Elementary (2012– )
2 user 6 critic

Dead Man's Switch 

A blackmailer uses tapes of underage girls to get money from their fathers. When Holmes witnesses the blackmailer's murder, it becomes a race to find out who his accomplice is and prevent the videos from being released on the Internet.


Larry Teng


Robert Doherty (created by) (as Rob Doherty), Liz Friedman (teleplay) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Jonny Lee Miller ... Sherlock Holmes
Lucy Liu ... Dr. Joan Watson
Jon Michael Hill ... Detective Marcus Bell
Aidan Quinn ... Captain Thomas Gregson
Ato Essandoh ... Alfredo Llamosa
Thomas Jay Ryan ... Ken Whitman
Wayne Duvall ... Duke Landers
Joseph Siravo ... Anthony Pistone
Tom Guiry ... Brent Garvey (as Thomas Guiry)
Russell G. Jones ... Attorney
David Mogentale David Mogentale ... Charles Augustus Milverton
Randy Louis Swiren Randy Louis Swiren ... Stuart Bloom
Portia Reiners Portia Reiners ... Eva Whitman


A blackmailer uses tapes of underage girls to get money from their fathers. When Holmes witnesses the blackmailer's murder, it becomes a race to find out who his accomplice is and prevent the videos from being released on the Internet.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blackmail | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 April 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The plot extends far beyond the opening events which briefly encapsulate an entire short story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the 1904 story titled "Charles Augustus Milverton," Holmes and Watson break into a blackmailer's home to recover incriminating material, but must hide when Milverton returns. He is confronted by a masked shooter, who describes the devastation Milverton wrought in her life before she kills him. Holmes refuses to help find Milverton's well-justified murderer, and the short story ends as Holmes and Watson quietly discover her identity. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Ken Whitman: My sponsor was out of town, so I reached out to Alfredo. I just needed somebody to talk to, but then he told me about you. He said that you might be able to help?
Sherlock Holmes: I have a particular disdain for blackmailers. They are, in some respects, more despicable to me than even murderers. Ms. Watson and I will find the person who has been targeting you. We will also find their accomplice. We shall then destroy every trace of this vile recording.
See more »


Version of Sherlock: His Last Vow (2014) See more »


Two Trains
Written by Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew
Performed by Yo La Tengo
See more »

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User Reviews

An off the shelf murder plot that could be any TV show episode
26 April 2013 | by mickranSee all my reviews

The series so far has had its ups and downs in story quality. There have been some excellent plots but quite a few mediocre ones too. This episode however is a new low for otherwise quite an inventive show. It is no more than formulaic detritus left behind on the shelf to be plucked when any show is running out of ideas. This story is so generic it could easily have been slotted into an episode of Bones, Castle, CSI or any other cop show on TV with very little changes to the script.

The short guest appearance in the beginning of the show of a list of suspects one of whom turns out to be the villain is classic Bones or Castle, so predictable that I can now pick the murderer in those shows not from any clues but just by the demeanour of the actor and the timing of his appearance in the plot. The mysterious leads that just turn up for them to question to move the plot forward not because it makes sense of is intrinsic to the story but just because it's time to move the show forward before an ad break.

Although I'm enjoying this series so far one of the let downs of the show is that it is too generic a murder show at times. While I'm enjoying the departure from other versions of Sherlock Holmes they have not embraced the essence of Holmes enough. He rarely investigated murders at all and was intrigued by peculiar mysteries often where a crime didn't even seem to have been committed and many of his clients sought him out because the police were not interested.

The show needs to go back to the source material because if they are to succeed in being truly original and forward thinking they need to be Holmes at his essence and not just the surface trappings of his peculiarity and genius. Only then can they make a true departure and create something original.

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