“Tag, You’re Me” begins with one of the more fascinating opening segments I’ve seen on Elementary. A killer is stalking a man as he walks to his apartment; he’s looking at a picture of the man on his phone before confirming his kill, follows the man into his apartment, tells him to get on his knees, and then says, “I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” before killing the man.
Usually that’s where the procedural kicks in, but Elementary has a curveball ready to throw: another man, who looks exactly the same, walks into the apartment and, when he sees the assailant, pleads for his life. The shooter, completely confused, shoots and kills the other man, as well.
The next morning Holmes and Watson are brought back as consultants to the NYPD, and what a case to snag as a comeback. Based on the killings, it’s clear the shooter is a pro, and there are two sets of IDs for the victims: one for Timothy Wagner and one for Otto Neuhaus. The police can’t tell who’s who, but thankfully Sherlock has an in-depth knowledge of the smell of German brands of cigarettes and manages to match the identities to each body, because of course he does.
Back at the morgue, Watson and Holmes meet with Tim Wagner’s father to get him to confirm the identity of the body. Mr. Wagner can’t tell them apart at all but informs them that Tim has a birthmark on his right side. The only other thing they want to know from Mr. Wagner is whether there’s a possibility that Wagner and Neuhaus are related. He says he can’t know for sure because Tim was adopted.
After confirming that the victims are, in fact, not related, Holmes and Watson find that there’s a single contact in common in both of the victims’ cell phones. The man’s name is Dorian Moll, and when they visit his apartment, from which he’s currently missing, they find a number of lookalike photos posted on his walls.
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Just when it looks like they’ll have to search hard for Dorian, Sherlock determines that he’s likely hiding out in his neighbor’s vacant apartment next door. They catch him coming down the fire escape, trying to evade the police, and question why his hair is a plethora of colors and his face covered in all sorts of strange paint.
He tells them that a company called Countenance Technology is hunting him after he exposed a flaw in their facial-recognition software. You see, Dorian stole and modified their software to start a website called Doppelhunt.com, where users could search for their exact yet unrelated twin.
Thus, Tim and Otto had been clients of Dorian’s, but he hardly has the profile of a stone-cold killer. Still, Sherlock isn’t sold on his crazy theory about Countenance, even when Dorian tells him that he was mugged only a few weeks ago, a mugging that he interprets as an assassination attempt. When Sherlock looks into the company, though, he finds that an employee there named Curtis Tofano once used Doppelhunt under a fake name, lending credibility to Dorian’s story.
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