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S04E13-Charlotte covered in mushrooms

"A Study in Charlotte"
◀️ A View with a Room Elementary intertitle Who Is That Masked Man? ▶️  Transcript Script icon

Season: Four — Episode: 13
Director: Guy Ferland — Writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe — Aired: February 18, 2016 — Viewers (millions): 5.95
Summary: When a gathering of mushroom aficionados are found dead, Holmes and Watson must explore an array of botanists, biochemists, academics and stoners for a poisoner. Watson deals with noisy neighbors next to The Brownstone.

Cast

Elementary intertitle Episode Cast
Main Cast
Featured

Plot

Quote
Imagine me with a giant Moriarty across my stomach.
EndQuote
— Holmes
At night in The Brownstone, Watson reads in bed until disturbed by loud bass playing coming from next door. Running downstairs to complain to Holmes, she finds him practising escaping from a straight jacket with headphones on. He doesn't smypathsize with Watson and encourages her to spend less time sleeping. In his apartment, Professor Joe Ballantine hosts an "experience" with a group of students and gives them a brew of mushrooms which they drink. Taking a swig himself, he leaves to deal with a noisy neighbor, returns, finds the students choking and he also collapses after dialing 911. At the scene, Detective Lydel and his Captain allow Holmes access after receiving a message from Captain Gregson. To their amazement, he quickly identifies the mushrooms used, that poison was added to the mushrooms, Ballantine was the target and says he has a motive and suspect.



S04E13-Holmes mushroom murders
These people died quickly.
Watson confronts the noisy neighbor who says the unit is a short term rental, an "AwayKay", and that the owner is fine with partyers and noise. At a university classroom, Detective Bell and Holmes question biochemistry Professor Alston Harper who wrote several textbooks with Ballantine. Citing a falling out the two had, that caused the textbooks to be withdrawn from sale, as motive for killing Ballantine, Harper indicates that he pulled the books. Explaining that Ballantine insisted he try mushrooms with psilocybin, he didn't like the effects as he did stupid things when high. Wanting a clean break from the experience, he stopped working with Ballantine and invites them to check that their relationship was amicable. Meeting Holmes in Ballantine's office, Watson fills Holmes in on the neighbor problem and that others in their area are experiencing the same problem. Holmes finds the bag of the mushrooms Ballantine used was a gift from a student Watson identifies as Charlotte Konig.



S04E13-Holmes Watson sofa safe
This is the exact same strain I found in his tea.
Taking a taxi to Konig's house, they see the lights are on and hear music playing. (♫ Fidlar - Leave Me Alone ♫) Holmes breaks in and they find Charlotte dead in the basement, covered in mushrooms. In the Morgue, Holmes reports that the mushrooms Charlotte grew were sprayed with death cap poison and he believes she was the target, not Ballantine. Indicating to Captain Gregson that Charlotte is difficult to investigate as she had no cell phone nor social media accounts, Bell notes her tattoos including a griffin and vines. Gregson asks about a "R.A.C.H.E." tattoo on her back, German for "revenge" which Watson says they may know who the target was. At the 11th Precinct, VP Gira Pal of Zerakem Chemical is told of Konig's death and the law suit she had against Zerakem for allegedly stealing a process to turn algae into biofuel from her. Showing that Zerakem had no motive for killing her as they were winning the court case, Pal gives them a tip that the poison was synthesized from scratch and provides labs that do such work.



S04E13-Rache tattoo
Fraulein Konig craved revenge.
At his florist shop, Watson confronts the owner of the AwayKay unit, Trent Garby, about the noise. Garby is totally unsympathetic as he was forced to move out due to the chaos Holmes and Watson caused when he was living there. Claiming he sent dozens of emails to Holmes which only made the noise worse, and acknowledging that the AwayKay is retribution, Watson asks to see the emails. At one of the labs, Holmes sees a chemist who has a vine tattoo that matches Charlotte's. Admitting he was her boyfriend but not to killing her, he says they broke up as she wanted marriage which he didn't. Charlotte met someone named Griffin, who she was about to marry, and remembering her griffin tattoo, the chemist gives them the name of the tattoo parlor Charlotte went to. At the Brownstone, Holmes tells Watson about Griffin and the tattoo parlor.



S04E13-Watson and Trent Garby
That's rich, you two complaining about the noise.
Showing Holmes the emails Garby sent him, he notes that he hasn't seen them as he gave Garby an old email address. Claiming Garby was too scared to confront him, Holmes exasperates Watson when pointing out that she's been party to the noise they've created over the years and says he had a similar problem in London which he "took care of." Interrupted before he can provide explain, Holmes says the tattoo parlor has sent Griffin personal information. At Griffin's home, he explains to Watson that he didn't report her missing as sometimes she would use drugs and disappear. Holmes excuses himself and proceeds outside to a shed. While Griffin tells Watson that he reasoned Charlotte disappeared after he chickened out of getting a tattoo with her, Holmes smashes the lock on the shed and finds a drug lab inside.



S04E13-Griffins drug lab
You seem like an exemplary young man.
At the precinct, Griffin explains that he was making counterfeit erectile dysfunction (ED) pills. Claiming the pills were the same quality as those from drug companies but cost them much less to produce, he says he doesn't know where the money is as Charlotte handled the sales and finances. Denying he killed her, he posits that perhaps Charlotte's buyer did. Later while walking to the Brownstone, Bell calls Watson that Griffin's story has checked out. Asking if Holmes has been able to find Charlotte's buyer, Watson sees fire trucks at Garby's unit. Accusing Holmes of starting the fire, he denies it and indicates he took care of the problem in London by buying the unit next door. The fire marshal found that faulty wiring in an amp caused the fire. Showing Watson that Griffin's ED pills had a lighter shade than the drug companies', he finds a pharmacy that sells Griffin's pills on-line.



S04E13-Griffin in box
She said we'd be set for life.
The pharmacist, Lenny Fung, denies killing Charlotte and praises her product. Instead of paying Charlotte money, he bought properties and put them in a trust where she was a secret sole beneficiary. A map of the properties' locations show they are all near Zerakem facilities, revealing Charlotte's revenge. At the precinct, Pal is shown the map of Charlotte's properties which blocks outward expansion of any of Zerakem's. Pal explains that Zerakem would have to expand within the properties they own which would trigger greater EPA requirements, costing them millions more per year. Pal reveals that the trust was demanding $15M above market for the properties' sale. However, with Charlotte dead and having no heirs, Zerakem could buy the properties for much less. Concerned that her company would kill over the matter, Pal offers full cooperation.



S04E13-Questioning Pal
She roadblocked you.
Later at the Brownstone, after reviewing all of Zerakem's files on the properties, Holmes doubts they killed Charlotte. They didn't know who owned the trust and no one in Zerakem would have benefited monetarily as buying the properties at market price wouldn't have changed their stock value. Watson receives an email from Garby offering his unit for sale. Since it was used as an AwayKay, he didn't have proper insurance coverage and can't renovate the fire damage. Holmes wants to buy the unit and his lack of remorse concerns Watson. Challenged by Holmes to focus on their case, Watson picks up one of the textbooks Harper wrote with Ballantine and says they should look into Harper further. Looking at the book's cover, Holmes sees that Harper's middle initial is "C", so his full initials are "A.C.H." Examining a photo of Charlotte's "R.A.C.H.E." tattoo, in which the "R" and "E" are darker than the other letters, he deduces that Charlotte and Harper were involved.



S04E13-Holmes bedroom
They didn't know it was Charlotte.
At Harper's classroom, Bell, Holmes and Watson show him that Charlotte was his estranged wife who he married when high. She held up the divorce by claiming royalties on the books which is why he pulled them from sale. When Charlotte later offered a no-contest divorce, he got suspicious and hired a detective who found out about the properties and the $15M above market sale demand. He also discovered Charlotte was in love with Griffin and to get revenge, killed her with the poison. As her only heir, he would receive her properties and could sell them. Residue of the poison was found in Harper's lab equipment and Bell arrests him. Later at Garby's shop, Watson shows him photos of an electrician's van outside his unit just before the fire. (♫ Johnny Ashby - Could Be Home ♫) She was able to prove that a local hotel hired him to start the fire so Garby's insurance company is willing to pay for the renovation. Offering to put in sound proofing, Watson also gives Garby honey from Holmes' bees and asks him to move back in.



S04E13-Harper finale
She didn't need to seek revenge anymore.

Music

  • Fidlar - Leave Me Alone plays from Charlotte Koenig's house as Holmes and Watson enter and find her dead and covered in mushrooms.
  • Johnny Ashby - Could Be Home plays as Watson enters Trent Garby's florist shop to inform him that the fire in his Brownstone was arson and that Holmes and Watson would like him back as a neighbor and will pay for soundproofing.

Trivia

  • The episode title is a reference to Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, the first story to feature Holmes and Watson.
  • The episode pays homage to the BBC series "Sherlock" episode A Study in Pink in which the use of the words "Rache" and "Rachel" are clues in finding the killer.
  • Holmes refers to the time that Watson visited 221B Baker St. with him. ("Step Nine")

Quotes

"Identifying fungi is one of a host of skills a good detective should have."
―Holmes
"I forgot about the roosters."
―Watson to Trent Garby

Gallery

Elementary Season Four Episodes
The Past Is ParentEvidence of Things Not SeenTag, You're MeAll My Exes Live in EssexThe Games UnderfootThe Cost of Doing BusinessMiss TakenA Burden of BloodMurder Ex MachinaAlma MattersDown Where the Dead DelightA View with a RoomA Study in CharlotteWho Is That Masked Man?Up to Heaven and Down to HellHoundedYou've Got Me, Who's Got You?Ready or NotAll InArt Imitates ArtAin't Nothing Like the Real ThingTurn It Upside DownThe Invisible HandA Difference in Kind

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