Didn’t you just know that Sherlock’s plan for clearing himself and Joan of Michael’s murder was too easy?
Sherlock played his trump card so that he could freely again walk the streets of New York City on Elementary Season 7 Episode 3.
Only, for once, Sherlock hadn’t considered all the angles, and now he will probably spend the rest of the season trying to undo what he’s set in motion.
More on this development later.
Even as a wanted fugitive, Sherlock couldn’t escape a case brought by one of his father’s shady associates.
Since he was waiting for his blackmail to work its magic, Sherlock couldn’t resist the challenge of a closed-room (closed-unit) mystery.
And what an arresting image that was: a man crushed by an ugly-ass sculpture!
It was an interesting added wrinkle when Sherlock discovered, by studying surveillance footage, that there was a regular series of break-ins at the storage facility … err … foreign-trade zone for the past year.
Related: Elementary Season 7 Episode 2 Review: Gutshot
Further complicating things was that the facility’s owner and all its clients had something to hide and weren’t likely to cooperate.
Once the finances of the murder victim, who was site manager for the facility, revealed that he was likely blackmailing clients wanting to keep their secrets, well, secret, Sherlock and Joan ended up with a whole lot of potential, tightlipped suspects.
Leave it to Sherlock to rapidly dismiss all but one suspect, and that’s when things really got interesting.
Aura Swenson was an heiress who inheritied a construction business and her father’s antiquities from the Ethiopia-Eritrea region of Africa, some of which were likely looted, not legally obtained. That would be a good reason to keep them in a foreign-trade zone.
Marcus and Joan even found an appraiser, Florenti, to back up Sherlock’s theory, saying he quit because there were illegally gained works in the collection.
But nothing’s ever that simple, is it? Especially when world politics get involved.
Who knew that those two countries had signed a peace treaty to end their 25-year war?
Apparently, none of the New York-based investigators. I guess international news isn’t a priority in their day-to-day lives, although such obscure info as that is kind of Sherlock’s stock in trade.
This historic moment allowed Aura and her clever attorney to trade reconstruction projects in war-torn Ethiopia for the rights to display antiquities Ethiopian leaders didn’t even know were missing in her father’s dream museum.
Everyone wins. Except Gwinn, the murder victim, because he didn’t have any blackmail material on Aura.
And Sherlock, since his lead suspect has an airtight alibi.
Leave it to Joan to find another way to view the same evidence.
Related: Watch Elementary Online: Season 7 Episode 2
From an old journal, she learned that there is oil in them thar disputed lands, which were heading back to Eritrea. Which neatly explained why Ethiopia pulled out of the peace accord.
But while the Ethiopian counsel admitted that the revelation about the oil led to the crumbling of the peace treaty, she said she got the intel from a longtime business contact, which ruled out Gwinn.
The answer Sherlock sought came from a surprise savior, his father Morland, who can see the dark benefits of any situation.
Morland pointed out the Eritrean leaders, longtime abusers of human rights, had been putting off elections during wartime. But peace might find them out on their arses.
So while scrapping the peace accord earned oil for the Ethiopians, continuing the war allowed the Eritrean leaders to remain in power.
And wouldn’t you know it? Florenti, who was so helpful earlier, also did regular business with the Eritreans. Can you say “war profiteer?”
Related: Elementary Photo Preview
The appraiser even used the key card he hadn’t return to let the assassin into the storage facility.
Didn’t Sherlock skillfully turn the tables on him, having supposedly the same “hitman” shooting at Florenti in hopes of quieting him for good. But it didn’t take long until Florenti was screaming his involvement, just to stay alive.
Give Marcus credit for realizing that once he called about Gregson’s shooting, both Joan and Sherlock would return. I mean, if Sherlock could sneak out of the U.S. after confessing to Michael’s murder, why couldn’t he come back equally easily?
So Marcus finally forced Joan’s hand by goading her to let him go in to print some tickets. Not allowing him to would seem so suspicious.
It was heartwarming to see Marcus and Sherlock embrace after circumstances had forced them apart.
I feel badly for Marcus. Elementary Season 6 had set him up to take a different path in law enforcement with the U.S. Marshals.
But since Elementary Season 7 happened, something traumatic had to occur to bring Sherlock and Joan back and keep Marcus around. Hence Gregson’s shooting.
I like Captain Dwyer, whose interim post as precinct commander seemed to have interrupted his coast to retirement.
But even though he didn’t pretend to understand the need for consulting detectives, he knew enough to get out of the way and let Marcus, Sherlock and Joan work, because that’s what “Tommy” would have wanted.
I like Sherlock’s vision of a bicontinental detective agency. That would allow one last look at many characters from both sides of “The Pond” while keeping he and Joan from getting homesick.
But this mess with Egan looks like it will get in the way of that.
The simplest solution would be to let it ride, as he, Joan and Hannah would stay clear of prosecution.
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But Sherlock’s sense of justice and his ego will get in the way of that. He won’t be able to stand having the wrong person accused, nor can he accept Egan holding something over him.
So this too promises to be a season-long arc, just like the terrorist cell that was mentioned only in passing this episode.
To follow the twists and turns, watch Elementary online.
How does Sherlock get out from under this mess?
Does he admit what’s happening to Joan, since it affects her also?
How long before Gregson comes out of his coma?