Episode Title: “Blood Is Thicker”
Writer: Bob Goodman
Director: John Polson
Previously on “Elementary:”
While one mystery is solved, another is just beginning to reveal itself, leaving us to wonder if Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) can handle another betrayal by someone so close to him.
“Close” is very much a relative term when it comes to Sherlock’s relationship with his brother, Mycroft (Rhys Ifans). Though he tries to keep him at arm’s length, Mycroft has slowly gotten closer to both Sherlock and Watson (Lucy Liu), acting as a concerned brother with the former while charming the pants off the latter.
As Sherlock and Watson investigate the murder of the estranged daughter of a Steve Jobs-like tech mogul, Mycroft makes repeated attempts to bond with his brother. However engrossed Sherlock claims to be in the case, it’s obvious he’d rather be doing anything else than having dinner with Mycroft. And to be fair, he and Watson have their work cut out for them with this one, as getting access to billionaire computer company founder, Ian Gale (William Sadler) isn’t easy. But Gale has a reason for staying out of the public eye as of late; he’s dying.
There’s definitely a connection between the arrival in New York of Gale’s long-lost daughter, Haley, her subsequent death and Gale’s illness; but Sherlock and Watson can’t quite put it together. Haley’s on-again off-again boyfriend is a suspect at first, but his alibi of picking up medication for Haley, who was suffering from the flu, checks out.
But a case with a prominent medical component such as this one gives Watson a chance to play doctor and detective at the same time. After Watson and Bell’s (Jon Michael Hill) attempt to interrogate Gale’s wife, Natalie (Margaret Colin) goes badly, she realizes the case isn’t about the murder of Haley, but the murder of Ian Gale.
Despite having flu like symptoms, Haley was cleared to give blood to her dying father. The tech who drew the blood tells Watson she was fine despite her boyfriend’s claim that Haley was suffering from the flu. This leads Watson to conclude that Gale was being “poisoned” with his daughter’s blood. But it wasn’t the flu Haley was suffering from but rather the antibodies her system began producing when she was injected with a tissue sample from the heart, which was later given to her father. The antibodies from Haley’s blood caused Ian to reject the heart and ultimately die. But who would have the medical expertise to pull off such a stunt?
A little investigation reveals that Natalie Gale was once a pediatric surgeon, which means she not only knew how to use Haley’s blood to cause her husband to reject the heart but she also knew exactly where to stab her step-daughter for a quick and clean death.
Watson certainly earns her pay with this one, taking lead as Sherlock finally gives into Mycroft and has dinner with him. But her gig with Sherlock and the NYPD, as well as her living arrangements are threatened when Mycroft tells Sherlock their father wants him back in London. Though he isn’t ready to leave New York, Sherlock proposes the idea of moving to London to Watson, who’s shocked by the news. As she takes it all in, Sherlock seemingly talks himself out of it when he tells her that he’s not willing to give up the support system and structure he’s built in New York. Before Mycroft heads back home, Sherlock gives him a letter to deliver to their father, thanking him for all his help and explaining his position on staying in New York.
The temporary quandary seems to have filled its purpose, giving Sherlock another opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to his sobriety, his job and his partner. But there’s more to it than a rare “feel good” moment from unsentimental Sherlock, as we watch Mycroft rip up the letter, make a phone call and tell the person on the other end that his brother did not fall for his “little gambit.” Mycroft assures the other party that neither he nor Sherlock have spoken to their father in years but they’ll have to come up with another plan. As intriguing as it is to find out that Mycroft is up to no good, it’s kind of a let down to learn that Sherlock’s in for more heartbreak, a testament to this well-crafted character. And what’s more troubling, this time Watson’s along for the ride, as well.