At the Brownstone, Holmes says that his relationship with Lestrade was a "marriage of convenience." Watson thinks it's weird that he never mentioned Lestrade. Holmes admits that he could be "quite cutting" toward him because he used to be colder. Our current Holmes is pretty much a sociopath, so it's fun to imagine what he was like before he loosened up. Back then, according to Holmes, Lestrade got all the credit for solving cases, and he became a metaphorical addict. Holmes knows the dangers of fame, so he avoids the power of the spotlight. He's being called in to find Lestrade, who has been fired, threatened someone (at the funeral in the first scene), and then vanished. Watson's being brought along so Holmes doesn't get sat next to "a morbidly obese person. Or a child. Or a morbidly obese child." It seems extravagant, but plane trips can be pretty awful. I can see some value in choosing your travel companions. Holmes gets philosophical about whether he'll find London different: "London is always a different city.." And then we're there!
Welcome to London! Holmes and Watson are in a cab that drives past all the usual landmarks: the big silly wheel, Trafalgar Square, a bunch of Beefeaters, Parliament, and Big Ben. I know those last two are kind of the same thing, but they're in different shots here. It's such a generic montage, I'm surprised they didn't see the camera crew from NTSF:SD:SUV:: and Parks and Recreation, both of whom also went to London tonight. They arrive at New Scotland Yard and Holmes takes a breath. Watson mentions Step Nine, which is "making amends." She's just assuming he probably needs to make amends to someone around here. It's a good guess. An officer named DCI Hopkins comes out and squints at Holmes. Holmes notes that he's gained one and a quarter stone. Hopkins smirks, "You're slipping. I've gained one and a half stone." Holmes mutters, "I'm not slipping. I've just grown more courteous." I really like the idea that our Holmes has grown nicer as a result of his rehab and (especially) friendship with Watson. So the glimpses we get of his time in London will be of the total jerk-mode Sherlock.
Time for the briefing! Sherlock already knows about Lawrence Pendry, son of Warren Pendry. Warren owns half the newspapers in England. Or he did until he died last week. And with that, he vanishes from the conversation. As the actual case gets introduced, Sherlock leafs through pictures of the crime scene. Thirteen months ago, Lawrence called 999 (the British version of 911) to report that there was an armed intruder in his house. According to his story, he fought with the man and his gun went off and killed Lawrence's wife Mary. Lestrade didn't buy it, possibly because he had built a career on solving the kind of crazy mixed-up case you need Sherlock Holmes for. Upon further investigation, a neighbor heard the shot at 18:33, but Pendry made the call at 18:36. Police arrived a few minutes later and could not find the gun. So the question is how he got rid of the gun in that eight-minute period.