It started out as a by-the-numbers episode, with a sniper taking out a bunch of people as a cover for assassinating a single man. But several times through the course of the story, the writers pulled the rug out from under us.
Boy, did they pull it. In Elementary Season 4 Episode 6, Sherlock teamed up with his father Morland, who seemed unusually sympathetic and helpful, much to Sherlock's surprise. Then we saw that final scene.
I've said it before, but it merits repeating: John Noble is absolutely excellent. Here, he played the misunderstood, and perhaps misunderstanding, father... right up until he tacitly admitted to being behind the death of a former Interpol source who tried to get more money out of him in exchange for his services.
The scene with Morland and Lukas was downright chilling. Lukas arrived thinking he had the upper hand and attempted to blackmail Morland. This is what followed:
Morland Holmes: [about Lukas Muller's predecessor] We had a long and prosperous relationship, until one day he decided it wasn't quite prosperous enough.
Interpol Agent Lukas Muller: My God, Morland. His *children* found him!
Morland Holmes: They were *meant* to. Tell me, Lukas. How are your daughters?
This, ladies and gentlemen, this is the real Morland Holmes, the one that Sherlock had been warning Joan about this whole time. Cold, calculating and vicious. Suddenly, all of Sherlock's descriptions of Morland as dealing with the devil don't seem like poetic exaggerations anymore.
And Morland is apparently involved in something that will put Sherlock in danger, according to Lukas. Maybe Sherlock won't see it coming, but I suspect Joan will. In any event, John Noble absolutely dominated this episode. Someone, please give this man a shiny gold statue, ASAP.
I also have to hand it to them for pulling a fast one on the identity of the person who hired the assassin. I recognized Reed Diamond and immediately suspected him. The fact that his character's wife was at the center of the mess certainly lent to the theory, up until they actually confronted him with the photos.
Then, of course, it could only mean that Bill Wellstone was behind it, a fact made blatantly obvious during Morland's confrontation with him.
Let's list a few of the bait-and-switches they pulled on us during this episode:
- Ethan Paris was not the target of the sniper, the plumber from Staten Island was.
- The plumber's wife thought there was no reason for anyone to kill her husband; her husband was having an affair with another man's wife.
- The lawyer played by Reed Diamond didn't hire the killer. The corporate executive played by John Shea did.
- Sherlock thought Morland might be developing humanity. Morland then issued a point-blank death threat to an Interpol agent and was knowingly putting Sherlock in grave danger.
The best part was that it didn't feel like they were just throwing red herrings at us. I found the story entertaining and engrossing, though that final scene there was worth half a point in rating all by itself.
If I have a complaint, it's not so much about this episode in particular. More like a feeling that we are missing our friends from the NYPD, Bell and Gregson. Yes, I fully acknowledge they are subordinate characters to Sherlock and Joan, but it's like we've barely seen them at all so far this season.
That's not really an issue in this episode because the focus was meant to be on the Sherlock-Morland team-up, with which I'm absolutely fine.
A few final observations and thoughts:
- I knew that John Shea, the actor who played Bill Wellstone, was familiar, but for the life of me I could not remember where I'd seen him before. I looked up his credits and discovered that he played Lex Luthor in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman back in the '90s!
- Of course, fans of Gossip Girl would remember Shea as Harold Waldorf.
- Reed Diamond has been all over, but is particularly memorable for Homicide: Life on the Street, Dollhouse, Franklin & Bash, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Ironically, Morland actually is an expert in sniping, though his weapon of choice is far more vicious than a rifle, as he so clearly demonstrated to Interpol Agent Lukas Muller.
- The code that the hackers used to lock Sherlock's phone was 1337, or "leet" (rather, "elite.")
What did you think of Elementary Season 4 Episode 6? Do you think Sherlock will realize the cost of doing business with his father? What do you think his father is up to that's putting Sherlock in danger? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you missed it, or maybe you want to see it all over again, be sure to watch Elementary online! The series is on break until it returns with Elementary Season 4 Episode 7, "Miss Taken," on January 7, 2016 at 10/9c on CBS.