Synopsis for 4×19 & 4×20: Joan finds out her family is bigger than she thought when she and Sherlock are asked to investigate an attempted murder on a young woman’s life after a poker game gone awry. Also, Joan struggles with the concept of family as the team investigates the death of a young woman whose selfie may be just what an incarcerated man needs to prove his innocence.
There were two episodes this week back to back, probably to make up for the hiatus last week. The first began when a young woman returned to her apartment and found a mysterious bag of money sitting on a table with the window to the fire escape open. She was shot at, as a mysterious man appeared, and managed to escape out the window and down the fire escape. She made her way to Sherlock and Watson, where Sherlock was investigating wine fraud, and claimed she was a former friend of Mycroft and needed help. The young woman, Lin Wen, enlisted Sherlock and Watson to investigate the shooting and determine who was after her.
Watson held some suspicions about Lin Wen’s story, especially regarding Mycroft. Though she couldn’t put her finger on why she was suspicious, she engaged in a bit of investigating of her own. Regarding the case, Lin admitted that she runs an illegal poker game out of empty properties she has to sell. At the latest game, a pair of men had crashed it and stolen all the money and other valuable goods from the high rollers playing it. The money that had ended up in her apartment was the very same loot from the poker game, so it was decided that she was being framed for the theft. One of her coworkers had been a lookout and had disappeared, too, so the belief was that he may have been involved.
One of the men at the poker game happened to deal in guns, and when Sherlock investigated he found out said man had been the shooter in Lin’s apartment. He believed she had tried to scam them out of their money, and after being tipped off to it, he showed up at her apartment to get his money back and shot her. Naturally, he wouldn’t cop to any of it, but it was clear from Sherlock’s investigation that he’d played a part. Sherlock turned to the lookout who had disappeared and found him, but found that he had been murdered. After finding the body, it was time to get the NYPD involved.
Gregson wasn’t exactly happy that Sherlock waited over a day to clue them in, but they worked it together anyway. Revisiting the penthouse where the poker game had taken place, they found a camera in one of the lights. That led them to one of the players who owned a computer security company, which kept a lot of files for countries and corporations on their servers and provided security for that information. He admitted to planting the camera, but it was his way of cheating, not observing the game in order to rob it. He turned over the saved footage to Sherlock and Watson for review.
While the footage downloaded, Lin admitted that she had been in a relationship with Mycroft around the same time Joan had. Obviously Joan wasn’t happy to hear it, but she was also still suspicious of their client’s intentions. They both viewed the footage, only to have it interrupted by their good friend from the NSA. He wiped the footage from the computer and told Watson they were no longer on the case. It was the NSA’s problem, not their’s, and they needed to back off. Naturally, they didn’t. Instead, they were able to track down the robbers thanks to bad hair plugs that led them to a pair of Turkish spies who naturally claimed to be innocent.
Sherlock and Joan left them and harassed the NSA agents who were hiding in a van across the street. They requested a meet with their agent friend, and it was granted. Sherlock met with the agent and found out that they had been tracking the Turkish spies and their leader for quite some time, and had been trying to bust them.
However, the murder investigation spooked them and they were going to be on the first plane back to their home country. When they showed pictures of the leader, Sherlock realized it was the dealer at the poker game. Sherlock put the pieces together and figured out that the robbery had actually been a scheme to cover up a stolen key from the tech security guy who had been at the poker game.
The information on that company’s servers were of interest to the Turkish spies, so they committed the robbery as a cover to steal a key that would grant them access. They could then plant their own wireless communication device to steal information. When confronted with this, the leader wanted to make a deal regarding everything.
Joan, meanwhile, finally confronted Lin and revealed that she had found out Lin was her half sister. Her father, after he’d left Joan and her family, had gone and found another wife, had another daughter, and Lin was that daughter. Lin didn’t want anything to do with Joan.
The second episode picked up at the start of another case, and a young woman waiting for her ride share picked the wrong car to try to get into and got shot. Her body was left there, but the car was ditched in another state. It turned out her selfie was featured in a modern art show by an artist who steals people’s online pictures, blows them up on canvas, and displays them as art. That may have been what put a target on her back, so Sherlock and the team investigated that angle and found out that the original canvas selfie had actually been stolen and replaced with a copy that was identical except for a man in the background.
They realized that her infamy went much deeper than the selfie display, and that she’d testified in a case that had put a man, Louis, in prison over the murder of a college friend of Paige (the young woman who was murdered). Thanks to another artist, who was trying to get back at the man who had taken the selfies, they were able to find copies of the original picture that showed a gentleman in the background getting into his car.
It was outside the library, where Louis had said he was, and the man appeared to be him because it was his car per the license plate. It was determined then that someone had potentially framed him, and he may have been innocent. Whoever killed Paige was probably the same person trying to cover up any evidence that may have exonerated him.
Joan talked with Sherlock a bit about her half sister, who consistently wanted nothing to do with her. Of course Joan was sad about the ordeal, considering she had a sibling and her father had a family she didn’t know about. She was also somewhat jealous, because Lin had the chance to be partially raised by their father, whereas Joan had just been abandoned. Unfortunately, Joan took it a step too far and contacted Lin’s mother and left her a voicemail message about wanting to get together with her to learn more about this other family her father had.
On the case, the rabbit hole got deeper. Paige’s brother was, for a moment, considered due to the fact a stolen car had been found with his DNA in it. However, he insisted it wasn’t him and he had no reason to kill his sister, that he was being framed. When they dug deeper into the case, everything led to one particular woman who oversaw the processing of DNA for the police.
It turned out she had falsified a number of cases, and had a tendency to rule on the side of the police whenever DNA was contaminated. Sometimes she’d even rerun the tests and write false reports stating that the evidence was actually supporting a case against a particular criminal. She worked out of Connecticut, where the car had been conveniently ditched with Paige’s brother’s DNA.
Lin confronted Joan about calling her mother, and told her that their father had tried to go back to Joan’s family but had returned to them stating that Joan’s mother hadn’t wanted him anymore. Lin insisted that their father said she hated the family, and had no desire to see them or be around them. Naturally, Joan took what Lin said to heart and was hurt by it.
The team looked to a Connecticut state trooper who had a connection to Louis who may have had motive to frame him for the murder of Marissa, the very murder he’d been put away for. Evidence had been fudged in that case, too, and they thought that the trooper had been jealous at the time of Louis’ interest in Marissa.
However, she revealed that Marissa wouldn’t have been interested in Louis because she was gay. She also, at the time, had been seeing a married woman. They were able to track down the married woman Marissa had been with, which led them to the wife of said woman who then admitted to everything. She’d murdered Marissa, after confronting her about the wife cheating, and she’d shot Paige and tried to frame Paige’s brother for it.
Joan and Lin had a heart to heart where Lin apologized for what she had said. She admitted that she hadn’t seen their father, and he hadn’t said anything about Joan or Joan’s family. She had just been upset that Joan had contacted her mother. They sort of made up.
They brought in the cheating wife though, and informed her that while her wife may have killed Marissa and gotten Louis put into prison, she hadn’t killed Paige. The real DNA in the car had been her’s, and she was on the hook for Paige’s murder. The whole bizarre thing was solved.
Finally, the episode ended with Joan and Lin. Lin gave Joan permission to meet with her mother, but Joan insisted that she wouldn’t until Lin was ready to join them. Of course, Lin couldn’t understand why Joan cared so much and Joan’s only answer was that they were family. Regardless of their father’s actions, they were family and she wanted to know not just about their father, but about them as well. So when Lin was ready, Joan would be happy to meet with her and her mother to talk.