Season: Three — Episode: 20 Director: Ron Fortunato — Writer: Peter Ocko — Aired: April 16, 2015 — Viewers (millions): 7.56 Summary: Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of a professional skeptic, a man who debunked paranormal, religious and scientific phenomenon for a living. The case becomes urgent when his homicide reveals a potential threat to homeland security. Captain Gregson's daughter and fellow NYPD officer, Hannah, asks Watson for help with one of her cases.
So someone went to all the trouble of digging a tunnel, exposing a transatlantic Internet cable and murdering a guy all so they could attach a devise that does...absolutely nothing.
— Bell and Holmes
At The Brownstone, Holmes is using the library to spray his bee hives and calls Watson, who is at the 11th Precinct that he'll been done in a few hours. Watson leaves for a coffee shop with Hannah Gregson, who shows her a file on drugstore robberies that she'd like Watson's help with. Hannah is particularly interested as the thefts are happening in her neighborhood and the assigned detective is swamped. Late at night, a man, Carlos, is cut off by a car which he later sees stopped on train tracks. Pushing the car off the tracks and narrowly avoiding a train, Carlos doesn't see the man in the car is dead. At the Morgue, Holmes views the man's body who he identifies as Garrison Boyd, and describes as a professional "debunker" of falsehoods. Dr. Hawes indicates Boyd was killed by a crowbar blow to the head and a red, conical object was found beneath his right eye socket which Holmes recognizes as the tip of a garden gnome's hat.
Is there a detective on this case?
Viewing Boyd's blog reveals he exchanged threatening emails with the head of a cult, Finn. At the cult's HQ, Finn denies killing Boyd to Detective Bell while Holmes speaks to a cult member, Elizabeth. Holmes discovers that the cult members had an alibi as they had a mandatory session when Boyd was killed. Elizabeth also tells Holmes that Finn had several members stalking Boyd and having been convinced to leave the cult, she emails Holmes the materials the members have on Boyd. At the precinct, Captain Gregson expresses some concern with Watson helping Hannah. Holmes isn't impressed that Watson is helping Hannah and his analysis of the cult's materials reveals pictures of Boyd arguing with a man, Collin Eisley. At Eisley's expensive home, Holmes and Watson show him the picture but Eisley says he didn't know Boyd. He explains that as a real estate developer, he made an offer on a beach home which was rejected.
Do you wanna tell us how you knew him?
Boyd approached him months later and accused him of trying to scare the home owner into selling as she was hearing voices and banging. Holmes notes that Eisley has an expensive art collection while Eisley provides alibi details. At the beach house, Claire Renziger believes the noises are made by her dead husband Harry's ghost. Her daughter told Boyd about the noises which resulted in his confrontation with Eisley. Besides the ghostly noises, Claire says the house shook. Taking them into the basement, she plays a tape recording of the ghost which she believes is saying the name of a man she had an affair with. Asking where the noise was the loudest, Holmes recognizes that it's coming from the basement of her neighbor's house, the Ayers, and he obtains a key from Claire as the neighbors are in Florida. In the Ayers' basement, Holmes tells Watson that the noise was an Arabic obscenity. He discovers a freshly dug tunnel which ends at Claire's foundation and believes it was dug by terrorists.
You said Harry spoke to you, what did he say?
Later, with Bell and Captain Gregson on site, Holmes explains that the goal of the tunnel is an Internet cable called "Ruby." Trans-Atlantic and the fastest cable in the world, Holmes believes cutting it may be part of a co-ordinated attack on the Internet. Showing them a garden gnome, with the tip of its hat missing, he postulates that Boyd was killed in the basement when he came upon the tunnel diggers. His body was then placed in the car on the train tracks with the intent that a train crash would obscure how and where Boyd was killed. In the trash at the Ayers, Watson finds an empty bottle of carbonated yogurt, "Doogh" which is only sold in six stores in Manhattan. At the Brownstone, Watson shows Hannah that a vending machine company employee was scoping out the drugstores and that surveillance photos of the company's warehouse revealed men that match the description of those that robbed the drugstores.
The location of such cables is mapped.
The warehouse is being used to store the stolen drugs and Watson recommends that Hannah report this to the case detective, Hanford, as police could then take down the drug distribution ring as well as the thieves. Having obtained surveillance footage from the stores that sell "Doogh", while reviewing it, Holmes tells Watson that he doesn't think that Hannah has the skills to be a good detective. Watson disagrees and miffed at Holmes, goes to bed. The next morning, Watson finds a laptop and a phone by her bed. Calling Holmes on the phone, she watches a video on the laptop which shows an Arabic man in coveralls buying "Doogh" with cash at a store and greeting a customer. Having tracked the customer, Yolanda Massee, Holmes tells Watson he's on his way to question her. At Massee's apartment, she recognizes the Arabic man, Nadim, who she says is her neighbor.
It's a calling, Watson.
Listening at Nadim's door, Holmes tells Massee to exit the building as he hears Nadim dousing his apartment with accelerant. Breaking into Nadim's apartment with an extinguisher, Holmes sees many engineering schematics and a device on a table. Nadim holds up a lighter and Holmes is unsuccessful in stopping Nadim from lighting the room on fire. Grabbing a long tube, Nadim leaves via the fire escape while Holmes puts out the fire. At the precinct, Holmes shows a TARU tech and Gregson the burned remains of a device that he believes was meant to be spliced into "Ruby" to grab data. The tech explains that "Ruby" first feeds big investment firms at 60 Hudson St., and that cable security made the location of the tunnel the best place to secretly splice a device into it. He hopes to find out what data was planned to be captured and its intended recipient.
You're not a terrorist at all, are you?
Bell tells Watson that Nadim Al-Haj is from Iraq and was an electrical engineer. Seeing a congratulatory note beside a picture of Hannah on a bulletin board, Bell explains that Hannah arrested the drugstore thieves and a cache of stolen drugs was found in the warehouse. Realizing Hannah didn't follow her advice to report the warehouse to the case detective so the drug distribution ring could be taken down, she excuses herself. Bell gives a file on Nadim to Gregson and Holmes who spots that the apartment Nadim lived in is owned by Collin Eisley and realizes there may be a connection between them. At Eisley's home, Bell and Holmes accuse him of employing Nadim to steal financial data with the device. Discovering that he changed his name after being imprisoned for insider trading, they believe the data steal would allow him to profit from the stock market. However, Eisley explains that his stocks are in a blind trust and all his bank accounts are audited so he could not profit from the data.
You're fishing, I'm not biting.
Watson confronts Hannah outside her precinct over her decision. Hannah indicates that if she'd given Watson's information to Hanford, she wouldn't have received any credit which she needs to help her become a sergeant. At the precinct, Holmes tells Watson that he stills thinks Eisley is behind Nadim's work especially as he found Nadim was Eisley's driver during the Iraqi war and Eisley sponsored his immigration into the U.S. The TARU tech reports that the device doesn't store nor send data and it appears to just let data pass through. Puzzled with the tech's finding, at the Brownstone, Holmes has Mason test the device while Watson reports that Nadim still hasn't been found. However, Mason comes to the same conclusion as the TARU tech. Seeing Watson let a phone call go to voice mail, Holmes asks if it was from Hannah. Watson confirms that Hannah left an apologetic voicemail and he advises her not to tell Captain Gregson about Hannah's duplicity and selfishness.
I thought you were grounded.
Holmes comments that Mason's tests only showed that the data took four milliseconds to go through the device which makes him realize that tiny delay was the device's purpose. He explains to Watson that since stock trades are made by computers, milliseconds are meaningful. Those investment firms that have their servers housed at 60 Hudson St. have an advantage over those that are not as they receive data milliseconds earlier. Bell, Holmes and Watson confront Eisley at his home, where he's informed that his blind trust is managed by a firm that isn't at 60 Hudson St. He's accused of being behind the device in order to give his trust an advantage. Eisley is confident that they can't link him to the device until they mention that Nadim didn't count on murdering Boyd and that Eisley must have paid him to stay quiet.
You give me a lot of credit.
Since Eisley's accounts are closely monitored, Holmes deduced he paid Nadim in art, especially since he saw Nadim fleeing with a long tube. Holmes points to where a Picasso was and Eisley is told that the painting has been reported stolen. With a painting he can't sell, they believe that when Nadim is found, he'll give Eisley up. Eisley is encouraged to confess and make a deal. At the precinct, Captain Gregson congratulates Watson on putting Eisley away and apologizes for Hannah. While acknowledging Hannah's ambitions, he indicates she has to do better and asks Watson to not help her anymore.
"Now, Ruby is one of several undersea cables which connects Europe to the United States. The full spectrum of commerce and communication flows through her optic fibers, as well as the requisite glut of pornography and cat videos."