Back to the subplot! Holmes and Watson are in the back row of an AA meeting. Except it's probably not AA because it's for drugs. And it's probably not NA either because it's going to be some generic alternative. It's "a meeting," but that's too vague to just say. Holmes is analyzing the ELM manifestos. See how they're not "ELF" manifestos? So it's probably like that for Narcotics Anonymous; if they need a name for these meetings, they'll swap out a letter or something. Holmes thinks all the manifestos are by one man. He doesn't like the look of any of the potential sponsors in the room. Watson reminds him, "You have 23 days. Then our time is up." A man named Alfredo steps up and tells stories about stealing cars and starting drugs. Holmes selects him as his new sponsor, startling Watson.
Brownstone. Holmes is fixated on the phrase "on your beam ends," which shows up seven times in the manifestos. He says it's an obscure nautical phrase. Watson doesn't care and wants to know why he picked Alfredo so quickly. Holmes points out that he has excellent observational skills, so he can come to conclusions quickly. Well, sure. And now Holmes knows where he was when he heard the phrase "on your beam ends." He runs to the television room, explaining that the phrase came from the upper right television. He goes over what was on the other televisions and comes up with "Talk show! The topic was international whaling laws." Then they go to the Internet and there's a video of Edgar Knowles, New York City. He does use the phrase.
And now he's in the hot seat! Edgar Knowles asks Bell if he's really being accused of being an eco-terrorist. Bell says their consultant says he is. Holmes comes in with an elevator button that Knowles pushed. The department has a "latent print unit" and they matched the print with one from a lumber mill in Utica. Feeling himself correct, he turns to leave. Knowles admits the lumber mill bombs and a few other ELM bolmbings and he admits writing the letters. But he denies following up on the Van Owen letters. He only threatened them!
The rooftop of the Brownstone. Holmes is blowing up tennis balls and sniffing the air. Watson finds this behavior troubling. He says that the component containing the fuel of a bomb is often atomized. You'd think so, but every other part of this bomb came out in remarkably good shape. So Holmes wants to replicate the odor of the bombing. Sure! They've established he has a good nose. I have no problem with this. Holmes says that in his admitted bombings, Knowles used nitrate-based bombs because he wouldn't use unnatural components. "Nitrate" is code for "fertilizer" here, and apparently fertilizer bombs leave the area smelling horrible. I believe that. And the bomb they're studying was from potassium chlorate (gasoline, bleach and petroleum jelly) according to the smell that Holmes has created. So Knowles is in the clear. Holmes keeps blowing up balls, probably because it's fun. You're up on the roof and you've got a bucket full of exploding tennis balls; it's not like you're going to stop blowing them up just because you've got your results.