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Elementary - Render, and then Seize Her & Henny Penny the Sky is Falling - Review: "Medal Day"

Elementary Season 5 Episode Guide:

5.01 "Foile a Deux" - Review!
5.02 "Worth Several Cities - Review!
5.03 "Render, and then Seize Her" - Review!
5.04 "Henny Penny the Sky is Falling" Review!
5.06 "To Catch a Predator Predator" - Airs November 6
5.07 "Ill Tidings" - Airs November 13

Elementary 5.03 "Render, And then Seize Her" - Review:
Directed by Alex Chapple & Written by Jason Tracey

This is the 99th episode of Elementary and if you've been around this long it doesn't take much to see that the main strengths of this show are its characters. I mean you're going to need a good actor to portray Sherlock Holmes regardless of the era that the series may be set, and time and time again Jonny Lee Miller has showed just how good he can be, with his chemistry with the also-excellent Lucy Liu being great. Here we see how Sherlock reacts to Gregson's girlfriend, Paige, who has stumbled into some of her own problems and needs help so has turned to Sherlock. If you've forgotten about Paige then you may want to rewatch Up to Heaven and Down to Hell, which featured Virgina Madsen's character, an ex member of the NYPD. So it's interesting to return to her and the show has found an effective way at bringing her back into the fold.

The show does what it should have done in the previous episode and takes a break from telling the story of Shinwell Johnson, and follows Paige who has a diagnosis of MS and is waiting on results. Paige decides to then turn to the Sherlock to help her with a matter that needs investigating. It turns out that in the woods a naked man was able to take a photo of something through the window of a cabin, but was shot in the process. Despite Paige returning this is very much the case of the week and heads in a different direction to the previous episodes' painting and mob focused drama.

Here it turns out that the deceased, Kenny, is enemy free having been a regular attendant at the retreat near where he was found. However the Detectives are alerted to Kenny's text that he sent someone at the cabin that night, a young woman who had already been kidnapped, prompting the speculation that he was killed because he stumbled upon something that he shouldn't have. It also turns out that Kenny was naked because he had gone to an event where clothing wasn't always required. The young woman - Beth Stone, had long been gone from the scene but the cop working the case is glad that she's alive because there previously hadn't been any ransom threat against the husband, who doesn't get why they'd kidnap her. Mr. Stone doesn't believe that ransom is the main reason behind the kidnapping, because his family isn't exactly rich and there are wealthier targets that they could go after. That didn't stop him from not going to the police because otherwise he would never have seen his wife again. It turns out that security footage reveals that it looks like the same gun used when Beth was taken is the same one that shot Kenny, and Joan believes that the van involved use d to be a TV van. So it's a step in the right direction, but they didn't get more from Mr. Stone who asked the detectives to leave, also revealing that the voice of the kidnapper was an edited one and not a normal voice.

Sherlock meanwhile deals with Paige's neurologist problems and having already gone to the office to try and find any evidence of false play, and it turns out that at least three of the clerical staff were committing insurance fraud by double billing prescriptions, confirming Paige's observations. It turns out things are looking bad for Paige because she's been putting all her treatments on her credit as well, and her health insurance is failing.

Sherlock says that he can send the fie regarding the defrauding anonymously to the DOJ but then asks Paige if Gregson knows that he's going broke, talking about their future. It turns out that Paige doesn't want to be dependent on Gregson and of course gets annoyed at Sherlock's questioning, leaving and saying that she'll pay him by check as the case is solved.

Meanwhile, Sherlock goes to find an associate of Aaron Stone after warning him that kidnappings don't always have a happy ending. It turns out that Aaron hasn't told him anyway and was going through some troubling times with Beth. Sherlock suspects that a divorce is looming but Aaron it turns out would do anything for Beth. Aaron's friend of course has to tell Aaron about Sherlock's investigating, but Sherlock reminds him that he's only trying to help Beth. Either way a new element is brought into the case in the form of an editing bay renter Bruce after Joan does some investigating of her own and it turns out Bruce says he heard Aaron complaining very loudly about a footage of a film.

It turns out that they found some footage that was over 30 years old and Sherlock is able to look at it where he and Joan witness a murder in the background of teenagers playing. It turns out that Quentin Latham, a union leader was involved in this case but went missing only for his body to go show up two months later. They end up going to Dinatio, the suspect in Latham's murder, and arresting him with the help of Marcus Bell. It turns out that this is a misunderstanding and that the video had been manipulated after Aaron and Dennis had come to him money regarding a CGI program that Dennis had created and they were looking to get it off the ground. And there's proof to confirm his story, ruling Dinatio out of the case.

Sherlock ends up having a breakthrough on the case and thinks that Dennis is the likely suspect and Joan alerts Marcus, which leads to Dennis' arrest. Whilst this is going on Sherlock ends up presenting an idea to Gregson about his relationship with Paige, and he ends up proposing marriage so that Gregson can help her out with her health treatments. This suggestion after a dispute causes Gregson to admit that while he wanted marriage, it was Paige who shares Sherlock's disapproval about the union.

It turns out that whilst Dennis was in questioning Beth showed up at a diner freeing him and despite Beth's claims that she was abducted by two Pakistani men who held her in two respective scenarios, it turns out that both Beth and Dennis are lying for each other and covering their tracks. To make things more complicated decides to tell them that the kidnappers asked for $3million, a figure that hadn't previously been mentioned.

Sherlock finds the proof that he needs from a prenuptial agreement that was on the verge of expiry as it lapses after 10 years with their anniversary just around the corner. It turns out that Dennis wanted to gain all of their program's profits, and was happy to shoot to protect the story. Thanks to her tan it's clear that Beth was not indoors hiding for the entire time and she eventually decides to take a plea bargain so the NYPD can take out Dennis.

It turns out that Elementary then delivers on its engagement that was brought up at this year's NYCC. Paige and Gregson were one of the candidates when they didn't reveal who would be getting engaged but it's good to see that the show delivered on its promise and pulled it off in an effective way with Sherlock playing matchmaker between the two, bringing Paige to a meeting with Gregson and suggested that they should get married because it's something that Gregson wants, rounding up the episode with Gregson's proposal.

The case of the week therefore may not been a particularly memorable one but the strength as always lies in the characters here and it was great exploring Paige's character a bit more as she was a welcome return to the series. The decision to abandon the Shinwell plot altogether here was a welcome one, and the plot benefited because of it, balancing the two cases strongly and bringing both to an effective resolution.

Overall Episode Verdict: B
+Sherlock giving Gregson advice

Elementary 5.05: "Henny Penny the Sky is Falling" - Review:
Directed by John Polson & Written by Bob Goodman

The landmark 100th episode of this now five-season long show starts with Sherlock and Bell going over a case in the NYPD involving a wildlife tracker from Ecuador and Sherlock mistaking a poop emoji for ice cream. It turns out that Captain Gregson's superior - aka his boss' boss Chief Proskey, and Bell suggests that Sherlock should stay out of this. Sherlock is suspicious at the passing of files.

It turns out that the main case of the week deals with a family who find that their fire poker has gone through a wall, and it's been stuck. The camera pans away to reveal a dead body impaled on the other side.

Sherlock meanwhile finds himself looking at old cases in an attempt to look at why the Captain reviewed them and finds out that most of them are in connection to cases that Sherlock and Watson worked on. They haven't been benched completely though as Bell calls Sherlock and Watson to help with the case of the dead man, where there was a struggle but no witnesses aside from a few struggles which were ignored by neighbors. Bell suggests that it wasn't a planned murder because who uses that weapon but Sherlock finds a gun with a textured grip suggesting that the weapon would have failed to fire. Sherlock suggests that the murder was planned due to specificity just as the man came home and the man is now missing his laptop. It turns out Cole - the dead man - is a wall street analyst.

Joan & Bell takes it to Cole's boss who is shocked and says that they practically viewed him as family and have had nothing related to murder before. They are pretty sure the murder is related to work but the boss has no idea what Cole was working on at any given moment, saying that Cole had a long leash but always came back from the cold regardless of what happened. The boss wants to help any way he can and provides access to Cole's email and workplace.

Sherlock heads over to Gregson who suspects that Sherlock piked up a vibe last week and Gregson says that it isn't what he thinks it is. Gregson says that they want to give a Medal to Gregson's department and civilian employees are included and Gregson wants Sherlock to be there. He does however warn Sherlock that there is some resistance to this.

Joan goes to Cole's bosses' wife and says that Cole is the one who went on vacation with Cole as they were having an affair but she is not a suspect. Joan and Bell head to the cabin and Sherlock reveals that he hitched a lift with a helicopter owner who he is friends with. Sherlock explains that Cole didn't have any visitors and came to the cabin alone. Inside the cabin they find astronomy equations littered around the building but Sherlock says that he realises why Cole was killed, claiming that it was something to do with the fate of life on Earth.

Sherlock reveals that the 5,000 dots on the maps are all asteroids and reveal that they all pose a threat to Earth and could be an extinction-level event. However Cole's theory is that all the measurements are wrong. There's an Armageddon reference because of course there is here. However Gregson isn't sure that this is responsible for Cole's murder.

So this means that Sherlock and Joan have to head to an old friend of Sherlock's, Julius Kent - a celebrity astronomer who was at boarding school with Sherlock. Kent always gloats every time Sherlock asks for help. Both Sherlock and Joan discuss the Medal ceremony but Sherlock is insistent that he doesn't want the award. Kent appears and welcomes them. Kent explains to Sherlock and Joan that he's willing to help on the case and that Cole's paper could have threatened people who already profiting from plans to destroy asteroids.

Bell says that a waitress recognized Cole acting strangely in a diner that was a long way from his cabin and Cole could have been meeting somebody there. Sherlock stays behind and heads to Gregson's boss.

Joan and Bell go to interview the waitress who tells them that Cole ate alone, not talking to everyone and never used his laptop inside, only using it outside, before leaving in his car. It turns out that there's a thumb drive in the wall. Joan later tells Gregson that Cole had a partner helping out on the paper and Gregson wonders how could Cole's paper have been sloppy with some statements left in error. They come to the conclusion that the errors were left there to kill the satellite project and his partner was paying Cole.

Sherlock, who stayed in New York City, met Chief Proskey and brought up Medal Day to inform him that he respects the NYPD and commendations are important saying that he doesn't want to be included in the award, proving a list of examples as to why they shouldn't be. Proskey counteracts this by saying that Joan wanted them to get the award.

They suspect Barrett, Cole's boss, due to the connections and bring him in despite Barrett's accusations. Joan explains that he told Cole to lie low but got jealous and killed him. Barrett however counters saying that he was at a dinner and can have 12 eyewitnesses putting him there, saying that he wouldn't have killed Cole because of how valuable Cole is to him. Joan eventually decides that they should look into the competitors and see if there is a lead there.

Sherlock turns to Congresswoman Salazar for help and Salazar greets Joan and Sherlock with her science advisor. Sherlock says that Cole had harmed Piazzi but Grant says that they're not currently developing any projects due to them being on hold and it is disastrous for their business. After the meeting Sherlock comes up with a new theory that delaying research for a decade was the main point and saying that asteroid mining could make a huge profit because of the amount of undeveloped minerals available in space. To back up his theory he has evidence about multiple CEOs of various companies and four are looking at asteroid mining in particular.

Joan explains to Sherlock about her conversation with the honor committee when called out on it by Sherlock who accuses her of conspiracy against him, warning her against putting themselves above the NYPD. After the argument Joan storms off believing that she things Sherlock wants more credit than just a medal, saying that there's no harm in taking a certificate. The next day Joan tells Sherlock that they're included in Medal Day and Gregson is going.

It turns out that Grant is their main target for the person responsible for Cole's death after being called to the Science Center on Kent's behalf. Sherlock explains that Grant was one of the people involved in asteroid mining before he worked for Salazar and Joan found out about his connection to Cole. Grant dismisses this and Sherlock says he brought a laptop with poison ivy to the scene and Grant wasn't infected by it. Sherlock explains that they can match the oil on the couch to the plants by Cole's cabin as they both have the same DNA and that gives us a resolution to the case of the week. It's Grant, who may not especially be a memorable villain for the show's hundredth episode, but then, this was as mentioned in the review of the previous episode, a show where its main strength lies in its characters.

The Medal Day ceremony is held and Joan attends Gregson's briefing leaving Sherlock behind. But as Gregson is praising the hard work of the squad, Sherlock shows up during the celebration. It's an effective end to the episode that really pays off and delivers an effective reward if you will for Sherlock and Joan's services and all the cases that they've solved over the past 100 episodes. It's been a fantastic journey to say the least and hopefully there's still going to be plenty more to come. Either way there were a lot of positive steps made in this episode as it executed a solid, inventive mystery of the week that almost stranded into science fiction territory but was able to keep itself grounded and emerged stronger as a result.

What did you think of these two episodes of Elementary? Let me know in the comments section below and check out the next episode later tonight on CBS at 10pm.

Overall Episode Verdict: B+
+Sherlock/Joan conflict.
+Old friend of Sherlock's.
+100th episode.
+Medal Day.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Elementary, Murder in the First, Narcos, Preacher, Star Trek Discovery, Star Wars Rebels, The Shannara Chronicles, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV. He also occasionaly writes book reviews at his own site, The Fictional Hangout and ontributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 250 favourite movies here.
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