Elementary “Up to Heaven and Down to Hell” Review (Season 4 Episode 15)

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On the latest episode of “Elementary,” while Captain Gregson’s secret relationship with Paige (Virginia Madsen, “Sideways”) hit a snag after unexpectedly running into Watson at a restaurant and lying about how he knew her, the team investigated a bizarre case involving a woman who left her money to her beloved dog, in “Up to Heaven and Down to Hell.”

The case began when a man was walking down the street after an altercation with another man and was promptly waylaid and killed when a woman fell from several stories onto him. But did she commit suicide or was she pushed? Reports of her having dementia seemed to support the former, but a look at her estate supported the latter- particularly when it was discovered that she has written her kids out of the will in favor of leaving her money to her beloved dog!

A look at the crime scene revealed several things: an ottoman was pushed up to the edge of the balcony, ostensibly for her to climb onto and jump off the building, but which she couldn’t possibly have moved herself as a person with debilitating arthritis- there was also blood on the underside of it, which could safely be assumed to have been left behind by whoever did actually push it there.

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Further, her medication for said arthritis was switched out in favor of something else, which just so happened to induce side effects similar to that of dementia- and one of her kids just so happened to be a physician who lived nearby. He later turns himself in, and admits to having switched out her meds; in hopes of making her look disoriented at an upcoming hearing to prove that she wasn’t of sound mind in changing her will to leave her money to her dog.

However, simply because he wouldn’t have killed her before the hearing had happened, he is ruled out as a suspect in her death. Holmes moves on to her lawyer, who would be the executor of her estate and also in charge of said dog, which he does indeed possess at the moment. He says he advised her against the move, knowing from experience that the kids would drag out things for ages when they inevitably contested it- but she didn’t care and knew exactly what she was doing, which was basically giving them all the middle finger, metaphorically speaking.

Whatever the case, he had already taken a new job elsewhere and was moving, so he was no longer involved and had every intention of giving the dog away, not being in charge of it from there on out. What this ultimately means is that no one seemingly had anything to gain in the short-term from her death.

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At a loss for the moment, Holmes goes to one of his father’s properties with a view of the old woman’s building, among others. He jokes to Watson how he can just see his father up there, evaluating his surroundings: “Need it, need it, got it, got it…” He also notes how the woman was in talks to make a deal with William Hull (Skip Sudduth, “Ray Donovan”)- a real-estate developer who figured into a previous episode, “Terra Pericolosa”- over so-called “air rights” or the space above her building.

Basically, Hull wanted to build a building that would have blocked her and others on the block’s point of view, which had to be approved by each and every one of them for the building to proceed. The woman’s death had actually tied up that process as well, so Hull had nothing to gain from her death…but his detractors did.

Holmes and Watson talk to Hull, who is resistant at first because of their past accusations, but later cooperates, and directs them towards building designer Busquet (Malcolm Gets, “Caroline in the City”), who admits that there was considerable opposition to the project. (Quips Holmes of his building design: “Did straight lines hurt you as a child?”)

Busquet directs them to the most vocal of the opposition, Derek O’Neil, the leader of “Save the West Side,” which was actively trying to squash the project. However, when Holmes and Watson get there, they discover that it’s already being shut down and that they didn’t even know the building was being put off indefinitely. The reason being, O’Neil was murdered recently, which caused the protest group to fold entirely.

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What’s worse, the murder is unsolved and happened before the death of the old woman, so he couldn’t have killed her. Holmes did catch one thing the cops investigating the scene didn’t, because of course he did- the likely make of a shoe print at the scene, which he identifies as a high-end Italian shoe. Holmes begins to suspect that there are actually two killers and that one of them was from Hull’s end.

Watson posits that perhaps there was a mole in Hull’s organization that was feeding info to O’Neil’s side. She later identifies it as Austin Reem, which Hull’s people confirm. Busquet says that the mole stole some files and was promptly fired for it, but that the files in question were about to be made public anyway, so they certainly weren’t worth murdering anyone over. Holmes asks to see the files in question, but is told he’ll need a warrant.

Watson says they don’t have enough to get one, but Holmes is undeterred, especially after nabbing a photo of Busquet wearing some shoes that match his previous description of the ones at O’Neil’s murder scene. So, naturally, he gets a blueprint of Basquet’s building from a source, and then uses it to break in and steal the files anyway!

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From the files, he determines that Hull had seemingly found a way around the blocking of the project by making the building shorter, thus avoiding the protests that were holding it up. He now thinks that one person is responsible for both murders, but it isn’t Hull, its Busquet. The problem is, the files were obtained illegally, so he needs Hull himself to sign off on it in order to bring down Busquet legally by giving them enough to compel a DNA sample from him, which they can then match to the blood found at the scene of the old woman’s murder, if not the shoes, which he had likely already gotten rid of.

To do so, Holmes appeals to Hull’s sense of pride in himself, pointing out that the building in question was structurally unsound and could have potentially have been a disaster-in-the-making if it came down- and it almost certainly would have. Busquet realized this, but having millions of dollars on the line, along with jobs he’d already secured because of his work with Hull, he needed a way out without admitting his design flaws. So, Busquet killed the old woman to indefinitely stymie the project, and later killed O’Neil when he had the misfortune to catch Busquet in the act of stealing back the files in question that proved all of this.

Holmes points out that, if Hull turns over the files to them legally, they can prove all of this and he comes off looking like a hero, his legacy intact. If not, then he could potentially be painted as a monster in the press, which could quash his intended political aspirations in the process. We never get his answer, but we don’t really need it- its obvious which route Hull will take in the matter.

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Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, Captain Gregson hits a snag with his girlfriend on the down low, Paige, when he accidentally runs into Watson at a restaurant and lies about how he knows her. The reason being that Paige is wary of cops ever since an incident in which she bowed to peer pressure and participated in taking some drug money from a dealer’s bust, along with some fellow cops.

The incident came back to haunt her when the act was discovered and she was called out for it by her superiors. She later confessed and fully cooperated- but at the expense of her fellow officers. Because of this, she’d had to leave the force, and had made some enemies to boot. Not wanting it to reflect poorly on Gregson, she’d insisted they keep their relationship secret, lest it cause him trouble.

However, when she’d found out that Watson was actually a consultant with the force, she freaked out and broke it off with the Captain, ostensibly for his own sake. But Watson, feeling bad, seeks her out and tries to point out that she’s only a consultant and that Paige could trust her to keep things on the down low. Paige isn’t having it and asks her to leave, but she’s clearly moved by Watson’s appeal on the behalf of her friend.

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So, later on, she pays Gregson a visit and admits the real truth: she didn’t break it off because of her past, but because of her future. That is, she was just diagnosed with MS and while it might not affect her in the short term, it was eventually going to be debilitating and she didn’t want Gregson to have to deal with that, least of all in a relationship that had just barely gotten started. Gregson asks if he even has a say in the matter, and she says it’s her choice and he doesn’t.

In the end, though, Gregson reads up on the disease and has a heart-to-heart with Watson about it, in which Watson admits that, once the disease takes hold, Paige would indeed be all but completely dependent on him and any loved ones she might have. But she points out that he would also have the support of his friends, which is something Paige doesn’t have under her circumstances. Gregson bites the bullet and decides to go and talk to Paige, as he loves her.

This was a solid enough episode, with some great one-liners and some quirky turns, between the thing with the dog to the bizarre design of the building, not to mention Holmes’ oft-dubious actions in solving the case. I also liked the bizarre opening, with Holmes and Watson standing watch over a piece of meat in the park, to see how it would be affected by insects and the like if it were covered with meth! (Not sure why he had to drag Watson along for that, but it made for an amusing visual.)

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Also, the plotline with Gregson and Paige was genuinely effecting, as it showed what a good guy he was- even when he was dealt an essentially bad hand. Not everyone would have stepped up to the plate in his situation, least of all after they were given a way out, but he did, which is pretty amazing. That certainly speaks volumes about the strength of his character, and was a really nice arc for the character in general.

All in all, a good episode of the show, even if it wasn’t as attention-grabbing as some of the more left-of-center cases this season. I did like the touch of a recurring character, though, and it will be interesting to see if Hull crops up again. I did wonder what ultimately happened to the dog, though, which looked awfully sad! I can’t imagine Holmes going for it, but you never know. Maybe Bell will take matters into his own hands.

I do like the way this show occasionally allows viewers to fill in the blanks for themselves, something which not all shows of its ilk do, which says a lot about this one. By allowing us to piece together certain aspects of the case ourselves, as well as the outcome, it almost makes us feel like participants ourselves, which is pretty cool. I just wish they did more of it, since such is not always the case.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? Did you enjoy the case? How about the way it was resolved? Did you wonder about the dog, too? Do you think we’ll be seeing more of Paige? Do you want to? With the show swiftly coming to a close, what would you like to see in the last few episodes, especially if they prove to be the series finale? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week!