The episode begins in Brooklyn and the year is 2005, where a boy named Adam is walking to school. A car pulls over and a voice calls out to him. Sounds like, Adam has seen this guy before! He offers Adam a ride and Adam notices lots of ‘thank you” balloons in his car. The man tells him that they are for his parents. Adam gets into the car and the man leaves the balloons on the site where he picked up Adam. Cut to the present, Holmes is looking at some old case files of the Balloon Man. He tells Watson that he heard on his police scanner that the Balloon Man has abducted one more girl named Mary Ann last night and he will be receiving a call from the PD soon. ..Read the full recap
(Sherlock tries to focus while Watson bothers him about his sobriety regiment.)
Sherlock: For future reference, when I say "I agree with you", it means "I'm not listening.
(Watson realizes that Sherlock spent the whole night working on a case that he hadn't been called in on.)
Sherlock: Child abductions and serial murders mean psychiatric consultants and joint task forces, which in turn, means that Gregson can't call me in until the police commissioner approves. And he doesn't get in until 8:30 am, sharp. Add approximately three minutes for coffee and another six for a trip to the lou, he should be calling me in about fifteen minutes. (phone rings) Or sooner.
(The Castillos walk out of Gregson's office very unhappy)
Watson: So now what?
Sherlock: We go back to the files. We see if there is any clue that we missed as to where Abbot is keeping the girl.
Gregson: That's one option.
Sherlock: You have another?
Gregson: When Adam's parents hired a lawyer they put a wall between them and the NYPD. No cop can talk to him. No cop.
Sherlock: That's interesting. And where is he now?
(Sherlock and Watson walk through the police station.)
Sherlock: Listen, I wanted to thank you for all of your help.
Watson: I'm always happy to listen.
Sherlock: No no no, actually Watson, I was the one who listened last night. And I heard someone who was willing to accommodate the difficult process of a difficult person for the greater good. It's a rare quality in my experience. I may even listen to you again in the future...Not your sobriety twaddle of course, just your thoughts on cases.
(Adam asks if he'd trade his dad for immunity)
Sherlock: I'd trade my dad for a tic tac, but that's my dad, not yours.
(Watson insists on Sherlock getting some sleep.)
Sherlcok: No, no no no. Right after you solve a case you're flush with success we should double down on work.
Sherlock: You, me, (picks up a bust) Angus, some combination of the three. You already know I favor you.