Television: Elementary, "Poison Pen"

Doyle's Holmes was a boxer, so . . . Here we are in the ring. And apparently Gregson is always on duty because when a dominatrix named Mistress Felicia calls Holmes about a client dying, Holmes tells her to call for Gregson.

(And yes, ugh, more dominatrixes, but based on character development it makes more sense here than it did in Sherlock.)

Anyway, the man (Titus, which is a big name this season as it's also been used on Revolution) was poisoned.

They trace the sale of a massive fetish suit to Mr. Jeffries, who worked for Titus. With Titus's death, Jeffries is in the running for his CEO position. Jeffries says that's not the reason for buying the suit. No, he did it to save the company $125m on Titus's upcoming retirement bonus. The idea being, what with hiring a dominatrix, they were encouraging a heart attack. Gotta love these capitalists.

Meanwhile, in breaking the news to Titus's wife (and sons), Holmes recognizes the nanny "Anne" as Abigail Spencer, who at age 15 had been accused of poisoning her dad with nitroglycerine—just as Titus had been. She'd been acquitted.

Oh, and Holmes was an old Abigail Spencer groupie, having written to her back when she'd been accused of murdering her father. Their correspondence led Holmes to believe she was guilty.

He goes to see Anne/Abigail alone to tell her who he is (after she's already been questioned by the police). She's been fired from the nanny job. Holmes doesn't think she did it this time; he thinks someone is using Abigail's history to throw suspicion on her. After all, she'd have to be pretty stupid to use the same method twice.

And then Abigail pleads with Holmes that he and his letters got her through that rough patch before, so could he please hang out and do it again, this time in person?

And the police turn their attention to Titus's wife. A prenup would have limited her inheritance if there had been a divorce, but if he dies . . . The wife gets a lawyer and makes a statement that she was buying nitroglycerine and considering killing her husband . . . But someone else got there first?

Holmes considers Titus's oldest son. Watson confronts him with letting his emotions color his perception—that his history with Abigail is keeping him from seeing her as a suspect. (And then Holmes tells Watson about boarding school days filled with abuse, hence his bond with Abigail, who was also abused. She was his "first" . . . killer.)

Oh! But the older son mentions his dad and Abigail had had a fight a week before! About her having used or handled his tablet (cuz they don't want to say "iPad"). When Holmes goes back to Abigail and asks her about it, she says she'd forgotten the fight (which is why she hadn't mentioned it). And Holmes reveals he knows she really did kill her father.

A locked and empty drawer . . . And a room with five vents . . . One vent actually a fake, wherein the tablet is hidden. And the tablet features videos of Titus sexually abusing his 17-year-old son.

SO. Time to bring the boy in for questioning. (At least we didn't have to go back to Mr. Jeffries and use that old trick again.)

Abigail comes to the police station, finds out what's happening, wants to make a confession. Take the fall . . . And pay for past sins. (Holmes doesn't take it well.)

And embedded somewhere in his final dialogue with the son, Holmes seems to be giving an anti-bullying, get help, talk to someone/speak up kind of message. We see now why he learned to box, I suppose.

While it was interesting to get a glimpse of Holmes's past, a tantalizing slice as it were, the episode fell short in Holmes-Watson interaction. Even the few conversations they did have failed to connect. I don't expect them to always be in each other's pockets—that wouldn't ring true to the characters—and yet this episode felt flat on the whole, possibly because the delicate subject matter meant there was also no humor. Though based on previews, maybe we get more bounce next week.

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