Synopsis for 3×21: There’s a private investigator tailing Alfredo and Sherlock wants to know why. He and Joan also investigate the case of a hijacked ambulance and a very dead drug mule who had been made a mule against her will.

Rating: ★★★★☆

This episode brought us back to AA, where Alfredo had the chance to celebrate five years clean and sober. However, not all is as it seems as Sherlock picked a man out of the crowd and approached him. In what first seemed like a friendly encounter, Sherlock asked the man what he was doing at an AA meeting. After all, the man reeked of alcohol, which didn’t seem much like someone who wished to get sober. The man became defensive and told him that he was there “to get help just like you.” Sherlock’s suspicion didn’t die there.

As that happened, an ambulance got hijacked with a patient still inside. Both EMTs were shot dead on site and the shooter got into the ambulance and drove it off with the patient still inside, terrified.

Sherlock admitted to Joan that he believed the man at the AA meeting was following him, or someone at the meeting. He’d seen him at two separate meetings he’d attended and wasn’t quite sure what the man’s agenda was. Regardless, he was distracted from his thoughts when they brought a suspect in for questioning regarding the ambulance case. With very little prodding they were able to get the suspect to admit to everything. He’d shot the girl and dumped her body and had no interest in telling them where it was.

While Detective Bell searched for the body, Sherlock confronted the private investigator who had been showing up at AA meetings. It was revealed, after Sherlock threatened to announce the end of their made-up love affair in front of the investigator’s son, that it wasn’t Sherlock he was tracking. Alfredo was the target of this particular fellow and, according to him, was in quite a lot of trouble.

Bell and Gregson found the ambulance patient’s body out in some salt marshes in what seemed to be just about the middle of nowhere. However, there was an issue with their suspect’s testimony. According to him, he’d killed her that morning, but from Bell’s estimate the young woman couldn’t have been dead for more than a couple of hours. Since they’d had the suspect in custody, they had to assume that he was working with a partner. Perhaps the suspect had dumped her and the partner showed up to finish the job.

The medical examiner revealed that some of her organs had been removed. They thought first that she’d been a part of some organ harvesting scheme, but that hadn’t made much sense. Sherlock then proposed that perhaps her organs had been removed to make room for something. In this case, drugs. There was a very good chance that she had been used as a drug mule.

With this new knowledge they confronted her roommate who insisted that there was no way the young woman had been a drug mule. She was on the up and up. She’d gone out of the country to Brazil for weight loss surgery. The last time the roommate had spoken with her, she’d touched back down in the United States and had sounded happy and excited. While at first the team suspected the dead woman may have been lying, the contents of her fridge told a different story. The conclusion they came to? She must have been used as a drug mule without her consent.

She came back into the United States with her gut packed full of drugs and absolutely no idea that it was there. They had probably planned to intercept her somewhere along the way, but she’d fallen ill before that could happen. As she was taken by ambulance, they had to follow and then proceeded to intercept her and kill a few people along the way. They killed her, took the drugs, and left her body behind.

Sherlock eventually went to talk to Alfredo about the trouble he’s in. Someone’s been breaking into cars with the Castle security system and moving them around. The assumption was that it was Alfredo, given that he had worked for Castle for a time but had been let go due to differences that could not be reconciled. However, they didn’t simply stop at firing him. They bad mouthed him, too, and claimed that he was still using drugs. To get back at them, he was “pranking” their customers to give them some bad publicity.

When Sherlock expressed his concern about it, Alfredo told him to butt out because they weren’t friends.

Joan and Bell, meanwhile, tracked the drugs to a Serbian crime syndicate working out of a hospital. They made a deal with the leader of the syndicate: if he gave them information on the smugglers who were murderers, then the drugs that were now floating around wouldn’t end up in the hands of a competitor. They’d let him slide for the names of the killers. The Serbians agreed, but it ended in a shootout in a different part of town where the leader was killed and the NYPD’s plan dismantled.

Not all was lost though, as one of the doctors at the hospital (a dentist, actually) came forward and was finally ready to tell the NYPD everything. He claimed he had been strong armed into helping out the syndicate and had only complied because he feared for his life. Supposedly, Chinese rivals had come looking for him and tortured him until he gave up the location of the Serbian dealers. He offered up everything he knew in exchange for immunity, even to go as far as to tell them where other bodies had been buried.

Sherlock had lured Alfredo out to a meeting but then proceeded to avoid him. Irritated, Alfredo went out looking for Sherlock only to be confronted by the police. Apparently someone had stolen a ton of cars with the Castle security system and loaded them up onto a car elevator. They assumed it was Alfredo, but Alfredo had an alibi because he’d been at the AA meeting and then had spent time across the street at a coffee shop waiting for Sherlock. There was video evidence to confirm his alibi, so all of the heat on him for the Castle break-ins was gone.

It was finally discovered that Ward has been involved all along. He was aiming for immunity so that he would be protected while throwing his companions under the bus. However, they got him, especially when they found out his college roommate was the Brazilian doctor who had been performing the surgeries on people. It was checkmate, and check out for Ward who had no choice but to admit everything.

Finally, Alfredo and Sherlock had a final confrontation. Alfredo was irritated because he’d asked Sherlock to stay out of it, but Sherlock turned it back on him. He admitted that they were friends, regardless of what Alfredo said, and then promptly fired him as his sponsor. It would open up the possibility of a deeper friendship and Sherlock would find another sponsor.

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