Elementary “To Catch a Predator Predator” Review (Season 5 Episode 5)

To Catch a Predator Predator

On the latest episode of “Elementary,” Holmes and company look into a twisted case in which the targets all seem to be child predators- hence the clever title, “To Catch a Predator Predator.” Meanwhile, Watson continued to try and help Shinwell upgrade his life by coaching him on how to approach a job interview- and even suggesting a surprising potential new line of work he could consider.

The main case began with a shot man falling into the room of a would-be cheating spouse at a no-tell-motel via the window. At first glance, it seemed that the incident might have been a kidnapping gone wrong involving yet another cheating spouse, but Holmes thinks it might be something a little more nefarious- that the dead man might have been a would-be child predator set-up by someone looking to entrap such types.

Holmes finds evidence it’s happened before, and recently, five times in all. In each case, the person pretends to be a girl on a dating site, before admitting that they are “underage” to see if anyone will take the bait and agree to meet them anyway. When and if they do, the poser overcomes them, ties them up and tortures them until they admit what they are and threatens to release the info if they don’t change their sick ways.

Only with this latest incident, the person in question turned deadly, killing their prey for the first time. Were they escalating? Or was this simply a case of their getting a hold of someone they couldn’t handle for the first time? Either way, very little was known about the person in question, beyond their being white and wearing a painter’s mask at the time of abduction, making identification tricky.

Holmes and Watson talk to the wife, who insists that the victim was about as far away from a sexual predator as one could get. In fact, his own sister was the victim of a sexual assault some time ago, so he was very much against that sort of thing for obvious reasons. However, her brother begs to differ, mentioning that, when she suspected her husband was cheating, she had him investigate and the brother found some dubious pics of seemingly underage girls on the husband’s laptop.

To Catch a Predator Predator

Holmes traces the vic’s laptop activity to a dating site called True Romantix, but the owner refuses to cooperate. However, a female employee overhears and admits she hates her boss and the job and would be willing to help any way she can. She agrees to send Holmes any relevant info she can find about the case. As it turns out, though, the killer was not using said dating site to contact their victims after all, and was smarter than they may have thought.

Indeed, it turns out that the pictures that the initial victim had on their laptop that the brother found were actually pilfered from the True Romantix site, and were, in fact, stock photos. In other words, the victim wasn’t catfished- he WAS the catfisher, using fake photos to lure child predators to the hotel, where he confronted them. Given the man’s background, and what happened to his sister, this decidedly made more sense.

Bell finds the would-be predator-stopper’s signature painter’s mask near the scene of the crime and has it tested for DNA. In the meantime, they bring back in the witness, whose window the victim fell through. He agrees to talk, in exchange for not telling his wife and being let go, which Gregson agrees to- at first.

It seems the guy had planned to film his impending encounter, and was filming at the time of the murder. After the body fell through his window, he got a clear shot of a white Toyota Corolla fleeing the scene, on video. When they realize that the witness was actually up to no good himself, Gregson says he’ll let him go but charge him later with intent to solicit sex with a minor, or something to that effect. In other words, the victim was headed to the witness’ room when he was killed, as the witness thought he was an underage girl.

Holmes takes a closer look at the perverts that the victim had already trapped and confronted, and manages to narrow it down to one likely suspect, Jack McGill, whose life was upended by the encounter, as he lost his job, family, and a highly lucrative sexual harassment lawsuit that cost him an enormous amount of money. Holmes and Watson head to the houseboat he now lives on to confront him.

To Catch a Predator Predator

McGill doesn’t deny he’s glad the guy is dead, given all it cost him, but says he doesn’t have a True Romantix account, and that he was actually approached by someone else and set up. He suspects it was Yvette Ingram, the woman who had filed the sexual harassment suit against him, looking to bolster her case by getting him in trouble, but regardless, he swears he was never into young girls and was led there under false pretenses, not by someone pretending to be underage.

Holmes realizes that someone may have catfished the catfisher and used it to their advantage, and Yvette certainly fits that bill, what with the pending lawsuit. After verifying that the murder victim was, in fact, said catfisher, Holmes suspects that perhaps Yvette was his next target, but she didn’t fall for it, and instead, reverse-engineered the whole thing and used it to her advantage by figuring out who the catfisher was and tracking him down and killing him.

She admits that the incident helped to bolster her case against McGill, but that she only got a fraction of the $10 million she won in the settlement, with the company’s law firm handling the case getting the lion’s share. As such, she hardly stood to win enough worth killing over- but the firm did, so it was time to talk to them.

Holmes opts to go undercover to do so, starting a false True Romantix account and contacting a secretary at the firm in question, managing to woo her enough to get a list of investors from her firm, and thus, a list of potential suspects. One of them turns out to be the victim’s brother-in-law, aka the one all too willing to throw the guy under the bus earlier.

He admits to being the one who posed as the catfisher to lure McGill to the location, knowing that his brother-in-law would do his thing and subsequently, once exposed as a child predator, Yvette would easily win her lawsuit against McGill. However, he denies having killed the catfisher, saying he had another lawsuit pending that he was planning to use his brother-in-law for yet again, in order to swing the vote his way again.

To Catch a Predator Predator

The vic’s brother-in-law also has an alibi for the time of death which checks out, so it’s back to the drawing board. Spurred by something Watson says, Holmes has a revelation and goes to investigate it, hoping he’s wrong, but quite sure he’s right. Sure enough, it turned out that the woman he spoke to earlier at True Romantix that had helped him was herself the victim of rape when she was 14 at the hands of an older predator.

It seems that one of the catfisher’s previous victims had fled town after being confronted by him, and just when another victim of his had come forward to bolster her account of being raped, which she had never been able to prove. In scaring the man into leaving the country, the catfisher had denied her justice, so she determined to confront him. Only when she did so, he somewhat laughed her off, in spite of the gun she held, so in her rage at being made to feel like a victim again, she shot him.

This was the sort of case where no one really wins and justice isn’t entirely served, as the culprit was as much a victim as the victim themselves, which is always an unfortunate circumstance. To that end, feeling bad at the outcome, Holmes managed to track down her assaulter to Indonesia, where he just so happened to have a contact in law enforcement.

After explaining who the man in question was, and what he would likely do to their own people, Holmes managed to get the contact to plant some drugs in the man’s room and have him arrested, assuring he would spend quite some time rotting away in an Indonesian jail cell, if not for his real crime, then for another crime, at least, thus assuring his victims would get some justice after all. (I wouldn’t have minded a follow-up scene where Holmes communicated this to the culprit of the main case, but I suppose that was inferred.)

Insofar as the Shinwell subplot goes, Watson continued to advise him on how to prepare for a job interview, even going so far as to lend him some clothes from Sherlock, which led to the episode’s nod to the old-school Sherlock character, via the sight of a Deerstalker cap, just like the one Sherlock is traditionally associated with. Alas, Shinwell couldn’t even land a fast food type job, and was left to remain at the nasty gym job he was working at instead.

To Catch a Predator Predator

Watson then approached Shinwell with a proposition: what if she agreed to train Shinwell to do what she did, that is, to be a detective? Shinwell laughs this off, and eventually turned down her offer, but, as we see later on, it may not be entirely because he doesn’t think he has the right stuff to do it.

Rather, it may be because an old associate of his is in the process of dragging Shinwell back into a life of crime, and is getting suspicious of Watson’s being around all the time, which could put her in danger. As such, he probably turned her down not because he wasn’t interested- even though he probably doesn’t think it’s in his wheelhouse, truthfully- but to keep Watson out of trouble, if not himself.

I fear this isn’t going to end well for Shinwell, but you never know. Regardless, we have our ongoing, underlying plot-line for the season, or at least part of it, confirmed, so those of us worried there wouldn’t be one can rest assured that such is not the case. If I had to guess, I’d say that maybe Shinwell will get involved because he doesn’t have a choice on the front end, but then seek help from Watson when things inevitably go south to prove that he was innocent of something or the other that will happen on down the line.

All in all, this was a pretty good episode. I thought the main case was really interesting, and sort of like “Dexter” by way of “Catfish.” Why these morons do these things, knowing full well that it’s painfully easy to dupe someone into thinking you’re someone you’re not online is beyond me. I’m not necessarily saying they deserved to die, but at the very least, they had the lesson coming that the catfisher taught them.

I did feel bad for the culprit, though, and I actually had no problem with what Holmes did on her behalf with the Indonesian police, as shady as that might be. Holmes is right in that the guy almost certainly would have done it again, and it’s not as if the policeman HAD to do what Holmes suggested.

The policeman basically just did the wrong thing for the right reason, but to me, the ends justify the means in this case, as there are few things lower than molesting a child. Murder might be one of them, but I can see why the killer did what she did in the heat of the moment as well, as wrong as it might have been. Some scars never quite fully heal, and God help anyone who stands in the way of someone getting justice for a elusive criminal that wronged them. It may not be right, but it is understandable, and I think Holmes got that.

To Catch a Predator Predator

What did you think of the latest episode of “Elementary”? For me, this was on par with the second episode as the best of the season so far, for the main case alone. The Shinwell stuff wasn’t entirely compelling but I can see where it might become so, on down the line, once we get a few more twists and turns in it. As such, the jury’s out until then, but I enjoyed the main case enough for it not to matter just yet.

Sound off down below and let me know what you thought, and I’ll see you next week!