Elsbeth – Episode 6 “An Ear for an Ear” Recap & Review

An Ear for an Ear

Episode 6 of Elsbeth starts at an appreciation party where plastic surgeon Dr. Vanessa Holmes introduces her mentee, Dr. Astrid Olsen, as a partner in her practice. However, Astrid turns down the offer and says she is starting her practice. Astrid goes ahead to become famous, and Vanessa is seen watching her online videos where she craps on the older surgeons. Vanessa comes up with a plan to murder Astrid and makes a fake patient profile, sending an email to Astrid saying Dr. Yabloski asks her to check on a patient. She uses the museum riots as a cover for her alibi and makes conversation with the security guard to ensure that he remembers her. 

Captain Wagner, Kaya, and Elsbeth are the first to arrive at the murder scene. Wagner is not the official investigator, and Kaya introduces Elsbeth to Detective Edwards. As usual, the detective and Elsbeth start on the wrong foot as the detective tells her off like all the rest, saying that she is infamous/famous and should not interfere in her investigation. Elsbeth is not one to settle down and wait, so she snoops and runs into Vanessa in one of the patient’s rooms. Elsbeth talks to her, and the fact that Vanessa is very calm after Astrid’s death causes alarm. She mentions it to Detective Edwards and insists that Vanessa is not a suspect because the keycard swipes confirm it. 

Back at the precinct, Elsbeth and Kaya are looking into Vanessa’s movement before the murder when Detective Edwards walks in to tell them that she has an alibi and the only person of interest is Dr. Yabloski, who sent Astrid to the appointment. The forensic report shows that Astrid was killed by a jab of some Botox knockoff drug injected into the spleen. Elsbeth and Kaya think that the murderer ought to have medical experience since the spleen is hard to find. They try to recreate the incident in the conference room, and they realise that a layperson could not have seen the spleen, so Elsbeth’s suspicion of Vanessa intensifies. 

Elsbeth books a consultation at Vanessa’s clinic to snoop around and notices that Vanesa seems close to Astrid from a photo. She hears music and follows it up to meet Vanessa’s wife, Carolyn, dancing upstairs, trying to let off some stress because of Astrid’s murder. Vanessa shows up and takes her to the consultation room, where Elsbeth continues to question her about the murder, and Vanessa points out that the list of people who want her dead is long. 

Meanwhile, Wagner is curious about what Kaya has discovered about Elsbeth’s investigation, but Elsbeth suddenly shows up. Detective Edwards brings in Dr. Yabloski to check on his patient, but he seems clueless about what they are questioning him about. As Kaya and Elsbeth watch the interrogation, they realise that Dr. Yabloski could not have gone through the complicated process of scheduling an email to send while he is on a flight. Elsbeth notices that it is easy for other people to use his phone since it is set only to call, text, and email. Dr. Yabloski tells them he was separated from his phone at Vanessa’s dinner party since he loathes phones at the table. 

Elsbeth meets with Celentano and Wali at Central Park. Wali tells him that the Captain is receiving kickbacks in exchange for hindering investigations into disturbing business practices of some fast fashion companies. They think the kickbacks are channelled through Wagner’s foundation, and they want her to update them on whether any of Wagner’s behaviour seems suspect. Kaya follows Elsbeth to the park and sees her talking to Celentano and Wali.

Afterwards, Kaya and Elsbeth question the security guard at the museum, who saw Vanessa enter the museum. He confirms seeing her enter and even gives him a bribe, which is against the rules. But he tried searching for her to return it but could not find her. Elsbeth notices the paint on the guard’s shoes and takes them to Captain Wagner, who asks for a forensic investigation to confirm if the paint matches the one on Vanessa’s shoes. Elsbeth uses the example of the guard worrying about the bribe to try to get Wagner to disclose any information, but he uses the fact that he helped her son get a job against her. 

Detective Edwards is still sticking to using Astrid’s digital footprints to find the murderer, so she looks into the comments under her posts, and they see a worrying one from a user named Viva la Martin. Elsbeth suddenly remembers that Vanessa and Carolyn went to a Viva la Vida concert for their first date and that Vanessa thought Chris Martin was an underrated genius. She pays Vanessa another visit to ask for her shoes, and Carolyn shows up as she goes to pick them up. She gets chatty with Elsbeth and tells her about all the work that she has done on her, including plastic surgeries and injuries from dancing. Vanessa gives Elsbeth the shoes, but it is a dead end since they show identical paint.

Kaya and Elsbeth later go through the fake patient profile and think that the killer made much effort to fabricate the patient’s history. The report includes many medical jargon they do not understand, but after an online search into the jargon, Elsbeth realises that the patient’s history is similar to what Carolyn had casually told her regarding her dance injuries and surgeries. However, they must confirm it and bring Dr. Yabloski to consult. He can tell from the photos that the left ear is Vanessa’s work, but Astrid does the right ear. This means that Carolyn went to Astrid to fix Vanessa’s work. Therefore, Elsbeth and Kaya visit Caroline to confirm if she had Astrid fix her surgery, which confirms their motive. 

Elsbeth, Kaya, Captain Wagner, and Detective Wagner arrive at Vanessa’s home for the arrest. It turns out that Caroline had told them that Vanessa suddenly started taking out the garbage, which she never does, and Elsbeth took it when they questioned Caroline. The found paint is sprinkled on a newspaper dated the day of Astrid’s murder, which indicates that Vanessa bought her paint from hardware and sprinkled it on her shoes at home, meaning her boots were not ruined at the museum. Also, her house is close to the museum and the hospital, so she could have appeared at the museum, returned to the hospital disguised as the patient, bought paint, and sprinkled it on her shoes before returning.

Vanessa thought the prints on the newspaper could be anybody’s, but she stepped on paint and made a print that matched the custom logo under her shoes. Captain Wagner orders Detective Edwards to arrest her. While being led away, she scolds Carolyn for allowing Astrid to operate on her ears after all she did to hurt Vanessa, confirming her motive. 

Later, Kaya opens up to Elsbeth about following her to the par where she met with Celentano and Wali. Elsbeth decides to tell her the truth regarding the investigation into Captain Wagner, which makes Kaya question who she has been working for and wonders which side she should choose. Elsbeth tells her to choose the side of the truth, but she does not know which side that might be, so they promise to figure it out together.

At the end of the episode, Lieutenant Dave is seen taking money from some guy who asks to speak to Captain Wagner, but Lieutenant Dave tells him that he is the closest he will ever get to associating with Wagner. 

The Episode Review

The storylines in each episode have become entirely predictable, and we can quickly tell what will happen from the beginning to the end. However, this episode delves into why Elsbeth was sent to the NYPD. We learn that the Department of Justice is investigating claims that Captain Wagner receives bribes through the foundation to hinder an investigation into business malpractices where a famous fashion brand uses sweatshops.

At the end of the episode, Captain Wagner’s close colleague, Lieutenant Dave, receives money from someone who wants to talk to the Captain. Therefore, it seems the DOJ’s suspicion is confirmed. However, is Captain Wagner aware of the bribes? Why did he give Elsbeth’s son a job so that he could use it against her? 

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