Season: Four — Episode: 2 Director: Ron Fortunato — Writer: Jason Tracey — Aired: November 12, 2015 — Viewers (millions): 5.16 Summary: When Morland offers to use his influence to have Sherlock and Watson reinstated as consultants to the NYPD, Sherlock's mistrust of his father makes him question his motivation to help. Also, with no work offers coming in, Watson wrangles a gig with the FBI investigating a triple homicide in a top secret research lab.
In the kitchen at The Brownstone, Sherlock and his father Morland have an acrimonious conversation about their past. Morland insists he's there to help, he's proud of the work Sherlock has done with Watson and, if Sherlock and Watson agree, he can restore their relationship with the NPYD. At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Ollie Tate is submitted to a brainwashing video in an observation room. (♫ Gioachino Rossini - William Tell Overture ♫) Demanding to take a break, he looks out the room's viewing window, sees the scientists in charge of the study dead on the floor and gasping for breath, is shot dead. The next morning at the Brownstone, Watson finds Sherlock has stayed up all night pondering his father's offer. She indicates they've been called to consult at the DARPA lab murders by FBI Agent Gary Burke.
You have structure there, friends. I fear that without it, you'd struggle.
At the scene, Burke informs them that hard drives with research and the surveillance videos were stolen. He also indicates that their access to any crime scenes will be under his supervision. Meeting Deputy Director Meher and Special Projects Head Alta Von See, who walks with a crutch, they explain that the stolen data concerned a project which "renders users' opinions more fluid", which Sherlock bluntly says is brainwashing. Examining the murder scene, Sherlock deduces that one of the victims, Dr. Gail Sarkisian, let the shooter in and must have known him. He also notices that a lab rat recently died despite no external injuries. Burke indicates he can't allow them to examine Dr. Sarkisian's home but will send them any materials if they need help. Later, at the Brownstone, while reviewing files the FBI sent from Sarkisian's home, Sherlock tells Watson about Morland's offer.
She was shot after walking the killer inside.
After describing what Morland does, he warns her that his help always come at a cost and that she should meet Morland in order to decide whether to take him up on his offer. Sarkinsian's files and social media reveal that she was involved with Dan Zheng, a member of China's U.N. mission. Believing he's a spy, they alert Burke and have to wait outside Zheng's apartment in Times Square until an FBI team processes it. Told by the FBI team leader, Saveda, that Zheng's neighbors hated him and hadn't seen him in a month, Watson finds an old noise complaint against Zheng in a drawer. Outside, an FBI van electronically searches for the DARPA hard drives which have routers. Burke tells Sherlock and Watson that he's ending their involvement in the case as his bosses want to handle the matter with China quietly. However, Watson calls Burke's attention to a news screen in the square showing Zheng is the subject of a manhunt.
The stolen computers are at least a mile away.
At the New York FBI HQ, Sherlock and Watson are interrogated and cleared of leaking the Zheng story to the press. Burke again tries to terminate their involvement but having peeked in the FBI war room, Sherlock promises to find Zheng if given access. Shown a video of Zheng at the World Trade Center, Sherlock deduces from indentations in Zheng's carpet, the noise complaint and a bag Zheng is seen holding in the video that he plays drums. He says that Zheng is hiding out at one of the many music rehearsal spaces in the area. While Sherlock accompanies Burke and a search team to the rehearsal area, Watson goes to Morland's office. After introductions and indicating she's aware of his poor relationship with Sherlock, Watson asks Morland what he wants in return for arranging for them to work with the NYPD again. Watson is suspicious when Morland says he only wants to ensure the best environment for Sherlock.
Miss Watson. At long last.
As Burke gives assignments to agents of the search team, Holmes notices that he forgets a basement under a restaurant. Examining it himself, he finds the DARPA laptops and gives one to Burke just as Burke receives a call that Zheng has turned himself in. At FBI HQ, Zheng and his lawyer Mr. Xiaoping appear where Xiaoping shows that Zheng had an alibi and claims the DARPA laptops were dumped by the killer in an attempt to frame Zheng. In the basement at the Brownstone, Watson tells Sherlock that she's still mulling over Morland's offer. Sherlock shows Watson that before he gave the DARPA laptop to Burke, he emailed himself copies of Dr. Sarkisian's research. Examining it, they discover that the brainwashing project was a total failure and Sarkisian had emailed a colleague that she intended to withdrawn a funding request.
You have nothing.
After examining Sarkisian's life in more detail, they discover her ex-husband, Maurice Antonov, is a reactionary monarchist. Believing that Antonov didn't know the brainwashing research was a failure and wanted to use it to convince others that the US should be ruled by a king, they question him. Discovering he had an alibi, Antonov isn't cooperative until Sherlock reveals that Antonov accepts government funding, which would destroy his reputation. He then confesses that he knew Sarkisian's password and monitored her emails. He knew her project was a failure and mentions that Deputy Director Meher sent her emails expressing his extreme dissatisfaction with the project's results. At FBI HQ, Watson looks into Meher and is checked up on by Burke. She shows Burke other projects that Meher championed including robot dogs and sonic pressure shields. He notices that she also looked into a mansion that sold below market value which she claims she's doing for another case.
I didn't like the way he talked to her in e-mails.
At the Brownstone, Watson reports that she found nothing incriminating on Meher while Sherlock has decided to accept Morland's offer. Watson needs more time to decide and notices newspaper reports calling for Meher's dismissal. Realizing that Von See stands to benefit from the DARPA scandal as she would succeed Meher, they accuse her of leaking the Zheng story to a college colleague. Due to her physical aliment, they believe she had an accomplice in the murders but she denies any involvement and offers access to all her records as the FBI will need to examine it all if she succeeds Meher. At the Brownstone, after no success in looking through Von See's correspondence and financial data, Sherlock complains about Burke's robotic nature as he lectured them about questioning Von See without his permission. As he jests that DARPA is creating an FBI protocol machine and lists their projects, he stops and asks Watson when she last dissected a rat.
I needed something to dredge us out of this funk.
Von See arrives at the DARPA labs with her lawyer and is confronted by Burke, Sherlock and Watson. Accusing her of committing the murders by herself, Sherlock wheels out a device which he explains is a sonic pressure shield, developed by DARPA, for crowd control. Emitting sonic waves which vibrate at the same frequency as lung tissue, they indicate that Von See used it to incapacitate her three victims which she then shot. As proof that the shield was used in the lab, they're shown a report that the dead lab rat died of effects caused by it. Burke indicates that blood was found on the shield's bottom and that an odd rubber streak who found on the baseboard in the closet where it was stored.
You could shoot them without risk of being overpowered.
Von See is given a warrant so that the rubber tip of her crutch can be compared to the streak. She glares at them with disdain. Watson meets Morland at his office and shows him that the mansion that sold for millions below market value was his. The buyer in turn supported funding for the district attorney who then decided not to charge Sherlock for the assault on Oscar Rankin. Impressed, Morland deduces that she hasn't told Sherlock. He says she shouldn't since Sherlock would probably make Morland's dealings public just to spite him. Letting Morland know that she's decided to accept his offer, she warns him that she's not going to let him hurt Sherlock.
I've always been willing to go to lengths to protect Sherlock.