Season: One — Episode: 1 Director: Michael Cuesta — Writer: Robert Doherty — Aired: September 27, 2012 — Viewers (millions): 13.41 Summary: Sherlock Holmes, fresh out of rehab, is teamed with a sobriety partner, a former surgeon named Joan Watson. They have to learn to work together as they tackle their first case, the home invasion death of a doctor's wife.
I don't guess. I observe. And once I've observed, I deduce.
In an apartment in New York City, two glasses fall to the floor and shatter. A red-headed woman struggles with an unseen man, suffering a cut to her wrist from the broken glass. She is chased into her bedroom and thrown onto her bed, groping towards the nightstand. The next morning, sober companion Joan Watson wakes up and goes jogging. (♫ The Naked and Famous - Young Blood ♫) She takes a call from the Hemdale Recovery Center, who informs her that her latest client has escaped. Going to the client's Brownstone, she's surprised to see a prostitute getting dressed and leaving. She enters and in a room with an array of TVs, she meets her newest client, Sherlock Holmes. She starts to explain her role as his sober companion but he cuts her off, and repeats a romantic quote from one of the TV shows which Watson thinks is directed to her. He repeats the quote on the TV and says that his father has already explained why she's arrived. He opines he has no need for her services but will tolerate her as his father has threatened to evict him if he uses again. Holmes then tells Watson details about her which makes her wonder how he knew them.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Holmes then hurriedly dresses and drags Watson onto the subway, and explains that prior to his drug addiction, he was a consultant for Scotland Yard in London and has decided to consult for the NYPD. He intends this as his post-rehab regiment to keep him sober. He then tells Watson more details about her and explains that they are on their way to a crime scene. At the scene, Holmes half-jokingly introduces Watson as his personal valet to NYPD Captain Gregson and insists that Watson accompany him inside. Watson is up for the challenge and agrees. Gregson relates that Dr. Richard Mantlo, a psychiatrist at Sanbridge Hospital, returned home late from work the previous evening and called 911 after finding his wife, Amy Dampier, missing, and signs of a struggle in the apartment. The signs include broken glass in the kitchen and a footprint on the door where someone kicked it in. Amy is nowhere to be found and there have been no ransom demands.
You were a detective?
in the living room, Holmes first observes from photos that Dampier's appearance has changed in the last few years. Watson and Gregson watch Holmes inspect the room and she learns that Gregson knew Holmes from time he spent in London after 9/11. In the kitchen, Detective Abreu is inspecting broken glass when Holmes swiftly observes that there is enough glass on the floor for two glasses, not one, meaning Amy Dampier knew her attacker and invited him inside. Abreu is incredulous until Holmes finds the base of the second glass under an appliance. Holmes then opines that attacker kicked the door open as he was leaving to make it appear as a break-in and that Amy's body is somewhere in this house which again brings derision from Abreu.
Our paths still crossed a few times.
Holmes follows the trail of the struggle to the couple's bedroom, and deduces that there is a safe room built into the wall, even though Dr. Mantlo said nothing about any such room. To illustrate, Holmes plucks a marble out of a decorative flowerpot and places it on the floor, where it rolls toward the wall. The floor, Holmes explains, has been slightly depressed by the extra weight of the safe room's steel-reinforced walls. Before the marble reaches the wall, Holmes locates the hidden switch for the safe room behind the nightstand, and the door opens. The marble rolls into the safe room and comes to a halt in a pool of blood. The light, when switched on, reveals Amy Dampier, lying dead on the floor. "Sometimes I hate it when I'm right," Holmes admits.
What safe room?
In "the box" at the 11th Precinct, Dr. Mantlo is interrogated and proclaims innocence and knew nothing about the safe room which Abreu refuses to believe. Watching from outside, Watson asks Holmes how he knew so much about her when they met. Holmes explains his acute observational and deductive skills. Outside the box, Abreu thanks Holmes for helping them find Amy's killer, but Holmes says they have not and provides evidence that Mantlo's, height, shoe and hand sizes are too small to match those at the scene. With Gregson's permission, Holmes obtains a list of tall men Mantlo knows. Holmes and Watson visit one of those on the list, Mr. Polk, who Mantlo claims made a pass at Amy. Polk indicates he only asked Amy why she had extensive plastic surgery when he was already beautiful. To Holmes' surprise, Watson joins in the questioning.
Did he also wear bigger hands when he strangled his wife?
That evening at the Brownstone, Watson notices honey dripping from a hole in the ceiling and finds Holmes on the roof with bees hives. He informs her he is writing a book in his head on beekeeping. He also tells her that Polk isn't a likely suspect and then opines that Watson hates her job as a sober companion because she needs two alarm clocks to wake up. He does notice that Watson likes what he does which she denies. The next morning, Watson sleeps in due to Holmes sabotaging her alarm clocks. She meets him at the precinct where he's been looking over previous cases and has found a woman named Eileen Renfro who survived an attack much like Dampier's.
There was a look on your face.
Interviewing Renfro, Holmes and Watson immediately note the physical similarities between her and Amy Dampier. At first, Eileen asks to be left alone, claiming she doesn't know anything that might help them. Holmes badgers Eileen to the point where Watson yells at him to leave. After he is gone, Eileen, grateful for Watson's sympathy, admits that she didn't tell the police she knew her attacker. Outside, Holmes is stewing when Watson walks up and relates that Eileen was attacked by a man named Peter Saldua, who was her brother's best friend and a frequent guest at her parents' home, since he was abused as a child by his own parents. Eileen did not want to get him in trouble with the law, in spite of what he'd done to her. Holmes smugly tells Watson that he was intentionally rude so that Watson would come off as sympathetic to Eileen, who would then confide in her.
'Cause I know that you're lying.
Holmes calls Captain Gregson and is surprised to hear that they are already at Saldua's and that he's been murdered. Joining Gregson, Holmes and Watson learn that Saldua has photos and a possession of Dampier's. Saldua worked as a flower delivery man and regularly delivered to Dampier. Holmes notices that Saldua's washing machine has been overturned and Saldua's phone is missing but the police consider the case solved. That evening, Holmes pours over the evidence and ignores Watson's warning that his behaviour is obsessive. They argue and she announces she's arranging for a replacement due to Holmes not co-operating and not sharing personal information with him. She leaves to see the opera. Holmes meets Gregson at a bar, to examine the patient file on Saldua from his deceased psychiatrist. Holmes notes that Saldua was obsessed with a particular type of woman, and that he was so dependent on his therapist that he used his cell phone to record and replay their sessions. He also realizes that anger caused Saldua to overturn his washer.
You wanted to be the one who found him.
Holmes rushes to the opera and confers with Watson, much to her and the patron's annoyance. He believes Saldua's medication was incorrect and has Watson describe the proper pills and Abreu confirms by phone that incorrect pills were found. He believes the incorrect medication was done purposefully to drive Saldua into a rage and kill Dampier. Holmes asks Watson for a ride to Manlo's hospital which she refuses. He sheepishly confides that he is embarrassed that he doesn't always have the answers and asks if that apology is enough to get Watson to drive him to Sanbridge Hospital. Watson smiles and agrees to drive him.
Outside the hospital, Holmes confronts Dr. Mantlo. He accuses him of secretly treating Peter Saldua and after learning about his obsession with a certain type of woman, that Mantlo convinced his wife to have plastic surgery to make her a target for Saldua. Mantlo prescribed steroids, disguised as Xanax, which would inflame Saldua and arranged regular flower deliveries to Dampier. After Saldua killed Dampier, Mantlo killed Saldua and arranged it to look like a suicide. After absorbing all this, Dr. Mantlo relates a hypothetical situation that implies that he stands to gain from Dampier's large trust fund and that he'd take care to ensure that she died in a way that couldn't be traced back to him. Mantlo leaves Holmes seething, knowing that he has no proof for his accusation. Holmes borrows Watson's car and intentionally rams it into Mantlo's Porsche.
Holmes spends the night in jail, where Watson visits him. He apologizes for the damage to her car, and even more for his rough treatment of her feelings. Watson has arranged for another chance from Holmes' father and he deduces that she'll remain as his sober companion. Holmes is surprised, and admits to being pleased that she is staying on, for her sake as she's interested in his work. When Holmes is evasive as to what landed him in rehab she makes her own deduction, that it was because of a woman. Watson also believes that Holmes is capable of making connections with people but he doesn't due to fear of relationships. Back at the Brownstone, Watson looks through the evidence and is struck something in Saldua's file and a picture from his home.
I need to know everything.
The next morning, as Holmes is released from jail, Watson shares her discovery with him. At the precinct, Mantlo is expecting an apology for Holmes's actions, but instead, Gregson asks him if he ever treated Saldua to which Mantlo says no. Watson and Holmes then enter and point out to him that Saldua was allergic to rice, yet had purchased a bag of it three days before his death. He'd bought it to dry out his phone which he'd left in his pants pocket and washed. His anger fueled by the steroids, he destroyed the washing machine. Holmes produces the phone and plays a taped conversation in which Saldua begs for help with his obsession of a woman named Amy and Mantlo responds in a soothing voice that they can try increasing Saldua's medicine dosage. Mantlo is lost for a response.
You'll never guess what we found inside.
That evening, enthusiastic Mets fan Watson and a reluctant Holmes are watching a Mets baseball game on television. Holmes is restless, and Watson reminds him that he promised to sit through the game as apology for his past treatment of her. She tells him to wait for the ending and to not mock what he doesn't understand. Holmes rises from his chair, scrutinizes the players on the screen and predicts the outcome of the game, before walking out and telling Watson he will wait for her at the foot of the stairs. (♫ Elvis Costello - Watching the Detectives ♫) Less than a minute later, Holmes' prediction of a Mets loss comes true, and Watson ruefully throws on her coat and heads downstairs to join Holmes for dinner.
Holmes' beekeeping hobby is a reference to the Conan Doyle Holmes stories, in which Dr. Watson reports that Holmes took up beekeeping after retiring from detective work. Sherlock also tells Watson the title of his planned book, "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen," the same as the original Holmes title.
The opera Holmes and Watson attend is Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
At the end of the episode, Watching the Detectives by Elvis Costello is playing while Watson watches the baseball game. Lucy Liu starred in the 2007 film Watching the Detectives whose title is taken from the Elvis Costello song. It was Jonny Lee Miller's idea to use it.
Titled "Ein aussichtsloser Fall" (A Hopeless Case) in German.
"Do you believe in love at first sight?"
―Holmes first words to Watson
"Mr. Polk, can you tell us where you were last night?"
―Watson's first interrogation question
"You don't hate what I do though. That much was obvious when we talked to Mr. Polk. There was a look on your face. I imagine it was the same look you wore to the O.R. when you were still a surgeon."