Synopsis for 3×18: An old friend and intimate partner of Sherlock’s shows up with a surprising request. Meanwhile, a ride share driver is brutally murdered when a taxi cab runs him down. Sherlock and Watson jump on the case and reveal that growing technological connection has a tendency to bring the good with the bad.
In all of my years watching Elementary, this murder of the week is somehow the one that really made me grimace. A driver got rear ended by a taxi and stupidly got out to check the damage. As he looked over the back of his car, the taxi slammed into him again, no doubt breaking his legs. The young man crumpled to the ground and was run over a final time in a completely gruesome act of violence.
Turned out the young man had been a driver for a company called Zooss, which was strangely similar to the real life company known as Uber. Of course Sherlock knew way too much about cabs to be a normal person and was immediately on the case. Even when Watson, who knew Sherlock had a friend coming into town offered to take lead, Sherlock kept at it. He was avoiding his lady friend.
This episode was definitely more about Sherlock’s development than it was about the murder, as evident by his and Watson’s conversation. She confronted him regarding the way he was avoiding his guest and he admitted something surprising: the woman, Agatha, wanted him to be a sperm donor. Cue dramatic soap opera music.
Sherlock got the run-around on the case as more evidence came to light. The cab in question that had run down the Zooss driver had been stolen. It wasn’t even a real cab, therefore their hopes of finding the cabbie were dashed unceremoniously. Nonetheless, they were able to track down the man who had bought the cab in the first place. As criminals tend to do, the buyer made a run for it the moment the police showed up on his doorstep and was quickly taken into custody.
While in interrogation he revealed that he was being blackmailed. He had no reason to kill the Zoos driver, except for the fact he had a parole violation and someone knew about it. As a sexual offender, specifically someone who offended against children, he was not allowed near schools or playgrounds. He’d gone against his parole orders and someone had found out and used texts and other proof to blackmail him into buying the cab and killing the young man.
Since that suspect led nowhere, they turned to the woman who happened to be having an affair with the young man who’d been killed. When they questioned her, she admitted to also being blackmailed regarding the affair. She insisted it couldn’t have been her husband, but worried that it was because of her that the young man had been murdered. She’d told him about being blackmailed and since he was a journalist, he began to investigate. Whoever it was that was blackmailing her had probably aimed to have him killed to keep him from figuring anything out.
Both of the blackmail victims were found to have used the Zooss service, which included downloading an app. They turned to the company for answers to try and find some sort of connection and solidify their theories. Of course the company wanted to protect themselves and tried to put on a strong front. However, once they were threatened with legal action they produced the information the detectives had requested. Apparently information from the app had been crossed referenced with other data on the people using the application in order to find good blackmail material.
Meanwhile, in taking a break from the case, Sherlock confronted Agatha about her desire to have his child. He called her out and said he knew his father had been the one to arrange the whole thing. Apparently his father was set on having an heir and Agatha was a willing participant. She wanted to be a mother and Sherlock’s father wanted to have someone to carry on the family line. Naturally, Sherlock appeared aggravated and disturbed by the fact his father would do this and put him in such a position.
Back to the case, Sherlock and the team came to discover that one of the programmers at Zooss had been murdered. They thought perhaps he was murdered by whoever was blackmailing, but it turned out he was the blackmailer and his death had nothing to do with his blackmailing. He’d been attacked over gambling debts and it had been an accidental death. Yet another suspect thread died with the programmer as they turned back to the evidence to try to figure out just who had killed the young reporter looking into Zooss.
Their investigation eventually led them to another programmer. It came to light that he’d been using Zooss’ software to stalk a young woman he was interested in. He’d even gone so far as to break into her house and injure her at one point. Since he was able to see where she was going, as she used Zooss cars to get everywhere, he was able to stalk and terrorize her. However, when the reporter began poking around the company was threatened. If the media found out that someone was using Zooss information to blackmail Zooss users, people would delete the app and the company would go under.
Without the company, the programmer would have no way to be a creepy stalker. So he killed the reporter in order to keep the secret. As long as the company stayed afloat he’d be able to fulfill his sick desire to follow this particular young woman around. Unfortunately for him, but thankfully for the girl, his scheme was revealed and he was arrested.
At the end of the episode the Sherlock baby issue was eventually resolved. He talked with Agatha, who couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to pass his mind on to a child. Sherlock had to explain that while his gift was unique, it also made him see the world in a way that others don’t. He knows things about people that he wishes he didn’t sometimes. He admitted just how much of a tortured soul he really is, because the noise around him is so overwhelming. He sees things others don’t, smells things, tastes things, and generally notices things that everyone else just ignores.
Though I found this scene to be a little out of place, simply because I didn’t think his abilities were necessarily genetic. After all, he was able to instill the majority of his skills in Watson who had gone on to show she can be a very successful detective on her own. Regardless, it was compelling to watch Sherlock admit that he could not, in good conscience, pass on his genetic code if it meant his future child would have to suffer like he had.
Strangely enough, he was selfless in his desire to save a child from a potentially torturous life.