ELEMENTARY 2.14 ‘Dead Clade Walking’

Episode Title: “Dead Clade Walking”

Writer: Jeffrey Paul King

Director: Helen Shaver

Previously on “Elementary:”

Episode 2.13 “All in the Family”


Watson’s (Lucy Liu) come a long way under Sherlock’s (Jonny Lee Miller) tutelage. And judging by the opening of “Dead Clade Walking,” it appears the super sleuth may have groomed his protégé a little too well when Sherlock finds a complete stranger going through a cold case file in his living room.

At Sherlock’s suggestion, Watson decides to revisit an unsolved murder case involving a strange looking rock. Enter Gay, (her name is “Gay” and she is gay, making for an “efficient” introduction), an NYU geology fellow whose help Watson enlists in examining the evidence. Watson’s encounters with Sherlock’s unannounced guests are always funny, but Sherlock’s exchange with Gay makes me hope Watson invites strangers over more often.

Watson and Gay plan to head up to Riverdale to examine the rock, which could provide a clue as to who killed Doug Newberg three years ago. Sherlock offers to join them, but Watson reminds him he agreed to meet Randy (Stephen Tyrone Williams), his new sponsee. And keeping up with Randy proves to be just as challenging as solving the case for Sherlock.

Sherlock’s made it clear he’s not one to engage in long talks about interpersonal drama. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t experienced plenty of it himself. At a diner, Randy explains that his drug addict ex, Eve has resurfaced and is looking for his help to get clean. Randy knows that she’s trouble and so does Sherlock, based on his own experience with “the allure of a dangerous woman.” He advises Randy not to get involved, which of course, he does. Randy’s refusal to ditch Eve is a source of frustration for Sherlock, throughout the episode. But then again, we know how good Sherlock’s been about taking his own advice.

As for the investigation, it’s an interesting one involving the smuggling of a priceless dinosaur fossil from Mongolia, the discovery of which threatens the reputation of a local paleontologist. At first, Sherlock and Watson suspect Newberg’s best friend is behind the murder when they learn he’s using his ice cream truck business to smuggle goods. Though he did drop the ancient rock off at Newberg’s home, he had no idea the remains of a mini T-Rex were inside it.

A break in the investigation comes when Sherlock learns that the fossil proves the “Dead Clade Walking” theory, which suggests some dinosaurs survived a mass extinction event and went on to live much longer than scientists originally believed. It’s actually a real theory and that makes this episode of “Elementary” both entertaining and educational.

In the process of tracking down the smuggler who bought the fossil, Sherlock reaches out to an associate named “C,” (Jane Alexander) a woman he met on a D.H. Lawrence message board who became his naughty penpal. She also happens to be an executive at an auction house. The meeting yields a clue as to the identity of the smuggler and also sheds light on Sherlock’s fascinating private life. C turns out to be considerably older than Sherlock, but as he puts it, she has “a rare gift.” Indeed.

Sherlock and Watson locate the smuggler, but they’re too late as he’s already been murdered and the precious fossil destroyed. The murder is one thing, but who would want to destroy something so valuable? This leads Sherlock and Watson to “Dead Clade Walking” and ultimately, the killer: the same paleontologist they met at a museum when they first started the investigation. The fossil may have been worth millions on the black market, but for some, no amount of money is worth sacrificing their reputation.

With the case solved, Sherlock returns to the matter of his missing sponsee. Randy ran out of the diner after Sherlock gave him some harsh advice. He shows up at Sherlock’s doorstep and tells him he used again with Eve. Sherlock offers to go to a meeting with him, having realized through Randy that sometimes it’s best to let an addict face temptation on his or her own. It’s a challenge Sherlock will likely face if he continues to tangle with Moriarty.