Elementary Wiki
Elementary Wiki

The rise of social media has created a generation of narcissists eager to offer up their private images for public consumption. But like peacocks spreading their tails, such displays, whilst feeding self-esteem, also risk attracting the attention of predators.

— Holmes

Art Imitates Art is the twentieth episode of Elementary's fourth season and the 92nd episode overall.


Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a young woman whose college selfie was turned into a piece of contemporary art. Watson tries to get closer to her half-sister.


After Watson confronts Lin Wen that they are half-sisters, Lin admits it and gives Watson details about their schizophrenic father. Having learned a few years before about Watson's family, Lin found out that Watson worked as a detective with Sherlock, who had a brother named Mycroft. Desperate for help, she came to them and lied that she was Mycroft's lover to gain their cooperation. However, now that they've helped her, she has no desire to have a relationship with Watson, though Watson wants to know Lin. At night outside a gym in New York City, Phoebe Elliot approaches a car she thinks is her ride-share. When she opens the rear passenger door, she is shot to death by the driver. The killer drives to Connecticut, parks the car, smashes the window, which sets off the alarm, and leaves.

S04E20-Elliot crime scene

"Where's the missing blood?"

Later at the scene, Holmes is able to tell from the blood splatter that Phoebe was shot from a stopped car. While Watson thinks she recognizes Phoebe, Detective Bell reports that her brother, Keith, just finished jail time for car theft. Keith is adamant that he didn't kill Phoebe and offers his full cooperation. He believes a stalker may have killed her as she was getting a lot of attention from a selfie she took in 2013. At the art gallery of Ephraim Hill, Bell, Holmes and Watson view selfies that have been enlarged and are being sold as art, including one of Phoebe. Watson indicates the pieces have received wide-spread media exposure and some of the subjects were angry their selfies were being used in this manner. Hill arrives and believes they're there in response to a robbery in which five of the pieces were stolen. Told of Phoebe's murder, he has an alibi, indicates Phoebe liked the attention, and has a lead for them to follow.

S04E20-Holmes w Phoebes pics

Phoebe's selfie captures the man exiting this car.

The suspect is Skyden, a young woman who posted an angry video threatening Hill. However, she indicates that the video was an act for a play and that she took pictures of Hill's pieces, before the robbery, which she was going to sell. Looking at a picture Skyden took of Phoebe's piece, Holmes notices differences from the one in the gallery and says that it has been replaced with a forgery. Phoebe's piece arrives at the Brownstone which Hill has confirmed is a fake and that it could only have switched out during the robbery. Noticing Watson is distracted, she tells Holmes about Lin and wonders why her biological father was able to maintain a family with Lin and Lin's mother, but not with her, her mother, and brother. She hopes to find out, having left a phone message for Jing-Mei. Holmes shows Watson that in the background of Phoebe's piece, a man has been erased and a car license plate altered.

Bell has found that the car belongs to Louis Bowman, who is serving life in prison for murder. Holmes believes the piece was switched out because the original proves that Bowman didn't commit murder. At the 11th Precinct, Bell, Holmes, and Watson show Captain Gregson their findings that the selfie shows Bowman leaving a college library when Marissa Kagan was killed. Gregson notes the case against Bowman showed his spit on Kagan and that Phoebe, a friend of hers, testified against Bowman. Believing Bowman was framed and that Phoebe only noticed him in the picture when it was blown up. They also note that Phoebe took down all her social media pictures after Hill's exhibit. When Kagan's true killer learned of the photo, the piece was swapped out and Phoebe killed to prevent her from pointing this out. Bell and Watson visit Bowman in prison, who admits that he was obsessed with Kagan but has since received treatment for a disorder.

S04E20-Shawn and Pullman

"The case against Louis Bowman was hardly circumstantial."

Bowman recalls his lawyer didn't believe in his innocence and wouldn't let him testify, even when he said he saw Kagan's killer. Admitting he was parked outside Kagan's, he saw her arguing with someone in a white and green sweater with the hood up, so he couldn't see the person's face. Insisting he was framed by a woman he dated before meeting Kagan, Amanda Neal, he says Neal went on to become a police officer and must have planted his DNA on Kagan's body. ADA Christina Pullman and Bowman's public defender, Shawn, show Holmes the case file on Kagan's murder. Indicating that a large amount of Bowman's spit was found on Kagan, which could not have been planted, and that Phoebe's selfie doesn't conclusively show it is Bowman in the photo, she's confident Bowman's conviction was justified. Bell and Watson question Amanda Neal, a Connecticut state trooper, who says she went on two dates with Bowman who then became obsessed with her. She sarcastically denies planting evidence and states she has no access to murder investigations.

Leaving the Neal questioning, Watson sees Lin in the precinct, who is angry that Watson called her mother. She says that their father hated Watson's new family and she tells Watson to leave her and her mother alone. Bell calls Holmes at the Brownstone and asks him to come to the precinct. The car used in Phoebe's shooting was found in Connecticut and Keith's DNA was found inside. In the box at the precinct, Bell and Gregson are unsuccessful at getting Keith to confess to shooting his sister, and he insists that the DNA was planted. Looking at Bowman's case file, Holmes notes that Kagan was killed in Connecticut. He finds it odd that a car from that state was driven to New York to shoot Phoebe and then driven back. Looking at the lab report that placed Keith's DNA in the car, he tells Watson that he knows someone who can create any evidence they desire.

S04E20-At Zoes lab

"I want to make sure they're done right."

At the Connecticut forensics lab, supervisor Zoe Mercado is accused by Bell, Holmes, and Watson of "dry-labbing" (writing false reports to conform with evidence in cases). Insisting that her work is above board, Bell tells her they'll be retesting the DNA found in the car used to kill Phoebe. Later, Mercado is brought to the precinct, after it's found that she falsified the Keith DNA report. Insisting that she's on the side of law enforcement and that DNA evidence can be subjective, she's accused of killing Phoebe. She says the DNA in the car isn't hers, that she didn't know Phoebe, and challenges them to retest if it's a match for her. Outside the conference room, Gregson notes that all cases Mercado ever worked on will have to be retested. Holmes and Watson realize that someone in law enforcement knew Mercado was dry-labbing and they'll have to examine all her cases to find a suspect.

S04E20-Lin apologizes

"I have a lot of unresolved anger over my father."

As Watson reviews the cases at the Brownstone, Lin arrives and apologizes, as her father didn't say the hateful things about Watson's family. Watson apologizes for calling Jing-Mei, which Lin says is okay. Trooper Neal is called back to the precinct where Bell, Gregson, and Holmes indicate that she called Mercado many times during the Kagan investigation and accuse her of killing Kagan. She laughs when told that her motive for killing Kagan was jealously that Bowman was interested in her and explains that Kagan was gay, which few people knew. She also relates that Kagan was seeing a married woman and pushing her to get a divorce. Meeting Watson at the Brownstone, Holmes tells her that Neal isn't the killer, but he knows who is. Watson pulls a file and tells Holmes she's also discovered who the killer is. At the home of ADA Pullman, her wife, Teri, answers the door.

Teri is familiar with the Kagan case, admits that Pullman has a green and white sweater like that described by Bowman, and that she discovered Kagan and her were having an affair. She allows Pullman's DNA to be taken from the bathroom, but says there's something they should know. At the precinct, Pullman is told that Teri confessed. Ensuring Bowman was the prime suspect in Kagan's murder, Pullman arranged for Mercado to dry-lab that the spit was his. However, when Phoebe contacted her with the selfie exonerating Bowman, she swapped out the pictures, killed Phoebe, and again arranged for dry-labbing to implicate Keith in Phoebe's death. DNA retests revealed that the spit on Kagan was Teri's and that found in the car was Pullman's. Teri tried to confess to killing Phoebe so one parent would remain free to raise their children. Later, Watson meets Lin and tells her Jing-Mei invited her for tea, but she's decided to wait until Lin is ready to join them.


Main cast[]

Guest cast[]


Main article: List of songs


Are you still irked that she and my brother once rode below the crupper? Did you think he was a virgin?

— Holmes to Watson concerning Lin Wen


  • Phoebe Elliot requests a ride share from Zooss, the company that staffer Brandon Falchek worked for and used their software to stalk and attack Felice Armistead.[1]


In other languages[]

Language Title Translation
čeština Czech Zvětšenina[2] "Magnification"
suomi Finnish Petosten vyyhti[3] "A Tangle of Frauds"
français French L'Art et la Manière[4] "The Art and the Way"
Deutsch German Kunst imitiert Kunst[5] Same as English title
magyar Hungarian A művészet másolja a művészetet[6] Same as English title
italiano Italian L'arte imita l'arte[7] Same as English title
日本語 Japanese DNAの迷宮[8] "A Labyrinth of DNA"
русский Russian Искусство имитирует искусство[9] Same as English title
slovenčina Slovak Zväčšenina[10] "Magnification"
español Spanish El arte imita al arte[11] Same as English title
українська Ukrainian Мистецтво заради мистецтва[12] "Art for the Sake of Art"


  1. Season 3, episode 18: "The View From Olympus"
  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.