Elementary: Pick Your Poison – Crime by Proxy (Review)

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Elementary “Pick Your Poison” marks another stage in the burgeoning relationship between Shinwell and Sherlock.  After initially committing a most grievous faux pas, Johnson refinishes a chess table as a thank you gift for Holmes. Sherlock is less than pleased as the furniture was a 78 year old cold case piece of evidence.

The addition of Shinwell is evolving into something interesting.  Watson and Holmes disagree completely on the competency of the ex con to infiltrate his old gang and act as an informant for the police. Sherlock opines that with Shinwell’s track record, he was lucky not to have fallen into a bear trap.

At the start of the episode, Joan is called down to the precinct by Det. Bell. Someone has been using her old prescription pads to prescribe opiates illegally. The D.E.A suspect Watson of the crime and turn down an offer by Holmes to investigate and find the real culprit.

Watson and Holmes investigate anyway and find that an old colleague of Joan’s, a Dr. Krieg, has committed identity theft on a number of former colleagues; five in total.

When Sherlock and Joan go to visit Krieg they find the doctor dead along with another woman. Later identified as Marla, mother of eternally ill Ethan, the woman turns out to be a long time Munchausen by Proxy offender.

It is eventually revealed that Marla has been poisoning her son for years for the attention.  Now  that he has turned 18, when Dr. Krieg realizes what Marla has been doing, she forgets her criminal inclinations and contacts the now adult child of Marla and tells Ethan what his mother has been doing.

The outraged young man then steals his father’s gun and shoots down both his mother and the doctor who tried to help him.  Meanwhile, Sherlock tries to scupper Shinwell’s plans to become an informant for Detective Guzman.

He even tries to dissuade Shinwell from following this dangerous path. The ex con tells Holmes he will think about it but then goes on to become an informant for the police.

Later, Holmes realizes that the refinished games table and its evidence have not been destroyed by Shinwell after all. He talks to Shinwell and reveals Joan’s plan to make the former con a detective.

Sherlock offers to teach Johnson how to survive as an undercover agent for the police and in return will train him on being an “un-official” informant for he and Joan.

Shinwell agrees as the two sit down to play a game of chess.

This episode had a fair amount of comedic moments hidden in the moments of mystery. Holmes’ ticking off of all the things that had happened to Shinwell since being shot a number of times by his former gang members, SBK was funny.

So too were the night and day opinions of Watson and Holmes on how well equipped Shinwell was to be an informant.  Although to be fair, this was a continuance of a previous episode.

What is brilliant, in this new dynamic, is the give and take between Holmes and Shinwell. The two men are still, to a degree, awkward around each other but the very act of Sherlock wiping the prints from the .38 has changed things somewhat. The two characters now have a meeting point and it is making things interesting.

“Pick Your Poison” is the mid-winter finale for Elementary. The show will return in the new year on 8 January.


Guest starring William Ragsdale as Patrick Moore,Emily Dorsch as Dr. Franny Krieg,  Jake Brinskele as Ethan and Jeremy Burnett as Duane.

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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