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Elementary Wiki
S04E17-Watson Holmes at Superlative Comics

Joan Watson: Sherlock! I'm heading to the precinct.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, you know Everyone.
Watson: Actually, I don't know anyone.
Sherlock: No, I mean Everyone with a capital "E." The hacker collective. These are six of their members.
Watson: And what are they doing in our living room?
Sherlock: They've come to help with your clothing drive for Haven for the Homeless. I've just helped them out of a spot of bother with the NSA, and they owe me.
Watson: That's really great, but um, what are they doing?
Sherlock: They are giving you their clothing. When they help me, they collect payment by asking me to humiliate myself, so fair's fair, is it not?
Watson: Okay, all of this is gonna have to be washed.
Sherlock: Yup. Does your charity require undergarments? Better safe than sorry, no?

Detective Bell: Got one more batch for you.
Watson: Oh, great. You can just put it right there. Thanks.
Bell: Mm-hmm. Who knew cops could be so generous?
Watson: This is the fourth clothing drive I've done here in four years, and the donations go up every year.
Bell: Oh, parking's all set for your friend, by the way. I just hope she brought a big enough car. Are those bullet holes?
Watson: Yeah, that used to belong to Sherlock.
Bell: Funny, you not telling me he was dead.
Watson: No one shot him. I think he was using that in an experiment.
Bell: He proved tweed isn't bulletproof. He must be proud.
Watson: Oh, Tammy! Hey!
Tammy: Oh. Hey!
Watson: I'll be right back.
Bell: Mm-hmm.
Tammy: Joan.
Watson: Oh. Good to see you, too.
Tammy: Sorry, but someone wrote us a check today, a big one. Five zeroes big.
Watson: Really?
Tammy: Really. And it is all thanks to you.
Watson: What are you talking about?
Tammy: The guy who wrote the check, the guy who just guaranteed we can keep Haven up and running for at least the next five years, he is a friend of yours.
Watson: Who?
Tammy: Morland Holmes. He, he is a friend of yours, right?
Watson: Yeah, that's a good question.

Baker Worker: You're the new guy. And for the new guy, every day here starts the same way. At least in the winter. Attention, all bums, this is your 6:00 a.m. wake-up call! Time to hit the road! See, they like the warm air that comes out of this grate, but can't have a bunch of homeless out front when the customers start to show.
New Guy: Should I go back inside, maybe get them some of the day-olds?
Baker Worker: What, you want to encourage them? Hey, buddy. You deaf? You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Hey! You got five seconds, then I'm gonna tear that blanket off.
New Guy: I don't think it's a blanket. It's, like, attached to him, see? I think it's a cape.

Bell: Meet the Midnight Ranger. M.E. puts the time of death around 11:00 last night. Body was found a little before 6:00 this morning.
Watson: Took someone seven hours to find a dead body dressed like this?
Bell: Well, either his cape fell over him when he fell, or the person who shot him tucked him in. To anyone who walked by, he just looked like a homeless guy trying to stay warm. Believe it or not, he wasn't coming home from a costume party. These were his work clothes, sort of. He walked a beat in Greenpoint almost every night.
Sherlock: Real-life superhero. One of a subculture of ordinary men and women who don costumes to perform acts of public service. I'm familiar with the phenomenon, though I've never delved too deeply into the affairs of the heroes who operate in New York. They mostly just scold litterbugs and help little old ladies across the street.
Bell: Mmm, some of them fight crime, too. The Midnight Ranger liked to hassle street level drug dealers. Even chased down a purse-snatcher or two.
Watson: Well, obviously he got in over his head last night.
Bell: Or someone came looking for him. The shooter used armor-piercing rounds. Considering the Midnight Ranger wore armor, it's possible he was targeted. Maybe by someone he tangled with in the past.
Sherlock: You keep using his hero name, the Midnight Ranger.
Bell: That's 'cause I have to. There wasn't any I.D. on the body. That's why I called, thought maybe you could help figure out his secret identity.
Watson: This is an impressive suit.
Sherlock: Indeed. If you look closely, you'll see the button holes, which attach the cape to the shoulder armor, are tailor-made. Not homemade or factory made. They're straight-cut and hand sewn by an expert. Now, given that the Midnight Ranger's territory was Greenpoint, perhaps you should visit some of the neighborhood tailors, dry cleaners. There might be a seamstress or a sempster who knows his real identity. Watson and I, meanwhile, will adjourn to the New York offices of Superlative Comics.
Bell: What for?
Sherlock: Well, unlike his civic-minded brethren, our victim did not come up with his own superhero name and costume. Rather, he assumed the identity of a character owned and copyrighted by Superlative.
Bell: I know. I used to read the Midnight Ranger when I was a kid. Do you seriously think this guy got gunned down by an angry comic book company?
Sherlock: No, but Superlative were none too happy about the infringement, and they've been trying to find out the Midnight Ranger's identity for well over a year. So they might know more about him than we do.

Sherlock: Well, it makes a certain amount of sense that our John Doe would emulate the Midnight Ranger, as opposed to other heroes in the Superlative library. The Ranger has no real superpowers. He is simply an Olympic-level athlete with an obscenely high IQ who, for some reason, remains oblivious to the lure of the Olympic games and the Nobel Prize. He didn't dedicate himself to crime-fighting, however, until his fiance, Rebecca Rogers, was murdered by...
Watson: You really think I don't know the origin of the Midnight Ranger? My brother was a geek, remember? I know the origins of all of the Superlative heroes.
Sherlock: Really?
Watson: Really. Exposed to theta radiation by his scientist parents. Stung by a radioactive scorpion. Uh, nuclear power plant explosion.
Sherlock: In what universe are these people not all dead from cancer?
Watson: When's the last time you heard from your father?
Sherlock: It's been a few months. Why?
Al Baxter: Miss Watson. Uh, Mr. Holmes. Al Baxter. I edit the Midnight Ranger book. I was told you have questions about him.
Watson: We do have questions, just not about your Ranger.
Sherlock: The flesh and blood Midnight Ranger was shot dead last night. Unfortunately, the bullets used were not radioactive, so he'll be remaining quite dead.
Baxter: Oh.

Eddie Eichorn: I got no idea who this guy is. You got any idea who this guy is? I knew something like this would happen. As soon as this idiot started operating a couple years back, I said to my guys, we got two possible outcomes, he hurts someone or someone hurts him. Either way, it gets us all the wrong headlines.
Baxter: At the worst possible time.
Sherlock: What do you mean?
Eichorn: We sent our lawyers after the real Ranger because we had to protect our licensing deals. But now we're in talks with a studio about a major motion picture. So we finally get our slice of that superhero movie cake, made from layers of money.
Sherlock: For a character whose book is hardly selling?
Eichorn: This is a reimagining. A new Midnight Ranger, relevant to today's society.
Baxter: Sandy means darker, more violent.
Sherlock: Could the death of the real Ranger affect the deal?
Eichorn: It can't help. But on the plus side, the picture wouldn't be in theaters for at least a couple more years. Any luck, this real Ranger mishegas will be squarely in our rearview mirror. You said you wanted everything our investigators turned up. You got it. But I'll tell you right now, it isn't much.
Baxter: Your dead guy's real superpower, turns out, was being able to run faster than people trying to serve him papers.
Eichorn: We got some blurry pictures, an idea of where his regular patrol was, that's it.
Watson: We'll take whatever you've got.

Tailor: Yeah, that's my stitching.
Bell: I'd like to show you a picture of the man who got killed. You won't see anything graphic, just the face. That be okay?
Tailor: All right. Yeah. That's him. That's definitely him.
Bell: Do you know his name?
Tailor: You know, there used to be a lot of crime in this neighborhood. Did you know that? Back in 2010, we were held up twice in the same month. Twice. By the same guy. Cops never caught him. I never saw the Ranger in action. I mean, it's not like he drove around is a Midnight Mobile. But I'm telling you, last couple of years, things got better. People felt safer. He didn't want anybody to know his real name, so uh, why should I tell you?
Bell: Because you don't want the person who did this to get away with murder.
Tailor: His name was Danny. Danny Dalton.
Bell: That's the real Midnight Ranger's name. I mean, the real real one, the original, the one from the comics. He might as well have told you his name was Bruce Wayne.
Tailor: Well, I'm sorry, but that's that's the only name he ever gave me.

Watson: Mr. Holmes.
Morland: Joan. To what do I owe the pleasure?
Watson: I came to say thank you. Unless there's another Morland Holmes who donated $250,000 to Haven for the Homeless yesterday.
Morland: Spasibo Veronika. I must confess, I was motivated in part by the American tax system. It was a good year. The money had to go somewhere, and your charity seemed a better final destination than the government.
Watson: You want something.
Morland: I was going to wait a decent interval between the donation and asking for your help, but, in fact, I'm in need of an investigator.
Watson: You have in-house investigators.
Morland: I do. But it's the sanctity of my house that I'm worried about.
Watson: What's the problem?
Morland: Please. As you may or may not know, oil has been discovered in the Colombian jungle. A group of Chinese investors hired me to broker a deal with the Colombian government to allow for the construction of several refineries. After a year of painstaking work, one of my competitors swooped in and closed the deal in a weekend.
Watson: And you think someone here helped them undercut you.
Morland: I had a team of ten assisting me with the negotiations. Each person had access to technical specifications, cost projections, any number of things that would make it simple for a competitor to beat our numbers.
Watson: Does anyone jump out at you?
Morland: They're a good group. Each person was vetted meticulously before they came to work here.
Watson: Isn't it possible that your competitor just did a better job than you?
Morland: It is. In fact, nothing would make me happier than knowing that I can trust the ten individuals in question.
Watson: Why me? Why not ask Sherlock for help?
Morland: Sherlock and I are not on the best of terms at present.
Watson: I'll think about it.
Morland: If it's a problem I do understand.
Watson: It's pretty hard to say no to someone who just donated a quarter of a million dollars to a charity I care about. Well, that was the whole point, right?

Watson: What's all that?
Sherlock: I wondered if some enlightenment might be found in the fictional universe our Midnight Ranger took inspiration from. So I reached out to the Midnight Ranger fan community, and with their help, I managed to procure the comic's entire run.
Watson: There has to be, what, 600 issues?
Sherlock: 648, to be precise. Having read the bulk of them, I confess I do see the appeal. If you strip away the silly outfits, square jaws and skull-sized breasts, there is a cardinal devotion to justice. The attention to continuity, however, is laughable.
Watson: This is the tenth issue from the 1940s, and you took it out of its bag.
Sherlock: Yes. How else was I going to read it?
Watson: And you did all this why?
Sherlock: Over the course of the 80 years of his derring-do, the Midnight Ranger has died five times. It occurred to me that our Ranger might have been killed by an obsessed fan attempting to recreate a particular death.
Watson: And?
Sherlock: Unfortunately, the deaths in the comics involved being sent back in time, buried deep underground, made microscopic, impersonated by an alien and, my particular favorite demise, pushed over a waterfall, locked in the embrace of his nemesis.
Watson: Hmm.
Sherlock: In comparison, armor-piercing bullets seem passe. Speaking of super villains, you asked about my father today and then you disappeared for an hour. Why do I sense a connection?
Watson: Well, because there is one. He thinks that one of his people is selling company secrets to a rival. He asked me to look into it.
Sherlock: Only you?
Watson: Yeah. He said that you two were on the outs. Look, I told him that I'd have to talk to you about it before I agreed to help.
Sherlock (phone): Hello?
Ben Garrett (phone): Is this Sherlock Holmes?
Sherlock (phone): Who's this?
Ben Garrett (phone): Someone who can tell you the Midnight Ranger's real name.
Sherlock (phone): Sorry, you'll have to be more specific. Do you mean the Midnight Ranger from the comic books or, or the one who died in Greenpoint yesterday?
Ben Garrett (phone): The one who was murdered.
Sherlock (phone): Would you do me the favor of telling me your name?
Ben Garrett (phone): I want to talk in person.
Sherlock (phone): Time and a place?
Ben Garrett (phone): Now. I'm on your roof.

Garrett: I'm the Standard-Bearer. I'm here to help.

Garrett: You're staring.
Sherlock: Observation must be one of your superhuman abilities. I've had masked visitors before, but they came either to kill me or have sex with me. On one memorable occasion, both, but you are my first superhero.
Watson: You do make quite an entrance.
Sherlock: The roof, I assume you wanted to establish your hero credentials. Lend more weight to your words.
Garrett: You don't want people seeing me ringing your doorbell. An association between us could place you in danger.
Sherlock: Your enemies are legion, I take it.
Watson: You know you're gonna have to take that off to drink that, right?
Garrett: It's imperative for my safety and that of my loved ones that...
Sherlock: One should never confuse need with fetish. You got onto our roof via the fire escape next door. Your particular musculature and ability to make that entrance indicate expertise in free running. But a slight hunch speaks to a job which involves frequent bending from the waist. You smell of organic compounds redolent of printing solvents. You work in a print shop, probably in Astoria, where, according to the Internet, the Standard-Bearer walks a beat. Long story short, your secret identity is, here, purely notional. So take off the mask.
Watson: Please?
Garrett: How'd you do all that?
Sherlock: I was bitten by a radioactive detective. How did you get my number and address?
Garrett: There's awareness of you in the community.
Watson: The community?
Garrett: The hero community. One of your business cards got around.
Watson: Why?
Garrett: You're someone to call on as a last resort. You're with the police, but you're not police. Most of us don't like cops. Depending on the neighborhood, they can't be trusted to look out for the little guy. That's why we do what we do.
Sherlock: So, you said you could tell us the Midnight Ranger's real name.
Garrett: It's Mike Stratton. He was a friend.
Watson: Do you know who killed him?
Garrett: No. But if it's someone he crossed paths with before, the name will be in his war journals. They're a log of everything he did as the Midnight Ranger. You'll find them at his headquarters.

Sherlock: I imagine this is what it feels like the first time one steps into the Batcave.
Watson: This must be Mike Stratton's war journals.
Sherlock: Last night, you asked if I had a problem with you assisting my father. I do.
Watson: Something happen between you two?
Sherlock: Apart from my entire life? Yeah. I briefly applied myself to the shooting which left him half-stomached. With no small amount of finesse, I was able to identify the triggerman, a mercenary named Ruslan Krasnov. I gave my father his name. I told him to tread carefully. He ignored that warning.
Watson: What do you mean?
Sherlock: Several weeks ago, Ruslan Krasnov went missing from a Russian prison.
Watson: What, you think your father busted him out?
Sherlock: It was the very definition of foolhardy. He may have placed himself in danger, and if he's in danger, so is everyone in his orbit. My advice is stay out of his orbit.
Watson: What'd you find?
Sherlock: It's a check made out to Mike Stratton for $1,000.
Watson: Okay, so someone wrote him a check for $1,000.
Sherlock: It's not the amount that's interesting, it's the name on the check.

Sherlock: Mr. Baxter. You'll be pleased to hear we've identified the Midnight Ranger. Turns out he was in your check register all along.
Baxter: Please have a seat. Um, Mike was my friend.
Sherlock: Yesterday, you and Mr. Eichorn made him sound like an enemy.
Baxter: He was Superlative's enemy, not mine. Mike approached me a little over two years ago and asked my permission to wear the Midnight Ranger costume to fight crime.
Sherlock: 'Cause that's what you do when you want to assume the mantle of a copyrighted superhero, you go to the editor of that hero's comic book?
Baxter: Well, I'm not just the editor. My grandfather was Morty Stiller.
Sherlock: Morty Stiller, the creator of the Midnight Ranger?
Baxter: Yeah. Here was a guy who was everything my grandfather wanted the Midnight Ranger to be, you know? He was um, brave and honorable and decent. Someone who just wanted to make the world better. The whole thing was just so um...
Sherlock: Romantic?
Baxter: Yeah, I guess. My grandfather would have loved it. A real Midnight Ranger helping real people. So, I, I gave him my blessing.
Sherlock: So this was written less than a week ago.
Baxter: Right, well, the first time we met, I told him I had one condition, that he needed to take steps to protect himself. So I gave him some money to buy body armor. After that, I'd send him a little something whenever I could, you know, just to keep him safe. Look, I really wanted to tell you guys about this yesterday, but you have to understand, if Sandy finds out that I did this...
Sherlock: You'll lose your job?
Baxter: Well, more than that. Working here at Superlative, it's, like, my last connection to this character. And my grandfather. Hey, if it'll help, I will give you access to my e-mail accounts. Yes. And then, you can look at all of my correspondence with Mike, and you'll see. He was my friend.

Bell: Hey.
Watson: Hey. Thanks.
Bell: So, scale of one to ten, how crazy?
Watson: Not crazy. I mean, not exactly. I mean, everything was very organized. He kept notes like a cop would.
Bell: You said he worked as a security guard?
Watson: Part-time, he was going to school to become a social worker.
Bell: Guess do-gooding at night wasn't enough for the guy. Is that from the lab?
Watson: Yeah, the trace evidence unit I.D.'d a piece of fabric found at the scene as a flap torn from a pouch on a tactical belt.
Bell: Makes sense, the victim was wearing one.
Watson: He was, but his belt was intact.
Bell: You think the killer was wearing a tactical belt, too?
Watson: There was a struggle before Mike Stratton was shot. Maybe he tore that off.
Captain Gregson: Hey, there's something you two need to see.

Gregson: This happened in Greenpoint just a couple of hours ago. This guy stole a lady's purse, and this guy chased him down and got it back.
Bell: "The Midnight Ranger Lives."
Gregson: Yeah. Obviously, some new nut-job just got himself a costume and decided to pick up where Mike Stratton left off.
Bell: Who you calling?
Watson: Sherlock. I think I might know who the new Midnight Ranger is. And if I'm right he might have killed the old one.

Garrett: How'd you find me?
Sherlock: I used everything I know about you to find out the one thing I didn't. Nice to meet you, Ben.
Garrett: Why are you here?
Sherlock: My partner and I are investigating the possibility that Mike Stratton was murdered by a fellow superhero.
Garrett: What?
Sherlock: It seems the killer left a piece of a tactical belt at the scene. Would it surprise you to know that it's the same brand of belt that you wear as the Standard-Bearer?
Garrett: Lots of heroes have that belt.
Sherlock: Well, let's say that's true. How many do you suppose want to be the new Midnight Ranger? I have to admit, Ben, looks good on you.

Garrett: I was trying to honor Mike. I wanted to show the person who killed him that the Midnight Ranger will never die. Not him, not the things he stands for.
Bell: It's just funny how you had your own Midnight Ranger costume all ready to go.
Garrett: I didn't have it "ready to go." I had this costume for years. I bought it to go to a comic book convention. I have costumes of all my favorite heroes.
Sherlock: The Midnight Ranger's your absolute favorite, is he not? The first thing I noticed at the print shop was your name. Ben Garrett. It reminded me of uh, Benji Garrett. A frequent contributor to the letters column in the Midnight Ranger comic between 2003 and 2009. My partner's suspicion that you killed Mike Stratton suddenly made a little more sense.
Garrett: What are you talking about?
Sherlock: Benji mostly heaped praise on the comic, but then in 2007, the Midnight Ranger was revamped. He became uh, more brooding, more bloodthirsty. Certain elements of his backstory, his origin story, were, I believe the term is, retconned.
Watson: Benji didn't like the changes. His letters to Superlative became more and more impassioned, until he finally told them that he was never gonna buy another one of their comics.
Garrett: What they did was wrong. Someone had to tell them so.
Bell: Maybe you didn't like what Mike was doing with the Midnight Ranger. Maybe you decided to tell him so.
Watson: Can you tell us your whereabouts between 10:00 p.m. and midnight two nights ago?
Garrett: I was on patrol.
Bell: Did anyone see you?
Garrett: If I killed Mike, why would I have come to you the other night? Why would I tell you who he was, where he lived?
Watson: Because you knew we'd identify him eventually. You wanted to present yourself as a friend.
Garrett: I was a friend! I...a year ago, I was different than I am now. I didn't like myself. I didn't like the world I lived in. The news was on. A girl had been assaulted in Greenpoint. The police only had sketches, and then all of a sudden, I mean, right there on my screen is the Midnight Ranger. They were talking to him because he was putting up flyers. They thought it was funny, but if they had just listened, I looked at him and I thought, why can't I try to be like that? In the end, I got a message to him. I said I, I want to be a hero. "So be a hero," he said. I couldn't have hurt Mike. He saved my life.

Bell: I'll apply for a warrant to search his apartment, see if we can find a tactical belt with a flap torn off.
Sherlock: What'd you think?
Watson: I think I liked him as a suspect a lot more five minutes ago.
Sherlock: Did you identify any other suspects from Mike Stratton's war journals?
Watson: Um, there was one name that popped up in more recent entries, a Renny Molina. He's a drug dealer that set up shop in Greenpoint Park a few months ago. Mike was hassling him on a regular basis, interfering with drug deals. Told him to get out of the park. There was an entry from last week that said things finally got physical between them.
Sherlock: Physical how?
Watson: It wasn't clear. He didn't document his failures with as much detail as his victories.
Sherlock: First thing tomorrow, we'll pay Mr. Molina a visit.
Watson: Actually, I can't. I have an appointment with your father. He sent over some materials, I want to return them in person.
Sherlock: You decided to heed my advice.
Watson: We've got enough going on, he can find his mole himself.

Sherlock: It's dangerous counting your money in this park. Hear there are drug dealers about.
Renny Molina: Do tell.
Sherlock: Mr. Molina, I uh, I work with the police. The Midnight Ranger was something of a tormentor to you. Interfering with your business, even called the police on a few occasions, causing you to run away.
Molina: The last time he came here, he was the one who ran away, okay?
Sherlock: Yeah. Was that, by any chance, the night of the 12th? 'Cause he wrote about it. He said there was a confrontation, which resulted in the loss of a piece of equipment. I'm thinking perhaps you stole his belt.
Molina: His belt?
Sherlock: Yeah. Well, there was a piece of one found at the scene of his murder. Maybe you stole his, he replaced it, and then, for some reason, you had the original on you the night you shot him.
Molina: You're crazy, man. I got nothing to say to you.
Sherlock (phone): Hello? Captain? Yeah. Yeah, I found him. Yeah. No, he doesn't want to cooperate. I know. Yeah. At the precinct? Yeah. Okay. Well, he says it's going to take at least ten men.
Molina: Hey.
Sherlock (phone): Hang on. What? Now he's saying, "Why don't you come here yourself?"
Molina: Hey, man.
Sherlock (phone): Yeah. Hold on. Yeah, hold on, I'm gonna have to call you back.
Molina: This is the equipment I took. Fool dropped it after I popped him right here. And I warned him, yo. I told him to get out of my face, but he wouldn't listen.
Sherlock: No.
Molina: So when he took off, I kept it, as, you know, a trophy. It's a burner. Got some access code, man, so you can't...
Sherlock: Yeah.
Molina: How'd you do that?
Sherlock: So, I suppose you are gonna tell me that you were here the night of the murder, aren't you?
Molina: Actually, I won't, 'cause I wasn't. I was in the E.R. on Chambers Street with my girl and her kid. She thought he got into my stash, eaten something he shouldn't have. Turned out to be nothing, but we were there all night.
Sherlock: Well, this has been very helpful. I think I know who I need to speak with next.
Molina: Yo, but, but what about with the Captain, all that stuff? Is that for real?
Sherlock: If I were you, I'd leave here, don't come back. I'm gonna keep this. Thank you.

Morland: I confess, I didn't expect to hear back from you so soon. Did you review the materials I sent?
Watson: I did. Every report, every file, every e-mail.
Morland: And?
Watson: First, I'd like to talk to you about Ruslan Krasnov.
Morland: Perhaps we should speak in my office. I didn't realize you were aware of Mr. Krasnov.
Watson: I wasn't, not until yesterday. So, two years ago, he was the one who actually pulled the trigger, right? He killed Sabine?
Morland: If my son is to be believed, yes.
Watson: According to Sherlock, you paid someone to break him out of a Russian prison, presumably to torture him, make him give you the name of the person who hired him.
Morland: Nonsense.
Watson: So he's wrong? You had nothing to do with Krasnov escaping?
Morland: I did not.
Watson: Your son thinks we should stay away from you. That you put everyone around you in danger.
Morland: Respectfully, Joan, I didn't hire you to lecture me on things that don't concern you.
Watson: Actually, you didn't hire me. You gave a bunch of money to a cause that you don't give a damn about because you thought I would be indebted to you. We deserve to know, are you starting a war with someone?
Morland: Were my negotiations with the Colombians undermined by someone in my company or weren't they?
Watson: No. There's no mole here. At least, there's nothing in the material that you gave me that points to one. As far as I could tell, you were just outmaneuvered. That can happen, you know. You can lose.

Bell: Sherlock Holmes, meet Sergeant Black from the 7-4.
Sergeant Black: Nice to meet you.
Sherlock: Hey um, this is the number of your desk phone, correct?
Black: Yeah, yeah. Why?
Bell: Uh, you hear about the Midnight Ranger murder?
Black: Yeah, the guy in the cape. Heard he got shot the other night.
Bell: That was his phone. He used it to alert police to street crimes he couldn't handle alone.
Sherlock: Yeah, yeah. If you look at the log here, there are exactly 37 calls to the police, one from them. Specifically from you.
Black: What?
Bell: Yeah, this would've been a week ago today, little after 11:00 p.m.
Black: I remember now. The Green Goblin was trying to help Skeletor bust out of his cell. I couldn't get the Midnight signal up, so I just, I called the Ranger direct.
Sherlock: You already confirmed this is your number.
Black: Is this guy for real?
Bell: We just want to know if you knew him. You know, he kept a low profile, so anyone who can share information with us...
Black: Isn't in this room. Look, excuse me. I got some real work to do.
Sherlock: Oh, well, perhaps you'd like us to assume that you were sharing information with him.
Black: I beg your pardon?
Sherlock: You're a sergeant, you're often desk-bound. Difficult to effect any real change, though not for the Midnight Ranger. Perhaps you thought an alliance with him was an attractive idea.
Bell: Look, no one is accusing you of anything, okay? We just want to know if you knew Mike Stratton.
Sherlock: You do know him.
Black: No, no. But I know that name. About a week ago, they brought a guy in, 10:30 at night, passed out behind the wheel of his car. It was parked, but it was still a DWI. He used my phone to call his friend for bail, and his friend's name was Stratton.
Bell: You remember the name of the guy who got collared?
Black: Uh, Baxter. Baxter something.
Sherlock: Al Baxter?
Black: Yeah. You should talk to him.
Sherlock: We did, twice.
Black: You ask him about his gun?
Bell: We weren't aware he owned one.
Black: He had a permit to carry a .45 right in his wallet. What kind of gun was used in the homicide?
Bell: A .45.

Eichorn: I heard about the second Midnight Ranger a little while ago. Please tell me there's not a third.
Bell: Actually, Mr. Eichorn, we're here to speak with Al Baxter. Is he around?
Eichorn: No, he's working from home.
Sherlock: You hesitated. Why?
Eichorn: "Working from home" is usually code for "too hungover to come into the office." Why do you want to talk to him?

Eichorn: God hates the Midnight Ranger. I don't know why. He just does.
Sherlock: So the fact that a trusted employee shot a man dressed up as the Midnight Ranger doesn't seem strange to you? Why is that?
Eichorn: Because Al Baxter is the angriest guy I know. I didn't hire him by choice. It was the publisher's idea. She thought it would be fun bringing in the grandson of the Ranger's creator to edit the Ranger comic. Course, she didn't have to work with him every day. She didn't have to put up with his crap.
Bell: Define "crap."
Eichorn: Back in the '40s, Superlative basically screwed Morty Stiller out of his rights to the character. That's how the companies did business in those days, but Baxter never shut up about it. Always complaining about how rich he and his family should be, how the rest of us wouldn't even be here without his granddad. No one in the bullpen could stand him.
Sherlock: Well, we found multiple indications that Mike Stratton could stand him, and the two of them were, in fact, good friends.
Eichorn: Baxter probably loved that the guy was causing headaches for the company.
Bell: Then why shoot him?
Eichorn: Maybe he wanted to screw up the Midnight Ranger movie deal. A week ago, Baxter found out that everyone from editorial was having dinner with the studio execs. Everyone except him.
Sherlock: So he wasn't invited?
Eichorn: Last thing we needed was him crying into his coffee about how he should be getting his cut. He threw a tantrum. He stormed out of here. Probably went straight to a bar.
Bell: Was this, by any chance, the night of the 13th?
Eichorn: Sounds right.
Bell: Same night he got that DWI.
Eichorn: The point is, the Stratton kid, the real Ranger, he got killed a stone's throw from the restaurant.
Sherlock: What restaurant?
Eichorn: The one we took the movie guys to. Zona Rosa. I didn't realize how close we were until I saw it in the paper the other day.
Sherlock: So you're saying the dinner took place the same night Mike Stratton was killed?
Eichorn: Same night. And less than 500 feet away.
Sherlock: So what are the chances that, uh, Mr. Baxter comes in today, despite his hangover? Eichorn: Depends how drunk he got.
Sherlock: But he might still come in?
Eichorn: Sure. Why? What the hell did you do that for?
Sherlock: Quickest way to evacuate your offices and draw the authorities to the building. If Mr. Baxter decides to come to work today, we don't want you and your staff being here.
Bell: Why not?
Sherlock: I don't think he planned to kill Mike Stratton the other night. I think he planned to kill everyone except for Mike Stratton.

Baxter: Hello? Hello? Hello? Is anyone in there? Been here for almost an hour now.
Watson: Marcus?
Sherlock: Yeah. I'll tell the Captain it's time.
Baxter: Oh, Mr. Holmes.
Sherlock: Mr. Baxter, have a seat.
Baxter: Your Captain called me here. They said that they identified a suspect in Mike's murder, someone I may or may not recognize.
Sherlock: So my colleague, Detective Bell, just found a virtual arsenal in the basement of your home.
Baxter: Wh-What are you? Wait, is this a trick? Did you bring me here so that you could search my place? Why? Yeah, I got some guns. So what? They're all registered.
Sherlock: I ask you, is there anything more quintessentially American than being gunned down in a place that you're meant to feel safe? Sometimes I think it should be on U.S. currency. Most of your ilk do themselves in. Of course, that is after the deed has been done. But you were stopped before you could even get started, weren't you? Foiled by a caped crusader.
Baxter: I don't know what you're talking about.
Sherlock: You and Mike Stratton were in communication, that's not in question. And at some point, perhaps whilst drunk, you made the depths of your hatred for Superlative Comics frighteningly and abundantly clear. I'm not sure whether you told him that you intended to shoot as many of your coworkers as you possibly could, but you did give him cause for concern. He knew about the dinner you had been excluded from. He went there to make sure you didn't do anything stupid. So imagine his horror when you arrive armed to the teeth.
Baxter: You got quite an imagination, you should work in comics.
Sherlock: This was found near his body. At first, we thought it was torn from the belt of another hero. But it wasn't. Tactical belts aren't made for do-gooding, they're made for people with guns. They're meant to carry extra ammunition. Before you shot Mike, there was a struggle, and he ripped this from your belt. It was a coincidence, an armored man being shot by armor-piercing bullets. They weren't meant for him. No. They were meant for your tormentors at Superlative Comics. You wanted to be able to shoot through furniture, you wanted to be able to shoot through other people, through anything and everything that stood between you and them. I think you've told me precisely two things that were true. One, that you admired and appreciated Mike's dedication to the Midnight Ranger's ideals, and secondly, that Mike was your friend. So why don't you do the right thing now. Why don't you make it clear that your friend didn't die a silly man in a silly costume. Hmm? And make it clear that he died a hero.
Baxter: I, I never shot anybody before. I saw Mike laying there, I realized I couldn't do that to anybody else.

Watson: What's all that?
Sherlock: It's a little light reading for our friend Ben Garrett, aka Benji Garrett, aka The Standard-Bearer, aka the new Midnight Ranger. I e-mailed him about the resolution of our case. Despite Mike Stratton's murder, he's still intent on remaining a hero.
Watson: And you thought since you can't change his mind...
Sherlock: I would loan him some materials that might hone his observational skills, help him know a threat when he sees one.
Watson: That's sweet. Makes me want to buy you a cape. All right, I'm going out for a little while.
Sherlock: Being fitted for your own costume?
Watson: I'm having dinner with a friend. See you later.

Watson: Emil Kurtz?
Emil Kurtz: Do I know you?
Watson: We have a friend in common, Morland Holmes.
Kurtz: Oh. Well, nice to meet you.
Watson: Morland asked me to find a mole in his office. Someone who undermined a deal to build refineries in Colombia. In other words, he asked me to find you.
Kurtz: What?
Watson: You collect jazz records. A week before Morland's deal fell apart, you sent a few very long e-mails to someone named VinylVenue43. He was offering to sell you some rare albums, you wanted a better deal. Do you know what a Vigenere cipher is? It's a form of encryption that allows a person to hide messages inside regular texts. You weren't looking to buy any records. You were sharing information with the competition.
Kurtz: What do you want?
Watson: Same thing that VinylVenue43 did. A mole inside Morland Holmes' office.