|This page is a transcript for the Season Three episode Hemlock.|
Sherlock Holmes: Elizabeth Short, she disappeared January the 9th. Her body was found bisected and exsanguinated on January the 14th.
Holmes: Drained of blood.
Athena: Oh. Elizabeth Short. I know the name.
Holmes: The press dubbed her The Black Dahlia shortly after her murder. I maintain several files of unsolved cases to keep me stimulated when interesting work fails to come in. And this is one of them.
Athena: How are you supposed to solve a murder from the 1930s?
Holmes: I did it with the Whitechapel killings and they date back to the 1800s.
Athena: Whitechapel? You know who Jack the Ripper is?
Holmes: See, I've long postulated a connection between the death of Miss Short and the killing of a young girl in Chicago named Suzanne Degnan in the year prior. See, letters from both killers use similar phrasing and similar combinations of letters. Don't you think?
Athena: Maybe. I don't know.
Holmes: No, no, but look. What do you think? Just venture an opinion. Well, what about you?
Minerva: I don't know. Can we do something besides talk about murder?
Holmes (in Nepalese): The press painted her as a harlot, but I believe it was the loneliness that killed her. She must have known her attacker. Mr. Iyengar?
Mr. Iyengar: Are you lonely?
Holmes: That's not the point.
Holmes: Jack Anderson Wilson is a viable suspect but there's no evidence he was ever in Chicago. Wilson sometimes used the alias Arnold Smith. If I can demonstrate that Arnold Smith went to Chicago, then we might have something worth discussing. Not that you're much of a conversationalist. State your business.
Jill Horowitz: Um, my name is Jill Horowitz. An acquaintance of mine says you're the best P.I. in the city. Is this a bad time?
Holmes: On the contrary, it's the perfect time.
Jill: My husband, Steven, is an attorney at Dorchester Reid.
Holmes: You say those words as if they're supposed to hold some significance for me.
Jill: It's one of the top law firms in the city. Steven has been uh, distant lately. Works odd hours, makes ridiculous excuses. For a lawyer, he's a terrible liar.
Holmes: You suspect your husband is having an affair.
Jill: He has to be. They work long hours, but lately it's been worse than usual. Steven has pulled plenty of all-nighters but I haven't seen him in two days.
Holmes: You haven't seen or spoken to your husband in 48 hours? He's missing.
Jill: Please. You have to lead an interesting life to be missing. All Steven does is work. He left me. I want you to do the P.I. thing. Find where he is, who he's with. Get me some pictures that I can use in court.
Holmes: You keep using the phrase "P.I." That's not what I do. The marital squabbles of two petit bourgeois Manhattanites interests me not a whit.
Holmes: Normally, that is, they'd interest me not a whit. But you've caught me at something of a vulnerable moment. I could use a distraction.
Joan Watson: It's a pretty good likeness.
Holmes: Imagine sitting for an oil portrait in this day and age. The hubris practically leaks off the canvas. You had sex this morning.
Watson: Excuse me?
Holmes: Your stride indicates a recent release of tension. Is Andrew in town, or have you taken another lover?
Watson: He got in yesterday. He's back in town for good. The model factory's up and running in Copenhagen, so now he can work from the States.
Holmes: And you can be a full-time couple. You must be thrilled.
Watson: Absolutely. Sure. So why are we looking into a cheating husband? Are you that desperate for work?
Holmes: I used to relish my solitude. But the truth is, I've grown accustomed to having a companion at The Brownstone. The place feels a little empty these days.
Watson: No word from Kitty? You know you can always call me if you wanna talk.
Holmes: You want your independence. I will not intrude. Anyway, this work might turn out to be interesting. Before you got here, I told the receptionist I was here to see Steven Horowitz. She said there's no one of that name working here.
Watson: His wife said Dorchester Reid, right?
Gavin: You're the ones looking for Steven? Look, I don't know what to tell you. Steven was an associate here until about six months ago. They let him go.
Watson: Do you know why?
Gavin: We have a bloodletting from time to time. Guess they didn't think he was partner material.
Holmes: His wife is under the impression he still works here. She gave us a phone number which matches your exchanges.
Gavin: Like I said, don't know what to tell you. But I gotta go. This isn't billable.
Watson: What are you doing?
Holmes: I'm calling the number Steven's wife gave us.
Ashley Medina (phone): Steven Horowitz's office.
Holmes (phone): Yes, hello, is that the same Steven Horowitz who works as an attorney at Dorchester Reid?
Medina (phone): That's right.
Watson: You're thinking whoever answered the phone is somewhere in there.
Receptionist: Excuse me.
Holmes: I won't be a moment, I'm just...
Medina (phone): Steven Horowitz's office.
Holmes (phone): Hello, is he in?
Medina (phone): Not at the moment. Can I take a message?
Holmes (phone): I'd really like to speak with him. We're supposed to be playing racquetball.
Medina (phone): Racquetball? Steven doesn't play racquetball.
Holmes (phone): Are you telling me I'm not standing on a racquetball court as we speak?
Medina (phone): I don't know where you are, sir.
Holmes (phone): Well that's a shame. If you had a bit more spatial awareness, you'd realize I was standing right behind you.
Holmes: Would you mind telling us why you're pretending to be the secretary of a man who hasn't worked here in six months?
Medina: Please, you can't tell anyone that I am still answering Steven's phones. They are always looking for an excuse to fire people around here. Admins are in charge of deactivating the phones when someone is let go, but Steven begged me not to. He pays me a little every week just to keep answering.
Watson: So he wants people to think he's still working here.
Medina: I guess. It's mostly his wife who calls. Just forward it to a cell most of the time.
Watson: That's kind of a big lie. She never caught on?
Medina: Steven and Jill are not the most connected couple. She does a lot of charity work. He works long hours. I guess she would've found out eventually, but I'm not surprised he fooled her.
Watson: Is there any reason he didn't tell her?
Medina: He never said. But the name Dorchester Reid opens a lot of doors. Steven and Jill live in a co-op building, they belong to the Braebury Club. I guess he just wanted to keep up appearances.
Holmes: Well, that's all fine and dandy until the bill comes due.
Medina: I handled Steven's mail for two years. He didn't have much savings but there was money coming in from somewhere.
Holmes: You think he was involved in something illegal?
Medina: I don't know. But his wife wasn't the only one who called. Some of the other people sounded a little I don't know, shady? Most of them wouldn't even leave their names. When he offered me money to answer the phones, I assumed I'd get a check every week. Instead, he sent cash. It was like he didn't want there to be a paper trail.
Holmes: Did you get paid recently?
Medina: Yeah. I got an envelope a couple days ago. I was gonna bring it to the bank at lunch.
Holmes: Can I? Thanks.
Watson: No return address. Postmarked 11101.
Holmes: That's Long Island City. It's not near his home. Perhaps it's near his new business. This stain is horchata. Specifically, Salvadoran horchata. The morro seeds give it away.
Watson: So his office might be near a place that serves Salvadoran food in Long Island City.
Holmes: Thank you. You've been most helpful. You're free to resume your life of tedium and petty deception.
Holmes: I give you Long Island City's foremost purveyors of tamales, pupusas and, of course, horchata. According to the online reviews, the cuisine is thoroughly authentic, although the ambience can be ruined by the appearance of an occasional rat.
Watson: That explains the notice from the Health Department. So, what are we looking for here, signs of Steven? Hey, have you ever thought about getting a roommate?
Holmes: At times, you seem to understand me quite well, and then you'll do something like ask if I've considered taking on a flatmate.
Watson: Why is that such a weird question? You like being around people.
Holmes: You are not people, Watson. Neither was Kitty. People, in case you hadn't noticed, are a crassulent, beef-witted lot.
Watson: Okay, no idea what "crassulent" means. But I'm not saying take an ad online. I mean you've got a lot of interesting acquaintances. I'm sure one of them wouldn't mind getting a cheap room in a huge brownstone.
Holmes: And who do you have in mind?
Watson: Well, it probably shouldn't be someone from the program. Hey, what about Ms. Hudson? She's smart.
Holmes: I know far too much about that woman's love life as it is.
Watson: Mmm. Mason's too young. What about The Nose? He seems tidy.
Holmes: Nose owns half of Washington Heights. I hardly think he has use for my spare bedroom.
Watson: Well, there has to be somebody.
Holmes: Oh, thank goodness.
Watson: For what?
Holmes: I found a way out of this conversation. The file I gave you on Horowitz, you read the piece about his car?
Watson: Yeah, black Lexus. License plate begins with a P, I think.
Holmes: PCT-2093. This is his car.
Watson: Huh. Street-cleaning violation. Wednesday afternoon. This car has been here for a few days. "SMH Incorporated." Steven Matthew Horowitz.
Watson: Looks like this place shut down in a hurry.
Holmes: Judging by the age of the mold that has accrued in this cup, I'd say it was active less than a week ago.
Watson: So around the same time that Steven disappeared.
Holmes: The two are in all likelihood connected. The question is, which came first?
Watson: A lot of phones. Looks like they were selling something.
Holmes: See the way the dust has settled?
Watson: There was a carpet runner here on the floor until a few days ago. The fire extinguisher is missing. No sign of a fire.
Holmes: I suspect it was used for off-label purposes.
Watson: Looks like blood.
Holmes: This is reason enough to call Captain Gregson.
Watson: That's a piece of brain matter.
Captain Gregson: I just talked to the M.E. Preliminary DNA confirms that the blood and brain matter both belong to Steven Horowitz.
Detective Bell: Well, we got canine units combing the area. No sign of a body.
Holmes: Be very surprised if you find one. The killer most likely wrapped it in the missing carpet runner and then transported it by car. So he could've gone anywhere.
Holmes: Steven Horowitz kept himself in good shape. I think it's unlikely that a woman beat him to death with a fire extinguisher. Though not impossible, of course. Watson, I've got every confidence you could brain a man with a metal tube if you put your mind to it.
Watson: That's very nice of you to say.
Gregson: What about the wife? You said they didn't get along? You think she could've hired someone to do this?
Holmes: Well, we can't rule it out. But I can't imagine why she would commit murder and then hire me.
Gregson: Hmm. Where are we on SMH Inc? Any idea what it is yet?
Bell: It's been around since August. Steven Horowitz was the only officer on record, so we're pulling the W-2s to look for employees. I'll let you know what we get.
Watson: What about phone records? The offices were clearly some sort of a calling center.
Bell: We're running that down. Everyone's closed for the night but we should have them first thing.
Gregson: Okay, I gotta notify the wife.
Holmes: Perhaps you and I should retire to my home, develop further theories.
Watson: What's to develop? We'll get the records in the morning and go from there. Oh, would you rather not be alone?
Holmes: Don't talk twaddle. I just wanna maintain focus.
Watson: I'd hang out but I'm making dinner with Andrew.
Holmes: Well, I don't hang out, Watson.
Watson: Well, call me if you're going crazy. And think about the roommate.
Bell: I'm not moving in with you.
Holmes: I didn't ask you to.
Andrew Mittal: The Tribeca space is obviously centrally located, but I don't know. It's small. And it's Tribeca. People are very cool in Tribeca.
Watson: You're cool.
Andrew: Thanks. You know what I mean. If I go to Bushwick, I get actual bay windows, an office with a door that closes and room to grow.
Watson: Well, sounds like you already made up your mind. Go Bushwick. So dinner is ready. Okay, don't judge me. Ha, ha.
Andrew: Oh, hey, my Dad called this afternoon. He's in town tomorrow on business. He wants to take us out for dinner. If you're free, that is.
Watson: Sure. I'd love to meet him.
Andrew: Don't worry. It's not meeting my Dad. It's just dinner. Totally low-key. I'll tell him 7:30?
Ruth Talbert (phone): At the end of the day do you think, "Wow, I really harassed a lot of people today"? Because I think if I had your job, I'd probably just kill myself.
Holmes (phone): Madam, I merely obtained your phone number through SMH Incorporated. I am not affiliated with them.
Talbert (phone): I'm warning you. Don't call here again.
Watson: Friend of yours?
Holmes: That was Ms. Ruth Talbert from Taos, New Mexico. Detective Bell sent the phone records from Steven's office earlier this morning. I've been calling the numbers in an effort to find out what SMH Incorporated was up to and perhaps turn up a suspect or two.
Watson: Sounds like you found one.
Holmes: As a matter of fact, I found thousands of them. Everyone who received a phone call from SMH Incorporated had motive to kill Steven Horowitz. Steven Horowitz was a debt merchant.
Watson: A what now?
Holmes: Someone somewhere buys, let's say, a Jet Ski on credit. Then she loses her job and she stops paying. Another person dislikes the curvature of his buttocks, so he splurges on a set of implants. Another soul eyes an Italian supercar and thinks, "Why not me?"
Watson: People buy things they can't afford. I'm aware of the concept. Many, many people. Much of it is frivolous, some of it is not. But every such purchase flows into a massive ocean of consumer debt. In this country alone, it adds up to $2.4 trillion, most of it owed to credit-card companies.
Watson: Horowitz did not work for a credit-card company.
Holmes: True, but such corporations have a policy of giving up on trying to collect unpaid debt after 180 days. Someone's decided it's just not worth the effort. So they sell it on.
Watson: They sell the debt? To who? Why would anyone buy an unpaid bill?
Holmes: Because you can get it at a steep discount. Let's say you purchase $10,000 worth of debt for $1,000. You're then able to harass or otherwise wring $5,000 out of your unfortunate creditees. You've then made...
Watson: Four-thousand dollars.
Holmes: As a way to make a living, it's more than a bit déclassé, which is why Steven kept it hidden from his wife. But it can also be very lucrative, which is why he was doing it in the first place.
Watson: We're gonna need a phone bank of our own to sort through all these people.
Holmes: Actually, we're going to the precinct. I asked Detective Bell to sort through the W-2s from Steven's company. He's bringing in an employee named Eduardo Peña.
Watson: Well, any one of those people on the wall had motive to want Steven gone.
Holmes: And I wouldn't rule them out. But the debt-collection industry is notorious for hiring convicts and recent parolees. I think it's equally likely that Steven ran afoul of one of his shadowy new associates.
Watson: Someone like Eduardo Peña.
Holmes: The man does have a history of incarceration and violent assault.
Holmes: Copies of the W-2 forms from SMH Incorporated. Bell hasn't arrived with Mr. Peña yet. I thought we could look through them and see if there's anything untoward. Why did you lie?
Holmes: That's an Argentinian steakhouse. It's an established fact that you abhor chimichurri sauce.
Watson: First of all, don't read over my shoulder. And it wasn't a lie. I'm being polite. We're dinning with Andrew's father. He probably picked it. I'm not gonna say I won't go there.
Holmes: Meeting the parents. That's an important milestone in your romantic passion play.
Watson: No, I'm not meeting his parents. I'm having dinner with his father. It's no big deal.
Holmes: Why's it making you so tense?
Watson: I'm not tense about the meal. I'm tense about you grilling me about it.
Watson: Marcus is here. Thank God.
Eduardo Peña: Steven and I worked our first debt package together a few months ago. It was his first time. I kind of showed him the ropes.
Gregson: And you were working on another project together, weren't you? Out in Long Island City?
Peña: Steven got tipped to a big package. He called it the mother lode. Millions and millions' worth of debt that he picked up on the cheap.
Bell: How many millions?
Peña: I don't know. Steven never showed me the whole list. He'd just give us names to call every day.
Gregson: Why were your offices shut down?
Peña: I don't really know. Sometimes if Steven had his hooks into someone who owed big money and they lived nearby, he'd drive out to see him, try to collect in person. He went out on one of those errands last week, came back, told us all to go home.
Gregson: What happened? Who did he see?
Peña: No idea. He just said we were done collecting on the package. Which was ridiculous because we hadn't even called a third of the names yet.
Bell: How do you know that? Thought you never saw the whole list.
Peña: Just a guess.
Watson: He's lying.
Watson: Who you calling?
Holmes: The phone company. I'm gonna pretend to be Mr. Peña.
Bell: You must have been pretty upset, losing a job out of nowhere like that.
Peña: I was wondering when you were gonna get to that. You think I killed Steven, right? Makes sense. He fired me. I've got a rap sheet. He died, what, a couple days ago?
Gregson: That's right.
Peña: Steven let everybody go last week. I left for Springfield, Ohio the next day. Got back last night.
Bell: What were you doing there?
Peña: Nephew's birthday party. I'll show you the travel receipts if you want.
Holmes: He might not have killed Steven Horowitz but he's lying about one thing. He has the complete list of debts. He stole it.
Peña: Who's that?
Holmes: Mr. Peña just installed 14 new phone lines in his apartment. He's opening a boiler room of his own.
Gregson: Is that true? If we look around your place, are we gonna find Steven's list of debtors?
Bell: If we do, that's criminal possession of stolen property. That's a felony charge and a parole violation. Now, of course, if your alibi checks out, you give us the list voluntarily, we might be able to work something out with your PO.
Holmes: Presenting the mother lode. It looks, at first glance, to be around $20 million worth of unpaid bills.
Watson: So, what are we looking for in here?
Holmes: Any large amounts owed by residents of Naugatuck, Connecticut. We have Steven's E-Z Pass records and cell-phone tower pings from a rural route in Naugatuck shortly before his disappearance. He had no normal business there. Perhaps he was looking for a debtor.
Watson: So you wanna find out what happened in that face-to-face visit.
Holmes: Everything was proceeding quite normally up to that point, so we need to learn what scared Steven into closing his business. You really mustn't feel badly about not wanting to meet Andrew's parents. The man's always been something of a placeholder for you.
Watson: Placeholder? I never said that.
Holmes: You've also, in all the time you've dated, never displayed a hint of the intoxication which accompanies new love. Now he's back permanently, seeking a modest escalation of the relationship and you're forced to confront your lack of passion for the man. That's a line of thinking which leads inevitably to a breakup.
Watson: I don't wanna break up with Andrew. We're just sort of starting out.
Holmes: If you don't wanna break up with him, then why does the idea of meeting his parents fill you with a nameless dread?
Holmes: Don't answer that right away. We'll have plenty of time to think because we're driving to Connecticut.
Watson: You found someone.
Holmes: Owen Downey. According to this list, he has accumulated several hundred thousand dollars' worth of debt.
Holmes: Owen Downey has a felony record, so if he doesn't answer the door...
Watson: We don't pick the lock.
Holmes: Good afternoon. We're consultants with the N.Y.P.D. We'd like to see Owen Downey.
Carla: Oh, I'm sorry. Owen's having his treatment right now.
Watson: We just have a few questions for him. It's kind of been a long drive.
Carla: If you're willing to wait, you can talk to him in a minute. But right now Owen isn't saying anything.
Holmes: I don't think that man's bludgeoned anyone recently.
Watson: What's his diagnosis?
Carla: Emphysema. Owen thinks he picked it up working construction. But he never got any money out of the company. I'm Owen's aunt. I work at a hospital in town. I come by whenever I can. Get him whatever medicine I can get my hands on.
Holmes: During your visits, have you ever seen this man?
Carla: Sure. Steven. He's been out here a few times. Is he okay?
Holmes: I'm afraid not. He was murdered.
Carla: Oh, my goodness. I'm so sorry to hear that. I know Steven was struggling to find his way, but he was a good man.
Watson: A good man? He was trying to collect money from your nephew.
Carla: At first. Then he talked to Owen for a while. The second time I saw him here, he brought groceries. Then last week, he told Owen he didn't owe him anything anymore.
Carla: It was like a miracle. Steven said he couldn't live with what he was doing. He couldn't bleed money out of people who were down on their luck anymore. He was forgiving Owen's debt.
Watson: Maybe that's why he closed the business.
Holmes: He wasn't just absolving Owen's debt, he was doing it for everyone in that file.
Carla: Excuse me.
Holmes: Steven Horowitz may not have been killed because he was a debt collector. He may have been killed because he was a debt forgiver.
Gregson: So Steven Horowitz was, what, some kind of Robin Hood?
Holmes: The analogy is not perfect, but in a manner of speaking, yes. He didn't set out to forgive a massive parcel of debt. He had every intention of collecting on the mother lode but somewhere along the way had an epiphany.
Bell: It's kind of like the Grinch giving back Christmas.
Gregson: Well, good on Steven. What has this got to do with his murder?
Holmes: An entirely pertinent question. Before he could process the paperwork which would actually have registered the debt as settled, Steven was murdered.
Bell: You think someone wanted to stop him from doing that?
Holmes: I think Steven had very little in the way of savings. Someone would have alerted him to the existence of the mother lode. It was a package which, if worked properly, could set him up for life. But it would cost millions of dollars to purchase.
Gregson: So he had investors?
Holmes: And who purchases shares in large packets of unpaid debt? A rogues' gallery. Those who spend their lives in the twilight between the legal and the criminal. I give you the principal investors in SMH Incorporated.
Bell: Is that Sam Gianini?
Holmes: The reputed head of what is left of the city's crime family invested through a shell corporation named after his niece. Grace Yee, doyenne of Brooklyn's offtrack betting economy. Walker Tolan, curator of sex clubs which connect money to Wall Street with pliable young men and women. I would go on, but you get the picture. There's no one here you would invite to high tea.
Gregson: No one you'd wanna stiff on their seed money either.
Holmes: Precisely. Steven Horowitz's spiritual awakening had the unhappy side effect of enraging a cross-section of blackguards and highwaymen. It's our job to figure out which one of them killed him.
Bell: With that group, it would've been a race to the finish line.
Watson: So obviously I did not become a sober companion to be a detective. I didn't even know I wanted to be a detective until I actually started doing it. I mean, I resisted it for a long time but I'm really glad I made the switch.
Santhosh Mittal: So surgeon, sober companion, detective.
Watson: I know it sounds meandering when I describe it, but I promise you it all felt very organic while it was actually happening.
Santhosh: That's a rather perfect description of most people's lives. I find your story inspiring actually.
Watson: Wow. I think my mother would say "flighty," but thanks.
Santhosh: Well, of course she would. We worry about our children. That never goes away. But to me, it sounds like you found your passion. You were open to it when it presented itself. You didn't settle. It's exactly the sense of adventure Andrew's mother and I tried to foster in our own children.
Andrew: You guys enrolled me in a programming class in third grade.
Santhosh: And look at you now. I'm sorry it's taken so long for us to get together. You're remarkable.
Holmes: Watson, what are you doing here?
Watson: I just came here to punch you.
Holmes: What was that for?
Watson: I hate it when you're right.
Holmes: Is this about your dinner?
Watson: It was totally a meet-the-parents thing.
Holmes: There's no version of meeting someone's parents that doesn't involve actually meeting their parents.
Watson: You know what I mean. Andrew's father was so amazing. He was warm and welcoming. And obviously so thrilled that I was dating his son. It went about as well as you could possibly imagine.
Holmes: And yet...
Watson: I didn't want any of it. I just didn't feel comfortable. I mean, Andrew is smart, he's kind, he doesn't dress like a high school student who just got expelled. What is wrong with me? I'm not feeling anything I'm supposed to be feeling.
Holmes: I'm an expert in many things but love is not one of them. I do know, however, it cannot be reduced to a checklist of traits. You know, you might have to accept the fact that whatever your relationship with Andrew means, you just don't want it.
Watson: Then what do I want?
Holmes: I don't know. And while you're sorting that out, you might inadvertently be treating a kind man rather shabbily.
Watson: Well, I know what has to happen. What are you up to anyway? Why are you making Clyde paint?
Holmes: I'm not forcing him to do anything. He enjoys it. It's quite soothing to watch while I wait to be humiliated. When we parted company, we were assuming that Steven Horowitz was murdered by one of his investors. Now, cursory investigation has revealed that to be false. Steven, it turns out, worked enough of the mother lode to pay off his investors before he had his change of heart.
Watson: So if it wasn't one of them...
Holmes: We are quite without suspect. In an effort to dredge one up, I've been thinking about the nature of debt. It is, first and foremost, leverage that one person holds over another.
Holmes: Given that, I've been wondering if perhaps our killer had reason to want someone in that portfolio, or someone's, to stay in debt. Before he had his change of heart, Steven drove all the way out to Connecticut to hound one man, Owen Downey. There are other people listed on the mother lode who owed more money and lived nearby. Steven focused on Owen. Why? Upon revisiting Owen, I discovered something quite interesting about his community. All of the properties within a five-mile radius of Owen's house were purchased over the last two years by the same property developer, Jay Stern Investments.
Watson: For what?
Holmes: Don't know. Hasn't been made public yet. I've asked our friends at Everyone to have a look behind Stern Investments' firewalls and perhaps shed some light on the matter. They're presently deciding what price they wish to extract.
Watson: Which is why you're waiting to be humiliated.
Holmes: I believe that might be them now. Ha! Brilliant. Yes, they're no doubt congratulating themselves on having erected their most fiendish obstacle yet.
Watson: Well, yeah, they want a Super Bowl ring.
Holmes: A proverbial piece of cake. I'll simply call Phillip and the matter will be well in hand.
Watson: Phillip? Phil Simms? I know you two have worked together or something, but you really think he's gonna give you one of his Super Bowl rings?
Holmes: You've got no idea what the man owes me.
Holmes: Morning. Repast. Couture. We're going to see the board of directors at Stern Investments.
Watson: I didn't know I had clothes left here.
Holmes: You didn't. I purchased those. We frequently work late nights so I imagined they'd be of use. Hope they're to your liking.
Watson: Oh, it's great actually. Thanks. Why are we going to Stern Investments?
Holmes: Phillip squared his account with me and Everyone got their ring. They spent quite a bit of time on Stern's servers. I learned interesting details about the sex lives of some of the board members. I also determined they're planning to build a ski resort in Connecticut. Naugatuck to be exact.
Watson: Which is why they're buying up the land.
Holmes: At the moment, the details of the project are known only to the six members of Stern's board and their CEO. They'd like to unveil the plans next week only there's a problem. Owen Downey's house sits right in the middle of their proposed mountain lodge.
Watson: He's a holdout.
Holmes: Mmm. Mr. Downey is understandably unwilling to uproot his life in his current condition. Stern thinks they'll be able to force a sale since Owen will not be able to repay his medical debts unless he sells his last remaining asset, his home.
Watson: But if Steven forgave Owen's debt...
Holmes: There'd be no need to sell. The entire resort would be imperiled.
Watson: Only six people knew about this?
Holmes: Seven, including the CEO. I do like a nice tidy pool of suspects.
Jay Stern: We've got to be able to line up everybody in town, shoulder-to-shoulder, or we're gonna look awfully weak in this next meeting.
Holmes: Morning ladies and gentlemen.
Stern: What the hell is going on?
Secretary: I'm sorry sir. I couldn't stop them.
Holmes: Apologies for the interruption, but cold logic dictates that one of you is likely a killer. My colleague and I are in an on-again, off-again relationship with the N.Y.P.D. We thought we'd take a look at you all in one place and see if anyone pops out.
Stern: This is insane. What are you talking about? Look, you can't barge in here. Get out. Call our attorneys.
Holmes: My apologies. On second thoughts, it's distinctly possible there is no killer in this room. One of you, however, does like to be spanked. Carry on.
Watson: What happened in there? I thought you were sure one of them did it.
Holmes: Of the seven people in that room, three of them were women of small stature, one was a geriatric, and one was trying to hide the fact that he's nearly blind from his colleagues. And one, whose e-mails I happen to have read, was spending his evening in the company of his dominatrix at the time Steven Horowitz was killed. The CEO was the only one who could have overpowered and bludgeoned a grown man, and he had the remnants of a peeling sunburn at the edges of his hairline. We'll confirm it but I think he was on holiday at the time of the murder.
Watson: Any one of them could have hired a killer.
Holmes: Unlikely. Professional killers tend to execute people in professional fashion. They don't blunder about with fire extinguishers.
Watson: So in other words, we're nowhere.
Holmes: Quite the contrary. I have a very good idea who killed Steven Horowitz.
Receptionist: Sorry, who are you here to meet with?
Holmes: Oh no, we're not here to meet anyone. We just came to look at one of your partners, Coleman Brown. These are on public display, are they not?
Receptionist: I guess.
Holmes: Great. Thanks. When we were expelled from Stern Investments, their CEO gave me the card of their attorney. Did you know that Stern Investments is represented by Dorchester Reid?
Watson: So someone from Steven's old law firm represents the people who wanna build a ski resort on Owen Downey's property.
Holmes: An attorney who, if worth his salt as a negotiator, stands to earn a massive commission should the resort become a reality.
Watson: Coleman Brown. I did a little research on the way over here. Coleman and Steven were both members of the Braebury Country Club. Apparently they routinely played golf together. I suspect it was Coleman Brown who made Steven aware of the mother lode in the first place.
Watson: So this guy points Steven at Owen. But if Steven forgave Owen's debt, instead of breathing down his neck until he sold his house...
Holmes: Coleman Brown would lose millions.
Coleman Brown: Excuse me.
Holmes: Mr. Brown. This is a very good likeness, yes. A bit flattering in the cheekbones but it's good.
Brown: Our receptionist said there were two people here to look at a painting of me. Can I help you with something?
Holmes: Uh, no. Not at the moment. Thank you, though.
Watson: So now what?
Holmes: Now we build a case against Mr. Brown.
Watson: Did you really have to bring that back here?
Holmes: I hardly think the painting will be missed. Once we prove that Coleman Brown is a cold-blooded murderer, they'll probably take it down anyway. Besides, there's something about his smug visage I find highly motivating.
Watson: If you're so motivated, how come we haven't connected him to the murder yet?
Holmes: I suspect it has to do with the paucity of physical evidence.
Watson: I don't care if you're motivated by him or not. I feel like he's staring at me. I'm taking it down. In this painting, Mr. Brown is wearing a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. If you Google him, he's wearing the same pair in all of his pictures. When we met him today...
Holmes: He was wearing rimless frames. Could be he has more than one pair of glasses.
Watson: Could be. Or maybe there's some physical evidence after all.
Gregson: Mr. Brown. Thanks for coming down.
Brown: Whatever. Let's make this fast.
Gregson: We just have a few questions. Right this way.
Brown: Oh, seriously? These two? They stole a portrait worth thousands of dollars from my office yesterday.
Gregson: Uh, well, we'll, sort that out in a bit. Ahem. First uh, have a seat. We wanted to talk to you about Steven Horowitz.
Brown: Guy who used to work at my firm?
Holmes: We know that you alerted Steven to a package of debt which contained Owen Downey's medical bills. We also know that you stood to earn millions of dollars if Stern Investments could compel Mr. Downey to sell his home. Unfortunately, your debt collector had a sentimental streak.
Watson: When Steven told you he planned to forgive Owen's debt along with everyone else's, you couldn't abide that, could you? You went to his office and you confronted him. And then you killed him.
Brown: That's ridiculous. I've never even set foot in his office.
Watson: Are you sure about that? Yes, I'm sure. I'm getting an attorney.
Gregson: That's a good idea. Because you're gonna need one.
Watson: You recently bought a new pair of glasses.
Watson: So you needed to buy a new pair of glasses because you shattered your old ones when you attacked Mr. Horowitz. We picked through the evidence again last night. Most of what we found was shattered glass from the fire extinguisher box. But some of it was polycarbonate. Like you'd find from a pair of glasses.
Holmes: When we put those pieces together, a fingerprint very courteously assembled itself on the partially reconstituted lens. Would you like to guess whose it was?
Watson: What were you saying before about never having set foot in his office?
Brown: I'm not saying anything else without my attorney present.
Gregson: You have exactly one bargaining chip left. The location of Steven Horowitz's body. We'll go ahead and call your attorney right after we get done reading you your rights.
Jill: What is that?
Holmes: That, madam, is your property. You're Steven Horowitz's next of kin, so you rightfully inherit ownership of the debt he was collecting in order to maintain the family lifestyle.
Jill: Steven could have told me he was fired. My God. What happened to us?
Holmes: I couldn't say. I can tell you that that package, worked properly, will make you very, very wealthy. Steven decided he had other ideas for it. Whether or not you decide to honor those ideas is entirely up to you.
Barista: Skim-milk latte for Joan and whole-milk latte for Andrew.
Watson: Thank you. Excuse me. Here we go.
Andrew: Thanks. Ugh. Skim milk. I think you gave me the wrong one.
Watson: Oh. Sorry.
Andrew: So, what's going on? Why'd you wanna meet?
Watson: Um, Andrew you are such a great guy and I'm lucky to know you. I just...
Andrew: I'm not what you're looking for right now?
Watson: I don't know what I'm looking for. That's the problem. I mean, if Andrew, are you okay? Oh, my God, what's wrong? Oh, my God. Somebody call an ambulance. Okay. Okay. Okay. Andrew. Andrew. Oh, God. No. Andrew? Okay. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.