The Hound of the Cancer Cells

It’s not easy working in law enforcement, a harsh reality Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) has to deal with once again in this episode of Elementary. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be invested in when it pertains to the main murder case. My attention was more focused on Bell’s story than the big crime in “The Hound of the Cancer Cells.”

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Slovis
  • Writer: Bob Goodman
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill

Episode Title: “The Hound of the Cancer Cells”

Watson (Liu) attempts to find a young girl – a witness in a murder – who’s suddenly gone off the grid. While Watson’s on that case, Sherlock (Miller) is solving a murder involving a cancer researcher who created a device that could possibly save lives.

The Good:

  • Detective Bell/”The Legend”: Detective Bell has been struggling to get back into his work, but it’s been difficult considering the injury he sustained. Now that he’s recovered, his latest case requires him to keep eyes on a witness who’s poised to testify to a murder. When she goes missing, Bell sends Watson out to find her. Watson’s able to track her down, and learns the girl is unwilling to testify because she’s pregnant. This changes the story. When Bell meets the man who’s been hiding the witness, it’s turns out to be a local legend. The man’s a good-hearted teacher who gave her shelter. Suddenly “The Hound of the Cancer Cells” story takes backseat and the spotlight is shining on Bell. He sees hope and bravery by the acts of this one man, who gave his life to protect a young woman and her unborn child. It makes Bell remember the harsh realities of police work many people fail to remember.
  • Tricky Murder: It was difficult completely favoring one story line over the other. On one side you have Detective Bell’s tale, which gives a slightly sad but good message. Next, there’s Sherlock trying to solve the murder of a cancer researcher. Why was he killed and was it just a scheme to bring down a company? Every once in a while we discover the motivation for a couple of criminals, and they seem so trivial. But even in the real world, the smallest thing can push someone over the edge. There was a sticky web of deceit and trickery the owner of the company went through to keep his wife away from his money. For most of the episode, Sherlock and Watson were convinced he wasn’t the killer. It added to the whodunnit of the mystery, giving us more satisfaction when all was revealed.
  • More Open Sherlock: In this episode, we didn’t see Sherlock make any major emotional breakthroughs, but there was a point where Watson demanded to know why he was avoiding the subject of Bell’s party. Sherlock is aware of his actions, and how they ultimately brought harm to Bell almost ruining his career. It’s nice to see a more compassionate Sherlock, but I’d personally like to see more from hyper Sherlock. At one point, he’s spouting words at seemingly a million miles a minute, throwing clothes on a still sleepy Watson whom he abruptly woke up. When she asks what’s going on, he replies that he’s had three cups of coffee along with his tea. Highly-caffeinated Sherlock is the best Sherlock.

The So-So:

  • Clues: The former lover of the cancer researcher was a possible suspect in the beginning, but that was easy to see through. Normally, Sherlock and Watson aren’t too prone to being wrong but there was a lot of that happening here. They are human and are bound to make mistakes. But then what about the whole Adam Peer clue? The cancer researcher was one of two people who were using the pseudonym Adam Peer in order to taint pharmacy drug products’ reputations that were launching. How did the company head figure that out? These are nitpicks, but microscopic compared to the larger point, which is that the episode as a whole still worked.

The Bad:

  • Supporting Actors: The actors weren’t fantastic but they weren’t bad either. They just muddled around in that area of decent. They were convincing enough for the audience to believe they could live in the same world as Sherlock and Watson. But there were a couple moments where the suspects performances felt forced.


“The Hounds of the Cancer Cells,” despite it’s incredibly minor bumps, marks yet another entertaining, sad but sweet episode in the ever-growing catalog of  lementary. 

Rating: 8/10

Elementary airs at 10 p.m., Thursdays on CBS.

What did you think of the episode?