Television: A Tribute to Sherlock Holmes
*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*
The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221b Baker Street.
Our beloved characters Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman) make a massive come back to our screens with new cases to be solved. The Sherlockian family had been expecting the arrival of Season 4 impatiently for the last 3 years since the latest one’s release. Fans were filled with curiosity about what the future holds for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson whilst having the desire to discover their latest adventures. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss wrote an exceptional scenario for the new Season that made us fear for the unexpected. A scenario enriched with twists and surprises that instantly gave goose bumps to each and every one of us. This Season brings a lot of darkness to its audience which is daunting but also thrilling. At the same time, we are enlightened by the answers we have been given to some of the most blurry questions that made us wonder for years. Sherlockians are beyond satisfied with the final result of the series but the truth is that we will always ask for more.
‘’The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance observes’’.
After all this time, it is finally revealed who appeared to be the mastermind above all. The person who planned all the crimes and was responsible for each case given to Sherlock. Her name was Eurus (=a Greek name that means god of the East wind). She was the long lost sister of the Holmes brothers. She was the youngest of the 3 children with Sherlock being the middle child and Mycroft being the oldest brother. She always liked Sherlock more than Mycroft but unfortunately that reflected into an insane obsession with so many consequences for Sherlock and his loved ones. Within the Seasons we received some hints about her existence but nobody expected who she really was and what was her purpose. Eurus was always different, an era defining genius beyond Newton. The depth of Eurus’ psychosis and the extent of her abilities could not be contained in a regular institution. Mycroft and his Uncle Rudy were the only 2 people that knew where she was kept but the rest of the world knew that she died in a fire. The place she was kept was called Sherrinford, an isolated island with a government’s secret installation that contained the abnormal part of humanity, from psychopaths to killers and cannibals. Eurus had been kept in that installation for many years since her early childhood. According to Mycroft, she had never left Sherrinford not even for a single day. She manipulated the governor who was the head of the institute so that she could be in control of the facility and escape anytime she wanted. Mycroft kept visiting her and started using her ingenious brain to predict terrorist attacks in Britain. Her predictions in date and time were always accurate. In exchange for her assistance, she asked for treats. In 2010, the Christmas gift she requested was 5 minutes unsupervised conversation with Jim Moriarty. Being blessed with the gift of manipulation, she could use it to get anything. Eurus manipulated Moriarty and controlled every move he made towards Sherlock until his death. Through Moriarty, she felt that she could finally approach Sherlock and have the opportunity to ‘’play’’ with him…that was the only thing that gave meaning to her existence. She did not care about the harm she caused to so many lives and that people have died because of her decisions so that she has participants for Sherlock’s cases. Everything she did was an experiment to test Sherlock’s human emotions. Who would have thought that without Mycroft’s treat, none of these would have happened… Mycroft was the one who unintentionally became the curse in Sherlock’s life.
Let’s go back in time and recall the most memorable cases created by Eurus.
Season 1, was an introduction to take a glimpse of what Sherlock and Watson are capable of achieving together when joining their brains. Moriarty’s name first appeared on the last episode of Season 1. From that moment until Season 4, was the period where our characters started living in ‘’deep waters’’.
In Season 2, Moriarty introduced himself in person and had snipers pointing at Sherlock and John. He called off their deaths when he took a phone call. Days later, Mycroft gave Sherlock a case that involved Irene Adler, a dominatrix. She had photos in her possession on her phone with a royal persona during sexual games. Mycroft asked Sherlock to obtain her phone to prevent the scandal from going public. She also possessed several documents that could cause harm to certain people but also she could use them to protect herself as she enjoyed misbehaving. Adler always fancied Sherlock and she knew that if he took her case, she could have the opportunity to meet him. It is obvious that Adler was the one who interrupted Sherlock and John’s death by calling Moriarty. They made a deal that still remains unknown and decided to work together. The known part of their plan was simple…Adler had to make Sherlock fall for her so that he could help her get the information that Moriarty had requested. This was the first time we saw Sherlock having feelings for someone. Sherlock soon realised with Mycroft’s help that Adler tricked him to get the information for Moriarty, but what she did not know was that she was in love with Sherlock too. Many killers had been after her for documents she owned. She got captured by terrorists in Pakistan but right before her decapitation, Sherlock appeared in disguise and rescued her. ‘’Sentiment, is a chemical defect found on the losing side’’ but surprisingly, both Sherlock and Adler had been on the same side after all. Moriarty was then imprisoned and Mycroft had people torture him because he was believed to own a computer code that could open any security system, something very appealing to the British Government. The only way Moriarty could open up about that code was if Mycroft offered him Sherlock’s life story. That was their deal. Moriarty was released from prison and had created a new identity for himself with the name Richard Brooke. By using Sherlock’s life story he had the power to accuse him publically for being a fraud by saying that Richard Brooke was a paid actor employed by Sherlock to play the role of Moriarty so that he could cover his own crimes. Sherlock knew that Mycroft gave away his life story because that was part of their plan. By releasing Moriarty from prison, they could be able to destroy his network because of his activity. Moriarty revealed to Sherlock that there was never a computer code and that everything he achieved that required the ‘’code’’ was successfully accomplished because he paid willing participants. He threatened Sherlock that if he does not kill himself, his snipers would kill his loved ones. The snipers needed to see him dying so that they call off the assassinations. Sherlock realized that he did not have to die to save his friends because Moriarty was the head to give the order, he could kill them anyway if he wanted even after his death. Moriarty told him that as long as he is alive himself, his friends are safe and then he shot himself in the head. Sherlock, Mycroft and Molly had planned his fake death so that there is proof of the body. We never truly understood exactly how the plot continued from that point. According to my point of view, the reason that Sherlock faked his own death was because he needed to go undercover to destroy every part of Moriarty’s global network which was a threat to the world even after his death. Sherlock and Mycroft seemed to have known Moriarty’s plan from the beginning but they did not expect his suicide. They knew about the snipers and that they had to take action to save the victims. Sherlock jumped off the building only to convince John that he was dead just because he had to go undercover for that mission. John’s sniper was going to kill him anyway even after Sherlock’s death but since Mycroft knew about it, he sent one of his agents to threaten him and stop him from shooting. We never learned what happened to the snipers of Mrs Hudson and Lestrade’s. Who stopped them?
In Season 3, Sherlock and Watson were more connected than ever. John’s reaction after Sherlock’s death and the way he responded when Sherlock ‘’came back from the dead’’ 2 years later, are from the very memorable moments. One of the most emotional moments was during John and Mary’s wedding when Sherlock gave the best man’s speech. He took a vow that he will always be there for them. It was really remarkable to see their friendship evolving, a true friendship with a priceless value. In this Season we also saw the true identity of Mary Watson, a retired agent-assassin paid by the government. She was after Magnussen, a criminal of blackmail because he had information that could send her to prison. He was also responsible for John’s kidnapping when he was put on a bonfire to be burnt but he was luckily saved by Sherlock and Mary. Mary broke into Magnussen’s office, gun pointed at him. She never intended to kill him that night, she just wanted to know the information he possessed about her and if he had passed it further to his network. She wanted to make sure that John and herself were not in danger. Well, we do not know what she discussed with Magnussen that night because Sherlock interrupted the scene. With his presence, Sherlock became the witness of the scene and Mary decided to shoot him in the least damaging place to give him the best chance of survival. She never wanted to kill him because she knew what he meant to John. The only reason she shot him was to gain some time until she could persuade him to keep her secret safe about who she was. While Sherlock was unconscious, he entered his mind palace where he saw himself locked in a room with Moriarty. The aim of Moriarty’s speech was to weaken him and finally kill him. The moment that Moriarty told Sherlock that John is in danger because of Mary, his urge to protect his friend was the reason he survived and defeated death. The truth about Mary was soon revealed though. She opened up about her haunted past and that she had a flash drive (A.G.R. A = each letter represented the initial of each member on her team: Alex, Gabriel, Rosamund-Mary, Ajay) that contained everything she did with her team. Sherlock was certain that she was still threatened by Magnussen. He decided to steal Mycroft’s laptop so that he could offer it to Magnussen in exchange for Mary’s information. Magnussen admitted that there were no printed documents to accuse Mary as all the information he used for blackmailing was in his mind. Sherlock decided to shoot him. Mycroft’s people arrested him for committing a murder but the incident remained a top secret. The government committee agreed to send Sherlock on a dangerous mission in Eastern Europe instead of imprisoning him. Sherlock never went to that mission though, because as soon as his plane took off, every British screen was hacked with Moriarty’s face. Sherlock was the only one that could solve that case so Mycroft brought him back.
Season 4 was so unique and undoubtedly my favourite. At the beginning of the Season, we travelled 6 years in the past to see a mission in Georgia that A.G.R.A was sent on in order to rescue hostages from the British Embassy. Mary thought she was the only one who survived that day but she was wrong as we later on saw Ajay alive. After the mission, Ajay was captured and tortured. He was told that there was an English woman who betrayed A.G.R.A and because of her everybody died that day. Since Mary was the only survivor, Ajay assumed that she was that English woman and wanted to kill her to take his revenge. Sherlock discovered that the traitor was Vivian Nordbury, a secretary in the government’s committee. She betrayed A.G.R.A because she wanted to kill the British Ambassador so everyone in the Embassy had to die the day of the mission. The reason she wanted to kill him was because she was caught up selling government’s secrets for her own benefit. She had to kill him to save herself from prison. When Sherlock was accused for betraying A.G.R.A, she pointed a gun at him and Mary took his bullet. She chose to protect Sherlock rather than herself. Sherlock then found a DVD in his flat that Mary had recorded before her death. All she asked from Sherlock was to save John Watson, “the only way to save John is to make him save you”. Mary told Sherlock ‘’go and pick a fight with a bad guy, put yourself in harm’s way and if John feels you need him, he will be there’’. After Mary’s death, John went on therapy again but this time with a new therapist who appeared to be Eurus. John isolated himself from Sherlock because he blamed him for his wife’s death. Sherlock wanted to be loyal to Mary so he considered his duty to follow her last orders. He threw himself on drugs whilst having a new case in his hands that involved Culverton Smith. He was a prominent entrepreneur, a philanthropist and… a serial killer. His daughter Faith went to Baker Street and gave Sherlock a case. Her father wanted to kill someone but she could not remember who. The truth is that the person who pretended to be Smith’s daughter was in fact Sherlock’s sister in disguise. Sherlock went publically on Culverton Smith accusing him for being a serial killer as he was convinced that was the truth. Sherlock, desperately begged for John’s help to solve the case because in his condition, he could have never solved it alone. John and Sherlock met Smith at his hospital where Sherlock accused him in person. Smith tried to deny the accusation of being a serial killer by pointing out that Sherlock’s drug addiction is the reason he made that story up. When Sherlock tried to attack Smith, John got in the way and beat him hard in order to stop him. Sherlock had been under treatment in Smith’s hospital. In this way, according to Mary, he did put himself in harm’s way and was expecting Smith to end his life so that John could save him. John found Mary’s DVD in Baker Street and after watching it he realized that Sherlock was in danger and rushed to the hospital. Luckily, John broke into Sherlock’s room on time while Smith was trying to suffocate him. John attacked Smith and had him arrested. Sherlock recorded Smith’s confession about being a serial killer on a hidden recording device and was taken to the police to prove his guilt. John finally opened up to Sherlock and told him that he stopped blaming him for Mary’s death. It was only her choice to die and save his life. At the end of episode 2, John’s therapist revealed her real name and the fact that she is the sister of the Holmes brothers. John recalled a phrase that Mycroft once said, ‘’an east wind is coming’’. He realized that the phrase was a hint for Eurus’ existence. Mycroft was the only one who knew about her.
Mycroft met Sherlock and John in Baker Street when he finally confessed the existence of their sister. Sherlock could not remember anything about her. Mycroft told Sherlock that ‘’Memories can re-surface, wounds can re-open. The roads we walk have demons beneath them and yours have been waiting for a very long time’’. The time to discover the truth had finally come. Sherlock, John and Mycroft visited Sherrinford, but Eurus managed to imprison them in her room to play her final game. Through the puzzles she gave them to solve, we can see the true colours of each character. The determination of their personalities can be easily unlocked by the actions they had to take and the decisions they were required to make. Sherlock proved that his relationship with John was more meaningful and precious than the relationship with his brother. Beyond that, Sherlock renounced his beliefs and overcame himself when he had to save his old friend Molly Hooper. The high functioning sociopath appeared to be more human than ever. It was startling to see him rediscovering his emotional world which had been hidden for a very long time. The three characters experienced science from the perspective of lab rats against any human emotion… but they had to be soldiers. They had to survive to find the truth, the truth about Redbeard. According to Mycroft’s story, Redbeard was the family’s dog and Sherlock’s best friend. One day, the dog disappeared and nobody ever found it. Eurus started calling him drowned Redbeard so it was assumed that the dog died. She was the only one that knew what happened to the dog but never told the truth. In fact, she was responsible for Readbeard’s death. After that incident, she set the family house on fire and that was when she was sent to Sherrinford. She left home at a very young age and Sherlock never saw her again from that time. Sherlock was traumatized after the loss of his dog. As a child he was very emotional but after Redbeard’s death he changed. He was young enough to bury the sad memory of losing his dog as well as the fact that he had a sister. Oscar Wild once said ‘’The truth is rarely pure and never simple’’. The dark truth in this story was that the family… never had a dog. Redbeard was a nickname that Sherlock gave to his best friend Victor Trevor when playing pirates. They were inseparable and that gave rise to Eurus’ jealousy. After Victor’s death, Sherlock had re-written his memories and told himself a better story. The same day before Redbeard’s death, Eurus had approached Sherlock and asked him to play with her but he refused as he wanted to play with his best friend. That is when she decided to kill Victor Trevor. Eurus never had a best friend, she was always alone. Her obsession with Sherlock was uncontrollable and started growing into violence. She wanted to take revenge for being ignored by her brother. She wanted to see him suffer for the rest of his life so that he could understand the meaning of pain. In the end, we concluded that all she needed was Sherlock’s love which was absent from her life for so long. Without his love, she is lost. Sherlock and Eurus reunited and he continued visiting her in Sherrinford. Mycroft revealed to their parents that Eurus never died and why he kept it as a secret. This time, he ensured that Sherrinford is properly secured to prevent any attempts of Eurus escaping again.
Each villain who appeared in the series had a fascinating passion about Sherlock. Eurus was extremely interested to find this type of criminal because they had the essential requirements to play the games she had prepared for Sherlock.
Jim Moriarty: The psychotic criminal, but for many people also entertaining, had the highest interest in Sherlock Holmes. That is why he was the ideal head follower of Eurus’ plans for Sherlock’s distraction. There were several times that Sherlock had to protect himself and his friends from Moriarty. Even after his death, his memory still haunted Sherlock’s steps.
Irene Adler: ‘’The woman’’ was the only female villain within the whole series who was picked by Eurus. She chose her to see if Sherlock could develop feelings for a woman and wanted him to experience the struggles of love.
Charles Augustus Magnussen: The Napoleon of blackmail was used by Eurus in order to test Sherlock’s emotions towards John, Mary and Mycroft. When Sherlock saved John from the bonfire, stole Mycroft’s laptop for Mary’s information and when he shot Magnussen proved the importance of John and Mary’s friendship in his life. The fact that he stole Mycroft’s laptop proved that Mary’s safety was a bigger priority for him than his brother. The reason that Sherlock shot Magnussen was because he had to repay Mary for not killing him that night and trusted him with her secret instead. He felt that by killing Magnussen he could secure a bright future for their family.
Culverton Smith: The business man with a hobby to kill was the perfect character to drive Sherlock insane during his drug problem. Smith was more than pleased to play the game of Eurus as he was a big fan of Sherlock already. By agreeing to play the game, he risked his reputation and consequently got arrested for the murders he committed. Culverton’s case healed the broken friendship of Sherlock and John – they saved one another.
Now, time for deductions…
‘’Oh god, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring’’
Well Sherlock, the truth is that I did a lot of thinking to come up with the following.
I have concluded to some possible theories that many of you may find disturbing. If you are not reckless enough to read the following paragraphs, then do not… a dark journey is about to begin that could change everything you ever knew about Sherlock.
Since Eurus had the ability to manipulate anyone she wanted through conversation, how do we know that she never manipulated Mycroft? Mycroft was a regular visitor in Sherrinfrod and had loads of conversations with Eurus mostly for British Government’s purposes. What if one of those conversations included the enslavement of his brain? Mycroft knew that the only reason Eurus wanted to meet Moriarty was because of his intense interest in Sherlock. He knew that this meeting had various dangers that could result to unfortunate events but nevertheless, he took the risk. So if Mycroft was indeed manipulated by Eurus, does that mean that he knew about Eurus’ plan from the beginning and pretended to be completely ignorant about it? Was Mycroft the person who guided Sherlock to hell?
Another question that remains with a question mark is if Moriarty’s death was intentional. If Mycroft knew Eurus’ plan, why did he help Sherlock fake his own death so that he could destroy Moriarty’s network? Additionally, Sherlock’s suicide was never meant to happen, it was just another puzzle he had to solve on how to escape death. Just like the rest of the puzzles that involved his death, for example when she sent a bomb to his flat or when she told Smith to kill him. She could never kill Sherlock. It seemed that the last part of Eurus’ plan always involved Sherlock, Mycroft and John. Her aim was to get them all together in Sherrinford and give them ‘’the final problem’’ in person. Does that also mean that Mycroft knew that everything will come to end in Sherrinford and that is why he brought Sherlock and John with him? Was that another order by Eurus?
What if Eurus manipulated Sherlock and forced him to create a second personality named Jim Moriarty, the evil side of himself? Was Sherlock torturing himself through Moriarty all this time? As a result, that means that Eurus’ Christmas gift was 5 minutes unsupervised conversation with Sherlock himself. That’s all the time she needed to create a monster and take her revenge by making him commit all those crimes. When Moriarty died, that could have meant that Sherlock decided to kill that second personality with his own will. He always had an unstable mental condition not only because of his original personality but also because of the drug abuse. Additionally, the criminality runs in the family so it is quite possible having 2 out of 3 kids being criminals. Could Mycroft ever accept the conspiracy between his brother and sister to proceed their crimes in exchange for important information to the British Government? If Sherlock was Moriarty all this time, why would Mycroft not help him? Why would he let him kill other people and suffer alone?
What if Victor Trevor never died and created the fake identity of Moriarty? When Moriarty first visited Eurus in Sherrinford, he introduced himself as her Christmas gift and asked what was he going to receive in return. Eurus then responded with the word “Redbeard”. This does not mean necessarily that his gift from Eurus was the story of Redbeard. In fact, it could easily mean that she just called him with his nickname which makes him Redbeard after all. The question now is why would Sherlock’s best friend agreed to do such harm in his life? Since Eurus never had any friends, turning Redbeard against Sherlock and making him her own friend was the most powerful way to take her revenge.
Within the series as well as in ‘’the abominable bride’’, we have seen some events that never actually happened but were just illusions inside Sherlock’s mind palace. What if Sherlock never had a sister? What if Moriarty never existed? Was everything we have seen so far a series of events that took place inside his mind palace?
The questions that most of fans have been asking after the last Season is ‘’will we be seeing more of Sherlock in the future?’’, ‘’Are there any plans for Season 5’’? Well, let’s just hope that there will be a Season 5. Both writers are more than excited to continue the series as long as the same cast is on board and they have a good script to offer. There are still so many untold tales from Sherlock Holmes’ books that can be the new highlights for the new Season. Although in my opinion, I would much prefer if Season 5 took a steep turn in terms of understanding Sherlock’s world. I would like to see a Season that would alter everything we already know…because after all, what we have seen so far may not be the actual truth. If the writers decide to stick to the plot we already know, what should we expect? What if Eurus escapes again from Sherrinford? What if Moriarty is still alive? What if John’s daughter is in danger? What if Irene Adler returns? What if Culverton Smith is released from prison and has plans to go after Sherlock? These are some questions to keep you thinking. If Season 5 becomes official, then it is best to be prepared for anything that is about follow.
‘’When life gets too strange, too impossible, too frightening there is always one last hope.
When all else fails, there are two men sitting arguing in a scruffy flat. Like they’ve always been there and they always will’’.
The game is never over.