Thursday night's "Elementary" episode "Risk Management" puts Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) on the hunt for answers about Irene's killer. Irene was the love of Sherlock's life, and Sherlock believes that Moriarty is the one who had her murdered. He's willing to do anything to find the answers he's seeking, even if it means working for Moriarty on a case. But Moriarty seems to enjoy taunting people and controlling them.
Sherlock's new case... for Moriarty
Moriarty had just called Sherlock on a cell phone at the end of the last episode, "A Landmark Story." After spending a few moments explaining that he is basically God "motionless at the center of the web," controlling a network of peons, he blatantly hires Sherlock to be his next minion. If Sherlock completes the job, Moriarty claims that he will give Sherlock all the answers he is seeking.
Watson (Lucy Liu) worries that the case is a trap. Sherlock knows, however, that he would already be dead if that's what Moriarty wanted. Moriarty already had several chances to kill Sherlock. Instead, he wants Sherlock to solve the sort of murder case he would want to solve anyway.
The murder mystery
The mystery has two layers. The first step is to find the man who killed a man named Wallace Rourke, who was supposedly murdered during a mugging. Sherlock is easily able to find the killer; his name is Darren Sutter. Sutter had found that his sister had been killed by Rourke, and he wanted revenge.
Sherlock hands Sutter over to the police on a platter, and he confesses. But Moriarty claims that Sherlock is slipping: He failed to see that Rourke did not kill Sutter's sister and finding the the truth in this second layer of the case is part of the deal.
Sherlock becomes exasperated when he is unable to solve the second mystery quickly, even slamming his work board over in a tantrum. He is able to deduce that Moriarty is correct that Rourke did not kill the sister, but who did? He finally realizes that Sutter's wife was the one who convinced Sutter to kill Rourke for supposedly killing his sister, but she was really just covering up an affair -- and Rourke was innocent.
The answers to Sherlock's questions
Once Sutter's wife is dragged off to jail, Moriarty agrees to come through on his promise. He sends Sherlock to a large white house, with Watson tagging along. After searching around the house for a bit, the pair find a room with several paintings and a barefoot woman in the process of creating a new work of art. Sherlock's heart seems to stop, as he freezes in place, mouth agape. It's Irene (Natalie Dormer)!
A warning from Gregson
During the course of the case, Gregson (Aidan Quinn) tries to send Watson off to become a sober companion for a friend. Watson initially takes it as a blow to her work as an investigator, believing that Gregson is not happy with her work. But it's actually a way to protect her from Sherlock, feeling that Sherlock doesn't even realize the danger he is putting Watson in. This is even worse in a way, leaving Watson offended that Gregson feels the need to protect her just because she is a woman.
More from this contributor: