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'Elementary' fan recap: Calm before the storm

Season 3 | Episode 23 | “Absconded” | Aired May 7, 2015

Holmes and Watson investigate a kidnapping plot, while Captain Gregson is offered a promotion that may not be quite what it seems, on this week’s Elementary. We’re one week away from the season three finale, and it looks like some details are finally starting to take shape.

Our beloved Captain Gregson is approached with a top-shelf bottle of scotch and a top-shelf job promotion—”Deputy Chief Gregson” rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? But he’s hesitant to give up his post at Major Crimes for a more bureaucratic, albeit prestigious, name tag.

He asks Joan to look into his successor, a fellow captain whose precinct got in some trouble for playing fast and loose with the evidence locker. Major Crimes has a significant budget, Gregson says, and he’d hate to hand his baby over to someone with sticky fingers.

And he may have a point. Joan notices some suspicious handwriting similarities in the precinct’s evidence log, but when asked, she tells Gregson there’s nothing to worry about. We don’t learn the exact reason for the lie, but I suspect Watson knew Gregson wanted to stay and didn’t want his choice to be made out of necessity.

So he turns down the offer, but he’s given a not-so-subtle warning that promotions like the one offered to him tend to happen for a reason. Maybe someone wants Gregson gone? Maybe there’s problem’s at Major Crimes that our detectives aren’t aware of? Maybe the rival Captain is pulling strings to distance herself from the scandal in her precinct?

The episode ends with that ominous shadow hanging in the air, and if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Gregson’s story taking up the bulk of episode 24.

But wait: There’s still a murder to solve. Millions of murders, to be exact.

Our Sherlock Holmes is a noted apiarist, and colony collapse disorder is to Elementary as Lupus was to House M.D. When a USDA researcher is found murdered at a hive, it doesn’t take a call from the NYPD to get Sherlock on the scene; the beekeeping message boards he follows are already buzzing (get it?) about the news.

This week’s case is a doozy to unpack, so I’m just going to blaze through it. A couple concocts an elaborate scheme to kill bees in order to inflate colony collapse rates, thus luring a reclusive beekeeping sheik to the United States, where he can be kidnapped and ransomed.

And it works.

The couple would’ve gotten away scot-free except for two things. First, the USDA researcher they partnered with draws the attention of a superior, who has to be dealt with via a false heart attack. Second, Clyde turns on his Bonnie and spills the beans when he realizes that she and the USDA researcher were having an affair.

It’s an interesting choice for the season’s penultimate episode. In the past, these have included the resurrection of Irene Adler and the kidnapping of Joan Watson. The main case is like any other weekly episode, but the B-plot about Gregson certainly hints at things to come.

Stray Thoughts

  • Bringing back AgriNext from episode 10 made me think the environmentally sinister corporation would play more of a role in this week’s—and even next week’s—cases. It’s a nice red herring on the part of the writers.
  • This line: “This place is a malevolent hell mouth, and all who pass through it are complicit in an ongoing ecological onslaught.”

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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