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"A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs" is the fifteenth episode of season one of Elementary. It first aired on CBS on 7 February, 2013.


Sherlock assists his old friend Rhys in the search for his adult daughter who was abducted from her townhouse by an unknown kidnapper. As Holmes begins searching for clues, Watson is astonished to learn that Rhys is more than just a former colleague of the detective – he used to be Sherlock's drug dealer. As Sherlock struggles to avoid temptation, the case proves hard to crack. Links to a Dominican drug cartel and the missing girl's stepfather seem to lead nowhere. When Rhys begins to get desperate, he starts to wonder if Sherlock's deductive powers require drugs in order to work properly, and makes preparations.


Part One[]

Late at night, Emily Grant returns home from a jog and starts to pour herself a glass of water, when a man knocks urgently on the door and asks to come in. He says he is a delivery boy whose phone has run out of power, and he needs to call his boss to check the address of his latest job. Emily is suspicious, and refuses to let him inside, and the delivery boy storms away. Emily sighs in relief at having averted a potentially dangerous situation - just before she is seized from behind by a masked intruder and chloroformed. The intruder folds her unconscious body into an oversized suitcase and wheels it down the street, past the oblivious delivery boy.

At their latest addict group meeting, Sherlock Holmes regales the entire company - who look bored, baffled, or both - with a description of his latest case. As they are returning home, Joan Watson tells Holmes that the point of those meetings is for Sherlock to share something personal about his recovery, not his work.

Climbing the stairs to her room, Watson is surprised to see a suitcase lying open on her bed. She is even more surprised when a man emerges from the bathroom down the hall, dripping wet and naked except for a towel draped around his neck. In alarm, she yells for Sherlock, who recognizes the man immediately. The man, Rhys Kinlan, starts to tell Sherlock that his daughter, Emily, has been kidnapped, and he needs Sherlock's help, but Watson interrupts and asks Rhys to get dressed first. Sheepishly, he ducks into Watson's room, asking Sherlock for a cup of tea.

Watson starts to complain about the liberties taken by Holmes's old friend, but Holmes corrects her; Rhys is not a friend, strictly speaking, he is Holmes's former drug dealer.

Part Two[]

While Holmes is preparing tea in the kitchen, Watson expresses her concern that the presence of Holmes's dealer is the most obvious relapse trigger she can imagine: "A giant gun, filled with drugs." Holmes says he is fully aware of that, but he considers Rhys a friend, and entitled to his help. If Holmes is in extra danger of relapsing while Rhys is around, Watson will just have to work that much harder, since Holmes will not send him away.

Rhys enters, aware that Holmes has cleaned up and sheepishly acknowledging that his presence is not exactly healthy. He shows Holmes and Watson the video tape he received from the kidnapper, via Emily's email: on it, a terrified Emily is shown bound and gagged in a dark basement, while an electronically disguised voice demands a $2.2 million ransom, to be paid in four days. The voice also says he left a cell phone in Emily's apartment and warns Rhys to keep it with him at all times. Rhys produces the phone in a plastic bag, knowing enough of Holmes's methods to have avoided touching it himself.

Watson asks why the kidnapper would suppose Rhys can afford $2.2 million. Holmes says that Rhys stole that exact amount from his Dominican drug suppliers two years ago, before going on the run and hiding out in Thailand. He asks Rhys who would know about the money, or that Emily was his daughter, and Rhys says he never told anyone about either; all he did was to leave Emily an email address that she could use to contact him if she was ever in trouble.

Watson then asks why it wouldn't be simplest for Rhys to just pay the ransom. Rhys sheepishly admits that, if drugs were Holmes's weakness, gambling was his, and of the amount he stole, he has perhaps $2,000 left. He admits that he has been a fool, and an awful cad for endangering his own daughter's life, which means that if Holmes refuses to help him, he will accept that and be on his way.

Holmes reflects that they have a little less than two days before the ransom is due - which he declares is twice the time he'll need.

At Emily's apartment, Watson and Rhys stand back while Holmes examines the scene. Rhys fills in that Emily was the result of a casual affair he had with an American tourist in London, and he was never really close to either of them. Watson remarks that Rhys seems awfully "Zen" for a man whose daughter has been kidnapped, and Rhys smiles, recounting a time when he had a chance to see Holmes at work at Scotland Yard: the police were interrogating a "lunatic" who'd planted car bombs all over the city, and was refusing to tell them the location of his last bomb. Holmes deduced the location within a few minutes, from a couple of stains on the man's shoe. "You ask why I'm not a total wreck?" Rhys says, "Because I believe in Sherlock Holmes."

Sherlock comes downstairs and points out several clues that Rhys's old Dominican associates were there, including a distinctive brand of cigarette ash that her kidnapper smoked while he lay in wait, and the imprint of a hand stamp on the wall that can be traced to a Dominican nightclub in Brooklyn, which is their next destination. Following him out, Rhys gleefully repeats to Watson, "I believe in Sherlock Holmes!"

At the nightclub, Watson is skeptical of Holmes's "plan", which is to have Rhys look around and see if he recognizes anyone from the bad old days. She also says the nightclub, which is rife with drinking and drug use, is a relapse trigger waiting to happen. Holmes says it is the best plan which they can come up with, under the circumstances. Normally, they could avail themselves of the resources of the NYPD or the FBI, but not in this case.

Rhys comes back and points out a hefty, bearded man at the VIP table, whom Rhys recognizes as Reynaldo, head of distribution to the U.K., who would certainly know about Rhys's theft. Rhys asks what their next move is, and Holmes, seeing one of Reynaldo's entourage get up to use the men's room, tells them to wait there.

In the men's room, Holmes confronts the man, Xande Diaz, noticing several clues that the man is actually an undercover DEA agent. Holmes guesses that Diaz is deep enough inside the Dominican cartel to know where Emily is being kept. Diaz says he has no idea what Holmes is talking about, and Holmes offers to go back outside and reveal his true identity to Reynaldo.

Holmes emerges from the men's room, but Diaz tackles him and punches him in the gut. Reynaldo's other men start to rise, but Diaz tells them not to worry, Holmes is just a pickpocket he caught. He continues punching Holmes, while whispering in his ear that the Dominicans have nothing to do with kidnapping a woman; if they had, he would have heard about it. He administers one final punch, then throws him to the floor and walks away.

Part Three[]

At the dining table, Watson peels an apple while Holmes is using Emily's smartphone to browse her Twitter feed - a brain-numbing experience, but the closest thing she has to a diary, which may provide a clue as to who kidnapped her. She notices the nasty bruises and cuts on Holmes's face, and Holmes shrugs, saying Agent Diaz had to protect his cover, and Holmes holds no grudge against him.

Watson heads to the bathroom to get some antiseptic ointment from the medicine cupboard, and catches Rhys in the act of "using". He pleads with her that his nerves are starting to fail, and she furiously flushes his stash down the toilet, warning him that she will let him off only once, on the grounds of being exceptionally stupid.

Holmes comes up with a new lead: Emily made a series of loans to her stepfather (her late mother's husband), Derrick Hughes. Rhys is baffled, saying Hughes is well-to-do, a bigshot in the New York real estate market. Watson says, if that were true, why is he borrowing money from his stepdaughter?

The three of them stake out the parking lot where Hughes has been reduced to working as a valet. Over the phone, Holmes confirms with Detective Bell that Hughes lost his real estate holdings in 2008, and, though he has no criminal record, is flat broke. Holmes thanks Bell for the information, but hangs up before Bell can ask why Holmes wants to know.

Since it is a cold morning, Watson ducks inside the restaurant where they are sitting to see if ordering some food will convince them to turn on the gas heaters. While she is gone, Rhys wonders aloud whether Holmes's drug use actually improved his abilities as a detective. After all, Rhys saw Holmes solve plenty of cases back in London while he was high. Holmes rejects this hypothesis, saying that detective work is about mental clarity. Rhys presses the point, saying that knowledge and training are one part of what Holmes does, but the drugs help stimulate the creative part of his brain that makes the difference between being a good detective and a great one. Holmes is silent, wondering if Rhys might be right.

As Watson comes back, they see Hughes leave work. They trail him to an abandoned building, the only one left in his name, and see him carrying groceries inside. Holmes says it makes sense that he would stash Emily there.

But when the three burst in to confront Hughes, Emily is nowhere to be seen, and Hughes appears genuinely ignorant that she had been kidnapped. The groceries are for himself, since it turns out he is illegally squatting inside his own property.

When they return to the Brownstone, Rhys gets a call on the cell phone the kidnapper left for him. The same disguised voice tells Rhys that he knows they are trying to identify him, and he has left a warning on their doorstep. Holmes finds a small box, inside which is one of Emily's fingers.

Part Four[]

Holmes examines the finger and finds two important clues: on the tip is a distinctively-shaped burn, identifiable as from an old, prewar-era radiator; and under the nail are traces of the spices used in Ethiopian food, which her kidnapper must be feeding her. Holmes can deduce that Emily is being held in a prewar building within walking distance of an Ethiopian takeout restaurant, and has compiled a list of such buildings, but there are too many to search in the time they have left. Holmes needs to come up with some other way of narrowing the field.

Watson brings tea to Rhys in her room. Rhys's earlier confidence is gone, badly shaken by the sight of his daughter's finger in a box. Nor is he cheered by Watson's news that Sherlock may have found a clue to Emily's whereabouts - he says that is not the Holmes he used to know.

Rhys confronts Holmes in the living room, alone. He says Holmes is off his game, and Rhys understands why. Rhys produces a packet of cocaine, telling Holmes to "get himself together... for Emily." Holmes stares at the cocaine for a moment, then leaps out of his chair and seizes Rhys. As they grapple, Rhys says Holmes knows he is right, and he needs the drugs to function, or else he would have found Emily by now. The sound of the scuffle draws Watson downstairs, just as Holmes releases Rhys. With an unconvincing "everything's fine" to Watson, Holmes storms out the door.

The next morning, Holmes is sitting on a bench, struggling with himself. After a moment, he dials his phone and asks to speak with his father.

At the Brownstone, Rhys is pacing, saying they have only an hour until the ransom is due. Holmes comes back and informs Rhys that he will be reunited with Emily within the hour. While Holmes is confident that he would have deduced where Emily was, given a little more time, it is time she doesn't have, so Holmes did the unthinkable: he reached out to his father and asked him to loan out the ransom money. The elder Holmes agreed, provided that Sherlock perform certain favors for him in the future. Watson is floored, knowing just what kind of sacrifice Holmes has made by putting himself in his father's debt. Holmes, all business, says he will need to be the one to meet with the kidnapper, and asks Watson to fetch his tablet so he can make the account transfer.

Once she is out of the room, Rhys starts to give thanks, but Sherlock curtly tells him that he is not helping Rhys, he is helping Emily and himself. As far as Holmes is concerned, the fact that the money will save Emily's life is incidental - the real benefit is that it will buy Holmes a Rhys-free life. Holmes makes it clear that their friendship is over, and once Emily is safe, Rhys is never to contact him again. Abashed, Rhys agrees.

After Holmes has left for the ransom meeting, there is an urgent knocking on the door of the Brownstone. Watson answers the door to Agent Diaz, who says he has new information about the kidnapping Holmes is investigating and needs to speak with him urgently. Watson unchains the door and lets him in.

Waiting at the designated meeting place, Holmes sees no sign of the kidnapper, but notices a trio of burly Hispanic gentlemen wearing painters' overalls, hanging out near a van. Realizing quickly that he has been set up, he takes off running, and the three "painters" chase after him.

As he is running, he calls Watson, telling them it was an ambush: the three "painters" were wearing shoes that were both expensive and paint-free, and Holmes realized they are soldiers from the Dominican cartel. Someone must have put them on Holmes's trail, someone who had influence with the Dominicans, and someone who knew Holmes was investigating Emily's abduction. Given that, the kidnapper can only be one person...

Hearing a click, Watson and Rhys turn around to see Diaz pointing his gun at them. "I know," Watson says grimly.

Part Five[]

Holmes manages to give the Dominicans the slip, circling around them and climbing into their van. As he is hot-wiring the ignition, he converses with Diaz, who has zip-tied Rhys and Watson to the banister and has taken Watson's phone. Diaz admits that he made a mistake in sending the killers after Holmes, since he assumed Rhys would be the one producing the ransom money.

While they are conversing, Rhys whispers to Watson that he has a small pocketknife in his back pocket, a keepsake from an old customer. He tells her that as soon as he cuts himself free, he will cut her free, and she will run out the front door. She whispers for him not to do anything stupid, but he says he needs to right the wrongs he has done - to his daughter, to Holmes, to everyone. He says the plan is simple: he will save Watson, Watson will get Holmes, Holmes will save Emily.

Over the phone, Diaz says he says he will release Rhys and Watson as soon as the money is transferred to his account. Holmes asks why he should trust the man who just tried to have him killed.

Rhys cuts himself loose, then cuts Watson loose, then charges unarmed into the living room, where Diaz fires. Hit twice in the gut, Rhys still manages to tackle Diaz to the ground.

Hearing the gunshots over the phone, Holmes yells Watson's name in alarm, even as he finishes hot-wiring the van.

While Rhys is feebly grappling with Diaz on the floor, Watson grabs Sherlock's phrenology bust and smashes it over Diaz's head, knocking him unconscious. Grabbing the phone, she tells Sherlock to call 9-1-1, then starts to administer first aid to Rhys.

At the precinct, Diaz is interrogated for Emily's whereabouts. He claims to know nothing about a woman being abducted; he followed Rhys - a known associate of the Dominican cartel - to the Brownstone, and started to interrogate him. As for Watson, he assumed, albeit mistakenly, that she was working with Rhys. Gregson says Watson and Rhys have a different story, and Diaz shrugs, finding it hard to believe that a judge or jury will take the word of a drug dealer over a federal agent's.

Gregson says that if Diaz confesses and tells them where Emily is, the District Attorney is willing to offer him protective custody while he is in prison, where he will otherwise be fair game for the other convicts, who will know he is a cop, and his Dominican employers, who by now will know that he is DEA. Diaz appears unconcerned, and Gregson smiles, guessing that Diaz is wagering that if Emily dies before she is found, Diaz will get away scot free. However, Holmes already narrowed the field to a series of pre-war buildings within walking distance of an Ethiopian restaurant. There are a handful of such buildings close to the apartment Diaz is using in his cover identity, and right now Gregson has a small army of cops searching them.

Gregson leans forward and tells Diaz to make no mistake, Emily will be found sooner or later, and Diaz will go to prison for kidnapping her, but since she needs medical attention and has to be found quickly, Diaz still has something to trade by telling them where she is. Gregson and Bell get up and start to leave the interrogation room, and Diaz cracks, telling them to come back.

In the hospital, Holmes visits an apparently unconscious Rhys and leaves an envelope at his bedside. Rhys wakes up and asks him what it is for. Holmes says he returned the ransom money to his father, but he still wants to give Rhys a small stipend, to make sure he has somewhere to go, and stay out of Holmes's life. Holmes has learned, the hard way, that recovery is a long road, filled with daily temptations, and Rhys's presence has left Holmes much less confident in himself than he was before. As he leaves, Rhys calls out, "I believe in you. Always will." Then to Rhys's surprise, Emily runs in from her hospital room and tearfully hugs her father. He looks shocked, but in the best way, that in spite of everything, she still loves him.

At home, Holmes is gluing his phrenology bust back together when Watson finds him. Holmes admits that Rhys offered him cocaine, which is why they were fighting. He also admits that Rhys's presence was much more taxing to his sobriety than he expected it to be. Watson says she is there if he wants to talk about it. Holmes says he does - but would rather do it in a group setting, and surprises Watson by saying they have just enough time to make that evening's scheduled meeting at the rehab center.




  • John HannahRhys Kinlan
  • Xande MolinaMichael Irby
  • EmilyAllie Gallerani
  • Derrick HughesArmand Schultz
  • Delivery guy – Joey Auzenne
  • Dominican Painter #1 – Herman Chavez


  • The episode is inspired by the kidnapping and murder of William Porter, brother of Harlem drug dealer Rich Porter. Their uncle kidnapped William, hilding for hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom, and cut off and mailed William's finger as incentive. William was later found dismembered in trash bags.
  • Holmes says he has written a monograph on the identification of over a hundred varieties of tobacco ash. This is a reference to Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccos, spoken of in A Study in Scarlet.

Season One navigation[]

Season One
#01 Pilot#09 You Do It To Yourself#17 Possibility Two
#02 While You Were Sleeping#10 The Leviathan#18 Déjà Vu All Over Again
#03 Child Predator#11 Dirty Laundry#19 Snow Angels
#04 The Rat Race#12 M.#20 Dead Man's Switch
#05 Lesser Evils#13 The Red Team#21 A Landmark Story
#06 Flight Risk#14 The Deductionist#22 Risk Management
#07 One Way to Get Off#15 A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs#23 The Woman
#08 The Long Fuse#16 Details#24 Heroine