Friday, December 12, 2014

Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 "The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction" – Recap and Review

Joan Watson in Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction

Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) is approached by Sally Holder (Kate Arrington), an attorney whose sister Jessica has been missing for the past five years. Sally suggests that Jessica might have been the victim of a serial killer, who always leaves an olfactory signature at the crime scene.

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) takes an interest in the case, based on the the case details sent by Kitty Winter (Ophelia Lovibond).

Sherlock, Joan and Kitty meet Agent Blake Tanner (Peter Benson) of the Behavioral Science unit. He is reluctant to share details about the “The Pumpkin” case, which has claimed five other victims in addition to Jessica.

Sherlock deduces that each crime was committed by a different individual and there there is no serial killer involved. However, there is a common element to these murders - the cleaner who worked on the crime scenes in each of these murders.

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Sherlock observes that Jessica has three keys (one of which is unmarked) and assigns the task of finding the key's purpose to Kitty and Joan.

The key is meant for Dan Kramer’s (Lewis Cleale) apartment. Dan is a defence attorney and has been having an affair with Jessica. Joan discovers that Dan had revealed details about one of his clients, Raymond Carpenter (Kevin Geer), a gangster to Jessica. Jessica was about to reveal the details to the police, when she went missing.

Raymond is currently imprisoned in Sing Sing prison. He informs Sherlock and Joan that he had hired Danny Tacelli, a contract killer to take care of Jessica. Working on the case, Sherlock and Joan investigate a construction site riddled with bullets and reeking of nutmegs.

We meet yet another Baker Street Irregular, “
The Nose” (John Horton). As his name implies, he has an extraordinary sense of smell that surpasses even that of Sherlock. The Nose deduces that Sodium Hydroxide has been used and the nutmeg was used to hide this odor.

Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction

To track down this elusive cleaner, Joan suggests looking up institutes providing cleaning courses. Sherlock and Joan narrow down their search to one Conrad Woodbine (Jon David Casey), graduate of Spaulding Technical Institute.

Sherlock, Joan and Kitty pay a visit to Conrad at his apartment and discover that he has stored nutmeg concoctions. He is arrested and interrogated by NYPD. He refuses to co-operate and is let go.

Sherlock devises a strategy to make Conrad confess. He prepares a list of Conrad's clients in the hopes of pressurizing him. One such client is Artem Dedekian (Tom Mardirosian), head of a Armenian criminal gang.

Soon Conrad is killed as well and the individual cleaning up copies Conrad's style at the crime scene. Sherlock is at his wit's ends and is helped by Kitty, who identifies the murderer as Jeremy Carpenter (Harris Doran). Jeremy is Raymond's son and the Superintendent of Conrad's apartment. Raymond had made him Conrad's apprentice and had him kill Conrad after Jeremy informed him about Sherlock's visit to his mentor's apartment. 

Chris Santos Joan Watson past boyfriend in Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction
The secondary plot involves Sherlock offering unsolicited advice to Joan about her relationship with her current boyfriend Andrew Paek (Raza Jaffrey). Her former boyfriend Chris Santos (Christian Carmago) asks for her help. She helps him out and informs him that one Ermel Janic stole his identity.

This was one of the better episodes of this season. I liked the twist involving the cleaner being the common factor among all the cases.

The episode had a strong sense of humor. Sherlock comparing Joan to a female baboon advertising her availability with a bright red posterior was hilarious. Also amusing was his comment about Joan skipping her training on Speed reading.

Candis Cayne Ms. Hudson in Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction

Sherlock keeps assigning menial tasks to Joan and Kitty and Ms. Hudson (Candis Cayne). Yes, Ms. Hudson makes her return to the show after appearing in just one episode, “Snow Angels. Sherlock asks Ms. Hudson to listen to the police scanner for any mention of “Pumpkin” or “Nutmeg”. Interestingly, she appears only in one scene and promptly disappears. The writer could have included her in at least one scene to provide a closure and explaining what she has been doing with her life so far.

Kitty Winter Sherlock Holmes apprentice in Elementary Season 3 Episode 7 The Adventure of the Nutmeg Concoction

We do know that Andrew is returning from Copenhagen and Joan prepares a special feast to celebrate this. I also liked Sherlock's comment on Joan being being attracted to a life of adventure. Dr John Watson mentions in The Hound of the Baskervilles: “The promise of adventure had always a fascination for me,...”

Another interesting aspect that caught my attention was the name: Spaulding Technical Institute. This could be a possible reference to Vincent Spaulding, the alias used by John Clay in The Adventure of the Red-Headed League.


1. Kitty Winter hums the Clarinet part of Beethoven’ Symphony No. 6, when she and Joan are working on Jessica's mysterious key.

2. Kitty Winter is listening to the song “Titus Andronicus”, when Sherlock Holmes walks in.

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Image Source: CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

You might also like:

Elementary Season 1 Review
Elementary - Cast Review


  1. It was nice to see Mrs. Hudson again. I'd like to see her as a regular character on the show.

    1. Agree with you, Kathleen. I too would love to see more of Candis Cayne as Miss Hudson.


  2. Read in Brad Keefauver's blog, "There's a fun old Irregular character who is really good at smelling things -- and Mr. Elementary only knows him as 'the Nose', yet somehow has contact information." LMAO! Still I think they mave have stole the idea of 'the Nose' from the 1921 hit silent film "Sherlock Brown". In “Sherlock Brown” the secret formula for the world's most powerful explosive has been stolen from the U.S. government. William Brown (Bert Lytell), a clerk who aspires to be a detective, has just received his badge from some anonymous Midwestern agency (he paid all of 25 dollars for it), and manages to get himself embroiled in the intrigue. And he doesn't do too badly -- he actually gets his hands on the missing envelope, but then he's tricked by the thieves into giving it back to them. Instead of receiving his reward, he is ridiculed and his tin badge is soundly crushed. But all is not lost -- he remembers that the woman in possession of the envelope was wearing sandalwood perfume. He puts his olfactory senses to work, and after he's smelled just about everything he can find, he recovers the document again, gets a real detective badge, and wins his girl (Ora Carew).” This was one Sherlock who had a ‘NOSE’ for detection and actually ‘SMELLED’ his way to success.

    1. Thanks Howard for stopping by and taking the time to share this interesting piece of information. At least, we have to give credit to the writers for taking the pains to take "inspiration" from such a rare and old movie.


  3. That was a great review. I had stopped watching Elementary but this has renewed my interest. Thanks Buddy and thank you so much for your very nice comment on the anniversary post, very much appreciated.

  4. I also enjoyed this episode a bit more than I though I would.
    Good review, thanks.