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"It's a case with training wheels."
— Holmes to Watson
Six months previously, in a NYC subway station, a young woman, Vivian Tully, is waiting for her train when she is approached by a bearded man in a hoodie and sunglasses, who gives her a bouquet of flowers. (♫ Paganini - 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1 ♫) She calls a friend to relate the generosity, explaining that his girlfriend stood him up and he didn't want them to go to waste. The man then pushes her in front of an oncoming train. At a bar, Watson is having drinks with Emily Hankins, and married couple Ken and Hope. Watson receives a text from Hemdale, excuses herself and calls Hemdale's director. He's recommended her services to his latest patient, and wants to know if accepts. She does but is puzzled by the name Sherlock. In present day, Watson breaks into a car and tries to hot-wire it. The alarm sounds and unable to stop it, she gives up. Alfredo is sitting in the passenger seat, turns off the alarm and says she's getting better. A text from Holmes summons her to the Brownstone.

S01E18-Alfredo Watson in car
How weird is this?
At home, Holmes is fuming as his father has called in the favor for lending Holmes $2.2M to ransom Rhys Kinlan's daughter even though Holmes returned the money. He's required to meet with attorney Philip Armistead. Meeting him, they discover the favor is for his assistant, Rebecca Burrell. Rebecca's sister, Callie, disappeared six months ago. She plays a video that Callie sent to her husband, Drew Gardner, in which she's leaving Drew as she realized life is too short when she saw a news story about a woman with flowers, Vivian Tully, who was pushed in front of a subway train. Callie can't be found and Rebecca suspects Drew as their marriage had issues and Callie had left him before. Rebecca also shows them a picture of an antique trunk that disappeared when Callie did. A cherished heirloom, Rebecca loaned it to Callie wouldn't have left without returning it. Holmes looks at the details of the subway pusher on his phone and leaves with Watson.

S01E18-With Armistad and Burrell
He managed to convince them the video was authentic.
Holmes is convinced that Callie's video is authentic, not made under duress and would be the ideal first case for Watson. At the Brownstone, Holmes is intrigued with the subway pusher and reviews the surveillance video. The man's face isn't visible but it is known he had a beard and wore sunglasses. Holmes also notes a distinctive patch on the pusher's jacket. Reviewing Rebecca's files, Watson remarks that investigators were very thorough in their search for Callie and she plans to question her husband, Drew, at an art gallery he owns. Watson receives a phone call from Emily, realizes she forgot about their meeting that night but Emily agrees to reschedule. Watson questions Drew who claims to not know why Callie left him, that the subway pusher story depressed her and that Callie took the trunk when she left.

S01E18-Watson with Gardner
She seemed a little distant of late.
Watson is convinced Drew killed Callie as many of the answers he gave her were exactly the same ones he gave the police years before. However, she has no proof and doesn't know what to do next. Holmes shows her "gaslighting", using a burner phone to send Drew an anonymous text that he knows he killed Callie and where her body is. She'll then have to watch Drew for incriminating actions. At the 11th Precinct, Holmes shows Captain Gregson footage from the subway camera taken days before Vivian Tully was killed. Holmes noticed a man was following her who can be identified, Anson Samuels. He's questioned in "the box" and claims ignorance but once Holmes confronts him with the video and that he worked in Tully's building, he admits his obsession with her. However, he has proof he's not the killer and shows them a video he took of the incident. Holmes calls Watson on her stake-out of Drew and reminds her of her meeting with Emily, which she's forgotten. Holmes has sent Alfredo to relieve her.

S01E18-Holmes interrogates Samuels
I would never have hurt Vivian.
Holmes studies Samuels' video and notices a busker playing violin who appears to recognize the pusher and leaves. Arriving late, Watson meets Emily at a bar and is surprised that Ken and Hope are there as well. Emily indicates there's a reason she invited them, that she's learned from Watson's mother that she's a detective now and they are worried about her. Watson recognizes an intervention and doesn't react well. When Emily points out the recent career changes, that's she's living with a former drug addict and makes a demeaning analogy, Watson leaves. She joins Alfredo on stakeout outside a storage unit that he followed Drew to. They watch Drew wheel out an antique trunk and load it into the back of his SUV. Watson believes that he used the trunk to store Callie's body and due to the "gaslighting" text, he's moving it. Alfredo wants to call the police, but when Drew returns to the storage unit, she crowbars open the SUV hatch. She's caught by a security guard who to whom she explains the situation. The guard forces Drew to open the trunk, which is empty.

S01E18-Emily at bar
I'm sorry, but you seem lost.
Holmes visits Watson in jail and pays her bail where she relates that Drew did take the trunk, after Callie disappeared, and sold it. He bought it back and Watson caught him picking it up. Holmes encourages her that though she was wrong about the trunk, she may be right about Drew's guilt. On a street corner, Holmes and Detective Bell track down the busker, Thaddeus. Once confronted, Holmes takes him aside and says that Thaddeus is also a pickpocket, he left the station because he recognized the pusher and threatens to turn him in to Bell. Thaddeus admits he'd been caught trying to rob the pusher sometime before the pushing and punched him. He thought the pusher might remember him so, he left. Seeing Thaddeus checking his coat to rob him, Holmes asks Thaddeus about the patch on the pusher's jacket. At the Brownstone, Holmes shows Watson a color photo of the patch, reconstructed from Thaddeus' description.

S01E18-Holmes Bell Thaddeus
I wasn't there when it actually went down.
At the precinct, Holmes shows the patch to Gregson and Bell. Drew is present and has agreed to not press charges against Watson, as long as she apologizes. Holmes defends her but she apologizes, quits the investigation and plans to tell Rebecca. At Rebecca's apartment, Watson explains the situation but sees an electronic picture of Callie wearing a jacket with the patch. Rebecca says the jacket belonged to Drew and Watson finds out Drew had a beard when Callie disappeared. At the Brownstone, Holmes and Watson review the evidence board with both Vivian Tully's murder and Callie Burrell's disappearance. Watson doubts herself but a rebuking from Holmes brings renewed focus. She realizes that the subway pushing was more than just the catalyst for Callie's disappearance.

S01E18-Watson at Burrells-patch
She called it his "hippie coat."
In "the box" Drew repeats to Gregson and Bell that he did not kill Callie. He's never met Vivian Tully and states he gave away the jacket with the patch. Holmes relates that Watson deduced that he was Tully's pusher. She remembered that Callie had left him once before, 18 months ago, and Bell shows a news article about Anna Peters, who was accidentally pushed under a subway train 18 months before, by a scuffle among some teenagers. The news stories mentioned that Peters was carrying flowers. Six months ago, Drew realized that if he recreated the Anna Peters event mentioned in Callie's video, he could kill her and the video would give a rationale for her disappearance. Drew accuses Watson of creating circumstances to arrest him, to make up for the mistake that led to her arrest. Gregson has Drew confirm that Callie's video was from six months ago. Gregson then shows him a deleted email sent to him from Callie's account, with the video from 18 months previous, which Drew re-sent himself six months ago using Callie's account.

S01E18-Gardner green
You had a beard like the one in that sketch.
In bed at the Brownstone with her tablet, Watson takes a call from Emily who apologizes for doubting her. She mentions that her editor assigned her a story which is the case that Watson solved. Holmes interrupts with some cold case files which he's cracked, but wants to time how long it takes her. He congratulates her success but doesn't want it to go to her head. Watson tells Emily that something work-related has come up and they'll talk another time. (♫ Junip - Line of Fire ♫) She makes an edit to her social media profile, changing her job description from "Sober Companion" to "Consulting Detective."

S01E18-Watson bedroom
Watson moves on.



  • "There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps" is a quote from Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet.
  • Holmes refers to the bargain struck with his father for the money to ransom the daughter of Rhys Kinlan.[1]
  • Holmes' practice dummy "Bob" still has the two bullet holes in the chest that he shot in it while testing a gun found in Bell's apartment.[2]
  • Watson indicates that she's going to do her best Columbo impersonation, referencing the long-running TV show.
  • Holmes references the stage play Gas Light (known in the United States as Angel Street), which also inspired a film adaptation named Gaslight, in which a man attempts to drive his wife insane in order to protect a secret. As Holmes says, the play gave rise to the use of the term "gaslighting" to mean "a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making him/her doubt his/her own memory and perception".
  • Holmes jokingly refers to when Watson bailed him out of jail.[3]
  • A similar premise was used in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion" of the USA television series Monk. In that episode, a husband discovers an old suicide note written by his wife, and spends the week of her college reunion "re-creating" the events referred to in the note, planning to murder her and then produce the note as proof that she committed suicide.


Joan, you quit your job and moved out of your apartment so you could live full-time with a recovering drug addict who's going to teach you how to be some sort of gumshoe?



  1. Proper citation needed.
  2. Season 1, episode 16: "Details"
  3. Season 1, episode 1: "Pilot"