Synopsis for 4×02: Papa Holmes makes Sherlock an offer, and meets Joan. Meanwhile, Joan and Sherlock turn to the FBI to strut their stuff in hopes of acquiring work.

Rating: ?????

At the end of last week, Papa Holmes made his appearance. The beginning of the latest episode carried their discussion through, ending with an offer for Sherlock to be restored to the NYPD. Of course, Sherlock hesitated and didn’t immediately accept, stating Joan had to weigh in on the offer as well since they were partners and, if they went back to the NYPD, they’d go back together.

The crime of the week occurred in a federal lab, where brainwashing experiments were being conducted. A young man, a graduate student, had volunteered to be subjected to all sorts of videos and opinions while his brain was scanned. In the midst of it, he started to feel uncomfortable and wanted to get out, but the scientists didn’t answer him. Unfortunately for him, he decided to get up and poke around and ended up with a bullet for his trouble.

Joan, having connected with the FBI, got her and Sherlock a “job demonstration” regarding that very murder. They were going to show off to the FBI in the hopes that more cases would get thrown their way, since the FBI were the only ones to give them a call back. Yet there were rules and they were far more restricted in their abilities than they were with the NYPD. The FBI agent who got them involved had to be with them every step of the way, and while it made it a little harder for them to do their jobs, they still managed to impress him anyway.

It turned out the brainwashing experiment was part of a larger one, backed by the United States government, to discover an algorithm that could be employed online to sway and solidify people’s opinions.

Quickly discharged once the FBI decided to follow a lead, Sherlock and Joan did a bit more digging on their own time and managed to dredge up a suspect. They inferred that a man named Dan, who had some romantic interests in one of the scientists, may be a Chinese spy. When they introduced this idea to the FBI they seemed uncertain, until of course someone leaked it to the news and a New York Wide manhunt began for the potential Chinese spy.

Sherlock helped them track him to a music conservatory using Dan’s interest in drums, and on that very block they found the data that had been stolen from the lab after the scientists were shot. Naturally, the FBI once again dismissed Sherlock and Joan because the case had become bigger than any of them and there was no way his superiors would approve of consultants tagging along.

While Sherlock was working with the FBI, Joan went to meet Papa Holmes, and they discussed the NYPD proposition. Joan was understandably suspicious, but the pair seemed to be over-all amicable.

After Dan was taken into custody (he gave himself up) the FBI was scolded after he claimed his innocence and was able to provide an alibi for the night of the murders and theft. Sherlock eventually believed it, but not until after he broke the law and stole data off of the recovered laptop. His suspicions shifted because the research showed that the brainwashing program wasn’t going to work, so there was no reason for China to risk their spy being identified over bunk research that Dan would have known was bunk because he was so close to one of the scientists.

Instead, they looked to the scientist’s ex-husband, who apparently was an advocate for restoring a monarchy to the United States. They tracked him down and had a little chat, but it was pretty obvious that he hadn’t been the one to kill his ex. If anything, the most he was guilty of was being a creepy ex. Sherlock and Joan moved on instead of the patron behind the whole project: Samuel Maher.

However, after they sifted through every aspect of Maher’s life they found nothing that would implicate him. He didn’t really have anything to lose or gain over the research not working out in his favor, and they were left with zero suspects. Instead of continuing to look at the research themselves, though, they finally asked the important question: who had something to gain not from the research, but from the scandal surrounding it?

It turned out that Maher’s second in command, Alta Von See, had the most to gain. With the director retiring, and Maher’s reputation tarnished as a result of the scandal, she would be the clear candidate. She wanted to get promoted and had to get rid of Maher, so committing a crime and attempting to frame him was the best way to assure her ascent. Yet when Sherlock and Joan questioned her (without telling the FBI) she practically laughed at them. She wasn’t worried about what they’d find, and even offered them all of her e-mails and other data to look through.

So they did, and found nothing that could tie her to the shooting. They tried to find an accomplice, someone who could have done the dirty work since Alta was not physically capable. Instead of an accomplice, however, they found a piece of DARPA tech that could have aided in the dirty work. They’d found schematics for it in her files, and passed the information off to the FBI to investigate.

They looked into it, and found not only blood on said tech but proof in the closet where it had been kept that would tie Alta to it. The proof? Rubber left over from the crutch she used to get around. So unless she could “prove why she was locked in a closet with a blood stained piece of equipment,” then she was sunk. She’d used said equipment to send out a pulse that temporarily asphyxiated the people in its path. Then, while they were down for the count gasping for air, she double tapped them.

She was taken into custody, and Joan and Sherlock got a chance to revel in their victory.

As Sherlock had mentioned earlier in the episode that he’d rather like to return to the NYPD because it would make him happy, Joan approached his father at the end of the episode. She revealed that she’d done some investigating, and knew what kind of man Moreland Holmes really was. He’d used bribery to clear Sherlock of any charges of assault and probably would do the same thing to get them back to the NYPD. She was not going to stop him from doing it, but she made it very clear that if he was going to be back in Sherlock’s life then she was going to be protective.

Go Joan, go.

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