In the final episode of season 1 (EP24 "Heroine") of the tv series Elementary, Holmes finds a coded message on a murdered thug that read;


Following the message they find a Greek smuggler with the nickname "The Narwhal" who was about to smuggle 2 lemurs into the country on a ship called "Macedonian Sun". This eventually lead Holmes to discover that the Narwhal's daughter had been kidnapped by Moriarty in order to blackmail him into murdering a Macedonian diplomat.

What was the point of that? Why would Moriarty send coded messages about the smuggling when they only care about the Narwhal as an assassin? The certainly did not kidnap his daughter for the lemurs.

And why would the Narwhal get lemurs for his kidnapped daughter? A welcome gift for her eventual release?

It can hardly be a way to secretly notify the police about his daughter.

  • If he is afraid of Moriarty finding out about him contacting the police, about the most suspicious way is being arrested for getting a gift for your kidnapped daughter.
  • The police would not have found the smuggling without the coded message.
  • He doesn't use his chance to slip someone a note or whisper a plea for help.
  • Moriarty seems entirely unconcerned about his arrest when they later meet and does not mention it.

If the Narwhal had ordered the lemurs before his daughter was kidnapped, that still does not explain Moriartys involvement.

  • I assumed that the coded message was meant for the thug, so he knew where to find the Narwhal, and the lemurs were in transit before his daughter was kidnapped.
    – ghoppe
    May 27, 2013 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I believe the Narwhal's explanation for the lemurs: his daughter saves endangered animals and runs a shelter for them. While eccentric, it didn't seem outside the bounds of reality for a TV show.

I forget exactly how it came out, but Moriarty arranged for the clue to keep the game with Holmes going.

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