ELEMENTARY 2.13 ‘All in the Family’

Episode Title: “All in the Family”

Writer: Jason Tracey

Director: Andrew Bernstein

Previously on “Elementary:”

Episode 2.12 “The Diabolical Kind”


Taking a break from Sherlock’s (Jonny Lee Miller) familial and romantic troubles, “All in the Family” focuses on two other intense personal relationships: Sherlock and Watson’s (Lucy Liu) relationship with Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) and Bell’s boss, Commissioner Da Silva’s (Peter Gerety) relationship with a mafia boss.

Ever since he was saddled with desk duty, thanks in part to Sherlock, Bell has tried to keep his distance from the NYPD consultant and his partner, to the point of transferring to another unit entirely. Now working for the counter-terrorism demographics unit, Bell applies his acute detective skills to an otherwise routine case involving suspicious activity at an oil recycling facility.

While Bell finds a body in one the barrels, Sherlock butts heads with Bell’s replacement, Detective Nash (Danny McCarthy). As he and Watson find it harder and harder to work with anyone but Bell and Gregson, Sherlock decides to cozy up to Da Silva, in hopes of taking on more interesting assignments and reconciling with Bell.

In the process, Sherlock and Watson assist on Bell’s case. Watson, it turns out, is quite familiar with the city’s decades-long mob family dramas, thanks to growing up in Queens. Therefore, she’s able to identify the body in the barrel as that of “Handsome” Bobby Pardillo, who had been missing for years.

Finding out who killed Pardillo doesn’t prove too difficult. While Sherlock butchers a ham hock in an attempt to recreate “Handsome” Bobby’s murder, Watson figures out that mobster, Dante Scalice is the killer, when she spots the same barrel in a photo taken at Scalice’s nightclub. The pair question Scalice (Fulvio Cecere) about the hit, which he denies. Moments later, he dies in a car explosion, an obvious act of retaliation by “Handsome” Bobby’s father.

So far, “All in the Family” feels like your run of the mill mob case, but things get interesting when Sherlock and Watson find emails and phone records belonging to “Handsome” Bobby inside of Scalice’s home. The documents lead the consultants to a web development company, which is actually an NSA front operation. 

NSA operative, Dean McNally (Tim Guinee) denies providing the documents, but when Sherlock threatens to buy him multiple subscriptions to “Plushie” websites, the threat of his employer thinking he’s sexually aroused by stuffed animals leads the McNally to cooperate. That and the fact that the way things have played out since the NSA handed over the intel on “Handsome” Bobby has McNally’s superiors uncomfortable. So who requested “Handsome” Bobby’s phone records and emails? According to McNally, it was Commissioner Da Silva.

Sherlock implying Bell’s boss is a dirty cop doesn’t sit well with the detective, but he can’t deny the urge to look into it himself. And when he does, Bell finds a dossier on Da Silva’s desk with a career’s worth of evidence against “Handsome” Bobby’s mob boss father.

But the evidence isn’t so much about making a case against the elder Pardillo as it an insurance policy against him. The commissioner intended to start a mob war that would lead to Pardillo Sr.’s death, ensuring no one would ever find out he, himself, was working for the mob.

Bell gets to do the honors of busting his new boss when he and Gregson (Aidan Quinn) track him to a marina where Da Silva plans to kill Pardillo (Paul Sorvino). With Da Silva in custody, Bell decides to transfer back to Major Crimes. But it’s likely due more to a heated heart-to-heart with Sherlock than the fact that his boss is behind bars. At the brownstone, Sherlock emphatically reminds Bell that he is a detective, not an analyst or “pencil pusher.” He also brings up his own struggles as a drug addict and tells the detective he has faith in his ability to recover from his injury.

It’s nice to see Bell and Sherlock and Watson get over their differences, as the rest of the department isn’t quite as appreciative of consultants’ excellent detective work.  As Bell’s comments point out, sometimes it seems like it all comes a little too easily for Sherlock, forgetting he’s a recovering addict. However, though he may have been able to give up drugs and alcohol, as last week’s encounter with Morairty makes clear, there are still some temptations Sherlock can’t resist.



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