Elementary “Miss Taken” Review (Season 4 Episode 7)

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On the latest episode of “Elementary,” someone familiar wrote a fictionalized book about Holmes and Watson, while a returned kidnapped victim might not be who she claimed to be, in the aptly-titled “Miss Taken.”

It all began with the “Fargo”-esque murder of a retired cop, whose badge and remains were found in a wood chipper- ouch! Holmes discovered by smell that pepper spray was used on the victim, and by the lack of struggle that he must have been there meeting with someone he knew or he wouldn’t have been there in the first place, much less come to such an ugly end.

After the wife was talked to and alibi-ed out, Holmes found out from her that the cop in question had been working on cold cases in his spare time, trying to tie up loose ends from his days on the force. Had one in particular gotten him in trouble?

Holmes investigated all concerned and promptly solved them all in record time, before landing on another one that the cop had just started looking into again: the case of a kidnapped little girl, Mina Davenport, who had supposedly escaped her captor a decade after her original capture and returned home to her thrilled family. But was she who she said she was?

While her parents, Richard (Raphael Sbarge, “Once Upon a Time”) and Nancy (Kathryn Erbe, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) initially shielded her from talking to the police, Mina herself opted to come down to the station and talk to them, which was her mistake. In no time, Holmes realized her story was a fake and that her description of her captor and details of her escape were far too vague to be true. Further, there were marked differences in her ears and the ears of the actual missing girl.

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However, one problem remained: her DNA matched the missing girl in question. How could that be, if she were an imposter? Either way, Holmes suspected that this “Mina” had realized that the cop was onto her and dispatched him accordingly. He also thinks she had help from the inside, and that she was after Mina’s trust fund, which she was due to receive soon. Alas, her “parents” get wind of it and drag faux-Mina out of there before Holmes can prove his theory.

But, of course, the girl knew Holmes was onto her, so she went to his home personally and begged him to wait until she received said trust fund and she’d help bring down her “parents” personally. The reason being, she suspected that the father had molested the “real” Mina as a child and had killed her to keep her quiet.

Naturally, there was one major problem with this theory: if that were true, then why would the parents accept her as the real Mina? According to the fake one, it was because the mother didn’t know what the father had done and was so happy to have her back, the father simply let her go on believing that, despite his past actions. But he’d given himself away, according to “Mina,” by touching her in an inappropriate way and giving her some creepy looks.

The girl identified herself as Cassie (Ally Ioannides, “Into the Badlands”), and said she’d read up on the case online in order to pull it off, but the parents had asked surprisingly little questions, opting to simply accept her at face value. She initially thought it was because they were simply happy to have their daughter back, until the father had shown his true colors- or so she said. But could Holmes believe a word coming out of this imposter’s mouth? Holmes decided to err on the side of caution and gave her a wire to wear, in order to supposedly capture something on a recording to prove her claims.

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This, of course, proved to be a ruse of Holmes’ own, which he admitted to Watson after she pointed out that Cassie- if that was even her real name- would never incriminate herself on the wire if she knew Holmes was listening. It turned out that Holmes had snuck an explosive in with the wire, which he detonated from afar at the right time, which gave the cops reason to search the house for actual clues.

Holmes found it in the car used by Cassie, which had blood on one of the pedals. The blood indeed proved to be the dead cop’s, but it was Richard who confessed to the crime, though Holmes knew he was only covering for his “daughter.” The mere fact that he would do such a thing for a stranger seemed to disprove the story spun by Cassie, but Holmes said to let Richard be processed so that they could legally obtain a DNA sample from him and use it to test against Cassie again to prove his own suspicions.

Remarkably, the DNA matches Cassie’s yet again, and Holmes is at a loss. Then he and Watson realize what must have actually happened: Cassie must have tracked down the real Mina and knocked her out and taken her hair, which was what was used by the cops to get the DNA sample originally. That was why it matched Richard’s sample- it really was his daughter’s hair. Cassie just wasn’t his real daughter.

This, of course, meant that the real one was still out there somewhere, and sure enough, the cops track her down and they bring the mother back in, confronting her with the truth of the matter. The two are reunited, and Cassie is arrested and all’s well that ends well, as it were, although Holmes later visits Cassie and she lets him know she intends to lie her way out of everything, which reminded me a bit of the ending of a movie called “Primal Fear.”

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As all this was going on, the Captain confronted Watson with a book, ostensibly written by “Grover Ogden,” which he said was clearly inspired by her and Holmes. He asked her if she knew the author, because if not, he felt that the details in the book, fake though much of them might be, had to have been written by someone who knew her and Holmes. Watson denies knowing who it is, but as we find out shortly thereafter, that proves to be a lie itself.

The culprit is none other than her stepfather, Henry (John Heard, the “Home Alone” movies), who did the whole “porn name” thing to create his pseudonym, which is how Watson knew it was him, having recognized the name of the street she grew up on from the “Ogden” part of the fake name. Furious, she confronted him and demanded he withdraw the book, only to discover he’d not only had some success with it, but had already been commissioned to write a sequel!

Henry admits he did it because it helped him to feel closer to Watson, who he’d had a falling out with after he cheated on her mother. Her mother had forgiven him, but Watson never had, and Henry missed their closeness, having loved her as if she were his own daughter for all those years. So, he wrote the book as a sort of way of coming to terms with it, but he also spiced it up by adding romance to the mix and the like, much to Watson’s chagrin.

In the end, Henry got his publisher to put the kibosh on the book and presented Watson with the sequel, which he’d already written. Holmes being Holmes, he naturally figured out what was going on and told Watson he wasn’t mad, as it was hardly the first time someone had written fictionalized versions of himself in books. After reading the second one, Watson backed down somewhat, and told Henry he could go ahead with the book, albeit with some changes, which they could discuss over dinner, so everything ended nicely there as well.

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This was a decent enough episode, although I’d seen a variation of this plotline on another show or movie, the identity of which escapes me, so I can’t say I was entirely fooled by it. It wasn’t a bad case, just a familiar one. As tends to be the case when I figure out stuff like this, I ended up enjoying the secondary storyline more than the main one as a direct result. In fact, I kind of wanted more, like perhaps Holmes reading aloud a passage from Henry’s book or something like that, which would have been a hoot.

That said, it was an okay episode overall, though given the hype leading up to it, via the advertising I saw, I expected something more, and indeed, something more integral to the main storyline at hand, in terms of Holmes or Watson, so that was sort of disappointing. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t my favorite episode of the season thus far, either. Maybe next week will bring better results. (I did, however, enjoy the whole “Masque of Red Death”-style color-coded cold case room thing, though!)

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Did you like the main case? Were you fooled? Or did you see right through it like I did? How about the business with Watson and her stepfather? Did you enjoy that? What would you like to see in the weeks to come? Sound off on this and more down below, and see you next time!