Season: Six — Episode: 17 Director: Jon Michael Hill — Writer: Jordan Rosenberg — Aired: August 20, 2018 — Viewers (millions): 3.39 Summary: Holmes and Watson investigate multiple motives for murder when a zoologist is killed because of his numerous love affairs or his trailblazing research. Also, Holmes finds himself the victim of identity theft after his medical records are stolen.
Michael only stopped killing in order to give me time to recover from my PCS. So we need to prepare ourselves, because now that he knows I'm better, he's going to be back.
— Holmes to Watson
At The Brownstone, Holmes has Athena and Sophia in body paint that matches a mosaic tile background in order help him recreate a crime scene. He's interrupted by a call from his doctor and at the doctor's office, learns they've had a break-in and many medical files, including his, have been stolen. At the nematology department of Millerton University, a guide takes a group of students through a tour that includes a worm composter. When a student activates the composter, human remains are ejected. Later at the scene, Detective Bell and Watson examine the decomposed body of Dr. William Velnik, a worm expert, who was stabbed in the throat with a screwdriver weeks before. Viewing his office, Bell notes that the attractive Velnik was popular with women and that his phone and computer hard drive are missing.
So you think that the killer camouflaged himself with body paint.
After reviewing security footage of Velnik's office and noticing many irregularities, campus security head Zeke is questioned at the 11th Precinct. He admits turning off the camera outside Velnik's office when he was hooking up with women and then looping old footage in its place. In exchange, Velnik was providing him with a chemical Zeke could sell as a fat burner. Zeke provides email proof of the arrangement and footage of other areas of campus so that Velnik's sexual partners can be identified as suspects. At the Brownstone, Holmes creates a wall with pictures of worms that Velnik has discovered which he finds Velnik named in Latin after his sexual partners. He also tells Watson of the theft of his medical records. Questioning Velnik's sex partners at the precinct, Dr. Sepi Chamanara admits to occasionally sleeping with Velnik. She has an alibi but mentions a student of hers, Becca Mainzer, also slept with Velnik and was jealous that Sepi had as well.
Think one of them killed Velnik?
Becca lies about sleeping with Velnik, claims she was at home when he was killed but when confronted with a video of her car at the university, she implicates her husband, Donnie. Donnie admits to killing Velnik, but says he shot him three times in the chest, contrary to the neck wound which was determined as the cause of death. After Dr. Hawes re-examines Velnik's body and finds three cracked ribs, Holmes believes that Velnik was wearing body armor and survived Donnie's shooting. The security video shows Velnik wearing a strange hoodie which Holmes thinks is made from insect fibers, the cutting edge of ballistic textile research. Watson discovers Velnik was paid a large fee from Hoyt Armor Solutions. Holmes visits a construction firm as he's found that his identity has been sold and is being used by a man at the firm. The man gives Holmes the dark web url he bought his identity on and Holmes warns him that he's in danger if he continues to use his name.
What a coincidence. So am I.
Bell and Watson question John Hoyt who has an alibi. Hoyt indicates he didn't hire Velnik to make a bio-organic armor hoodie and that he must have obtained it from someone else. He hired Velnik to obtain bio-organic fibers, which Velnik did and has the emails to prove their agreement. Hoyt remembers Velnik mentioning that he was getting emailed anonymous death threats. At the Brownstone, Watson finds Holmes watching a recording of a video game to solve a problem for Mason in exchange for the source of Velnik's death threats and, who sold Holmes' identity. Quinn, the source of the threats, is questioned at the precinct by Bell and Gregson who admits to the email threats but only to deliver a computer virus. Wanting details on the whether Hoyt Armor was close to developing bio-organic ballistic cloth, she accessed Velnik's emails and found Hoyt wasn't close to a solution. Looking through the data Quinn collected, they find Velnik gave Hoyt a dozen fibers which confirms he didn't make the hoodie.
Who blew up his flagship?
Bell tells Gregson they believe that Velnik was killed by whomever he took the hoodie from. Holmes calls Bell to a firing range and with Donnie's gun, has Bell test fire at several dummies wearing ballistic cloth. Holmes received the cloth samples by using his family name and expressing interest in investing. Orb-Lite labs makes the only cloth that works and a visit to the lab brings a denial from Dr. Parnthong that they created the hoodie as, they didn't have enough material. She shows Bell and Holmes the source of their fibers, Darwin's bark spiders, and that six months production was only enough to create a small sample cloth. Parnthong believes that whoever made the hoodie learned how to mass-produce the spider silk. From several observations, Holmes deduces that another scientist at the lab has been having sex there. He admits that he was, that several spiders went missing during his encounters which were with Dr. Chamanara.
Hairline fractures, just like on Velnik.
In Chamanara's office, she admits to stealing the spiders and is told that her alibi isn't sure when she arrived the night Velnik died. Discovering she bid on a federal contract to provide body armor using a hoodie like Velnik had as part of the bid, she's accused of killing Velnik after he stole a hoodie. Chamanara shows them pictures of silkworms she's genetically modified to spin the spider silk. She has dozens of the hoodies and gave one to Velnik when he told her about the death threats. The silk can't be duplicated with a sample hoodie and she claims to have no motive to kill Velnik. Outside her office, Holmes relates to Bell and Watson that he noticed that the mulberry leaves the silkworms fed on were dying. He believes that Velnik poisoned the mulberries, killing thousands of her worms for which she killed him but, they have to find proof. At the precinct, Hoyt is accused by Gregson of paying Velnik to kill the silkworms. Hoyt holds the current federal contract and admits it was Velnik's idea to use roundworms, which he modified to be pesticide resistant, to kill Chamanara's trees.
The worms spin bulletproof spider silk.
Gregson threatens prosecution unless Hoyt helps them with evidence that she killed Velnik. Hoyt mentions that a friend on the contract approval board discovered that Chamanara had found a way save her trees from the roundworms around time Velnik was murdered. Holmes breaks into the home of junkie Nick Agnes who admits to stealing the medical files. Agnes was blackmailed by a man who knew his history and, the man specifically asked for Holmes' file. At the precinct, Chamanara is told that Velnik had designed his roundworms so that only a specific combination of chemicals could kill them. No one knew the combination except for him. Shown the chemicals, she's told that a search warrant of her house revealed Velnik's hard drive with his blood on it. She admits that after finding Velnik shot, but saved by her hoodie, that she saw his research and in a rage, stabbed him. At the Brownstone, Holmes tells Watson that Michael Rowan was the man who blackmailed Agnes into stealing his file and, that he'll be back. (♫ Bonhom - Unnatural ♫)
We have this drive. To survive and to destroy anything that gets in our way.
Bonhom - Unnatural plays at episode end as Holmes realizes Michael Rowan arranged the theft of his medical records.
As Holmes shows Watson a wall of pictures of worm species that Velnik has discovered and named after his sexual partners, he mentions the new species of bee that he named after her (Euglassa Watsonia). ("Heroine")
"The name "Sherlock Holmes," it comes with certain entanglements. I'd hate to see you assaulted, kidnapped or murdered 'cause of me. Get yourself a new identity as soon as possible."