If I could just jump back to the pager thing again? Thanks. I realize they said the pager was "prepaid," but I don't think that means the pager company just reserves the phone number forever. Also, since this is a nitpicking paragraph, it seems weird that the bomb squad would meticulously collect all the newspaper and save it in a baggie but never look at it to see if there are any clues about where it came from.
Right. Holmes and Watson are in the lobby of a business called "Van Owen." Holmes exposits that they were founded in 1994 by Heather Van Owen. Van Owen solves corporate image problems. They're spin doctors, which makes sense for a company founded in 1994. And in 2008, they were the tenants of the building that blew up, so Holmes figures they might have been the intended targets.
Heather Van Owen and Earl Wheeler (the CFO) come out to meet them. I should mention that Heather is played by Lisa Edelstein, who has some experience with stubbly British actors playing abrasive know-it-alls. Holmes gets right to the point with them. He explains that in 2008, the pager company didn't have any towers near the building. But in 2010, they built one. At this point, we're going to have to just pretend that "pager towers" are a thing (they kind of are, but they're just giant radio transmitters and Manhattan has had full coverage for decades), and that pager companies were expanding their coverage in 2010. Heather suggests that the only people who might have wanted to murder them are the Earth Liberty Militia because Van Owen works with "major energy conglomerates." Watson mentions 200 million gallons of oil, which is apparently a spill that Van Owen had to try to spin. Heather leads them off to show them the threats they used to get. On the way, Holmes tells Heather the answers to the crosswords on her computer screen.
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.