This was one of the more interesting episodes of Elementary, perhaps because of the elements taken from a couple of my favorite of the Doyle stories.
A retired FBI agent is found murdered, and the trail leads back to unsolved cases he continued to look into, in particular one about a kidnapped girl named Mina Davenport. The rub? Mina escaped ten years after being taken and is now happily at home.
Or is she?
Though DNA tests proved the girl claiming to be Mina was, well, if not Mina then at least related to the Davenports. But both Holmes and Watson immediately identify the girl as not Mina based on her ears. (Go look at "The Cardboard Box.")
Mystery girl becomes the prime suspect in the FBI agent's murder. It seems the agent was closing in on the truth.
She spins a sad story for Holmes and Watson, throwing blame on the Davenports who, the girl says, molested and murdered Mina and gladly accepted a substitute in order to have a living alibi. The girl also notes that she's up for a huge trust fund, so if Holmes and Watson would please just play along, she'll happily skip town once she has her money.
Neither Holmes nor Watson buys the false Mina's story, though they pretend to. They've tried to tell the Davenports that Mina isn't . . . Mina, but the Davenports won't hear of it. So Holmes improvises a flash-bang bomb to give the NYPD (and its consultants) a reason to revisit the Davenport home and collect DNA.
The original DNA test had shown the fake Mina to be related to the Davenports. The hypothesis is that this girl had someone in the lab helping her, but when the NYPD runs its own tests, the DNA continues to show they're related.
Holmes then realizes Fake Mina must have access to actual Mina.
The episode ends in a bit of a landslide, but on the whole is solid, and the introduction of this little con artist adds much-needed interest. She's what Kitty should have been, yet she's an adversary rather than an ally.
Meanwhile, the secondary plot was equally entertaining. Watson discovers her step-father has written a book based on her and Holmes. She takes it badly and insists he tell his publisher to pull the book out of distribution. (I found the idea that it was not an ebook a bit unlikely, I must say.) Watson is convinced if Holmes finds out he will go ballistic. Turns out Holmes knew and had no problem with it, noting in a very meta way that he has been the basis for many literary endeavors. The only reason he'd disliked it when Watson herself had written about him was because he'd used his actual name and background.
Watson's step-father gives Watson the draft for his next book, another about her and Holmes, and tells her to do what she wants with it. Burn it, whatever. But Watson re-thinks things and gives it back to him—with notes and corrections.
I like (probably because I'm a writer myself) that they've looped in the literary element here. Doyle's Watson chronicled Holmes' exploits. It's nice to see that thread taken up here, and in a new and different way.
Easily the best episode of Elementary in a while. More like this, please.