‘Elementary’ recap: ‘An Unnatural Arrangement’

This week on Elementary, Joan and Sherlock search for a masked intruder who breaks into Captain Gregson’s home, but discover Gregson is not the true target.

“An Unnatural Arrangement” begins with Joan and Sherlock looking at men in a holding cell. Sherlock wants Joan to use them to practice her detective reasoning. She complains for a moment about spending her Friday there, but she gets into the puzzle after a moment. She goes to get some coffee and meets a cop, Craig Baskin. He asks for help on a case of someone who is hitting falafel carts. Craig asks Joan to look at the case alone, and she accepts.

Meanwhile, a woman is entering her home while on the phone. A man in a mask is in her house and he asks her where her husband is. She says she doesn’t know and sets off the car alarm. She runs upstairs and gets a gun. She shoots at him through the door and calls 911. She leaves the room and sees blood on the doorway and floor. She tells the operator the man was looking for her husband, Captain Thomas Gregson.

Gregson arrives at the house and is relieved to see his wife, Cheryl. Detective Marcus Bell questions neighbor James Monroe, who saw the perp. He says the man took off his mask, but he was far away and all he saw was dark hair. Cheryl describes what happened. Bell asks if they’ve noticed anything weird lately and they answer no, but Gregson admits he’s not living with Cheryl right now. Gregson says if the man wants him, he’s probably on file. Sherlock says they’ll help and Gregson gives his permission to the group to look into his work and personal life.

Joan and Sherlock look through Gregson’s files and emails. Sherlock notes he thought Gregson and his wife were going through problems, but didn’t see a point in saying anything. He thinks detectives aren’t meant for marriage, while Joan disagrees. Sherlock believes their suspect is Dustin Bishop, a man who sent Gregson strange emails. Gregson tells Bell he and Cheryl are on a trial separation, so he doesn’t think their relationship status has anything to do with the case.

Sherlock and Joan arrive at Dustin’s apartment and hear water running, so Joan picks the lock. The walls are covered in newspaper clippings of Gregson. They head to the kitchen and see Dustin on the floor with a gunshot wound. The police arrive and investigate the scene. Sherlock thinks Dustin shot himself in the shoulder, while Gregson believes he’s the masked intruder. They get a text and it’s confirmed the blood from the intruder is not Dustin’s. A man, Sam Clennon, is then shot in his home by the intruder.

Bell investigates Sam’s dead body. Bell thinks the murderer was the same man Cheryl shot. Sam is a military man and just got back from tour. Gregson didn’t know Sam, but the others think there has to be a connection.

Joan is getting coffee once again and runs into Detective Baskin. She says she needs a couple more days to solve the case, but she discovers Sherlock already solved the case. She confronts him and he explains he needed something to do while taking a break from the big case. Joan is annoyed, but Sherlock doesn’t understand because he sees every case as theirs together.

Gregson goes to ask Cheryl about a truck a neighbor saw twice that week. It belongs to Steven, an old friend of Cheryl’s who has shown interest in dating her in the past. The two argue and Gregson reveals he didn’t believe Cheryl wanted a real separation. Gregson talks to Sherlock about Cheryl seeing Steven. He admits he doesn’t think the marriage is salvaged at this point. Sherlock offers Joan assistance if he needs a friend to talk to about his relationship.

Bell, Joan, and Sherlock visit Sam’s mother. She mentions he toured in Afghanistan three times and can’t think of a reason for his murder. Sherlock asks about a stab wound on he noticed on Sam’s body. She tells them another man, Jacob Esparza, stabbed him when they were in the military together. She then mentions Sam’s commanding officer was Gregson’s neighbor, James Monroe.

Sherlock calls Gregson and says the intruder wasn’t looking for him, but James Monroe. The masked intruder never mentioned Gregson by name and Sherlock believes the man messed up the address and really wanted to harm James. Gregson heads to James’s house with some officers, but they’re too late and find him dead on the floor.

They settle on Jacob Esparza as a suspect, thinking he wanted revenge on Sam and James because of the stabbing incident. Bell questions Jacob and he explains he was angry at Sam because he was having an affair, and Jacob understands what it feels like to have a partner cheat. He says he defended himself against Sam when they argued. Jacob doesn’t have a bullet wound, so he can’t be the intruder.

Sherlock and Joan go to visit Beth Roney, the archaeologist Sam was seeing. Sherlock believes her husband may be the killer. Beth reveals she and Sam didn’t have an affair. She was going through a divorce with her husband, Cameron at the time and doesn’t see any reason why he would hurt Sam even if he knew about their relationship.

Back home, Joan explains to Sherlock why she’s upset he solved her case. She wants to investigate on her own so she can become a better detective. She explains Sherlock has been doing this for years, but she hasn’t and needs more practice. Sherlock researches the Buddhist excavation Beth was working on in Afghanistan. Sam and James were part of security detail and Sherlock believes they stole items from the site. There were no reports of robbery though.

The next morning, Sherlock gives her a list of list of items found on the sites. Each of the sites had a bowl, except for one. He shows Joan a picture of it and she remarks it looks like one in Beth’s office. Sherlock believes Beth, Sam, James, and the killer were all working together. They go to her house with Bell, but the bowl is gone.

They bring Beth in for questioning. She was engaged in archaeologist conference calls the whole night, so they don’t have any proof she left the house to get rid of the bowl. Sherlock believes her accomplice came over took the bowl from the house, but the neighbors didn’t hear or see anything.

Sherlock gives Joan a trunk full of his cold cases. He encourages her to work on her detective skills by looking through cases he’s already investigated. Joan mentions they know her partner came by to get the bowl and he’s a man. Beth’s dog, Gotham, barks at men, so it seems strange the neighbors heard nothing.
They arrive at Beth’s house with an arrest warrant and say her ex-husband Cameron is the killer. Sherlock reveals they interrogated Cameron and he told them everything. Since the neighbors didn’t hear anything, they figured it had to be someone the dog knew. Bell then arrests Beth.

Sherlock goes to see Gregson and gives him a background sheet on Steven. Sherlock notes Cheryl picked the one guy Gregson would get really mad about. Sherlock tells him he doesn’t believe in marriage, but he does in partnership. He tells Gregson there may be a chance for them yet. Gregson brings Gotham to Cheryl. He tells her he’s going to work on himself, respect her need for time, and try to make their relationship work again. At the apartment, Joan opens the cold case trunk and smiles while Sherlock watches from the doorway.

Quote and Comments:

“I refer to most of the detectives here as ‘Not Bell’” -Sherlock to Joan when she asks him about Detective Baskin’s case.

I really enjoyed this episode. I was surprised the intruder wasn’t after Gregson and that there was an entirely different mystery. Gregson’s relationship with his wife wasn’t anything new for a cop drama, as he works too much and doesn’t give her enough of his time or treat her like an equal partner so the marriage breaks. However, I enjoyed Sherlock’s changing position at the end of the episode. Because of Joan he’s beginning to grasp the importance of a partner in life. I like how Sherlock is slowly becoming a better person, a more empathic friend and partner, due to his friendship with Joan. Furthermore, his gift of the cold case trunk and taking her to the holding cell shows he’s supportive of Joan, even though it often takes her directly explaining what he needs to do to make their partnership work. Their dynamic is wonderful and continues to be the best part of the show.

Tune in next Thursday at 10 p.m. on CBS for “The Marchioness.”

Photo Courtesy of CBS

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