Synopsis for
"Elementary" Flight Risk (2012)

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"Elementary" - "Flight Risk" - Nov. 8, 2012

Watson awakes to Holmes' blaring police scanners. He laments that it's been a slow week.

Watson lets him know that his dad is coming into town and wants the two of them to meet him for dinner. He feels like this is very unlikely.

He hears a juicy "incident" on the scanner: a plane crash. They head off to the scene on the beach. Gregson is already there and tells Holmes they don't need him. Of course, he still asks the woman in charge what's going on. She thanks him for his offer of help and tells him she's all set. Gregson offers to give him cold cases to work on but Holmes instead goes to look at the crash victims and deduces they were all attorneys. He also deduces that one of the victims was already dead before the plane crashed. He also deduces he was killed by a wrench.

The NTSB official recounts an eyewitness account of the plane suddenly climbing, then shuddering, then crashing. Holmes spins his theories: 3 passengers, two men, one woman, all attorneys. One pilot. All dead. He wonders about air rage and notes the differences in granules of sand. Watson points out that since the killer died in the crash and thus isn't roving around why Holmes cares. She says he seems a bit off. He wants to ID the killer and learn the story. And, Watson points out, to forestall his father.

They go to speak to the last people who saw the victims alive. A friend of the pilot, who owns the company, knew the victims a little bit since they flew them a lot. He tells them there's a security camera in the parking lot the footage of which he can get them. The guy says the pilot is not their guy since he was a good guy.

Watson tells Holmes that his dad wants to meet for dinner at 6 and points out that he must have cared enough to put Holmes in rehab. Holmes says that his father doesn't care about him or Watson and he only did what he did out of familial obligation. He says his father is a serial absentee.

Detective Bell calls Watson and Holmes into Gregson's office. The three attorneys were headed to Martha's Vineyard to work on a class action case against a company called Carmanto Foods, whose sugar subsitute might cause cancer, there was a potential 100 million dollar payday for the victims. It turns out the murder victim Hank Girard was butting heads with his boss and fellow passenger Walter Devlin about how to proceed with the case. Devlin wanted to settle, Girard wanted to go to court and they had loud arguments.

The NTSB woman calls and says they've found the black box. Holmes translates the pilot talk but also hears the passengers fighting, including Ellie Wilson. There is a tussle and the woman yells, the pilot and plane go into distress and then the transmission ends. The NTSB woman thinks Holmes was right. He realizes he was wrong. After hearing only Devlin yelling in the "fight" he theorizes anew: Girard was killed elsewhere, earlier in the day and stuck in the cargo hold. Devlin though Girard missed the fight and called to yell at him which is why we didn't hear Girard's voice. The plane hit the kind of turbulence the NTSB woman thought it did originally and crashed. Girard's body was uncovered in the crash. The wrench was nowhere to be found even though almost everything else was recovered, thus the murder scene and the crash site are two different places. They find Girard's damaged phone and hear the voicemail that Devlin left. They realize they have a murderer to find after all since everyone who died in the crash was innocent.

Back at the precinct Holmes tries to work it out. Watson theorizes that Holmes is frightened of flying. He bristles at this. She asks how he got from London to New York, he doesn't answer. Bell comes in and says the charter company owner has video for them. It shows Girard alive, arguing with some fat dude. They ask the owner and another employee to clear out so they can analyze the scene.

Back at Holmes' place he determines that the man Girard argued with worked at Carmanto Foods, any employee of which would've had motive. Unfortunately, they have a lot of fat white guy employees. He does however, have an identifying, ancient pager. Watson says she's getting ready to meet the elder Mr. Holmes. Holmes scoffs and says he won't show that "He's Lucy with the football, you're Charlie Brown." She points out that it's not a pager, it's an insulin pump, there fat guy is a diabetic.

Bell and Holmes go to see the guy. He tries to claim he doesn't know the victim. They connect the dots for him. He shuts his office door and admits he was helping him as a whistleblower. He says Hank was angry because he refused to testify after Carmanto offered what he thought was a reasonable settlement. Holmes gets nervous when he watches him open his pill bottle. They leave. Holmes points out to Bell that he's no longer a suspect since his diabetes clearly makes it difficult for him to grip things-- like opening a pill bottle-- so there's no way he could've swung the wrench.

Watson meets Holmes' dad (who is played Roger Rees). He seems nice enough. He knows his son isn't coming. He admits to having laid as many bricks in the wall between them as his son has. He asks after him. Watson reports that he's mostly well with his sobriety but not so good on going to support groups. Daddy Holmes says he's always been stubborn since childhood. Watson says she's happy to be meeting with him and wants to know much more. Daddy Holmes says he wants to ask her one first: how's the sex? He says he figured part of the deal was sex giving how high her rates are. She realizes this is not Mr. Holmes. Sherlock hired an actor to mess with her since he knew his dad wouldn't show.

Back at the hangar, Holmes drags Bell along to talk to the NTSB woman about a new theory about the wacky sand he found. He realized that someone put sand in the gas tank, which would've stalled the plane. Someone wanted it to crash. Whoever sabotaged the flight also probably killed Girard. The person who sabotaged it was probably counting on it to crash in the water on the way to Martha's Vineyard and wash away the evidence of the sand. But it crashed prematurely on the beach and revealed them and that Girard was already dead.

Watson returns from her faux dinner. She isn't speaking to him. He says it was a good prank and she should appreciate the fact that he knew his dad wasn't coming. He informs her about the sabotage and says he's got a suspect and would like to go and confront him and wants her to come. She stalks off to bed. He tells her that she should've trusted him when he said his dad wouldn't show. She says she doesn't trust him because despite knowing him for weeks he's shared virtually nothing so they're still practically strangers and if he wants to pound on a criminal's door he should call the police.

So he does. Dragging Bell to the house of the other charter company employee who showed them the video and mentioned the camera that shot the other angle was broken. He's also a pilot. Holmes tells him that he knows that he and the dead pilot had a big fight. He says the pilot was mad at him for poaching one of his clients who was a big tipper. Holmes isn't buying this and thinks maybe the saboteur was mad at the charter airline itself and dug into some of the logs to follow up. He discovered that every time this guy flew back from Miami he recorded a weight of exactly 66 pounds over the weight of the passengers. Only Miami and why 66 pounds? It's exactly 30 kilos, which is good for cocaine smuggling. Holmes theorizes the dead pilot threatened him. Hank Girard caught him in the act of sabotage so he killed him and threw him in the cargo hold since he knew the plane was going to crash anyway. The guy thinks it's an impressive theory. The guy says he wasn't near the hangar this morning because he was with his boss whose car had stalled.

Watson awakes to Holmes in her room and says she was right that he is drawn to weird plane things because he sees so much,deduces so much when he gets onto a plane. He asks if she's still cross. He says he was attempting to demonstrate his trust. She wonders how since he was sharing something he already knew.

The owner of the charter company, who reeks of airplane glue much to Holmes' dismay, says the other guy called him and confessed about the drugs and how the dead pilot threatened to go to the police. The owner is all clammy and pale. He says he asked him to confirm his alibi that they were together but the owner says he wasn't with him. Gregson and the others step out, Bell goes after the guy but he's ankled. They find the wrench in his garage, which seems weird. Holmes determines the wrench was in the water recently. He thinks someone disposed of it and reclaimed it and planted it here after killing the guy. They find his money from his smuggling operation though and determine it must've been the charter company owner-- who could've benefitted from the smuggling operation as well and told them that the other guy confessed to do it all-- who actually did it all.

They go back to the precinct and the guy sticks to the story. Holmes thinks he's clammy and nervous because he's the murderer. Watson thinks the guy is actually dying of some medical condition he looks so unwell. Watson notices a scar on his wrist that lines up with a story that the actor told her about Sherlock's childhood. She tells him she has an errand to run and excuses herself. Gregson and Bell come out and say they can't get him to cop to it. Holmes looks at Bell filling up the guy's water glass. Gregson wants to cut him off, Holmes says to bring him a whole pitcher, noticing the smell of plane glue has transferred from the guy to Bell it's so strong.

Watson seeks out Alistair, the actor who played Faux Daddy Holmes. She says she knows he's not just some actor Sherlock hired, she knows he knows him or else Sherlock wouldn't have shared the story of his childhood scar with him. Alistair really is an actor but he also works at a bookstore where Watson tracks him down. He says Sherlock wrote him a fan letter from a radio show he was doing when Sherlock was 10. He says that they became a kind of friends. Meaning Sherlock would arrive with outlandish requests for help. She says it doesn't sound like much of a friendship. He tells her to revise her definition because if she expects Sherlock to relate to her like others he will migrate out of her life and she will be the poorer for it. Sherlock told him about Watson and Alistair says he's glad Watson has him. Alistair knew him when he was using but he thought he would grow out of it. He showed up at Alistair's house 9 months earlier high out of his mind. He flushed his drugs and looked after him for a day. Sherlock kept repeating a name but insisted the next day it meant nothing. Watson says she wants to help Holmes and needs Alistair's help to do it. She thanks him for his time and apologizes for bothering him. He tells her the name. (We don't hear it though.)

Sherlock goes in to see the charter company owner in the interrogation room. Holmes theorizes that he's drinking so much water due to blood loss. He figures that during the fight with the other guy he was injured and used model plane glue to seal the wound, an old military trick that would've kept him from going to the hospital and having the injury on record. The guy balks and Sherlock offers to let him go after he takes off his shirt and pants. The guy admits that he cut his side open on a sharp piece of metal and it's coincidental. Gregson moves in and tries to intimidate him. The guy continues to deny. Then they point out the wrench issue and how he framed the other guy. They realize he probably threw the guy's body in the same water he threw the wrench in. They tell him to tell everything he knows to get life in prison instead of the death penalty.

Watson comes home to a tidying Holmes. She says she has a question to ask him about his past. She says she knows about Irene and says she wants Holmes to tell her about Irene. He turns and stares at her, unhappy and surprised.


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