Holmes has an unexpected visitor: Rhys, his old drug dealer! It's always nice to meet up with old friends, isn't it? Rhys isn't here to sell drugs; he's here because his daughter Emily has been kidnapped. This is probably his fault, because he once stole 2.2 million dollars from the Dominican cartel. Nice going, Rhys.
The first place Holmes checks is Emily's house, where she was abducted. A barrage of Holmes-style deduction (and cigarette-ash-identification) leads him to the conclusion that she was abducted by someone who'd recently been at a Brooklyn nightclub named "Hurricane." But when they get there, Holmes finds an undercover DEA agent who beats him up while promising him that the cartel has nothing to do with it.
The kidnappers raise the stakes by sending Holmes one of Emily's fingers. This lets Holmes determine that she's being held in a prewar building (because of a radiator burn) near an Ethiopian restaurant (because he tasted the gunk under her fingernails, which is gross). But that doesn't get him there, so he has to borrow 2.2 million dollars from his father to pay the ransom. Along the way, Rhys tries to give him cocaine, but he bravely turns it down. Good for him!
The handover of the ransom is interrupted by a Dominican hit squad. And it's Agent Diaz of the DEA who was behind it, which we know because he shows up at the Brownstone with a gun. Luckily, Rhys frees himself and Watson before getting shot. Then Watson takes the bad guy out with a well-placed phrenology bust. After some interrogation, Diaz confesses to Gregson and Bell, which means he's still going to jail but won't get murdered right away. Holmes gives Rhys some money to stay on the lam, then he makes a huge breakthrough by deciding to go to a recovery meeting and actually talk about his struggles with addiction. Instead of just reciting the plots of old Arthur Conan Doyle stories like he was doing at the beginning of the episode.
A woman enters her house, apparently after going for a run. I deduced that from the running clothes she's wearing! And from the water she's drinking. A man knocks on the door and asks to use her phone because he needs to deliver some tables and chairs. He's got a cellphone and he needs to charge it up. She won't do it. She offers to call for him, but he can't remember the number. Disgusted, he leaves. And then she's grabbed by someone inside the house! He appears to use chloroform. Then he unzips a large rolling suitcase next to her unconscious body.
Outside, the delivery man thanks a cab driver for letting him charge his cellphone. In the background, a man pulling a large rolling suitcase goes past. In voiceover (that changes to in-person), Holmes explains that a man dropped his walking stick to pick up a mongoose. The man was a magician and this is all terribly elaborate. He's showing off for his recovery group. He ends with, "Again, my name is Sherlock and I'm an addict."
The story Holmes was telling is "The Adventure of the Crooked Man," the Arthur Conan Doyle story where Sherlock Holmes comes closest to saying, "Elementary, my dear Watson." Actually, he only says "Elementary," but he does say it to Watson. I approve of the occasional nods to Doyle.
Holmes and Watson come home, and Watson complains that Holmes is supposed to talk about his addiction, not his ridiculous life story. As Watson enters her home, a naked man comes out of the shower. Holmes comes up and calls him "Rhys." Rhys says that Emily has been kidnapped, and they got a ransom demand via video. Watson requests that Rhys put on some clothes, but she's a little put out when he enters her bedroom to do it. Holmes fills in the backstory: Emily is Rhys's daughter, and Rhys is Holmes's former drug dealer.
In the kitchen, Holmes makes tea. He also tells Watson that Rhys stayed in Watson's room. And he's an ex-dealer. Watson busts out the title of the episode, calling him "a giant gun filled with drugs, pointed at you." If that weren't the real title of the episode, I'd totally make it my fake one. Rhys comes down, and Holmes tells him he's sober and that Watson is here to keep him that way. Rhys accepts this.
The video shows Emily gagged and in a concrete room of some sort. A scrambled voice says they want 2.2 million dollars, and if Rhys goes to the police or the FBI, she does. Rhys has her phone, which he was careful not to touch. Watson asks if he actually has that much money, but Holmes says he does! He stole exactly that much from his Dominican suppliers a few years ago. And that's why he's an ex-dealer. And he didn't think he was putting Emily in danger, because nobody knew he had a daughter. Well, Holmes deduced it, but that's different. Watson recommends paying the ransom, but he's down to two thousand dollars. He's not a very good gambler. Especially if he was out losing two million dollars while he was supposed to be lying low! Holmes says he has just under 44 hours, and he expects to need half that. The game: it is afoot!
Holmes and Watson investigate Emily's home. There's a picture of Emily and her mother Penny, who Rhys says has passed away. Watson asks how he's so zen, and he explains that he once watched Holmes identify a car-bomber. "I believe in Sherlock Holmes," he says. Holmes announces that he has found some cigarette ash on the floor. It's not Emily's, because she doesn't smoke. This ash is from a popular Dominican brand. Watson is skeptical, but Holmes assures her he can identify the ash of 140 different cigarettes and cigars, "and if you'd bothered to read my monographs, you would know that." The cigarette ash thing is straight out of Doyle, but it's probably less useful now that fewer people smoke. Anyway, they struggled here, and water spilled on the attackers hand. And here on the wall is a red stain symbolic of the "Taino," which as everybody knows (according to Holmes) is the indigenous people of the Dominican Republic. But this mark is actually the hand stamp from a nightclub called "Hurricane" in Brooklyn. The water got the ink wet, and it rubbed off on the doorframe. To Brooklyn! On the way out, Rhys reminds Watson, "I believe in Sherlock Holmes."
The club is jumping. Rhys is wandering around the club in hopes of recognizing someone. To keep himself from being recognized, he's got a hat. Holmes admits to Watson that it's not the best plan. Watson is unhappy about them being in a nightclub, because the place is riddled with alcohol and drugs. Rhys tells them that a guy named Ronaldo is in the corner, and he's one of the people he stole from. Holmes sees someone from Ronaldo's table leave, and he follows him into the bathroom.
In the bathroom, Holmes violates all sorts of unwritten rules and strikes up a conversation with the man at the urinal next to him. After complimenting his tattoos, Holmes declares that he's a consultant with the NYPD, looking for a kidnap victim named Emily Grant. The guy claims, "No hablo Ingles." Holmes accuses him of being an agent of the DEA, based on his use of a pitcher to watch the whole room. Also, all of his tattoos are the same age. The man will say nothing. Holmes goes out into the club to confront the VIP station. The man follows him and punches him in the stomach several times. In between punches, he whispers that he can't let his cover be blown. But he assures Holmes that the cartel isn't behind any kidnapping.
Back to the Brownstone. Holmes is complaining about Emily's Twitter feed. He considers it an excruciatingly dull medium. Not mine! My Twitter feed is great! But he's using it as a proxy for a diary. Watson tells him he has to attend a meeting today, because when his old drug dealer is in the house, he's in more danger.
Watson knocks on the bathroom door, where Rhys is clearly doing drugs. It's pot, but Watson is still furious. Her priority is Holmes, not Rhys's daughter. "If I feel that you've compromised his sobriety in any way, I will turn you into the police as a drug dealer and a thief. Are we clear?" She makes him hand over the pot, and she flushes it. Holmes announces that he has learned from Emily's Twitter account that she gave a loan to her stepfather, who used to be rich. So they'll have to go to an evening meeting.
Holmes has called Bell, who says that Derek Hughes has been reduced to being a parking attendant. Holmes, Watson, and Rhys are watching Hughes from across the street at a sidewalk cafe. Watson goes in to order some food, and Rhys starts to suggest that Holmes must find it hard to make creative connections without the drugs. Watson comes back and asks if everything is okay. Because Derek Hughes is getting off work, and they're just sitting there.
They follow Hughes to an abandoned building that he bought when he thought the place would gentrify. When they come in, Hughes starts to explain why he's there. He thinks they're from the Housing Authority and seems to be surprised that Emily's been kidnapped. Holmes accepts his claims based on his body language, and they leave.
Rhys gets a call from an Unknown Caller. Holmes grabs the phone and says he's not the police. The deadline gets pushed up twelve hours. And to make it more serious, there's a box outside the kitchen door. It's got a finger in it!
Holmes studies the finger. It appears to be Emily's. And his security cameras did not get a good look at the person who dropped off the box. However, the finger has a burn that suggests a particular kind of pre-war radiator. And it's got a kind of Ethiopian stew under the fingernails, which he knows because he tasted it. So that's two facts, and he can use them to check. Holmes seems super-tense and wound-up as he assures Watson that he's not on the edge of a relapse. He does suggest that she go downstairs to check on Rhys, who has been quiet for 37 minutes. As she leaves, Holmes puts a pin into a map.
Watson brings some tea into the room where Rhys is moping. I notice there's an old radiator in this room, but I guess it would be too big of a twis