An architect doesn't want to admit his firm screwed up in its designs for a skyscraper, so naturally, the next logical course of action is to throw an old woman off a balcony. Sounds reasonable, right?
Alas, Elementary Season 4 Episode 15 suffers from "needlessly complicated villain scheme" syndrome and its corollary, "murder is the obvious answer." I mean, seriously. The guy's an architect, for Pete's sake, and he was responsible for three deaths in the space of five days!
Sure, the guy's reputation and lots of money were on the line, but does it make sense that he'd come up with a complicated scheme that involves murdering an old woman so that her air rights would get tied up in court so they'd be forced to make the building shorter by twenty stories?
Some suspension of disbelief is to be expected, but why do so many people seem to leap to murder as the next logical step to further their goals?
The death of the protest leader at least made sense (O'Neill caught the architect Busquet stealing back the files O'Neill had stolen from him). Too bad for the rest of the protesters that Hull gets to go ahead with the skyscraper in the end; while forty stories is less than sixty-something, your Central Park view is still blocked.
In case you had forgotten, Hull the real estate magnate previously appared in Elementary Season 3 Episode 6, "Terra Pericolosa."
On a side note, I do wonder what happened to that poor (rich?) Shih Tzu. The lawyer certainly didn't care for it, and no doubt the kids resented the fact that their mother left her fortune to the dog.
For those who play "Guess the Murderer," this episode was fairly easy if you are familiar with the Law of Conservation of Characters. Once it was firmly established that the proposed skyscraper was the central motive, the number of suspects was, well, pretty small.
Meanwhile, Joan (and pretty much everyone who didn't read the episode teaser) was surprised to run into Gregson and Paige, his girlfriend of a year (!). Paige later revealed that she was recently diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis).
MS is a terrible disease that affects the central nervous system, and there is no cure. There are different forms, both recurring and building up over time. While there are treatments available, their effectiveness can vary and the side effects can be nasty. Plus, the disease itself can result in permanent damage.
Basically, it's not pretty. So, Gregson was wise to read up on the disease. Being in a relationship with someone who suffers from a long-term, debilitating ailment can be a huge strain, both physically (from caring for the victim's needs) and emotionally. The PSA at the end of the episode, featuring Aidan Quinn, was a nice touch.
Overall, though, if you're compiling a list of must-watch Elementary episodes, you are almost certainly safe in putting this one in the "skip" pile.
A few final notes before I turn the discussion over to you, my friends:
- Sherlock was not, in fact, making up the ManhattAnt. It's apparently quite real!
- There was no mention or movement on the Morland Assassination Attempt arc, though there was a somewhat amusing diversion to one of Morland's investment properties. "Have that one, need that one..."
- The incident with the Mars orbiter that Sherlock mentioned actually happened. The Mars Climate Orbiter was lost in 1999 due to an incorrect course adjustment thanks to a piece of software that used United States customary units instead of metric. Oops.
- Environmental Impact Reports are just as dry reading as Joan indicated. Of course, if you happen to be opposed to a particular development project, they might just be worth the eyestrain.
- Was Busquet even aware that he killed the poor guy down on the street -- by dropping the old woman on top of him?
So, what did you think of "Up to Heaven and Down to Hell"? Did you peg the architect of the building as the architect of the murders? What did you think of Paige, Gregson's new love interest, and her health crisis? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you missed this episode, fear not! You can watch Elementary online to catch up. Elementary returns on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 10/9c on CBS with Elementary Season 4 Episode 16, "Hounded."