Television: Elementary, "A Landmark Story"

A strange man with a laptop uses the computer to upset another man's (Phillip G. Van Der Hoff) pacemaker—but first makes him "vote to revoke." Something to do with the NY Historic Registry. One assumes it refers to the titular landmark.

Sebastian Moran, that old Moriarty henchman, is ruling the roost in prison, and news of this death gets his attention enough to keep him from football soccer. This prompts Moran to want to talk to Holmes, give more information in attempt to get rid of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Turns out, Moran was meant to kill Van Der Hoff before getting tweeked by Holmes. So if Holmes can just find who took Moran's place as murderer, he'll be that much closer to finding Moriarty. The threads of the web are vibrating . . .

Holmes and Watson break into the funeral parlor where Van Der Hoff's body is awaiting embalming. No autopsy, natch, because the whole thing appeared to be a heart attack. Pacemaker, remember? Nice moment: Watson getting frustrated with Holmes's scalpel work and taking over. It's good to see her have the upper hand in something.

Watson's professional opinion: "It looks like his blood boiled."

A man who builds skyscrapers appears to be tied to a series of reverses in voting for the landmark status of a particular old building, a speakeasy now a museum. When yet another man on the landmark board or council or whatever dies from a freak accident (falling air conditioning unit) . . .

By identifying a Ms. Taggart, vocal defendant of the museum, as the likely next target, Holmes and Watson attempt to discern how one might attempt to kill her. The fact that Taggart wears a medical alert bracelet leads them to believe an allergy (or whatever the bracelet may indicate, since they could not read it through binoculars) would be a perfect "accident" waiting to happen. The copious number of bees in the area Taggart runs in suggests a bee allergy. Holmes knows from bees, after all, and finds the sugar water someone has been leaving to keep the bees happily thriving.

Watson continues to worry that Holmes will enact revenge against Moriarty, or whoever they find working for him. After all that happened with Moran, it seems a valid concern. But Holmes tells Watson she has changed his outlook.

They find the beekeeper, the same man who used the laptop to murder Van Der Hoff and who dropped the air con, taze him (bro!) and bring him back to the brownstone, put him in a straightjacket, and use his phone to contact Moriarty.

The man's name is Gottlieb. He lets spill that he was once supposed to kill Holmes back in London via drug overdose, but then Moriarty canceled the job.

The text message leads to a meeting. Taking a page from Argo, Holmes is able to take a number of photos from between the cars of a moving train and splice them together. Gottlieb is then able to identify the recreated face as "the man who took [him] to dinner." Other useful info: the man spent time at a reform school?

John Douglas. Except that's probably not the name he uses anymore. He almost certainly has an alias (one if not many). To coin the Church Lady, "Could it be . . . Moriarty?" Of course not. Too easy. But when Holmes finds Douglas and is about to get the scoop on Irene, Douglas ends up with a bullet through his chest. Stupid man. Sitting with his back to an open window like that. Moriarty's people should be smarter than that.

Text message. Gottlieb, now spilling his guts to Gregson et al., cannot translate it. So Holmes goes back to Moran. But Moran says he can't translate it, either (though he asks to see the incoming text log first). Lying?

Holmes goes home to crack the code himself, with the unwitting help of Watson. The message, in short, was for Moran: if Moran didn't kill himself, Moriarty would kill his sister.

So of course Moran beats his head against a mirror, causing swelling in his brain. Looks like he's a goner.

And then Moriarty calls. Holmes. (Moriarty phone Holmes?) . . .

Three more episodes to finish out the season. I can't say this one did much for me, although I did like that Holmes and Watson had more time together than they've had in recent shows. This episode felt mostly like maneuvering, getting people set up for something. It was not, on the whole, all that interesting. We went through a lot of Moriarty's people, and maybe that's just meant to demonstrate how large his network really is, but it still somehow failed to impress. More curious is why Moriarty has chosen not to kill Holmes. What use might he have for our hero? What might it do to Holmes to begin having to second guess every move by asking himself, "Or is this what Moriarty wants and expects me to do?" Could be paralyzing. Though I suspect it won't really slow Holmes down. He's too focused on getting to the truth about Irene. It may be up to Watson to act as the speedbumps.

Oh, and the speakeasy/museum plot? Didn't go much of anywhere. Makes me think it was a mere distraction to pull in Holmes. So maybe Moriarty has Holmes right where he wants him.

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