Sherlock and Watson, dressed to the nines, are interrogating a suspect who’s managed to lift valuable items from a museum and store them in his prosthesis. They’re working with Detective Nash and begrudgingly so; no one can replace Bell it seems. Sherlock’s solution to their problem is to consult on Gregson’s cases but the Captain won’t have it.
Detective Bell is now working under the Commissioner and seems to be okay with his new position within the Demographics Unit. He has recently been assigned to check in on an anonymous tip – someone noticed a man wheeling a barrel onto a loading dock. He heads out with his new partner; she checks the security tapes while Bell inspects the various green containers on site. He notices an anomaly – the others are hollow and this one is not. It has also been recently painted to resemble the other barrels; it was originally blue. One of the workers opens the barrel and in it they find a dead body. It looks like he and Sherlock will be reunited sooner than he hoped!
Marcus isn’t too happy about the reunion and doesn’t shy away from making it known. Sherlock notices but is far more interested in the headless and hand-less body on the ground. Normally this would make an ID quite difficult, however, Watson recognizes a tattoo on the body, thinking that it’s Handsome Bobby of the Pardillo crime family. He had been missing for the past 20 years but was never presumed dead. Bobby had gastric bypass surgery as well as several knee surgeries as broken kneecaps served as a replacement for his many unpaid gambling debts. Watson seems to know a lot about the crime family history and Sherlock’s curious smile as she rattles off mob history is telling. This is something Sherlock knows little about; mob law disinterests him.
Handsome Bobby’s father, Mr. Pardillo (Paul Sorvino) makes a positive identification and fills the detectives in on Bobby’s missing past. He kept in contact with him through spam emails and says that Bobby only ever came back to the city to have his gastric surgeries. While Pardillo claims to be an upstanding citizen, he also says that the mutt that murdered his son will face a similar fate.
Sherlock visits the commissioner to see if there are any identifying marks about the anonymous tipster but there is little that the Commissioner can provide about the caller. The tipster called from a payphone and was male. Upon leaving the Commissioner’s office, Sherlock runs into Bell and informs him that he has volunteered to consult with the unit. Bad idea
Watson has spent her time surfing through Ferrara files, a rival crime family and decides that Dante Scalisse is their best suspect in Bobby’s murder. “Did you collect these people’s trading cards as a child?” Sherlock asks her. (My favorite line so far.) Scalisse’s mixed ancestry would be the reason Pardillo referred to him as a mutt and he owns a nightclub that uses the same blue barrels like the one found at the crime scene.
They head to his home and sift through his garbage until Scalisse comes outside and tells them to leave his property. It turns out they won’t need to return with a warrant; once Scalisse gets into his car, it explodes.
The explosive used was Tovex, a popular explosive used for building demolitions. The Pardillo family owns several construction companies but Tovex’s popularity will make it difficult to tie them to the murder.
Inside Scalisse’s apartment, Sherlock finds the remains of Handsome Bobby’s skull as well as a folder full of emails between the Pardillo father and son and their phone records. Sherlock thinks they’ve come from the NSA. They hit a wall in trying to break down one of the NSA fronts headed by Mr. McNally as he insists that he simply runs a web development shop.
Watson runs into Bell at the station. He’s going to try and convince Gregson that Sherlock’s addition to the Demographics Unit is a bad idea and he asks Watson to tell Sherlock the same.
She finds him setting off controlled explosives in his quest to find the specific material that set off the bomb in Scallisse’s car. Watson is beginning to reprimand him for irritating Bell but he’s been called away by Mr. McNally. McNally found out that a cop requested the information, specifically Deputy Commissioner De Silva.
Watson thinks McNally is pulling his leg but Sherlock isn’t sure. He wants to investigate De Silva without alerting him and their only way to do so – Bell, who isn’t so cooperative. Sherlock gets a rise out of Bell, he wants him to go back to being a detective and doesn’t want him to waste his natural talent. Bell makes the claim that not everyone can have it as easy as Sherlock and this is when he admits that he is a recovering addict.
They visit Ferrara at his not so glamorous home, where they find out that Ferrara did not order the hit on Handsome Bobby. Scalisse received a packet in his mailbox containing the files on Bobby’s whereabouts.
Bell asks De Silva about the anonymous tip and throws in his two cents about Sherlock.
While waiting for pizza, Marcus shows up with the smoking gun. After speaking with the Commissioner, Bell went back to his office. He found a folder complete with enough crimes to put away the Pardillos for life. De Silva began working on the force as a mob plant. Also inside the file, an article on the Union election, a death sentence for a candidate that would take money away from the Pardillio empire. De Silva needed Handsome Bobby dead to start a mob war to get out from under the Pardillos. They can’t take the file to the DA as it is fruit from the poisonous tree. Instead, Bell alerts De Silva to the possibility of padre Pardillo being arrested by Gregson for the murder of Dante Scalisse.
De Silva quickly gets in contact with Pardillo, aiming to kill Pardillo but it’s a trap and both De Silva and Pardillo are arrested. De Silva will spend the rest of his life in a minimum security prison – a gift for all of the information he has to give on the crime family.
And the gift for the precinct – Bell’s return.
I disagree with Sherlock; I find the mob stories quite fascinating. However, this episode was wrapped a bit too nicely. Someone who rose through the ranks to become Commissioner after being on the take for all of those years without incident, simply leaves an incriminating file on his desk and is taken down by the police force in a matter of minutes?! I’m all for suspending disbelief when watching television but I would have liked for this to at least be a to-be-continued episode.
On the other hand, it was nice to have Watson relay her vast knowledge of the mob and watch Sherlock’s silent amusement.
And Bell is back!