January 3, 2013 - CBS aired the episode titled "Dirty Laundry" - a great fitting title that had many meanings. The obvious connection was when a high class hotel manager was found dead in a industrial strength laundry machine. As the team investigates the murder they are suddenly thrown into a Russian spy ring that was living in Westchester suburbia. Sherlock's deductive mind discovered the connection and the police quickly made their way to the Purcell's home to arrest the father - who finally admitted, after Watson backed him into a corner, that he was a spy. He decided to cooperate with the authorities in order to keep his daughter safe.
As the story continued to unfold they discovered the family's evil plans for the clueless daughter. It was actually Watson's connection to the daughter that revealed how un-clueless the daughter actually was. In fact, the daughter admitted to murdering the mother in self-defense after mommy dearest told her the plans they had for her. Plans to make an American citizen a Russian spy. In her confession she told the police that their handler (who was working under the cover of a charity leader) told her to leave and he would cover up the murder. Most would assume this would be where the story would end. But the handler told Sherlock that he would be out in a week and traded back to the Russians in exchange for a policitcal prisoner. This was basically a challenge thrown to Sherlock to find something worse than covering up a murder to charge the man with.
They quickly discovered the daughter was not the actual killer, instead the handler finished the job after he sent her away. The key to this crime was the invisible ink on his shirt and the victim's hand. Now that he was going to be charged with murder and extending his stay in the USA to "20 years to life" Sherlock and Watson could close the case. With the case closed there was only one more loose end to tie up.
It was Watson's compassion and Sherlock's intelligence and deductive reasoning that brought down the killer after all roads led to different suspects. During this episode Sherlock (co-dependant or not) offered to keep Watson on as an apprentice and the good doctor turned down the offer (perhaps recognizing the co dependency of the action). In the final scene of the epsiode she announced to Sherlock that she took another assignment and would be wrapping up her assignment with him next week (which we should see in the episode titled "M" - check out the sneak peek video and spoilers here). What makes this crime fighting team work is teamwork, without Watson, Sherlock is simply a detective without a home. Somehow they will need to find a way to partner these two together again to keep the series running. What are your thoughts on how this will happen? Feel free to leave a comment below with your theory.
If you missed the episode you can watch it here at the CBS show page.