Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

"The Deductionist" is the fourteenth episode of season one of Elementary. It first aired on CBS on 3 February, 2013.


While getting prepped in a hospital for a kidney donation, notorious serial murderer Howard Ennis escapes from custody and resumes killing. Sherlock is brought in to consult, but he bristles when he learns that he must work alongside Kathryn Drummond, the FBI profiler who literally wrote the book on Ennis. She and Sherlock have a past, and their association ended when she published an article profiling Sherlock that predicted his forthcoming addiction. Even though Sherlock and Drummond don't get along, they both have a similar idea of what Ennis is likely to do next. The only problem is that the killer is not cooperating, and his increasingly erratic behaviour has the experts stumped. Meanwhile, Joan faces eviction from her rent-controlled apartment when she learns that the man she has been subletting to, during her stay with Holmes, has used the place to shoot pornographic films.


Part One[]

It's just another typical night at The Brownstone: Sherlock Holmes sits shirtless in a chair while two scantily-dressed women cavort in front of him. Inviting him to "get in on the act," they restrain him to the chair with two pairs of frilly handcuffs... then shut off their music and start to loot the house. Holmes reflects aloud that he's heard rumors of two prostitutes preying on "innocent whoremongers" around the city, then remarks on the coincidence that those very women ended up in his home. He then thanks the women for livening things up, since it has been a slow week for crimes of a "homicidal nature." He then yells for Marcus Bell, who appears with a squad of police. The two women sag in disappointment, and Holmes rises from the chair, having already picked the handcuffs, and asks if he can keep them as souvenirs.

The next morning, Joan Watson opens the windows to air the place out, while Sherlock is vigorously practicing his single-stick moves with a boxing dummy in the kitchen. Watson mentions that she has to go by her apartment, as there seems to be a problem with the man she sublet it to. Holmes admits to being puzzled as to why she maintains the apartment at all, since her job allows her to live, indefinitely and rent-free, in the homes of her various companions. Watson says she loves her apartment and prefers to live there between companion jobs - Holmes has his sanctum sanctorum, she has hers. Exchanging his single-stick for an escrima stick, Holmes remarks that the two women's performance from the night before has left him with plenty of energy to work off. He then attacks the dummy so vigorously that it falls over.

At a hospital, a Department of Corrections van arrives to deliver notorious serial killer Howard Ennis, who is donating a kidney to his critically ill sister. Ennis remains restrained until he is on the operating table, when the doctor asks the corrections officer to remove the handcuffs to accommodate the IV anesthetic. Ennis' eyelids close and his heart rate slows. None of the people in the room notice that a scalpel has been lifted from one of the surgical trays.

Then one of the nurses notices a strange swelling in Ennis' arm, and realizes that the IV needle is not in his vein. Ennis bolts up from the table and stabs the doctor with the scalpel. The corrections officer fumbles to draw his gun, but cannot clear it from his scrubs before Ennis crosses the room and slashes his throat. Ennis then takes the gun and kills the remaining two nurses.

Part Two[]

Holmes and Watson are called to the scene of the crime. Watson remembers reading about Ennis in the news: he stalked women via the Internet and killed them, often by flaying them. The media dubbed him "The Peeler." Holmes scoffs, saying that the media loves to puff up serial killers as criminal geniuses, when most of them are "mouth-breathers and chronic Onanists."

Examining the bloody operating suite, Holmes quickly deduces how Ennis escaped: he surreptitiously pulled the IV needle out of his vein, causing the anesthetic to pool underneath his skin instead of entering his bloodstream, slowed his heart rate with practiced mediation to fool the monitors, then struck when the time was right. Then he appropriated one of the dead person's scrubs to make his escape. But all of that, he says, is less important than where Ennis is now and what he plans to do. Gregson indicates the double doors to the suite, where Ennis wrote "SHEDIR" in blood before leaving. Holmes identifies it as a star in the constellation Cassiopeia, but remarks that it is a rather obvious clue. He is then upset to hear that the NYPD will not be working alone, the FBI has already dispatched its top profiler.

He is even more upset to go outside and see that profiler, Kathryn Drummond, giving an interview to the press. He informs Watson that he and Drummond worked together, briefly, when an American serial killer came to London. Holmes detests profilers, and working with Drummond only reinforced that opinion: he says all profilers are fakes and showboats: they reinforce the media's portrayal of serial killers as geniuses, which makes the profilers look like "super geniuses" when the killers are caught. Watson asks innocently whether profiling is part of Holmes's job, and Holmes archly retorts, "I deduce. Enormous difference."

Drummond comes over and greets Holmes affably, with an unmistakable smugness that comes from knowing about his recent troubles with drug addiction. Holmes, with an equally false smile, introduces Watson and assures Drummond that he's cleaned up. He tells Watson there is nothing more they can learn there, and pulls her away.

In her hospital room, Gregson and Holmes question Ennis's sister, Patricia. She expresses guilt over her indirect role in aiding Howard's escape. She is dying of kidney failure, and her brother was the closest match available. She swears that she has had no contact with Howard since he was sent to prison, and has no idea where he might be now. On the television, she sees Drummond's interview being aired, and expresses relief that she is on the investigation - Drummond caught Howard before and she can do it again. Holmes grinds his teeth.

Watson enters her apartment to see her landlord, Bruce, in a familiar pose: hunched over the radiator, taping up a leaky vent. She greets him warmly, but he says she has a big problem: a couple on a lower floor caught their teenage son watching pornography on the internet; imagine their horror when they realized that the film he was watching was shot inside Watson's apartment.

Watson trudges back to the precinct, where Holmes is lying on a table in the conference room, staring up at the ceiling, where he has superimposed a diagram of Cassiopeia onto a map of the city. The star Shedir corresponds to a location in the city, but Holmes has not shared the information with Captain Gregson yet. To him, the clue is too obvious, and he is still trying to figure out what Ennis is up to. He is also conspicuously avoiding Drummond, who, he admits to Watson, is a former lover as well as a former colleague. Their sexual relationship, he confides, was quite lively, but also quite devoid of any affection - "I would describe it as an act of self-love, were it not for the fact that she was technically present."

Watson mentions her troubles with her apartment, and Holmes asks if she would like his help. She says no, there is no mystery, and even if there was, she can't go back to living in her apartment now that it has been defiled.

In a convenience store, Howard Ennis enters wearing a hoodie and sunglasses, and notices a tall, blond woman, Sophie, waiting at the counter. He then draws his stolen gun and kills the clerk, and the other customer in the store. Addressing the now terrified Sophie, he politely asks her to take his picture with her cell phone. As she does so with shaking hands, Ennis removes his hoodie and glasses, and poses with a big smile next to a copy of The New York Post, which has his mug shot plastered across the front.

Part Three[]

Examining the crime scene, a furious Gregson rounds on Drummond, the self-proclaimed "expert" on Howard Ennis. According to her profile on Ennis, his next move after escaping would be to change his appearance and leave the city, yet he has gone out of his way to show the police that he is doing nothing of the kind. Even more baffling, he left Sophie - who fits the profile of his previous victims exactly - alive.

Drummond admits that Ennis' behavior is somewhat perplexing, but assures Gregson that her profile is still accurate. Holmes snipes that the NYPD could save itself a lot of time by discarding Drummond's profile as scrap paper.

That evening, Watson confronts Cooper, her sublet, at the apartment. He pleads that he was telling her the truth when he said he was a documentary filmmaker, but had to turn back to "alternative filmmaking" when he couldn't get anyone to invest in his latest project. In disbelief, Watson asks if "turn back" means Cooper has shot pornographic films before. "Not here," he says lamely, "but... yeah." Watson storms out, ignoring Cooper's feeble lamentations that he was planning to ask her out after his lease was up.

Watson returns to the Brownstone to find Holmes looking through the evidence. She says she knows why Holmes detests Drummond so much: Watson Googled her name and found her article entitled "The Deductionist", profiling an investigator that she met in London. Holmes was never referred to by name, but he is clearly the subject of the article. Holmes admits that when he and Drummond worked together in London, she expressed interest in learning Holmes' methods, and he was willing to teach her; in fact, she was simply gathering material for her profile on him. But, Holmes says, that betrayal did not unsettle him nearly as much as the fact that her profile was actually quite perceptive: among other things, Drummond predicted his downward spiral into drug addiction, while he did not.

The next morning, Gregson has Holmes, Watson, Drummond, and Bell gathered in his office, demanding answers on how to catch Ennis. Then Ennis himself calls the office, asking to speak with the head of the task force. During the call, Holmes breaks in and says he has figured out the motive behind Ennis' actions: he hates Drummond, who was responsible for catching him before, and wants to humiliate her by deliberately flaunting her profile of him. Ennis chuckles and says he recognizes Holmes as "The Deductionist," since he has read virtually every word Drummond ever wrote. He says Holmes is right, he does hate Drummond, but not for the reasons they think.

In her best-selling book on Ennis, Drummond claimed that Howard's father sexually abused him as a young child, and was directly responsible for making him into the "monster" he became. Ennis says that these claims were completely false, but the elder Ennis committed suicide a few months after the book was published, and Howard's mother died of grief less than a year later. As far as Ennis is concerned, Drummond murdered his parents, and he tells Gregson that he will stop killing people as soon as Drummond is turned over to him. With that, he hangs up. Holmes chirps that Ennis's demands seem quite reasonable to him.

Part Four[]

The police trace Ennis's cell phone to an abandoned warehouse, where they find his trophies: pictures of Ennis's past victims, news clippings, etc. Holmes decries the entire tableau as a collection of cliches, and insists that Ennis is trying to mislead them, playing to a stereotype while not revealing anything about his current whereabouts or intentions. Drummond, naturally, disagrees.

Following her out of the crime scene, Holmes asks if there is any merit to her claims about Howard Ennis's father. Drummond stiffly tells him that Ennis's pathology was consistent with childhood abuse, and that is what she put in her profile. Holmes presses further, asking her how she proved her allegations when she was writing her book, and she angrily retorts that one of the Ennis family's neighbors corroborated her findings, though he understandably chose to remain anonymous.

That evening, Watson enters the Brownstone to see Holmes seated pensively in front of the television. He says he knows Drummond is obsessed with her work, and obnoxiously sure of her own conclusions, but he does not know whether she would go so far as to fabricate allegations against the Ennis family, rather than admit her profile of Howard Ennis was flawed. Watson asks if Holmes simply wants to prove Drummond wrong because of her profile of him, and Holmes says he has no reason to do so: after all, she was right about many things. Watson sees that Holmes is unsettled, and says that she has seen enough, as a doctor and a sober companion, to know that the one constant thing about people is that they are capable of change, and are more than the sum of their past actions. Watson points out that Drummond may have predicted Holmes's drug addiction, but Holmes conquered it; Drummond also predicted that Holmes was virtually incapable of forming a friendly relationship with anyone, and Watson knows that isn't true - because she is his friend. Holmes appears lost for an immediate response.

Watson turns and is shocked to see that Holmes is watching the dirty movie Cooper shot in her apartment. Holmes compliments her on her home, and says he understands why she was so rattled. The sex itself, he is sorry to say, is "quite mundane", and Cooper's shabby direction, including numerous continuity errors (the position of the clock face between shots, for instance) make it even worse. Seeing the male actor remove a spatula from Watson's kitchen drawer, Holmes also advises Watson to replace it immediately. But after Holmes leaves the room, Watson leans in to the TV and notices something odd...

The next morning, Holmes rousts Watson out of bed, having been called by Gregson to a disturbance at Patricia Ennis's house. The police suspect that Howard Ennis has been there, but it turns out to be a false alarm. Some people in the neighborhood threw rocks through her window and vandalized the place, after learning from the news coverage that she was the sister of the notorious "Peeler". Another fine monument, Holmes remarks, to the integrity and lasting good of Kathryn Drummond's work.

Looking at the kitchen, Watson is surprised to see the pantry and the refrigerator laden with junk food, high in sodium - the last things a woman with failing kidneys should be eating. Holmes starts to look through the cupboards, and notices something even stranger: a whiff of essential oils, in the bottom of a water glass. Essential oils, they both know, are customarily used in aromatherapy, but highly toxic if swallowed, especially to a person's renal system. Alarmed, they both reach the same conclusion.

In Patricia Ennis's hospital room, Kathryn Drummond is speaking with her alone. She confesses that she lied about the Ennis family. She put the allegations of childhood abuse in Howard's profile because she believed them, but later, when she was writing the book, she couldn't find any proof, so she bribed one of the Ennis' neighbors to corroborate the fiction, rather than admit she was wrong. In the middle of this confession, Drummond's cell phone rings, but she turns it off.

Drummond says she is truly sorry for what she has done to Patricia, her parents, and even to Howard. Smiling kindly, Patricia whispers for Drummond to come closer, since Patricia's condition is making it harder for her to speak up...

In the hallway, Bell is filling a pitcher from the water fountain, when Holmes calls to warn him that Patricia destroyed her kidneys on purpose, and is working with her brother.

Bell bursts into the hospital room and sees Drummond lying on the floor, bleeding from a wound in her neck. Patricia, sitting up in bed, calmly raises a bloody pair of surgical scissors and says Bell is free to arrest her now.

Part Five[]

Gregson, Bell, Holmes, and Watson confront Patricia at the hospital. She admits that Howard contacted her some months ago, apparently with a cell phone smuggled into the prison. To her, the plan he proposed seemed right. The discovery of Howard's crimes devastated the Ennis family, she says, but Kathryn Drummond's "lies" destroyed it.

Watson says she has spoken with the doctor operating on Drummond, who thinks it's likely she'll survive. Gregson tells Patricia that, in spite of her condition, she's going to prison for attempted murder, and her actions have radically lowered her priority for a kidney transplant, which means she will likely die soon. She says she doesn't care - she will die knowing that she helped to right the wrongs done to her family.

Aside, Holmes says that Howard Ennis recruited his sister because she was easy to manipulate, and there is nothing she can tell them about his current whereabouts. Then Bell appears with Gregson's cell phone, saying Ennis is calling again and has been patched through from the station. Gregson answers, and Ennis says he saw on the news that Drummond isn't dead yet, which means his conditions stand: hand her over before Ennis kills more people.

That evening, Ennis returns to his hideout and sees Holmes waiting for him. In the background of the call, Holmes heard Ennis tuning a radio. Based on the signal strength of the channels Holmes heard, he was able to narrow Ennis's likely hiding place to a small area, in which there are only a handful of abandoned buildings.

Ennis wants to know why Holmes is there alone, without any police backup. Holmes says they have something in common: they have both been put under Kathryn Drummond's microscope, and Holmes wants to know if Ennis - and, by extension, Holmes himself - is capable of "beating" Drummond's profile of them. To that end, Holmes has laid Ennis's stolen gun, and a pair of handcuffs, on opposite sides of the table between them. According to Drummond's profile, Ennis is a coward at heart; no matter how vicious his crimes, she predicts he will shrink away from any kind of fair fight. If she is right, Howard will pick up the handcuffs and surrender; if she is wrong, he will grab for the gun. Howard, who has read "The Deductionist" as closely as Watson, shrewdly guesses that Holmes is afraid of Drummond's final prediction: that Holmes won't be able to resist turning back to drugs, and will inevitably die of an overdose. "Is that what terrifies you?" he asks. "That and clowns" Holmes deadpans.

Holmes says the choice is Howard's. Howard thinks for a moment, then lunges toward the table. Barely has he put his hand on the gun when Holmes whips his escrima stick from behind his back and cracks Howard's knuckles, repeatedly. Ennis crumples to the ground, whimpering in pain, and Holmes congratulates him for his actions. He also apologizes, since, technically, single-stick rules only allow him to strike Ennis on the forehead.

Outside the building, Gregson watches as Ennis is taken away in handcuffs. Holmes emerges, hastening to assure Gregson that he called for backup as soon as Ennis entered the building. Gregson wryly asks why it was so important for Holmes to confront Ennis alone. Holmes says he needed a question answered. When Gregson asks if he did, Holmes says that he is not sure; he won't know for sure for another ten to twenty years, and, in a way, hopes that he never has to find out.

Watson returns to her apartment, where Bruce apologizes for having to evict her. Watson points out that, when she was watching the movie, she zoomed in on the radiator and saw electrical tape appear, and disappear (another one of Cooper's numerous continuity errors). She has also tracked down the "performers" from the movie, who confirmed that Bruce knew all about the movie, and was in the apartment while it was being shot. She has realized that her apartment is rent-controlled, but if Bruce had an excuse to evict her, he could charge market rates to the new tenant. To that end, he assisted Cooper with shooting an illicit film inside a residence, which is a crime.

Bruce asks her what she wants, and she lays out two simple demands: one, Bruce and Cooper will pay for Watson's things to be placed in storage until she finds a new apartment; two, they will pay the cost of replacing her couch, which she has no intention of taking with her, since it had a "starring role" in the movie.

Watson meets Holmes outside the hospital, where he reports that Drummond is recovering, though still unconscious. He says he has presents for her: a new spatula and a new toothbrush, both wrapped in gift ribbons. Watson is grateful but confused, saying nothing was done to her toothbrush in the movie. "Not in the movie, no." Holmes replies, sliding into a cab. Watson stops, demanding to know what Holmes did to her toothbrush, but he appears not to hear her.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Holmes was practising Bartitsu in this episode. In "The Adventure of the Empty House", Sir Arthur Conan Doyle referred to it as 'baritsu'.
  • This episode had the highest viewing figures of the series.[1]
  • The title would seem to link back to A Study in Scarlet/Chapter 2, where Sherlock (the writer under scrutiny by Watson) observed in his text that '"From a drop of water," said the writer, "a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it. Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to attain the highest possible perfection in it."'



Guest stars[]

  • Kari MatchettKathryn Drummond
  • Terry KinneyMartin Ennis
  • Roger RobinsonBruce Kushner
  • Jessica HechtPatricia Ennis
  • Che AyendeVasquez
  • David Wilson BarnesCooper
  • Scott JaeckMaxwell Krebs
  • Napiera Groves – Sexy woman #1
  • Elizabeth Masucci – Sexy woman #2
  • Scott Whitehurst – Doctor
  • Nikiya Mathis – Nurse
  • Whitney Kimball LongSophie
  • Christopher Burns – Detective
  • Jesse Lenat – Homeless Man
  • Jason Babinsky – Uniformed cop #1
  • Kohler McKenzie – Uniformed cop #2
  • Jessie HochmuthReggie
  • Elizabeth AriostoCindy

Season One navigation[]

Season One
#01 Pilot#09 You Do It To Yourself#17 Possibility Two
#02 While You Were Sleeping#10 The Leviathan#18 Déjà Vu All Over Again
#03 Child Predator#11 Dirty Laundry#19 Snow Angels
#04 The Rat Race#12 M.#20 Dead Man's Switch
#05 Lesser Evils#13 The Red Team#21 A Landmark Story
#06 Flight Risk#14 The Deductionist#22 Risk Management
#07 One Way to Get Off#15 A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs#23 The Woman
#08 The Long Fuse#16 Details#24 Heroine