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Elementary 1×18 “Déjà Vu All Over Again” Recap


Joan solves her first case

Six months earlier to the events of 1×18, a woman is standing at a subway platform when a man wearing in a hoodie hands her a bouquet of flowers. Moments later the man returns and pushes the woman onto the subway tracks just as the train comes speeding by.

At the same time, Joan (Lucy Liu) is at a bar hanging out with some friends when she gets a call about a new client. His name: Sherlock Holmes.

Flash-forward to the present and Joan is being mentored in the art of stealing cars by none other than Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) – Sherlock’s sponsor whom we last saw in episode 8. It’s definitely nice to see him again, and here’s hoping he’ll be in more future episodes.

Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) gets a call from one of his father’s assistants asking him to take on a case involving Sherlock’s father’s attorney. Turns out the attorney actually wants Sherlock to help his assistant Rebecca. Her sister is missing, and Rebecca suspects that her sister’s husband might have something to do with. There’s also an antique trunk that Rebecca was supposed to get from her sister, and she knows for sure that her sister would never leave without giving it to Rebecca.

Right before her disappearance, Callie – the sister – had made a video to Drew – her husband – telling him that she was leaving him. She cites the story of the woman being pushed onto the subway tracks as what made her come to her decision.

Sherlock decides that this case would make an excellent first case for Joan, saying how it practically comes with training wheels. Meanwhile, he plans on solving the mystery of the woman who was pushed onto the subway tracks. He would have been all over the case six months ago, if it hadn’t been for the fact that he’s been in rehab.

After examining various surveillance videos, Sherlock discovers that the janitor from the subway woman’s place of work had been stalking her. Sherlock confronts him, but the janitor says he had nothing to do with her murder. In fact, he was recording her that night and had captured the incident on his cell phone – proving his innocence and also providing Sherlock with more evidence.

To help Joan and to speed up the investigation, Sherlock texts Drew with a burn cell phone saying that he knows that Drew murdered his wife. The plan is that if Drew is guilty, he’ll act differently after getting the text and might give himself away.

Joan is in the middle of doing surveillance on Drew, when she calls Sherlock. He tells her that he overheard the call she had had with her friend and that he remembered Joan making plans with her to meet up. Joan is annoyed with herself for forgetting but not to worry – Sherlock had already asked Alfredo to step in and take over Joan’s duties so that Joan can go meet up with her friend. Awww.

Joan goes off to meet up with her friends at the bar, who tell her that they’re worried about her. They know she’s no longer a sober companion and is now working as a consulting detective, with her old client as her mentor. Joan laughs, asking, “Is this an intervention?” She’s had plenty of experience giving them, so she can tell right away that it’s what her friends are doing to her.

She quickly becomes annoyed, however, and decides to cut the evening short, just as she gets a text from Alfredo telling her that Drew is on the move. Joan’s friend Emily (Susan Pourfar) tells her that she knows Joan very well, and she knows that she isn’t cut out for detective work. This makes Joan pause, right before leaving the bar.

She meets up with Alfredo, who followed the husband to a self-storage place. They see him get the missing trunk out and put it in his car. Joan suspects Callie’s body may be in there. A freaked out Alfredo wants to call the cops, but Joan stops him. She wants to prove herself and do it on her own, probably thinking about her talk with Emily earlier that evening.

Alfredo watches from the car with a worried expression on his face as Joan sneaks her way to Drew’s car. She successfully breaks in and right before she’s about to open the trunk, a security guard stops her.

Drew returns, and Joan tells the guard that she has reason to believe that he murdered his wife and subsequently hid her body in the trunk.

The police show up and Drew, after some hesitation, ends up opening the trunk.

It’s empty.

The police arrest Joan for breaking into the car and, afterward, Sherlock comes to bail her out – paralleling the scene from the Pilot episode when Joan came to bail Sherlock out of jail, except now it’s Joan behind the glass.

“I’m getting the strangest sense of deja vu,” Sherlock tells Joan.

Turns out Drew, knowing the trunk cost several thousand dollars, had sold it to a collector partly because of spite and partly because his art gallery wasn’t doing so well financially. After Sherlock had made the burn text to him, he had a change of heart and decided to return the trunk to Rebecca.

Joan is feeling down on herself, but Sherlock tries to be encouraging – telling her that her hypothesis was good.

Sherlock and Bell (Jon Michael Hill) go to confront the violinist whom Sherlock had seen in the cell phone video the janitor had made the night the subway woman was pushed. In the video, the violinist seemed to recognize the subway pusher. When Sherlock asks him about it, the violinist admits that he had tried to pickpocket the subway pusher earlier but had gotten caught. He was worried that the subway pusher would recognize him that night and call the police on him, so he left as soon as he saw him.

Sherlock wonders if the violinist might remember what the patch on the subway pusher’s jacket was. And sure enough, he’s able to give them a precise description of the patch.

Photo: CBS

Photo: CBS

Later, at the police station, the missing woman’s husband shows up and is willing to drop the charges against Joan – if she apologizes. Sherlock defends Joan’s actions to Capt. Gregson (Aidan Quinn), and states that he doesn’t think Joan should apologize to Drew. Feeling dejected, Joan says she should probably go ahead and do it.

Gregson leaves Joan and Sherlock alone, telling them that he’ll be in his office with Drew. Joan is feeling frustrated and she tells Sherlock that maybe she can’t be a detective, after all, and that what Sherlock does can’t be taught – it just comes naturally to some people.

A sad Sherlock looks on as Joan goes off to apologize to the husband.

Joan later pays a visit to Rebecca and tells her that she and Sherlock won’t be able to work on the case anymore… when suddenly she notices a picture of Callie wearing the same jacket with the same logo that the subway pusher was wearing.

Rebecca says the jacket was a gift to Callie from Drew. It also turn out that Drew even had a beard, just like the subway pusher, but that he had shaved it off around the same time Callie went missing.

Now they know that Callie’s husband is the subway pusher.

They have a final confrontation with Drew at the police station. There, Sherlock and Joan explain exactly what happened and how the subway murder is linked to the disappearance of Callie.

Turns out Callie had made the break-up video nearly a year and a half ago – the first time she had left her husband – and that she’d been referencing a different woman who’d been pushed on the subway tracks by accident. That woman had been holding a bouquet of flowers just like the woman from six months ago.

Drew had devised a plan to get rid of his wife by orchestrating another subway murder, with a woman holding a bouquet of flowers, to make it look like the break-up video had been made just prior to Callie’s disappearance. He needed to make it look like Callie had left of her volition – not that he had murdered her.

Drew thinks Joan is just a madwoman, but when she tells them about all the evidence they have against him, his expression turns somber. He knows he’s going to jail.

Later that night, Joan gets a call from Emily. She hesitates at first before answering. Emily tells Joan that she won’t apologize for worrying about her, but she does apologize for doubting her. Emily’s editor at the newspaper where she works has just assigned her to write an article about the subway murder – which Joan just solved. Emily is happy for Joan.

Sherlock bursts in, asking Joan to join him downstairs to further test and develop Joan’s detecting skills.

Joan tells Emily that she’s got to go. After hanging up, Joan changes her job status on her online social networking profile from “sober companion” to “consulting detective”. She smiles, feeling accomplished and more confident with herself.

All in all, a great episode – especially for Joan. Even the ‘case of the week’ was pretty interesting, compared to last week’s.

Memorable Quotes

Sherlock: Did you know that ‘shyster’ is German for ‘one who defecates’?

Sherlock: The human face, Watson, is like the penis – or say said the great personality theorist, Silvan Tomkins. The point being: the face, like the male member, has a mind of its own. It betrays us on an almost daily basis.

Sherlock: How goes the search for father’s lawyer’s assistant’s sister?

Sherlock: Have I told you how distracting I find self-doubt? If you must wallow, I ask that you do it in the privacy of your room.
Joan: Do I need to remind you that I made a mistake last night that got me arrested?
Sherlock: Do I need to remind you that you made a discovery today that may ultimately solve both cases? Do you wish to mourn the former or celebrate the latter? Cause I, for one, am fully engaged.

Sherlock: You enjoyed a modicum of success today, Watson. Let’s not let it go to our heads now, shall we?

Rating: B+

Elementary airs Thursdays on CBS at 10/9 central.