Elementary Season 3 Review “Seed Money”

Seed Money 8

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” the show continued the winning streak of balancing a case dominated by Holmes and Watson, with some nice character development as well with Kitty, who tackled a case of her own, completely on her own. Over the course of each case, crucial things were revealed about each character, which made this a winner all around, IMHO.

The main case revolved around an elderly couple found dead in their bed together, looking as if they committed suicide in a mutual pact. But did they? Holmes deduced that the fumes that killed them came not from their own apartment, but somewhere else in the building, meaning that they were perhaps not the intended target, but accidentally killed in the process of killing someone else entirely.

This proved to be true when another body was found, that of botanist and genetic engineer Clay Dubrovensky (Salar Ghajar, “Wasteland”), and this one was clearly a murder, as the victim had been killed via “necklacing,” in which a tire filled with gas is lit and the victim is burned alive. There were also sign of bludgeoning, indicating he’d been tortured beforehand. Given the method, the obvious culprit looked to be drug cartel-related, as this was the method of choice of many of them; specifically, in this case, the SDS, a syndicate out of Brazil.

However, a meet with his emergency contact, Courtney (Madison Riley, “Grown Ups”), an ex-girlfriend Clay still hooked up with from time to time, proved that not only did he grow pot; he worked specifically for the SDS, so it wasn’t a turf war scenario, a la Oliver Stone’s “Savages.” But did they have a falling out somehow?

With Holmes’ help, the cops narrow down a likely location for Clay’s grow house, but when they get there, the plants are dying, which, if the SDS were responsible, seems unlikely. After all, why would they let their own product die, if they had killed Clay? This meant that they didn’t know, so someone else must be responsible. Holmes notes the presence of an incredibly rare orchid- the only one in existence, according to him- that was worth a quarter-of-a-million dollars alone. Had Clay stolen the flower and the owners sought retaliation? Or had the flower been sold in a private auction and the loser come after Clay for it?

Further investigation led to Barbara Conway (Katie Finneran, “The Michael J. Fox Show”), the Senior Vice President of the Bioengineer division at Agrinext, a “green” corporation, who had won an auction for the flower. The problem was, she still had it, and at her office, no less, and claimed to have never met the seller. So, how were there two of one of the rarest orchids on the planet? Holmes realizes that Clay must have figured out how to clone the original, and was selling clones online to the highest bidders, which proves to be the case, meaning there were a good dozen other potential suspects out there.

Then, there are two more killings, this time members of the board at Agrinext, who were also “necklaced” and left on the front lawn of the company’s headquarters, along with a note in graffiti: the Portuguese words for “This means war.” This time, a special rope was used to tie up the victims, and there was a witness, who identified the killer as a Hispanic male.

Meanwhile, a second interview with Conway reveals that she knew she’d been duped by Clay, but rather than seeking vengeance, she tracked him down and offered him a job, and not just because of the flower thing. In anticipation of the legalization of marijuana, she wanted to buy him out for Agrinext from the SDS to also grow weed. SDS wanted $10 million, but they could only go $5, but Clay wanted to do it anyway, which might not have set well with the SDS.

The cops track down the killer via the specialized rope, and he confesses to killing the execs- but not to killing Clay. Did Clay actually opt to stick with the SDS and someone from Agrinext killed him in retaliation, making it look like an SDS hit on purpose, and kicking off a war in the process? It seemed that way, but then Watson met with Courtney again, and she mentions that the reason they broke up in the first place was that Clay cheated on her, and that he had this move he used on all the women he dated: he gave them a special flower he grew in his grow house, and that requires a special food to keep healthy, which has a particular smell.

Watson remembers the smell from Barbara’s office and realizes that the two must have been involved, and since he was seeing Courtney again, that meant he must have cheated on her. She confronts Barbara, who confesses she loved him and did it in the heat of the moment after she confronted him about it, then covered it up to look like the cartel did it. Case closed. Whew! That was a complicated one!

That would have been enough for a single episode, but remarkably, there was another case afoot: Kitty’s. Even more astonishing, it was handled in a way that did it complete justice, without leaving the viewer feeling cheated or slighted somehow, in lieu of more screen time for the main case. Or this viewer felt that way, at least.

Kitty was approached after her rape survivor meeting by a fellow victim, Miranda (Zuzanna Szadkowski, “Gossip Girl”), whose daughter, Tess (Olivia Nikkanen, “Boardwalk Empire”) had been missing for some time. Though she’d been MIA for days before, this particular case was different because Miranda had just come clean about the fact that Tess’ biological father was, in fact, her rapist. Kitty tracks down one of her friends, who claims she doesn’t know where Lexi is, but that she’d been stalked by a man with a white Jaguar shortly before her disappearance, and that she’d called Lexi and given her the license plate number of the vehicle before she went missing.

Kitty has the cops look up the plate number, which leads to a man who claims he was out of town at the time of the supposed occurrence, so it couldn’t have been him. Kitty notices that the man has a distinctive clubbed thumb, and realizes that, while he might not have kidnapped and/or murdered Tess, he most certainly is her father, as she shares the same trait. Kitty tracks Tess down to her friend’s aunt’s house and confronts her, and she admits the truth. This leads to an emotional moment in which Kitty tells Tess that her mother never told her because she wanted to put it behind her and focus on what mattered: Tess herself, who hugs Kitty, taking her aback somewhat.

As if all that weren’t enough, there were also some big revelations: Watson was closing her private detective agency to work for a corporate insurance company- LITA, if I’m not mistaken- who will allow her to continue to work for the police department, and thus, with Holmes as well. Holmes himself also had an announcement to make: that he was taking Kitty on in an official capacity, having been impressed both by her sleuthing skills, and her ability to put the past behind her in a way that allowed her to effectively do her job.

But not so fast, there was yet more. At the end of the episode, another body cropped up, and this one, Captain Gregson wanted Holmes to show up for alone. But why? Upon arrival, Gregson shows Holmes the body, noting some distinctive markings on the back of the victim- the very same markings that Kitty has on her back after her own attack. It seems that her attacker has arrived in New York and has an announcement of his own to make: he’s back.

This was “Elementary” undeniably firing on all cylinders, to be sure. Both cases worked, the details were beautifully plotted so that everyone got their chance to shine, and every character had a wonderful moment that furthered their development and gave the viewer an exact notion of where they stood. Even better, it tossed a hand grenade into all of it at literally the last minute of the show, which will undeniably lead to some intense drama. Though I certainly feel for Kitty under the circumstances, it should make for some compelling television, I think.

I thought this was one of the best episodes of the season, if not the best. It was complex, layered, and brilliantly executed. What did you think of the latest “Elementary”? Do you agree? Or is the whole Kitty thing still not doing it for you? Are you worried about the new developments and what they will entail? Do you think that Holmes’ sobriety is still in danger, more so than usual? What do you think about Watson going corporate? How about the main cases? Which was your favorite, and why? Sound off below, and watch out for those flower auctions on eBay!