|This page is a transcript for the Season Five episode Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown.|
Detective Bell: "The Heart Bled Blue" and "The Heart Hit Home", your stepdad wrote these?
Joan Watson: Certainly did.
Bell: Why didn't he use his real name?
Watson: Why does any thief use an alias? He based the main characters on me and Sherlock, and didn't ask our permission.
Bell: This is supposed to be you and Sherlock?
Watson: Yeah, now you know why he didn't ask our permission. Anyway, he learned his lesson, and now he wants to write a more grounded book about real cops. So he wanted to know if I could connect him with someone on the force.
Bell: And you thought of me.
Watson: He just needs a brain to pick. And I thought, I don't know, you'd get a few free lunches out of it. What do you think?
Bell: Well, it depends. Am I gonna be the next one kissing your partner? You know, jot down his info. I'll give him a ring tomorrow.
Watson: Okay. Excuse me, but does this mean what I think it means?
Bell: If you think it means I have a date tonight, then yeah.
Watson: Well, I thought you were gonna wait to ask her out until her divorce was finalized.
Bell: I was. And it is. But then she made the first move. Tonight's actually date number three.
Watson: I can't believe you didn't tell me.
Bell: I didn't want to jinx anything. Speaking of which, I should probably get going. I'll let you know when I've touched base with your stepdad.
Watson: Okay, but I better know the details about your new girlfriend before he does.
Bell (phone): You're five minutes away, and you want me to order you a Merlot.
Chantal Milner (phone): Actually, I'm not five minutes away, but I would kill for a drink.
Bell (phone): Everything okay?
Milner (phone): Yeah, you know how we're making that big discovery push on the Pulaski case?
Bell (phone): The homicide, yeah.
Milner (phone): Well, the defense just hit us with a document dump. I'm gonna have to comb through this all night if I'm gonna make my deadline.
Bell (phone): Well, that's the life of a superstar ADA, right?
Milner (phone): Well, I don't know about superstar, but yeah. This is the life. Can I get a rain check?
Bell (phone): Of course. I'll call you tomorrow.
Milner (phone): You better.
Roy Booker: What the hell, man?
Bell: I was just about to settle up. How about I buy you another one?
Booker: I don't want another drink. I want that drink.
Bell: Look man, I'm a cop. I don't want any trouble. Let's just take this down a notch, before...
Booker: Before what? You think just 'cause you're a cop you ain't got to watch where you're going?
Booker: What? Oh, you got something for me, cop?
Dad #1: Over there!
Dad #2: I don't see him. I thought you said he went this way.
Dad #1: He did. That's his mask.
Dad #2: That's not his mask. It's him. Oh, my God. He's dead, isn't he?
Dad #1: Looks like someone tried to bury him. We only lost him for a second or two! How the hell did this happen?
Sheriff Malick: Normally, I wouldn't accept help from an outsider. It was weird, you showing up out of the blue this morning. But this is a weird case. We don't get much murder in Mount Pleasant, let alone whatever this is. You're the Major Case consultant, ever see anything like this?
Sherlock Holmes: This is, in fact, my third murdered clown. But that's a career spanning more than 20 years, so I'm hardly an expert. May I?
Malick: You said you'd been reading about us online, right?
Holmes: For several weeks now, a clown matching this one's description has been skulking around Mount Pleasant late at night. He's been observed and photographed by a dozen citizens. Never says anything, just stands and stares, before disappearing back into the shadows.
Malick: We weren't sure if it's just a kid playing a prank, or someone who wanted to do real harm.
Holmes: Yeah. I'm sure you're aware scary clowns are quite in at the moment. They've been observed lurking around towns and cities all across the country. It's a phenomenon as strange as it is stupid. I was, I was curious when I heard this one died. Who found him?
Malick: Two members of our Citizens Patrol. They said they saw him near the middle school around 10:00 p.m. When they approached him, he took off, made a beeline for these woods.
Holmes: And yet this couldn't possibly be the clown that was being chased.
Malick: No. Westchester County M.E. says he's been dead about 36 hours. Obviously, we haven't been dealing with one clown the last two weeks. We've been dealing with two.
Holmes: Yeah, at least two. You never know with clowns. The assailant was right-handed, I would say. The first blow was from behind. This one killed him. Weapon has a hook on the end of it. Most likely a crowbar. Yeah. He doesn't look familiar?
Malick: No wallet, no phone. But Mount Pleasant's a small place. If he's one of ours, we'll hear about it.
Holmes: You said the second clown made a beeline for these woods.
Malick: That's right.
Holmes: So, by all accounts, the clowns were stalking Mount Pleasant, the town, this one died in the woods, the other one ran through here, so...what's on the other side?
Bell: Hey. We didn't make plans last night that I forgot?
Milner: Nope. I just need to talk to you a minute.
Bell: Sure. Come on back.
Milner: So it's true. You were in a fight at the bar last night.
Bell: How did you hear about that? Look um, it was just, it was nothing. Some guy was itching to mix it up with someone. For whatever reason, he picked me. The bouncers broke it up before it got serious.
Milner: But you did hit him.
Bell: Chantal, are you here as my girlfriend or as an ADA?
Milner: Honestly, I'm here because I'm angry at you.
Bell: At me? The guy was a jackass. He instigated the whole thing.
Milner: And you took the bait. The guy you hit, his name was Roy Booker. He came to my office this morning and made a scene.
Bell: Why would he come to the DA's office?
Milner: Because he's my ex-husband.
River: Sorry, it's not me.
Watson: You may be right, after all, you are just one of the men wearing a costume like that around Mount Pleasant.
River: Mount Pleasant, is that, like, upstate or something? I just moved here from Pittsburgh, so...
Captain Gregson: Cut the crap, okay? We know you ran away from two members of the Mount Pleasant Citizens Patrol last night.
Holmes: You led them through the woods to the Metro North station on the other side. We know this, because a half-costumed, heavily winded clown was seen buying a ticket at a kiosk there, and that credit card was traced back to you.
River: Okay, fine, it was me. But it's not illegal to wear a scary costume in public, okay? I checked.
Gregson: You know what is illegal? Murder.
Holmes: We checked.
River: Are these...are these for real?
Watson: Mount Pleasant's police chief thinks he was killed two nights ago.
Holmes: You'll be meeting her shortly. Because you reside in New York, she requested that the NYPD pick you up, and gave us permission to talk to you. But after this is done, she's gonna have some questions for you as well.
River: No, no way, I, I didn't do this. Two nights ago I was in Pittsburgh. I, I went to see my girlfriend. I crashed with her and her roommates. They'll all tell you, I didn't come back into New York until yesterday morning.
Watson: Say they will. Do you have any idea who would've done this?
River: I mean, try anyone that lives in Mount Pleasant. They hate us.
Gregson: You're talking about you and our victim, right?
River: H-His name was Kip. Kip Tully. We weren't buddies or anything, but I know that he lived in the city, too. We would both take the train to Mount Pleasant. We would change into our costumes in the woods and then use it as a shortcut into town, just never on the same night.
Watson: Wait, you took turns dressing up like a clown and creeping around Mount Pleasant, but you weren't buddies?
River: It was a job, for a company called AdRupt. Have you guys ever heard of prankvertising?
River: It's like guerilla marketing. You prank people, right? But you do it on camera.
Watson: So how does dressing up like a scary clown help sell anything?
River: The pictures people take of us? The videos they post? They've been going viral. It's all supposed to help promote this horror movie that's coming out in a few months, Mister Mangles.
Holmes: May I have a moment outside?
Holmes: Kip Tully doesn't exist.
Gregson: What do you mean? You did a search of his name?
Holmes: No, I searched for the company, AdRupt, that employed him. One of the first things that came up was a link to an article written about the company several months ago. Look at the byline photo.
Watson: That's our dead clown.
Holmes: Kip Tully was just an alias. His real name was Dale Schmitt. Perhaps he was killed over his reporting.
Jerry Bice: No way are you cops. Wait, are you cops? No, if you're cops, I'm a cop.
Bell: The only cop here is me. But my colleagues do consult for the department.
Bice: Sorry, a lot of shenanigans around this place. Even I get tricked sometimes. Jerry Bice. Welcome to AdRupt.
Holmes: By shenanigans, do you mean the uh, prank that Kip Tully played on you?
Watson: Kip Tully. He's one of the man that your company hired to wander around Mount Pleasant in a clown suit.
Bice: If he told you that, he's in violation of a very strict NDA.
Bell: He's dead, Mr. Bice.
Holmes: Dead. More specifically, murdered.
Bell: Kip's real name was Dale Schmitt. You remember Mr. Schmitt, don't you? He wrote a very unflattering article about your company for a trade magazine last year.
Holmes: He claimed that you exploit your merry band of pranksters. Paying them under the table, for example, to keep them off the company health plan. This, despite the fact, they're put in dangerous situations. Dressing as deranged harlequins, terrorizing small towns, for example.
Watson: We think Mr. Schmitt went undercover to write a follow-up piece. You found out and decided to get revenge for all the bad press he brought the first time around.
Bice: You're right and you're wrong. Dale was working on a follow-up piece, but he wasn't undercover. I was paying him to write another article about AdRupt.
Bell: Explain that.
Bice: It was gonna be a retraction. He was gonna work here a few months and then say he got us all wrong. We're on the up and up, we treat our people well, stuff like that. You don't want to take my word for it, take his. I wanted to see everything he was writing as he wrote it, so we shared a cloud drive. The work he did got uploaded automatically. I can give you the username and password. You can see for yourself.
Watson: Where the hell did that come from?
Holmes: I rented it! It's help putting me in the mindset of someone who'd want to kill a clown.
Watson: Ugh. I could see how it could drive someone to murder. If you're having to work this hard, I'm guessing Jerry Bice isn't looking good as a suspect.
Holmes: The folder that Schmitt and Bice shared indicates they were working together.
Watson: Well, if Bice isn't our killer, why are you still reading that?
Holmes: Well, the folder documents Schmitt's activities in his final days, so there might be a lead lurking somewhere in its pages. "Officer Roy Booker, NYPD, retired?"
Watson: Yeah, uh, remember uh, Chantal Milner? The ADA Marcus was interested in? Well, they're dating now. And Booker is her ex-husband.
Holmes: Something amiss?
Watson: Marcus was waiting for Chantal at a bar last night, when Booker walked in and started a fight.
Holmes: So he just happened to be in the same bar, did he?
Watson: Well, it's not as suspicious as it sounds. Booker is an ex-cop, and the bar was near One Police Plaza and the courthouses. He claimed he was there to meet his friends, when he recognized Marcus. The thing is he barged into Chantal's office this morning and made a huge scene in front of the DA.
Holmes: So he's not one to let things go. And Marcus is worried what he's gonna do next.
Watson: Well, he could really jam Marcus up. I mean, he could push the department to take disciplinary action. I'm gonna stop by the bar. See what I can scrape up. Maybe a security video, witness. Just in case this guy keeps causing trouble. You just spot something?
Holmes: It's a link to an online Photobucket. Schmitt's phone was never recovered. Presumably the killer took it along with his wallet. But it seems that his phone was set to automatically upload photographs here.
Watson: The last two photos, they were taken the night he died. You said Schmitt was killed with a crowbar. We've got to be looking at his killer, right?
Holmes: This is not the same part of the woods Schmitt's body was found.
Watson: Well, maybe Mount Pleasant Police can round up enough people for a grid search.
Holmes: That won't be necessary. There's only a few hundred yards of roadway where you could drive a car this deep into the woods. Shouldn't be too hard to find the spot.
Bell: Body was found, what, a few hundred yards that way? So Schmitt saw something he shouldn't have somewhere around here. And our perp chased him away. Killed him.
Holmes: Or some such chain of events.
Bell: Any idea what we're looking for?
Holmes: Something worth killing over. Watson told me about uh, Chantal and her ill-tempered ex. That sounds like a lot of unwanted drama.
Bell: If this is about to turn into one of your down with love speeches, I...
Holmes: No, I mean, you remember I once chastised you for allowing yourself to be lonely.
Bell: Honestly, at this point, I'm more worried for Chantal. She's been prepping 24/7 for this big trial. You know about the Pulaski murder.
Holmes: Myra Pulaski. She butchered her husband of one year, inherited three quarters of a million dollars. Her claim is self-defense, but there's no evidence to support that. And even her own parents say she's lying.
Bell: Yeah, the DA's showing a lot of trust giving Chantal first chair, could be a career-maker. But after Roy's outburst at her office, her boss is worried her head's not in the game. He might pull her off the case. I just, I don't want what I did to cause her any grief.
Holmes: This impression, you see it? I think it was made by a large hose. Starting at the road back there. Given how hard the soil has been due to the cold, to leave an impression like that it would have to be warm and heavy, for a long time.
Bell: What's a manhole doing in the middle of the woods?
Holmes: I don't know. Perhaps that's why our killer had a crowbar with him. Cut through the lock here with a blowtorch, and used it to open it. You got a set of tools in your car, don't you?
Bell: What do you think? Storm sewer?
Holmes: I think you're close, but you're at the wrong end of the urban cycle. We're standing directly above part of the Catskill Aqueduct. What we see below us is New York City's drinking water.
Holmes: I recognize that smell. That's liquid nutrient growth medium for viruses and bacteria.
Bell: And you said the hose coming from that service road was pouring it for a long time? Dale Schmitt was killed because he saw someone poisoning the city's water.
Holmes: We should contact the Department of Environmental Protection. New York City's drinking water needs to be shut off. Now.
Gregson: This is Special Agent David Breslin from the Department of Homeland Security, and this is Wendell Hecht, EVP, of Water Integrity at the city's Department of Environmental Protection. Gentlemen, this is Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson.
Wendell Hecht: The D.E.P. owes you a great debt. Your warning about Mount Pleasant came just in time.
Holmes: And has the threat from the water been neutralized?
Hecht: Well, the tainted water from the aqueduct had made it's way down south to the distribution hub in Yonkers.
But we were able to seal off the valves, so none of it was able to reach the city grid. But until we are able to make that supply safe again, we're gonna be using emergency reserves, full capacity. It'll be a headache, but it beats the alternative.
Special Agent David Breslin: DHS is grateful as well. But uh, like I was just telling your captain, this all needs to be kept under wraps until we can coordinate an investigation with the FBI. The city's drinking water was contaminated. Now it isn't. There's no need to start a panic.
Watson: Well, what about the contaminate itself? Do we know what it was?
Breslin: Nothing definitive yet. Early word is it's some sort of waterborne bug. Uh, it can't live in the air, which is why we gave the okay to let you out of quarantine.
Hecht: Yeah, but it's not all good news. I mean, this bug, or whatever it is, it's hardy. I mean, it made it past both of our disinfection safety nets. The chlorine treatment and the ultraviolet purification.
Watson: Well, isn't that a superbug? I was a surgeon and I've never heard of a pathogen that could survive UV and chlorine.
Breslin: I'm afraid we've said all we can say at the moment.
Watson: Can you at least tell us who you think is responsible?
Holmes: Department of Homeland Security does like its secrets.
Gregson: Hold on. Someone drove a tanker truck into Mount Pleasant and dumped God only knows how many thousands of gallons of a bioweapon into New York City's drinking water, and you're gonna keep the NYPD in the dark?
Breslin: For the time being, yes, I am.
Watson: The usual suspects?
Holmes: Already moved off them, actually. How was your uh, visit to Farlane's? Anything productive? Aside from the light buzz you're feeling from the Belgian White, was it?
Watson: I was at a bar. Seemed like a better idea than drinking the water.
Holmes: The attack was thwarted, Watson. Don't let your lizard brain run away with you.
Watson: The manager gave me the security video of the fight that Marcus was in. I still have to review it, but I think you were right to doubt that Roy was there by coincidence. I'm gonna talk to talk to Chantal after I watch the video. Oh, and while I was out, I managed to meet up with my friend at Stuyvesant Memorial.
Holmes: The virologist?
Watson: Yeah. I gave her the glove you were wearing when you touched the liquid growth medium yesterday. I still don't think it was a good idea to keep it from DHS.
Watson: Well, she put a sample under a scanning electron microscope. It is a virus, but not one she's ever seen before.
Holmes: Well, now we've got its mug shot, someone's gonna know what it is.
Watson: She thought it was very suspicious that it was both UV and chlorine-resistant. She cannot rule out that it was a natural mutation, but said that it was far more likely that our suspect was lab-engineered.
Holmes: So someone crafted it specifically to survive the city's gauntlet of water safeguards?
Watson: Yeah. Unfortunately, there are thousands of labs in the world that could've made it. So it doesn't exactly narrow our suspect pool.
Holmes: Actually, I think it does. After Agent Breslin shot us down, I reached out to my sundry contacts in the intelligence community. No one heard any chatter about the attack, before or after.
Watson: Well, that doesn't prove it couldn't be one of those groups.
Holmes: No, but it does suggest so. So I began to consider the possibility that we are pursuing someone with a more singular vision. A lone wolf, as it were.
Watson: Synthesizing a superbug would either take a lot of expertise, or a lot of money. If you're right, then there can't be that many people who have both the desire to poison eight million New Yorkers and the means to do it.
Holmes: Actually, I think I found just such a person right here in the city.
Watson: And apparently he's a 17th century Dutch explorer.
Holmes: No. It's his great, great, great, eight more greats, grandchild.
Bell: That's Gracie Van Bylandt. And, yes, she's one of those Van Bylandts.
Holmes: One of the oldest and wealthiest families in New York, yeah. Fallen on hard times over the last century, relatively speaking. I put Gracie's net worth in the mid eight figures. More crippling, has been her decline into a hermetic life of agoraphobia and paranoia.
Gregson: She's not sounding like someone who would infect the water supply with a designer bug. How did she and all of her stuff end up here?
Bell: Everything you're looking at was in plain view when we visited her apartment. He thought we should check her out because of some self-published manifesto she'd posted online.
Holmes: They're short and uninspired as manifestos go. But they do express Gracie's strident view that the blame for her family's ignominy falls at the feet of, I quote uh, "all these damn people who've moved into the city." And they also document her search for, uh, the best way to, I quote again, "kill off the lot of them."
Bell: She'd been researching technologies that can be used for mass murder. Environmental toxins, dirty bombs, custom-made superbugs. Thing is, we found a ton of evidence that she was interested in an attack like this, but no evidence that she actually took action.
Gregson: Meaning you don't think she was involved? So why is she still here?
Bell: Well, as part of her research, she interacted online with a lot of like-minded individuals, people who, for one reason or another, shared her interest in thinning the herd. So, we're reading through her e-mails and chats. Once her family attorney gets here, we'll interview her, see if she could point us toward anyone.
Holmes: No need.
Gregson: You found something saying she was involved?
Holmes: No, not necessarily. Dale Schmitt's last moments, he photographed a man seen only in silhouette. I committed that silhouette to memory. And um, I'm, I'm quite sure that this scientist is the same man. His name is uh, Raymond Thorpe. And he's the chief virologist at a lab on the Upper East Side. I think he might be our killer.
Watson: Chantal? Hi, I'm Joan. I work with Marcus. Uh, I think you met my partner, Sherlock.
Milner: Joan. Of course, right. I've heard a lot about you.
Watson: Likewise. Uh, listen, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your ex-husband, Roy.
Milner: Why would you...?
Watson: Marcus asked me to look into uh, a disagreement that he and Roy got into.
Milner: I asked Marcus to leave it alone.
Watson: And he is. Look, he's a friend, I could tell he was upset. He told me about the fight at the bar. So, I offered to look into it, make sure nothing could come back on him.
Watson: Well, it's my understanding that when Roy made a scene here the other day, he claimed the bar was his usual hangout. But when I went to ask them about it, they said they'd never seen him before that night.
Milner: I don't understand. You're saying you think he was lying?
Watson: Well, right now, I'm just trying to get my facts straight. So, to the best of your knowledge, is Farlane's a bar he frequents?
Milner: I mean, honestly, I'm not the best person to ask. We may have just signed our divorce papers, but it's been three years since we've lived together. I mean, hell, Roy was still on the job when we split.
Watson: Which brings me to my next question. Why isn't Roy a cop any longer?
Lab Director: You think Raymond's a terrorist? He was an immunologist with the Air Force before he came here. I mean, he, he coaches my son's soccer team.
Holmes: Timothy McVeigh won the Bronze Star and John Wayne Gacy was a clown, much like the man we suspect Dr. Thorpe murdered.
Director: No, Raymond didn't kill anybody. I'm telling you, you're wrong.
Bell: Do you know where he is?
Director: Well, he said he needed some time off for a family emergency. He hasn't been here all week. It does not mean that he engineered some superbug.
Holmes: Does this? So, he went to the trouble of uh, pulling it into the trash, but he didn't seem too concerned about his work being found. This is what your son's soccer coach was doing in his spare time. And this is what was found in the contaminated water. Are those two organisms the same?
Director: They are. I don't believe this.
Bell: Any idea what the virus does?
Director: Could you open that window?
Holmes: Given Dr. Thorpe's absence of several days, and his apparent lack of concern about his work being found, he's probably fled the city.
Bell: Yeah, you're probably right, but we should get an alert to the TSA and Port Authority, all the same.
Director: Well, this doesn't make any sense. I mean, you're right. From the looks of it, Raymond did do what you said. He used our equipment to synthesize a virus, making it chlorine and UV resistant.
Bell: Then what doesn't make sense?
Director: Well, what the virus does. It's basically a harder-to-kill serotype 40 adenovirus. It's non-lethal. It would just give people a mild gastrointestinal bug.
Holmes: So, Raymond Thorpe went to the trouble of custom-tailoring a virus so it would survive the city's water safeguards. He introduced that virus into the water supply and in all likelihood, killed a man in the process, just to give New Yorkers a few urgent trips to the toilet.
Breslin: So, if I'm following everything you said, our, our terrorist doesn't want to kill the people of New York, he just wants to give them a bad case of the runs.
Watson: Actually, bad might be something of an overstatement. An expert at the lab where the virus was created said that it would have run its course in a matter of days.
Holmes: Less Montezuma's Revenge, more Montezuma's Office Prank.
Breslin: "Prank"? Sounds about right. I'm starting to think this Thorpe guy is more likely to have ties to a frat house than a terrorist group.
Hecht: I'm not sure I agree. You're making light of this, because the bug would have given people diarrhea. Well, think about it. Millions of people, all coming down with a dehydrating illness, all at the same time.
Breslin: Don't drink the water.
Hecht: But water is exactly what they would've needed. There would've been a run on the stuff, hospitals would have been overloaded.
Breslin: Because of diarrhea?
Hecht: In developing countries, diarrhea kills hundreds of thousands of children a year.
Breslin: But this is not a developing country.
Holmes: Compared to England, America's a pimply teenager. Yes, Thorpe's plan, had it worked, would've created some terror, but given the ease with which he could have stolen or synthesized a far deadlier bug, it's hard to imagine that his agenda was political.
Breslin: What about the woman you brought in? The Van Bylandt heiress. Any connection between her and Thorpe?
Gregson: She had a scientific journal that had his picture in it, but she had a lot of scientific journals. After we talked to her and poked around her financials, we think it was just a coincidence.
Holmes: So how's it going on your end? I'm sure you've made a lot of progress, being the DHS and all.
Breslin: You should know, the press found out about what happened in Mount Pleasant. They now know we had a near miss with New York City's water supply.
Breslin: Someone leaked the story. Hopefully not someone in this room. In any event, there's going to be a lot of questions in the morning, so let me take this opportunity to remind you that the answers need to come from us.
Blue-Collar Man: Hey. This clown really dead?
Holmes: Yeah, he really is. Who are you?
Blue-Collar Man: Me? I'm the guy who just fixed your girlfriend's pipes.
Watson: Hey, I was just getting ready to go see Marcus at the precinct.
Holmes: So it's true. The shaved bear I met upstairs installed a water filtration system?
Watson: Okay, first, that shaved bear got over 600 reviews on RateIt as the best plumber in the city.
Watson: Second, until someone can find Raymond Thorpe and get him to explain why he wanted to make everyone sick, I thought we should take extra precautions on our water. This is the model the D.E.P.'s Web site recommends for filtering out germs like the one that Thorpe made.
Holmes: Well, one of the reasons I chose to live in New York, as opposed to other American cities, was the quality of its water. The taste and odor, unmatched. This glorified strainer is going to change that. Now, I suppose I shouldn't blame you for falling prey to the hydro-hysteria sweeping the city. The leak that Agent Breslin mentioned last night is, in fact, a geyser. Look. Yeah. Now remarkably, one of the only publications to look past the hysteria and explore the consequences of Thorpe's actions, was this one.
Watson: The Daily Newswire? You got to be kidding me.
Holmes: I can see the paper is mostly bollocks, but the metro reporter is tip-top. Every New Yorker knows, every New Yorker aside from you, that is, that their water is the champagne of municipal hydration, because it arrives virtually untouched from the most pristine watershed in the country.
Watson: What about the chlorine and the UV?
Holmes: Those are disinfection measures, not filtration measures. The water never passes through any kind of membrane, so all of the natural salts and minerals are retained. And this reporter found that New York's unfiltered status is contingent on an ongoing assessment known as a Filtration Avoidance Determination or F.A.D. And that is awarded by the EPA.
Watson: Well, she thinks the F.A.D. might be yanked in the wake of the virus attack and that the city will finally be forced to build a filtration plant.
Holmes: And my research suggests that she's right. In the event that any of the conditions of the F.A.D. are broken, a waterborne disease outbreak being linked directly to an unfiltered water system, for example, the EPA has the right to pull the F.A.D. and demand that the city break ground on a new plant within 24 hours.
Watson: A plant like that could cost hundreds of millions.
Holmes: Try billions.
Watson: Well, that's plenty of incentive for someone to hire Thorpe, to get him to come up with a virus that could get past UV and chlorine and not kill everyone in the city.
Holmes: We have to find who's most likely to build the plant.
Watson: Well, I would stay and help...
Holmes: But you have a meeting with Marcus. Bring back some water from the precinct, would you? I'm not gonna make any tea using that.
Bell (phone): Okay, thanks.
Bell: I was just about to call you and your partner. That was the TSA. A Raymond Thorpe, correct address and date of birth, booked a flight from JFK to Montenegro three days ago. They're gonna pull video from the terminal, confirm he's our guy and that he really boarded. And if he did, Montenegro doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S., so there isn't much we could do.
Watson: Well, the good news is Sherlock may be able to identify the person who hired Thorpe. But that's not actually why I'm here. Um, I found out some things about Roy Booker I thought you should know. So, he didn't just randomly bump into you the other night. And he wasn't just blowing off steam. He's working as an investigator for a lawyer named Ardy Gulbenkian. You've heard of him?
Bell: I've heard plenty about him from Chantal.
Watson: That's Roy, coming out of his law office.
Bell: He's the defense lawyer she's up against in the Pulaski case.
Watson: Well, Chantal's assistant admitted that Roy sweet-talked her into telling him when and where you were both meeting. Then, Gulbenkian flooded her office with paperwork so Chantal would be a no-show. It was a set-up.
Bell: Chantal's probably the only female ADA up to speed on the case and qualified to run it. And with Myra Pulaski claiming self-defense, better for her team if the prosecutor's male. That way the jury sees her being attacked by a big, scary man. So Roy makes a scene in Chantal's office, the DA thinks she's distracted, pulls her off the case. And I played right into the plan.
Watson: You did, but I have an idea how you could set things right.
Gio Bianchi: What the hell? Can I help you?
Holmes: Yeah, you could tell me how much it costs to turn a respected virologist into a mass-poisoner.
Bianchi: Excuse me?
Holmes: You own Vecoli Construction, one of the largest contracting companies in New York. Time and again you've won the bid to build an $8 billion water-filtration plant in New York City. But only in the event one is needed. Thanks to its F.A.D., the city's never needed one. That is until you paid Raymond Thorpe to engineer a virus which could defeat both U-V and chlorine measures.
Bianchi: You're obviously a crazy person. Do yourself a favor, leave, before I call the cops.
Holmes: You're denying knowing Raymond Thorpe?
Bianchi: I never heard that name before in my life. Please.
Holmes: I'll admit a search of your home yielded no evidence of a link between you and Thorpe, or you might just be good at hiding it.
Bianchi: You were in my house?
Holmes: Yeah, that's where I got this. So you've stockpiled thousands of gallons of water. I mean, it, it, it's almost as if you knew there'd be a problem with the city's water supply this week.
Bianchi: I had that delivered this morning when I heard what happened in Mount Pleasant, okay? You know what, that's it. I'm calling 911.
Holmes: Go ahead. I've got a very good relationship with the police, so I'd be happy for them to join us.
Bianchi: Okay, fine, you're right. My company's in line to build a water-filtration plant for the city, emphasis on filtration.
Holmes: Why "emphasis?"
Bianchi: Because we got a hell of a lot more money tied up in UV disinfection these days. You know why? Because filtration plants are complicated. They pump water through stages with names like coagulation, flocculation, uh, dissolved air floatation. When you're dealing with the New York City watershed, that's overkill. UV disinfection plants are cheaper, they're easy to build. So you tell me, why would I pay somebody to design a bug to beat UV if that's where I make my profits?
Holmes: You can prove that you're more heavily invested in ultraviolet?
Bianchi: Look on the Web site. It's all there.
Holmes: Why'd you buy so much water, then?
Bianchi: Because I could. That, and it's gonna take years for that plant to get up and running. I told you, they're complicated. This one's gonna take three or four years at least. Meantime, I don't want my kids drinking anything out of a tap.
Holmes: No, you wouldn't. Who would?
Watson: Hey. How'd it go with the, uh...? Hmm, it's nice to see you, too. Sherlock! What are you doing?
Holmes: It's not personal, Watson, it's business. I need a patent number.
Watson: Oh. You're getting water everywhere.
Holmes: I was so busy trying to think of a cure to the city's water problem I didn't stop to consider the Band-Aid.
Watson: What are you talking about?
Holmes: A water-filtration plant is a cure to a problem presented by a virus which is immune to chlorine and UV treatment. This filter is the Band-Aid. Even if the EPA compels the city to break ground on a new plant tomorrow, it won't be operational for years. So in the interim, what are thirsty New Yorkers to do? They can't all drink, wash, cook, and clean with bottled water, can we? No, we need filters on every tap in the city.
Watson: It's like what happened in Flint when they found all that lead in the water. The government had to buy home water filters for everyone who lived there.
Holmes: Filtering lead is relatively easy. Removing viruses, that requires a special product. I confirmed what you said earlier. There is, indeed, only one home filter the D.E.P. recommends for preventing the kind of waterborne disease outbreak that Raymond Thorpe tried to carry out. That one.
Watson: So Flint has, what, 100,000 people? New York has eight million. So whoever holds the patent for this would make a fortune.
Holmes: Mmm. Not "whoever." A recent acquaintance of ours.
Gregson: Agent Breslin, thanks for coming back in. I promised you I'd let you know if we had anything more, and I'm a man of my word.
Breslin: Well, FYI, my boss is reaching out to the State Department. We're asking them to contact the government in Montenegro, seeing if we can persuade them to send back Raymond Thorpe. Now, I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's worth a shot.
Gregson: Trust me, no one's giving up here, either. In fact, I think you're gonna be surprised by what you hear.
Breslin: Mr. Holmes, Miss Watson, Wendell.
Holmes: We're just bringing Mr. Hecht up to speed on the investigation.
Watson: Raymond Thorpe's virus was custom-made to force the city to enact water-filtration measures. So we've been looking into who profits from those measures being taken.
Hecht: And I got a call that one of you visited uh, Gio Vecoli? The head of the company that's building the new plant. He was a bit ruffled, but it sounded like you decided he wasn't a murderer.
Holmes: We did. Largely because we discovered a different profit motive.
Watson: The home-filtration system your department is now buying for everyone in the city. Strange you didn't disclose you own the patent.
Holmes: Your Ph.D. is in materials engineering. Before entering the public sector, you tried your hand at entrepreneurship. The water-filtration system that you developed, however, failed to find a niche. It was, it was too pricey for the average consumer, and it was not quite the high-end system which attracts larger institutions. When the government's footing the bill, however, the economics are a little different.
Watson: So, as the man in charge of the response to the Thorpe attack, you could make sure the city chose to buy your filters, making you very rich.
Hecht: Is this about me failing to reveal a conflict of interests, or are you accusing me of orchestrating the attack?
Breslin: You tell us.
Hecht: If it's the first one guilty as charged. And I'll pay whatever penalty I'm due. But the other one, that's, that's a fairy tale. Are you saying that I hired Raymond Thorpe? Is that it? I don't even know him.
Watson: Actually, you do. The lab Thorpe worked at had to comply with D.E.P. environmental codes. And you were the person in charge of overseeing that. So Thorpe's calendars show that he attended half a dozen meetings over the years that you also attended.
Hecht: Okay, so I don't remember knowing him. Where's this all going? The guy fled the country, and there is no connection between him and me besides a few meetings that a lot of other people attended. What, are you looking for a scapegoat because he got away?
Gregson: TSA sent us this. That's Thorpe, about to board his flight to Montenegro. Over the course of an hour, he got up to go to the restroom four times. I guess he got some of that sludge he was pouring into the aqueduct on him.
Holmes: We contacted the Montenegrin government ourselves. There's no extradition treaty with the United States. But they were only too happy to put Dr. Thorpe back on a plane when they discovered he was carrying a virulent superbug. We might have left out the part about it not being lethal or contagious.
Watson: Given the nature of the virus you chose, we assume you never meant for anyone to die. But Thorpe murdered Schmitt while committing your crime.
Gregson: His flight should be landing in a couple of hours. We'll have people there to pick him up, which leaves you plenty of time to cut the first deal.
Bell: Roy Booker! Detective Marcus Bell.
Booker: You want to take another shot at me? No bouncers around this time.
Bell: I'm not here to fight you, man. I'm here to tell you how it's gonna be.
Booker: Is that right?
Bell: You were on the job for just ten years, and then you took early retirement on a disability claim, right? Said you tore your right rotator cuff? Took a three-quarter pension?
Bell: So the claim is bogus. Your shoulder's fine. I'm sure you remember that bouncer right there. The one who's twice your size? You pulled away from him like it was nothing with your right arm. If you had torn that rotator cuff, even two years ago, that would have hurt like crazy.
Booker: Who says it didn't? What is it you think that you're threatening me with right now? Because that right there doesn't prove anything.
Bell: Nah, but it doesn't have to. Just has to be enough to convince the department to launch an investigation. I'm pretty sure it would do that. If it were to get sent to the department. And if that investigation comes up bad for you, you know what happens, right? First, you have to give back any pension money you've collected so far. Then, if you ever want to collect a pension again, you have to go back to work and finish your 20.
Booker: What do you want?
Bell: I know what you were really doing when you got in my face the other night. So one, you're gonna quit working for that defense attorney today. No more giving anyone leverage on Chantal. Once that's done, her boss should be okay keeping her on the case. And, two, you're gonna steer clear of her forever. We clear?