Days have passed since Holmes caught Sebastian Moran and his evidence board has grown considerably. Watson enters and comments that he slept for two days. As Watson has an appointment, Holmes indicates he'll be fine while he pursues a hobby, conspiracy theorists. Holmes indicates that he's been the source of several crackpot theories, all to watch the theorists take them seriously. Watson attends a therapy session with Dr. Reed and confesses the lie she made to Holmes. Reed wonders why Watson is staying with him while not being paid so she explains her concerns and that she'd like to heal the rift between Holmes and Captain Gregson. She gets a text from Holmes, asking her to meet him at a Brooklyn address. Arriving there, Holmes explains to her that "Zapruder", the moderator of an online conspiracy theorist chat room, was absent. Holmes long ago identified him as Len Pontecorvo and is checking in on him. After Holmes picks the lock, they find Pontecorvo has been hung.
He's got much larger problems than us.
Detective Bell examines the scene and reminds Holmes that he's supposed to be taking a break from working with the police. Bell believes it's a suicide, but Holmes points out several clues that indicate Pontecorvo was murdered and that he texted the M.E. Bell tells him to not work the case which Holmes agrees to, right after examining the rest of the home. Over Watson's protests, Holmes finds Len's binders on conspiracy theories and decides to take them. He also decides to take Len's pet tortoise Clyde, to prevent him from starving. Watson is touched until Holmes says he'll make a delicious soup. Holmes picks up a rock from Clyde's tank and finds a listening device inside it. At The Brownstone, Holmes smashes the bug after examining it. He's confirmed that the bug is government grade and he's found spyware on Len's laptop. Someone in the government was monitoring Pontecorvo.
Holmes shows Watson the only one of Len's binders that contains a plausible conspiracy theory, "The Red Team". It refers to an annual exercise by the U.S. Army's War College. Two teams, the blue (US and allies) and red (their enemies) are given an exercise and create a plan for it. In 2009, the exercise was to plan a response to a sleeper terrorist cell in the US. The results and participants were classified and never published. Holmes believes the Red Team made a plan that exposed a hole in national security that if ever released, could result in the deaths of thousands. Further, after Red Team member Martin Nagowski was killed in a mugging, Len believed the government was eliminating the members. To test this theory, Holmes says he'll find the other team members since it is his day off from NYPD work. At the 11th Precinct, Watson pleads with Gregson to give Holmes a second chance but he can't forgive that Holmes nearly murdered Moran while working for him and believes Holmes isn't repentant.
It also doesn't sound as crazy as the other theories.
Holmes summons Watson to a sanatorium in Queens where he's identified another member of the Red Team, Carlo Anillo. Anillo has early-onset Alzheimer's yet his family has no history of the disease. Holmes believes Anillo was poisoned and his memory destroyed to mimic Alzheimer's. Holmes calls Bell to report his findings but Bell tells him that they have the man who killed Len in custody. At the precinct, Holmes interviews the man, Gary Sullivan, but doesn't believe he's the killer. Gregson pulls Holmes out, and threatens to have him arrested for trespassing if he gets into the interrogation room again. Holmes fumes while staking out Len's house in a parked car with Watson. He understands Gregson's anger but doesn't see the point in an apology and believes that punishing him is detracting from the greater good. The police having left Len's house, Holmes believes whoever planted the bug will arrive to remove any others. He's correct and they follow a phone company van to an office building.
I think he's having a micro-seizure.
Entering the building, they come upon a locked door. Holmes shows the pieces of the bug he took from Len's house to a camera and they are let in. Except for a long table, the office is empty and they are met by a friendly man in a suit, who introduces himself as Bill and asks what they want. Holmes shares his theory about the Red Team and their members but Bill says he has no knowledge of this and has never seen the bug before. He theorizes if the Army wanted to eliminate people, they'd have done it in one shot back in 2009. Leaving the office, Watson believes it was a waste of time but by Bill's reaction to some of the names Holmes said, he's able to deduce which were part of the Red Team. Bell calls with confirmation that Anillo was poisoned and Gregson summons him to the precinct. Later, the police have rounded up the members of the Red Team.
In a meeting room, Harold Dresden, Sheldon Frost, and Veena Mehta wait while Holmes shows in Lt Col (ret'd) Walter McClenahan who appears very nervous. McClenahan pretends he doesn't know those in the room, but after Holmes introduces everyone, he identifies them as the 2009 Red Team. McClenahan wants to leave but Dresden convinces him to stay. Holmes reveals they are in danger and asks them to provide insights as to who the killer might be. Frost and Mehta want to talk but Dresden reminds them of their secrecy oath. They all leave, but Mehta drops a piece of paper into the wastebasket and looks back. The note says to find their U.S. Army liaison, code-named "Yossarian." That evening, as Holmes browses through journals of the Army War College, he finds a picture of Bill, whose real name is Todd Clarke. He believes Clarke is Yossarian.
If we all talk, nobody can report anyone else.
The doorbell rings and two government agents inform Holmes that Colonel Clarke was just murdered and they are taking him for questioning. The agents point out the coincidence of Holmes questioning Clarke and his subsequent death so Holmes tells them what he knows about the Red Team's elimination. Since Clarke was their Army liaison, whatever they discovered, he would know too. Holmes implies they may have killed Clarke which brings a threat of deeper interrogation until Holmes mentions the Brownstone's cameras will prove he was there when Clarke was murdered. Watson meets Holmes after his release and points out the ordeal could have avoided by supplying his alibi earlier. However, Holmes allowed himself to be taken in so that he could determine if the agents knew about the Red Team's killings. Holmes says it's time for the rest of the Red Team to be taken into protective custody.
Why are you spouting a bunch of nonsense about government assassinations?
After no answer at McClenahan's place, two policemen enter and are hit by a booby-trapped shotgun. Later, Bell and Gregson review the scene, find many weapons and that the shotgun was loaded with rock salt. McClenahan looks to be the prime suspect. Holmes calls Bell and discovers Mehta and Frost are safe so Holmes indicates he's going to Dresden's. Dresden tends to his disabled wife, Sheila, who can barely move or speak. Holmes tells Dresden about the booby-trap and learns that McClenahan was paranoid and a loner. Dresden also says that after Nagowski was killed, McClenahan joked that there was one less person to reveal the plan. Dresden is afraid that McClenahan is planning to sell the Red Team's plan, is killing to drive the price up and provides a place McClenahan might be. Holmes calls Bell to report the info but Bell tells him McClenahan is dead.
That contraption's not the only weapon we found in the place.
While Watson stays behind to help Dresden prepare his wife to move to the police safe location, Holmes meets Bell at the crime scene. McClenahan is lying behind a dumpster in an alley, shot once in the head. Holmes notices that McClenahan was covered with a blanket by the killer, suggesting it was someone who knew him. Holmes realizes who the killer is and says they need to get to the safe location. At a small motel on the outskirts of the city, Detective Harris shows the Dresdens into their room. When Dresden finds the rest of the Red Team have arrived, he knocks Harris out and takes his gun. Dresden exits and seeing Mehta by a vending machine, aims at her but an officer shouts for him to freeze. Dresden runs back into his room with bullets flying by him.
Suggests an element of shame here.
When Holmes arrives, the police have the motel under siege and Dresden is holding Harris hostage. Strangely, he's demanding Mehta and Frost be delivered to him. Holmes tells Gregson that Dresden is on a suicide mission and will kill them. Holmes convinces Gregson to let him see Dresden as he knows how to stop him. Dresden lets Holmes in and reveals that he knows Dresden's plan to kill himself after killing Mehta and Frost. He doesn't know why Dresden waited two years though. Dresden says that after Sheila became sick, he was approached with an offer for the plan in exchange for a cure. He knew it was a lie but he realized that everyone has a price. The only safeguard was killing all the Red Team members. Dresden then thanks Holmes as he plans to shoot him to show the police how serious he is. Calmly, Holmes tells him the plan is known which Dresden doesn't believe. He cocks the gun, points it in Holmes' face and asks him what the plan is.
I'll get your man out safely.
A few minutes later, Holmes emerges with Dresden who surrenders. Harris is safe and Gregson asks Holmes how he did it. Holmes says he deduced the plan when Dresden had the gun to his face. Gregson asks Holmes to meet him at a bar in an hour. At the bar, Holmes apologizes for lying to Gregson but haughtily says the NYPD needs him. Gregson rebukes Holmes' self-centered behaviour but admits he is special and needs him. He'll never trust Holmes again, gives him a gut shot and as Holmes gasps for air, welcomes him back. At the Brownstone, Holmes is sipping from a bowl of soup when Watson enters the kitchen. (♫ Jake Bugg - Broken ♫) She's worried Holmes has cooked Clyde but Holmes places him on the table and expresses his admiration for tortoises. She can't get Holmes to talk about what happened with Gregson and remarks on Holmes' unpredictability.