Elementary “The Best Way Out is Always Through” Review (Season 3 Episode 22)

Elementary The Best Way Out Is Always Through Season 3 Episode 22 7

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” while Holmes tried to determine the validity of an alleged Stanley Cup he bought, the team as a whole investigated the murder of a man on a subway platform, in “The Best Way Out is Always Through.” Interestingly, the detective initially assigned to the case is Shauna Scott (Afton Williamson, “Banshee”), aka the woman Detective Bell is currently seeing.

From the minute it happened, I thought, Holmes is going to realize these two are dating almost immediately, but I underestimated Holmes’ powers of observation when it comes to the matters of the heart. Instead, it was Watson that picked up on it, which actually makes more sense, if you think about it. Alas, Holmes was aware of another facet of Detective Scott that neither Bell or Watson had picked up on, and it was that which caused problems later on in the episode.

The victim in question was Judge Vaugh (John De Blasio), who was stabbed with a screwdriver and found standing on the platform by two teens that were looking to rob him. Holmes, in quick order, determines that the Judge was with a woman earlier that night and that the murderer was in fact female, which he figures out via a smell of perfume and the size of the fingerprints on the murder weapon.

The team discovers the Judge was at a fund-raiser earlier that night and immediately discover a potential suspect, Loretta Nichols (Susan Misner, “The Americans”), a former student of the Judge when he was a professor. She’s now a staffer for the current Governor of the state. However, she has an alibi, which just so happens to be a fellow staffer for the man running against the Governor, Perry Franklin (Michael Kostroff, “The Blacklist”).

Shortly thereafter, the fingerprints on the murder weapon come back and it’s determined that the actual suspect is escaped convict Nikki Moreno, who the Judge gave an especially harsh sentence to. The team heads to the prison she escaped from and interview the warden, Trey McCann (Glenn Fleshler, “True Detective”), a shady character that informs them that the security firm that represents them, Reform Enterprises, is top notch and that he has no idea how she could have escaped. Holmes essentially comes to the same conclusion, though he himself is naturally able to come up with any number of ways in which he could have escaped!

A search of Nikki’s former jail cell results in the discovery of a surprisingly personal signed book of Robert Frost poetry, which her advocate gave to her, a man by the name of Jeff Harper, who was trying to help Nikki get her sentence reduced. Did he also try and help her escape? A later discussion determines this not to be the case, as Harper admits he liked, even flirted with Nikki, but his relationship was strictly on the up and up and that he had even filed appeals on her behalf, which he wouldn’t have done if he were intending to try and help her escape. He also notes that, while she had expressed anger towards McCann, she had never seemed to blame the Judge for her situation.

Meanwhile, Watson confronts Holmes with her newfound information on Scott, which he mistakenly thinks is that she is, in fact, working for Internal Affairs on the side and has been spying on them and the rest of the team on their behalf. Watson, naturally, thought that her big secret was that she was dating Bell, and is taken aback. Realizing that Bell likely doesn’t know any of this, she runs to tell him and he confronts Scott about it, who doesn’t deny the allegations. Sadly, he breaks it off with her, telling her that he can’t possibly trust her now, as she has been hiding this from him all this time.

McCann is found dead, this time from a gunshot wound, though the suspect remains the same: Nikki. Going off previous information that Harper gave them, that Nikki hated McCann in part because she’d had her assigned to the dangerous job of destroying computers, which exposed her to harmful chemicals and the like, Holmes returns to the prison to investigate the workroom Nikki was assigned to. Looking into the various bins the hazardous materials were put into, sure enough, Holmes finds a deceased Nikki within one of them, supporting his suspicions that Nikki wasn’t actually the culprit.

Realizing that Nikki had been killed before the death of the Judge, that meant that Nikki couldn’t possibly have killed either him or McCann, and was actually framed for the former crime. However, the real killer hadn’t counted on Nikki being found before they killed McCann, so the hunt for the killer continues. Working off the assumption that McCann was paid to off Nikki and cover it up, Holmes looks into McCann’s past and discovers he used to work for another security company, but was let go over undisclosed reasons.

They go and talk to his former employer, who turns out to be none other than Franklin, the man running against the Governor that Ms. Nichols worked for. He refuses to reveal why McCann was fired, but lets Holmes go through the employee files on site, where Holmes discovers potential mob ties on McCann’s end. He talks to Ms. Nichols again, and realizes that the Governor and Franklin know each other and that Franklin was the CO of Reform Enterprises, the security firm that McCann was fired from. Concluding that Franklin must have hired McCann to do his dirty work, then killed him once he thought he was in the clear, the team confronts Franklin and arrest him.

After Holmes points out to Bell that he blames himself somewhat for the fact that everyone in his inner circle is now single, which alarms him as he worries that they’re all unconsciously imitating him, he tells Bell perhaps he shouldn’t be so hasty to dismiss Scott. “The great love of my life is a homicidal maniac. Nobody’s perfect,” points out Holmes, amusingly. Later on, Bell meets up with Scott again and admits he may have flown off the handle a bit. He asks her to give them a second chance, and she says she’d like that, but not just yet, as she is coming clean and quitting her job as a detective to work for IA full time. Once the dust settles, then maybe they can talk.

Bell returns to Holmes’ place and the two commiserate while they toss cards into what has indeed been proven by Holmes to be an actual, authentic Stanley Cup. I guess Clyde will have to find another wading pool, unfortunately. Holmes asks Bell if he wants to stay over, as he has some “special friends” (i.e. prostitutes) coming over soon, and he’s sure they could accommodate him, but Bell takes a pass on that action and that’s all she wrote for this episode.

As per usual as of late, the more fascinating elements for me in this episode were the character-driven moments, as opposed to the main case at hand. While I did appreciate seeing vets of two of my favorite current shows, “True Detective” and “The Americans,” as potential suspects in the murder, I still found the stuff with Bell and Holmes and so forth much more intriguing. That’s not to say the main case was bad, per se, just that I enjoyed the other stuff more, which I don’t consider necessarily to be a bad thing.

That said, I think I speak for most fans when I say that I was expecting a more involved plotline to have emerged by now, in order to set up the next season, and was a little shocked to see that it didn’t appear we would be getting that next week, either, with what appears to be a more comedic case involving one of Holmes’ favorite pastimes, bees, being the center of attention of the next episode. That’s not to say that something couldn’t still crop up within the episode, but it certainly didn’t appear that way. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

So, a good, not great episode of the show, primarily saved from being mediocre by the more character-driven moments, especially on Bell’s end. It’s always nice to get more insight and development on the lesser-explored members of the team, and this was no exception. All in all, I’ll take it. (I also appreciated the sly “Orange is the New Black” reference, and the Stanley Cup business was moderately amusing.)

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Did you enjoy the main case more than I did? How about the subplot with Bell and Scott? Or the Stanley Cup silliness? Are all these characters destined to live solitary lives? (That’s a sad thought.) What do you think the next major plotline will be? Might the mention of Moriarty be a foreshadowing of things to come? Sound off down below and see you next week!