There's a serial killer named "The Balloon Man" who leaves festive mylar balloons at the sites of his abductions. That's... festive? I guess? Anyway, he's been at it for seven years, but there's been a new case and Sherlock Holmes is on it. On the case, I mean. Mariana Castillo has been kidnapped from her home. And there's a quick thing about how her father was lying about the place he bought some wine, which proved he had an affair. And he was out of the house talking to the woman in question when the kidnapping happened.
The woman he was meeting noticed something about a van that ran a stop sign. This leads to the revelation that it's a decommissioned NYPD van that was painted brown. And when they find it, the person driving it is the kid who was the Balloon Man's first victim!
The kid is Adam Kemper, and he won't talk to anyone but Sherlock Holmes on account of being so traumatized. Holmes gets through to him enough to learn that the Balloon Man brought him doughnuts every morning, which means he works nights. And by cross-referencing old cases, he locates Samuel Abbott. But Abbott has vanished from his apartment! He left a video saying that he'll give Mariana back if the police give Adam back. Mariana's parents are in favor of this, because Adam probably helped with the Balloon Man stuff. This eventually results in Adam getting immunity in exchange for leading the police to Abbott.
When the police find Abbott, he kills himself. So Mariana's safe! But Holmes realizes that Abbott is a weak man and the mastermind behind the serial killing was actually Adam! The kid! Who now has immunity from prosecution! Except that Holmes figures out a loophole where Adam only has immunity for crimes he committed with Samuel Abbott, and one of the murders happened while Abbott was in traction. So he's going to jail after all.
And in Holmes-Watson Relationship news, Holmes starts out being mean to Watson and not letting her speak. But by the end of the episode, she has been helpful in showing him how to use calisthenics to stave off sleep, so he admits that she is more useful than a model phrenology head named Angus.
Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.
Welcome to Elementary! A kid with a backpack leaves his home in Brooklyn, 2005. Thanks, helpful captions! A car pulls up and an unknown man says, "Hey, Adam. Remember me? Going to school, huh?" Adam does seem that suspicious, although he finds it odd that the car is full of mylar balloons that say "Thanks!" The man explains that they're for Adam's parents. And as the car drives away, the balloons are left behind, tied to a brick sitting on the sidewalk.
Now, to the present day. Watson comes downstairs in the Brownstone and says that Holmes promised to jogging with her. Her plan is that running will help him get over the drugs. Holmes, however, has stayed up all night studying the files of the Balloon Man. He only agreed to go running because he wasn't listening to her. Holmes, by the way, is shirtless and has a prominent tattoo on his back that says "26.2." I mention that because the implication is that he runs marathons often enough that he thinks it appropriate to have a tattoo about them. Watson remembers the Balloon Man's first victim, because she lived a few blocks away. Holmes references e.e. cummings and smugly predicts the exact time when he'll be called in to consult. But he's fifteen minutes off, because the call comes in right away. That's when he realizes he's not wearing a shirt.
To the crime scene! Detective Gregson and Officer Bell run down the timeline of the abduction. Holmes pokes at a freshly broken vine, which he figures was caused by Mariana Castillo fighting back. But he doesn't think being "a fighter" will help her, since she'll be fighting a grown adult.
Inside the Castillo home, there's a video crew about to go live. But Holmes will not have it! They won't listen to his peremptory demands to shut it down, so he sprays paint in the camera lens. And then, after he's ruined the expensive equipment, he tells the parents about the correlation he found in the files: the more interviews the parents did, the faster the children died. "The Balloon Man feeds off the public grief." That's great, but I think he could have just said that to begin with. He could even have told the police that when he got the first phone call!
Holmes strolls through the house and makes keen observations about everything. There's a phone, which he strokes in a weirdly friendly way. Watson muses about the first victim. She eventually remembers that his name was Adam Kemper. Holmes tells her to leave the room because she's distracting him with he incessant talking. In his opinion, it's okay if he talks to her, because then she's helping him clarify his thoughts. This offends her, but it's not like he asked her to hang around him all the time. And if this is what it takes to find the murderer, maybe Watson could just go along with it?