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Elementary 1×16 “Details” Recap


Detective Bell is attacked and Sherlock encourages Joan to learn self-defense

Air Date: 14 February 2013

“Details” opens with Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) entering her and Sherlock Holmes’ (Jonny Lee Miller) shared living space when suddenly an intruder creeps up on her in the darkness. We watch with bated breath as Joan struggles to find her mace – but wait, the intruder’s already taken it – then tries to run away, but ends up tripping on a wire and collapsing on the floor…

“That’s pathetic,” a familiar voice tells her.

Turns out the trespasser is just Sherlock trying to test her reflexive skills. Given his eccentricities, we’re not surprised by the way he goes about it – wearing a mask and putting on a weird voice to disguise his identity. Joan, on the other hand, is not very pleased, but Sherlock was just worried about her ability to defend herself. Just last episode she was held hostage. She’s important to him, he said it himself.

(Okay, these two need to admit their undying love for one another, already. We’re only half-joking.)

The “case of the week” in this episode kicks into gear right after that little sequence, and this time it hits a little closer to home, after Det. Marcus Bell (Jon Michael Hill) is nearly killed in a drive-by shooting. He suffers some minor scratches but other than that, he’s okay – thank goodness, because it would be a shame to lose a fine face like that on our television screens.

Marcus Bell being fine as hell. Seriously, check out those arms. (GIF: Hera Syed / Production: CBS)

Marcus Bell being fine as hell. Seriously, check out those arms. (GIF: Hera Syed / Production: CBS)

Previous episodes have mostly focused on Sherlock’s relationship with Capt. Gregson, so we’ve been left wondering about Bell, the other major side member of their crime-fighting crew. Finally, in this episode, the writers delve into his background and we learn more about him.

Of course, Sherlock and Joan are immediately on the case. “He’s practically family,” Joan points out. Sherlock admits that it would be a shame to have to get accustomed to a new detective, should anything happen to Bell. (We assume this is his roundabout way of agreeing with her.)

Within the first ten minutes we meet Bell’s older brother Andre (Malcolm Goodwin), who was recently released from prison – ironic considering his goody two-shoes sibling works for the police.

The brothers share a tense relationship; Bell resents the fact that his brother went to prison, instead of spending more time with him and their mother. However, it’s clear that the brothers do love each other – although Bell might not be so certain when it’s revealed that someone is trying to frame him. He considers his brother’s words: “You got no idea what this is like. But who knows, maybe someday you will.” Was that a threat?

Sherlock and Bell aren’t exactly the best of friends. Bell is frequently exasperated by Sherlock, his lack of brain-to-mouth filter, and his strange ways of investigating crimes. But there is respect on both sides. They both know and acknowledge that the other is good at what he does. Bell is relieved by the fact that Sherlock has chosen to consult for his case, because he knows he has a trustworthy and intelligent man on his side.

The feeling is mutual, as Sherlock tells Bell during one scene, “Only an idiot would have brought the gun back to his apartment after he had used it. And you, Detective, are not an idiot.” (In Sherlock-speak, that’s a compliment.)

Joan also pays a visit to her therapist, who listens apathetically to Joan’s excited account of last week’s adventures before urging her to move on from Sherlock and find a new client. The therapist wants to know why Sherlock, if he’s as smart as Joan claims he is, isn’t the one telling Joan to move on himself.

Later, Joan is shocked to learn that Sherlock already knew that she had been terminated as his sober companion. In a heartfelt scene, Sherlock confesses his love that he wants Joan to stay by his side – not as his sober companion – but simply a companion. He’s even willing to pay her salary out of his private funds. She looks conflicted, but flattered, and doesn’t give him an answer right away.

The pair of them return to their sleuthing, but Bell is the first to come upon their next gruesome piece of the case: his brother Andre has been grievously shot in his apartment. And with the last bits of strength he had left, Andre tried to ensure his brother would not be implicated in his death by writing “WAS NOT MARCUS” with his pool of blood. Props to Jon Michael Hill for killing it – acting-wise – in that scene.

Photo: CBS

Photo: CBS

Cue tears.

Joan uses her rapidly developing deducing skills to figure out that Bell was the whistleblower on a previous case, which put him on the radar of some dirty cops.

They confront Officer Reyes, who had previously dated Bell, and surprise!

Turns out she was the one behind the frame-job. When she found out that Bell’s snitching had led to her mentor’s dismissal and subsequent suicide, she swore revenge. And what better way to get revenge than to besmirch the reputation of a good cop by framing him for murder?

Luckily they discovered her plan and cleared Bell’s name in time. The only one who was going to prison for murder was Reyes.

In the hospital, the brothers share a tender moment as Andre, still recovering from his injuries, reassures Marcus that they are family – no matter what – and that family looks out for each other. Back at the apartment, Joan decides to take up Sherlock on his offer of staying on as his companion.

But not without getting some payback first. Thwack.

Ow! (GIF: Hera Syed / Production: CBS)

Ow! (GIF: Hera Syed / Production: CBS)

“Could have been a knife,” she shrugs.

Memorable Quotes

Joan: What is your damage?!

We know what you’re thinking: “Was that a Heathers reference that Joan just made?!” The answer is yes, yes it was. And it was amazing.

Sherlock: You think you’re foxy?

We’re translating the look Joan gave him as, “bitch, I know I’m foxy.”

Sherlock: Can you think of any reason that Bell would have a lingerie catalog on which your head has been superimposed on almost all the models? … He hasn’t. But can you think of any reason he would?

Because the expression on Joan’s face was absolutely priceless. And now we’re imaging Bell sitting down with some scissors and glue sticks and actually doing this.

Sherlock: I am better with you, Watson. I’m sharper, I’m focused. Difficult to say why exactly. Perhaps, in time, I’ll solve that as well.

Best platonic friendship love confession ever.

Bell: We fought yesterday. You were shot in the back. No way you saw who did it, no way you could have known for sure it wasn’t me.
Andre: But I did know. I know you. You gotta look out for family, even when they disappoint you.

We love these brothers and we hope to see Andre again, as Bell hopefully gets more screen-time and character development.

Rating: A