Synopsis 05×17: Shinwell gets into a bit of trouble and causes Sherlock and Joan to balance an investigation into a stolen guitar with trying to do damage control.
The next morning, Shinwell and Sherlock engaged in a bit of boxing chess. Shinwell questioned the method and Sherlock explained that an informant had to be able to quickly switch between an intellectual pursuit and a physical one, in the event he gets caught while trying to get information. Jonny Lee Miller got to show off some of his boxing moves as Sherlock which was fun. Sherlock was unable to finish the game because he got called in to investigate the earlier crime.
They met at the office of Bullet Point, a program that conducts surveillance on certain New York City neighborhoods and begins recording when a gunshot goes off. A tech named Cosmo played the recording for them and explained how the program worked. It was always recording but would only save within certain parameters around a gunshot. While they had the scene there was nothing there that could help them because the truck had been driven off, taken with it all the evidence.
Joan received a call from Shinwell’s NYPD handler who told her that the drive-by Shinwell was a part of was most likely due to a conflict between gangs and was not personal. The drive-by was news to Joan and she approached Shinwell about it. He told her to leave it alone even though she wanted to look into it to make sure it was SPK business and not personally motivated.
At the Brownstone, Sherlock listened to various truck sounds trying to find a match. How did he get the sounds? By tormenting delivery services. He kept buying furniture and home goods only to immediately return them just to get the trucks to drive close enough for him to hear. Joan told Sherlock about the shooting and, of course, plans to investigate it.
Bell found a missing truck thanks to Sherlock’s work and found the employee connected to it. They went to the employee’s wife and played the recording. She confirmed it was her husband, Darren. She also told them that he had been cheating on her with another woman, though she does not know anything about her.
In Darren’s home, Sherlock found a towel with PVC cement on it which gave him a clue as to where he was keeping Frances. With it, they were able to track down the girlfriend. Her name was not Frances and she had no idea about any Frances’, but claimed Darren loved her. Sherlock asked if she was aware someone had broken into her house, she said no. Looking around the house they realized Darren had been taking items from his drywall jobs and fencing them.
One of the items was a guitar believed to be the Lady Frances, supposedly worth 5 million dollars since it used to be owned by Eric Clapton. Somehow, Sherlock did not know who Clapton was. The Captain looked horrified. They all checked in with the local councilman’s chief of staff, who was invested in Bullet Point, and updated her on the case, also asking for her to put in a good word for the NYPD and remind the councilman he needs their support.
Sherlock followed up on Joan’s concerns about Shinwell by talking with his handler, Detective Guzman. According to him, the bullet from Shinwell’s shooting was connected to a 12 year old murder case. An old friend of Shinwell’s from SPK was killed before Shinwell went to prison. The shooting now looked personal.
Joan went to investigate the case on her own, talking with a guitar expert about the Lady Frances. He decided it was the real deal and said the last person he knew to have it was a young musician who eventually handed it off to his producer. Sherlock, distracted by Shinwell’s case, went to talk to the brother of the murder victim who was less than open to talking about it all.
Eventually they tracked down the producer who last had the guitar, Wolf. He said he hypothetically may have hired someone to find the guitar after it was stolen, but if anyone was killed it was not his fault. His guy showed up to Darren’s house only to find the guitar already gone. It turned out Cosmo, the young man from Bullet Point, had deleted the part of the recording where Darren told the killers where the guitar was.
He stole it, and someone came to collect. Except by collecting, they took the guitar and beat Cosmo to death with it.
All eyes turned to the councilman who gave a press conference about the effectiveness of Bullet Point, though Gregson was not impressed. The team picked up the man who was paid to find the Lady Frances and he gave up his employer, surprised that Wolf claimed he had been hired to track down the guitar as opposed to what he was really hired to do: kill. He also informed them that Cosmo had been killed, leading the detectives to his home where they found the remains of the Lady Frances.
Elsewhere, Sherlock talked to Shinwell about the state of his investigation. Shinwell spun some story about how he and the man who had been killed went to Atlantic City, met up with some nameless dudes and robbed a liquor store. One of the guys was killed, his brother was mad, and Shinwell believed it was the brother who came to kill his friend.
Joan and Bell went to talk to the head of Bullet Point, believing a government contract may have been the motive for killing Cosmo to cover something up. However, she turned over a report she planned to send to those considering the contract which showed Cosmo had been purposely sending police on wild goose chases with false information.
With motive being the main question, Sherlock figured it out. He also believed he had identified the culprit in Shinwell’s shooting. He told Joan that Cosmo’s murderer would be down at the station soon and she went to meet him, realizing that it was the councilman. He was using Cosmo to create issues in supposedly “bad” neighborhoods for political leverage. The cuts on the councilman’s hands gave him away.
Sherlock concluded his case, too, talking to the previously mention dead gang member’s brother again. He believed that Shinwell had been the one to kill his brother, so the younger brother decided to get revenge now that Shinwell was out. Things are not looking good for our redeemed convict.