Elementary Wiki
Elementary Wiki

I'm-a take SBK down. And anybody who get in my way gonna get hurt.

— Shinwell to Sherlock, "Dead Man's Tale"

Shinwell Johnson is an ex-drug dealer whose life Joan Watson saved when she was a doctor. Parolled, Watson tries to help Shinwell better his life.


Season 5[]

Shinwell works at a boxing gym where he is demeaned. Watson meets him outside and asks for his help identifying a serial bomber. Shinwell gives Watson a suspect he knew from his prison days and expresses a desire to change. Later, Watson goes to Shinwell's halfway house and offers her help. They go for a walk but when Shinwell answered the door, he was hiding a gun.[1] As Watson finds Shinwell an apartment, he also asks if he can find his daughter Chivonne. Watson tracks down Chivonne's guardian who doesn't want Shinwell to see her. Shinwell finds Chivonne on his own and learns a lot about her but knows he shouldn't see her until he gets his life together.[2]

S05E01-Shinwell gives info
They tell each other stuff.

S05E02-Shinwell Watson at park
Shinwell watches his daughter.

Watson helps Shinwell with clothes for a job interview at a restaurant which he doesn't get due to his past. Watson offers to train him to be a detective which he declines. Later, Shinwell arrives at his apartment and finds Gilbride inside with Shinwell's gun. Gilbride tells Shinwell to hide the gun better so that he isn't caught with it which could ruin big plans Gilbride has for Shinwell.[3] Lin Wen mentions to Joan that she saw Shinwell outside his apartment with a questionable person. Joan believes this may be a parole violation and has Lin come to the station to identify the person. Joan questions the person, "Tall Boy," who tells Joan that it was Shinwell's idea to meet. Sherlock warns Shinwell over a game of chess. Shinwell calls Watson to his apartment, threatens her and tells her to them him alone and that he doesn't need her help anymore.[4]

S05E05-Shinwell Gilbride
You couldn't find a better hiding place?

S05E07-Shinwell Holmes chess
I'll think on it.

Sherlock calls Watson to the scene of a gang murder in which one of the suspects matches Shinwell's description and a .38 hand-gun was found. Shinwell tells Watson that he is acting as an informant (CI) for FBI Agent Whitlock (aka Gilbride) and is trying to bring down his gang, SBK (South Bronx Killas), from the inside. He didn't commit the murder but did toss the .38 which has his fingerprints on it. Watson finds that Whitlock isn't authorized to use CIs and won't help Shinwell. Finding the murderer is Shinwell's only hope. While casing the victim's place, Shinwell explains to Holmes that he became a CI because he realized that everyone was disposable in the gang. Holmes and Shinwell discover that the victim was also a CI for Whitlock leading Holmes to believe that Whitlock is the murderer.

S05E09-Shinwell Holmes Watson
We need to talk.

S05E09-Shinwell betrayed
How could he do this to me?

Holmes also believes that Whitlock and two associates have been using the CIs to identify when large money drops are happening and then murder the gang members and take the money. Watson presents Whitlock with evidence and demands that he take the blame for Shinwell being at the murder scene. He refuses but then calls Watson and admits to the gang robberies. He won't help clear Shinwell and then commits suicide with the gun that was used to kill the gang member. Although Shinwell will be cleared of the gang murder, when the prints on the .38 match his, he'll be going back to prison for a parole violation. However, Holmes manages to break into the lab and wipe the prints off the .38 before it is tested.[5]

S05E09-Evidence wall
I like your little art project.

S05E09-Shinwell on roof
It's your second, second chance.

To thank Holmes, Shinwell restores an antique chess table not knowing it is evidence in a 1938 murder. Holmes discovers that with Watson's help, Shinwell still wants to be a CI which Holmes doesn't agree with. To make his point, Holmes has Luc follow Shinwell. It takes him nearly a day to pick up on his tail who Holmes introduces to Shinwell at the Brownstone. Holmes is adamant that Shinwell shouldn't be a CI which he says he'll think on. Later, Watson tells him that Shinwell has been registered as a CI by Detective Guzman. Holmes brings the chess table to Shinwell's apartment and says he'll train him as an informant in exchange for information when he and Watson ask for it.[6]

S05E10-Shinwell Holmes chess
Let's see what you got.
Watson becomes frustrated with Shinwell's lack of progress with informant training. He indicates that he's setting up a big deal for SBK that will see him rise in it's ranks. Shinwell meets with a potential supplier, Diego, but isn't interested in samples but a price reduction. Later at the Brownstone, Shinwell makes great progress on the locks. He tells Watson that he called off the deal with Diego due to teaching Watson gave him on haptics, i.e. Diego kept touching his face during the meeting. Diego didn't have the drugs he claimed and was looking to rip SBK off. As they prepare to eat, Watson says they'll work on his Spanish next.[7]

S05E11-Shinwell and Diego
Our customers ain't real choosy.
Shinwell meets Watson for coffee and is nervous being a CI and saying his daughter Chivonne wants to see him, Watson advises caution. Meeting Chivonne outside her school, she asks for Shinwell's help. Watson meets Shinwell at his apartment where he relates that Chivonne is being harassed by a gang member, Lucien. Since involving the police or hurting Lucien would result in retribution against Chivonne, he asks Watson for another solution. Shinwell breaks into Lucien's apartment and offers him two of SBK's street corners in exchange for leaving Chivonne alone, which he accepts. Shinwell meets Chivonne outside her school and give her the good news that Lucien and his gang have agreed to leave her alone. Offering to walk her home, she refuses and tells Shinwell that she doesn't want to be part of his life. Disappointed, Shinwell says he understands and watches Chivonne walk away.[8]

S05E14-Chivonne Shinwell
You do what you need to do.
Shinwell and Sherlock compete at "chess boxing". Watson finds out he was involved in a drive-by shooting and concerned, visits him. He blames the shooting on gang retaliation and tells her not to worry. Sherlock learns the weapon used in the drive-by was also used 12 years previously to kill Jameel Clark, a gang friend of Shinwell's, who took part in a robbery/murder. Shinwell denies knowing who the shooter might be when questioned by Holmes. Holmes discovers that Shinwell killed Jameel and Jameel's younger brother, Damon Clark, was the drive-by shooter.[9]

S05E17-Holmes Shinwell chess box
You and the doc didn't let the drive-by go like I asked.
Holmes confronts Shinwell about the murder of Jemeel which he denies committing. Holmes wants to help Shinwell but he refuses and tells Holmes to leave. Later, as Sherlock walks home alone at night, Shinwell attacks him from behind and smashes a bottle over his head. He then severely beats Sherlock and tells him Jameel was ordered to be killed by SBK as part of a deal with another gang. Shinwell was tricked by SBK and told Jameel was a traitor. He threatens Sherlock and says that he's going to bring down SBK and that anyone who gets in his way is going to get hurt.[10]

S05E18-Shinwell beats Holmes
SBK asked a friend to do it but they lied.

Shinwell asks Watson to prove an SBK lieutenant committed murder as part of non-gang business. Once the lieutenant is arrested, he'll have a direct line to SBK leadership and hopes to get evidence of their crimes. Watson is able to have the lieutenant arrested but Holmes fears that Shinwell is only motivated by revenge and won't care if harm comes to Watson. Watson meets Shinwell at his apartment where he says he got the lieutenant's territory. He also gives her a written confession that he killed Jameel and says she can submit it to the police when she wants but he'd prefer if she wait a few months until he brings down SBK. He doesn't care if he goes to jail as he's trying to make up for killing Jameel. Later, Shinwell texts Watson to meet and she finds him dead in his apartment.[11] Shinwell was stabbed in the back and Watson just missed the killer. It's revealed that "Tall Boy" killed Shinwell on SBK's orders.[12] Watson is the only person to attend Shinwell's funeral.[13]

S05E22-Shinwell Watson
I know what you are.

S05E22-Shinwell dead
Unfortunately, Holmes was right.



What kind of name is Sherlock?

— Shinwell, "Folie a Deux"

One of the reasons I work so hard not to lose myself is 'cause I fear I would also lose you. Do you think Shinwell is putting forth a similar effort?

— Holmes to Watson, "Moving Targets"



  1. Season 5, episode 1: "Folie a Deux"
  2. Season 5, episode 2: "Worth Several Cities"
  3. Season 5, episode 5: "To Catch a Predator Predator"
  4. Season 5, episode 7: "Bang Bang Shoot Chute"
  5. Season 5, episode 9: "It Serves You Right to Suffer"
  6. Season 5, episode 10: "Pick Your Poison"
  7. Season 5, episode 11: "Be My Guest"
  8. Season 5, episode 14: "Rekt in Real Life"
  9. Season 5, episode 17: "The Ballad of Lady Frances"
  10. Season 5, episode 18: "Dead Man's Tale"
  11. Season 5, episode 22: "Moving Targets"
  12. Season 5, episode 23: "Scrambled"
  13. Season 5, episode 24: "Hurt Me, Hurt You"