Elementary “The Cost of Doing Business” Review (Season 4 Episode 6)


On the winter finale of “Elementary,” we discovered “The Cost of Doing Business,” as Holmes and his father Morland (John Noble) teamed up once again to take down a sniper and whoever hired him. But what exactly was that cost? And would Holmes be comfortable paying it if he truly knew what was at stake and what that cost truly was? The truth is, we don’t precisely know the answer to that question as of yet, but it certainly doesn’t look good on the surface, as we later found out.

It all began with the aforementioned sniper attack, which resulted in a host of deaths and many others wounded- but was all the fanfare merely to disguise the real target? Morland certainly thought so, and contacted Holmes personally by coming by the brownstone to posit his theory. It seems that he’d crossed paths with said sniper before, and even had a name, Pierre Gagnier (Jakob Von Eichel, “Doll & Em”), but the details of how he’d obtained said name weren’t exactly on the up-and-up, so he needed Holmes to make the appropriate connections without incriminating him or his sources.

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Naturally, despite this, Morland wanted to be more hands-on in his involvement, with one getting the sense that he was actively enjoying the proceedings as the episode- and the case- wore on. After taking a closer look at the names of the victims, Holmes determined that one name stood out above the rest: Ethan Parris, so he and Morland went to talk to his employers at Dynastic Energy.

There was Bill Wellstone (John Shea, aka Blair’s dad on “Gossip Girl” and Lex Luthor himself on “Lois & Clark”), who, from the jump had his lawyer, Joel Fitzgerald (Reed Diamond, of “Minority Report” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) present and accounted for, which didn’t exactly make him look innocent. Parris was the negotiator on a billion dollar deal involving a hydroelectric dam, so it was possible that he had been taken out as a way to sink the deal.

Neither was exactly cooperative, so Morland did what he was wont to do and threatened to scuttle the deal himself if they didn’t help out. They did, and in part it led to the revelation that the Stateside firm handling the Peruvian-based deal was Zagner Williams, who just so happened to own the building that the sniper had occupied during his onslaught on the general public, so clearly a visit was in order.

The associate they talked to laughed them off, pointing out that if it were true that he’d hired a sniper, then he’d done a subpar job, as he knew exactly where Parris worked, and if he were the target, then why was the sniper occupying the part of the building that didn’t face the direction of where Parris worked, and thus would be ensured to walk if he were the target? Holmes believed him, so it was back to the drawing board.


At this point, Holmes saw the need for involving his employers, who he’d been ducking up until then. He called Bell for details on the victims, with only one name standing out- Frank Bova, a plumber who ate lunch at the same place every day, with that place being firmly in the line of fire of the sniper. Furthermore, he was the first person shot, so, if Morland’s theory was correct, then he was the real target and the rest were mere camouflage. But why would anyone target a lowly plumber?

Bova’s widow (Celia Keenan-Bolger, “The Visit”) was no help, but an inspection of his personal effects that the police had returned to her revealed that he’d had a tracker in his phone, which Holmes traced back to its point of origin, a Turkish bath. Once again, he was uncooperative, and once again, Morland’s business savvy came in handy, as a bribe was all it took to get him to talking. Holmes discovered that the sniper had used a stolen credit card at the place, which he had also used to procure a hotel.

Holmes contacted the authorities and Captain Gregson formed a SWAT team to take down the sniper, which is exactly what they did- literally, as he ended up taking a plunge from a fire escape during a botched attempt to get away. Unfortunately, the fall killed him, leaving who hired him in the first place still a mystery.

A closer look at the security footage at the front door of Zagner Williams revealed that the sniper had come into the heavily-guarded building without a gun, however. So, how had he gotten the gun inside? Was it possible he’d had help from an employee at the firm? If so, how had they gotten the gun inside without attracting attention themselves, employee or not?

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Upon closer inspection of the sniper’s apartment, Holmes found a Sudoku with several codes hidden inside one of the puzzles. Holmes identified the numbers as a banking account with a Swiss routing number, and it was once again time to lean on his father for an assist. He talked to a mole he had overseas, Agent Lukas Miller (Edoardo Ballerini, “Boardwalk Empire”), who found two sizable payments to said bank account- one before the killings, one after completion, both of which could be traced back to a shell corporation that was a subsidiary of none other than Dynastic Energy.

After once again scoping out the list of names and doing a little digging, Holmes found yet another connection- it seems that the plumber was, in fact, sleeping with lawyer Fitzgerald’s wife. So, he’s brought down to the precinct and questioned, only to discover that Fitzgerald didn’t seem to know anything about it- and wasn’t entirely thrilled to find out, threatening to kill his wife!

So, yet another visit to Dynastic was in order, this time to put more pressure on Wellstone to allow them to take a look at their books to find out more. Morland once again applied pressure, realizing upon his resistance in the guise of “protecting” his lawyer that Wellstone was actually protecting himself. Having taken a look into his background, Morland had found out that Wellstone had a reputation for sleeping with other men’s wives, and accused him of doing the same with Fitzgerald’s, which he denied.

But there was no proof, so it was back to the drawing board yet again. An eagle-eyed Holmes spotted some grass in the photograph of the sniper’s lair, which Holmes suspected was of the fake variety found on a golf course. Another look at the security footage yields the revelation that none other than Wellstone had brought a set of golf clubs inside the ZW building. Being as how his golf buddy worked there, it would have been easy for Wellstone to walk the gun right in hidden away in golf bag, then bring it right to the sniper, who was already in the building at the time.

Unfortunately for Wellstone, the person to whom he had gifted the golf clubs to gave them up right away, in hopes of gaining leverage over DE if Wellstone was found guilty on the dam deal. Gun oil residue was indeed found inside the bag that matched the gun found on the scene used by the sniper, and, just to drive things home, Fitzgerald’s wife, who wasn’t too happy about being exposed, was willing to testify that she had an affair with Wellstone as well. After all, Wellstone had her new boyfriend, the plumber, killed out of jealousy. Can you say busted?


This was a pretty solid case, I thought, and it was interesting to see the way Morland handled his side of the case, often relying on his business savvy and connections to pave the way for Holmes finding out more. Factor in the admitted benefits of having a helicopter at one’s disposal, and Morland’s immense fortune, and even Holmes had to allow that having Morland on his side wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, despite his occasionally underhanded tactics.

Indeed, Holmes even went so far as to acknowledge to Watson that perhaps he’d misjudged his father, and that Watson might want to give him a second chance herself, being as how she might have been influenced by his poisoning her against Morland. He also acknowledged that he knew all about Morland bribing the DA to ensure Holmes stayed out of jail, which surprised Watson, who feared that the revelation might shock him.

Instead, Holmes was nonplussed, pointing out that he knew well that his father often adopted shady means to reach his intended ends- something he himself had witnessed over the course of the episode’s case. But was Morland even more underhanded than he thought? A final scene revealed that such was indeed the case, as Morland met with Agent Miller, who tried to extort money from him to ensure his cooperation in terms of telling Holmes of Morland’s “real” intentions towards him.

While we didn’t discover exactly what that was, it was clear that Morland didn’t have the best of intentions in terms of why he was there and why he had reconnected with his son. Miller heavily implied that he knew exactly what Morland was up to and that Holmes was in danger, and that Morland was hardly there just to “help” him, as he claimed.

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However, Miller clearly bit off more than he could chew, as Morland alluded to a previous associate that had turned up dead when he got a little too greedy as well, and heavily inferred that Miller could end up meeting the same fate if he didn’t watch himself. Agreeing to pretend the conversation never happened, a clearly-rattled Miller fled, after a thinly-veiled threat to his family was leveled by Morland in a most chilling fashion. “Call me Mr. Holmes,” indeed.

So, obviously Morland is more corrupt that even Holmes believed, with his actions going a damn sight further than mere bribery and threats. It would seem that Morland had himself also done some extracurricular hiring of murders to take care of any potential problems. How much do you want to bet that the real reason he knew the identity of the sniper in question on this episode was that he himself had hired him once upon a time? Either way, this can’t end well.

It’s impossible not to worry about the implications of this for Holmes, who was finally starting to, if not warm up to his father, then at the very least, starting to appreciate the perks of having Morland in his corner. But what might be the result if that were no longer the case? I don’t like the idea of the potential fallout that could occur if Holmes got on his father’s bad side. Obviously, Agent Miller didn’t either, hence his threat to talk to Holmes personally to warn him.

Hopefully, Holmes is sharp enough to figure out what his father is really up to before it endangers him too much, but we’ll see. Morland is clearly a force to be reckoned with, with a fair amount of intelligence to draw from himself, and the resources to always stay one step ahead of his talented son at every turn. Like I said, this can’t end well.

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So, what did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Did you enjoy the main case? What did you think of Morland and Holmes as a team? What do you think Morland is really up to by reconnecting with his son? Will Holmes be able to come out on top in whatever his father is up to? Or will his father drag him down with him? What do you think will happen next? Is Morland really capable of framing or even murdering his own son? Let me know what you think down below, and I’ll see you on the other side of the holidays when “Elementary” returns in January!