Joan Watson is a sober companion ready to meet her latest client, Sherlock Holmes. She enters his house to find a strange woman leaving, and Sherlock shirtless and talking about the idea of love at first sight. Joan is confused, only for Sherlock to press a button of a remote, causing the television to repeat what he said. When she asks him if he was high, Sherlock tells her that he and the women who left got quite high on a ladder with a pair of handcuffs.
As a sober companion follows their client wherever they go, Sherlock takes Joan to his work. He takes her to a crime scene where they meet Captain Gregson and Detective Abreu. They are at a house where a reported his wife missing. Sherlock sees the broken glass that Abreu has collected and notices that it came from two glasses, proving it when he finds another glass bottom. Sherlock suggests the victim had let the killer in, and adds that the blood on the door means it was kicked after the killer left, not when he entered.
He looks around on the shelves and notices that a ring case is gone. Sherlock points out this is not what kidnappers do, its what serial killers do.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Joan referring to how Sherlock got addicted to heroin: "Now I know it was a woman."
- As You Know: In "Pilot", Holmes uses these exact words to Joan while explaining why surgeons use beeswax in their hands and why he was able to deduce she was one.
- Break Them by Talking: Sherlock tries to pull this on Joan earlier in the pilot... but she beautifully fires back after that.
- Chekhov's Gun: The bag of rice where Peter Saluda kept his phone to dry, that had recording of his therapy sessions.
- Hyper-Awareness: Sherlock, who considers this both a blessing and a curse. Joan shows symptoms of it as well.
- Mundane Solution: When Watson asks Holmes how he knew her father had had an affair:
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Watson gives a brief one to him that leaves him speechless.
- Shirtless Scene: Sherlock is shirtless when he is introduced and Joan meets him.
- Tempting Fate: Joan tells Sherlock that he can introduce her however he wants. So he introduces her as his personal valet and she immediately loathes it. It's become a Running Gag for him to introduce her in various ways.
- Unique Pilot Title Sequence: Or lack thereof, actually. Every other episode has a Rube Goldberg Device to drop a small cage on a figurine. The pilot throws up the title as a splash-screen with a few bars of the theme.