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'Elementary' Season 2, Episode 20 Recap: 'No Lack Of Void'

Michael Huard |
April 11, 2014 | 12:13 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Unlike most “Elementary” episodes, “No Lack of Void” begins with a recap of previous events. This recap serves mainly to reintroduce Allistair (Roger Rees), Sherlock’s longtime friend. It comes out of nowhere only to be followed by Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) practicing Northern Irish accents from a recording provided by Allistair—why he is practicing accents is never explained. Allistair’s presence seems random until after the introduction of the murder and a small break. 

Upon visiting the precinct, Watson (Lucy Liu) is asked to tend to a sick man in the holding cell. In an uncharacteristically poor acting job, Liu exclaims the man died from anthrax. When Sherlock arrives it is determined the man swallowed a baggy he presumed to contain cocaine, only to have the bag of anthrax rip and kill him. 

Back at the brownstone, Sherlock is “in a mood” because his breakfast date with Allistair revealed that the man had passed away a week ago from a heart attack. Naturally, Sherlock dismisses the event and moves on with the investigation, but something is clearly wrong with our hero. 

After following a few clues to the anthrax lab, the crew finds another dead man and determines a suspect, Eugene MacIntosh. At this point it is made clear that Sherlock and Watson know an excessive amount about anthrax, but we are given an insight into Sherlock’s deduction process as he determines the lab’s location from a man’s height, gait and average steps per minute. 

READ MORE: 'Elementary' Season 2, Episode 19 Recap: 'The Many Mouths Of Aaron Colville'

While Watson and Detective Bell (Jon Michael Hill) search for MacIntosh at his brother’s farm (Garret Dillahunt from “Raising Hope”), Sherlock takes a break from the investigation to visit Allistair’s partner and get some answers. There, Holmes begins questioning the validity of the heart attack story and mentions a tenuous relationship between Allistair and his son. No answers as of yet, just an increasingly frustrated, hurt Holmes. 

The visit to the farm reveals a possible hideout location for MacIntosh, which happens to be fairly close to Sherlock in Queens. He decides to watch the house until backup arrives. As he does so, a few men leave the house to load a truck. Since Sherlock is in a brazen state of mind, he invades the truck and finds letters to members of Congress and jars of white powder. The two suspects catch him in the act. Cut to Watson receiving a call from Sherlock and back to him, now with two unconscious suspects and white powder all over his face. 

Fear not, though. The powder was simply a decoy mixture of talcum powder and baby powder. One of Sherlock’s victims initially blasts the government and its mindless drones (humans, not the aerial kind) before giving the crew a way to meet with MacIntosh. Before the meet can occur, MacIntosh’s brother shoots him. The reasoning: Eugene had snuck onto the farm with the intent of poisoning the cows with anthrax, thus infecting the milk and anyone who drinks it. How Sherlock didn’t realize the absurdity of this statement right away is the most incredible aspect of this scene!

As is seemingly custom on “Elementary,” the whole case revolved around insurance fraud. Each of the MacIntosh cows was insured for full market value, meaning if they were to all suddenly fall ill and die, the MacIntosh boys would be in for a huge payday. The brother saw his out and shot Eugene. 

READ MORE: 'Elementary' Season 2, Episode 17 Recap: 'Ears To You'

In the midst of this closing flurry, Sherlock and Watson have a heart-to-heart about Allistair’s death and what it means to Holmes. Allistair’s son revealed to Watson that his father was found with a needle in his arm after overdosing on heroin—a la Philip Seymour Hoffman. This news hits Sherlock especially hard. He discusses the fear of knowing Allistair had been sober for thirty years and still relapsed, while he is only set for his two-year anniversary in a month’s time. 

Most revealing, however, is Sherlock’s admission of how significant a loss this is for him. He has a mere handful of friends, so losing one means losing an immense part of his support system. One can only think how he’d react if Watson were to disappear and if the show’s writers will set that possibility in motion as the season winds down. 

Reach Staff Reporter Michael Huard here.



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