Elementary Recap: 'M.' Marks the Spot

M.Has Elementary finally introduced Sherlock’s infamous foe? What really happened to Irene Adler? And will Joan be sticking around to help solve crimes with the P.I.? Thursday night’s episode of the hit CBS drama delved into the show’s mythology to answer those big questions.

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This week’s case is a familiar one for Sherlock: It involves a killer, simply known as M., who was responsible for 37 deaths in Britain. Now the elusive criminal who escaped Holmes’ clutches back in the motherland has made his way to New York and claimed a victim. After M. breaks into Sherlock’s home to leave a note, the investigator catches his image via hidden cameras and tracks down his whereabouts.

In a rare moment, Sherlock opens up to Watson and reveals that M. was responsible for the death of Irene Adler. “I was quite smitten [with her],” he shares. “Up until that point in my life, I found women quite boring.” Before losing her, drugs were just something he did recreationally. Then he “lost control” and turned to opioids, making him useless to Scotland Yard as they attempted to catch the serial killer. Now, thanks to Watson’s help, Sherlock is of a clear mind, and he plans on making M. pay.

“I have no intention of capturing M.,” he states. “I have every intention of torturing and murdering him.”

And he means it judging from the arsenal of weapons on display as his strings M. up for an interrogation session. “You made me a shambles of a man, and now I’m simply returning the favor,” Sherlock tells him.

But things quickly take a turn when M. reveals that he was incarcerated for a different crime at the time of Irene’s murder. “Something’s not right. I’m not what you think I am,” he argues when Sherlock refuses to accept the truth. “I’m not a serial killer. I’m an assassin. I have an employer.

“He sold me out,” he continues. “He never told me he was here.”

The man pulling all strings, the one who’s really responsible for Irene’s death, is the infamous villain from the Sherlock Holmes canon, Moriarty!

“Moriarty said you’re obsessed with puzzles, but he’s the greatest puzzle you’ll ever come across,” M.  declares. “You kill me now, and you’ll be killing the best clue you ever had.”

So M. manages to get himself spared, but Sherlock still gets in one stab into the killer’s stomach. Now the question remains if these two will be able to work together towards completing their own personal agendas: For M., getting justice against Moriarty for selling him out, and for Sherlock, capturing the man who killed his great love – if she’s even really dead.

Come on, I can’t be the only one thinking that!

We’ve gotten no real proof that cements her demise. A criminal as sharp as Moriarty could have easily faked her death. And it was noted that not all of the victims’ bodies were found, so perhaps Irene is really alive somewhere out there under threat or in capture or simply laying low.

Meanwhile, in another unusually vulnerable moment — Jonny Lee Miller really nailed this episode, didn’t he? — following his confrontation with M., Sherlock nearly repeats Joan’s words back to her: “I’m going to miss this. Maybe not this so much, but this. Working with you. I think what you do is amazing. I’m so sorry our last days together had to go so poorly.”

That was enough to make her call Sherlock’s father and ask that she be allowed to stay longer. Her explanation: She’s worried about him presumably falling off the wagon, but it’s clear that her decision – and the one that follows – is about far more than just that. In a surprise twist, the elder Holmes denies the request. What?! Why?! When Sherlock inquires about his father’s response, Joan lies and says he approved it.

Elementary fans, what did you think of the show’s first taste of Moriarty? Are you with me on the Irene-is-alive conspiracy train? And what do you think Sherlock’s dad has against Joan staying on as his son’s sober companion?

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