Review: Elementary (S3 E23/24), Tuesday 26th May, Sky Living

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Someone on the Elementary writing team sure likes bees. From a single mention in the Conan Doyle canon of the retired Holmes taking up bee-keeping, Elementary’s Sherlock has developed an obsession with the pollinating pests that borders on the obsessive. So, we’re long overdue for this apicultural episode, in which colony collapse turns to murder.   

As has frequently happened in previous episodes, we open with a little aside irrelevant to the remainder of the episode; Sherlock has outwitted a revengeful employee who has stabbed his boss, and arranged a flashmob of clowns to cover his escape. The man’s sewing skills have snared him, but the cops could just have watched the episodes of Numbers, The Mentalist or CSI: New York where the same plot has been used.

More germane is the death of an apiarist, Everett Keck, who has been investigating colony collapse disorder, and obession of Sherlock’s. Keck has been poisoned by his own bee smoker; someone’s put cyanide in it. Was it the sinister insecticide megacorp he was implicating in the bee deaths? Sherlock, ever down on big business, suspects them, but he is directed to a bee-keeping paranoid who thought Keck was infecting his bees.

When this unlikely scenario proves to be true, the murder of Keck is solved – but why was he deliberately infecting bee colonies, and why had he attempted to murder his boss to cover it up?

Investigations lead to two researchers who are organising a conference on colony collapse. Sherlock suspects a guest at the conference, a reclusive Arab prince, but he has been kidnapped from his hotel. Sherlock tracks down a missing guard through currency exchanges and a laptop’s GPS, and it emerges that the sheik disappeared with a blonde woman – Sherlock fingers the conference organiser.

If you’re still keeping up, and by this time we weren’t, it turns out that the two researchers had conspired with Keck to cause the colony collapse, so the blip in statistics would give them an excuse to organize the conference, lure the sheik to America, and kidnap him for ransom. There was an added incentive of the promise of big sexy times, and Sherlock uses the resultant sexual jealousy to divide the conspirators and cause them to implicate each other.

As for the bees? Well, that’s a lot of individual cases to investigate. Perhaps Sherlock will get to them, one at a time.

Meanwhile, Captain Gregson has been offered a promotion, and has Watson investigate his potential replacement, who gets the all-clear; but Gregson still turns down the promotion, and is warned by his superiors that dire consequences will follow.  Someone’s trying to split up the successful team, and with the end of the season coming up next week, anything is possible.

Could the season finale, Controlled Descent, mark Holmes’s Reichenbach Falls moment?

Chris Jenkins

For all our Elementary reviews go here

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