Season: Seven — Episode: 8 Director: Michael Smith — Writer: Bob Goodman — Aired: July 11, 2019 — Viewers (millions): 2.89 Summary: Holmes and Watson search for an ulterior motive when Cassie Lenue, a brilliant young criminal they helped put in prison, seeks their help in solving a murder.
At the 11th Precinct, Detective Bell, Holmes and Watson show Dalton Weller evidence that he used a yoga ball filled with carbon dioxide to kill a woman he was having an affair with. Returning to The Brownstone, Holmes and Watson are surprised to find Cassie Lenue waiting for them on the steps. An incredible liar, they discuss Cassie's involvement in a murder and fraud impersonating a girl to gain her trust fund, for which she was imprisoned. Inside, Cassie asks a skeptical Holmes and Watson to find the murderer of Heather Foley, a foster mother, who was shot outside a kid's clothing store. Cassie claims Heather was her foster mother in an unofficial capacity. Holmes believes Cassie is lying but she still convinces them to look into Heather's case. Having asked for Bell's help, at the precinct, Bell tells Watson that Heather was shot with a 9mm pistol and he's reached out to detectives in NJ who were assigned the case.
It's been a long time.
In exchange for looking into the case, Holmes tells Cassie she'll stay at the Brownstone, be under constant surveillance and gives her a phone which can only be used to call Holmes or Watson. He still believes she has an ulterior motive and says he'll find out what it is. Cassie and Holmes visit Heather's husband, Judd, who treats Cassie as an old friend even though they'd met only a week before. Cassie explains that Judd wasn't married to Heather when Cassie knew her. Judd reveals that weeks before Heather was murdered, she often left the house at night after receiving phone calls which Heather said was for her job. She worked for a baby formula service which Holmes remarks doesn't explain why she left at night. Judd believes she was having an affair but looking at Heather's computer, Holmes finds an email to a Meredith Sagehorn, Heather's buyer, in which Heather questions whether a formula seller was a thief.
There's a whole market for it.
Outside Judd's, Holmes explains to Cassie that the formula seller was likely an undercover officer. They're met by Detective Owen Calabrissi and Detective Farrad who explain they are assigned to Heather's case, that the service Heather was working for dealt in stolen formula, that she was their informant and was killed when discovered. At NJ State Police HQ, Calabrissi and Farrad introduce Captain Gregson, Bell and Watson to undercover Detective Ocasio while Holmes and Cassie wait outside. Using an evidence wall, Calabrissi explains the "baby formula mafia" who are mainly supplied by shoplifters. Heather was setting up a meeting between Ocasio and Sagehorn in which Ocasio would record Sagehorn acknowledging she was buying stolen formula. Their operation blown with Heather's murder and Sagehorn having an alibi, Farrad welcomes any help while Calabrissi questions why the NYPD is interested in the case.
They rake in billions per year.
While watching the detectives, Holmes tells Cassie that he was able to gather all the information she used on Heather's background from online sources. Accusing her of running a con, Cassie says that Holmes doesn't understand her childhood isolation, that connecting with Heather was important to her and guesses that he had plenty of social interaction growing up. At the Brownstone, Holmes has created hierarchies of the formula mafia and a drug gang responsible for a murder Cassie was connected to years before. Having found no overlap between the two and that the gang didn't know Cassie, Watson thinks Holmes has a soft spot for Cassie. Holmes admits that Cassie has a unique talent which he'd like to see used for good. Looking for Cassie's true intention at the halfway house she stays at, Holmes discovers that all of her web searches involve unsolved murders.
You have a soft spot for singular intellects.
In "the box" at the precinct, Bell and Farrad question Sagehorn and her attorney while Cassie and Watson watch through the window. Besides her alibi, Sagehorn says that she and Heather were good friends. Noticing Cassie's disinterest, Watson says she doesn't believe Cassie really knew Heather. Admitting she didn't, Cassie claims the real reason she contacted them is that Holmes is her biological father, which Watson dismisses. Listening to Sagehorn's alibi, Cassie comments that from a gift Sagehorn says she was buying for Heather when she was killed, that she's telling the truth. In the basement of the Brownstone, Holmes shows Watson the unsolved murders Cassie was researching. He believes the reason Cassie reached out to them is that she's searching for direction in life.
Stick to your story.
In the kitchen, Holmes confronts Cassie why she came to him and Watson. She lies that she researched Holmes' family in order to steal from him. Knowing better, Holmes says she's lonely and looking to make a connection with him. Holmes relates how isolated he was growing up and that by inventing the role of "consulting detective", it gave his life a purpose and resulted in the relationships with Watson and others. Saying he's right, Cassie asks for his advice on what she should do with her life. Holmes offers to help figure it out with her. At NJ Police HQ, given the lack of suspects in Heather's murder and with Ocasio's cover blown, Bell and Watson asks Calabrissi to introduce them to formula retailers so they can review their security footage and find some of the shoplifters used by the formula mafia.
What do I become?
At the HQ of Leehoven's, a retail chain with over 400 stores in NJ, loss prevention manager Jim Bendix shows Cassie and Holmes the company's security footage and explains their operation. After Cassie notices a potential shoplifter, Holmes sees Bendix in one of the video wearing a suit. Bendix explains that day, he testified at the state senate on baby formula. The state has a program which gives vouchers to low-income parents that can be used to buy formula. This has resulted in a sharp rise in formula prices and the state is considering dropping formula from the program. Outside, Holmes tells Cassie that he believes someone killed Heather in order to stall the investigation into the formula mafia until after the senate vote on dropping formula from the program.
High prices incentivize crime.
At the Brownstone, Holmes tells Watson that he and Cassie looked into those that benefit from high formula prices and they've focused on the owner of Leehoven's, Mack Leehoven. Holmes believes Leehoven's cooperation with police is to know details of their investigation and notes that as the majority of his stores are in NJ, dropping formula from the state program would impact his stores the most. Having asked Everyone to look into Mack's finances for any clues, Holmes tells Watson about his offer to help Cassie find a positive career. At night, Cassie breaks into Mack's home and after accusing him of arranging Heather's murder, she asks for $2M in exchange for her silence. Cassie sneaks back into the Brownstone to find Holmes waiting in her room. Learning from Everyone of her break-in, Holmes accuses her of betraying him and blackmailing Mack.
I'm rightly served for showing pity to a scoundrel.
Explaining that she set up a meeting for the $2M in order to draw out Heather's killer, she asks if Holmes would like to see who arrives. At the precinct, Detective Calabrissi is taken into custody while Watson explains to Bell and Gregson that he was Mack's fixer and provided details on the formula investigation to Mack. Found in possession of an unregistered 9mm pistol which Bell believes will match that used to kill Heather, he also indicates that Calabrissi has offered to give Mack up. Given Cassie's role in solving the case, all three wonder about her future. At Cassie's halfway house, Holmes brings Cassie a form which she thinks is to find out who her parents are. (♫ Portair - Places ♫) Expressing no interest in learning about them, Holmes corrects her and says the form is an application to change her name, so that she can be defined by her future and not her past. Cassie asks if he'll help her think of some names.
Is Cassie gonna be one of the good guys?
Portair - Places plays at episode end as Holmes helps Cassie find her identity.
Cassie's last name "Lenue" stands for "LNU", a court acronym for "last name unknown."