Episode Title: “The Diabolical Kind”
Writers: Robert Doherty and Craig Sweeny
Director: Larry Teng
Previously on “Elementary:”
Love is a game he fails to understand, so Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) opts not to play. Or so he tells Moriarty in a letter, one in a series of secret correspondence Sherlock kept from Watson since Moriarty’s arrest. Though he may not understand love, he has no choice but to play the game when his old nemesis/love of his life resurfaces when a child is kidnapped.
The details of the plot (the kidnapping of Kayden Fuller, the young daughter of a wealthy couple) aren’t particularly interesting, but when Sherlock recognizes the voice of the kidnapper as one of Moriarty’s lieutenants, he insists on speaking with her and he is soon convinced she’s the mastermind behind the kidnapping.
Of course, Moriarty (Natalie Dormer) is involved… but not in the way Sherlock suspects. And the reveal that Kayden Fuller is in fact Moriarty’s daughter, adopted by the Fullers when she realized that her status as a criminal mastermind might not make her mommy material, could change the rules in this game of love. After all, Moriarty is just trying to save her daughter and as Sherlock points out, she didn’t kill Mattoo, her handler and Scotland Yard agent, though doing so would have made her escape from custody that much easier.
By the end of the episode, we get a sense that the fractured bond between Sherlock and Moriarty may have been strengthened. Even before Sherlock learns of Moriarty’s relationship to Kayden Fuller, he admits to holding out hope that she might change, perhaps back into Irene Adler, the woman he fell in love with before Moriarty emerged. And the fact that Moriarty chose not to kill Mattoo to appeal to Sherlock has to earn her some points in his book.
What could be a sticking point for Sherlock (aside faking her own murder, breaking his heart and all that other stuff) is Moriarty’s resentment of his relationship with Watson (Lucy Liu). In this episode, we learn that she’s definitely intrigued by Sherlock’s partner, but she suspects the relationship is based mostly on Watson’s need for approval from a superior intellect, that being Sherlock. As for what Sherlock gets out of the arrangement, Moriarty isn’t really sure. One thing she is convinced of is that she’s the only person Sherlock can relate to.
“A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma I’ve had sex with” is what Moriarty really is to Sherlock and by the end of this hour, he’s nowhere closer to figuring her out. Thanks to the legwork done by Sherlock, Watson and the NYPD, Moriarty is able to save Kayden from her kidnappers and turns herself in, rather than go on the run. Sherlock is impressed and later, while sitting in front of the fire in his brownstone, opts to put Moriarty’s letters back in the rooftop beehive he’s been keeping them in rather than toss them into the flames. It’s a sign that he’s not quite ready to let go of his relationship with Moriarty, be it for purely scientific reasons as he tells Watson, or as is probably closer to the truth, the game of love he’d like to think he’s not playing, which keeps Sherlock writing to Moriarty. He may keep her letters tucked away on his roof but this episode makes clear that the woman who wrote them still lives inside Sherlock’s heart.