Elementary “Ill Tidings” could well be a variation on one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes short story The Speckled Band. In the original tale a young woman was in danger of being killed by her stepfather, via a very poisonous snake, in order to gain control of her inheritance.
In this episode a table of seven people and a disagreeable chef are all killed by snake venom. The target in this instance is artwork hanging in the New York stack exchange. A live snake does make an entrance and Holmes suggests to Watson it might be best if she does not get bitten.
Fiona Helbron makes an appearance, albeit via a laptop screen as she and Holmes talk “long distance.” They make plans to meet at a place halfway between their locations.
The investigation takes Holmes and Watson quite some time to track down the reason that seven people were targeted. The group, who ate lunch at the eatery where they contacted the snake venom and fiberglass, were part of the IAO. The victims ensured that internet web addresses were real.
Marcus confronts Holmes about a court case that the two men worked on. Bell was afraid he committed perjury because of the way Sherlock wrote his report. Holmes helps Marcus save face in front of the A.D.A. Chantal Milner.
Watson calls Holmes and tells him the target is the stock exchange. The exchange is vacated because of the threat and while the place is empty someone steals $60 million worth of art from the walls.
As Holmes and Watson investigate leads, they talk about Fiona. Holmes is concerned that they have never talked about his work. They talk fleetingly of Moriarty and Joan tells Sherlock that he may never love anyone that way again.
Holmes realizes that it is not the money but the artworks that were the target. They head to the lobby and find the three LeGrande’s are missing. Sherlock has an old mate replicate the missing paintings and the police “find” them in an abandoned warehouse.
The “Dark Web” makes an appearance. Holmes and Watson surf the dark entity to find clues as to who is behind the art theft. Sherlock finds three people talking about the art. All the players can be tracked back to the same man.
They track down the thief and find the man dead from a venomous snakebite. The pattern of the bite looks familiar to Sherlock and they find the dead man’s partner; Mateo Lima the kitchen worker who ate the poisonous foie gras.
Lima is arrested after Holmes and Watson explain how he accomplished the crime and Sherlock finds one of the LeGrande’s in the man’s room.
At the end of the episode Fiona calls Holmes via the laptop and he quotes Joan’s “Antony and Cleopatra” line,”Give to a gracious message a host of tongues, but let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt,” before answering. The line, is something a doctor friend of Watson’s used to say before passing on bad news to patients.
Holmes is obviously about to break up with Fiona.
Elementary this week was a splendid chase where the clues led the two investigators all over the place. The chemistry between Holmes and Watson is still spot on and it is hard not to love an episode that references “The Princess Bride.”
Elementary airs Sundays on CBS. Tune in and catch this special double act.
- Jonny Lee Miller – Sherlock Holmes
- Lucy Liu – Dr. Joan Watson
- Jon Michael Hill – Detective Marcus Bell
- Aidan Quinn – Captain Thomas Gregson
- Nelson Ellis – Shinwell Johnson