Elementary Season 3 Episode 17 Review: T-Bone and the Iceman

at .  Updated at .

Familial ties bound victims, murderers and detectives in good and bad ways on Elementary Season 3 Episode 17. As Joan discovered, nothing makes us as crazy or hurts us or saves us the way family does.

Her mom had always been a formidable woman, so it was easy to believe her when she told Joan that she caught her brother kissing a woman who wasn't his wife. We had no reason to doubt her, although in retrospect, her comment about her husband's affair should have given us an inkling that she could have projected or been confused about what she saw.

Joan didn't see it either, but Sherlock gently guided her to that possibility.

Sherlock continued to show a depth of character and level of caring that we don't always associate with him. Joan tried subtle trickery to see whether her Mom was experiencing more than a senior moment, but she couldn't fool her Mom. 

She was still sharp and not amused. Joan thought a little gift (or sugar) might help mend fences with her Mom while Sherlock had a very different approach.

Watson: I thought a spoonful of sugar might help.
Holmes: I always found a crowbar works better.

His blatant manipulation of Joan's Mom was somewhat appalling and yet very Sherlock-like. He intent was good, but his manner of achieving his purpose (convincing her that she forgot her daughter's birthday when she didn't) was cruel as Joan noted. But it did make her amendable to visiting a neurologist.

So I guess the ends justified the means?

It depends on your point of view. Or perhaps what the ends are. Vance Ford was both a murderer and murder victim, and he likely felt his actions were justified, right up until he died for them. 

He was already facing a death sentence due to his illness and was willing to do what was necessary to survive, even creating an unusually distinctive suspect for a crime he committed.

Maybe because Wyatt Earp got back into his time machine and disappeared.


There was no man with a ginger beard, scar above his right eye and crazy hat running around New York, strangling people or stealing bodies from cryostasis tanks. It was always Vance.

I was initially confused when we jumped from a row of frozen bodies to CRYO-NYC. I didn't connect the dots right away, but in my defense, I was waiting for Tio (from Breaking Bad) to start ringing his bell. Tio would have never run such a shoddy business.

The cryo-stasis angle surprised me, although it was also intriguing. In some ways it turned out to be a bit of a red herring as Sherlock (and us) surmised that the murderer retrieved the body of Jim Sullivan because he was concerned evidence may have been preserved with him. 

We're not here about the R22 or the improper storage of nutters.


A sound theory but Sherlock was wrong. It went back to those unbreakable familial ties. We can be estranged from our family, but we cannot change our DNA or the bone marrow that binds us to each other either. Sullivan was Vance Ford's cousin.

Vance was not the unlikely witness to an even more unlikely suspect in Sullivan's murder. He was family. More importantly, he was a bone marrow match unwilling to save his cousin's life. Apparently, Ford could still harvest Sullivan's bone marrow as a last Hail Mary to defeat his leukemia.

It was a good plan. Too bad that a lost girl derailed it when she crashed into the van and saw Sullivan's frozen body. His lackeys had to kill her and Ford too. He became too great of a risk to his co-conspirators when the police started sniffing around them. After all, dying men like to clear their conscience before meeting their maker.

An interesting episode that had a few gaps for me. I understood why they killed the girl, but how did she end up with coolant on her face? She was hit with a tire iron. Was it covered with coolant? Did some spill on her? 

TIo, I mean Misraki, would never have contacted the police over Sullivan's missing body or the stolen van because his business couldn't withstand the scrutiny. Maybe I missed it, but beyond the set-up, she seemed a bit superfluous to the story.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Did you peg Vance Ford as liar like Sherlock? Or did he fall off your suspect list after his murder? Was Sherlock right to trick (or manipulate) Joan's Mom? Sound off in the comments. Don't forget you can  watch Elementary online via TV Fanatic at your convenience.

T-Bone and the Iceman Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (30 Votes)
Show Comments
Tags: ,

Elementary Season 3 Episode 17 Quotes

Maybe because Wyatt Earp got back into his time machine and disappeared.


Watson: I thought a spoonful of sugar might help.
Holmes: I always found a crowbar works better.