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"A good detective knows that every task, every interaction, no matter how seemingly banal, has the potential to contain multitudes. I live my life alert to this possibility. I expect my colleagues to do the same."
— Holmes
At a crime scene, two security guards are lying next to each other in a parking lot, shot dead. Watson, in her new role as Holmes' apprentice, attempts to reconstruct what transpired and which direction the shooter went. Holmes points out that the shooter didn't run anywhere. One of the men was dressed in a store-bought uniform and was posing as a guard. He'd target an expensive car, steal the registration and an accomplice would rob the home on the registration. A real guard came upon him and they shot each other. Watson deduces that if they use the fake man's phone, they can find and arrest the accomplice. They give the info to Detective Bell and leave. As Holmes is encouraging Watson, they're approached by a limo driver, Crabtree, who asks them to speak to his employer, Gerald Lydon, CEO of a large corporation.

S01E17-Crime scene
Bad man shoots good man.
In the limo, Lydon introduces himself and tells them that he has been diagnosed with dementia, due to cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), an incurable degeneration of the nervous system. CAA is genetic, but there is no history of the disease in Lydon's family. He's convinced that someone gave him the disease and has already consulted geneticists, who tell him that it is possible. No one will take his accusation seriously so he is turning to Holmes as a last resort. Holmes believes Lydon is suffering from a natural disorder and declines. That evening at the Brownstone, as Watson complains about reading assignments Holmes has given her, the doorbell rings. Crabtree is at the door holding a small, hexagonal wooden box. Inside is a rare bee, famed for the beauty of the nests it builds. With difficulty, Holmes says he can't accept the bee, and asks that Mr. Lydon stop contacting him. The next morning, Watson is practicing her single-stick moves on Bob when they are called by Captain Gregson. Lydon has been arrested for shooting Crabtree and is refusing to talk to anyone but Holmes.

S01E17-Holmes Watson bee in box
Crabtree, this is exquisite.
At the crime scene, Gregson tells Holmes that Lydon can't remember shooting Crabtree. Lyndon begs Holmes to help so he decides to and takes the bee in the box. Holmes and Watson visit a genetics company, Watt Helix, to find out if contracting CAA is possible. Holmes recognizes the head of their medical research division, Dr. Natasha Kademan, as the author of "The Warrior Gene", the gene responsible for sociopathic behavior. They discuss Lydon's case with her and president Raph Keating who indicate that it is possible, but would take tremendous resources and only seven geneticists have the skills. Holmes asks for their names and addresses. That evening as Holmes reviews the geneticist's profiles, Watson asks him why he left a dry cleaning bill on her door. He indicates performing mundane tasks is part of her apprenticeship and he'll clean the fridge. His research has revealed that a Norwegian geneticist recently got a loan for a very expensive home co-signed by one of Lydon's sons, Carter.

S01E17-With Keating and Kademan
Sterling work.
Planning to visit Oslo, Holmes gets a text from a blocked number. The message contains info that it is possible to induce CAA and someone has invented the formula. From a phrase in the text, Holmes recognizes the sender is Natasha Kademan. He indicates they can protect her and she asks they meet her at Watt Helix that night. When Holmes and Watson arrive, they find Kademan lying in the lobby, stabbed to death. Bell believes Kademan was stabbed by a burglar but Holmes disagrees and thinks Kademan's involvement in the Lydon investigation resulted in her murder. He also points out the killer's blood is on a portrait of the company's founder, Brian Watt. Watson then explains how Holmes deduced this. Kademan's fiance, geneticist Paul Reeves arrives and relates that she was working with Lydon but didn't know it concerned CAA. He suspects that an ex-convict who participated in the Warrior Gene research and threatened Kademan may have killed her.

S01E17-Crime scene2
Kudos, Watson. Adequately done.
At the Brownstone, Holmes uses a molecular construction kit to try and recreate the CAA formula Kademan sent them. (♫ Claire Diterzi - La Vieille Chanteuse ♫) The next morning, Watson wakes Holmes and shows him the molecule which she created with help from her genetics professor. The work of a genius, they now have to find its creator. Cold, Holmes asks Watson to get his sweaters from the dry cleaners. At Main Moon dry cleaners, Watson finds the sales woman only speaks Polish, is rude and only speaks to her male associate who translates. After Watson protests the cost, the man quotes a lower price and the woman won't provide change or a receipt. In "the box" at the 11th Precinct, the ex-con, Benny Cordero, is questioned by Bell and Gregson but Holmes constantly interrupts their questioning, insisting Cordero isn't the killer. Since he has no alibi when Kademan was murdered, Bell says they'll check if his DNA matches the blood at the scene.

S01E17-Watson w molecules
This is a mutagen...
In a meeting with Lydon's younger son, Josh, Holmes asks for complete access to Lydon Industries data. His brother Carter interrupts with news that his father has been declared legally incompetent, making Carter the CEO. Watson tricks him into dismissing them in writing to procure a DNA sample from the pen. Outside, Watson shows Holmes her coup but he produces a comb he stole from Carter's desk with a few hairs on it. Holmes calls Bell to report their DNA samples but he tells Holmes that Benny Cordero's DNA matched the crime scene blood. Cordero is adamant he didn't kill Kademan and insists the blood was planted. He then provides an alibi, he was taking blackmail photos of a neighbor. At the Brownstone, Holmes has Watson bring his sweaters back to the same dry cleaners due to a spill. Staring at his evidence wall, there's only two possible explanations for Kademan's murder. Either Cordero's blood was planted which there is no evidence to disprove or a second possibility, which eludes him.

S01E17-Watson Holmes after Lydons
Not a bad gambit, Watson...
At Main Moon, Watson receives the same rude service, notices the clothing hasn't moved and there are many surveillance cameras. She tells Holmes they are a front for some illegal activity and that he wanted her to notice. Holmes claims ignorance and then introduces her to his panel of genetic experts linked by a video conference. Bidding them goodbye, Holmes reveals they've help him find his second possibility. Forensics lab's DNA tests compare 13 genetic loci in two samples even though human genomes contain many more. The experts agree that a DNA sample could be created that matches the 13 loci. Holmes had a lab check and the crime scene blood only had 13 loci. He remarks that only one geneticist pointed them to Cordero. Paul Reeves is brought to the precinct for questioning and doesn't believe a DNA sample can be created. It's pointed out he works at a top lab and his employer has granted the police access to see if he created the fake DNA sample.

S01E17-Watson Holmes media room
Okay, so what are you up to then?
Reeves admits that he killed Kademan. When they got engaged, a genetic workup revealed he had the "warrior gene" that according to Kademan's thesis, made him a sociopath. She grew distant and he believes she began cheating on him with a man named Lincoln Dunwoody. He made the fake blood after Kademan cancelled dinner on his birthday. Holmes asks what this has to do with the inducing of CAA in Gerald Lydon but Reeves is totally ignorant and doesn't know what CAA is. After Reeves is arrested, Holmes studies the name "Lincoln Dunwoody" as he suspects it wasn't Kademan's lover. No one with that name exists but he does find that two large charitable foundations are named "Lincoln" and "Dunwoody" whose founders have recently been institutionalized for dementia. They visit elderly Greta Dunwoody who believes she's a teenager practicing piano for a university audition. (♫ Chopin - Prelude In B Minor, Op. 28, No. 6 ♫) Watson is convinced that she's been poisoned.

S01E17-With Dunwoody
The brain decays, but muscle memory remains.
Watson is surprised to find Holmes cleaning the fridge instead of finding the poisoner. He indicates he's already done so and challenges Watson to deduce who. Carter Lydon only has motive to poison his father. She deduces the only person with motive to poison rich philanthropists would be someone trying to find a cure for CAA. Targeting more than one would increase the chances of a donation. The Lincoln foundation gave funding to Watt Helix and Kademan must have discovered the poisoning. Holmes came to the same conclusion and points to the smartest person at the company who no longer works there full-time. Company founder Brian Watt is brought in for questioning with his attorney. As Holmes and Watson relate their deductions, Watts says nothing. Watson states that Watts has CAA and during his lucid moments, created the CAA poison and the plan. He denies it but Gregson indicates detectives are on the way to his home to search for the poison.

S01E17-Watt finale
Whoever developed the molecule was brilliant.
At Main Moon, the two employees are watching the news coverage of Watt's arrest, when Watson and Bell enter. Watson tells them that after she found the world's worst dry cleaners, Bell looked into the owners and found it to be a shell company for crime. Main Moon was a cleaner for money not clothes and Bell gives them a search warrant. Watson returns to the Brownstone in triumph, and Holmes tells her to shut the door quickly as the bee in the box has escaped. Holmes congratulates Watson and explains he didn't tell her what the dry cleaners were up to as he wanted her to follow her own instincts without relying on him. (♫ Eels - New Alphabet ♫) Even mundane details and circumstances can lead to much more and he wants her to recognize this and act.

S01E17-Bee catching
I'd rather it didn't get out.



  • Crabtree mentions that Holmes was referred to them by "Mr. Musgrave" referencing The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual.
  • At the 11 minute mark, Holmes is on the phone talking in Norwegian, before telling Watson they're leaving for Norway. He is asking "Når er kontorene deres åpne for publikum? Takk for det. Ha det bra," which translates into "when are your offices open to the public? Thank you, goodbye." Jonny Lee Miller was considered as the third teammate to join Ben Fogle and James Cracknell in Team QinetiQ for the Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole Race in January 2009. He participated in training for the event in Norway which was televised for a BBC2 documentary series On Thin Ice.[1]
  • Translation of the Polish spoken by Agnieszka at the dry cleaners is in the episode transcript.
  • The bee flying around the room at the end of the episode is computer animated.[2]
  • The bee reappears in "Heroine", in which Holmes also mentions Gerald Lydon again.
  • Holmes gives Watson a book by Jeremy Bentham as part of her "reading list." Bentham was a 19th century philosopher who was thought to be one of Arthur Conan Doyle's influences. Bentham's violin was included as part of the Museum of London's exhibition "Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die".[3]


This is Detective Bell from the NYPD. I told him about the world's worst dry cleaners and he got curious.

— Watson



  1. "Jonny Lee Miller". Wikipedia. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  2. CBS Television (CBS). "Elementary - Power of Observation: Seeing is Believing " April 11, 2013.
  3. The Guardian (Sherlock Holmes: dispelling the myths) October 11, 2014.