Elementary: It Serves You Right to Suffer – Shinwell (Review)

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Elementary apparently puts a finish on the Shinwell storyline with “It Serves You Right to Suffer.” This penultimate episode before the mid-winter finale sees a deeper focus on the Dr. Watson/Shinwell relationship and a new level of trust between Holmes and the ex con.

The episode begins with Sherlock waking Joan from a “lie-in” with a screaming woman call. He directs his colleague to a crime scene which implicates Shinwell Johnson as a suspect.  The murder, of rival gang member Ricky Morales, takes place in SBK turf and Shinwell was seen fleeing the area and dumping a .38 pistol.

Joan believes Johnson is innocent of any wrongdoing and is being framed. Sherlock is doubtful but plays along by helping Watson and Johnson to gather information about the murdered gangbanger and pressing Shinwell’s old gang-members for alibis.

Younger star Debi Mazar plays Detective Cosa. A female homicide cop with a laissez faire attitude and a definite dislike for both Holmes and Watson. The detective goes out of her way to ensure that Shinwell is implicated in the Morales murder.

Shinwell reveals that FBI Agent Whitlock talked him into being an informant. Whitlock sent the ex con to turn over his old gang, SBK. When Joan questions the agent about Shinwell’s allegation, he refuses to cooperate.

Holmes, while visiting the murder scene, finds that the rival gang member was killed with a Nambu pistol loaded with 8mm slugs. Holmes and Shinwell search the dead man’s apartment and find a prescription for Clonazepam.

After questioning the dead man’s doctor they learn that he was also an informant.  His handler was Agent Whitlock.  The FBI agent denies any involvement and then goes to throw Shinwell under the bus by killing himself with the Morales murder weapon.

Holmes saves the day by wiping Shinwell’s .38 clean so his prints cannot be taken off the weapon.

Once again, Holmes and Watson follow their hearts as well as their heads. Sherlock generally supports Joan and while he and Shinwell have never been close, he recognizes that the man is being railroaded.

The reveal that Whitlock was dirty, the agent was robbing gangs of their takings by force, played well against the story of a former gangbanger trying to stay straight.

Shinwell has been a presence from episode one this season. This may well clear up his current storyline but we may not have seen the end of Johnson since he is, after all, a friend of Joan’s.

He is now closer to Sherlock than before. This was bound to happen after Holmes’ attempt to connect earlier in the season.

“So you’re a former drug dealer, correct? Former drug user.” (chuckles)

This awkward start to the two men trying to bond, signposted pretty clearly that Holmes would eventually accept Shinwell based upon Joan’s assertion that Johnson was worthy.  The fact that Holmes was willing to remove evidence from a police lab cements the trust he has not only in Shinwell but Joan as well.

“It Serves You Right to Suffer” gives us a brilliant scene in a baker’s vehicle that Holmes has procured for a stakeout. Shinwell is uncomfortable sitting in a vehicle “illegally.” Holmes’ retort to his companion’s unease is typical Sherlock.

“Yesterday you outran two police officers. You really can’t escape one sleepy baker?”


This episode seems to be setting the trio up for another less personal investigation in the near future. It will be interesting to see just the rest of the season holds for Shinwell, Joan and Sherlock.

Elementary airs Sundays on CBS.


Guest Starring Debi Mazar as Detective Cosa,  Susan Blommaert as Dr. Xanthopoulos,  Ruffin Prentiss as “Tall Boy” Eversley and Dorian Missick as Agent Calvin Whitlock.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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