Season: One — Episode: 8 Director: Andrew Bernstein — Writer: Jeffrey Paul King — Aired: November 29, 2012 — Viewers (millions): 10.46 Summary: While investigating an explosion that kills two people, Holmes discovers a crime that's been lying dormant for years. Meanwhile, Watson encourages Holmes to finally pick a sponsor.
One way or the other, I'm gonna be out of your life in a few weeks. Maybe you're dreading that day, maybe you're counting the seconds. Either way, I'm going to make sure you're ready when the time comes.
— Watson to Holmes
At The Brownstone, Watson interrupts Holmes' morning memory exercise to remind him that he needs to pick a sponsor to help maintain his sobriety as her time with him is nearly done. Holmes believes he doesn't need any help but agrees to meet Watson's candidate for coffee so she'll stop pestering him. At the offices of a web design firm, Royce Maltz hears beeping coming from an air vent and moments later, an explosion occurs. (♫ Alberta Cross - Money for the Weekend (Pocket Full of Shame) ♫) Holmes and Watson meet Captain Gregson and Detective Bell at the crime scene where Holmes quickly finds the remains of a pager, an antiquated device which he believes was the bomb's trigger. He also finds shreds of newspaper that was used as the bomb's packing material indicating the bomb was homemade. Since it will take the bomb squad a few hours to get data from the pager, Watson has Holmes meet her sponsor candidate, Adrian.
The power to make the world grovel at my feet.
You know this is a computer company right?
Holmes is immediately rude to Adrian and asks him a question that's a trap. After Adrian answers Holmes abruptly leaves but Watson is undeterred. Gregson calls with news that the pager was called by a man named Rennie Jacobs, who just finished a six-year prison term for arson and, is at the precinct. In "the box" Jacobs denies knowing about the bomb and insists he was calling a deli. The deli's phone number is one digit off that of the pager and when Holmes sees that Jacobs is a disorganized person, he believes he's not the bomber. Holmes interrupts Gregson with the bomb squad and looking at the evidence, he points out the bomb's battery is four years old as is the newspaper used to pack the bomb evidenced by an old photo of Obama and a date Watson finds. Since Jacobs was in jail then, he couldn't have planted the bomb.
That battery is four years old.
Holmes and Watson go to the corporate offices of Vanowen Strategic Communications (SC), a prominent public relations firm, who occupied the bombed office space in 2008. They meet with the company's president, Heather Vanowen, and her CFO, Earl Wheeler. After explaining that Vanowen SC was the likely target of the bomb, he also says the bomb was unable to detonate in 2008 because there weren't cell towers within range but that changed in 2010. Wheeler indicates they have enemies due to the companies they work with and Vanowen mentions they received threatening letters in 2008 from an eco-terrorist group, the ELM. She offers the letters and as Holmes leaves, he gives Vanowen the answers to a crossword puzzle open on her computer. At a support group meeting, Holmes examines the letters to Watson's displeasure. She reminds him about finding a sponsor and to her surprise, he picks the person speaking, Alfredo Llamosa, a former car thief.
We got some threatening letters from them in 2008.
At the Brownstone, Holmes sees a phrase in one of the letters which he heard on TV and is able to identify Edgar Knowles as the author. Questioned at the precinct, Knowles denies committing any bombings but Holmes proves he is lying by matching a fingerprint Knowles left on the precinct elevator button to one from a lumber mill explosion. He admits to a number of nitrate-based bombings and to authoring the letter to Vanowen SC but not to bombing their old location. That evening on the Brownstone roof, Holmes detonates various homemade bombs inside tennis balls. He explains to Watson that he is smelling the post-explosion odor to identify what was used in the bombing. He's convinced the bomb was made from potassium chlorate while an eco-terrorist like Knowles had used natural ingredients such as fertilizer.
What did those balls ever do to you?
At the precinct, Holmes shows Gregson that he's found the impression of the word "Novocaine" on one of the scraps of newspaper used in the bomb. Even though it's not Knowles' handwriting, Gregson believes he's the bomber. Since the threat against Vanowen SC wasn't made public, Holmes believes an employee may be the bomber. Gregson refuses to get him a subpoena so Holmes will need to get the employee records on his own. Watson and Alfredo wait for Holmes at a coffee shop but he texts that he can't make it. Alfredo advises patience and his calm demeanor surprises Watson given his gang appearance. He says he can help Holmes once given the chance.
We need to be patient and methodical with him.
With Vanowen's co-operation, Holmes is able to examine the employee files in one of their meeting rooms. Vanowen checks in on him and discusses her obsession with crosswords. Holmes thinks Vanowen is flirting with him and bluntly expresses his interest, but that he's currently busy. They are interrupted by Watson and Vanowen leaves, bewildered by Holmes' behaviour. Watson indicates that Alfredo was fine with rescheduling their meeting which surprises Holmes. In Vanowen's office, Holmes asks about a former employee, Pradeep Singh. She and Wheeler indicate that Pradip was a good employee and had been rapidly promoted but he became arrogant and argued with Wheeler. He disappeared in 2008 after issuing a threat when he was turned down for a promotion and was never found.
You want sex.
Holmes and Watson interview Pradeep's wife, Himali, who says that she is sure her husband is dead. Holmes asks if there was any remodeling done in the living room since 2008 and when Himali says no, he asks if they could look in the backyard. As they are leaving, he excuses himself to use the bathroom but hangs behind and when alone, he examines a living room wall. He proceeds outside and taking Watson to one side, tells her that he noticed a bulge in a wall and that pictures had been moved since 2008. He broke open the wall and found Pradeep's corpse, wrapped in plastic which caused mold and the bulge. At the precinct, a distraught Himali is interviewed where Gregson confirms that she was in India when Pradeep disappeared. Holmes believes that Pradeep was the target of the bomb as he discovered his office was near the air vent.
Are you telling me that Pradeep is in that wall?
Bell reports that Pradeep was killed by a gunshot wound and the contents of his pockets include a key which Holmes recognizes is to a safety deposit box. After identifying the bank, they open the box and find a VCR tape. At the Brownstone, Holmes sets up a VCR for Bell to view the tape while Bell excuses himself. Watson mentions a coffee meeting with Alfredo the next day, but Holmes says he's decided Alfredo won't make a good sponsor. Watson accuses Holmes of not wanting to find a sponsor so she won't leave and that he never expected her to approve of Alfredo. They are interrupted by Bell re-entering. The tape shows a young Pradeep concealing a camera in a hotel room, which records him meeting with a prostitute who is a young Heather Vanowen. Holmes says they've found the bomber.
Now all we got to do is find a VCR in 2012.
Called into the precinct, Vanowen fills out a release form. In Captain Gregson's office, she's shown the VCR footage which Holmes says gave Vanowen motive to kill Singh as he was blackmailing her for promotions. She built the pipe bomb knowing that blame would be attributed to the ELM. When it didn’t go off, she killed Singh in his home when his wife was in India and hid him behind a wall, a skill she'd learned from her father who was a drywaller. Vanowen calls Holmes' accusation "creative" and prepares to leave to seek an attorney. However Detective Bell arrives with an analysis of Vanowen's hand writing. Holmes shows that it matches the written impression of the word "Novocaine" on a piece of newspaper used in the bomb. This was an answer to a New York Times crossword puzzle from October 13, 2008, near the time the bomb was planted. Bell arrests Vanowen.
So you built a pipe bomb...
That evening at the Brownstone, Holmes is surprised when Alfredo shows up at the front door. He says he understands if Holmes is not ready to accept him as a sponsor, but he is there for another reason. Alfredo points to a gleaming Ferrari parked on the street and says that, because of his expertise as an auto thief, he is regularly employed by car companies to test their new security systems. He invites Holmes to try his luck breaking in but when Holmes demurs, he appeals to Holmes' vanity. (♫ Graffiti6 - Calm the Storm ♫) Holmes looks at Watson, knowing she put Alfredo up to finding common ground they could bond over. He agrees to the challenge but not to Alfredo being his sponsor as he insists that he doesn't need help. He starts asking Alfredo questions about the security system while Watson watches and smiles.