Elementary Review: Poison Pen
Sherlock certainly does have some interesting acquaintances. This week we’re introduced to Mistress Felicia when she calls Sherlock for help after finding her new client on the floor, dead. Sherlock and Joan arrive on the scene and quickly deduce that the client did not overdose; he was poisoned. Sherlock also notes an element of sexual humiliation in the murder, which leads them to a sex shop.
Mrs. Delancy, the victim’s wife, claims that she doesn’t know who would have done this to her husband. But during the interview Sherlock recognizes the nanny as Abigail Spencer, a woman who was accused and then acquitted of killing her father with the same poison used on Mr. Delancy.
Under interrogation, Detective Gregson gets Abigail to confirm who she is. She denies that she murdered anyone, and gets defensive about being interviewed by the cops. She is incredibly upset that she’s back in that room, being questioned about another murder that she claims she didn’t do. Sherlock doesn’t believe that she murdered Mr. Delancy and that Abigail is being framed.
Joan confronts Sherlock about how he identified Abigail. She thinks it’s the tattoo on her wrist. Sherlock confirms that he knew her before she changed her name and ran away. Sherlock explains that he was her pen-pal during the trial under the name Shawn Holmes. They maintained a relationship through letters and Sherlock deduced that she did kill her father, but that she is not a killer. Sherlock explains that Abigail’s father was abusive and he understood why she killed him.
Sherlock goes to see Abigail the next day and confesses who he was to her. She’s shocked. Sherlock asks her about anything suspicious in her life before Mr. Delancy died. Abigail remembers a brown sedan that was following her a few weeks ago and gives Sherlock the plate number that she wrote down in case it happened again. Sherlock is about to leave, but Abigail asks him to stay because she could really use a friend. He stays.
Sherlock sends a text to the detectives about the plate and they find that it’s attached to a PI who was hired by Mrs. Delancy to see if her husband was cheating on her. He wasn’t, but the PI found out Abigail’s true identity. Mrs. Delancy then confesses to being with a pill-dealing doctor while her husband was being killed, to purchase a quantity of pills that she was going to use to kill her husband.
Sherlock says that this is the first time that a suspect was cleared because she was planning to kill her husband with a doctor. He says it almost with a pout and I admit, I laughed. He’s disappointed the wife didn’t kill her husband because she was too busy planning to kill him. Sherlock says that his new suspect is the oldest son, Graham. Joan accuses Sherlock of being in love with Abigail. He confesses that he was bullied at boarding school. My heart hurt for him in this scene. It looks like he mentally went back to that boy being kicked around and he’s doing it in front of Joan, the one person that he knows will not judge him for being that way. Joan instead theorizes that Sherlock was attached to Abigail because they were both being bullied. Sherlock agrees and explains that she was his first killer and that’s what he wanted to do in with his life, catch murderers. Joan asks if that’s why he never told her that he knew Abigail killed her father. Sherlock doesn’t answer.
The next day after the funeral service, Sherlock and Joan go to see Graham, who’s not really upset over the murder. Sherlock confronts Graham about killing his father, he denies it and throws the suspicion on Abigail. Graham says that Abigail and her father fought before he died and that he got it all on his phone. Sherlock shows Abigail, who says that she fought over his tablet. Sherlock theorizes that it was about blackmail, that Mr. Delancey knew about her former identity and that he was going to use it to get sexual favors from her. Abigail says that she forgot about the fight and that’s why she didn’t mention it to him. Sherlock confronts her about poisoning her father. Abigail denies it, but Sherlock presses forward, presenting evidence. Abigail throws him out and Sherlock leaves.
At Sherlock’s suggestion, the cops search the Delancy home but can’t find the tablet. Detective Bell tells Joan, who is sitting at Mr. Delancy’s desk fiddling with a locked drawer. Joan manages to get the drawer open, but it’s empty. Bell says that his ex used to keep his tablet in a case that looked like a book. While searching the bookcases, Joan counts the air vents and tells Bell that five vents is too many vents. That there’s one for intake and one for outtake, that five is overkill. Joan searches and eventually finds the fake vent, that holds the tablet. It’s filled with the kind of videos that get you send to jail and under protective watch for 23 hours a day. Joan tells this to Sherlock, who’s on his way.
Sherlock, Joan and Detective Gregson confront Graham about what happened. Graham tells his Aunt and the lawyer to leave the room. They do and Graham tells them that the videos on the tablet don’t prove anything. Joan confronts Graham about his fingerprints on the PI’s report. Sherlock takes them through how he thought the murder happened. Abigail arrives at the police station because Graham’s brother called her. She’s told about what happened to Graham by his Aunt and the lawyer. This leads to Abigail confessing to killing Mr. Delancy.
Sherlock goes to confront her in the interrogation room after she confesses to the murder. He argues with her that Graham will be fine, that the most he’ll do is 18 months because it’s under mitigating circumstances. Abigail says that’s about how long they wrote to each other and that it felt like a lifetime. She says that Graham doesn’t deserve it and that she’s finally going where she belongs.
Sherlock meets Graham later near the river and pointedly tells him that if he slips up again, he’ll make sure that Graham goes to jail. He then does something that he hasn’t done before on the show, he reaches out to Graham and tells him that he does need to talk about what happened to him. Sherlock gives Graham his card and tells him that if he needs to talk, he’ll be there for him.
I don’t know about you, but that speaks volumes about his character development over the course of the show. He’s gone from callous recovering addict-detective to caring former addict-detective. With the way this show is building its characters, I have no doubt that they’ll continue to grow in ways we don’t expect. And even if we expect them, we will still be touched.
Bravo, Elementary writers. Bravo.
Author: Marcella S
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