Elementary “Worth Several Cities” Review (Season 5 Episode 2)

Worth Several Cities

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” a rare Chinese artifact set into motion a crazed scrambling for its possession that left anyone who stood in the way dead, as Watson tried to help Shinwell (Nelsan Ellis) locate his long lost daughter, in “Worth Several Cities.”

We began with a kidnapped Holmes, who found himself holding court with a local drug dealer named Halcoln (Jon Huertas, a long way from “Castle”), who promptly showed him a host of dead bodies, including fellow dealer and supplier Rey Torres, whose shipment was also stolen by the perpetrators. In other words, not only had the person in question killed a valued member of his team, but stolen a massive cache of crystal meth to boot, which made solving this crime a high priority- and not just for Halcoln.

As he informed Holmes, either he helped him find the person in question or he and his loved ones would end up dead. Holmes being Holmes, though, he couldn’t help but ask for a favor to boot. It seems that a local dealer had been serving up poisoned heroin which had already taken the life of a friend of Holmes’. Holmes agreed to help if Halcoln promised to help him find the guilty party so he could bring him to justice, which he did.

Worth Several Cities

Holmes begins with a footprint he saw at the scene of the crime, which he recognized as being from a shoe that was North Korean in origin. Thinking it to likely be a fellow rival smuggler that did Torres in, he looks to local docks and finds a likely suspect, the captain of a North Korean ship, and has him brought in. The man readily confesses, but is a little too eager to do so, leading Holmes to believe he’s lying and covering for his employers.

Eventually the man, who admits to being a smuggler, says that he didn’t want to talk for fear for his family’s safety, but allows that culprits behind the theft of the drugs weren’t looking for drugs at all, but rather a specific item, a box containing something valuable, but what he didn’t know. Having effectively hit a wall, Holmes goes back to the drawing board to try and figure out his next move.

Determining that Torres might have had a mistress, he looks for a likely place that Torres might have stashed her, looking into property Torres owned. While Holmes and Bell head to a potential location, Watson hangs back to help Shinwell, who is trying to find his daughter, who went missing after her mother OD’d while he was in prison. He suspects that she might be staying with a relative, but doesn’t know for sure who- or if she’s even still in the US.

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Shortly thereafter, Watson receives an unexpected visit from a group of Asian men, who make her an offer for some $50 million dollars if she and Holmes can find the missing box in question and deliver it to them. They leave her a phone number to contact them, but never say who they are or what is in the box.

Holmes and Bell discover that the mistress is, in fact, a guy, which is why Torres kept things so on the down low. He confirms that Torres had the box and was knew of its value and was planning to sell it in an auction. The auction went through, but not the sale, as Torres was murdered and the box stolen before he could get the money and complete the transaction.

By tossing down some sand on a table that Torres had laid the box on for a time, Holmes notices the outline of the box, as well as a prominent Chinese character. From this, Holmes deduces that the item in question is the much-sought-after Imperial Jade Seal of China, arguably the most priceless long-lost item in Chinese history, having been missing for some thousand years. Supposedly, whoever possesses it has the “divine right” to rule China.

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Upon learning this information, Watson deduces that the men who visited her were from Taiwan, as evidenced by their accents and the fact that they used her birth name instead of Joan Watson. Also a factor is that the people of Taiwan have long sought to reclaim rule of China over the Chinese and likely think that the Jade Seal would help them accomplish a coup.

Holmes notices that Torres did a lot of business with a local caterer, and pays them a visit. There, he gets the address of their last delivery place, and finds out that someone had been there in a heavy vehicle, which he realizes must have been an armored car. He traces said car to none other than Mr. Vachs (Ron Rifkin, “Alias”), a filthy rich local businessman Holmes has had run-ins with before. Indeed, upon trying to talk to Vachs, he is immediately cut off by his security, who serve Holmes a restraining order on the spot!

Holmes realizes they need something to leverage Vachs with to get him to talk to them, so he seeks out the help of Everyone once again. In the meantime, they receive yet another unexpected visitor, a young local student, Wendy (Annie Q.), who was sent to deliver a message: whatever the Taiwanese group offered in exchange for the box, the Chinese will outbid them on if they bring the item to them instead.

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Halcoln contacts Holmes and the two meet at a location of the former’s choosing. Once there, Halcoln shows Holmes what is left of the heroin dealer he wanted him to find, making no bones about having murdered him in cold blood. Now having delivered on his end, he fully expects Holmes to within two days- or else. Holmes naturally tries to tie the crime to Halcoln, but there’s no evidence to do so.

After being contacted by Everyone, Holmes goes outside Vachs’ building with a bullhorn, and armed with the necessary evidence to bring him down, starts shouting it to anyone who will listen. In no time, the lawyer that served him earlier with the restraining order comes out to drive him off and he tells him either Vachs talks to him or he’ll blab the evidence he has publicly, which he hasn’t yet, really.

Sure enough Vachs accepts, and says that he can help Holmes with the investigation after all. It seems that Vachs was actually the winning bidder on Torres’ auction for the Jade Seal, but Torres was ambushed before he could deliver the item. Vachs thinks it must have been a losing bidder who did it and provides him with a list of potential suspects.

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Watson tracks down Shinwell’s wife’s sister, Laila (Stacey Sargeant) at a local diner and asks her if it would be possible for Shinwell to visit his daughter. She outright refuses, saying that she fears Shinwell might fall back into bad habits and start dealing drugs again- and warns Watson to watch her back as well, lest she end up hurt, too.

Holmes brings in an expert, only known to him as C. (Jane Alexander, “The Good Wife”), with neither he or Watson known to her by name either, at least once C. stops Watson from revealing her own name. C. goes through the list of bidders, confirming that Vachs won the auction as he claimed, and narrowing it down to one likely suspect, the Densham Institute, which is headed up by two brothers with extensive police records.

C. notes that one of the brothers was in North Korea recently, and suspects that he may have been the one who found the artifact in the first place, only to have it stolen by someone else, probably Torres. Finding out about the auction, the brother then likely tracked down the seller and killed him, with a little help from his North Korean buddies, taking back the Jade Seal in the process.

Worth Several Cities

Holmes has the cops head over to Densham’s house, only to find him dead- and killed with the Jade Seal, no less. As the artifact was left on the premises, Holmes assumes it wasn’t Vachs, or he would have taken it with him. As such, it might be unrelated, and just a coincidence that the man was killed with the very item causing so much trouble- or is it?

Asking about what happens to the Jade Seal after the crime is closed, Holmes discovers that it will be shipped back to its rightful owner- not Vachs, but China itself. After a little more digging, Holmes finds out that Vachs was on the verge of bankruptcy, and surmises that he might have hired someone to kill Densham, knowing the Jade Seal would eventually find its way back to China. To that end, he made a deal with China to make it happen, in exchange for signing a contract he needed to keep his company afloat.

Holmes can’t prove it, but he confronts Vachs anyway, telling him he’ll sic Halcoln on him if he doesn’t confess. Vachs does so, and all’s well that ends well, as Halcoln backs off of Holmes in exchange for holding up his end of the bargain, albeit in a more lawful way than Halcoln would have, which is to be expected, I suppose.

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Watson meets with Shinwell to break the bad news to him, only to find he has hired someone else to track down his daughter, and that he’s currently watching her play soccer. He tells Watson he just wanted to know she was okay and has no plans to actually interfere with her life after all, thinking she’ll be better off.

That was about it for this episode. It was a decent enough episode, full of intrigue and suspense, though, TBH, I found the Shinwell business to be a bit of a distraction that didn’t really add much to the proceedings, aside from making one continue to wonder if he had “gone straight” or not and was just using Watson as a means to an end. In the end, it would seem that he had, but we’ll see. Maybe he was just checking in on his daughter before getting back to business.

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What did you think of tonight’s episode of “Elementary”? Did you like the main case? What do you think of the whole Shinwell subplot? Do you miss the more long-term ongoing plot-lines? Do you think there will be any this season, or is that a thing of the past? Sound off down below, and see you next week!