Elementary “A Stitch in Time” Review (Season 3 Episode 20)

Elementary A Stitch In Time Season 3 Episode 20 03

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” the show took aim at a host of targets, including a Scientology-like religious cult, a paranormal debunker, a “Wolf of Wall Street” type and a “Homeland”-esque terrorist scenario, to varying effects in “A Stitch in Time.” If that sounds like an awful lot of stuff for a forty-something minute show to tackle in such a short time, you’d be right, but at least it ultimately wasn’t as complicated as last week’s challenging episode, which was headache-inducing to write about, if I’m being honest.

Was it elaborate? Yes, but a lot of that proved to be smoke and mirrors once you got past all the other stuff going on. But what would an episode revolving around the death of a professional skeptic be without a bit of misdirection? Besides, this is Sherlock Holmes we’re talking about. I’d almost be disappointed if it weren’t at least a little complex, even if I admittedly have my breaking point in the level-of-difficulty department, which was very nearly breached last week. But I digress.

We began with another case, actually, as Watson was consulted by Gregson’s daughter Hannah (Liza J. Bennett, “12 Years a Slave”) on a cold case involving the robbery of local stores in her neighborhood. Feeling that the detective on the case wasn’t focused, she came to Watson in hopes of solving it herself. Watson pointed her in the direction of a convenience store vending machine vendor that she suspected was in on it with the thieves in question. She also suspected that the robberies were tied into a pharmaceutical drug ring, which, if pursued, could likely lead to an even bigger bust, and advises her to tell her superior, noting that it will likely reflect well on her.

However, Hannah instead goes behind the back of her superior and makes the bust herself, furthering her own career in the process, much to Watson’s chagrin. Though not upset she didn’t get credit where credit was due for the part she played in cracking the case, she is a bit miffed that Hannah used her to further her own career, and did so at the expense of what could have been an even bigger bust, wanting the glory all to herself.

Though Hannah wasn’t wrong in that the credit for the bust would have likely gone to her superior if she’d done it the way Watson suggested, it was a pretty underhanded thing to do, and didn’t even take care of the bigger issue at hand, that of the person who hired the thugs to rob the stores in the first place. In other words, by going for the little fish, the big fish had gotten away scot-free, which didn’t sit well with Watson, understandably.

To make matters worse, it turned out that Captain Gregson had known good and well that Watson was involved and later called her out on it, saying she shouldn’t do it again, pointing out that, if Hannah didn’t learn to solve cases on her own, she’d never really get anywhere in the department- and inferring that he didn’t think she would, anyway. He basically implied that she was a good cop, but not detective material. Ouch! Anyway, I don’t think Watson will be helping her out again anytime soon, so I hope she enjoyed her brief moment of glory, because if Gregson is right, it likely won’t happen again.

Meanwhile, Holmes was investigating a case involving a man named Boyd who was known for disproving hoaxes, not unlike Houdini back in the day. Admiring that in him, Holmes personally made it a point to dig deep into the case, which first led to a Scientology-like church, which essentially proved to be a red herring of sorts. ( I was actually a little disappointed by this, having just watched the riveting documentary, “Going Clear,” about that very same subject just last week.)

However, it did lead to one important clue: the fact that Boyd was seen meeting and arguing with Colin Eisley (Eric Bogosian, of “Talk Radio” fame), a former Wall Street broker that had gone to jail for fraud amongst other things. Now a real estate investor, he wasn’t allowed to go near the stock market, as a result of his past crimes.

Holmes thought that Eisley was trying to dupe a tenant in one of his houses to move by staging a “haunting” to scare her. Instead, the ruse had backfired, as the woman in question mistook the “ghost” for her late husband, thinking she was being taken to task for an affair she’d had back in the day. She’d brought Boyd in to investigate, and Holmes suspected that he’d been killed for what he discovered, which proved right on the money. As the woman had a recording of the “haunting,” Holmes recognized someone speaking Arabic on the tape, which she had mistaken for someone speaking her husband’s name, thus “proving” her suspicions.

Holmes investigates the basement, which proves to be where Boyd’s murder originally took place. The killer had then taken the body, put it in his car and driven the car to a train crossing, intending to destroy the body and cover up his crime in the impending crash. Unfortunately for him, a good Samaritan had come across the car and helped push it out of the way of the incoming train just in time to “save” him, only to discover the man inside was already dead. Holmes also discovers a tunnel in the woman’s basement, explaining how the killer had been able to move in and out of the house without her knowledge, not to mention dispose of a body.

However, that wasn’t all he was up to in that tunnel, as Holmes discovered. He’d also installed some sort of device to interfere with a large internet cable that served a great swath of property and tied into a much larger web servicing area. Because of the Arabic spoken on the tape, Holmes initially thinks it’s potentially terrorist-related, but this proves to be wrong as well. Indeed, the device, which is later recovered by Holmes- albeit damaged after the man tried to destroy it by setting it on fire and taking off when Holmes tracks him to an apartment elsewhere- proves to serve little use, beyond slowing down the internet by mere milliseconds.

Holmes eventually discovers that the man in question, Nadim (Lohrasp Kansara, “Zero Hour”) was actually Eisley’s driver when he worked in the Middle East. Eisley helped him get a green card and move to the States, so he’d agreed to help him by installing the device in the woman’s house. When he’d been found out by Boyd, who’d stumbled across him while he was in the tunnel while investigating the house, Nadim had overreacted and killed him, later covering it up- or trying to, at least.

With the help of Mason (Robert Capron, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”), Holmes proves that the machine was used to slow down the internet with one purpose, to increase funds to Eisley’s blind trust, which he couldn’t interfere with personally because of the limits placed on him by his parole agreement upon leaving prison. Eisley paid Nadim via a valuable painting he’d had on his wall- a painting Holmes noticed had been replaced with a new one since the first time he’d talked to Eisley. Holmes also spotted Nadim toting a tube of the sort that contained posters or paintings as he fled his apartment. Can you say busted?

So, a decent enough episode, but there was a whole lot going on here that had nothing to do with anything, which made it a bit needlessly convoluted. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the bits about ghost debunking and Scientology-tweaking, but they really had nothing to do with the case, ultimately, so they were seemingly just there to be there, without serving as much else than obvious red herrings. That meant that the episode was a bit too cluttered for its own good, albeit entertainingly so, at least. That said, I suppose I can forgive the episode’s trespasses by virtue of its entertainment value, which was considerable.

On the plus side, the business with Watson and Hannah was reasonably compelling, if a bit slighted by taking a back seat to everything else going on in the episode. I liked that Gregson knew what was going on but didn’t interfere until things played out in a certain way, at which point he pulled Watson aside for a big “I could have told you that would happen” speech. Sometimes people have to learn things the hard way, and I think Gregson knew that, which is why he didn’t get involved until he needed to point some things out- and warn Watson off of making the same mistake twice in the future.

Note also that Holmes was similarly wary of Watson’s getting involved with the case, and thus, didn’t involve himself, either (beyond warning her of the dangers of involving herself with a case involving a certain amount of nepotism), also letting Watson learn her lesson the hard way. I think she did, and I don’t see her helping Hannah out ever again, in light of what happened. Oh well, lesson learned. You know what they say, fool me once…

So, a decent enough episode that made up for the unnecessary elements by being entertaining, which is more than I can say for last week’s episode, which did the same thing, only in far less entertaining fashion. Like many of Holmes and Watson’s cases, you win some, you lose some, I suppose. I’d still rather watch a moderately subpar episode of this show than a middling episode of any other given crime procedural I can think of any day of the week, so there’s that. I also hear that ratings are up for the show post-March Madness, so that’s good, and will hopefully bode well for the show’s future, in terms of it getting renewed.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Were you surprised by Hannah’s actions? Were you surprised that Gregson knew what was going on and didn’t say anything until things played out? How about Holmes, to a slightly lesser degree? What did you think about the main case? Was it too convoluted for you, or did you also appreciate the more out-there elements, even if they had nothing to do with the main crime? What did you think of the Scientology-tweaking? How about the “paranormal” elements? Sound off below and let me know what you thought of the episode, and I’ll see you next week!