With Kitty having returned to London, Holmes discovers that he's not used to being alone at The Brownstone anymore. Diversions with Athena and Minerva, a Nepalese chess player and Bob no longer fulfill him. Bored, he takes a case from Jill Horowitz who hasn't seen her lawyer husband Steven in two days. Watson meets him in the lobby at Steven's firm, Dorchester Reid, where Holmes has found that Steven was fired but didn't tell Jill. He's also deduced that Watson's boyfriend Andrew is back in NYC and she says he's home for good. After calling Steven's number and receiving a reply from a woman who says she's his secretary, he walks into the offices, calls again and surprises the secretary, Melina. Melina admits that after Steven was let go six months before, he convinced her to keep his phone active and paid her to keep up appearances that he still worked there.
Can we do something besides talk about murder?
Melina doesn't know why Steven is keeping the phone active but says that some of those who called were shady. She shows Holmes an envelope Steven gave her with cash and after seeing the postmark and tasting a stain on the envelope, Holmes deduces Steven is working in Long Island City near a Salvadoran restaurant. After finding the restaurant, Watson asks an uncomfortable Holmes if he'd consider a getting a roommate to fend off his loneliness. Evading the question, Holmes finds Steven's new business which appears to have been abandoned a week before. Filled with telephones, the fire extinguisher is missing and they find shattered glass, blood and brain matter. Later at the 11th Precinct, Captain Gregson informs them the DNA found at the scene is Steven's and Detective Bell indicates he's looking for employees of Steven's company, SMH Inc.
That's a piece of brain matter.
Holmes asks Watson to continue working on the case at the Brownstone but she begs off for dinner with Andrew. He's annoyed when Watson implies that he's lonely and can call him if he needs to talk. At Watson's apartment, Andrew discusses the location of his new office and Watson is taken aback when he asks her to dinner with his father. The next day at the Brownstone, Holmes shows Watson that SMH Inc. was a debt collection company. Steven would buy debt packages at a percent of their value and then try and collect more than he paid for the debt. Bell has found an ex-con employee of SMH Inc., Eduardo Peña, so while waiting for Peña at the precinct, Holmes learns of Watson's upcoming dinner with Andrew's father. She becomes annoyed as he points out that such a meeting is an important milestone in a relationship. In "the box", Peña says that Steven had acquired a debt packages worth millions.
Why would anyone buy an unpaid bill?
However, after visiting a debtor in the area, he told all the staff to go home. Peña has an alibi for when Steven was killed but Holmes sees he's lying about not knowing what happened to the debt package. Discovering he's had many phone lines installed at his home, Peña gives up the package to avoid a parole violation. While looking through the package for local debtors that live in locations Steven's cell phone indicate he visited, Holmes annoys Watson by indicating that she seems to be dreading having dinner with Andrew's father. Discovering debtor Owen Downey owed a large sum, they drive to Downey's home in Connecticut. Finding he's bed-ridden and receiving treatment for emphysema from his sister Carla, she said that Steven did visit. Initially, he demanded payment but seeing that Downey's debt was due to his medical bills, he had a change of heart, forgave Downey's debt and decided to close the business.
You think I killed Steven, right?
At the precinct, Holmes reports to Bell and Gregson that Steven was killed before he could process the paperwork to forgive Downey's debt. He's found that Steven's investors in the package included many known criminal bosses. Believing one of them killed Steven for not paying back their investment, he intends to investigate each of them. At dinner with Andrew and his father Santhosh, Watson answers questions about her career choices. Santhosh is very impressed and calls her remarkable much to Andrew's pleasure. Afterwards, Watson marches into the Brownstone and punches Holmes for being right about Andrew's intentions for meeting his father. She doesn't understand why she's uncomfortable in her relationship with Andrew despite him being a great person and his father approving their relationship. As Holmes watches Clyde paint, he can only proffer that perhaps Watson doesn't want a normal relationship.
It sounds like you found your passion.
Having found that Steven repaid all the crime bosses before forgiving Downey's debt, Holmes tells Watson that all properties around Downey's home were purchased by Stern Investments. He has Everyone investigating why and they've demanded a Super Bowl ring as payment which he contacts Phil Simms for. The next morning, Holmes wakes Watson with breakfast and news that they're visiting the board of Stern Investments. Everyone has found that Stern plans to build a ski resort and Downey was the only holdout. With his debt forgiven, Stern would have no leverage over Downey and the development would be doomed. Bursting into a Stern Investment board meeting, Jay Stern demands Holmes and Watson leave and tells a secretary to call their attorneys while handing Holmes a card from their law firm. Holmes apologizes, leaves and explains to Watson that none of the board members were strong enough to have killed Steven but he knows who did.
All the properties have been purchased.
At Steven's old law firm, Dorchester Reid, Holmes shows Watson that a lawyer at the firm, Coleman Brown, is Stern's attorney. Looking at a portrait of Brown in the lobby, Holmes tells her that Brown and Steven regularly played golf together and he believes that after Downey held out, he pointed Steven towards the debt package in order to force Downey into selling his home. When Steven decided to forgive Downey's debt, Brown would stand to lose millions and killed Steven. Brown enters the lobby and asks why they are there which Holmes evades. Holmes steals Brown's portrait and at the Brownstone, while building the case against him, Watson is bothered by the portrait and insists on taking it down. She notices that the glasses Brown wears in the portrait and in all photos of him on-line are different than those he wore when he met them in the lobby. She believes she can find some evidence connecting Brown to Downey's murder.
Can I help you with something?
At the precinct, Gregson leads Brown into a conference room where he's perturbed to see Holmes and Watson and accuses them of stealing his portrait. They outline his plan to use Steven to force Downey to sell and that he killed Steven when he forgave the debt. Leaving to get his lawyer, Brown confirms that he bought new glasses recently. Watson tells him that when some of the glass at Steven's murder scene was assembled, it formed a lens from a pair of glasses that had Brown's fingerprint on it. Refusing to speak, Gregson arrests him and warns that revealing the location of Steven's body is Brown's only bargaining chip. At the Brownstone, Holmes tells Jill of Steven's fate and offers her the debt package which she leaves behind. At a coffee shop, Watson gets two lattes for her and Andrew and is bumped into by a woman in a purple jacket. Andrew takes a sip of his latte and while Watson works up the courage to break up with him, Andrew begins to choke. He falls to the floor, Watson yells for someone to call 911 and begins CPR on him.