Thank You from the Balloon Man
I don’t think I will ever look at “thank-you” balloons the same again. Thanks for that “Elementary.” The killer Sherlock investigated this week would leave the balloons with the parents of the kids he took.
I kind of like that Sherlock got tripped up this week. I did figure out the twist but not in time for the timeline. The episode starts with Sherlock up all night reading over a case he knows he’ll get called in on, the Balloon Man. Of course he’s right and he and Watson head off to the latest crime scene. While searching, Watson keeps listing her observations and thoughts which clearly gets under Sherlock’s skin. He even asks her to wait outside. But it turns out, her ramble helps with a break in the case.
The former girlfriend of the father of the latest victim was outside the house around the time of the kidnapping. She remembered seeing a van speed off. Sherlock spots a car with several parking tickets that’s been sideswiped. They are able to track down the van, and inside they find the Balloon Man’s first victim.
He’s spent years with the killer so the boy doesn’t really want to talk. What struck me as odd was that his parents were more worried about how their son looks in connection with the girl’s kidnapping than his well-being. Very, very odd if you ask me. Sherlock convinces the police to let him talk to the boy, since he’s not a cop. Sherlock talks about how he’d sell his dad for a Tic -Tac, Don’t worry, if you’re reading this Dad, it would take at least a five pack for me.
The police figure out who the Balloon Man is by tracking him through employment history. When they show up at his house there are “Congrats” and “You Did It” balloons waiting for them. I guess those are out too. Sherlock finally convinces the original victim to give up the location of the Balloon Man in exchange for immunity on any of the crimes he committed with the man. If you hadn’t figured out the ending, there’s your big clue.
When they get to the apartment they realize the Balloon Man slept on a nasty mattress on the floor. And Sherlock remembers the original victim saying something about punching out his window. But, the broken window is in the nicer master bedroom. I can see the light bulbs dinging. It turns out, after verbal, psychological, and eventually physical abuse the original victim became the dominant person in the relationship. The man who took him was just a follower. The Balloon Man was the boy and Sherlock confronts him.
Turns out because of the deal there’s nothing that can be done. While pouring over the evidence and the plea deal, he notices one little crack. When they arrested the man they thought was the Balloon Man he was wearing a back brace from hurting his back. So he was in rehab for a while. Sherlock finds the boy in the park and gets him to admit to taking a specific child. Turns out, that happened while the other man was in rehab for his back, so he didn’t participate. And since the deal clearly referred to crimes committed with the other man they could at least arrest him for that kidnapping and murder.
It’s a small bit of justice at the end of the day.