Elementary Season 7 Episode 4 Recap and Review: Red Light, Green Light
A spoiler-filled recap and review of Red Light, Green Light, episode 4 of the seventh and final season of Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu
(Spoilers ahead for Elementary Season 7, Episode 4, and episodes prior to it)
Elementary Season 7 Episode 4, titled Red Light, Green Light, opens with a fakeout about Captain Gregson's death. The pretence is quickly dispelled and we soon find out that the captain is well and awake. I must say I'm a bit disappointed by how quickly Sherlock and the captain seem to have settled their differences. The latter's betrayal was a huge hanging sword going from the end of the last season into this one. And I was hoping it would be used to highlight some of the issues with the law enforcement system, which this show has a tendency to show in a overly positive light. A white cop throwing his friends under the bus to save his less-than-worthy (as we've been clearly told) cop daughter from facing justice for a crime she's committed, seemed like a good place to start. Alas! That was not to be. Or not yet, anyway. There's still the end of Episode 3 with the threat of that FBI agent left open, which must eventually come into play later this season. Though I worry that it will again be just a choice for Sherlock to make to keep Joan in the clear, rather than one that makes the captain pay for his betrayal. We will just have to wait and see how that plays out.
Moving on with this episode, the case this week is about a van that crashes into a truck and then explodes. The previews made it seem like this was a terrorist attack, possibly with connections to the attack on the captain in the second episode (the season-long arc we are going to follow clearly). But this too turns out to be a fakeout, and again one that's quickly dismissed by Sherlock, who points out that the van belonged to Mara Tres, a gang we've previously encountered on the show.
Meanwhile, the captain asks to see Joan and Sherlock to talk about the attack on him by Meers. It may be worthwhile here to recount the details of this attack since, as I said before, this seems like the overarching thread we'll be following all season long. So, in Elementary Episode 2 (Gutshot), the captain is gunned down, and Sherlock and Joan figure out that he was shot in a baseball field where they find the body of a youngster they identify as Tim Bledsoe. Bledsoe, it turns out, was killed shortly before he was going to launch a terrorist attack using a car bomb. They narrow down the suspects of Bledsoe's murder to one Patrick Meers, who was caught on camera turning a gun on the former, some time after the two got into a bar fight. Meers, an honourably discharged veteran, confesses to killing Bledsoe and shooting the captain to cover it up, but claims to not know anything about the car bomb or the terror plot. Joan believes he's hiding something, and Sherlock agrees, especially given his squeaky clean record. They speculate over whether Bledsoe and Meers were part of a larger terrorist group, and that's where things stood.
Now, in Epsiode 4, Joan goes to see the captain who tells her he knew nothing about Bledsoe's terror plot. He was investigating the youngster's disappearance, when he found out about the bar fight and started looking into Meers. The captain reveals that he met Meers a whole day before being shot, contrary to the latter's testimony that their meeting took place same day as the shooting. More reason now to believe that Meers was lying all along and covering something up. From this point on, the episode more or less splits into two threads — one with Joan following this investigation and the other about the van accident case for this episode which Sherlock unravels. The latter ends up being the usual, template case that is solved in a fairly predictable and mostly uninteresting manner (Hello, Everyone aka quite literally, the deux ex machina of this series). It also gives us a little more of the substitute captain at the precinct and his bafflement with the ways of our consulting detectives. This bit is only really interesting because it's one of the rare moments where we get some Sherlock-Joan interplay in this split-in-the-middle episode (they do have other conversations with each other as they catch each other up at the brownstone on their respective progress, but their chemistry is much more crackling when there's a third person in the mix).
But going back to the Meers case, Joan visits him in prison and offers him a possible deal to cut his sentence short if he comes clean, also telling him the captain was and talking. Meers sticks to his version, but when she implies that he's a terrorist, he violently denies this. Joan then visits his wife, who inadvertently tips her off to a video game (Kill Zombies Dead) her husband plays a lot. Turns out he was chatting with someone using the video game, though this person (username R00kR3d) quickly deletes their account before they can find out more. Joan now believes Meers was telling the truth about not being a terrorist. The episode ends with Meers' wife visiting him in jail and telling him what she'd done. He tells her she needs to be brave now and slips her a note that asks her to "Tell them" and gives her Joan's number. Seems like we might soon be getting some answers, or at least further development. Here's looking forward to what the next episode of Elementary has to offer.
(Elementary Season 7 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and will soon premiere on television on AXN)