Season: Three — Episode: 10 Director: John Polson — Writer: Brian Rodenbeck — Aired: January 15, 2015 — Viewers (millions): 8.09 Summary: While Kitty tries to find a runaway teen, Holmes and Watson work a case in which the murder of a brilliant bio-engineer looks to be at the hands of a drug cartel. Also, Watson makes a major life decision but worries it will impact Holmes negatively, not knowing that Holmes has big news of his own.
Decorum forbids me from showing my emotions during an interview such as this one, but I assure you, on the inside I am doubled over with laughter.
— Holmes to Barbara Conway
After Kitty speaks at a support group meeting, she's approached by Miranda Jantzen who asks if Kitty can find her daughter Tess. Miranda indicates that Tess' father isn't in their life as he was her rapist. Since Tess found out, she's gone missing before, but this time, she hasn't been able to find her in days. At the scene of the death of an elderly couple, Watson speculates they committed suicide but Holmes leads her and Detective Bell into the building's basement where a burned body is found. The body was burnt using gasoline in a tire which emitted a toxic gas, travelled up a vent and killed the couple in their sleep. Checking the third floor, the body is found to be Clay Dubrovensky, who had a doctorate in botany and genetic engineering. Holmes says that Clay's burning death, necklacing, is a trademark of a Brazilan gang, SDS.
A toxic, gaseous by-product of burning rubber.
An ex of Clay's, Courtney Stever, is questioned at the 11th Precinct where she indicates that Clay was growing marijuana for the SDS and he also engineered new strains of pot. She believes the SDS may have killed him as he was bored of growing pot and wanted a real lab to experiment in. She doesn't know where Clay's grow house is and admits to sleeping with him recently. Returning to The Brownstone, Kitty tells Holmes that she hasn't uncovered leads on Tess despite talking to her friends. The next morning after breaking into Watson's apartment, Holmes wakes Watson by making her a smoothie with a blender. From some Russian coins found at Clay's, he's been able to identify the neighborhood the grow house is in and, finding the residence that uses the most electricity, reveals the house. Watson tells Holmes that she's folding her private detective business and will be working for insurance company Leda as an in-house investigator. She assures Holmes that she'll still have time to work on cases.
This is new.
Meeting Captain Gregson at the grow house, they are puzzled to discover most of the pot plants are dead. Holmes spots a valuable, one-of-a-kind orchid, the Wutai Pingtung on a shelf and believes Clay may have been killed over it. Clay's autopsy report shows that he died of a blow to the head which suggests the necklacing may have been a frame-up. Holmes decides to search for the sale of the orchid on the dark web, hoping to reveal the buyer. At the Brownstone, one of Tess' friends, Lexi, claims to not know Tess' whereabouts but gives Kitty the licence plate of a car that Tess said was following her before she disappeared. Barbara Conway, a senior VP at AgriNext is questioned by Bell, Holmes and Watson at her company's office. Having found that she bought a cabinet that had the orchid on it, she denies knowing Clay. Told they believe she killed Clay when he didn't deliver the orchid, she insists it was thrown in for free, the seller was anonymous and gives them the second orchid.
Why would they just let them die?
At the precinct, Gregson and Kitty question Grant Perryman, the owner of the car Tess told Lexi was following her. Perryman has a alibi when Tess said she saw his car. Kitty notices he has a clubbed left thumb and now knows where to find Tess. At the Brownstone, Holmes is mystified as he stares at two orchids, when only one Wutai Pingtung was supposed to have existed. Conway provided two bags of plant food and as Watson opens one filled with ground coffee and dried fish, Holmes tells her that's the wrong one for orchids. Holmes pulls both orchids out of their pots and seeing the root structure is identical, concludes that Clay made clones of the orchids. The suspect pool now includes anyone he sold a cloned orchid to including Conway. About to tell Watson that he has some work news of his own, they are interrupted by a call from Gregson. Two AgriNext executives were murdered by necklacing at their office and a message in Portuguese, "this means war" left at the scene.
Your understanding can never be wrong?
The bodies of the two executives are viewed at the Morgue and Gregson says that a witness provided a description of the killer. Bell relates that AgriNext doesn't know why SDS would kill their executives which Holmes believes is a lie. Holmes notices a fire-proof rope was used to tie up the executives which wasn't used on Clay, further suggesting the SDS didn't kill him. At the precinct, Conway admits that she lied about the orchid in that she bought it. However, when she discovered it was a fake, she was impressed, tracked down Clay and offered him a job at AgriNext. Learning Clay grew pot for the SDS made him even more desirable as AgriNext wanted to prepare for legalized marijuana. SDS didn't want to let Clay go so AgriNext negotiated to buy Clay away. Conway says Clay was meeting with the SDS the night he was killed as he wanted them to accept AgriNext's offer and indicated he was going to leave SDS no matter what. Conway speculates that SDS killed him for his betrayal and the executives as retaliation for AgriNext not accepting the cartel's price.
$10 million. The company countered at five.
Kitty has found Tess at Lexi's aunt's apartment. Kitty noticed that both Perryman and Tess have clubbed thumbs and he is her birth father, who raped her mother. Tess admits she wanted to get Perryman in trouble to reveal what he'd done to her mother so she disappeared and left his licence number with Lexi. Kitty convinces Tess that's not what her mother wants and that she chose to focus on the good that came from a terrible crime. Tess breaks down and hugs Kitty who with difficulty, hugs her back. At the Brownstone, Watson reviews AgriNext memos that proves they were negotiating for Clay's release from the SDS. In order to stimulate thought, Holmes opens the plant food bag with coffee and fish and the strong odor fills the room. Holmes tells Watson that he's decided to make Kitty his new partner. As Watson expresses her approval, Bell texts that they've found the man, an SDS soldier, who murdered the AgriNext executives.
She chose you.
At the precinct, Bell and Gregson informs Holmes and Watson that the SDS soldier confessed to many crimes but not Clay's murder. As Watson theorizes that Clay didn't want to work for AgriNext and they had him killed, she receives a text from Clay's ex Courtney Stevers. Meeting Stevers at Clay's apartment, she tells Watson that Clay gave her a yellow clivia which has special food that she needs from his apartment. The police won't let Stevers into Clay's apartment so Watson arranges it. Inside, Stevers says that Clay gave a clivia to all the women he was sleeping with and as she opens the plant food bag, it smells like coffee and fish. Watson calls Holmes that she's found motive that Conway killed Clay and confirms that Conway is to appear at the precinct the next day. Watson meets Conway alone and says she knows that she and Clay were lovers. After Conway discovered Clay was also sleeping with Stevers, she confronted him and in anger, killed him with a blow to the head. She then tried to frame the SDS with the necklacing.
It didn't go well.
Conway denies Watson's accusation and as she leaves to call her lawyer, Watson tells her that police are canvassing Clay's neighbors to see if anyone saw her bringing in the tire to necklace Clay with. Believing that Clay's murder was an act of passion and not pre-meditated, Watson points out that Conway's best chance to receive a lesser sentence is to admit what happened. Conway breaks down and confesses, saying that she loved Clay and kept the clivia he'd given her. Watson calls Holmes and informs him of Conway's confession while he indicates that he's about to tell Kitty about her promotion. However, a call from Gregson interrupts asking for Holmes alone to come to a crime scene. Gregson shows Holmes the body of Melanie Vilkas, who went missing days before. Many burn marks are on Vilkas' back which match those that Kitty's abductor inflicted on her. They realize that the abductor has left London and is in NYC.
Take a look at her back.
The quote Kitty attributes to Holmes, "Life is stranger than anything the mind could invent" is taken from Arthur Conan Doyle's A Case of Identity.
"You know how much I value you. I've made that clear on numerous occasions, sometimes embarrassingly so. You've been a good friend and a good partner."
―Holmes to Watson
"They're the same markings I saw in those files you gave me, the same ones that are on Kitty's back."