Elementary Season 7 Episode 13 Recap and Review: Their Last Bow
A spoiler-filled recap and review of Their Last Bow, the grand finale of Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu
And so it ends. Elementary, one of the best Sherlock Holmes adaptations in recent times, has come to an end. And a very satisfying end it is indeed. Truth be told, this grand finale of the show is more like an epilogue with most of the action having happened off screen. But almost all loose ends have been tied up nicely and that last line (and the title of this episode, as I mentioned in last week's recap) sums up the entire show so well.
Elementary Season 7 Episode 13, Their Last Bow, begins three years after the events of Elementary S7E12 with Joan Watson being interviewed on television on the day Odin Reichenback has received what amounts to a life sentence for the crimes he committed in the name of preventing potential crimes. We find out that in the process of investigating Sherlock Holmes' apparent murder at Odin's hands, all the skeletons in the latter's closet tumbled down and the DA chose to prosecute for those instead of Sherlock's 'killing'. Joan, we find, has written a book about Sherlock called...The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.
After her interview, she gets a call from Marcus Bell (now a captain, Gregson having retired to spend time with his wife Page, who is now dead). He tells her "He's back" and of course it's a fakeout. The 'he' is Joan's adopted son, Arthur, who's come to the precinct with his nanny (an ex-military person who can adequately protect him against Joan's enemies). Joan checks with Marcus about some case but he's more interested in what he called the Tellevechio case. She assures him it's under control and leaves.
Back at the brownstone, we briefly meet her assistant and find out she's doing well for herself with her book deals in addition to her consulting detective work. The assistant says an attorney is waiting for her and wishes to speak to her about a common friend...someone called Jamie Moriarty!
This lawyer tells her Moriarty is dead and left specific instructions to give a certain package to Sherlock in that eventuality. Joan being the sole heir to Sherlock, he hands it to her. Joan is conflicted about what to do. She doesn't think it right to open the package herself since it comes from Moriarty who loved and was loved by Sherlock. But she doesn't want to let it rot either. So she goes and breaks Sherlock's grave - their previously agreed upon way to signal an emergency.
Sherlock arrives and demands to know who's trying to kill her and how he can help (nice foreshadowing of what's to come) since that is the only emergency he's asked her to use that signal for. Joan tells him what happened and after opening the package to find an innocuous painting, Sherlock realises the whole thing was a ruse, likely by Moriarty, to get him out of hiding. We find out that he's been using different aliases in different countries to covertly fight crime, without acting as a consulting detective. He kept in touch with Joan for the first year and then suddenly went quiet, causing her to worry that he'd really died. This was around the time she adopted her son, and Sherlock attributes his silence to not wanting to put them in harm's way given the high profile enemies he was making in his new calling. The book she wrote, he calls 'revenge' as he doesn't like so much being known about him, and says that's when he understood how upset she was. Oh, and we also get a quick run down of the murder plan, which was as expected to orchestrate his seeming murder to get Odin arrested and investigations into his affairs to begin, and how Joan helped in this.
Soon after, Joan gets called in to investigate a murder and what do you know, it's the same lawyer who came to her, shot and killed execution style. Sherlock knows this lawyer was high up in Moriarty's organisation and thinks they need to break into his home to find out more. Joan says there's no need as Marcus can get them in. Turns out she's told Marcus and Gregson about their plan and that Sherlock was really alive, since they were both quite broken up over his seeming death (just Elementary being compassionate to its characters as always).
So they go to meet Marcus, who punches Sherlock (a reference to a similar scene with John Watson in BBC's Sherlock?) and makes it clear he's still angry about being left to worry and mourn his friend. But he helps them anyway, and they find that the lawyer may have been acting for a third party, not Moriarty.
This third party, as it turns out, is our old enemy NSA agent McNally, who is now head of foreign affairs at the agency and wants Sherlock to join forces with them. Sherlock seriously considers the offer, as he's determined to stay away from Joan and her son (his brief meeting with the latter is so touching with the "truly an honour" line). We find out later that this is not just to protect them from danger but also because he's had a relapse and worries about bringing that complication into their life. However, first he means to go back to Europe because he has unfinished business there.
In the middle of all this, we keep getting hints that Joan is keeping something from Sherlock. And when he goes to meet Gregson before leaving for Europe, the ex-captain tells him - Joan has cancer and the name Marcus asked about, Tellevechio, is the name of her oncologist. Sherlock immediately decides to stay with her and the scene between them is incredibly touching and makes this episode for me.
Cut to a year later and Sherlock standing in front of a coffin. McNally offers his condolences and asks if Sherlock will join them now that Watson no longer needs him. Sherlock turns him down flatly and heads back to the brownstone, where, phew, Joan is alive and well. The funeral was for Moriarty, who Sherlock thinks just faked her death (again Elementary being Elementary and not killing anyone even remotely sympathetic).
The show ends with Sherlock and Joan heading back to the precinct to ask Marcus to take them back as consulting detectives now that Joan's fought her cancer. Joan's worried it may not be like before and Sherlock says, "As long as we're together, what does it matter?" Yes, indeed! Sherlock and Joan together is all that matters. Thanks for everything, Elementary. And thank you for reading.
(Elementary Season 7 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video)