Synopsis for 04×11: Detective Cortez from Staten Island appears back in Joan’s life and is probably up to no good. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Joan are tasked with figuring out the case of an exploding homeless man.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Remember that detective Joan had trouble with earlier in the season that she ended up demolishing in a boxing match? Well, she was back and apparently snooping around the precinct trying to find Joan. Naturally Joan was curious, and no doubt a little bit concerned that the detective was back, having believed they’d settled things after their fight. There was no time to investigate, though, due to an unfortunate event in the morgue.

After a body was brought in by an EMT – a homeless man by the name of Omar Valez – it exploded as it was being loaded into storage. It took with it the lovely EMT, a lady near and dear to the medical examiner. He was merely hurt by the explosion, not killed, and when he faced down the detectives he said whoever did that deserved to be down there with him.

Sherlock and Bell went to investigate the scene of the crime. Of course Sherlock took off and waded through a nasty creek in winter to get to what appeared to be another crime scene. It was a mere 30 yards from where Mr. Valez had been brutally murdered.

Joan tracked down Detective Cortez only to find out that she wanted her help tracking down a suspect. Joan was suspicious, especially after all they’d been through, but told Cortez to leave the file and she would take a look at it.

Back to the case at hand, not to be distracted by petty rivalries, Joan and Sherlock turned to a cartel that may have blown up the homeless man’s body in order to destroy the bodies of men they had killed. They sat down with the cartel lawyer, who insisted that was not the case. While it would seem like the obvious thing to say, Sherlock actually believed him. There was more to it than just a cartel trying to cover up the remains of a hit.

Instead, he believed the explosion was tied to the case of a young woman who had been at the center of the crime scene 30 feet away from where Mr. Valez had been found. They hadn’t heard about it before because it just so happened that a county line right ran through the pond Sherlock waded through. One body (Valez) went to the New York Police Department while the other body (Jane Doe) went to the police in Nassau County. However, her body landed in the NYPD morgue due to storage issues.

Whoever killed the Jane Doe also murdered Valez in an attempt to cover it up.

Joan’s days working in the hospital paid off as they tried to link Jane Doe to some sort of identity. They found out she was a young woman named Janet through a roller derby team she’d signed up for. Her number had been tattooed on her arm, which is how they managed to track her down. Turned out Janet was a small time drug dealer, and the detectives were able to track down a client of her’s who pointed them toward a man by the name of Dylan Hess who had been her boyfriend.

Taking a break from the case, Joan returned to detective Cortez and insisted she explain why she wanted Joan to search for Hector Mendoza when there were no open cases on him. Cortez claimed that she just wanted to waste some of Joan’s time, but Joan called her on her crap and wanted to know why she was so insistent about finding him.

The next day Hector Mendoza turned up beaten and bloody, with someone claiming a woman with long dark hair was not far from the scene. Sherlock and Joan believed that Cortez may have tried to frame her, but Joan had an airtight alibi thanks to Sherlock’s cameras all over the Brownstone.

The team brought in Dylan Hess after Toby, one of Janet’s drug clients, told them about him. They brought up their suspicions and he immediately denied them. Apparently he and Janet were still dating, and the altercation they had gotten into was more due to Janet’s propensity for getting violent than his. He was able to prove his innocence by showing he hadn’t been scratched, and the suspicion turned back to Toby.

Looking through Toby’s room, Sherlock found a stash of pictures of Janet and a journal detailing lord-only-knows-what about the girl who had been murdered. The suspicion was now fairly cast on Toby who had always been a bit disturbed and strange, according to his parents, though they insisted he was still a good boy.

Joan confronted Cortez about the beating of Hector, and the detective insisted it was justified. He’d apparently beaten two young women nearly to death, leaving them nearly brain dead. He deserved to get the crap beaten out of him. It was the least she could do. When Joan objected to this style, Cortez claimed that it was no different than what Joan and Sherlock did.

Back to the case, the detectives found that Toby had essentially disappeared. They finally found him, and he admitted to wanting to be with her, and admitted to all of the pictures and journaling, but was adamant he wasn’t the one who killed her. The journals and pictures were a way for him to work through his feelings, per his therapist’s suggestion, not plans to take her and murder her.

It also turned out that he had an alibi for both Janet and Omar’s murders, leaving no doubt that he couldn’t have killed either of them. In the end, the police believed that his father was the one who had done the deed for reasons that were unclear. They brought both him and his wife in under the guise that they wanted to arrest Toby. Instead, his father admitted to the crime and said he killed Janet out of self defense after approaching her and asking her to stop hanging around his son and selling him drugs. He knew his own son was dangerous.

When asked if putting a bomb in a homeless man he’d murdered was also self defense, he had no words. Obviously he was in trouble and there was no talking his way out of it.

In the end, Joan approached Detective Cortez one final time. Cortez had asked for Joan’s help in tracking down bad guys so she could, presumably, beat them up. Joan refused, and said the only help she’d offer was a piece of advice: to stop. The detective was not particularly open to it.

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