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S06.E20: Fit To Be Tied

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Holmes and Watson's deadly conflict with Sherlock's former friend intensifies when their newest victim appears to be the serial killer's latest prey.

 

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So.., Doesn't Moriarity have a "No Harm Clause" when it comes to Watson???  Me thinks crazy killer met crazier killer with an organization.

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I'm betting on the fashion designer.  If he didn't do it, what was the point of his storyline?

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To those interested, thefutoncritic confirms that this episode and the following finale are designated as Episode 612 and 613 respectively. That means that the original vision for the season had them coming directly off of the 11th episode (the one with the Moriarty vs. Morland conflict).  The 8 episodes in between then and now (designated as 614 through 621) were all a result of the network extending the season.  If it wasn't for that decision, this season's pacing would have felt a lot smoother than it has. Oh well...

Edited by Inquirer.
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Yep that seemed a bit clunky with the judge. Rushed? Hilarious that part of a helicopter would fit upstairs in a brownstone.

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Sherlock I thought you had the best locks money could buy, yet serial killers walk right in completely undetected.

Sherlock why is that every time you train a female your deduction skills they use them to murder people (I know Joan is innocent, but that hasn't been proven yet).

I think Joan needs some martial arts training.

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Come on Joan and Sherlock, invest in some decent home security! People who fight psycho killers on a regular basis should not just have one safety lock! Also, I figured that the fashion designer guy would OD or kill himself when Joan left. Again, something you would think a doctor/sober companion/detective would have thought of!

So, how did Joan supposedly kill Michael? Wasn't she in the hospital with broken ribs? Also, bye Michael! You were weird and creepy, and I will not miss you. 

Not!Anonymous never goes for subtlety, do they? Not a terrible case, even though I am somewhat proud of myself for figuring out it was the judge pretty quickly. It really had to be her or the fashion guy, and since he was connected to Michael already, it had to be the judge. The only other person I could think of was the neighbor who dropped all the exposition about Michael being the bad guy in a lifetime movie.  

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" Hilarious that part of a helicopter would fit upstairs in a brownstone."

I  hesitate to admit this, because anyone with good google fu can identify me by this, but a plane was built in the basement of my brownstone, and it's much smaller than Sherlock's. Granted, it came out piece by piece, wings, body and tail (through my coal hatch) - but it was entirely built in my basement and assembled outside of it - and I understand it flew.

Edited by basil.
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I find it really hard to believe Joan didn't have her phone on her to call 911. I did figure once she staggered upstairs there had to be something lying around she could use to attack.

So Michael's dead, yay!

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6 minutes ago, Vermicious Knid said:

I find it really hard to believe Joan didn't have her phone on her to call 911. I did figure once she staggered upstairs there had to be something lying around she could use to attack.

So Michael's dead, yay!

We saw her set it down on the table right before he surprised her and things get knocked off the table when he hit her. He was only briefly turned around looking around on the table for it would have made no sense.

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5 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So, how did Joan supposedly kill Michael? Wasn't she in the hospital with broken ribs?

Yeah, I don't get it either. I guess we'll see.

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Oy, this episode. The beating of Joan took on a nearly porn-like aspect. The absurdity of her escape from Michael. Sure, I'll follow you up the stairs through floors that don't fit the structure of your brownstone as we know it in slow motion so that you have time to get to your bed room and lock the door. Then in under a minute, I'll crash through a door that was made out of wood so heavy that you couldn't get through it without an axe. Next, you can stab me with an inexplicably sharp and absurdly short helicopter blade that for no reason was hauled up 4 floors to study (what, the much larger parlour floor was overrun by tvs?)

...and Joan, who is hospitalized, is a suspect in his murder? WTAF?

I'd go with Sherlock, or yeah, more likely Moriarity first.

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8 hours ago, Magnumfangirl said:

I'm betting on the fashion designer.  If he didn't do it, what was the point of his storyline?

To provide the motive for Michael to go after Watson.  The fashion designer ODed (and presumably died) after Watson shared the truth about his husband with him (that Michael had murdered the husband).

 

7 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I think Joan needs some martial arts training.

She does have martial arts training (as does actress Lucy Lui).  That said, Watson is still a 5'3" petite woman against a 5'11" muscular man.  Martial arts isn't magic.  There's only so much it can do with that kind of size/strength difference.

7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So, how did Joan supposedly kill Michael? Wasn't she in the hospital with broken ribs?

She was being released from the hospital to stay with her parents for a couple of days.  If she was functional enough to do that, she was probably functional enough to find and kill Michael, theoretically. 

 

1 hour ago, basil said:

I'd go with Sherlock, or yeah, more likely Moriarty first.

I don't know that I'd go with Sherlock.  Figure Sherlock would have made certain that Watson couldn't be a suspect.  Honestly, figure so would Moriarty, unless this was somehow the start of her final game with them.

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7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So, how did Joan supposedly kill Michael? Wasn't she in the hospital with broken ribs? Also, bye Michael! You were weird and creepy, and I will not miss you. 

 

34 minutes ago, johntfs said:

She was being released from the hospital to stay with her parents for a couple of days.  If she was functional enough to do that, she was probably functional enough to find and kill Michael, theoretically. 

Or they think she got her injuries while killing Michael.

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Although Sherlock did not think the FBI was a good employment fit for Bell, the New York Field Office needs some help... 

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That was the most awkward, clumsy serial killer attack / fight I  think I have ever seen on television. I guess the blame should go to the director -> writers -> actors. 
So many WtF's..

  • Did not Joan receive fight training from Sherlock way back in the first season?
  • Are the doors in the brownstone made of balsa wood? 
  • Was the serial killer trying to channel the spirit of Michael Myers from 'Halloween' with the slo-mo pursuit? 
  • What happened to quick-thinking, resourceful Joan Watson? I would have given her a pass if she had tried several options, but discovered that the serial killer had anticipated every one and she was trapped. 

What I really wished had happened was this: Joan discovers she is trapped by serial killer guy who has anticipated almost every avenue of escape. She realizes he is going to take his time after disabling her, maybe having a broken leg or ankle. He allows her to hobble away in an attempt to escape, like a wounded bird. Little does the serial killer know that Joan is actually leading him to the one room in the brownstone that he did not account for: the 'danger room' where Sherlock and Joan have been putting everything that might be hazardous to a new baby in the house ... 

Edited by shrewd.buddha.
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3 hours ago, johntfs said:

She does have martial arts training (as does actress Lucy Lui).  That said, Watson is still a 5'3" petite woman against a 5'11" muscular man.  Martial arts isn't magic.  There's only so much it can do with that kind of size/strength difference.

She was being released from the hospital to stay with her parents for a couple of days.  If she was functional enough to do that, she was probably functional enough to find and kill Michael, theoretically. 

The timeline on the show doesn't really make sense for Joan to be a suspect for very long. They said they found Michael beaten to death. So either the struggle in the brownstone resulted in her doing a lot more damage to him than she described, and then after he broke her ribs she schlepped him elsewhere to dump the body (or broke her ribs in the course of body dumping? but I don't see how) or the timeline shouldn't match up. If he'd died by bleeding out from the helicopter wound they might bring her in but it seem very self-defense-ey. But if he were bludgeoned to death, then it looks more like she just plain won the fight. But they'll need to tell us how much time passed between her realizing he'd escaped, calling an ambulance and/or Sherlock or someone else to go to the hospital, being at the hospital, getting x-rays and a CT and then finally being released. Presumably somewhere in there she gave a statement to the Captain also. That should've taken a bunch of hours. Then when released she takes the train to her parents. So either he died soon enough after attacking her that it's plausible he died of injuries from her during the known fight or he died much later for her to not have been easily alibied.

Did I make this up in my head or in addition to fancy locks that Michael shouldn't have been able to get through, don't they have hidden cameras all over the brownstone? Shouldn't they have their own home security footage?

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50 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:

Little does the serial killer know that Joan is heading to the one room in the brownstone that he did not account for: the 'danger room' where Sherlock and Joan have been putting everything that might be hazardous to a new baby in the house ... 

Where is that call back to the bear trap we saw Sherlock throw the book into. Stick your arm through my door will you. SNAP!

They think Watson killed Michael after she had been released from the hospital. She went home, watched "The Karate Kid" and came back for "Round Two".

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It was a clunky episode as this Michael storyline has been. The extension of this season and them moving the episodes around didn't help. The past few episodes have been noticeably wintery and this one was set in autumn. I didn't mind the use of a shady killer judge. 

I liked when Gregson held Joan's hand at the hospital. As usual good acting from JLM when he was looking at Joan in the hospital bed.

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Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? The FBI thinks Joan beat this guy to a bloody pulp then hauled his dead body across town and left him in a dumpster? Have they met Joan? Do they think she has super strength, or do they think she hired a hitman? Because this makes zero sense. 

I also think it was a casting fail to hire someone as recognizable as Tonya Pinkins to play the judge. What a give-away. 

Overall, a surprisingly poorly written episode.

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It was a clunky episode as this Michael storyline has been.

Yeah . . . I mean, this character was presented to us as sort of the anti-Sherlock, in that he was as clever about his crimes as Sherlock was at solving them. But the entire break-in and beat-down of Joan seemed shockingly amateurish and clumsy. 

Edited by iMonrey.
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That was the most awkward, clumsy serial killer attack / fight I  think I have ever seen on television. I guess the blame should go to the director

That....would be Lucy Lui.

Edited by basil.
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12 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I think Joan needs some martial arts training.

She has it and we've seen her disable people before. I was very disappointed that they decided to make her so easily disabled and trapped.

Sherlock was cleaning up the blood when he found out Joan was a suspect. To me, that means they found Michael's corpse and charged Joan with the death very quickly after she left the hospital. I don't think he'd spend days ignoring it and then suddenly decide to clean it up later. So somehow they think she killed him at the brownstone and then disposed of his body before going to the hospital, or they think she killed him with broken ribs right after being released? It's a bizarre theory, and makes it look like the investigators are corrupt.

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I used to own a brownstone. The doors are solid wood, a few inches thick. I once had a workman gaze in wonder at a door, almost caressing it, as he said “there is more wood in this door than in my entire house.” The weak point of the doors would be the locks, but it has already been stressed that Sherlock buys the best locks available.

The writers on this show usually do better, this season has been pretty great.

I’m going to need a plausible timeline for Joan being the killer.

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19 minutes ago, possibilities said:

To me, that means they found Michael's corpse and charged Joan with the death very quickly after she left the hospital. I

When they showed the body and called Holmes he was in a garbage pile which would crazy interfere with body temp.

I am hoping that them thinking it was Joan was a red herring because unless they have video it would seem it was equally likely to be Sherlock who killed him.

I understand the original season path but that seems super bad even if you rearrange It and then I trio g randomly the Bell leaving plot event stupider.

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Me thinks that the FBI lead agent may had something to do with it. Either that or she is really played to be dumb. OT Loved her in ER and the too soon cancelled Alcatraz. 

Joan it was self defense and they did not believe she was trying to fight for her life. Michael is dead and will not hurt anybody anymore. But no the Fumbling Bumbling Idiots did not believe that.

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1 hour ago, NYCFree said:

I’m going to need a plausible timeline for Joan being the killer.

Yeah, Joan as killer makes no sense. She's petite while Michael is ... not. She has two or three cracked ribs. I've never broken my ribs, but I understand that just breathing hurts, and trying to take deep breaths very painful. Imagine adding to that dragging a large dead body around. On top of that, she had a concussion. I've had one of those and while symptoms differ, headaches, dizziness, and even light sensitivity are common. So, for Joan to be killer, you'd have a 5'3" woman dragging a 5'11" body (dead weight) around while having trouble breathing, and suffering from headaches and dizziness. Down the steps of the brownstone to the street. Where she hails a cab, tells the driver to open the trunk, drags the body to the back of the car, lifts it into the trunk, has the driver go to the spot to dispose of the body, where she reverses her previous acts.

 

1 hour ago, possibilities said:

Sherlock was cleaning up the blood when he found out Joan was a suspect. To me, that means they found Michael's corpse and charged Joan with the death very quickly after she left the hospital.

Gregson said the FBI wanted to speak to Joan, not that she had been arrested for the murder. Still, it seems that's what the FBI is thinking and, as indicated above, it doesn't make much sense given the nature of Joan's injuries as well as the difference in height and weight.

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1 minute ago, Loandbehold said:

Gregson said the FBI wanted to speak to Joan,

AND that she was the prime suspect!

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Yeah, I guess it makes sense for the FBI to look at all options, but they're really stretching things if they truly believe Joan managed to bludgeon Michael to death.  With three cracked ribs and a concussion.  Unless they think she's lying that he attacked her, and she went after him instead.  But the whole thing is shaky as hell.

As for who did kill Michael, unless it is someone from the past (Morland or Moriarty, for example), I'm thinking FBI lady will be involved for some reason, since Parminder Nagra really didn't have anything to do in this episode, because question everyone else.  Seems like a waste.

Definitely not the best episode for the show.  Too rushed and clunky.

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4 minutes ago, illdoc said:

AND that she was the prime suspect!

True. I should have included that. And I can't even blame post-concussion syndrome given mine happened decades ago.

2 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

As for who did kill Michael, unless it is someone from the past (Morland or Moriarty, for example), I'm thinking FBI lady will be involved for some reason, since Parminder Nagra really didn't have anything to do in this episode, because question everyone else.  Seems like a waste.

I can definitely see Sherlock as the killer. Also Gregson or Marcus. Sure, it would go against their police ethics, but Michael has left no evidence on any of the murders and now he's put Joan in the hospital. He might go after her again. And, if what passes for my memory serves, we didn't see Marcus at the hospital. I thought that was a glaring omission (unless he was in the background and I didn't see him).

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I thought the doctor said Joan did not have a concussion, but then Sherlock was questioning what steps the doctor had gone through and the doctor said Sherlock was clearly familiar with concussion protocol (which I thought applies to not just what you do when someone does have a concussion, but rather what you do when someone may have a concussion). IE that moment was about showing he's still a little twitchy since his TBI. He was being super protective about her brain. But I thought the scene basically played as doctor giving good news/bad news. The good being no concussion, the bad being broken ribs. Did I misunderstand that exchange?

Doesn't change anything that for Joan to have killed him after being at the hospital seems physically very very very unlikely.

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49 minutes ago, theatremouse said:

The good being no concussion, the bad being broken ribs. Did I misunderstand that exchange?

That's how I read it too. The bad news about her ribs and the "You're a doctor too so you know we can't do much except Vicodin," It's really about resting so her body can heal. 

Paraminder Nagra's character has to have some more dimension than straight forward FBI agent.. I haven't seen her since ER but she did a lot of furrowed brow acting this episode. 

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It also seemed to me she was doing a lot of "focusing on maintaining an American accent" acting. 

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1 hour ago, Loandbehold said:

Yeah, Joan as killer makes no sense. She's petite while Michael is ... not. She has two or three cracked ribs. I've never broken my ribs, but I understand that just breathing hurts, and trying to take deep breaths very painful. Imagine adding to that dragging a large dead body around. On top of that, she had a concussion. I've had one of those and while symptoms differ, headaches, dizziness, and even light sensitivity are common. So, for Joan to be killer, you'd have a 5'3" woman dragging a 5'11" body (dead weight) around while having trouble breathing, and suffering from headaches and dizziness. Down the steps of the brownstone to the street. Where she hails a cab, tells the driver to open the trunk, drags the body to the back of the car, lifts it into the trunk, has the driver go to the spot to dispose of the body, where she reverses her previous acts.

Maybe they think that Joan killed him where he was found. That she sustained her injuries fighting with him, then got a cab back home. We don't see how she got to the hospital, but presumably Sherlock came home, found her and called an ambulance. I suppose Joan could have gone downstairs and found her phone to call. I don't think either of them have cars. There's plenty of evidence of a fight at the brownstone, even with the clean-up work that Sherlock was doing (and the general mess of the crash debris), but I suppose they could claim that either she staged it, or that Sherlock did to protect her. Plus, the brownstone is in various states of disrepair on a regular basis, which they could force Marcus, etc. to attest to. I'm not saying it makes a whole lot of sense, but it could be theoretically possible. They could claim that Joan was frustrated with their inability to catch Michael, combined with the architect guy's suicide, and that drove her to confront him.

Edited by Kathira.
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3 hours ago, NYCFree said:

I used to own a brownstone. The doors are solid wood, a few inches thick. I once had a workman gaze in wonder at a door, almost caressing it, as he said “there is more wood in this door than in my entire house.” The weak point of the doors would be the locks, but it has already been stressed that Sherlock buys the best locks available.

The writers on this show usually do better, this season has been pretty great.

I’m going to need a plausible timeline for Joan being the killer.

There should have no way Joan could have punched through the front door of the brownstone.  She did, because show, and we saw how the door had been secured which totally took me out of the moment because I was then wondering how that was done, how then Michael got into the house and for that matter how would he get back out, which then made me question is there only one way in and out of the brownstone, wasn't there a separate entrance when the basement was Joan's office, so many questions on that one point.

Good observations about Joan's injuries.  In my experience, she would have had a CT scan immediately.  In fact, I thought that is what the doctor meant when she said for her to tell the nurse she when she was ready, but I realize now she meant for when Joan was ready to leave.  I question why they would not have kept her overnight for observation.  That whole scene seemed very casual to me, it felt odd.

I would imagine that Sherlock would have gone with Joan to her parents house not send her off by herself.  Also, didn't Gregson say that he would tell the officers watching her about her change of location?

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Gregson said the FBI wanted to speak to Joan, not that she had been arrested for the murder.

He said the FBI wanted her to turn herself in. Maybe it's a matter of semantics, but to me that sounded like they were going to arrest her, not that they just wanted to question her.

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Maybe they think that Joan killed him where he was found.

There were drops of his blood outside her bedroom. I suppose she could have planted it there.

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So, for Joan to be killer, you'd have a 5'3" woman dragging a 5'11" body (dead weight) around while having trouble breathing, and suffering from headaches and dizziness. Down the steps of the brownstone to the street. Where she hails a cab, tells the driver to open the trunk, drags the body to the back of the car, lifts it into the trunk, has the driver go to the spot to dispose of the body, where she reverses her previous acts.

Yeah. Look, I'm used to sort of hand-waving a lot of plots on this show that verge on the outrageous - that's just kind of the nature of the show. But this is the first time in six seasons where I was actually thinking "boy is this dumb" at the end of an episode.

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Another outstanding show that really caught me off guard with the overall storyline.

Some random thoughts.

The FBI female agent is a bitch. The assumption that Joan killed Michael is absurd but it will let the writers come up with another great show.

Really didn't see before it unfolded that the female judge committed murder.

Loved Sherlock trying to get in Michaels head and failing shows he's human and I like that.

Not sure that I've ever heard Captain Gregson called Tom.

My guess is the guy who's husband was killed by Michael is the killer of Michael.

Edited by CaptainCranky.
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The only possible explanation I can give for Joan being a serious suspect, given her injuries and the timeline, is that they think she hired someone to kill Michael. Aside from the likelihood of someone finding Michael so quickly (although I supposed it could be a day or two later, it's not totally clear), that at least is plausible, given Joan and Sherlock's connections to an assortment of criminals, would-be criminals, and other people with unorthodox skills.

I wasn't too surprised he was able to disable her so quickly -- he took her by surprise and the first hit was a bad one to the head. But how did he get in so easily? Regardless, I'm relieved that she wasn't actually kidnapped and she did not need to be rescued by someone else.

I suspected early on that we would learn Michael killed the guy's husband, and that would be how the team would get him to cooperate, but I thought he'd be killed by Michael before revealing more than an obscure clue or reference for Sherlock to follow; therefore when Joan left him, I (mentally) yelled at her to offer him police protection.

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2 minutes ago, CaptainCranky said:

My guess is the guy who'd husband was killed by Michael is the killer of Michael.

No...since Michael told Joan that that guy (who had been funneling money to Michael) OD'd. Unless he had OD'd and not died, got out of the hospital, beat Michael to a pulp and then ...? I just assumed that the guy died from the overdose.

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Something else that just occurred to me is apparently neither the police nor FBI considered the brownstone a crime scene? Because it seemed to be next day that Sherlock was scrubbing the blood off the stairs, which he presumably had permission to do, which he would not were it still a crime scene.

And yet, because they find Michael in a dumpster and have decided Joan is prime suspect, oops they're probably going to want some of that plentiful evidence of the struggle in the house back. Or are we led to believe either: A) they already processed the whole scene overnight on three floors of the home or B) that phone call was actually a few days later and the last two minutes were some sort of misdirect that will be clarified in the first 5 minutes of the next episode.

I guess I'm still just over here questioning the timeline, but the more I think about it the less sense it makes.

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I can only hope Joan being a prime suspect in a murder will compromise her adoption plans!

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Agree with everyone that there were some big logic fails in this episode.  I was thrown off at the beginning when Sherlock said he'd been given helicopter debris from a crash last week.  No way.  And then it went from there, with the murderous judge, and Michael showing up at the brownstone, to the accusation of Joan.  I understand they were a bit rushed but I wish they'd had more time to think this through.

The idea that Joan had to rely on a helicopter part as a weapon in that house was ridiculous.  Where are all the knives and spears and singlesticks?  How many times were we told to aim for the pate?

I will assume that everyone's symbol and singer as a reference to the Adventure of the Dancing Men.

1 hour ago, theatremouse said:

Something else that just occurred to me is apparently neither the police nor FBI considered the brownstone a crime scene?

As he came into the hospital room the captain whispered to Sherlock that the crime scene unit was finished with the brownstone.

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Ugh. That was anti-climatic, and just... not good. I think I'm going to find anything short of a Moriarty appearance in the finale to be disappointing. And since I'm assuming there must be some kind of compelling evidence pointing at Joan (because otherwise the uninjured, upset Sherlock would make a much better suspect), that makes me think it's not Moriarty, since she wouldn't be trying to implicate Joan and wouldn't be leaving any evidence unless she was trying to frame someone. 

I have to say, as much as I enjoy this show, it has a tendency to let its season arcs fizzle. I thought the endings to the previous two seasons' arcs (Morland's evil-doings and the whole Shinwell thing) to be majorly blah. The ends of seasons one (the reveal of who Moriarty was) and three (Sherlock shooting up after beating Oscar) were awesome, but it's been awhile. I hope I'm wrong and next week surprises me, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Late to the party.

When Joan made it  up the stairs and closed the door to the room with the helicopter parts,
was I the only one hoping Michael would trip over Clyde on the stairs and fall and break his neck?

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58 minutes ago, MisterGlass said:

As he came into the hospital room the captain whispered to Sherlock that the crime scene unit was finished with the brownstone.

Which seems surprisingly quick work, I do hope the CS team figured out how Michael was able to get in without Joan hearing him and they tell us about it next episode.

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I will assume that everyone's symbol and singer as a reference to the Adventure of the Dancing Men.

Nice catch!  I hope someone has a screen shot.

11 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Late to the party.

When Joan made it  up the stairs and closed the door to the room with the helicopter parts,
was I the only one hoping Michael would trip over Clyde on the stairs and fall and break his neck?

I was sorry to miss Clyde and am happy he is safe.  Your idea would have been a good twist.  Ooo, the FBI then could investigate Clyde and we would learn about his life before Sherlock!

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20 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

 

So, how did Joan supposedly kill Michael? Wasn't she in the hospital with broken ribs?

And a concussion. And not only kill him, but somehow get his body to the trash processing center. 

Yup. Makes no sense whatsoever.

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Down the steps of the brownstone to the street. Where she hails a cab, tells the driver to open the trunk, drags the body to the back of the car, lifts it into the trunk, has the driver go to the spot to dispose of the body, where she reverses her previous acts.

She tips reeeaally well.

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Doesn't Sherlock have a trebuchet? Maybe Joan launched Michael across town and he landed in a dumpster.

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Okay, Shapeshifter, that legit made me laugh out loud. The visual alone... 

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7 hours ago, elle said:

didn't Gregson say that he would tell the officers watching her about her change of location?

Yes! So she must have been thought to kill him before she went to the hospital.

If she cut up his body and put it in bags, and curbside pick up came and got it, that would be how it got to the dump. But seriously? It doesn't make sense.

Effectively stabbing him with the propeller was a sign of super strength, though. Especially with broken ribs.

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