Sherlock Holmes is missing! Watson thinks he might have relapsed because there's a heroin overdose at one point. This results in Jonny Lee Miller musing on the smell of cooked heroin and it all seems somehow... familiar. Especially the part about the squalid apartments.
But to find out what happened to him, we have to go back two days. Holmes and Watson were called in to investigate a missing Chief Operating Officer, who turns out to have overdosed on heroin in a secret (amazingly big) apartment where he used to entertain high-priced prostitutes. Holmes deduces that the COO was actually poisoned by heroin in the salad. And not only that, here are some other people from this company who were also murdered!
Watson goes off on a date with a boring guy who exists only to demonstrate that she can tell when people are lying. This new ability doesn't stop her from going out with him a second time after she's learned he's married. Holmes texts her a few times so that we can see that he uses obnoxious text-speak abbreviations. He says it's faster, but I don't think he's counting the time he has to spend explaining everything.
Holmes eventually realizes that the true killer is not the obvious guy (who got promoted every time his boss died mysteriously) but really his secretary. But he keeps gloating at her in the parking garage, so she hits him with a stun gun and handcuffs him in the back seat. She drives him out to a remote farm but makes the mistake of responding to a text from Watson with correct grammar. So the police catch her and Holmes is safe. Hooray!
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Watson stops by the police station to talk to Gregson. They don't have a lot of non-Holmes time together. What, just because a guy's name is in the title of the show, he has to be in every scene? She's here because she hasn't heard from Holmes in over three hours. Gregson doesn't care, because Holmes is "weird," which apparently explains anything. She says he lives at his place, and Gregson assumes that means they're an item. She beats around the book forever and eventually realizes she can't tell Gregson that Holmes is an addict. And then she does! Has everyone but me heard of this "sober companion" stuff? Because Gregson just accepts it as a thing.
Somewhere else, Holmes regains consciousness. His hands are cuffed and his feet are zip-tied. Looks like he woke up in the middle of an interesting evening!
Caption: TWO DAYS EARLIER. I'm pretty sick of this gimmick. Find a new way to put something interesting at the beginning of the show.
Well, anyway, two days earlier, Watson tells a friend at a sidewalk coffee shop that she's got a job, but not a boyfriend. The friend calls over "Aaron from work" and then rushes off. Watson calls it an "ambush setup". Aaron's coffee is ready, and while he's away, Watson's phone pings with a text from Holmes: "YT ND U ASAP?" Aaron sees it and mocks the textspeak. The next one contains the phrase "IMLTHO."
Brownstone. Holmes claims to like text shorthand because it's faster. Although he has to spend time clarifying that "IMLTHO" means "In my less than humble opinion," so how much time has he really saved? He recognizes that she met a man because she put her hair up, although Holmes thinks she's equally pretty either way. He needed Watson to come home because he's been summoned to a mysterious meeting that he doesn't know how long it will take. Because he can't be away from her for more than two hours. It's time to go meet some bankers, although Watson thinks Holmes is dressed in too ratty a fashion.
A board room. Their COO is Peter Talbot. This quarter's conference call was rescheduled yesterday because Talbot was missing. Holmes is flamboyantly insulting about how he doesn't care about them losing money. Their spokesperson conveniently mentions that the police can't get involved until it's been two days. Holmes says it will cost them his usual rates... times twelve. Then he demonstrates his powers by saying two of them are sleeping together and this guy over here recently used solvent to remove fingernail polish. Holmes and Watson go to look at Talbot's computer.