Sherlock wasn't around a lot this episode, which didn't seem to slow down Joan much.
While Sherlock was dealing with family business, Joan solved a complex case with Marcus on Elementary Season 6 Episode 11.
Yeah, Sherlock stepped in occasionally when he had a stray moment. But this was Joan's investigation to run.
The victim in the case of the week was fairly obscure, a contract lawyer examining the buyout of a wholesale cigarette company by a larger cigarette distributor.
The lawyer stumbled on a sting operation, run by the ATF, to buy cigarettes in states where they are less taxed, then sell them in states with higher tax rates, pocketing the difference.
This scheme had too much math for me, but I got the general idea: buy low, sell high. I'm not certain why this was particularly illegal. But it was a clever plotline, so I didn't sweat the details.
Somehow this resulted in a $26 million slush fund, which was minimally supervised. So the two principal ATF agents in this operation lived large while funds were transferred out to pay for other ATF stings, without having to wait for that pesky Congressional funding.
All those executives from both cigarette companies seemed pretty hinky, showing up at best hung over from celebrating the deal before it's finalized.
It was a nice change of pace that Roger Bart, playing Kip Lowell, wasn't the villain for a change. Instead, Kip was a dupe, pressured into giving the ATF free reign inside his company for their fairly sketchy-sounding op.
It was amusing how quickly Marcus uncovered the concept behind the ATF's three-year operation. Joan, employing Sherlock's irregular The Nose in his absence, soon discovered the local hideout for the cigarettes.
They moved so quickly that the ATF agent had to come out from undercover to stop their raid so that he could continue his very lucrative investigation.
What was most criminal was how this operation was allowed to continue with seemingly no oversight. That much money floating around, unaccounted for, was bound to cause trouble. I guess three bodies qualifies as trouble.
Having two ATF agents shoot each dead when the slush fund goes missing was pretty unbelievable. Wouldn't they compare notes before they started firing at each other?
It never hurts to bet on the most unlikely suspect, in this case, the only woman near the case who appeared in only one scene (two if you count the flashback). Come to think of it, we never actually saw her brought to justice. I feel bad for her bulldogs.
I enjoyed the interplay between Joan and Marcus, who always seem to work together well when Sherlock goes on walkabout. Now if only we could get Captain Gregson out of the office more often,
Now, on to Sherlock's moral dilemma, which he pretty much just kicked down the road.
Morland being Morland, he went for the killed-or-be-killed option. Sherlock, after being prodded by the angel on his shoulder, Joan, decided to go for a different solution.
His following clues from the would-be assassin from Elementary Season 5 Episode 10 to Moriarty seems way too simple.
Let's follow the steps: The assassin's personal effects led to his hideout. That were bags of local coffee there. They took Sherlock to a coffee shop that sold the bags, and there was a painting from Moriarty on the wall. I suppose that smashing the jar of cookies they found on the floor was some sort of password.
Ellory the cashier serving as a go-between was a smart way to represent Moriarty without physically having Moriarty there. I guess Natalie Dormer just flat out wasn't available, which is a shame.
It was disappointing that Morland's visit was so short. I expected the Morland-versus-Moriarty storyline to hang on for four to six episodes, not two.
Sherlock's negotiated truce was a fairly ho-hum solution. Now, in order for Sherlock and Moriarty to go head to head, Morland has to die. And no one wants that.
All the ongoing storylines were absent this week. No concussion symptoms for Sherlock, no baby news for Joan and no Michael back to challenge Sherlock.
So with Moriarty wrapped up, this installment had a procedural feel to it. That's OK every so often. But Elementary thrives on personal stories about the characters, not just crime-solving.
Let's see how the balance between the two goes over the rest of the season.
To review Sherlock and Moriarty, watch Elementary online.
Was Moriarty gone too soon? When did you pick out the murderer? Is Sherlock all better? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.