Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

"You Do It To Yourself" is the ninth episode of season one of Elementary. It first aired on CBS on 6 December, 2012.


An under-the-weather Sherlock investigates the murder of a college professor whose body was found with gunshot wounds through both of his eyes. Using his trademark deductive reasoning, Sherlock retraces the victim's path back to an illicit gambling parlor in Chinatown where he was shot. Gregson is able to bring in the gunman thanks to video surveillance footage, but when the killer claims that he was hired to take out the professor, Sherlock realises that his work has only just begun. Meanwhile, Watson gets a call from an addict and former lover who is in prison and needs her help.


Part One[]

A middle-aged man stares askance at a gun being pointed in his face, before it is fired.

Late at night, Sherlock Holmes is huddled in a blanket, fighting a bad cold or flu. Despite his condition, he jumps when he receives a text from the NYPD, asking for his help, in spite of Watson's warnings. He archly reminds her that boredom is more damaging to his health than any sickness.

In the midst of a rainstorm, Holmes and Watson meet Detective Bell at a refuse heap where the body of the middle-aged man seen earlier is lying. The man has been shot through both eyes. Holmes swiftly notes that, given the absence of forensic evidence at the site, the victim was killed elsewhere and dumped. Bell already noted as much, but Holmes further notes that, even without his wallet and identification, the man's clothes identify him as a professor of Asian studies at a local university. A quick search on his smartphone gives him the man's name: Professor Trent Annunzio.

Part Two[]

Holmes and Watson look on as Bell interviews Annunzio's widow, Jun, a Chinese woman much younger than her husband, cradling her infant daughter. She was Trent's student while he was teaching in Beijing, and he brought her to the U.S. and married her. She says that, as far as she knows, he had no enemies. Holmes points out that a man without enemies is unlikely to be killed in such a visceral, gruesome way.

In the midst of the interview, Watson receives a phone call from Rikers Island Prison, and begs off accompanying Holmes and Bell to the university.

At the university, Annunzio's teaching assistant, Brendan O'Brien, ushers Holmes and Bell into Annunzio's office. Holmes observes that, although Annunzio was the chair of the department, he seems to have deliberately picked the smaller, more dimly-lit office of the two on that floor. This makes no sense, until Holmes notes the office's number is 13, a lucky number in Chinese gambling (Annunzio's home address and cell phone number likewise ended in 13). That, plus the "lucky" bright red boxer shorts Annunzio was wearing on the night he died, indicates he was visiting an underground mah-jongg parlor. To this string of deductions, Bell is able to made a modest contribution, identifying the random mah-jongg tiles in the office as unofficial "membership cards" to such parlors.

At Rikers Island, Watson meets with her ex-lover, Liam Danow, also a recovering addict. He says he has been arrested for a hit-and-run, but swears he didn't do it. The hit was done with his car, and he admits that he was high that night, but is sure he would have remembered going on a joyride. Liam asks Watson to intercede with her friend at the District Attorney's office, but she refuses to believe him, and walks out.

She meets up with Holmes and Bell in Chinatown, directed to one by the NYPD's Chinatown Vice squad. While Bell is questioning the employees, Holmes asks about her trip to Rikers, and she tells him that a former client fell off the wagon and hit an old lady. Holmes asks if she would like his assistance, since, after all, not being able to remember something doesn't necessarily mean he did it. Watson declines, saying she knows Liam fairly well, and is reasonably sure he's guilty.

At first, none of the employees will admit to speaking English, but Holmes addresses the janitor, who is wearing bespoke Italian shoes underneath his apron. Grudgingly, the "janitor" admits to being the owner of the club, claiming he is mopping up a drunk's vomit from the previous night. Holmes counters that he is bleaching a very large area of the floor for a single drunk, nor does the explanation account for the two recently spackled holes in the wall. Finally, Holmes points out a security camera disguised as a smoke alarm in the wall, and Bell speaks up, telling the owner to show them the security video.

On the video, Annunzio is playing mah-jongg with several other patrons of the club, when a gunman wearing a ski mask barges in and relieves the other patrons of their wallets - except for Annunzio, who he shoots once in each eye. Holmes points out that, if the gunman had approached the entrance to the club wearing his mask, the bouncer outside the door would have had plenty of time to disarm him or raise an alarm, indicating the gunman approached bare-faced. Reluctantly, the club owner shows the video from a second camera in the hallway, showing a clear shot of the killer's face.

Part Three[]

While Holmes is scanning mug shots on a computer terminal, Watson brings him a cup of Chinese herbal tea, based on a recipe from her mother, that is useful to curing illness. Holmes decries the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine, but drinks the tea anyway. Holmes also produces Liam's police file, offering it to Watson. She says she already told him she didn't want his help, but he counters that he hasn't given her any. He hasn't even opened the file, he simply reasoned that Watson would like to have all the facts at her disposal. Then Bell comes in, saying they have identified Annunzio's killer. As Holmes follows Bell out, Watson hesitates, then picks up the file and takes it with her.

The killer is Raul Ramirez, a convicted sex offender and armed robber. During interrogation, Bell shows Ramirez stills from the video footage inside the gambling parlor, as well as a plastic bag, containing the stolen wallets, which they found in his garbage. Annunzio's wallet is there, still covered in his blood. Ramirez, cool as ice, offers to trade information for a more lenient sentence.

According to Ramirez, he was hired. A week ago, someone slipped an envelope with $1,000 in cash under his door, then called his cell phone, offering him another $9,000 to kill Annunzio - specifically, by shooting him once in each eye. Ramirez was supposed to shoot him the next evening, while Annunzio was leaving his office, but, having trailed Annunzio for several days and seeing him go into the gambling parlor (a rich target), Ramirez decided to "[kill] two birds with one stone." For proof, Ramirez tells the police to check his cell phone, which still has the photos of Annunzio and the text messages, sent to him by the unknown man.

In Gregson's office, Bell reports that Ramirez's story checks out: someone using a prepaid "burner" phone texted him photos of Annunzio and details of his schedule. The phone is untraceable, but Holmes looks closely at the sent photos, and deduces that they were taken inside Annunzio's office, which gives them a likely clue as to his killer.

Brendan O'Brien is interrogated at his apartment. He claims not to know what they are talking about, but Gregson points out that Raul Ramirez lives in his neighborhood, and they have unearthed a letter that Annunzio wrote to UC Berkeley a few weeks ago, recommending that O'Brien be turned down for the permanent teaching position he'd applied for. O'Brien admits that he was angry, but he wouldn't go so far as to kill Annunzio. Finally, they have just searched O'Brien's bedroom and found the phone used to contact Ramirez underneath.

Holmes pulls Gregson aside and says he believes O'Brien is telling the truth: the man displayed no fear when the police went to search his bedroom; even if he was stupid enough to have held on to the phone, he couldn't be stupid enough to forget that he'd done so. Then Bell walks over and interrupts, saying O'Brien has just confessed to everything. "Thank God for stupid people," Gregson says.

Part Four[]

At home, Holmes watches the video of O'Brien's interrogation. He notes that O'Brien is simply repeating Bell's questions back to him as answers, indicating that he doesn't really know what Bell is talking about. He shows Watson the records Gregson let him have, including a large number of downloaded songs, "almost exclusively bad... I'm tempted to let him rot."

Watson calls an interval to share her observations about Liam's case. From the crime scene photos, Watson noticed that Liam's car was almost totaled, meaning it was in a major collision. Yet Liam had no seat belt burns, or other injuries from having been in a crash, and she is starting to think he was telling the truth. Holmes notes that there have been a series of car theft/joyrides in Liam's neighborhood, but the joyrider's M.O. doesn't fit the alleged theft of Liam's car: all of the stolen cars were hotwired, and afterward stripped of anything valuable, while Liam's car still had the keys in the ignition, and nothing was taken. Watson looks closer and finds a solution: Liam told her he often left his keys in his car, and there is, in fact, something missing: a key-ring pendant that she gave him for Christmas. It was not valuable, but a thief might well have thought it was.

Holmes poses the question: how long did Watson know Liam before she started sleeping with him? Watson is flustered, and Holmes points out that her disappointment in him the other day was a little extreme for Liam to have just been an ex-client. Watson avoids the question, telling him that she will be going to Rikers Island in the morning. After she heads upstairs to bed, Holmes looks again at O'Brien's records and recognizes a clue.

The next morning, he and Bell confront Jun Annunzio at her home. Holmes remembers looking at the homemade mix CDs on the stereo cabinet, and realizes that they were gifts to Jun from O'Brien (feeble as love gifts, but a teaching assistant can hardly afford expensive jewelry). Holmes has deduced that Jun and O'Brien were having an affair, which very much strengthens his motive for murdering Annunzio, as well as the likelihood that she was in on it. It also explains O'Brien's confession - if he believes that Jun had Annunzio killed, he is trying to shield her, even though, if she planted the phone in his apartment, that would make him "the ultimate sap".

Jun admits to the affair, but swears that neither she nor O'Brien had anything to do with Annunzio's death. She says that Trent Annunzio was not the man people thought he was, but was actually a sadist and a pervert. Among Trent's papers, she shows them an old manual for Chinese secret police, instructing them how to beat prisoners without leaving any marks. Annunzio beat her using those techniques, and also forced her to perform sex acts in front of a camera. Jun also reveals that she and Trent were not actually married; he promised to marry her after bringing her to the United States from China, but later reneged, knowing that if she ever went to the police, she would have to reveal her status and be deported back to China. O'Brien came by the house one day to leave some papers for Trent, and found her crying. Eventually, they fell in love, and O'Brien promised to marry her and take her away from Annunzio when the time was right.

Holmes and Bell say that everything she has said, even if true, only strengthens her and O'Brien's motive for murdering Annunzio, and she repeats her claims of innocence. When Holmes asks for proof, she opens Annunzio's computer to show them the sex videos he made, but is shocked to find them gone. Bell asks her to come with him to the station for further questioning, but Holmes looks troubled.

At Rikers, Watson shows Liam the crime scene photos of his car and asks him to look for anything out of the ordinary. While he is doing so, he apologizes for his earlier rough words to her, and she accepts. She says that she knows he feels sorry for the things he's done, but that begs the question: why does he keep doing them? Liam chews on the question for a moment, then looks at the crime scene photos and notices that the charm Watson gave him is gone.

That evening, Watson returns home to find Holmes sitting over the dissassesmbled remains of Annunzio's computer. She asks why, and he says that, although the clues point to O'Brien's guilt, he is not satisfied - particularly when the "solution" to this particular case may result in an innocent man going to prison and an equally innocent woman being deported and separated from her infant child permanently. To her surprise, Holmes asks for another cup of the special medicinal tea she made the other day.

Over cups of tea, Watson reveals that she solved her own case: she visited pawnshops in Liam's neighborhood until she tracked down the key-ring charm, and the owner identified the kid who brought it in. The police have already arrested the young man for the joyrides in the neighborhood. Holmes is impressed, and suggests, half-joking, that she should take the lead in the Annunzio case. In a moment of vulnerability, Watson admits that Liam is not a former client of hers, just a former lover. She met him when one of his drug escapades landed him in the emergency room while she was on duty, and she staged an intervention to try and get him to clean up. Their affair was a fairly predictable medley of hurt feelings, disappointment, and heartache, but on the bright side, she did learn a lot about addiction cycles, which made her career as a sober companion an obvious choice when she was suspended from medicine.

Just then, Holmes' phone beeps, as the coroner emails him the autopsy report on Annunzio. Holmes notes the presence of two medicinal Chinese herbs in Annunzio's stomach contents (sheepishly admitting that, after Watson's tea proved so effective, he revised his opinion of Chinese medicine and did some research). The herbal mixture in Annunzio's stomach is specifically used to treat eye pain. Holmes says this can't be a coincidence: Annunzio was deliberately shot in both eyes. Watson also remembers seeing a photo of Annunzio and his students in which everyone but Annunzio had "red-eye" from the camera flash, indicating that something was blocking the reflective part of his retina. Holmes says they need to get to the coroner's office, as he now knows who arranged Annunzio's murder.

A short while later, Holmes shows Gregson and Bell microscopic photos of cancer cells found in the remnants of Trent Annunzio's eye sockets. He had developed uveal melanoma, a terminal cancer in his eyes that was both untreatable and excruciatingly painful. Holmes has realized that Annunzio planned his own death, both to get revenge on his wife and her lover, and also save himself from an agonizing end.

Annunzio discovered Jun's affair with O'Brien at roughly the same time he began experiencing eye pain and was diagnosed with his cancer. Left only with "his intellect and his anger," Annunzio tracked down Raul Ramirez and hired him, anonymously, to be Annunzio's own executioner. By planting the phone he used to contact Ramirez in O'Brien's apartment, and writing the phony recommendation, Annunzio gave O'Brien both the method and the motive for murdering him, and likewise ensured that Jun would either be implicated in his murder, or, at the very least, deported back to China in poverty. To cover his own tracks, Annunzio also deleted the sex videos he had made of Jun from his computer, and instructed Ramirez to shoot him in the eyes, to destroy the evidence of his terminal condition.

The only flaw in his plan was the unpredictable nature of Ramirez, who shot him two days ahead of schedule, when the timing of the kill was supposed to make O'Brien look guilty.

Gregson says that, although Holmes' theory makes sense, there is not enough evidence to release O'Brien, since they already have the phone and a signed confession. Gregson also admits that Jun was released from custody, and the immigration authorities have already begun proceedings to deport her. Ruefully, Gregson says that, if this is all a frame-up by Annunzio, "then it's a damn good one."

Part Five[]

In the morning, Watson enters the bathroom to find Holmes has re-created his "evidence board" in there. He explains that he is trying to place the old data in a new setting, to figure out how to prove his theory. When she asks him if he got any sleep the night before, he says, "Hard to sleep knowing that a psychopath may have managed to ruin two lives from beyond the grave."

Among the photos and notes, Watson notices a map showing O'Brien and Raul Ramriez's addresses circled, and notes their proximity. As often happens, Watson mulls over a detail that seems to have eluded Holmes: how did Annunzio find Ramirez? A man can't just look up killers-for-hire in the phone book, especially if he was aiming to make O'Brien look guilty by hiring someone who lived close to him. Holmes realizes, "you'd use a menu," and opens the webpage for New York's sex offender registry. Killers are not listed by location, but rapists are, and it's not a great leap to imagine that a rapist would agree to murder for hire, if the price was right. A search of the registry using O'Brien's address brings up Raul Ramirez, but it brings up another man first: Dennis Kaminski, who lives in O'Brien's building. Watson is confused: "why didn't [Annunzio] go to this guy first?" Holmes rejoins, "who says he didn't?"

At Rikers Island, Watson shows Liam a news article, reporting the arrest of the joyrider and his own exoneration for the hit-and-run. She tells him he will be released shortly. Liam is profoundly grateful, but Watson tells him that, as much as she cares for him, he can't keep relying on her to bail him out of his own mistakes. She says she has made an appointment for him at a rehab clinic in Manhattan, but she won't be there waiting for him: if he really wants to get better, he will have to take the responsibility.

In Gregson's office, Jun is surprised to learn that Annunzio planned his own death. Holmes reveals that the police have already interviewed Dennis Kaminski, who admitted that someone anonymously approached him in the same manner as Raul Ramirez. Mr. Kaminski, however, was more suspicious, and told the mystery man that he wouldn't even consider the job without an additional $1,000.00 upfront. Kaminski (whose prior rape offenses included placing hidden cameras in ladies' bathrooms) then planted a camera outside his apartment door; the next day's footage from the camera clearly shows Annunzio slipping an envelope under his door. That is enough evidence to prove Holmes's theory.

O'Brien is shown into the office, having just been cleared of suspicion in Annunzio's murder. Gregson informs him and Jun that, if they get married immediately, she should be able to stay in the United States. They agree enthusiastically. Holmes, embarrassed by their open show of affection, exits the office with a light "good show, Mr. O'Brien" to Brendan - faint praise, but effusive for Sherlock Holmes.

That evening, Watson is, contrary to her own promise, waiting at the clinic for Liam to show up. She is surprised when Holmes shows up and offers to wait with her. So far, Liam is nowhere to be seen, and she says she will give him ten more minutes. As they keep a vigil on a bench inside the clinic, she says that Holmes can go if he has somewhere else to be. "Not tonight, Watson" he replies.



Guest stars[]

  • Adam RothenbergLiam Danow
  • Kristy WuJun
  • Cameron ScogginsBrendan O'Brien
  • Richard Topol – Trent Annunzio
  • Randall Duk Kim – Old Man
  • Lord Jamar – Raul Ramirez
  • Kevin Henderson – N.D. Detective
  • Andy Royce – Young Boy

Relation to canon[]

The storyline echoes the canon short story "The Problem of Thor Bridge."

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