The Ballad of Lady Frances
Original Air Date: Mar 19, 2017
Caitlin – Senior Staff Writer
Tonight’s episode has an elegant title, but leaves us with the question of just who Lady Frances is. Apparently, she’s gone missing- and apparently, that’s a big enough deal for someone to be tortured on suspicion of having taken her. Considering the bullets shot into his body, he may well be seriously injured or dead. That body, however, is nowhere to be found. In fact, the entire crime scene, having been the back of a car, is gone while Lady Frances’s life potentially hangs in the balance.
The gunshots were overheard by a high-tech system run by a company whose executives hand over their files and ensure the investigation will take place under the city’s eye. But Joan is interrupted by alarming news- Shinwell was nearly shot the night before. He didn’t tell her because he didn’t want her to worry, thinking it’s just typical gang violence. Somehow, Sherlock is able to track down the victim, Darren, and find his wife based only on a recording of his voice. Then, he’s able to track down Darren’s girlfriend. Neither of these women are named Frances. Lady Frances isn’t a person at all- she’s a guitar.
The good news is no humans are in danger. The bad news is that guitar is worth millions of dollars.
While Joan talks with a guitar expert, Sherlock learns from Shinwell’s detective contact that his shooting may have been personal; related to a 12-year old murder case. That victim’s brother has little to offer in restarting this investigation. Joan tracks down Frances’s most recent owner. The fact he didn’t report the theft is suspect, but he isn’t shaken until Sherlock plays the tape of Darren’s shooting. He paid to have the guitar stolen. Right now, it’s in the hands of a random man who hands it to another stranger. Then that stranger knocks him out and smashes the priceless artifact to bits.
Darren’s killer is tracked down and accepts a deal to name both his accomplice and the location of Darren’s body. But he says Frances’s owner hired him to kill; not just to steal. And then he talks about another dead man- the one who’d had Frances earlier. Sure enough, she was the murder weapon- and so now two men and a $5 million instrument have all been lost. While Joan and Bell continue pursuing suspects, Sherlock talks to Shinwell again, with little progress. Then, a new lead- false gunshots in our fancy technology leading cops on wild goose chases.
Those shots were actually one shot, recorded over and over (a sound Sherlock uses to gently rouse Joan from slumber). The second victim added them after being hired by a mayoral candidate for the city- one who has making complaints against the police for a while now. He was determined to make certain areas of the city seem more crime-riddled than they are. Gregson has understandably been wanting to take this guy down, and this is a heck of a way to do it. Also, Sherlock tracks down Shinwell’s attempted shooter- it was the brother, who believes Shinwell killed his sibling. And he may be right, but we won’t find out just yet.
Next Episode: Dead Man’s Tale