Lady Elizabeth Smallwood

As always....***SPOILER ALERT*** 

 

I don't trust Lady Elizabeth Smallwood any farther than I can throw her. "I haven't done any of the things you're accusing me of," she tells Mycroft when he interrogates her in "The Six Thatchers." I did not like her word choice when I watched it the first time, chalking it up to shoddy writing, but then she flirts with him in "The Lying Detective."

Here is my theory. Lady Smallwood has been a double agent for years, but when she is finally confronted, Mycroft accuses her of a betrayal she did not commit. She is then able to say with complete honesty that she is innocent. However, she now knows that Mycroft is not above suspecting her of committing treason, and she, therefore, needs to keep Mycroft on her good side. What better way for her to do that than by using her feminine wiles? Smallwood will not succeed in seducing Mycroft, but it will succeed in distracting him. This will, no doubt, confuse Mycroft, and he will focus on her flirtatious behavior rather than her work with either Moriarty or Euros.

REDBEARD

As always.....***SPOILER ALERT***

 

Redbeard has been mentioned so many times on Sherlock it is not worth the time and effort to go back and catalog them. We know that Redbeard is Sherlock's childhood dog that was put to sleep. Yet, there is something significant about that dog beyond just fond childhood memories and the pain of losing a pet. I have no clue what that could be, though. If that is not addressed in Series 4, I shall be greatly perturbed. 

Sorry, this post was not all that profound. The Redbeard thing is really bothering me, though. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY THEORIES AS TO WHY REDBEARD IS SO SIGNIFICANT?!??!?!

The only theory I have read online that sounds plausible is this one. If that one is true, that would be disappointing.

The Women

As always.....***SPOILER ALERT***

 

One of the prevailing themes of "The Abominable Bride" is women, specifically those whom Sherlock has wronged or in some way disappointed. It bears repeating that this episode takes place almost exclusively in Sherlock's mind. Therefore, we can reasonably believe that Sherlock has had encounters with women with which Sherlock has felt shame or guilt. Perhaps, one woman even hurt him in his past, inspiring him to avoid attachments to other humans, especially with women. In some of the Sherlock Holmes plays, Sherlock does indeed have romantic relationships, including the first Sherlock Holmes play written partially by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and mostly by William Gillette. Using the Woman as a model, Gillette, with Doyle's permission, created a love interest named Alice Faulkner. Because Moffat and Gatiss are such Sherlock Holmes fanboys and undoubtedly know about Alice Faulkner, love interests are not out of the realm of possibility for Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock. Trailers for Series 4 have stated that Sherlock's past will come back to haunt him in the next slate of episodes.

I believe that women will play an influential role. Maybe Molly Hooper snaps and finally repays Sherlock for all the grief he has given her. Due to the conniving behavior of Mary in the Christmas special, I believe Sherlock does not 100% trust her. I think the Woman will almost certainly play a role in the Series 4.

She makes a cameo in "The Sign of Three" and is mentioned while Sherlock is dying in "His Last Vow." There is an allusion to her in "The Abominable Bride." Moriarty says, "Dead is the new sexy." This is similar to the Woman's declaration that "Brainy is the new sexy." Moreover, the Woman, Sherlock, and (maybe, but probably not) Moriarty have all faked being dead. I think it is clear Moffat and Gatiss do not want us to forget about The Woman. What role she will play in Series 4 is unclear, but if she does not make an appearance, I will be greatly disappointed.

Interference from the Woman

As always ***SPOILER ALERT***

 

The Woman first comes to the attention of Sherlock in the episode "Scandal in Bulgravia." Or does she?

In "The Great Game," Sherlock receives a letter which he notes was written on Bohemian paper. The fact Sherlock initially says Bohemia and not Czech Republic could be more than just an nod to "A Scandal in Bohemia." I believe it is a clue pointing us in the direction of The Woman. After all, Sherlock also points out that the letter was obviously addressed by a woman.

The Bohemian paper could just be a playful red herring by Gatiss and Moffat, and some other woman could have addressed the letter under the direction of Moriarty. However, there are other allusions to "A Scandal in Bohemia" in this episode. Sherlock is able to guess Molly's weight gain (just as he does with John in "His Final Vow"), and the line "I'd be lost without my blogger" is an updated version of the line "I am lost without my Boswell" in the aforementioned short story. Lastly, the first time Sherlock receives a call from the bomber, the villain makes the person doing the talking call Sherlock "sexy." In the very next episode, The Woman states that "Brainy is the new sexy."

Could it be that The Woman becomes involved in The Game much earlier than we have been led to believe?

Why Would He Answer the Phone?

As always ***SPOILER ALERT***

 

Imagine you are about to kill someone, or they are about to kill both of you. Then, your phone rings. Why would you take the call? It seems rather important to focus on all the guns and potential death.

Yet, this is this situation in which Jim Moriarty finds himself, and he chooses to answer the phone. Why does he answer the phone? What could be more important than taking out his nemesis, Sherlock Holmes? To answer that, let's back up a moment.

"Ciao, Sherlock Holmes," Moriarty says as he backs out of the swimming pool. Seconds later, he burst back in and loudly declaring, "Sorry, boys! I'm sooooo changeable! It is a weakness of mine, but to be fair it is my only weakness."

Why is he so changeable? Why does he change his mind so quickly? Rather, who changes his mind?

To me, that is the question here. A rational man does not say, "I will not kill you," and then immediately say, "Actually, I am going to kill you." Either Moriarty has a split personality, or there are two people involved here.

My guess is Jim Moriarty has a boss. It could be a partnership with Jim Moriarty being the submissive member of the partnership, but I do not think he has a submissive personality. Therefore, a boss is the more likely scenario.

Think about it, for most of Series 1, everyone with whom Sherlock speaks about Moriarty says that no one sees him. Why, then, does Moriarty allow himself to be seen by Sherlock, Watson, and however many snipers were in the pool.  One could reasonably say, then, that Jim Moriarty, the person that appears on screen, is not the real Moriarty. The real Moriarty (or whatever you want to call him/her) has not been seen on screen and could be the person who is responsible for the "Did You Miss Me?" message.

Billy

As always ***SPOILER ALERT***

 

While re-watching "The Study in Pink," I noticed something. As Sherlock and Watson enter the restaurant at 22 Northumberland Street to wait for the murder, Sherlock greets the young man who opens the door for them. He calls him, "Billy."

Gatiss and Moffat have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Sherlock Holmes canon. There is no way they would pick a name for a random character who does not need to be acknowledged and given a name a name that matched a character from the canon. They deliberately gave the name "Billy" to an insignificant character in their first episode. Why? Maybe this insignificant character is not as insignificant as one might originally think. Maybe there is more to Sherlock's association with Billy than meets the eye. Maybe Billy has assisted Sherlock before they were both found in an opium den together.

Orrrrrrrrrrrrr.......Maybe not. Maybe they did put the name Billy in there intentionally, but only as a way to mess with the viewer, something I believe they would not hesitate to do.

The Shoes

As always ***SPOILER ALERT*** 

I recently read an article which quotes Mark Gatiss stating that fans have missed "blindingly obvious" clues about where the show is headed. This of course got me thinking about what we all could have missed that was so obvious. Then, as I was cleaning my shoes just now, I was reminded of Carl Powers, and something struck me.

Carl Powers was the owner of the shoes Moriarty gave to Sherlock in "The Great Game." In 1989, Carl Powers drowned while in London for a swimming competition. Sherlock, after remembering the case from his boyhood, is able to determine that his death was not an accident, but rather murder.

How did Sherlock know the shoes were important back in 1989? He states that no one, except him, cared about the shoes. How did he know the shoes were missing? When telling Watson about Carl Powers, he tells him he read about it in the papers. However, he did not say that is the only place he got his information. If the no one cared about the shoes, the papers would not have bothered to report that bit of information. Sherlock, therefore, had to have gotten his information elsewhere. In order to figure out where young Sherlock got his information, let's explore where Sherlock was when Carl Powers was killed.

Carl Powers was killed in London, but that is not necessarily where Sherlock was when this event took place. Besides the London newspapers, what other newspapers would report on the child's death? The newspapers in Carl Powers' hometown would report on the story. In "The Great Game," it is revealed that Carl Powers lived in Sussex, Brighton to be specific. So, we can assume newspapers in Brighton would have reported on the death of Carl Powers.

Sherlock, therefore, grew up in the same area Carl Powers did. The only direct reference in the Sherlock Holmes Canon to where he grew up is in "The Greek Interpreter" where he states, "My ancestors were country squires." There really is no logical way to determine based on that statement where he spent his boyhood. However, this article published in 1999, more than a decade before the BBC show debuted sets forth a convincing argument that Sherlock Holmes is from Sussex. It is incredibly likely that two Sherlock Holmes nerds like Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss would have read The Homes and Watson Report where this article was originally published. 

Sherlock knew about the shoes because he knew Carl Powers and knew how much he loved those shoes. When those shoes were not brought back to Sussex after Carl's death, Sherlock became suspicious.

Moriarty confesses to the murder of Carl Powers to Sherlock, claiming Carl Powers made fun of him. Therefore, Moriarty knew Carl Powers.

Sherlock knew Carl Powers, and Moriarty knew Carl Powers. Is it possible that Sherlock and Moriarty have known each other for longer than we have all been lead to believe? In the RadioTimes article I linked to above, Gatiss also states that Season 4 deals with things they have been setting up for years. Is it the boyhood connection between Holmes and Moriarty?

Twins, Evil Watsons, Criminal Organizations, and Abominations

It has been awhile, but they are filming Series Four (Going with the British terminology today), I have rewatched "The Abominable Bride", and the game is on! 

As always ***SPOILER ALERT*** 

Let's begin with two facts which shall spark our discussion today:

1.) Moriarty is dead

2.) There is no twin

You cannot survive a gunshot to the head, and you cannot fool Sherlock into thinking you have shot yourself in the head. Moriarty is dead.

I may have been a proponent of the Moriarty brother theory before, but I am no longer.  As Sherlock says, "It's never a twin."

What caused the apparent return of Moriarty then? 

To figure it out Sherlock went back in time (sort of). "The Abominable Bride" is set almost entirely in a world created in Sherlock's dream-like state. Therefore, every part of that story is significant.

Let's explore the good ol' United States. There is some connection to the United States; there has to be. Think back to "The Great Game." Every time Moriarty called Sherlock he heard pips. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Five Orange Pips", Sherlock Holmes explains that orange pips were used as warnings to members of secret societies, a fact brought up in both "The Great Game" and "The Abominable Bride." Moriarty has some connection to the United States and secret societies. Who else has a connection to the United States. The Woman, for one, was being chased by Americans when she first appeared in Sherlock. She could be involved. Someone else with a possible connection to the United States and more importantly in a position to mess with Sherlock is one Mary Watson. In "His Last Vow", Sherlock deduces that Mary is not English. Her closeness to John and Sherlock gives her ample opportunity to mess with them, but why would she do that?

Moriarty was running a vast criminal network when he died. He had minions. As he told Sherlock, he planned to get "a live-in one." Perhaps, The Woman or Mary is working for Moriarty. He has a criminal network as mirrored in "The Abominable Bride." The network in the Chrismas special was comprised of women. A femme fatale could very likely be at the center of Series Four.

Ms. Moriarty

By now, I have come to the conclusion that Jim Moriarty is dead. As Steven Moffat has said more than once, you cannot fake shooting yourself in the face. So, the question remains: Who plastered Jim Moriarty face all over Britain's televisions?

At the end of "The Great Game", the museum curator says, "No one sees [Moriarty's] face." Sherlock has seen Jim Moriarty's face, and the entire world saw his face during the trial. Why put himself out there? He does not get his hands dirty. This is a break from his pattern. But what if he did not actually break his pattern?

 I have previously discussed the canonical brother of Professor James Moriarty, Colonel James Moriarty. I am not the only person who has proposed a Moriarty twin theory, but I would like to explore a potential twist on that theory. 

When Moriarty plays with Sherlock in the great game, the first writing on the envelope containing the pink phone was written by a woman.

Changing a character's gender is nothing new to Sherlock. In the very first episode, John Watson's brother is switched to a woman. 

So, what if Colonel James Moriarty is being portrayed as a Ms. Moriarty? 

Season 4 Hints From @Markgatiss

Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, who also plays as Mycroft Holmes, has been tweeting here and there about the Christmas special that just wrapped filming. In addition to confirming the special will be 90 minutes long, Gatiss has also tweeted some pictures that hint at potential plot details.

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This cryptic picture is accompanied by a quote from "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle."  The use of this story is not surprising considering it takes place on Christmas.

It is hard to tell what the picture is, but there appears to be a silhouette of man. Based on the promotional pictures we have seen of Sherlock and Watson, it is possible the silhouette could be Sherlock or John Watson. 

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For those who are familiar with the Sherlock Holmes canon, this is an obvious reference to "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League." 

 

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This picture is not as straight forward as the previous one. This may be a nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's place of burial, the Church Yard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. The "Millionaire Philanthropist" part is a bit more confusing. It could be a reference to the non-canonical pastiche novel Sherlock Holmes and the Man from Hell by Barrie Roberts, wherein a philanthropist is murdered. There is also a quote in A Sign of Four where Holmes tells Watson the most repellant man of his acquaintance is a philanthropist. One other possibilty might be a reference to "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches." In this story, Watson describes the mystery as being a question of whether their client's employers was "a philanthropist or a villain."

The barrel is blocking a word.  It is a short word, and the tiny bit of the first letter could potentiall be a D, leading one to believe the word is "dead." If the word is indeed "dead", then it is increasingly likely this is a reference to the novel by Roberts.

One other interesting thing about this picture is there are copies of The Strand Magazine in it.  This magazine was known for publishing fiction and puzzles and was the magazine that published Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes short stories and a serialization of The Hound of the Baskerville. There are also red bands around the magazines with what appears to be advertisements for Sherlock Holmes on them. So, perhaps it is not a plot reference at all.

 

Add to your reading list: 

  • "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" 
  • "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" 

What If He Really Is Dead?

As always... ***SPOILER ALERT***

Jim Moriarty is supposedly alive. Or is he? The end of "His Last Vow" is far from conclusive. The only thing seen by the characters in that scene is a picture of Moriarty. His little blip after the credits may have been an extra for TV that was thrown in specifically thrown in as a smokescreen (typical Moffat/Gatiss trickery). It does seem a little too convenient that Moriarty chooses to come back right as Sherlock is sent off to a sure death.

Sherlock could have easily had a plan in place should he need to escape an exile attempt. He very likely had an accomplice in place should the need ever arise. This accomplice would be ready to hack into the TV feed in London and broadcast that message.

The other possibility is that someone (other than Moriarty) knew what was happening to Sherlock and broadcast that message without being told by Sherlock. This person would need the ability and means to hack into the TV feed. Furthermore, they would need a good reason to keep Sherlock in London.

Who could have been that accomplice or that Good Samaritan? Mycroft seems unlikely. He seemed genuinely shocked Moriarty was back. On the other hand, when has Mycroft ever been straightforward? Molly is another interesting possibility. She could be an accomplice, but she could not have acted alone. We have no evidence she'd be clever enough to pull something like that off without Sherlock's help. A third possibility is The Woman. She had help from Sherlock to escape/fake death at the end of "A Scandal in Belgravia", and she apparently sent him a flower while he was in the hospital. Clearly, they still keep tabs on one another. The last possibility is that Sherlock himself set that plan in motion before he went Magnussen's house. He could have easily had Bill Wiggins or another member of the Baker Street Irregulars on call to put that plan in motion should things turn ugly at Appledore.

Or maybe Moriarty really is alive... Or maybe it is Moriarty's brother, James Moriarty.... Who knows? I just hope the truth is not boring.

Mystery Solved?

***SPOILER ALERT***

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a Sherlock deleted scene. While Sherlock is in the hospital during "His Last Vow", he receives a single rose from a mysterious W.

I speculated on numerous possibilities as to who W could be. However, while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a post that said the symbol by the W matched Irene Adler's wallpaper. So, the mystery has been solved.....Unless, Moffat and Gatiss are messing with us. This is something they would totally do. They could spin it as Moriarty and/or Magnussen trying to mess with Sherlock, something both characters would do.

The Blog is On: Who is W?

As always... ***SPOILER ALERT***

I just discovered that there is a deleted scene from the final episode of Season 3. An interesting detail from this scene is that after Sherlock was shot, a single rose was sent to his hospital. The note had a weird picture of an eye and the letter W on it.

W and an eye

That begs the question: Who is W? C.A.M. denies being the sender in the deleted scene. Dr. and/or Mrs. John Watson would have signed their full name(s). Who then is the mystery person?

The first possibility is that Gatiss/Moffat threw it in to hint at what is to come next season, It would not be out of character for them to throw in a sly foreshadow to future events.

The second possibility is that the flower is from Bill Wiggins. It appears the young homeless man is now on team Sherlock for a permanent basis, so this could be his way of saying "Get well, boss" or "Please, hire me."

The third possibility is that the W stands for The Woman. This is intriguing for those who would love to see that character return to the show. It is hard to believe she would allow Sherlock to be shot without some note of affection and concern, but would she risk the exposure? The other hard part to swallow about this theory is the idea of The Woman calling herself "The Woman." It seems unlikely she would use that nickname for herself. However, it is possible her new identity has W for an initial.

W could be anyone, and when you consider the possibility that the W might just be an upside down M, the possibilities increase.

W or M?

Now the other image becomes a little more understandable. It is an eye on a weird shape. Is Mary, Magnussen, or Mycroft trying to say, "I've got my eye on you."? The eye does seem remarkably similar to the "All-Seeing eye." 

The shape looks a lot like a chess piece. A pawn, perhaps? Could this be a reference to the ever present chess game between Moriarty? This may be the best theory, especially considering the fact that this is from a deleted scene. Gatiss/Moffat may have deleted it to make the reveal about Moriarty more shocking.

With this show, wondering is always more entertaining than actually finding out.

Mary Dies

***As always, SPOILER ALERT***

Mary Watson dies. That is what happened in the original work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr. John Watson’s wife dies.

In The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock “dies.” When he returns in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Mary Watson is dead. 

Am I saying that will happen in the BBC show? No, I am not saying I am 100% certain it will happen, but if I were to bet on it, I would bet that she would.

There is no mention of how she died in the books, and if there is one thing Gatiss and Moffat like it is ambiguity. Imagine what they could do with the death of Mary. I think they would pattern it after “The Adventure of the Dancing Men.”

I recently read that short story and I could not help but notice some similarities. Sherlock’s client in this story explains that his wife when she married him said that she had a shadowy past, but that the future was bright, and she would always be honest with him as long as he never asked about her past. Sound familiar? It should.

"The problems of your past are your business. The problems of your future are my privilege." - Dr. John Watson, Sherlock, “His Last Vow”

I suspect that Gatiss and Moffat have had this in the works. They set up that whole “Let’s just pretend your past never happened” thing in S3E3, and I suspect they will follow through with a death similar to that story in the next season.

In the original story, the wife becomes afraid when contacted by someone form her past. The husband does not want to betray her trust in order to obtain details, and he quietly contacts Sherlock Holmes for answers. After decipher codes left for the wife, Sherlock rushes to their houses, but before he can get to them with his warning of danger, tragedy occurs. The man from the wife’s previous life enters their house one night and is shot at by the husband. He misses and is killed by the man, who then escapes out of the house.  The wife, out of grief, shoots herself, but does not die.

Here is how I see that playing out on the BBC:

Someone form Mary’s past resurfaces.Perhaps, it is an associate or employee of CAM, or perhaps, Moriarty has reasons to go after her. John gets worried, and Mary reminds him of his promise. John (unlike the husband in the story) presses the matter, and they fight. The stranger confronts Mary, and she gets killed, as does their baby. John becomes racked with guilt over arguing with her before her death and not being there to protect her and the baby. I do not think they will want to air a suicide attempt by Watson, so he will either become so depressed he cannot function or he goes mad with rage and seeks a bloody revenge.

One thing working for me in this theory is the whole baby thing. I do not see “Mr. and Mrs. Psychopath” (as CAM called them) settling down and being parents, especially not Mary. I think the writers will kill off both Mary and the baby, and I believe they will use the basic idea I have set forth and make much more epic than I made it seem.

Magnussen, You Little Prick...

No major spoilers in this one…….No overly bold theories either. Just something to note……

Charles Augustus Magnussen is an annoying little prick. We see him do all sorts of outrageous and crude things in his episode (peeing in Sherlock’s fireplace, eating Sherlock’s olive then washing his hands in his water, etc.), but I noticed something he did during Watson’s wedding.

One of the telegrams was from someone named Cam….or rather CAM……C.A.M…….Charles Augustus Magnussen. The note read: “Wish your family could have seen this.”

This could mean one (or possibly more of the following things):

1.) CAM wanted to taunt Mary by saying “Ha ha! Your family is dead!”…..That is assuming her family actually is dead.
2.) If Mary’s family is alive, CAM perhaps wanted to say, “Ha ha! Your career as an assassin means you’ll never see your family again!”.
3.) It means nothing other than “I’m still watching you.” That is assuming CAM had been watching her and she knew that.
4.) Or perhaps she didn’t know CAM was watching her, but thanks to this message she knows now.
5.) Something else that I have thought about.
6.) All of the above!

#1 and #2 are the ones that make him look like a prick the most. Regardless of his intentions, CAM was definitely taunting Mary.

On Janine

As always: ***SPOILER ALERT***

This will be brief…

Not-so-bold prediction: We have not seen the last of Janine…

Janine tells Sherlock while he is in the hospital that she bought a cottage in Sussex Downs and that there are bees there. In the Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle canon, Sherlock Holmes retires to Sussex Downs and becomes a beekeeper. 

Janine says she will be getting rid of the bees, but if Gatiss/Moffat stay true to canon, that won’t happen. My guess is Sherlock and Janine will cross paths again (probably soon) in order to keep that part of the canon intact.

Time will tell, of course, but I am excited to see what they will do with her. They (Janine and Sherlock) had good chemistry; I could see an entire episode devoted to Sherlock coming to her aide in Sussex Downs after she gets herself into trouble. I would go nuts if the “trouble” greatly involved “The Woman.” However, I trust Gatiss/Moffat to use her properly.

The Case of the Mysterious Gun

As always: *SPOILER ALERT*

I have noticed significant buzz on the internet over the gun Moriarty used to shoot himself. Apparently, the gun is not in his hands as he falls down. After reviewing the clip, it appears that they are correct. It appears his very blurry hand is not holding a gun.

One video calls this “the clue everyone missed.” This is a bad title because A.) a lot of people noticed it, and B.) it is not a clue. This is nothing more than a continuity error.

If the gun did disappear, Moriarty would have had to have put the gun in his mouth, pull the trigger, hide the gun, fall down, and get the gun back in his hand. I find it hard to believe that he could have done all of this without Sherlock noticing.

A disappearing gun is not how he survived. If you are looking for how Moriarty survived, this disappearing gun theory is not it. Look elsewhere.

Debunking the Explanation at the End of S3E1

As always: SPOILER ALERT


I simply love stories that have unreliable narrators because the audience isn’t given a concrete answer and is left to wonder “Was that really true?”. This is one of the reasons I love Sherlock. The story tellers (Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) are unreliable. Exhibit A:


At the end of S3E1, we see Sherlock explain to Anderson how he faked his death. But, we are not told this through Sherlock; we are told this through Anderson. Let me explain….

At the beginning of the scene, Anderson is setting up a camera to record Sherlock’s explanation. This is symbolic of the fact that this is being told  through the lens of Anderson’s mind.

We don’t even need to go over any of the details of the theory to disprove it because, once again, this theory is being given by Anderson.

What does need to be proven is that this theory is what I say it is, the product of Anderson’s imagination.

When I first watched it, I din’t believe it because of the way Anderson acted act the end of the scene.


But, then you start to hear interviews from Gatiss and Moffat that lead you to reconsider it. I kept flip-flopping in my mind whether or not this was the theory to believe. I started to think maybe I was, like Anderson, “disappointed” in the explanation. Finally, however, I realized something that is the ultimate proof why this explanation is nothing more than this:



Let me begin by asking you this question: Do you know Anderson’s first name? Actually think about it. Do you know it? I certainly couldn’t until I re-watched “The Empty Hearse.”

When Sherlock explains how he faked his death to Anderson, he calls him “Phillip” not once, but twice. Sherlock doesn’t even know Lestrade’s first name. Why on earth would he know Anderson’s first name? Lestrade obviously means far much more to him than Anderson does. Why would he not learn Lestrade’s name, but memorize the first name of the little weasel that is Anderson? The answer is simple. Sherlock doesn’t know Anderson’s first name, and this is all in Anderson’s mind.

The Final Problem(s): A Commentary on the Characters, Relationships, Themes, and Unresolved Mysteries in the BBC’s Sherlock

WARNING: This post will contain spoilers a plenty! If you haven’t seen ALL 6 episodes that have aired in the first two seasons (or Series if you are from the UK), don’t read this.


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I began watching the third episode of Season/Series Two of BBC ONE’s epic television show Sherlock, intending to refresh myself before the New Year’s Day premiere of Season/Series Three. Upon finishing that episode, I spent hours (into the wee hours of the morning, in fact) looking up theories on how Sherlock survived “the fall.” Intending to write a blog post on that mystery, I watched S.1.E.3. “The Great Game” and S.2.E.1. “A Scandal in Belgravia.” The notes I took made me want to watch S.1.E.1 “A Study in Pink”, S.1.E.2. “The Blind Banker”, and S.2.E.2. “The Hounds of Baskerville.” After reviewing my notes on all of the episodes, I decided my notes covered far more than just “The Fall.” I decided to watch “The Reichenbach Fall” once more and write a post on the entirety of the show. Yes, I’ll offer a theory on how he faked his death (not survived, faked), but I want this to be a far more expansive blog post.

Pardon the comma splices…..

Theme: Love

The Greeks had 4 different words for love: Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge.

  • Agape is unconditional love.
  • Eros is romantic, passionate love.
  • Philia is brotherly love.
  • Storge is the natural love, like that of a mother for her child.

I am of the opinion that 3 of the 4 are on display in this show.

Theme: Homosexuality

It is an often joked about topic on the show, the relationship between Watson and Sherlock. Are they actually gay, though? John Watson is definitely a heterosexual. Although, he’s not a very successful one. He is clearly attracted to women:

Really, the question is: Is Sherlock gay? My guess is most likely not. He definitely shows attraction and fondness for a certain female in “Scandal in Belgravia”, causing this to happen:


His attraction caused a momentary shut down of his mental faculties. There are moments where we see Sherlock showing attraction for Molly.

My theory is that the writers throw these references in to draw attention to the relationship between Sherlock and his live-in ordinary person, Watson. Their relationship can be described as a perfect example of philia love. They are not gay; their friendship just extends beyond that of our modern understanding of friendship. In modern times, friendships have gotten so shallow, but this friendship is an old-school example of what true best friends are.

Theme: Distraction

Sherlock and Moriarty both get bored. The world is a boring place for geniuses like Sherlock and Moriarty. Their brilliant minds far surpass those around them. This makes it hard to form connections and intimacy with their associates and companions. The Game (see next section) is their distraction. For Moriarty, it is his most worthwhile distraction and ultimately his only one. When The Game ends, so does Moriarty’s life. Sherlock not only has the game to distract him, but he also has other mysteries to solve. However, only the truly mysterious and intensely puzzling mysterious will do to slake his boredom.

Theme: The Game

"The Game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!" - Sherlock

The game takes place over the course of all six of the episodes that have aired thus far. Every story involved Moriarty, with the exception of “The Hounds of Baskerville” (but Moriarty does have a small bit there where he has been captured by Mycroft and is subsequently let go). It is a battle of wits between Sherlock, Moriarty, and a third player (more on why I believe there to be a third player and who she is later). The winner is the one who can outwit the others. How does one win? Not sure. Moriarty wins when “he burns the heart out of” Sherlock. Sherlock wins by Actually, Sherlock doesn’t want to win. “He gets off on it,” as Sergeant Donovan would say. He might win if he shuts down Moriarty, but does he really want to do that? No, he enjoys playing the game. The third player wins by ensuring her safety.

Theme: The Final Problem

See next section

Theme: Heart

The human body does not function without a heart. Likewise, the three players have something without which they cannot function:

  • Player Three: Her phone 
  • Moriarty: The opposite of boredom. Call it what you like - entertainment, distraction, fun, amusement, etc. He hates ordinary and mocks Sherlock when he thinks he is ordinary. This character was the happiest when he realized Sherlock wasn’t ordinary.
  • Sherlock: His reputation. He cannot stand to be thought of as a fool or ordinary for that matter. When Moriarty says he will “burn the heart out of” him, he means he will destroy his reputation, expose him as a fraud, cause him to commit suicide, etc. This is The Final Problem: Burning Sherlock’s heart.

Character: Sherlock


He is what he is. We learn far more about Sherlock from exploring others and their relationships with him.

Character: Mycroft

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Mycroft does not like his brother. I’m sure that comes as no surprise, but ponder this: Mycroft loves his brother. You may disagree with this at first, but deep down you know it is true. This is not Agape, Eros, or Philia love; those involve a choice. This is Storge, the natural love. Mycroft loves Sherlock because he is his brother.

Watson: “So when you say you’re concerned about him, you actually are concerned?”

Mycroft: “Yes, of course.”

Relationship: Mycroft and Sherlock

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Mycroft, as previously stated, loves Sherlock and wants whats best for him. A great source of tension between the two of them is over what exactly is best for Sherlock.

Mycroft: “My brother has the brain of a scientist or a philosopher, yet he elects to be a detective. What might we deduce about his heart?”
Watson: “I don’t know.”
Mycroft: “Neither do I. But initially, he wanted to be a pirate.”

Mycroft views his baby brother as just that, a baby brother. This childish feud perpetuates because Mycroft still views Sherlock as a child and because Sherlock, well, is still childish. Yet, they still value one another. They despise one another, but they both recognize the other can be of use to them. However, they both only go to the other as a last resort. 

Character: Molly


Sherlock Holmes: “Molly, please don’t feel the need to make conversation. It’s really not your area.”

Molly Hooper is more than just a means to an end for Sherlock (or comic relief for us). No one is more vital to Sherlock’s work than she is. She is allows him to utilize St. Bart’s medical and scientific equipment. Sounds like a means to an end, not a vital cog, right? WRONG! Ask yourself this question: Why? Why does she do this for him?

Relationship: Molly and Sherlock


Why does Molly allow Sherlock to have free reign at St. Bart’s? Eros. It may not shock some you to read that I believe she loves Sherlock in a romantic way. It seems quite obvious from the start: The lipstick in the first episode (see above photo), the fancy dress and present at Christmas in S.2.E.1., etc. Yes, not shocking at all.

Ah, but how does Sherlock feel about Molly? Does she mean nothing to him? No. Does he love her as much as she loves him? No. His feelings for her border between Eros and Philia. 

Sherlock Holmes: “You’re wrong, you know? [Molly gasps in fright and spins round] You do count. You’ve always counted and I’ve always trusted you. But you were right. I’m not okay.”
Molly Hooper: “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Sherlock Holmes: “Molly… I think I’m going to die.”
Molly Hooper: “What do you need?”
Sherlock Holmes: “If I wasn’t everything you think I am, everything that I think I am… would you still want to help me?”
Molly Hooper: “What do you need?”
Sherlock Holmes: “You.”

Yes, Sherlock does have feelings after all, and not just the hardened, hateful kind, but the soft and squishy kind. He even flirts with her to look at a corpse in “The Blind Banker”, but I suppose that doesn’t really count.

Final note on Molly and Sherlock: Who do you invite to a party? Your friends. Who did Sherlock invite to his Christmas party? Everyone Moriarty threatened to kill and Molly. As Sherlock said in S.2.E.3., she counts. She’s always counted.

Character: The Woman


"Brainy is the new sexy"

Ah yes, The Woman, our third player….

I shall refer to her simply as the woman…..

She is the most powerful woman in this show, both in personality and in manipulation. Like Sherlock, she has an obsession with her mobile (to use the British word for cell phone), which she uses for “protection.” Clearly, she has much on there that can be used for manipulation or blackmail purposes. The Woman is able to get these from her “clients” who give them up or leave them vulnerable to her. As she says, “Brainy is the new sexy,” and she is clearly visually “sexy.” If there is any doubt about that, ask Watson…..


….It is, furthermore, true that she is the “new sexy.” Prove of this can be seen in the following:

  • She understands that Watson loves Sherlock by the way she hit him.
  • She had confidence that Sherlock would figure out the combination to the safe.
  • She reasoned out that the hiker died due to a boomerang…..Did she? Didn’t Sherlock dream that? Maybe, but I’ll wager that it actually happened. One doesn’t dream that logically. My guess is that Sherlock was in between sleeps, so to speak. We do know she was in his room. His coat was returned and the text tone for the woman’s phone number had been customized.

Although she uses an unusual method for playing the game, distraction by sexualization, she is quite an able player. She may be an unwilling participant, but she is playing. She faked her death to escape from Moriarty or someone else (most likely both…..I imagine she has pissed off many people). She has the intelligence and the means to accomplish a great undertaking and discreetly.

Relationship: The Woman and Sherlock


Both tried to make such an impression the first time they met. They both tried many outfits on before their “battle” as they called it, and it is indeed a battle. Their battle of wits is a challenge that fascinates Sherlock. She quite enjoys it too much.

"Everything I said, I was just playing the game."

Sherlock proves her wrong, though.

"No, because I took your pulse. Elevated. Pupils dilated. I imagine John Watson thinks love’s a mystery to me, but the chemistry is incredibly simple and very disruptive. When we first met, you told me the disguise is always a self-portrait. How true of you."

Sherlock is the better player. He wins this battle (I sure hope the war rages on in series/season 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or forever, though).

They are not enemies, though, despite their battle(s). The woman shows her “heart” when it is revealed that her “heart” is her phone and the key to her phone is Sherlock.

Furthermore, Mycroft knows how Sherlock feels about her. After The Woman died, he told this to Sherlock

All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.

When it appears she has defeated Sherlock and confronts the Holmes brothers on the plane, Mycroft says to Sherlock:

I drove you into her path. I’m sorry

There is a romance between them in this episode. Although, Sherlock does show romantic feelings for Molly in the “Reichenbach Fall”, so we don’t know how serious he really feels for The Woman. However, that could have been the out of character moment Steven Moffat was talking about.

Character: Moriarty


"James Moriarty isn’t a man at all. He’s a spider. A spider at the center of a web. A criminal web with a thousand threads and he knows precisely how each and every single one of them dances." - Sherlock

Moriarty admits to being insane on the roof of St. Bart’s and shortly after kills himself (Yes, he killed himself. The only reason I think he might still be alive is that I want him to still be alive, and quite frankly that is not enough to spare his life), so let’s start with that. Jim Moriarty is insane. He is nuts. He’s not playing with a full deck. He has a few screws loose. Ok, I’ve made my point. 

He’s insane, but brilliant. Oh, he is so brilliant! Both Sherlock and I admire just how brilliant he is. The great detail he puts into crimes and the way he is able to avoid jail. He can also manipulate people into doing whatever he wants (Example: Kitty Riley). If The Woman is right when she says “Brainy is the new sexy”, then Moriarty is right when he declares himself to be “Mr. Sex.”

Finally, Moriarty is cocky and arrogant. He shows off his brilliance, never expects anyone to figure out his plans, and thinks everyone else is beneath him. This is his fatal flaw. His cockiness blinds him to the fact that Sherlock is playing him on the roof. He knew the computer code wasn’t real, but Moriarty thought he thought it was real. Sherlock plays him like a fiddle. I think it will remain to be seen just how much Sherlock outwitted Moriarty on that roof, but one thing is certain Moriarty was too cocky. Moriarty died a loser, but thinking he was the winner.

Relationship: Moriarty and Sherlock


Their relationship closely resembles Batman and the Joker. They need each other, and they are each other. They want to defeat each other, but at the same time, they want to play the game forever.

Character: Watson


Watson needs Sherlock. I don’t know what situation he will be in when we see him in the beginning of series/season three, but I surmise he will not be living life to the fullest. In the previews for series/season three, Watson appears to have gotten on with his life, but he needs Sherlock.

When we first found him, John Watson was lost, suffering through nightmares and a psychosomatic limp. Sherlock gets him out of that slump. He needs the thrill of that lifestyle.

"You’re not haunted by the war, Dr Watson. You miss it." - Mycroft

Relationship: Watson and Sherlock


As mentioned earlier, Watson and Sherlock share a deep philia love.  I’ll wager this deep friendship is very influential in why Sherlock took the actions he did at the end of the “Reichenbach Fall.” Sherlock would have easily have taken the leap and killed himself, but he knew Watson needs him. He needed to survive to help Watson. He knew for awhile that Moriarty wanted to “burn the heart out of” him. Sherlock knew all along what that meant and what effect that would have on his friend John Watson. We can see how much distress it causes Watson to learn Sherlock is a fake and how his refusal to accept it causes him mental anguish at the end of S.2.E.3. 

The Who, What, When, Why, Where, and How of “The Fall”

Who:

  • Secrets are best kept when fewer people know about them. Ask The Woman to corroborate that.
  • Those theories about the homeless network helping out Sherlock’s fake death are wrong. No way all of them could have kept that secret. The newspapers would pay loads of money for anyone claiming to have more information on Sherlock and his apparent demise. Furthermore, it must be all or none. Either all of the people on the street were in on it or none. If only some were in on it, someone would have noticed some funny business and sold that story to the papers.
  • Molly runs the morgue. She could pronounce him dead and provide fake blood. Plus, Sherlock accepted her offer for help. She knows and was, most likely, his only accomplice
  • Did Mycroft know about Sherlock’s plan to fake his death? No, there is a scene at the end of “The Reichenbach Fall” where he shows genuine sadness and guilt over his brother’s death. Does he later find out? Yes. Mycroft helps Sherlock out with money in the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Furthermore, we already know that Sherlock comes back due to an impending terrorist attack, and the trailer suggests Mycroft is the one who brings him back to stop it.

What:

  • Sherlock jumps off of a building
  • Sherlock hits the ground
  • Everyone (except Molly) thinks he’s dead.
  • Nothing broke his fall.
  • There was no body switch.
  • Sherlock survived

When:

  • Sherlock may have figured out he was going to have die after leaving Kitty Riley’s apartment.
  • Most likely he had an idea Moriarty wanted to kill him.
  • "The only left for him to do is…" *knowing look*
  • He left and went straight to Molly
  • "I think I’m going to die," he tells her before getting her help.

Why:

  • I believe Sherlock would have jumped and killed himself. He is not the sort of person who would let innocent people die, to save his own life.
  • Lestrade: “…Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day—if we’re very, very lucky—he might even be a good one.”
  • He also tries to hide his forthcoming death to protect Watson. Molly mentions he looks sad, except when John Watson is near.
  • Why hide? Sebastian Moran. He’s in the Sherlock Holme’s stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but we haven’t seen him in Sherlock yet. My guess is Moriarty did get a live-in ordinary person.

Where: 

  • St. Bart’s
  • He may have gone to Mycroft before leaving London to get money and to illicit his help for getting out of town and obtaining fake passports.

How:

  • There was no body switch, and nothing broke his fall.
  • I previously said why he couldn’t have had help on the ground. If he had no help on the ground, he, therefore, could not have been able to make a body switch or have something break his fall.
  • Molly let him have free reign of the morgue. Do you honestly think he never bothered to throw a cadaver off the roof? He may have even have done that that night. He knew what a body fallen from a roof would look like and how to minimize damage.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

You’ll notice I didn’t say how Sherlock survived the fall. He might have relaxed really intensely or used some sort of herb to help minimize the damage, but I don’t know. Quite frankly I don’t care, and I hope they don;t tell us. Just thinking about this has been more fun than I imagine learning the truth would be. How great would it be if they didn’t tell us? That’s just the sort of thing they’d do too. Watson asks Sherlock how, and Sherlock just gives him a coy look. Maybe we’ll get hints at it here and there, but nothing substantial. Thinking, wondering, and not knowing is far more fun then them telling us and us going “Ah nuts! I wasn’t even close!”

Think of it as a magic trick and The Prestige's explanation of magic tricks….

The Blog is on: Introducing This Blog

Introducing: my new blog on the epic BBC TV show Sherlock!

On New Year’s Eve I posted this post on Sherlock on my PERSONAL Tumblr account.

I really enjoyed preparing to write and actually writing that post. However, it was a lot of work. So, rather than take the next two years to write an expansive blog post on Sherlock through the first three seasons, I will write multiple posts about Sherlock. I decided to not CONTINUE to post Sherlock blog posts on my PERSONAL Tumblr account mixed in with posts about my beliefs on politics, theology, et cetera. Therefore, I have decided to start a blog specifically for Sherlock, in case any hard-core Sherlock fans want follow my posts without sifting through my other posts with which they might strongly disagree.

GROUND RULES:

1.) You (the reader) must watch all Sherlock episodes that have aired. This will be the only post in which I will not post MASSIVE spoilers. I will not be held responsible for you finding out that ^@%! $#**!$ $##%!*&& (<—- I actually intended those symbols to means something. Props to anyone who can figure it out.) My posts will also encompass ideas spanning all episodes that have aired, so it is imperative to have seen all of the episodes (preferably multiple times), so as to better understand them.

2.) I will not be held to any regular posting patterns. I will post ideas as they come to me and develop. I will not risk quality for the sake of timeliness.

3.) I will cease posting once the first episode of a season (see #6 below) airs until after the final episode of the season airs.

4.) It will be your responsibility to avoid this blog until you are all caught up.

5.) Don’t reveal spoilers to your friends/family/acquaintances/enemies. That really hasn’t anything to do with this blog, but it’s just common courtesy.

6.) I am American and will be referring to it as a season not a series. I’m not an American-supremicist; I just find using the American term more comfortable.

7.) I will not edit these posts to correct anything I have gotten wrong. I want my thought process to be a matter of public record. I will, however, edit to correct grammar, spelling, or to clarify what I mean.

8,) I will admit when I am wrong. It is about the pursuit of truth, not being the one that is right. Furthermore, you will not gloat if you prove me wrong.

9.) You are encouraged to post comments, and I will read them if I can/want to do so. I will not promise to read them, but I am very interested in the “dialogue of speculation” that this show produces.

10.) I will never call The Woman by her name.

11.) I’m not going to produce theory after theory about how Sherlock faked his death. As John Watson said in S3E1,

"I don’t care how you did it. I want to know why."

That’s not to say I won’t disprove a theory here and there, but let’s use what has happened to explain what really is happening, why it happened, and what might happen in the future. In the grand scheme of things, how isn’t important (I may dedicate an entire post to that idea, but I won’t be held to that.)

THE GAME, MRS. HUDSON IS ON!