We are back!! So, after a hiatus to make way for March Madness (moment of silence that my beloved Florida Gators are not playing for the championship) we have a new case, mentions of the elusive Mrs. Hudson, and Clyde makes an appearance. The episode also gets into some of Joan’s past as a doctor when it’s discovered she has a connection to Andrew Colville, a presumed serial killer. So much of Holmes’ backstory and everyday life is fleshed out, but I sometimes feel that we know very little of Joan’s past and what she does in her spare time.
The episode opens with Holmes in a morgue standing over a dead body with a bite mark in a man’s neck. The man is somehow connected with a jewelry robbery. The actual robber is hiding in the morgue, playing dead where Holmes soon discovers him. It’s almost like we’re catching the tail end of another episode.
What’s really interesting is the bite mark and why a Detective Leslie Loughlin shows up at a morgue. A couple of young women have turned up dead with bite marks on their shoulders. It’s the same MO of a serial killer thought to be dead, but maybe they got the wrong guy? It’s a case that Watson is familiar with as the killer in question ended up in her operating room as she was assisting another surgeon, a Dr. Fleming. In the flashback, we see Joan sporting bangs and watching as Fleming operates on the killer, Aaron Colville and presumably, lets him die. Actually, it’s obvious he let Colville die. There is no real ambiguity. Given that the death at the morgue was accidental, the death of the two women could be the actual killer or the work of a copycat. If it’s the former, Watson watched as an innocent man was allowed to die. A confrontation with Dr. Fleming goes nowhere as he denies any wrongdoing.
We get our first reference to the invisible Mrs. Hudson as Holmes had to search hard for a book under her unique classification system. The book is needed as Mycroft has invited the pair to join a potentially highly lucrative expedition to find a sunken vessel. Is this potentially another ploy for Mycroft to get Holmes out of the city? We will never know as Watson turns down the trip because of the Colville question. Going over the old case files, the bite marks on the latest victims match those that Colville allegedly gave his victims back in 2005. It appears on the surface that he is innocent, though he took a plea bargain. Holmes notices Watson’s distress and she confesses that she let Colville die, which Holmes refutes; it was her superior who let him die.
In order to catch the real killer and put everything behind them, Holmes must employ “them.” “Them” is the group of anonymous hackers we met in the episode, “We Are Everyone.” In order to get their help, he must meet their demands. One of their demands is standing on a street with a sign saying:
Help me catch a murderer by punching me in the arm.
He needs them because the pair need access to private medical records and he must go through painful public humiliation to get it. They have to go through thousands of dental record slides, but get a match. A man named Alan Vikner goes to a dentist near where the latest victims were found. In the interrogation room, Vikner explains he got his teeth knocked out in a fight in Newgate Prison and got dentures. The dentures were based off of a mold of Aaron Colville’s teeth, who was also incarcerated there. The model was standard issue and put together by a prison dentist out of the goodness of his own heart. There were maybe eight to ten inmates who got the dentures based off of Colville’s teeth.
It’s eight suspects, whittled down to four, and three have solid alibis. Meanwhile Watson has Dr. Fleming’s records pulled. She’s still looking for closure to the incident she witnessed. Her guilt comes from wondering if Colville, an organ donor, wouldn’t be better off dead and his body used for good. An understandable idea as Holmes points out and one she didn’t act upon. For Holmes, that should be the end of it.
The next morning as Holmes appears in Watson’s bedroom, holding a set of warm clothes, he informs her that the last suspect they were looking for cannot possibly be the killer. They have to go back to Newgate prison to go over their medical files. Stan, who is undoubtedly creepy and also was an inmate in the prison, got his teeth knocked out and had dentures of the same model as Colville. Convenient suspect! The prison dentist took pity on him and hid the records so he wouldn’t have to wait. In a strangely touching moment, Holmes tells Watson he’d replace her teeth if she lost all her teeth in a prison fight.
Stan left the prison shortly after the pair arrived and turns out, he chemically castrated himself. On the surface, it looks as if he did it to stay out of trouble since Colville took the rap for the murders. Meanwhile, Mrs. Colville is on TV bemoaning the fact that her son was innocent. Holmes needs another favor from “Everyone” and must sing a song from the movie Frozen while wearing a prom dress. My only questions is, WHY WAS THIS OFF-SCREEN? Dear God, I hope it’s on the DVD.
Joan wakes to Clyde who is clad in a sweater made by Mrs. Hudson (cute) and learns that Stan has a dog named Max who has prostate cancer and is scheduled for a treatment at a veterinary clinic in Rockledge. The stakeout in the clinic leads to a friend of Stan’s who is taking Max to his appointment. Friend is also hiding him. The interrogation reveals Stan has an injured arm and Watson doesn’t think he killed any of the women. The castration drugs he used weakened his bones. One of the victims fought back against the killer and if she fought Stan in his state, he would be in a body cast. As Stan has not missed any work, he is likely not the suspect.
Watson gets a text from her friend who provided her with Dr. Fleming’s medical records. The doctor has found out and he’s pissed. When she goes to speak with him at his house (potentially dangerous move IMHO) he tells her what really happened that night. Colville confessed to Fleming that he killed two women. Did he withhold treatment? Maybe. The debrief back at the brownstone, Holmes theorizes that whoever is killing now wants to cast doubt on the murders in 2005 and possibly make everyone think Colville was innocent. Who would want to do that?
Turns out the only person who could love a killer; his mother. Well, considering she’s suing for a nine-figure sum, maybe not so much loving as opportunistic. Gregson, Watson and Holmes go to Mrs. Colville’s home under the pretense of talking about a settlement. One trip to the facilities and Holmes discovers the dentures that she’s been using on her victims. Rookie move.
The final scene shows Watson shredding Dr. Fleming’s medical records and confessing that she looked at a dying man she was supposed to treat and she wanted justice; doctors aren’t supposed to think about justice. No, as Holmes points out, but it sounds like a consulting detective.