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Review: Elementary 01×21 – Landmark Story

Reviewed by Liz Giorgi
Being Geek Chic For The Baker Street Babes


The Moriarty mystery finally picks back up where it left off this week and with it came momentum, excitement and one of the best scenes in the series yet.

This Moriarty mystery episode is all spoilers from here on out, my fellow Sherlockians.

We begin this week when we meet a man with a pacemaker who’s being tortured by a man with a mysterious piece of software that seems to simulate a heart attack. After using this dangerous tool to convince the rich fellow to vote to remove the historical marker designation for a former speakeasy, our newest murderer kills the guy with his space bar. That’s some serious programming power.

But the real action begins when Sebastian Moran beckons Sherlock to the prison to alert him to a heart attack that he believes to be a murder. Moran, for those that can’t remember, is the Arsenal fan who Sherlock had mistaken for Moriarty earlier in the season. A reluctant Sherlock follows up for one reason: to find Moriarty.

Without any autopsy information, Holmes and Watson visit the morgue and cut the rich heart attack victim open and immediately notice palm bruising on the corpse, which is consistent with getting struck by lightning, but not so much with heart attacks. After they cut him open, they discover his blood has boiled. Perhaps Moran was onto something after all.

This peaks Sherlock’s interest and he begins his quest to find his killer. I really liked this whole storyline, because not only did it show us the many ways one can die that look absolutely unintentional, but this killer is just some meek retired engineer. But don’t be fooled, this guy has been dropping air conditioning units on heads and planting bee hives on running paths for years, racking up 31 murders that were categorized as total accidents. He is possibly the most talented hit man in the history of crime. But before Moriarty’s cleverest killer goes to jail, Sherlock and Watson interrogate the guy, hoping to get one step closer to M himself. Only problem? He doesn’t even know if he’s met him.

We did learn one very revealing detail from this interrogation, though. The “accidentalist” once received Sherlock’s photo, which means he was a Moriarty target just a year or so earlier. However, just as an “accidental overdose” had been lined up during the height of Holmes’s addiction – the hit got cancelled with no explanation. Instead of seeing relief on Sherlock’s face, we see that he’s just pissed. Why was he spared? Could it be because M figured out he could use him for his own games? Well, we all know the answer to that. While he may not yet know how M will attempt to use him, he does use his newfound access to arrange a meeting which leads Holmes and Watson to John Randall.

Just as Sherlock sits down with John, you can see the relief on his face. He thinks he is about to finally get some answers about Irene’s death. That is until the guy gets shot in the back by a sniper. For Sherlock fans, this was a familiar moment, as we all remember that our BBC Moriarty was unafraid to snipe his informants if it was convenient.

Even though Sherlock’s plan was foiled, I have to admit that I did laugh hysterically when Watson opened her medical bag and found LEGO inside. See, the pair had a bit of a breakthrough just hours earlier when Holmes admitted that he hoped he could prevent himself from exacting lethal revenge on Moriarty, because Watson was in his life now which has made him a better person. For a minute, she was worried that he fell through on his word – but the LEGO, in all their ridiculous, colorful glory, didn’t just give a laugh, they give Joan a relief.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of Sherlock getting duped. Moriarty uses him to deliver one final text message to the imprisoned Sebastian Moran, bringing us back to the top of the episode again. I have to admit that this was one of the best sequences yet in the entire Elementary series. There was something truly haunting about Moran singing to himself while Sherlock hurriedly attempted to solve the encrypted text. And just as he solves it, Moran’s bashes in his own head in to save his sister. The text reads:

“Moran, you didn’t tell me you had a sister. You die or she does.”

Could this be a clue? Is this how Moriarty motivates his informants? Through using a loved one as an impetus for suicide attempts. Is it possible that Irene gave herself up to save Sherlock? And does that mean she knew Moriarty?

As we enter the last moments of this episode, we don’t get an answer, but we do get to hear Moriarty’s voice for the first time. And yes, he’s British.


lizgiorgiLiz Giorgi is the Baker Street Babes’ Elementary Guru and runs the fantastic nerdy blog Being Geek Chic. You can find her former reviews of Elementary here on her site.

She’s a social media and web strategist who currently works for a communications consulting firm in Minneapolis. She’s also a contributor for Apartment Therapy and The Mary Sue.

You can contact her at and follow her on Twitter @lizgiorgi

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