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"You're an interesting project, and I enjoy watching your progress. The thing that's different about me, empirically speaking, is you."
— Holmes to Watson
Entering his house, councilman Van Der Hoff clutches his heart and falls. Sitting on his sofa, Daniel Gottlieb is sending high voltage through Hoff's pacemaker with his laptop. He calmly asks Hoff to vote "no" to a proposition. When Hoff does so with his tablet, Gottlieb presses a button on his laptop and kills him. At Newgate prison, Sebastian Moran walks into the common room and has an inmate change the TV channel to a soccer match. He sees a news story of Van Der Hoff's death, demands the inmate turn back to the story and watches intently. At the Brownstone, Holmes dislocates his shoulder while practising escaping from a straight jacket. Watson pops his shoulder back in while Holmes takes a call from Captain Gregson that Moran wants to confess to more killings but will only speak to Holmes. At Newgate, Moran tells Holmes that Moriarty has twice tried to have him killed in prison. He claims that Van Der Hoff was on his hit list and that if Holmes finds Hoff's killer, he may discover Moriarty. Leaving, Moran breaks his guard's neck and is dragged away, singing.

S01E21-Moran w inmates
Quiet! Go back to the news.
Holmes lies to Gregson that Moran provided no useful information. He explains to Watson that he wants to find out if Hoff was murdered before sharing with Gregson and promises that he isn't planning revenge on Moran. To Watson's discomfort, verifying Moran's story requires breaking into a funeral home. Examining Hoff's body, Watson notices bruising consistent with extreme hand clenching. When she refuses to cut Hoff's chest, Holmes tries but does such a poor job that Watson demands the scalpel. Cutting Hoff open, she discovers that the blood in his chest has boiled. At the Brownstone, Holmes deduces that Hoff's pacemaker was used to kill him, confirms they can be hacked and turns his attention to finding Hoff's murderer.

S01E21-Watson Holmes autopsy
We are not having a moment.
The next morning, Holmes regales Watson with a summary of prohibition as he's discovered that Van Der Hoff was a member of a landmark protection council. (♫ Bix Beiderbecke - Singin' the Blues ♫) The owners of a preserved 1920's speakeasy have been applying for years to revoke the protection of the building to enable development. Each year, the vote gets closer to removing protection, with the "yea" voters receiving expensive home renovations. Holmes sees that Hoff voted to remove protection just before he died which changed the building's status. He plans to speak to the bribing renovator, Robert Baumann. Leaning out an apartment window, Gottlieb sees Baumann walking on the sidewalk below. He starts a stopwatch and pushes an A/C unit out the window which crushes Baumann's skull. Arriving on the scene, Holmes doesn't agree with Watson that Baumann's death was bad luck. At the Brownstone, Holmes drops an A/C off the roof to prove Baumann was murdered. He believes Moran was right, that Moriarty is behind the killings and is using a clever murderer.

S01E21-AC death
What are the odds, huh?
Holmes identifies the next target, Hillary Taggart, a lawyer who has been fighting to preserve various landmark status. He plans to learn Taggart's routine and see if she is being stalked. At a park, they watch Taggart jog and Holmes sees she wears an allergy alert bracelet. He also notices Africanized honey bees, finds their nest and notes a container of sugar water. That evening, he and Watson stake out the park, waiting for the nest feeder. While eating, Watson asks what Holmes intends to do with the killer if they catch him. Worried that he might resort to the tactics he used against Moran, Holmes assures her he won't because he is different due to her. The moment is interrupted as Holmes sees Gottlieb refilling the sugar water. Confronting him, Holmes takes Gottlieb's notebook and seeing calculations for dropping an A/C, he tases Gottlieb unconscious.

S01E21-Holmes Watson stake-out
That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.
Gottlieb wakes in the Brownstone, straight-jacketed. Holmes tells him they know about his involvement in Hoff and Baumann's murder and that he is working for Moriarty. Holmes sends a message using Gottlieb's phone asking for a personal meeting with his employer. If Gottlieb tells them everything he knows about Moriarty before they receive a reply, they'll recommend special treatment to the police. Gottlieb's never met Moriarty and describes how he was recruited. He also mentions that years before, he was given a job to kill Holmes but it was cancelled. A reply is received on Gottlieb's phone for a meeting at a restaurant. Holmes and Watson stake out the restaurant and spot a nervous patron. When the patron leaves, they attempt to follow him but are cut off by a train. Holmes sees the patron talking to a man on the other side of the train, and takes multiple photographs while the train passes.

001 A Landmark Story episode still of The Actuary, Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes
How many people have you killed?
At the Brownstone, Holmes is able to create a composite photo of the man the patron met. He shows it to Gottlieb who confirms the man is the one who recruited him. Staring at the photo, Holmes wakes Watson with the identification of the man in the photo, John Douglas. In reform school in his teens, three boys responsible for killing his best friend mysteriously died. He disappeared after leaving school. In the morning, Watson wakes to find a note from Holmes that he's off to meet Douglas. In a hotel room, Douglas isn't surprised to see Holmes waiting for him. Douglas denies being Moriarty but he knows Holmes is looking for Moriarty because of Irene. Douglas denies killing Irene and as he says she had to die because of Holmes, a sniper fires through the hotel window, killing Douglas.

S01E21-Holmes Douglas shot
I could tell you why she had to die.
Gregson arrives at the crime scene, wants to know what's happening to Holmes and what Moran said to him. Holmes promises that he's not seeking revenge and will give him Gottlieb. In "the box" at the 11th Precinct, Gottlieb freely confesses to all his killings. A coded text arrives on Gottlieb's phone but when Holmes demands he translate it, Gottlieb says it's not a code he knows and that Holmes will have to decode it. At Newgate, Holmes shows Moran the text. Moran asks to see the incoming text log, then the message, but says he doesn't know the code. Accusing him of lying, Moran says he's done and Holmes should leave things be. At the Brownstone, frustrated that he can't crack the code, Watson implores Holmes to get some sleep as the code will still be there in the morning. This sparks a realization, the time of the text is the decryption key. As Moran sings of his favorite football team, Holmes cracks the code which demands Moran kill himself or his sister will die. Moran bashes his head into a mirror multiple times.

S01E21-Moran before suicide
And they're gonna show the world just how they score.
Holmes calls Gregson to warn him that Moran will attempt suicide but Gregson has already heard the news from the warden at Newgate. With severe brain swelling, Moran isn't expected to survive the night. Watson points out that Holmes couldn't have known that Moriarty was using him to bring the message to Moran. Knowing he's been outsmarted several times by Moriarty and that he could have been shot by the sniper when meeting Douglas, Holmes tries to deduce Moriarty's game. Gottlieb's phone rings which Holmes puts on speaker while Watson records the call. The caller, with a British accent, introduces himself as Moriarty and indicates that they are overdue for a chat.

S01E21-Watson Holmes Moriarty call
Yes. Thank you. Well aware.



  • This is the first episode to feature a recap sequence.
  • While in the mortuary, Holmes mentions Thor Bridge.
  • Craig Sweeny had to write an original Arsenal song for Sebastian Moran to sing in the episode. The show weren't allowed to use any of the real ones.[1]
  • "Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it" is a quote from Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.


No. I am dissecting a body in the middle of the night. We are not having a moment.

— Watson to Holmes