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"Sherlock may be insensitive and, and intrusive, and if anything, too honest, but with him, I know exactly where I stand. He deserves better than you. So do I."
— Watson to Mycroft
In the wake of Watson's kidnapping and Mycroft's betrayal, Sherlock seeks help at the 11th Precinct. However, Watson calls him that she's safe and is at the Brownstone. Finding guards and Watson being attended to by a doctor, a furious Sherlock turns on Mycroft and believes Mycroft is being arrested by British Intelligence only to be told that he works for them. Mycroft explains that French criminal organization Le Milieu approached him, offering money in return for using Diogenes as their US base of operations. Intending to refuse, MI6 convinced him to accept and act as a spy. He soon became as "clearing house" of information on Le Milieu and the organizations they dealt with. Mycroft's attempt to have Sherlock return to London was his handler's idea to prevent Sherlock from interfering in their operation. He obligates Sherlock to meet with his handler while Sherlock asks Mycroft to put down a jar of toxic mold he's been handling.

S02E23-Sherlock furious
Give me one reason I shouldn't thrash you.
Meeting Mycroft's handler Tim Sherrington, he debriefs Sherlock on the rescue of Mycroft and Watson from Le Milieu and that they needn't be worried about repercussions. To Mycroft's surprise, Sherrington asks Sherlock to work on a case of an ex-MI6 analyst, Arthur West, who has been murdered. Once a valued resource, West became erratic due to being bipolar, was released from MI6 and moved to NYC with his wife who he then divorced. Even though retired, he provided MI6 with leads that never panned out. Recently, he insisted he had vital information he'd only provide in person, but was murdered. Over Mycroft's objections, Sherlock agrees to look into West. Returning to the Brownstone, Sherlock discovers that Watson wants to work so he fills her in on West's case. Heading to the Morgue, they meet Dr. Hawes who informs them that West was the victim of a burglary in his home four days before and shot in the chest twice.

S02E23-Sherrington head shot
I did you a favor last night. I saved your partner's life.
Opening the drawer West's body is stored in, they discover that his arms are missing. Suspecting a break-in, Captain Gregson and Bell confirm that surveillance footage is missing. After lying why they are investigating West, Sherlock has Watson visit West's apartment while he and Bell visit West's ex-wife, Marion. Marion told the police that interviewed her that she'd been out of touch with West but noticing shopping bags from her area in West's home, they ask why she lied to the police. Marion confesses that she still cared for West but has a jealous boyfriend who didn't know that she brought West medication and food. Marion is a tattoo artist and asking if West had any tattoos, Marion shrugs no while Sherlock notices a UV light in her tattoo parlor. Calling Watson at West's apartment, he asks her if West has supplies for tattoo aftercare.

S02E23-West in morgue
Was Mr. West intact when he arrived?
Discovering the supplies in West's bathroom, Sherlock says he suspects that Marion tattooed West's arms with information using UV sensitive ink. Watson returns home to find Mycroft waiting. After he apologizes, Watson says she never wants to see him again. She cites that the level of deception he's capable of makes a relationship with him impossible, which Mycroft accepts. Sherlock meets Sherrington and deputy chief of SIS, Sir James Walter and reports what he's discovered. Ruing that they didn't take West seriously, Sherlock indicates he'll continue investigating. Marion arrives at the Brownstone and indicating she couldn't talk in front of Bell, she shows Sherlock and Watson a picture of what was tattooed on West's arms. She explains that when West worked for MI6, he was assigned to watch Sherlock and convinced his bosses that Sherlock's work and intentions were good.

S02E23-Arthur West arms
He said they were important...
Convinced he'd found a mole in MI6 but knowing his disease could cause him to err, he asked Marion to tattoo information on his arms as a backup copy and kept the originals elsewhere. He hadn't identified the mole but told Marion that if something happened to him, she could trust Sherlock with the data. West didn't tell her what the data meant but he did say the mole was selling secrets to a bookstore owner, Julian Afkhami. Marion believes whoever killed West is after her as well and asks them for help. After seeing Marion upstairs, Watson joins Sherlock who has deduced that the data represents dates and times, but to what, he doesn't know. Watson tells Sherlock that she's moving out of the Brownstone which he thinks is a knee-jerk reaction to her kidnapping. Explaining that she's planned it for a while and that she needs a life outside of detective work, he's stunned into silence and then leaves.

S02E23-Marion West
He wasn't lucid the day he came to see me.
The next morning, Sherlock meets Sherrington on a park bench, shows him the picture of the tattoos and tells him about the mole. Sherrington offers him a permanent job at MI6 but Sherlock refuses and says he's done investigating West. At the Brownstone, Watson tells Marion that she's arranged a car and a safe house for her. Watson asks whether Mycroft knew West had been watching Sherlock and Marion mentions that Mycroft left MI6 but had to return for a reason unknown to her. At the precinct, Gregson tells Sherlock that the gun that killed West was found with a very distinctive set of fingerprints on it that haven't been identified yet. Looking at the prints, Sherlock excuses himself suddenly and leaves. Watson goes to Mycroft's apartment and asks him to explain about a man named Sudomo Han.

S02E23-Sherrington and Sherlock on bench
You're special. Special people draw attention.
After Mycroft left MI6, Han employed Sherlock, at the height of drug use, as a courier of trade secrets. However, Sherlock didn't know he was aiding Han in financing a terrorist plot. The plot was thwarted but after Sherlock's involvement was discovered, MI6 pressured Mycroft into returning to work in exchange for Sherlock not going to jail. Sherlock knew nothing of this and realizing how much Mycroft sacrificed for Sherlock, Watson kisses him. At the Brownstone, Sherlock dusts the mold jar Mycroft was handling for his fingerprints and confirms they match those on the gun that killed West. (♫ Zoe Keating - Escape Artist ♫) In bed at Mycroft's, Watson tells him that she's moving out of the Brownstone and that Sherlock didn't take the news well. Sherlock calls Sherrington and says he knows who the mole is. Breaking into Mycroft's, Sherlock catches them in bed and tells Mycroft that he's being framed for murder and treason.

S02E23-Mycroft w gun
What are you doing?




What's your Double O designation, license to kill or just annoy?

— Sherlock to Mycroft