Elementary S2 Ep23 – Art in the Blood

Joan and Sherlock investigate a body with no arms.

In this episode, I am disappoint.


Sherlock rushes into the police precinct to ask for help in saving Joan from the French mobsters who kidnapped her, but before he can even start making a fuss, he receives a call from her informing him she’s safe and sound at home. Elementary S2 Ep23 - Sherlock finds Joan recovering at home.When he arrives, Joan is being checked out by a doctor, with Mycroft looking on. She hurries to bed, with the bare minimum of acknowledgement from Sherlock (where’s my hug between besties, dammit!?) before Mycroft begins to explain what in the heck is going on.

Ta da! To only Sherlock and Joan’s surprise, Mycroft is a spy for the British government, allowing criminals to conduct their business in his restaurant and passing on the information he gathers to his higher ups. He notes that Sherlock wasn’t the only child in their family with a knack for remembering facts, finding patterns, and making accurate predictions.

The next morning the Holmes boys visit Mycroft’s handler for a debriefing, and to Mycroft’s distaste, Sherlock is asked to look into the death of an ex-analyst for MI6. He takes the job, perhaps more to spite Mycroft than anything else. Joan is awake when Sherlock gets back to the brownstone, and he very awkwardly offers her an ear if she wants to talk about what happened to her, but she insists that getting back to detective work is the best way for her to get herself back together. (What? Really? Why can’t we go there? I need to make sure you’re okay, Joan…)

Elementary S2 Ep23 - Joan and Sherlock discuss a case in the morgue.The victim, Arthur West, formerly worked for MI6 analyzing data and conversations and looking for patterns, but his bipolar disorder eventually made him paranoid and he was forced to quit. He then moved to New York, where he was supposedly shot and killed during the robbery of his home. The police have taken the case, believing it to be an open-and-shut, but when Joan and Sherlock go to the morgue to study West’s body, they find that someone has broken into the precinct and stolen both of his arms.

Sherlock and Bell pays a visit to West’s ex-wife, Marion, a tattoo artist. She’d previously told the police she hadn’t been in contact with West, but the grocery bags from her local store in West’s home says she did the shopping for him. She confesses that she still cared for West, despite not being able to be together due to his mental disorder, and took care of him. She lied when questioned by the police to avoid upsetting her new boyfriend.

When Sherlock spots a blacklight in Marion’s tattoo parlor, he comes up with the theory that West had his ex-wife tattoo his arms, which showed signs of healing from the tattooing, with secrets that he’d learned while continuing spy on criminals after his work with MI6 was over. Whoever stole his arms wants to learn the secrets.

Joan returns to the brownstone that night and finds Mycroft waiting for her. He tries to apologize, but she tells him she never wants Elementary S2 Ep23 - Joan in 'Art in the Blood'.to see him again. Mycroft’s uncanny ability to deceive people and his conscious decision to do so to the people who care about him make him completely un-trustable, and that means there is no way Joan will ever feel comfortable having him in her life. “[Sherlock] deserves better than you,” she says. “And so do I.” (*fist pump!* Go Joan! You tell ‘im!)

Later, as Joan is just about to tell Sherlock something important, Marion West shows up on their doorstep. She reveals that her ex-husband did indeed have her tattoo important secrets on his arms, but didn’t want to tell the truth in front of the police, and hands them a photo of them. She also tells them that when West was working for MI6, his job was to spy on Sherlock. However, West liked and admired Sherlock, which is why he told his wife to go to him if anything ever happened.

Just before West was killed, he told his ex-wife he suspected there was a mole in MI6, but wasn’t sure who it was yet. He begged her to tattoo the proof onto his arms, as a ‘backup’ copy, but Sherlock is only able to guess at the meaning of the tattoos, which appear to be a set of data.

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