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'Elementary' fan recap: It's all about the Benjamins, baby

Season 3 | Episode 15 | “When Your Number’s Up” | Aired Feb 19, 2015

How much is your life worth? As it turns out, there’s a formula to find out. And on this week’s Elementary, a killer exploits that formula for her own financial gain.

But most important, Joan and Sherlock are roommates again. After splitting up at the end of season two and spending the last 15 weeks in a will-they-won’t-they (work together) relationship, Joan has finally returned to the brownstone where she belongs. Shippers, start your engines!

I Can

Sherlock even helps her move. And by “help” I mean that he breaks into Watson’s apartment without permission to start transferring her belongings. Joan, however, isn’t interested in holding on to the evidence of her failed attempt at a “normal” life. She says she’ll keep a few essential items and give the rest away.

Sherlock is suspicious. He worries that Joan may be hastily devolving into her former self as a defense mechanism from the guilt of Andrew’s death. So he rents Joan’s apartment in secret and stashes her belongings in storage, just in case Watson gets cold feet.

Joan isn’t thrilled about Sherlock going behind her back. She assumes that Sherlock is being passive-aggressive about not wanting her to live in the brownstone. But after they talk, she realizes that he might be right about her haste, so she carves out some personal space for herself in the brownstone’s dark, uninviting basement.

Thus, our two detectives are together again, and as Sherlock points out, the arrangement has a measurable effect on their crime-solving process. They put that process toward catching Dana Powell (Alicia Witt), whose husband was one of 81 people killed in a plane crash. As her husband’s beneficiary, Dana stands to make a considerable amount of money through a settlement with the airline.

The problem is, Dana has grown accustomed to a lavish lifestyle, and her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly before his death. For the settlement, the airline is working with a man who is notorious for his calculations on human worth. If he is allowed to structure the settlements, Dana will receive significantly less money as a result of her husband’s ailment than she would under a uniform per-person payout.

If that sounds a little wonky, it’s because it is. The settlements are based on a complicated formula that factors in everything from a person’s job to their smoking habits when deciding how much lost earnings result from their death. So Dana starts using the formula against the airline, killing potential beneficiaries and leaving the value of their lives at the crime scenes. She believes this will make the airline’s plan so toxic that it will be forced to resort to a simple payout of millions of dollars to every beneficiary—Dana included.

And to throw the police off her trail, Dana stages a crime scene at her own home, casting herself as one of the victim’s targets. Problem is, she uses her dead husband’s boots as a stand-in for the killer’s footprints, and commits her crimes with a gun that her husband purchased from a dealer before he died.

Sherlock is able to piece together the killer’s money-making motive, and when the gun dealer is able to provide a description that matches Dana’s husband, the game is up.

Dana at first looks like she’s going to fight the charges, but Sherlock appeals to her narcissism. He asks her what kind of prison cell she deserves: either a plush minimum-security setup for white-collar criminals if she confesses, or a windowless hole if she drags the NYPD through a lengthy court battle.

We don’t see her answer, but the look on her face makes her decision pretty clear.

Stray Thoughts

  • Unfortunately, there’s no sign of Clyde on this week’s episode, but I’m sure he’s as thrilled as we are to see Joan and Sherlock back together.
  • If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time we’ve seen the basement of the brownstone. It’s not particularly pleasant, and I’d be okay if the show never went down there again.
  • The scene of Dana Powell on the elliptical was unbearably awkward. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about her posture and facial expression.

Elementary airs Thursdays at 10/9C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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