlock takes to the internet to find someone bragging about their weight lifting skills. They ended up at a gym where he approached a rather bulky fellow and inquired into the murders. Of course the guy denied everything, until Sherlock challenged him to an arm wrestling match. In what was probably my favorite scene of all time, Sherlock insisted they play by “British rules” which involved attempting to pull the other man’s hand to your own chest. As the match began he immediately released the weightlifter’s hand, forcing him to punch himself in the nose. Thankfully Bell showed up before things got ugly and the crew got out of there, and managed to snag a DNA covered towel in the process as their prize.
Once they brought the killer in, he admitted to being Moshi’s killer and also offered a list of other people he was supposed to kill. It led Sherlock and Kitty back to the store Moshi owned and was using for his diamond smuggling operation.
While working on the case, it is revealed that the reason Sherlock is being so selective in what he allows Kitty access to is due to the book Watson had written. In a past season, Watson had begun to write about their adventures together. Much like canon, where all of the Sherlock Holmes tales were written from Watson’s perspective, this universe’s Watson wanted to try to capture the methods of a remarkable man in writing. Sherlock, however, saw it as a breach of trust even though Watson had attempted to dispose of the manuscript anyway. In a discussion with Kitty, she made a move and offered to read it herself. When Sherlock seemed irritated by that idea, she poured her tea all over the computer with the manuscript on it.
She sent a very clear message: he needed to get over it. There’s more important things to be doing than holding onto something that bothered him. I appreciated her taking that kind of initiative and it reminded me of some of the things Joan did early on in her partnership with Sherlock. The people in Sherlock’s life won’t be pushed around and they won’t bend to his odd quirks and tendency to hold a grudge. They are going to push him to buck up and get over it.
It goes back to why I love this show: just because Sherlock is the hero doesn’t mean he gets to be a brooding, anti-social jerk.
Anyway, the list of future hits had the name of the graduate student who worked for Moshi. The graduate student revealed the connection between him and the two other names on the list: they were all there to witness a fellow black market diamond seller’s confrontation with Moshi. This casts the suspicion on Leonard, a Danish diamond dealer. Yet, when they bring him in, Sherlock isn’t convinced that they’ve actually got their man. Things don’t add up, even though everyone else is convinced.
Finally, Sherlock came to the conclusion that the graduate student was behind it all. When Moshi tried to get out of the diamond smuggling business, the graduate student working for him saw his opportunity to make extra money disappear. In response he took out a hit on Moshi, as well as himself and the two other witnesses in the store the day Leonard came to confront Moshi about underselling him. He’d hoped to frame Leonard and be able to keep up his diamond smuggling business. Unfortunately for him, all he got in return for an elaborate frame job was a pair of shiny metal handcuffs.
Toward the end of the episode, Gregson was shown approaching the officer who had assaulted his daughter. He shook his hand, a sign of good faith, propelled forward by advice he’d received earlier from Kitty. However, the young officer informed him that he was quitting the force and had been offered a different job upstate. He asked Captain Gregson to “let her know,” and Gregson assumed he meant her daughter. Apparently he actually meant Kitty. At some point, she’d approached the officer and said something to scare the crap out of him and send him running with his tail tucked between his legs. It was a sweet ending.
To end the entire episode, Sherlock ripped up the nondisclosure agreement he’d asked Kitty to sign and expressed to her that she had permission to write down their adventures if she felt the need. After all, she had a point: they didn’t just belong to Sherlock. The point of mentorship is to pass on information and share adventure and knowledge. He’s no longer a single entity doing what he’s always done. He’s part of a greater story, of other people’s stories, and that has changed the game for him.