‘Elementary’ Season 5, Episode 13 Recap: Over a Barrel


This week’s ‘Elementary’ found Sherlock racing against the clock to solve a cold case. With only sixteen hours to solve the case, Sherlock racing against the clock before innocent lives were lost.

This week’s Elementary found Sherlock tasked with solving a cold case before the statute of limitations runs out on the crime. When a man takes hostages to get his son’s assault case finally solved, Sherlock has sixteen hours to solve the case before the man starts killing hostages.

Case of the Week

This week’s episode opens in the past, with Jack Brunelle visiting Sherlock and Joan several times in hopes they can solve a case for him. Brunelle’s son Connor was assaulted in 2012, though Connor survived he developed a drug addiction that later took his life. Brunelle wants justice for his son and wants the person responsible for the assault brought to justice. Sherlock and Joan send him away each time that he asks for their help. They’re simply too busy with other cases that need to take priority. Though they try to be kind as they turn him away.

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In the present, Brunelle enters a diner and pulls out a gun. Though the waitress tells him he can have the money, he informs her that he isn’t there for that. He wants Sherlock and Joan to solve the case. And they only have sixteen hours to do it. The statute of limitations on Connor’s assault case expires at midnight. Brunelle also keeps Joan at the diner as a sort of collateral. He tells Sherlock she’ll die with the rest of the hostages unless he solves the case.

Sherlock and Bell set out to find out who it was that attacked Connor. They figure out that Connor had dropped out of law school and was working at a warehouse as the overnight guard. Connor hadn’t told any of his family about the situation. Sherlock figures out that Connor was supposed to work the night he was attacked. Connor’s assault meant the warehouse was left unattended. Thanks to some FBI surveillance that shouldn’t exist, Sherlock and Bell discover a massive smuggling operation that took place that night.

Photo Credit: Elementary/CBS, Acquired From CBS Press Express
Photo Credit: Elementary/CBS, Acquired From CBS Press Express /

At the diner, Joan does her best to keep the situation as calm as it can be. She attempts to make small talk but Bruelle doesn’t really want to hear it. Joan tells him that he isn’t going to kill anyone. He doesn’t have enough ammunition with him to shoot twenty people. He concedes that she’s right about that part. But he does have enough to shoot one person. As it turns out the detective that originally handled Connor’s case is one of the hostages. He’s the only one that Brunelle is planning to shoot.

Sherlock and Bell track down what was smuggled the night that Connor was assaulted. They find the manager, Frank Trimble, of a trucking company who claims he was forced to work for a gang. Shoreline 99’s was a gang that all but disappeared a few years ago. The pair managed to track down a location on where some of the members might still operate. They find the barrels that were smuggled in a few years ago. It turns out to be maple syrup.

As odd as it seems there’s a pretty decent black market for maple syrup. The higher-ups in the gang were looking to get out of the drug business and the maple syrup smuggling operations were their way out. They arrest one of the men involved in the scheme. He explains to them that it was the gang’s former leader who was approached by a silent partner to pull off the heist. The silent partner was the one that assaulted Connor. Too bad for the detectives that the only person who knew the silent partner’s identity has been dead for a year.

The man that they have in custody only knows one thing about the silent partner. A ridiculous story about how the man once got in a bar fight and beat up multiple patrons, bouncers, and a couple of pit bulls. By some stroke of luck, Sherlock is able to find a close enough case to what had been described. The man arrested for that bar fight? None other than Frank Trimble. Unfortunately, it’s five past midnight and their time is up.

With time ticking away Sherlock does his best to work out the identity of the silent partner. Meanwhile back at the diner, Gregson does his best to keep the situation under control. The S.W.A.T team is getting impatient with waiting. They want to storm the diner and end the situation now. When the team notices that one of the coverings that have been blocking the door has fallen they decide to bring in a sniper.

Photo Credit: Elementary/CBS, Acquired From CBS Press Express
Photo Credit: Elementary/CBS, Acquired From CBS Press Express /

Sherlock calls Brunelle and tells them they’ve found their suspect. But to Brunelle it’s too late. Joan manages to talk him down once more. Thanks to a text from Sherlock she knows about the snipers outside and warns Brunelle. He ends up thanking her for saving his life. In the end, he turns himself in without anyone losing their life. The way that the case ended doesn’t sit well with Joan or Sherlock. Neither like the idea of Trimble getting away with what he’s done.

Sherlock manages to work out a solution thanks to some help from the hacker group ‘Everyone’. Though as always their help comes with a price. It turns out two years ago Trimble took a trip to Canada to watch a hockey game. The second he set foot in the country time essentially paused on the case and didn’t start again till he returned to the U.S twenty-seven hours later. So technically they were able to arrest him in time before the statute of limitations ran out.

What exactly was the price ‘Everyone’ demanded in exchanged for the information? Sherlock to shave his head while broadcasting it on a live stream.

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Thoughts on the Episode

  • I fear I’m becoming a broken record but Season 5 might be Elementary’s best season yet. Overall they’ve had really great episodes.
  • This was a fresh take on a case of the week, I really liked it.
  • No Shinwell this episode! Which is the only mark against the episode that I can think of!

Elementary airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!