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We open on a man watching English soccer while assembling a tripod. He’s attached a hook to the feet of a bound and gagged man and raises him off the ground. The bound and gagged man appears to reach for his throat as the shot cuts away.
Shoot to Holmes and Watson talking about the fact that it’s the end of her work with him and she’s working on a final assessment for his father.
Shoot to Gregson bringing Holmes and Watson to a crime scene. It’s the home of a CPA named Vickers. There’s no body, just an enormous pool of the man's blood. As usual, Holmes analyzes the scene meticulously then he tells Watson that he's followed this killer in London.
Shoot to Holmes telling the police department that the person they’re looking for is called "M." He goes on to say that “M” is the most "sinister taker of lives" he's chased, has killed almost 40 people in the past decade, has never been photographed so he has no profile. Holmes also says that “M” drains his victims’ blood then dumps their bodies in the ocean and kills in bunches.
Shoot to Watson asking Holmes why he seems to be so chipper. He tells her that this is his second chance to bring this ruthless killer to justice. Holmes then tells Gregson that “M” has referenced him in a letter or two, so a protection detail is provided. Holmes then tells Watson he needs to get used to working by himself and will keep her updated via email.
Shoot to Watson assuring her therapist she has no interest in becoming an investigator.
Shoot to “M” unemotionally parting ways with a hooker. Afterwards, he gets a text in some sort of code and begins working on a letter.
Shoot to Holmes and Watson analyzing Vickers' body, which has finally washed up. Based on the oil in his hair, Watson guesses he was dumped near the navy yard. She then tells Holmes she going to miss "this. Working with you."
Shoot to Holmes and Watson returning to Holmes’ brownstone to find a letter from “M” on the table. It is “M's” usual rambling nonsense, telling Holmes that he’s a "mouse chasing a lion." “M” got by the police detail by picking the lock on the back door. Watson isn't worried about “M” trying to hurt him. Holmes says she's going to stay there. Then, Holmes looks at one of his father's properties online, telling Watson that he's thinking of moving. After Watson goes upstairs, Holmes grabs a hidden camera and pulls up an image of “M” leaving the note.
Shoot to “M” watching a woman going into her apartment building. A young kid tries to sell him some things by “M” pushes him away, eventually breaking the kid's phone.
Shoot to Watson still working on her final assessment of Holmes when there’s a knock on the door. It's an officer with the kid from the previous scene. The kid, Teddy, is a friend of Holmes and was instructed along with some of his friends to hang out near certain hotels looking for “M.” If he found him, Holmes was going to pay him several hundred bucks. Teddy shows her a copy of the picture of “M” from the surveillance camera.
Shoot to Holmes arriving home later to find a very angry Watson. She's pissed about all the hidden cameras in the home. He explains to her how he figured out “M” would be at a certain chain of high-end expensive hotels. Holmes deduced this by examining “M’s” footwear and the shampoo he smelled on the letter, among other things. Holmes then tells Watson that has no intention of going to police. Holmes then reveals to Watson that “M” killed Irene Adler, the only woman Holmes ever loved. He adds that led him to into drug addiction. Holmes then says that he plans to catch “M,” torture him and kill him. Holmes concludes by saying that he wants revenge and has been dreaming of this moment for quite some time.
Shoot to Holmes meeting Teddy and getting more information about “M.”
Shoot to “M” grabbing the woman he'd been watching earlier.
Shoot to Watson going to Gregson and telling him about Holmes' plan. She then tells him that she thinks it's possible that Holmes may already have “M.”
Shoot to Holmes sneaking up on “M” and knocking him out with a baton. Holmes takes “M’ to a remote location and ties him up. Holmes makes it very clear to “M” what he's going to do. Holmes then tells him about Irene and “M” initially doesn't seem to remember. Then, “M” recalls that there were a few copycat murders, which took place while he was in prison for a fight. “M,” who served in the military, doesn't seem scared. Holmes doesn't believe his story and starts working on “M.”
Shoot to Gregson and Watson interviewing “M's” recent near-victim. Holmes let her go as long as she didn't turn around. Based on the fact she saw powder on Holmes' shoes Watson thinks she knows which of Holmes' father's properties he may have taken “M.”
Shoot to a bloodied “M” telling Holmes that he's not a serial killer. He's an assassin, who has been paid by an employer for all of his murders. “M” goes on to tell Holmes that he’s never met his employer and occasionally receives coded messages. He says his name is Sebastian and tells Holmes to look up his case and that Sebastian couldn't have killed Irene.
Shoot to Watson and Gregson closing in on Holmes' location.
Shoot to Sebastian wanting to get even with his employer, someone called Moriarty. Sebastian assures Holmes he couldn't have killed Irene. He then tells Holmes that if he kills him, he'll lose his best clue to find Moriarty. Holmes assures him that his isn’t an average man then sticks a knife in Sebastian’s stomach.
Shoot to the police arriving and finding the place empty. Holmes apparently walked into the station with a very much alive Sebastian
Shoot to Sebastian telling the police that he led Holmes to where they were and that his injuries were committed by Holmes in self-defense.
Shoot to Watson telling Holmes that Sebastian confessed to all of the murders but wouldn't give him up. Holmes then tells her that Sebastian didn't kill Irene. He apologizes for lying to her. Holmes tells her "I'm going to miss this" and apologizes that their last few days went so poorly. After he leaves, she calls Holmes’ father, saying that she'd like to stay on a little bit longer.
Shoot to later on when we see Watson get an email from Holmes' father. He replies that he doesn't wish to keep her on any longer. But, Watson lies to Holmes, telling him that his father agreed to have her continue the work.
Shoot to Holmes staring at a wall. In the middle is a piece of paper with one word: "MORIARTY."