|This page is a transcript for the Season Three episode Just a Regular Irregular.|
Kitty Winter: It's open. It's nothing. It's Sherlock, one of his experts.
Joan Watson: Which one?
Kitty: Phillip something.
Watson: Must be new.
Kitty: He's a knife-thrower.
Watson: Why does Sherlock have a knife-thrower?
Kitty: He got bored the other day, started looking into this circus accident from the '30s. The Great Galardo perforated one of his assistants during an act except Sherlock thinks the blade was thrown by somebody in the stands, not Galardo. Phillip, as far as I can tell, disagrees.
Phil Simms: It can't be done, okay?
Sherlock Holmes: It was done.
Simms: You're wrong. Nobody can chuck a knife that far. What's this?
Simms: Not here. I'm not here. Remember that, okay?
Holmes: Heaven forfend your work with me should endanger your precious job.
Watson: You throw knives?
Simms: It was supposed to be just you here.
Holmes: Phillip is the greatest knife thrower in the world. Has been for decades. There's little money in the impalement arts. So as a youth, he turned to what you Americans term football.
Simms: Is this a joke?
Holmes: Phillip, head and heart.
Simms: Come on.
Holmes: Head and heart.
Simms: Can I go?
Holmes: Yeah. Fifteen years he spent throwing that misshapen ball around. Fifteen years. When I think of the acclaim he could have brought to competitive blade slinging.
Kitty: You're following me, Watson. I don't like it.
Watson: I want you to help me with something. This is Chad Keswick. He buys distressed buildings, paints, spackles and then flips them for quick money.
Kitty: Who'd he kill?
Watson: No one. I was hired by one of his rivals to find out why he's been circling this old office building in Jamaica, Queens. She wants to know why the building is a good investment.
Kitty: Is there a crime, something worth investigating?
Watson: I've been shadowing Keswick but yesterday I think he noticed me. I want to switch up the tail. You followed me for over a week before I noticed you. Help me out and I'll cut you in on my fee.
Kitty: I don't work for you, I work for Sherlock.
Watson: I worked for him too. And in my experience, he was always supportive of taking on work outside the partnership.
Kitty: Sorry, it's not my cup of tea.
Harlan Emple: Hello, Portal Ten.
Emple: I'm here, Belphegor. So where is the next clue?
Emple: Look, for the last time, I was playing a game.
Detective Bell: Yeah, you called it a puzzle hunt.
Emple: Belphegor's Prime. Think Cicada 3301 or Octorine's Challenge. They're math games. Math, maybe you've heard of it.
Thomas Gregson: I've got some math for you. One dead guy plus one live guy found in the same deserted factory.
Emple: I was not "found" there, I am the one who called 911. I was waiting there for the police.
Bell: Mr. Emple, we're just trying to do our jobs, all right? First officers on the scene described you as extremely agitated.
Emple: Of course I was agitated. I had just found a dead guy in mothballs! And did I mention that I have not slept in almost two days?
Gregson: Because of the math game.
Emple: Can I borrow those? This is Belphegor's Prime, okay? It's a numeric palindrome. It's 666 bookended by 13 zeroes and then bracketed with ones. Named for the demon Belphegor who was a prince of hell. The first clue for the hunt it started making the rounds a few months ago. It was a JPEG with two numbers hidden in it. You divide those numbers by Belphegor's Prime and you get the GPS coordinates for a rest room at the Bronx Zoo. You go, you find a phone number, send a text, you get the next clue.
Bell: Which is another math problem.
Emple: Exactly. Only, this one is harder. And that's how it works. But for each one that you solve you get a new set of GPS coordinates. And that means that you've completed a stage or a portal. And last night, I was on Portal Ten. And, I want to talk to Sherlock and Joan.
Bell: Mr. Emple...
Emple: No, I'm sorry, I told the police at the factory that I know them. Isn't that the whole reason that I was brought here to this squad? I am not saying another word until they are here.
Holmes: Harlan Emple is indeed an acquaintance. He is, in point of fact, one of my "Irregulars."
Gregson: One of your what?
Holmes: Irregulars. I'm your consultant, Captain, they are mine. They're experts I turn to when I encounter problems which are beyond my knowledge. Harlan is a brilliant mathematician. On occasions, I have tackled a case which pertained to mathematics...
Bell: He helped you out.
Gregson: Well the good news for him is the preliminary autopsy report just came in before you got here. The ME puts the time of death between 4 and 6 p.m. last night. Mr. Emple was teaching a class at Columbia.
Holmes: Victim is yet to be identified?
Bell: No ID, no phone. Detective on the scene liked it for a mob hit so while running the prints he's showing the vic's face around OCID.
Gregson: Marcus here was about to walk the scene with Mr. Emple. You're here now, you might as well tag along.
Holmes: Actually, Captain, I'm quite busy today.
Gregson: This is a John Doe and we got nothing. Like you just said, you're my consultant. So, go consult.
Watson: Uh, he's your friend.
Holmes: Actually, Kitty is otherwise engaged and he did actually help both of us with a case last year. Did he not?
Emple: Have I told you how good it is to see you?
Holmes: Yes, you have. Three times.
Emple: Well, it is. Lousy circumstances. But uh, hey, I heard from your boss that you just got back from London. Were you working a case or...
Holmes: No, I moved back there.
Emple: You mean "moved" moved?
Holmes: Is there another definition? I was there for eight months and had a change of heart and returned to New York.
Emple: You moved to London and you didn't...doesn't even matter. The point is you're back.
Bell: Mr. Emple.
Emple: Ah. Duty calls.
Holmes: Yeah. It's interesting.
Watson: Mothballs are interesting?
Holmes: They were taken from that cabinet over there. Obviously to cover the smell of John Doe's decay. The killer didn't bring them with him. Perhaps leaving the body here was not part of his plan.
Watson: Doe was shot in the foot first and then the knee. Either those were two really bad misses or...
Holmes: Or the killer was torturing him.
Watson: This doesn't seem like anything you can't handle on your own. Want to tell me why you asked me to come?
Holmes: "This doesn't seem like anything you can't handle on your own." That's funny. That's exactly what I would have said had I been present when you asked Kitty for her assistance with your tawdry side job.
Holmes: I wanted you to know I approve.
Watson: Of what?
Holmes: Your agenda with regards to Kitty. Several days ago, I gave you her file. Then you show up at The Brownstone and you invite her into an investigation. Coincidence? I think not. You feel for her. And now you wish to engage. It's not an outcome I would have predicted, no. But it is one I approve of, yeah. She could learn a great deal from you especially with regards to how to get the most from my tutelage. So I've already dispatched her to follow your Mr. Keswick.
Watson: That's not what I actually...
Holmes: Harlan! You came here to retrieve a phone number, did you not? You would send a text and receive the next clue in the game that you were playing.
Emple: Yeah, but I didn't find it. Not that I kept looking after the dead guy fell out of the locker.
Bell: Yeah, CSU didn't find any number either.
Holmes: Probably because it's under that paint. It's fresh. Applied in the last 24 hours. Right after John Doe's murder, I'd wager.
Watson: You don't think this was a mob hit? Doe and the killer were playing the game too. The killer shot Doe and covered up the number so no one else could use it.
Holmes: What's the prize in your little contest?
Emple: Well, I'm doing it mostly for the math. But, uh, $1,707,071. It's another palindromic prime. Did I not mention the money at the station?
Bell: Who the hell can afford that kind of payout for a puzzle hunt?
Emple: Well, most people think it's CAML. The Center for Applied Mathematics and Logic. It's located in Ramapo.
Watson: Wait, most people think it's them?
Emple: Well, hunts like these, the organizers are almost always anonymous. It's SOP.
Holmes: What about the contestants? Is anonymity also SOP?
Emple: For the most part, yeah. But, guys, math peeps are my peeps, okay? It's uh, like a community, sort of. I can think of 10 or 12 other people who were probably competing. Would that help?
Beka No. I'm sorry, I don't know him.
Holmes: But you admit you were competing in Belphegor's Prime.
Beka: I do.
Beka: Pepe! Sorry. He doesn't like strangers. Give him one of these. Get on his good side. What are you doing?
Holmes: I'm just verifying that you've been lying to us. You did know the dead man, did you not? I reviewed his personal effects at the morgue earlier. The coroner reported finding crumbs in one of his pockets. I tasted one.
Emple: Why would you...
Holmes: At first I thought they were from a rancid brand of cheese, but no, they're from one of Pepe's treats. Homemade? Harlan was able to give us the names of nine other people he believed to be competitors. Our colleagues are investigating them but I'll recommend that the N.Y.P.D. focus its attention entirely on you.
Beka: His name was Ike Walaczek. In another lifetime, he was my boyfriend.
Holmes: And what of this lifetime?
Beka: We were working together. On Belphegor's.
Beka: He was a numerical analyst at the Tory Foundation. I work mostly in combinatorics. I thought we make a good team.
Emple: There aren't supposed to be teams. Not in a puzzle hunt. It's bad form.
Emple: I'm just saying.
Beka: My husband wouldn't understand so I decided I wouldn't tell him until after we won the money.
Emple: A team, so that's how you got there before me.
Beka: I wasn't there. Tom and I were out of town until this morning. His cousin was getting married in Hawaii. That's why Ike went to the coordinates by himself. Because I couldn't. These are pictures I took. Check the dates. You gave the police nine other names? People you thought were competing? I've got 16. And I know they were competing.
Kitty: He talked to her outside the Jamaica property for about 20 minutes and then this truck rolled up.
Watson: Any idea what's inside the crate?
Kitty: Nope. I can't identify the woman either. Everything about her said money though. She, Keswick and the mystery box stayed inside the building for about three hours and then off they went.
Kitty: Okay. You know where to send the check.
Watson: You haven't asked me about the file Sherlock gave me.
Kitty: Why would I?
Watson: You said it would give me a better sense of you, it did.
Kitty: That's why you asked for my help. Because you felt sorry for me.
Watson: No. You just don't seem interested in anything outside of becoming a detective.
Kitty: There she is. The old counselor. Who used to hold Sherlock's hand. Everything that you read everything that happened to me, that's all it is. It's just something that happened. And it's all in the past now. So let's just leave it there, shall we?
Watson (phone): Hello.
Holmes (phone): You've had sex.
Watson (phone): Excuse me?
Holmes (phone): I can hear it in your voice. You've joined paunches. Good for you, Watson. I think the act of love can be quite conducive to...
Watson (phone): What do you want?
Holmes (phone): Merely to apprise you of a new development in the murder of Ike Walaczek. As I informed you, Harlan and I were given a new list of competitors. One name leapt out, Byron Lowenthal. He's a statistician at the Public Utilities Commission and a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. He's been hospitalized for becoming violent on no fewer than three occasions.
Watson (phone): Certainly sounds like it could be our guy.
Holmes (phone): Unfortunately, Mr. Lowenthal had another break earlier this year. He's been staying in a transient hotel ever since. Bell and I are going to speak with him.
Watson (phone): You want me to meet you?
Holmes (phone): No, we're already here. I know that you've enjoyed coitus and could enjoy more.
Watson (phone): When you're done, we need to talk.
Bell: Byron Lowenthal, you in there?
Byron Lowenthal: Who is it?
Bell: It's Detective Bell, N.Y.P.D. My colleague and I would like to ask you some questions.
Lowenthal: Let me get some pants on.
Holmes: Sorry, I just...I um, I thought I heard Mr. Lowenthal retrieve...
Gregson: You guys got lucky.
Holmes: Well, luck had little to do with it. I heard Mr. Lowenthal pulling a heavy object off a shelf placing it on his bed and the sound of the zipper indicated that it was a large gun case.
Bell: Looks like he was sane enough to do math but not much else. Plus, he was pretty hopped up. Caffeine pills, energy drinks pretty much every legal stimulant you can buy. Plus a few illegal ones.
Holmes: Heh. He was keeping himself awake so he could work on Belphegor's.
Gregson: This is obvious to you?
Holmes: I confess the maths are beyond me but I took the liberty of sending pictures of Lowenthal's scribbles to Harlan and he's confirmed they are part of the contest. I'd like copies of these sent to my home so he can review them.
Gregson: What for?
Holmes: If Byron Lowenthal did kill Ike Walaczek then he used and obscured a phone number which would have yielded the next problem. That problem's solution would be GPS coordinates. If he's recorded them in his books...
Gregson: Your pal will be able to tell us where he's headed next. I'll get our guys to give you whatever you need.
Kitty: Scans are still coming through but I've put what we've got so far up on the wall. Sherlock said that you prefer it that way.
Emple: Picked it up from him actually. Makes me feel like I'm really inside of the problem. I'll let you know if I need anything. I work without a shirt. Makes me feel closer to the numbers.
Kitty: You'll need to uh, check the printer in the study for more pages.
Emple: This is nice. Meeting another member of the team. You know, Team Sherlock. You help him, I help him. You haven't tackled a case with high-order math since you started working with him or we would've...what?
Emple: Wait, have you worked a case with high-order math? You have, haven't you?
Kitty: Does it matter?
Emple: Of course it...oh, my God. Did he fire me?
Kitty: All I know is that back in London we worked a case that involved Fibonacci spirals.
Emple: He fired me.
Kitty: And he called some woman named Indira Patel.
Emple: She's at Berkeley. I'm three time zones closer!
Kitty: You're here now.
Emple: Sure, because I found a dead body.
Kitty: I have to go, I have to run some errands for Sherlock.
Watson: I don't know what was in the crate but the stenciling on the side indicates it came from one of the SUNY schools. I put another detective on Keswick because I had to.
Andrew Mittal: Don't kill me, I had to use your razor to shave.
Holmes: You must be Andrew. Sherlock Holmes.
Andrew: Sorry. Joan said you were coming. I forgot. It's not how I wanted to meet you. She said you can tell a lot about people just by looking. I swear, I usually wear pants.
Holmes: Well in my experience, most people need only be concerned I won't notice anything worth remarking upon. Watson seems adequately sexed.
Andrew: I was just introducing myself. I've got that thing. I'll see you tonight.
Holmes: Your home, Watson, it's utterly pleasant.
Watson: You say that like it's a bad thing.
Holmes: When you told me you wanted a life, I didn't realize that you wanted the same life everyone else has. Anyways, none of my business, is it?
Watson: It's not. I didn't ask you here to talk about my apartment.
Holmes: No, you asked me here to discuss Kitty. If she were not the topic of conversation then you wouldn't have invited me to your home where there's no chance she'll be present. She disappointed you in some way. Skills not up to snuff? Please remember she is a novice.
Watson: Actually, she did a great job. I have some concerns. I thought we could talk about them.
Holmes: You think that Kitty needs help above and beyond my mentorship.
Watson: You read the same file I did. She's a rape victim. She was kept and tortured.
Holmes: Hmm. You know me, so surely you know I've broached the subject of a support group meeting before. Even offered to pay for therapy.
Watson: She's not interested, I know.
Holmes: Just as you also know someone with a problem can't be forced to get help. They have to want it. What Kitty wants is to be a detective. And I am taking pains to try and channel her residual feelings into her work.
Watson: Well, that works out great for you. You told me that you took on a partner because you wanted to replicate what you and I had. That you thought it helped with your recovery.
Holmes: You think I would try and take advantage of the victim of a trauma?
Watson: Of course not, but there is a conflict of interest here. She needs what she needs, but you need what you need too.
Holmes: It's good that you're in her life now, Watson. I mean, it's commonly believed that um, a child benefits mostly from the presence of two parents. He or she, in this case, can absorb certain qualities from the father clear-eyed view of the world, capacity of rational thought, etc. They can also absorb certain qualities from the mother.
Watson: Excuse me, but I am not Kitty's mother and she sure as hell is not our child. You brought her here, she looks up to you. She says that she doesn't need help, fine, but you know better. And you're gonna have to be the one that tells her.
Holmes: It's Harlan. Making progress with the maths.
Emple: We thought that Byron and Ike arrived at Portal Ten simultaneously. That would've meant that they were doing all the same math at essentially the same time. Only the math you found at Byron's place says that's wrong. He was one step behind Ike.
Holmes: Are you proposing he did not kill Mr. Walaczek?
Emple: I don't know but that's not the weirdest part. Byron, he was obsessive. He time-stamped almost everything he did. He only solved the Portal Nine problem, the same problem that sent me to that old factory last night. But get this, he wasn't given the same problem as me. And so it would've yielded GPS coordinates for an entirely different location.
Holmes: The person in charge of the game changed the clue after the police found Ike's body.
Emple: Well, he had to, right? If he hadn't, he would be sending other competitors to an active crime scene. The important thing is, I figured out the coordinates to the second location. I know where Byron went. What are you doing?
Holmes: You're saying he time-stamped everything. I'm looking at the time he received his clues.
Emple: It's there, but what does that have to do with it?
Holmes: What if you hadn't found a body? If the game had proceeded as planned, what were you meant to do there?
Emple: I would have sent a text to the phone number, the one that the killer painted over, and then I would have gotten a message back with the next problem.
Holmes: There's an extra step in there. Why all this rigmarole with phone numbers and texts? Why not post the problem itself at the factory?
Emple: I don't know, it's just the way the game is played. They're for an old industrial area in Queens. You're welcome for finding your suspect.
Holmes: If I'm right, Harlan, what you've found is the site of another murder. Byron Lowenthal's.
Bell: You were right, Lowenthal's dead. He was shot in the foot, then the knee. Just like Ike Wallaczek.
Emple: I'm uh, gonna look over here now.
Bell: Well, we think the perp was pulling the body to a car that was parked over there. Then he just left him here. Probably afraid he'd been spotted. There's a lot of homeless in the area. Question is, how'd you know Lowenthal was the next victim and not the killer?
Holmes: Well, that's quite simple, really. The game is directing its players to remote locales and then instructing them to send a text message indicating their presence. I suspect the killer wanted to remove the body so he could keep this new location "in play," so to speak.
Bell: Still missing the simple part.
Holmes: The late Mr. Lowenthal received his final clue after Harlan discovered Ike Wallaczek's body but before news of the killing had reached the media. That means the game's designer knew the location had been compromised. And the only way that he could have known that, at the time he knew it, was if he, himself, was the killer. Belphegor's Prime is not a treasure hunt. It's a trap.
Emple: False alarm. But I still feel a little queasy. This new dead guy, your friend said that he was tortured too, right?
Holmes: Right before the killer tried to abscond with his corpse. I assume he intended to take Ike Wallaczek away with him as well, only Ike was too large. A speedy mothballing was the best he could do.
Emple: So just to recap, I've spent the last few months of my life playing a game that was designed to kill me. Got to be a metaphor in there somewhere, right?
Holmes: I think the word you're looking for is "moral." There is a moral in there, games are for idiots. Breaking news from Ramapo. Kitty reports the Center for Applied Mathematics and Logic is not the sponsor of Belphegor's Prime.
Emple: Then it's got to be a serial killer, right? Someone who's obsessed with mathematicians?
Holmes: Perhaps he was bullied by mathematicians as a child. Or mathematicians killed his parents.
Emple: I'm being serious.
Holmes: Serial killers who devise elaborate death traps are the stuff of pulp fiction. Besides, with respect to these murders, there are none of the elaborations which mark that sort of culprit. If anything, I would describe the work as business-like.
Emple: Then it's the government. The game was some sort of test to weed out people who could weaponize math.
Holmes: The American intelligence apparatus may be clod-like but I think they would do a better job of disposing of two bodies, don't you?
Holmes (phone): Watson?
Watson (phone): I just heard from one of the suspects Marcus and I talked to yesterday, another puzzle-hunter.
Holmes (phone): Tell me he confessed to the murders.
Watson (phone): We ruled him out right away but he heard about Byron Lowenthal's murder on the news and wanted me to know he's at a friend's place some guy named Paul.
Holmes (phone): That is fascinating.
Watson (phone): Actually, it might be. Paul is positive he knows who the killer is.
Paul Ettinger: I know the guards are a bit much, but I wanted everyone to feel safe. And, besides, math has been good to me. Commodities.
Watson: So you and your friends were competitors in Belphegor's Prime?
Ettinger: Most of us. Some of the others are just here for the math.
Holmes: You said you could identify the killer.
Ettinger: I can, sort of.
Holmes: "Mo Shellshocker."
Ettinger: It's a pseudonym obviously, but I'm telling you, this is the guy you're looking for.
Emple: I've heard of him. He uses his blog to expose bad math. Corrupt economists, biased pollsters, that sort of thing. He's actually sort of a crusader.
Ettinger: He's a murderer.
Watson: How can you be so sure?
Ettinger: When he isn't crusading, he's competing in puzzle hunts. He claimed to have solved Cicada 3301 two years in a row. Some people called BS, including Ike Wallaczek and Byron Lowenthal.
Watson: "WallaCheckYourMath," "ByLow2020."
Ettinger: Those are their online handles. Their friends will confirm it.
Holmes: A flame war does not a murderer make.
Ettinger: Stuff these guys were slinging at each other was ugly. Mo knew they were into hunts. He built one that would send them places where he could kill them. That's what we're doing here is sifting through all the math he's posted on his blog to see if we could find a signature or something that could identify him. If two people weren't dead, we'd probably be having fun.
Emple: Still, the chances that he left something like that in his math...
Ettinger: If it's there, we'll find it. In the meantime, we thought the police should know who they're really dealing with.
Watson: I've got to go meet someone about my other case. You're good to pass all this along to Marcus? Okay.
Holmes: I must say, I'm surprised you didn't offer to stay and help. Mr. Ettinger makes a compelling case with respect to Mo Shellshocker's viability as a suspect.
Emple: Mo is a genius. We're talking off the charts. Leibniz meets Euler meets Gauss.
Emple: He may have an ego but he's not gonna kill anyone over a few comments. So while The League of Concerned Mathematicians chases its tail up there, I am gonna do the smart thing and get out of town. Let me know when it all blows over.
Holmes: You're not going anywhere, Harlan. Or should I call you Mo Shellshocker?
Holmes: Did you honestly think I wouldn't recognize an anagram of my own name?
Emple: I knew I should've gone with "Choker Hell Moss." Look, I never thought that you would see it, okay? Math is my thing, not yours.
Holmes: It's my name, Harlan, that makes it my thing.
Emple: It was an homage.
Emple: Every day, all over the world, math is used to trick people. Data dredging to sell pharmaceuticals. Publication bias to justify wars. In the wrong hands, math can be manipulated, abused. And I decided to do something about it. You catch people who murder other people. I catch people who murder math.
Kitty: According to this, Mo is a wanted man.
Emple: The DOD was working on a new fighter. Only, I knew that the performance stats were bogus. A friend of mine found the internal numbers and I sort of published them.
Holmes: So you put classified Department of Defense documents on the Internet.
Emple: Isn't that what you would've done? Fine, I screwed up. Okay? But hey, that's what I do, right? I screw up. If I didn't, then probably you wouldn't have secretly fired me.
Holmes: Excuse me?
Emple: I know about Indira Patel! I know you replaced me.
Holmes: Kitty, I think we could use some tea.
Emple: Just tell me. Tell me what math I got wrong. Tell me why you didn't let me make it up to you.
Holmes: It wasn't the maths, it was you. Your work was impeccable. And for the most part, I enjoyed our collaborations. But over time, you became quite needy.
Emple: What are you talking about?
Holmes: You asked my advice on social matters and you even invited me to a party.
Emple: You were my friend.
Holmes: I was your employer, Harlan. And you were my consultant. One of many.
Emple: I know that I'm a little obsessed with what I do. That has always made it hard to make friends. And I used to feel pretty bad about that and then I met you. I thought to myself, if it doesn't bother him why should I let it bother me? I got a lot out of the work that we did. A lot. But if someone like you thinks that I'm a loser, then...
Watson (video chat): Hey, are we still doing this?
Holmes (video chat): Doing what?
Watson (video chat): Talking about the case. You're just sitting there.
Holmes (video chat): I'm thinking. I suspect the silence is exacerbated by the nature of our communication.
Watson (video chat): Yes. Well, I don't live there anymore. So if you want to talk shop at night, this is the best I can do.
Holmes (video chat): Keep asking myself, what did the killer want? He went to great lengths to lure brilliant mathematicians to their deaths. Winnowed out the less gifted by making his problems more and more complicated. He had a type, but I still think he's a serial killer only in the most technical sense.
Watson (video chat): He tortured both his victims.
Holmes (video chat): But there's no sign that he enjoyed it. The work was utilitarian, suggesting it was less for pleasure and more for persuasion. He wanted something. But what?
Watson (video chat): Maybe there's a connection between Wallaczek and Lowenthal we haven't spotted yet. Maybe they're working on a project together that was worth a lot of money.
Holmes (video chat): There's no way the killer could've predicted which competitors would make it to the terminal stage. That part of the game was beyond his control. If it weren't, he would've been prepared to dispose of a body the size of Ike Wallaczek's.
Watson (video chat): So even if there were a connection between the victims the killer could not have counted on them being lured into his trap.
Holmes (video chat): Certainly not in sequence. His game was, in many respects, one of chance. Suggesting he knows what he wants but not who has it.
Watson (video chat): Like he was on a puzzle hunt of his own.
Kitty: I'm back. I'll set up downstairs, yeah?
Holmes (video chat): I've been thinking about what you said earlier. I've decided to engage her one more time with regards to her recuperation. I doubt she'll listen, but I'll keep you apprised.
Holmes: I've been thinking.
Holmes: You. Your history. Your decision not to seek help. I think it's a mistake.
Holmes: I've looked into a number of support groups. As you are well aware, I have benefited greatly from similar settings.
Kitty: You have.
Holmes: The process is not unlike voiding one's bowels.
Kitty: I'll go.
Kitty: I'll go. Just get me the details. I've been thinking too about your number-cruncher, Harlan.
Holmes: You think I was too hard on him. You will have consultants of your own one day. You'll see that they require management and focus. They are but keys on a keyboard and we're the typists.
Kitty: You could've given him a shoeing for all I care. No, I'm just saying that some of the stuff he's got up to it's quite good. You should take a look. You may find a fellow typist.
Ettinger (phone): Hello?
Holmes (phone): I hear you and some friends are trying to identify Mo Shellshocker.
Ettinger (phone): That's right. Who is this?
Holmes (phone): His name is Harlan Emple. You got a pen? I'll give you his address.
Emple: You can't take a hint, can you? I got your text messages. I don't want to see you right now. So if you came here to apologize...
Holmes: Actually, I came here to spare you an agonizing death. Can I come in?
Holmes: I was puzzling earlier as to why the killer went to such specific lengths. What does he want? And then Watson, quite by accident, she made a most compelling analogy. She said it was as if he was on a hunt of his own.
Emple: Duh. He was hunting mathematicians.
Holmes: No, he wasn't. He was hunting a mathematician. One. A man who had concealed his identity not only from the mathematics community at large but also from the FBI. A crusader, you might call him.
Emple: Wait a minute. Are you saying that this was all about me?
Holmes: Unfortunately, emulating the work of people like me is not without risks. Creates enemies.
Emple: I knew it was the government.
Holmes: It was a lottery winner. Little over a year ago, you started a series of blogs where you exposed the flaws in certain scratch-card lottery games. Tickets like this one.
Emple: I wrote about baited hook games.
Holmes: Games where the numbers are printed on the front. Scratch off the hidden numbers, hope for a match. Only you proved that with careful mathematical analysis of the visible numbers, you could predict which tickets were winners 80 percent of the time. If you had exploited this flaw, rather than exposing it you could have made millions.
Emple: Well, sure. But that would have been cheating.
Holmes: Right. So imagine for a moment that you are a less honest mathematician. Right? You've been taking advantage of these games for years to amass a small fortune. And then Mo comes along. He starts exposing the broken games. State lottery commissions shut them down. The exploitable games dry up. Now, if you were a psychopathic lottery cheat, how do you fix that?
Emple: You kill Mo.
Holmes: Unfortunately, Mo is elusive. Anonymous. The only thing you knew about him for sure was that he could not resist a puzzle hunt. Now, if you were smart enough to identify and take advantage of broken lottery games...
Emple: Then I'm smart enough to design a puzzle hunt.
Holmes: This plan was not without its flaws. Once a competitor reached the terminal stage the killer could not be certain that he'd trapped Mo, could he? So he tortured them. I submit he forced them to log onto Mo's website and when they failed...after two murders, the game was compromised. So the killer devises a Plan B. He tricks a group of his peers into helping search for an alternative means of identifying Mo.
Emple: You're talking about that guy. The one with the penthouse. Paul?
Holmes: Lottery winners are public record. So when I searched for the names of repeat winners in the dates prior to your posts.
Emple: I can't believe I drank his water.
Holmes: I called him. I identified you as Mo. And I gave him your address.
Emple: You what?
Gregson: Drop your weapon!
Holmes: I did not give him the correct apartment number. He was arrested a little over an hour ago.
Holmes: Tried to call you to tell you, but um...
Emple: But I was ignoring you.
Holmes: Yes, you were ignoring me.
Emple: Look, you know that I'm still screwed, right? You told him that I'm Mo. He's gonna tell the police, they're gonna tell the FBI.
Holmes: The N.Y.P.D. is under the impression that I lied about your connection to Mo in order to draw Mr. Ettinger out. As far as the FBI goes, well, I've got some associates who have created a trail which will strongly suggest that Mo is a cyber-terrorist I became aware of whilst working for uh, queen and country. Your secret's quite safe.
Holmes: My reasons for preserving you are entirely selfish, Harlan. You are a tremendous asset. I have little doubt I will need your help again in the future.
Kitty: Me or him?
Watson: You. I have an update on that real-estate flipper. I thought you might want to know. I tracked down the truck rental receipts to get her name. Valerie Cork. She's an art authenticator. And that crate you saw? There was something called a scanning fluorescence spectrometry machine inside. They're used...
Kitty: To find paintings underneath other paintings.
Watson: So it turns out that the building Chad Keswick was looking to buy was leased by the WPA during the Depression. They commissioned a mural for the lobby. The artist was a notorious communist, so when the property passed into private hands in the '50s the new owners had it painted over. But it was still there under the paint. A lost work by Diego Rivera. It's worth ten times the price of the building. I was hoping to leak the truth to The Times. I promised you a cut of my fee. But I'm pretty sure the mural's gonna end up in the hands of a historical trust. I'd feel obligated to refund my client which means you'd get a cut of nothing.
Kitty: That works for me.
Kitty: I think you should know that I am going to a meeting tonight. One of those support groups for people like me. It was uh, Sherlock's idea.
Watson: That's great.
Kitty: I know you put him up to it.
Watson: We talked.
Kitty: When he first approached me in London, I was in a bad way. And I had been for a while. But then, when he talked about the work that he did about the things that he saw in me, I want it. I want every bit of what's he offered me, of what he offered you but if I've learned one thing over the last few weeks it's that he can't pull it off. Not by himself, anyway. And if I'm gonna get what I want then I'm going to need your help too. I still think the meetings are bollocks, but you say they're important. They matter to you so...what do you say, Watson? Will you help me?
Woman at Support Group: I don't know how it happened. It just hit me. Like a truck, out of nowhere. Work is good. I have friends. I'm in a relationship. Somewhere along the way, somehow I stopped being a victim and became a survivor. So I guess all I'm saying is, there's hope. Do the work. Love yourself. There's hope.