So Sherlock and Joan are back with the NYPD.
Actually, it’s slightly frustrating. I mean, this is a CBS procedural drama, so the status quo can’t change too much, but it would have been interesting having more than two episodes dedicated to the duo’s removal from the NYPD. Perhaps a killer the police couldn’t catch with an arc of a few episodes, or some such thing.
But hey, it happens. Network procedural. At least Elementary is still all about the characters, and that’s what I like about the show.
The case of the week is about two identical men. Not twins, at least from the beginning of the episode— a professional killer is thrown off when he tracks one man down only to find an identical man walking into the room; he kills them both, and from there Holmes and Watson have to figure the mystery out.
It’s tough, though. Morland’s continued presence in New York serves as an irritant to Sherlock, a distraction— it’s something he strongly dislikes, and it takes his concentration away from the case at hand. It’s unusual, too, because every other time he’s visited, Morland has left as soon as his business with Sherlock is done.
But Morland has business in the Big Apple, so Sherlock offers his services to get. Him. Out.
Before he can do that, though, he returns to the case at hand: Otto and Tim, the identical men. They’re not twins, but a paralegal they each spoke with is missing. Said paralegal? Turns out Dorian Moll (Jefferson White, also known as Phillip currently on How To Get Away With Murder) has no prior record yet has a hallway decorated with pictures of identical people.
And he thinks there’s a corporation trying to kill him. He’s kind of a conspiracy theorist, claiming that this company, Countenance Technologies, uses facial recognition software to track everyone, from billboards to churches.
“Yeah, Jesus saves. Your data.”
Turns out Moll created a website to track down your own doppelganger. (Side note: a website like this actually exists, though it looks to be pay-to-use.)
And he modded Countenance Technologies’ search engine, only to turn around and show its flaws.
Meanwhile, it’s time for Sherlock to have dinner with Morland and one of his rivals, a woman who is trying to block Morland from building an energy-generating wind farm as it would interfere with the view from the hotel she owns. Morland is persuasive but neutral; that is, with his substantial influence he can do something as easy as building a wind farm… or convince countries to loosen restrictions in order to allow companies to sell weapons.
Countenance Technologies, by the way, gained entry into Moll’s apartment and stole his data, but didn’t kill him, or so they claim.
While that seems to be a dead end, though, a third doppelganger turns up. Tim wanted him to go to a lab and falsify his identity there, but with no reasoning. Sherlock surmises Tim was under investigation for a murder and used the doppelganger site to get out from it.
One of the cops on the case, though, was Tim’s victim’s brother.
By the way, the first mark on the Empty Coffee Cup Counter for the season is awarded to Bell: one (1) empty coffee cup being drank from!
And it turns out that Morland’s troubles are because of squirrel monkeys: a habitat for the endangered species sits on the land for both his wind farm and his rival’s hotel. He uses a threat of exposure to get her to agree. He doesn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart, not for the monkeys; just to do it legally and still manage to build and take down the hotel.
The brother-cop admits to the crime… but he didn’t attempt to kill Dorian Moll. So it’s back to square one.
Wagner, his victim, and the president of Countenance Technologies went to the same school, they find. Wagner and the president killed his victim, and when the doppelganger site got bigger, they knew they were going to be caught; with this, they were able to convict him, and so ends the case of the week.
But the episode isn’t over yet, and instead Morland seeks to confess to Sherlock: he knows Sherlock hates him, but he pledges to stay in New York… to help Sherlock.
To be a parent.