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Elementary Wiki

You know me, Watson, sticky fingers.

— Holmes

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing is the twenty-first episode of Elementary's fourth season and the 93rd episode overall.


When Holmes and Watson are pulled into a double-homicide investigation, they discover the victims were staging a fake murder right at the moment they were killed. Also, Watson's inside man at Morland's office encounters a problem that threatens to expose her spying to Holmes and his father.


S04E21-Hawes stand-up

"This is clearly a pathologist convention."

At a stand-up comedy club, Dr. Eugene Hawes performs his act as Watson watches. Afterwards, Hawes tells Watson that performing is part of his therapy in dealing with the explosion that occurred in the Morgue. Excusing herself, at a bookshop, Watson meets Emil Kurtz, her mole in Morland's organization, where he provides information that the assassin who attempted to kill Morland, Ruslan Krasnov, had help escaping from jail. A policeman chasing a thief comes upon two dead men, one in an SUV and another on the pavement beside the vehicle. The next morning at the Brownstone, Sherlock shows Watson a cat he bought for Fiona's birthday while she lies about why she left the comedy club abruptly. Proceeding to the crime scene alone, Sherlock meets Detective Bell, who identifies the driver as Jared Talt, a developer, and Butch Callahan, an army veteran.

Examining the scene, they conclude that someone staged it to look like Talt and Callahan shot each other. Hearing a camera flash charging, Sherlock finds a camera in a dumpster which has blood on it and four pictures of Jared, dead in the SUV. At the 11th Precinct, Captain Gregson and Watson are shown the pictures which differ from how the bodies were found. Puzzled why the murders were staged, Watson reasons that Talt was the target. Gregson reports that Talt's wife, Ida, was upstate for the evening and is returning. He tells Bell and Sherlock to question Callahan's girlfriend, Roxanne Ortiz, while he and Watson see Jared's business partner, Davis Potter. Potter is distraught over Jared's death and doesn't know Callahan. He says their business was failing and all they had was liabilities. He claims a property near Lake Placid, which they bought for fracking before the state outlawed it, had them involved in a lawsuit. He provides evidence he was at a Knicks game when Jared was killed.

S04E21-Bell Holmes stained shirt

"That's not blood?"

At Ortiz's, she confirms that the gun found next to Callahan was his. Formerly troubled with PTSD, Ortiz indicates that Callahan was better and they were discussing marriage. Sherlock finds several shirts in the garbage with red stains on them, which Ortiz is shocked to see. At the morgue, Sherlock shows Watson three stained shirts which all match one Jared was wearing when he died. The shirts were experiments to determine which stain looked most like blood for the fake murder. The camera was Callahan's, and Sherlock believes they were shot while Callahan was taking pictures of Jared's staged murder. At the precinct, the evidence is reviewed with Gregson pondering what the staging was to have accomplished. Bell and Sherlock indicate that Callahan bought a pen recorder and believe that he and Jared intended to blackmail whoever hired Callahan to really kill Jared, after showing him the staged pictures.

Watson posits the blackmail target came across the staging and killed them both. Ida Talt arrives at the precinct and is told Jared may have been targeted. Indicating that she and Jared had to sell possessions, including her wedding ring, to keep the business viable while Potter wasn't affected as he was rich, she says Jared and Potter had a fight over a property Potter refused to sell and that he has motive to kill Jared. At Potter's house, Gregson, Sherlock, and Watson find he's not at home and believe that he hired Callahan to kill Jared and was at the Knicks game to provide a solid alibi. After Gregson leaves, Sherlock breaks into Potter's garage, intending to look at the contents of several file cabinets. Watson receives a text and lies to Sherlock that she needs to leave to take care of her mother. Watson meets Kurtz who shows her that Morland has set a trap to find the mole in his organization and he refuses to help her anymore.

S04E21-Watson Holmes woods

"I saw a freaking bear!"

Returning to the Brownstone, Watson finds Sherlock has taken a vintage motorcycle from Potter's garage. By examining its mileage log, minerals found on the tires, and an insect wing in the air filter, Sherlock concludes Potter lied that he remained home the day after the murders and drove near Lake Placid. Watson mentions the lawsuit on the worthless fracking property Potter spoke of is near Lake Placid and they proceed there. After Watson walks all over the property, she meets up with Sherlock to find he hasn't moved from where they split up. Reporting she found nothing, Sherlock points out the property is covered with old-growth ginseng, worth an estimated $20 million. Potter is brought to the precinct where he's shown that he's been negotiating to sell the property to a ginseng dealer and that he knew Callahan from high school. Admitting he hired Callahan to kill Jared so he wouldn't have to share the profits from the property, he denies knowing who killed them.

S04E21-Mr Coin-Morland-Watson

"You do recall who owns this building."

As proof, Potter says he waited on a bench for hours after Jared's murder was to have happened to pay Callahan. City bus video shows Potter was being truthful, and Sherlock recognizes posters behind the bench Potter sat at. Looking online, Bell, Sherlock, and Watson see the posters are from a recording company Ortiz works for. With a police team, Bell and Watson search Ortiz's house, where she angrily denies knowing about the blackmail plot. She believes Callahan picked the staging location near the posters as he helped her put them up. Watson returns to the Brownstone and finds Morland sitting in the library. He tells her that one of his security staff, Mr. Coin, is searching the basement, where Watson's office is, for an unspecified item. After Coin indicates he didn't find anything, they depart, and Watson realizes he was searching for materials that would reveal whom the mole is.

The next morning at the Brownstone, as Sherlock looks through items collected from Ortiz's, Watson tells him about Morland's visit. Sherlock receives a text from Bell that Ortiz set fire to her home. At Ortiz's, she explains she received several phone calls for a "Myron Taft" that a condo in Tahiti was ready for him. Believing that Callahan was going to leave her to live under an assumed name, she burned the house in revenge as it was Callahan's family home. Sherlock tells her that Callahan wasn't planning to leave her and he believes she's not the killer. At the Brownstone, as Sherlock views the evidence wall, Watson reports that the condo was paid for by Callahan but was for Jared Talt. Gregson sends a picture of Ida paying a toll in New York City an hour before the murders, showing she lied about being upstate. Looking at the picture, Watson believes they can find proof she committed the murders.

S04E21-Kurtz dead

Kurtz is a victim at the diner robbery.

At the precinct, Ida is shown her lie and told that she discovered Jared planned to blackmail Potter and leave her. Following Jared to the staging scene, she shot Callahan and then used his gun to shoot Jared through the window. She then fired her gun while it was in Callahan's hand to leave gunshot residue. While doing the same with Callahan's gun in Jared's hand, the recoil caused her hand to hit the window frame and jar the diamond from her wedding ring loose. She lied about selling her wedding ring, as Watson shows her the diamond was found in the shattered glass in the SUV. Ida confesses she didn't know what happened to the diamond. Later at the precinct, Sherlock tells Watson that Bell was called away to a shooting scene. At a diner, Bell meets a police officer who tells him that a robber shot four people and took the cash from the till. Retrieving the ID from the first victim, it's Emil Kurtz.


Main cast[]

Guest cast[]


Main article: List of songs
  • Zoe Keating's "Exurgency" plays as Sherlock finds Butch Callahan's camera in a dumpster.
  • Claudine's "Ofai Tere" plays as Sherlock views the evidence wall of Jared Talt.


A lot of these stand-ups at these open mics talk about bombing, but, hey, I've lived through a real bombing.

— Dr. Hawes


  • At Potter and Talt's property, after Watson traipses to the edge and back, she jokingly reports to Holmes that she found nothing, not even a smoke monster, referencing the TV show Lost.
  • Holmes mentions that Detective Nash told him Detective Bell was called to a scene of a shooting. Nash took Bell's desk when he went to work for Demographics. Bell paid Nash to get his desk back when he returned to Major Cases.[1]


In other languages[]

Language Title Translation
čeština Czech Není nad skutečnou vraždu[2] "Nothing Like Real Murder"
suomi Finnish Lavastus[3] "Scenery"
français French Petits meurtres entre amis[4] "Little Murders Between Friends"
Deutsch German Nichts geht über die Wahrheit[5] "Nothing Beats the Truth"
magyar Hungarian Az igazság semmihez sem fogható[6] "The Truth Cannot Be Grasped"
italiano Italian Niente è più come appare[7] "Nothing Is as It Appears Anymore"
日本語 Japanese 裏切りは誰の手に[8] "In Whose Hand Is the Betrayal"
русский Russian Кого ты хотел обмануть?[9] "Who did you want to fool?"
slovenčina Slovak Niet nad skutočnú vraždu[10] "Not As Good As Real Murder"
español Spanish No hay nada como lo auténtico[11] Same as English title
українська Ukrainian Невдала підстава[12] "Failed Reason"


  1. Season 2, episode 13: "All in the Family"
  2. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Sherlock Holmes: Jak prosté (Czech). Wikipedia.
  3. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Holmes NYC (Finnish). Wikipedia.
  4. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Elementary (série télévisée) (French). Wikipedia.
  5. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Elementary (Fernsehserie) (German). Wikipedia.
  6. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Sherlock és Watson (Hungarian). Wikipedia.
  7. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Elementary (serie televisiva) (Italian). Wikipedia.
  8. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). エレメンタリー ホームズ&ワトソン in NY (Japanese). Wikipedia.
  9. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Элементарно (Russian). Wikipedia.
  10. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Sherlock a Watsonová (Slovak). Wikipedia.
  11. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Elementary (Spanish). Wikipedia.
  12. Wikipedia contributors (n.d.). Елементарно (телесеріал) (Ukrainian). Wikipedia.