Elementary “Under My Skin” Review (Season 3 Episode 21)

Elementary Under My Skin Season 3 Episode 21 04

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” while Holmes dealt with a crisis involving his sponsor, Alfredo (Ato Essandoh, “Blue Bloods”), he and the team caught a case involving the murder of two paramedics and the seeming kidnapping of their patient, in “Under My Skin.” In the latter case, Holmes found a “re-useable” bullet casing at the scene of the crime, which led to another unsolved case in which the victim was killed with the same hand-loaded bullets. This in turn led to Wallace Turk (Terry Serpico, “Rescue Me,”), who cops to the crime, but won’t say where the missing patient is.

Of course, Holmes notices something which gives away at least part of the potential location- residue on Turk’s shoes from a salt marsh. Sure enough, the team tracks down the location, and finds the patient’s body there, torn to shreds for some unknown reason, meaning that it clearly wasn’t a kidnapping as they first suspected. Turk admits leaving her there, but couldn’t have slaughtered her, as he was in custody at the time and the murder happened too recently. A friend of the patient tells Holmes and company that she was supposed to get gastric bypass surgery on the cheap in Brazil, which leads Watson to suspect that the patient may have been an unwitting drug mule, hence the desecration of the body.

Investigation leads to the identity of the doctor who worked on her, Escanso, who is currently MIA, along with a sizable amount of medical heroin- too much for one patient, in fact. This all but confirms Watson’s suspicions, but also raises the question of where the other patients that served as drug mules are. Bell puts together a list of local drug lords in the area, one of which leads to a hospital where a man named Janko Stepovic (Gene Farber, “24”), a suspected cartel member, works. Another doctor there, Dr. Ward (Fisher Stevens, “Lost”), confirms that the DEA have been sniffing around the hospital, questioning Janko.

After finally tracking Janko down, he denies everything, but Bell makes him an offer: if he helps them track down the missing heroin, then he’d actually be doing himself a favor, if he was indeed in the drug business, as it would be eliminating the competition- assuming, of course, that Janko didn’t have it already, which proves to be the case. Janko agrees and sets up a meet with a smuggler he knows, and a DEA sting is set up, but the smuggler never shows and both Janko and his bodyguard turn up dead shortly thereafter. This arouses suspicion that someone had inside information, for obvious reasons.

Dr. Ward comes into the precinct, lawyer in tow, and says that he knows who killed Janko and is willing to tell them in exchange for protection and immunity, claiming that he was bullied into cooperating with Janko and company. It seems that, with Janko out of the picture, the Chinese Triad had stepped into the void, and assaulted Ward for information, going so far as to cut off his fingers. He also says he can tell them where the other missing bodies used as drug mules are and that he thinks Escanso is back in town. Watson wonders why they hid the other bodies, but not the initial missing patient.

However, Escanso is not in town after all and proves to have never left Brazil. Watson also confirms her suspicion that it had to have been a surgeon who sewed the drugs into the three patients via the coroner, and thinks it had to have been Ward, and that he only came in to cover his own butt. Unfortunately, the deal with the DA and Ward has already gone down.

Nonetheless, Gregson has Ward and his lawyer brought back in, under false pretenses, and presents him with the evidence that Ward and Escanso not only knew each other, but went to school together, and that they suspect the whole thing was his idea, not Janko’s, in the first place. What’s more, they think Ward went to the Triad himself, after framing Janko for his crimes, only to get himself in too deep when he tried to make a side deal and ending up getting his fingers chopped off. They also think that Turk was going to sell him out, and that’s why Ward turned himself in first.

Gregson points out that they have a member of the Triad on site as they speak, pointing him out to Ward, and that they’re willing to make a deal to put Ward into solitary, and thus safe from retaliation in jail, if he cooperates. If not, then they’ll make a deal with the Triad instead. Although his lawyer advises against it- wisely so- Ward takes the bait and confesses, only to discover that the alleged Triad member was, in fact, an Asian detective on the premises. Whoops! Can you say busted?

Meanwhile, Holmes notices an unfamiliar face at his NA meetings and introduces himself. The man claims to be “Lloyd,” but Holmes notes that he’s been drinking, and indeed, has a flask on him, which is decidedly against the rules of a meeting like this. Lloyd scampers off, but Holmes continues his pursuit, tailing him and discovering his real name. “Lloyd” proves to be a private detective, but not one assigned to Holmes, but rather Alfredo. It seems there have been a rash of car thefts in the area, all of which have one thing in common: security provided by Castle, which just so happens to be the company Alfredo works for.

The weird thing is, all of the cars were returned to where they were stolen from, only moved ever so slightly from their original positions. Holmes knows Alfredo well enough to know that it must be him and confronts him about it. Sure enough, Alfredo admits he was fired by Castle Security, and what’s more, had been bad-mouthed by them as well because of his not-so-illustrious past, resulting in his having trouble finding work since. He tells Holmes to stay out of it, but Holmes being Holmes, he instead takes matters into his own hands. He calls Alfredo one night, claiming that he needs his sponsor as he is thinking of using again, then never shows up at the meeting place.

Later on, some representatives from Castle approach Alfredo about another rash of car thefts just like the first round, only this time Alfredo has a clear alibi, as he was at the meeting place waiting for Holmes and can verify it with any number of people. Realizing that Holmes set him up, in order to clear him, he confronts Holmes about it. Holmes confesses and fires him as his sponsor, admitting that he considers him a friend and that, as such, it’s a conflict of interest and needs a new sponsor. Alfred acquiesces and all’s well that ends well, though Alfredo jokingly asks if that means he can ask Watson out now.

So, a pretty decent episode all around. Fisher Stevens did a good job as the weasely Ward, who was a little too clever for his own good, which cost him in the end. I remember him from “Lost,” of course, but also the short-lived “Key West,” a show I loved for some unknown reason as a teenager. I’d have to re-watch it to be sure, but I’m guessing it probably wouldn’t hold up too well in retrospect. (I also had a thing for the likewise one-season-and-done “North Shore,” so maybe I just want to live on an island somewhere!) He was also in the much-beloved “Short Circuit” films, amongst other sci-fi flicks, but I was never a big sci-fi person, so I’ll leave that to you fans out there.

But of course, for us “Elementary” fans, the big reveal was Holmes actually outright calling someone a friend beyond Watson and maybe Bell. That’s a pretty big deal for Holmes and a massive step forward for his development as a character. Needless to say, that marks yet another step forward in his progress from being a borderline antisocial shut-in to an actual active member of society, more given to hanging out with pet turtle Clyde and ordering in prostitutes than hanging out with anything resembling friends.

My fear is, with all of this progress as of late, it’s only a matter of time before someone, or something, comes along to disrupt his progress and set him back yet again. After all, we are nearing the end of the season, and it’s customary for the show to set up the next one around about this time. If anything, I’m sort of surprised they haven’t already, but maybe they were hedging their bets to see if the show would be renewed or not, though common perception seems to be that it will be a given, given how close the show is to syndication glory. Fingers crossed!

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Did you like the main case? How about the subplot with Alfredo? Were you surprised the lengths Holmes went to for his friend? Do you also think something bad is bound to happen sooner than later? Can we all just agree that Clyde should get a spin-off of his own? Sound off on this and whatever else you like down below and see you next week!