Season: Five — Episode: 5 Director: Guy Ferland — Writer: Tamara Jaron — Aired: November 6, 2016 — Viewers (millions): 4.68 Summary: Holmes and Watson have plenty of suspects when they investigate the murder of a man who led a secret life as a vigilante, "catfishing" sexual predators on dating sites and publicly shaming them. Also, when Shinwell's criminal record prevents him from finding a full-time job, Holmes disagrees with Watson's plan to help him.
But what we do, it's not a job. It's a calling. We were born to do this work.
— Holmes to Watson
At The Brownstone, Shinwell tries on some of Holmes' clothes for a job interview while being encouraged by Watson. At a cheap motel, Winston Utz lies to his wife on the phone that he has to work late. Hearing a gun shot, a dead man crashes through his window. At the Morgue, Detective Bell reports the dead man was Damien Novak, who had his wrists bound with a red zip-tie and was shot twice in the back. Also mentioning to Watson that Damien's wife has an alibi, Holmes deduces that Damien was the victim of a predator who preys on sexual predators and that there's been five other occurrences. At the 11th Precinct, Holmes meets with Thomas Gregson and New Jersey Detective Brooks where a video of a dentist being beaten up by the predator in a motel is shown. The dentist later admitted he was at the motel to have sex with a minor when the predator assaulted him.
Figure he was making a run for it.
The previous cases to Damien's having happened in NJ, Holmes comments that the predator uses the dating site "TrueRomantix" to "catfish" men by creating profiles of under-aged girls. When they arrange to meet for sex, the predator surprises them, ties them up and beats them into submission while filming a confession. Brooks notes that the men five previous assaults were all let go but videos of their confessions were posted. The predator wore a painter's mask so only a vague description of him exists. Holmes notes that the red zip-tie on Damien's was a perfect match for those on the other men and that Bell and Watson are questioning Damien's wife, Stephanie. At Stephanie's home, she insists that Damien's wouldn't have sex with a minor as his sister hurt in a similar fashion and it affected him deeply. Her brother Garrett Lerner has Stephanie mention that she found pictures of young girls on Damien's laptop but he explained her was training them at the gym he worked at.
Damien Novak fought back. The guy shot him.
Lerner confronted Damien, who insisted he wasn't having affairs but afterwards, he password-protected his laptop. Lerner sends Bell and Watson the pictures Stephanie found and Bell takes Damien's laptop. At TrueRomantix, Holmes is unsuccessful in obtaining access to the accounts of the predator's victims from Zane Diller. Citing privacy constraints, that since the NJ police already requested access and that the matter is being litigated over, Diller leaves. Holmes approaches one of the staff, Molly Parsons, having noticed that she was eavesdropping on the conversation. After Holmes quickly deduces that Parsons is on anti-anxiety medication and hates that the site is being used to facilitate victims for sexual predators, she asks for Holmes' email address and says she'll send him the information.
This place is the worst.
Returning to the Brownstone, Watson finds Shinwell waiting on the steps and learns he didn't get the job and wants to take a break from interviews. Inside, Holmes reports that the five men were each lured by a different catfish account that were paid for with stolen credit cards. Noting that Damien was not a TrueRomantix member and from their correspondence, the five men were sex criminals, Holmes rues that the predator killed Damien, ending his vigilante justice. Holmes is incredulous when Watson thinks they should train Shinwell to be a detective as he believes it's not a job, but a calling. Seeing the pictures the predator used on the dating profiles, Watson recognizes they match the photos that Damien had on his laptop and, that he was the predator of predators. At the precinct, Bell and Watson show Gregson their findings and that Damien had three more catfish profiles active. Bell notes that the mask Damien wore was found and Watson indicates that Winston Utz was Damien's target when he was killed.
I think he was the catfish.
In "the box", Utz is distraught to learn that the profile used to catfish him was fake and insists he didn't murder Damien. After Gregson promises they won't tell his wife about pursuing a minor, he indicates that he had a video camera shooting in the motel room. Outside the box, Bell, Gregson and Watson view the footage which shows a white Camry driving away after Damien fell through Utz's motel room window. Although Utz's wife won't be told about the incident, Gregson still plans to arrest Utz for luring a minor, even though he was being catfished. At the Brownstone, Holmes tell Watson that only one of the men that Damien catfished and assaulted is still free, Jack McGill, who was a partner at a large ad agency. McGill was being sued for sexual harassment by an employee when the video of him being accused and assaulted by Damien surfaced. The video ruined McGill's life and his lost everything, except a boat.
I'm sorry, it's just I loved her.
At McGill's boat, Holmes and Watson show him a picture of Damien who McGill is glad is dead. He doesn't care that he has no alibi and is non-nonchalant when accused of pursuing a minor. He says that he didn't create nor correspond on the TrueRomantix profile accredited to him. Indicating how dumb it would be for him, once a wealthy and powerful man, to solicite a minor in an open forum, he indicates that he was lured to a motel room by an unknown person who claimed to have information on the sexual harassment lawsuit he was fighting against employee Yvette Ingram. Although Damien assaulted and filmed him, McGill didn't confess to anything. Claiming that he wasn't guilty of sexual harassment, which Holmes can see is a lie, McGill believes that Ingram pointed Damien at him as she was losing the lawsuit until the video came out. Leaving and pondering how Ingram knew about Damien's predator scheme, Holmes says he's thought about training Shinwell and thinks it's a bad idea.
She catfished a catfish.
Bell calls that police have been able to access Damien's laptop and have confirmed he was behind all the catfish profiles. However, they've also found he had a profile on a different dating site which he was using to catfish a woman. Meeting Bell at the precinct, he shows them that Damien wasn't successful in getting a response from the woman, who is Yvette Ingram. In "the box", Ingram is accused of killing Damien and setting up his attack on McGill. She indicates that McGill accused her of the same thing and provides an alibi when Damien was murdered. As far as winning the lawsuit, she only received a small portion of the settlement as the majority went to litigation financers. Her motive was to ensure that McGill would never again be able to harass women at the agency. Meeting Shinwell at his apartment, Watson is unsuccessful in getting him to accept her offer to train to be a detective.
Most of the broken-down stuff is in here.
At the Brownstone, Watson finds Holmes has created a TrueRomantix profile and is catfishing a woman who works at the investment firm which financed Ingram's lawsuit. The woman provides Holmes with the names of the financiers and he and Watson recognize one of the names. With his lawyer, Garrett Lerner is brought to the precinct where Bell, Holmes and Watson accuse him of pointing Damien at McGill so that Ingram would win her lawsuit against McGill and he'd financially benefit. Against his lawyer's advice, Lerner admits to tricking Damien into going after McGill but denies killing Damien. He provides an alibi, that he was on-line at a library setting up another victim for Damien on another lawsuit he'd invested in. He needed Damien alive in order to keep profiting from him going after predators of under-aged girls. Holmes returns to the Brownstone and tells Watson that Lerner's alibi checked out.
I'm telling the truth. Am I a despicable person? Yes.
Having reviewed statements from girls that were hurt by Damien's prey, Watson found it difficult to read one by Nadia Swain, who was abused for years by Shane Fitzhugh, her high school field hockey coach. It took Nadia six years to come forward and Watson found her statement hard to read as it detailed hundreds of abuse incidents. As Holmes looks at the statement, he notices that Nadia details medication she takes to deal with the trauma. He says he knows who killed Damien and regrettably, he liked her. At the precinct, Bell and Holmes tell Molly Parsons, from TrueRomantix, that her real name is Nadia Swain and she was abused by Fitzhugh. Showing her that she owns a white Camry and a pistol that matches that used to kill Damien, they indicate that after she came forward against Fitzhugh, police found other girls he'd abused.
I was gonna make a video of my own.
About to make an arrest, Damien's attack on Fitzhugh resulted in him fleeing to Indonesia, denying Parsons the justice she sought. Only knowing Damien set his traps at TrueRomantix, she gained employment there to track him down. Parsons admits she wanted to shame Damien and show him the damage he'd done. She surprised him from behind with the gun and made him tie his hands. But when Damien turned around, he said he wasn't going to stop and looked at her the way Fitzhugh had, as a victim. In anger, she shot him as he tried to escape. At the Brownstone, Holmes tells Watson that through a police contact in Indonesia, he's arranged to have Fitzhugh framed for drug possession where he'll serve life in prison. At his apartment, Shinwell is surprised by a man named Gilbride who rebukes him for the ease with which he found Shinwell's hidden pistol. Warning him about spending time with Watson, he says he has big plans for Shinwell.
Be a shame if you die before we see them through.
While trying on Holmes' clothes for a job interview, Shinwell finds a deerstalker hat which Watson says he never wears.
The site TrueRomantix plays a major part in this episode. Concerned for Watson's dating life, Emily Hankins bought Watson a TrueRomantix membership years before. ("We Are Everyone")
"I've been at it for hours, and all I can say for certain is that he is an expert manipulator of perverts. He baits them with ease. I'd go so far as to call him a master baiter."