Synopsis for 05×11: Sherlock inadvertently gets drawn into the case of a missing woman when it overlaps with the wrap-up of another. He, with the rest of the team, begin the frantic search for the woman who appears to be in serious danger. 

Elementary started full throttle as a rather happy looking man started his day. Unfortunately the woman he started it with was less happy as it became abundantly clear that she was being kept against her well. To seal it, he attached her collar to an indoor version of a dog zip line. We encountered him moments later when we caught up with Sherlock and the Captain who were at a business arresting a guy based on pipe ash he had left behind, a cute reference to book!Sherlock. 

While the Captain explained to the guy why he was guilty, Sherlock was busy staring at the creepy guy through the window who appeared to be unnerved by the presence of the police. Sherlock saw him mouth “take care of her” and immediately jumped into action. He stole the man’s phone and found a video of the woman who he had kept captive and ended up jumped by the angry individual, whom Sherlock easily subdued and shouted at to tell him where he was keeping the woman. 

Captain Gregson came around the corner and wanted to know what was going on, effectively quieting Sherlock and further spooking Decker, the creeper. Sherlock did not clue the Captain in and instead left and returned to the Brownstone where Joan was chastising Shinwell for being unable to pick a lock. He admitted he was having a hard time with it but before Joan could get more information, Sherlock busted into the place and shouted for her to meet him downstairs. 

Joan and Shinwell met Sherlock downstairs and watched as he gathered supplies. He explained what happened at the office and told Joan he did not inform the Captain because they would want to wait to do things legally. Given Decker’s command to “take care of her,” they did not appear to have the luxury of time to wait for a warrant. He planned to go break into the house and wanted Joan’s help. She accompanied him and they found nothing except bootleg DVDs. 

Using the DVDs, claiming he found them in the dumpster outside, Sherlock filled the Captain in and they brought Decker in for questioning. Of course Decker asked for a lawyer and acted as if he were innocent, disinterested in the hoops they jumped through to bring him in. Joan went to talk to Decker’s ex-wife who worked for immigration and she explained that after the divorce, Decker quit the agency, but he used to work there with her and built their computer systems.

Joan thought that he had used a back door to get in and get information on immigrant women, but Mason (an irregular) investigated and found no such back door. Sherlock asked about Shinwell and Joan told him that training was slow going. Sherlock suggested to her that perhaps, more than a trainer, Shinwell needed a mentor to motivate him. They, as usual, did not finish the conversation since Sherlock found the woman’s picture and determined she had been missing since 2011. 

With the picture they identified her and found a friend who worked with her on a cruise ship, the very same one she disappeared from. The friend put them on the trail of a gentleman named Darnell who had been a mechanic for the cruise company who kept offering the women work at a massage parlor. Finding Darnell was significantly harder than getting his identification, but Shinwell looked into it through an old prison contact and came up with a list of Darnell’s family members. 

He also explained why he could not pick the locks. Shinwell had been working on something with SPK, trying to put together a deal that would push him up the leadership ladder so that he would be able to get better information. Joan expressed her worry that leadership higher up would be more keen and catch Shinwell, but he did not seem bothered. 

Sherlock and Bell found Darnell and Sherlock ended up at gunpoint. They diffused the situation and determined that Darnell was not Decker’s accomplice, as he had an alibi working on a fishing boat. Without any evidence to hold him, the Captain was forced to let Decker go, though he did get permission to put a tracker on him and to conduct surveillance. They tried to make a deal with him before he left, asking him to give up his partner in exchange for a lighter sentence, but with the prospect of freedom on the horizon Decker turned them down. 

Shinwell met with a potential supplier named Diego who was offering better product at a slight discount. Shinwell was interested in negotiating down more and noticed how squirrelly Diego was being about needing the money and insisting Shinwell take the sample back to his people. 

At the Brownstone, Sherlock sulked over the loss of Decker. Joan engaged him in another discussion about Shinwell, Sherlock did not sound particularly approving of his actions. They eventually got the news that they lost track of Decker and the last signal led them out to Far Rockaway. After combing the shore they found a lot of blood but no body, and further down the way Sherlock found a ring of keys that had been dropped and realized they belonged to Decker. 

With the keys in hand and some more investigating, they found Decker’s other house and discovered a woman there. She had been there for a couple of months and was not the original woman that Sherlock had seen on the video. Sherlock was displeased and disappointed even though the Captain reassured him that they saved at least one life. Joan was the only one to catch on to who the accomplice was when they realized Decker’s claim to “take care of her” was literal. She noticed that the milk in the fridge was soy, the same brand that Decker’s ex-wife had used as creamer in her coffee. 

Realizing that the couple had kept women as a team when they were married, they went searching for her and found her ready to burn down another house. She got caught but they did not find the woman until they heard pounding in the trunk. There was the original woman they had been looking for, alive, and they came to realize that Decker was the one who had been killed on the beach, body dumped in the water. The ex-wife had used her status as an agent to find women to victimize and Sherlock was happy to let her rot in prison, and her ex-husband rot in the water. 

Back at the Brownstone, Joan found Shinwell had broken in and was able to crack almost all of the locks. He explained to her that his deal had fallen through because he noticed how agitated Diego had been and it tipped him off that something was not right. When he looked into it, he found that Diego’s connections had dried up, he was broke, and was trying to get half the money up front so he could take it and run. Shinwell, apparently, had been listening to the training after all. 

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