Synopsis for 04×04: Joan moves back into the Brownstone, only to have Sherlock act strangely. Meanwhile, the beneficiaries of those killed in an airplane crash turn up dead with cash and a note left next to their bodies.
Joan and Sherlock were called in to investigate the disappearance of a doctor at the hospital where Joan used to work. Of course they received the request while both were handcuffed and attempting to pick the lock – though neither really knew how. Once they were on the case, clues quickly led them to realize that the person they were searching for was actually dead. They headed down to an area of the hospital where donated corpses were chopped up in the name of science, and found her skeleton laid bare and made into a prop.
What a way to dispose of a body.
While on the case, Joan ended up receiving some information from an old friend who sounded concerned. Sherlock worked with Bell to interview the victim’s (Abby) husband and Joan went to meet up with her friend. To her surprise, the friend asked her if she was in trouble after admitting that a Detective Cortez had shown up at her home asking questions about Joan. Naturally, Joan didn’t have a clue as to what it was about considering she generally keeps her head above water, but it concerned her nonetheless. She thanked her friend for the information.
Returning to the investigation, Sherlock and Joan consulted security footage from the hospital and found that Abby was having an affair with another doctor. Except, of course, it was not quite that easy. In their search for the doctor in the video, Abby’s husband (Dr. Campbell) called them and said he knew where to find the other doctor, Dr. Fisher. They showed up at Campbell’s house and he revealed that Fisher was there, with him.
The beautiful twist? They were both married to Abby. There was no affair. Just a legitimate, three-way marriage between them. Sherlock seemed pleased.
As they talked about the situation, Fisher was quick to point out that they weren’t the first multiple-marriage Abby had participated in. Before she began to see them, she’d been with a family up in Essex, a marriage of five people (three women, two men) other than herself which made a family of six. Apparently she’d parted on less than amiable terms with one of the members of the family and that cast suspicion on them.
After the old family was rounded up, everyone insisted that Abby’s beef had been with one person and one person only: Diane. She’d put down part of her inheritance as a down payment on a house they all shared, and when she left the relationship she insisted she wanted it back. Ever since, Abby had been trying to get it back from Diane and the rest. Diane, however, insisted that they had put it all behind them. She and Abby went out to lunch and Abby told her that she’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and didn’t have long to live. She said she was done fighting to get the down payment back, and instead wanted some legal assistance since Diane was a lawyer.
At the time she’d wanted a contract written up to protect a trade, but Diane suspected it had to do with illegal activity and informed Abby that the contract would be null and void. That was the last time she’d seen Abby, and everyone had an alibi and was eventually cleared of suspicion.
Joan tracked down Detective Cortez after she found out more of her friends had been questioned and offered to talk openly with her. Cortez turned her down.
They followed the evidence to a friend of Abby’s who had been conducting stem cell research. Confronting him, he quickly revealed that she’d been offering him embryos from her clinic in return for the ability to use his lab equipment. Illegal, yes, but the deal was struck and she’d been running blood tests using his lab. Sherlock and Joan wanted to look at the lab, only to find that it had been heavily vandalized and all of the information was gone with it.
The investigation turned to other people in her life, following blood that Sherlock had found in the University’s medical waste, including the therapist who oversaw her cancer support group. They talked to her about Abby’s behavior the past few months, and apparently she’d been collecting blood samples from members of the group. Her reasoning? A friend was working on a study to find a cure for cancer, and if she could run their blood they may be able to get into the study. The therapist seemed skeptical of the whole thing, and said that one of the group member’s had a husband who’d come and threatened Abby.
So of course they went to question him and his wife, which is where Joan became suspicious. The type of cancer the wife was supposed to have would have rendered her immobile, or at least in a lot of pain. She offered to take a look, and when she couldn’t find the tumor, realized that the woman didn’t have cancer after all. The kicker? Her doctor was Dr. Campbell, Abby’s husband.
Joan confronted Cortez another time, and Cortez admitted that she was pissed because a consultant had looked into her old boss who was supposed to have taken Gregson’s position. Since Gregson decided to stay, Cortez had missed out on a promotion, and was salty because it had been a consultant and not a cop. All the fame, none of the risk, seemed to be her take on Joan and Sherlock’s role in the department and she was not particularly happy about it.
Sherlock and the crew brought Dr. Campbell back in for questioning. The scenario went as follows: Abby had started in at the support group and began to realize that people her husband’s clinic was treating weren’t exhibiting the symptoms they should given their diagnosis. She took their blood to test it, then confronted him about it. The clinic had been lying about the diagnoses in order to up their remission rate (because if you don’t have cancer, remission is a given). When she confronted him about it he went to see her, strangled her, then chopped her up for science. He admitted to everything.
Joan ended her confrontation with Cortez with a challenge: boxing. Originally she wanted to arrange a match to raise money for charity but instead they ended up fighting right there and then. The best part? Joan won. Cortez got in more punches, but Joan landed the last one.