Elementary – Poison Pen

by Alan Rapp on October 20, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Elementary – Poison Pen
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“First time in my career someone’s alibi for murder has been that they
were busy planning the same murder.”

Elementary - Poison Pen

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) investigate the murder of a CEO who was poisoned and then dressed up in S&M gear and found by a dominatrix (Keesha Sharp) to add further insult to injury by a killer who wanted the victim’s name drug through the mud after his body was found. Although Homles tracks down the man (Paul Fitzgerald) who dressed his dead employer in bondage gear, but despite having motive he isn’t their murderer. While investigating the crime Holmes crosses paths with the family’s nanny (Laura Benanti) who changed her name and disappeared 15 years ago after being accused and acquitted of murdering her father in a method nearly identical to the current crime.

Holmes admits to Watson his fascination of the old case which led to a pen pal relationship with the young woman during her trial and the first of many murder cases which would fascinate Sherlock Holmes over the years. Given the coincidences in the two cases, and his belief that the woman is innocent of the current murder (but guilty of the murder of her father years ago), Holmes continues investigating on the theory that someone else who knew of her past is attempting to frame the nanny for the new murder. Watson, however, wonders is her partner’s feelings for the woman who he bonded with over their shared physical abuse years ago may be clouding Holmes’ usually reliable intellect.

Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) discovers that the murder victim’s estranged wife (Noelle Beck) had hired a private detective to dig into the other women in his life and uncovered the nanny’s sordid past. The woman admits to buying the Nitroglycerin illegally which she planned, but never got around, to use to kill her husband. Watson’s recovery of a key piece of evidence uncovers the disturbing motive for the crime and the identity of the murderer, but the young man will never stand trial for the crime.

The final twist works well as the show works to find its own kind of justice even if the character faces charges for the wrong crime. Holmes admission to his childhood friend about his certainty over the truth about what she had done and her discovery of what was done to the child in her care was far too much for a woman carrying around a lifetime of guilt. After confessing to a murder she didn’t commit to spare a child the same stigmatism she went through it’s unlikely we’ll see the character again, but I certainly wouldn’t object to Holmes picking up his pen pal relationship once more or even occasionally visiting the prison from time to time.

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