Sherlock: The Final Problem

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  • #55119
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    The Final Problem

    In the final episode of this series, and what could quite possibly be the final episode ever, long-buried secrets finally catch up with the Baker Street duo. Someone has been playing a very long game indeed and, alone and defenceless, Sherlock and Dr Watson face their greatest ever challenge. Is the game finally over?

    This is written by both Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and is directed by Benjamin Caron, who has directed a lot of stuff for Derren Brown. So you can expect mind games.

    #55126
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    Totally bonkers. So I loved it.

    #55128

    Arctastic.

    #55129
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Wow…while Sherlock (the character) was drug-free it was like Sherlock (the show) was on LSD.

    #55130

    It meticulously pulled almost every thread together, with just a hint of dangling Irene Adler – lest anyone want to pick that up – and a nice Basil Rathbone reference right at the end.

    And, of course, everyone stopped counting at three.

    The dickheads who spam BTL at the Graun really don’t deserve decent story telling.

    #55131
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @pedant
    OK, I thought I had a pretty good knowledge of the Basil Rathbone SH, but I give up. What did I miss?

    #55135
    ichabod @ichabod

    Liked it — but skipped away from time to time without remorse (prolonged torture stuff, physical or otherwise, pushes me out of a story unless it’s done with a *very* deft hand).  I liked the spirited response to complaints from the “fans” that Sherlock wasn’t just solving mysteries, earlier on — here was a full hand of them, one after the other, chop-chop or somebody dies.  I didn’t understand the connection between Moriarty and the East Wind, time-wise, and I’d have preferred the story without him.  Good surprises, though.

    *Loved* the ending — a bold-faced tribute to the creator of these characters, and to all the actors who’ve played them. And Mary as the real Mary, the warm and wise one that John Watson would marry, not that jangling plot-puppet they turned her into, IMO, earlier on in this series.

    Anyone spot what movie Mycroft was watching, in the beginning?  A forties romantic comedy?

    @pedant  What?!  Okay, did I miss another sibling, somehow?

    #55140
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Really liked it. And this episode works equally well as the final ever episode, or a kind of re-boot, that I, either it won’t come back, because of the main actor’s film careers, or if it does, the arc’s been resolved. Moriarty is most likely permanently gone (feel a bit sad about that). Now I love a good arc, but they can lose integrity if they go on too long.
    I love the fact that everything people bitched about in the last few episodes- they just went all in on them. Yes, we’re sticking to the threat of Moriarty returning. Yes, still more about their relationships. Yes, action scenes and bonkers assassin side plot.
    I did feel that Greg and Molly were underused in this season, but Mrs Hudson was fantastic in last weeks episode.

    #55141

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    The very closing scene of them running out of a building. Look around….

    @ichabod

    So, basically, you missed the big reveal. But that’s what happens if you don’t pay attention.

    I man, seriously, I know there was even a literal shaggy dog to misdirect but it was explicitly shown exactly why Euros was sent away.

     

    #55142
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @pedant, Which Rathbone and Bruce film was it?

    I need to watch it a second time, but, I remember Sherlock saying “You killed my best friend”, not something else, so I really did stop counting at three.

    @ichabod, I am with you on Moriarty. His inclusion (particularly the “tick tock, tick tock” clips) seemed almost gratuitous to me.

    But as I say, I need to see it again.

    #55143

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Not a film – the building they were rushing out of at the end was Rathbone Place.

    #55144
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @pedant Ah…very nice!

    #55151
    winston @winston

    I really liked it even though there were parts I watched clutching my blankie. I will have to watch again to try and catch the things I am reading about here. A good ending episode for this series and maybe the last one although I hope not.

    #55155
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just back from a second viewing and, to me, it improves with a repeat viewing. What seemed on first viewing to be a story told on LSD, seems, on second viewing, to be more of a rather affecting and poignant story about family.

    Talking of family, @pedant I really think @ichabod is correct. There is no fourth sibling. His best friend, Trevor, was just that, his best friend, not another brother. Trevor–not really a Holmes name, after all.

    What happened to Molly was rather sad, but, well, what can I say except that, narratively speaking, that was her function in the story.

    #55159
    AlexWho @alexwho

    Amazing Episode!

    More than any other episode in the whole series it showed how much Sherlock and Mycroft care about each other. In their own way of course.

    As with the Doctor and his companions, having great intelligence and great power is lonely and empty if you don’t have love and respect from other people.

    #55160
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @alexwho That is a really brilliant insight…to both shows.

    #55163
    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave  That is a really brilliant insight…to both shows.

    Agreed.  The Doctor alone drives himself crazy.  Sherlock, alone, shoots holes in Mrs. Hudson’s walls (for shame, sir!  You are a *renter* here).

    Thinking about it, what I like best is the ending — the reference to Rathbone! and the cheerful cocking of a lot of snooks, IMO.  Look, they’re saying — Gatiss and Moffat and all — look what we just did!  We took some ideas and ran with them in whatever zany directions they branched off into, and now — the icons are still there.  Somebody else can pick them up and do what *they* please with them, and none of it will injure or mutilate this partnership in any way, because they’re invulnerable.  They stand for what they always stood for — the perfect balance of cold brilliance with warm steadfastness.  Nothing that anybody does or writes about them will change that in any permanent way, because ACD created them as close to perfect as anything gets in this world.

    Gatiss and Moffat could have wound up by marrying Watson to Mrs. Hudson and Holmes to the ghost of Redbeard the Dog, and it would have made no difference.  Holmes and Watson do not fall; they stand, for all to take and play with and transform.

    What a message — gotta love it, whether you’re all board with it or not.

    #55166

    @ichabod @blenkinsopthebrave

     They stand for what they always stood for — the perfect balance of cold brilliance with warm steadfastness.

    I noted after A Study In Pink how faithful Moffat and Gatiss were faithfully to the source material with once allowing themselves to be constrained by it (I can’t recall if here or elsewhere).

    Holmes and Watson are both profoundly damaged – Holmes by, it turns out, a childhood of sibling rivalry as blood sport, Watson by war (both Moffat and ACD’s Watson were wounded Afghan vets). It takes a special kind of craft to pull that faithfulness off and still be new. As you say on the ‘Hell Bent’ thread, Ichabod, fans can be extremely stupid about this (two things that cause me to totally dismiss a comment are the use of “lazy” or “soap opera” as critique, since both show the woeful limits of the commenters understanding).

    #55167
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Wish I could claim to remember ACD’s stories as clearly as you do, so that I could watch for that faithfulness — I really must go back and read them again, on a “Sherlock” re-watch.  Particularly since I dreamed this a.m. of clearing out a room of mine (with a couple of — Russians?) and quickly stopping one of them from taking a volume labeled “Collected Sherlock Holmes Stories” off the shelf to be sent to Goodwill Charities.

    “Lazy” and “soap opera” as used by fans in this way signal to me that the person using these “criticisms” are just sheep trotting obediently after the leaders of the “look at how I am so much more intelligent than these writers that I can see right through their little tricks” cliques.  I don’t think there’s any understanding at all involved, except of the idea of somehow looking clever themselves by parroting such dismissive nonsense without troubling themselves to come up with a single notion (critical or otherwise) of their own.

    Now life intervenes.  I must go sort laundry.

    #55169
    Mudlark @mudlark

    My state of mind while watching this for the first time was somewhat ambivalent. On the one hand it is a brilliant piece of dramatic story telling which held my undivided attention throughout *,  but it also stretched my credulity almost to breaking point, and I found myself struggling to rationalise parts of it and fill in the gaps – undoubtedly a mistake on my part

    For a start, Sherlock’s normally hyper-acute powers of observation seemed to have deserted him, for how else could he have failed to notice that the glass was missing in the barrier in Euros’s cell – there should have been reflections, given the kind of lighting, which is the kind of detail he would normally notice – or (as even I did, and was muttering at the TV screen) that there was something very odd about a little girl remaining the sole person conscious or even alive in a plane which had apparently undergone some kind of decompression accident, but no doubt he was distracted by the (re)discovery that he had a sister, or his mind was still a bit fogged in the aftermath of his drug binge.

    We must also suppose that Euros had managed to ‘convert’ and manipulate quite a large number of people in order to arrange and manage the logistics of her experiment; and presumably only she, even as a very young girl, knew of the existence of the well at Musgrave, because otherwise it would have been one of the obvious places to look if a child was missing; but the bones remained there for Watson to find – and for the record, the skull appeared to be that of a fully grown adult, not a child, but that’s a very minor quibble (I can’t help it; I’m an archaeologist with a fairly extensive experience of human skeletal anatomy 😈 )

    If Watson was chained by the ankles in the well, how did he get free?  was there a key at the end of the rope?

    All that, though, is really beside the point.  At the heart of the episode, with Euros as the catalyst, were the dynamics of the relationship between Mycroft, Sherlock and John Watson, and an insight into how Sherlock came to be as he is –  an emotional child, as Mycroft described him, capable of close friendship, but – as @pedant says – damaged and emotionally inhibited by trauma at an early age and perhaps not fundamentally a sociopath at all, despite what he claims.  After the ordeal he can come to terms with the memories he suppressed, and he and the sister who wanted to play with him and whom he ignored can at last communicate and play together – in violin duets

    If there are to be any more episodes in this series, the ending certainly gives plenty of new scope for  development and exploration of the character and personalities of Holmes and Watson – and so ACD’s legacy continues.

    @ichabod

    I don’t think there’s any understanding at all involved, except of the idea of somehow looking clever themselves by parroting such dismissive nonsense without troubling themselves to come up with a single notion (critical or otherwise) of their own

    Agreed.  As I’ve said before, I try to be tolerant, and would like to think well of the human race in general, but it can be difficult when I read the kind of comments you are referring to.

     

    *which at this time of year is remarkable. There must be some dormouse in my genetic makeup because, during January/February I have a tendency to doze off at any time while reading or watching TV.

    #55180
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hello everyone, belated Happy New Year!

    I’ve been watching Sherlock S4 unfold aghast and could only square it in my mind by assuming we must still be in Sherlock’s drugged psyche for the entirety, because otherwise the season just doesn’t make any sense – narratively, cinematographically, logistically, emotionally.

    Because of the little girl on the plane motif in The Final Problem, I figured that Sherlock was still overdosing on the same plane where we left him at the end of His Last Vow, i.e. that his awakening into the “real world” at the end of The Abominable Bride was just another false awakening (much like the one in that episode when he apparently goes to dig up the modern day grave of Emilia Ricoletti). This makes S4 unbearably tragic, but at least wraps up the bizarre discontinuities of the season into some semblance of coherence.

    The Abominable Bride made use of (a Freudian flavoured) dream-narrative extensively (pointed out to us by Victorian Sherlock himself, who mentions the “Viennese alienist”) and S4 continues to do so. Sherlock’s face half-superimposed with the face of one of the Thatcher busts, in The Six Thatchers as a classic image of repression (think Thatcher, clause 28 and a reading of Sherlock as closeted), for example.

    If we understand Eurus as a part of Sherlock’s psyche, his merging with her through non-existent glass and ther final symphony of violins (in which his intellect and his heart become reconciled) makes sense to me. Sherrinford, the prison-island, has the same name as one Conan Doyle toyed with for his detective before he settled on Sherlock, after all. Plus, Watson refers to Sherlock himself as “the East Wind” (“there’s an east wind coming”) as the plane prepares to land agan at the end of His Last Vow.

    Reading The Final Problem as taking place in the hitherto established “real world” of BBC Sherlock makes absolutely no sense. As @mudlark says there are too many ridiculous and improbable fictions. Eurus has been able to enslave people with her mind since she was five? Then why did she stay locked up on Sherrinford for so long, if she can escape any time she likes?!?!? Why did she escape specifically so she could text-flirt with John Watson and hang out with Sherlock, leaving clues for him that she was suicidal? If we see her as a repressed part of Sherlock’s psyche – text-flirting with John Watson and feeling suicidal at their parting (on the tarmac in His Last Vow) makes some kind of sense.

    Anyway, I’ve since seen a rather brilliant alternative theory elsewhere on the interwebs, which I can’t take credit for, that The Final Problem actually takes place inside John Watson’s mind and that he was in fact properly shot with a gun (not a stupid tranquiliser dart) at the end of The Lying Detective.  Just as The Abominable Bride was a look inside Sherlock’s psyche (and note that a key thing which happened in his psyche was that in a competition for John Watson’s time and attention with Mary Watson, Sherlock “won” in his drugged mind-palace – Mary has to come disguised as a client to Baker Street just to catch a glimpse of her hubby) and The Final Problem is a look inside John’s.

    I love this theory, because we can still understand Eurus as a part of Sherlock’s psyche, but her super-power deduction abilities now come from John’s perspective on Sherlock’s own deduction powers – phew – we’re not in an X-Men movie after all – except in John Watson’s mind! The mash-up of horror and action movie tropes in The Final Problem are not simply Moffat and Gatiss jumping the shark big-time, but John Watson’s brain telling himself a story, as he lies seriously injured somewhere!

    So, I’m now fully on board the conspiracy theory train that His Last Vow is not the end of S4 and there is another “lost special” episode coming up which will make sense of it all.

    This is Moffat and Gatiss’ modern version (as I’ve posted on The Graun) of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original The Final Problem, when he killed off Sherlock, only to eventually bring him back because of fan outrage and mourning. So, in other words they’ve fake-tanked their show (killing “Sherlock”) and are now watching the chaos unfold with glee – the bad reviews, the social media chaos etc. waiting to spring their reveal.

    Frankly, I sincerely hope this is the case, because otherwise, for me, they really have tanked their own show.

     

     

    #55185
    winston @winston

    @juniperfish Thanks for the great theories , they gave me lots to mull over. Now I just need a rewatch.

    #55189
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @winston – you’re welcome!

    I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot, as I just can’t reconcile the S4 narrative with the rest of the show without factoring in a dream-state interiority perspective (like the one we were given in The Abominable Bride).

    Somene was, rightly, complaining about the number of Chekhov’s guns which were planted in S4 elsewhere on the interwebs, and then never went off – for instance the TD-12 memory-altering drug together with the explicit warning that “some memories may be corrupted” (looked like a fourth wall break there to me from Culverton in The Lying Detective) plus the explicit warning at the start of The Six Thatchers that the footage of events could be doctored.

    All is not as it seems in S4 – it can’t be!

    it’s either that or Moff and Gatiss have taken a boat-load of drugs a la Sherlock.

    Then, I realised that a literal gun is the biggest Chekhov’s gun of all… (those buggers!)

    John is properly shot at the end of The Lying Detective (that sure doesn’t look like a tranquiliser dart). And there are so many guns in the series – the gun in Eurus’ handbag, the shot Sherlock hallucinates (flashes forwards or backwards?”) as he talks to her in her disguise as “Faith” in the dawn light overlooking the river, the gun the “guilty” Garrideb used as a murder weapon, the stress-scenarios Eurus devises, which involve making a choice about shooting someone…

    Chekhov’s bloody gun is a literal gun in Series 4 – we just don’t know the full story yet.

    John’s blog (the official BBC para-text one http://www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk has not updated all season (despite the fact we see John apparently updating it). That is not normal – it has kept pace with S1-3.

    So I think time and space and memory have all been corrupted this season. Perhaps John has been mortally shot throughout the entirety?

    Someone elsewhere also pointed out the very ominous red cow-skin rug in Eurus-as-therapist’s office – looks very like a pool of blood, doesn’t it?

     

    #55191
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @juniperfish

    After reading your first post I started to wonder if you were right; ie, that there is another episode out there(!) that provides an alternative reading of S4. Now after reading your second post, I am more inclined to believe that something like that might actually be going on.

    It’s clear that the whole tone of S4 felt different to S1-S3. It was more hyper. Everything about the show was more hyper. In S1-S3 Sherlock was the hyper ingredient in a world that was basically recognizable. But I confess, looking back on all three episodes, but especially The Final Problem, the world and every character in it seemed seemed less recognizable. As I commented above, my initial response to The Final Problem was that while Sherlock the character was drug-free, it was like Sherlock the show was on LSD.

    I know there has been a lot of comment out there on the fact that Lady Smallwood seems to have two first names–Elizabeth and Alicia (and has done since the Magnusson episode). That may be just Gatiss and Moffat throwing out a red herring for the fun of seeing how it would be received. But Lady Smallwood inviting Mycroft around for a drink was different. It did not seem like the Lady Smallwood we knew and it did not seem like the Mycroft we knew. And to take your point about Chekhov’s gun, why introduce that, unless it has an importance that would be revealed later on. But it wasn’t.

    Even Mycroft himself did not seem like the same Mycroft–watching old movies full of double entendres and giggling? Being totally rattled by Sherlock’s creepy trick with the clown and fake little girl? Indeed that whole sequence seemed really rather odd–Sherlock had not only managed to disable the security system of the man who ran British security, but he had also manged to doctor the footage of Mycroft’s old movie. That was one of the things I was thinking of when I said that the show itself seemed like it was on LSD.

    You may well be right, @juniperfish, it may have been written in such a way that allows them to come back with an alternative reading of S4 that confounds everything we thought we understood about it. One thing that The Final Problem was seemingly about was recovering long buried memories. But was it? Could it have been about “recovering” fake memories? If so, to what end?

    At this point, my brain is starting to hurt. I think I need a cup of tea.

    #55193
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Bless you @blenkinsopthebrave for hopping on the crazy train with me.

    I had a look at the Basil Rathbone movies (because of the Rathbone nod which @pedant mentioned above) and you know what?

    The Spider Woman combines the Arthur Conan Doyle stories “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” (we’ve had “The Lying Detective” in this version) with “The Final Problem” (which we’ve had) and “The Sign of Four”.

    Four – not three…

    I just can feel something afoot. Mark Gatiss has not tweeted anything about The Final Problem and nor has Hartswood films. The last episode they tweeted about was The Lying Detective. Sue Vertue has denied there is a fourth episode BUT…

    They could do a special, which would come out on its own DVD, just the way they did for The Abominable Bride, which technically would not be a fourth ep of S4 but which would hopefully make sense of it all.

    By the pricking of my thumbs – something Sherlocky is still to come…

    I do hope so.

     

    #55200
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @juniperfish

    Who knows, maybe the line “everyone stops counting at three” was actually referring to the episodes!

    But as much as I like the sheer audacity of the idea, I’m not really sure. And the reason is the scene with the Holmes parents, watching Eurus and Sherlock playing the violin as the mother smiles and holds Mycroft’s hand. That does have all the signs of a resolution to the story, and to undo that scene might be too cruel.

    And yet, a fourth episode is a truly great bonkers theory…!

    #55202
    ichabod @ichabod

    @blenkinsopthebrave   Tea’s good, too, isn’t it?  (I’m on wine, myself, at the rather late moment).  I do hope you and @juniperfish and there IS a fourth installment.  That would be so god damn cool — and sly, and really, really, clever.

    And bonkers!  Yes, and hurrah!

    #55223
    Anonymous @

    It’s been ages since I last posted on here. I couldn’t even remember my password! I can’t believe it’s taken my this long to actually write anything about this series of Sherlock when I haven’t gone a day without thinking about it since it the last episode aired. I have been reading theories on tumblr constantly, and if anyone wants to discuss the most recent ones, I’m here to discuss. I don’t have actually have my own tumblr account, but I hope nobody minds me writing some of my most recent thoughts about the last episode.

    I’ll start off with a question I haven’t seen asked anywhere.  Is John back living in Baker Street with Sherlock and Rosie at the end of the episode or is he still living at his old place? I assume he’s moved back in with Sherlock, but there are only two bedrooms at 221b.

    Also, I’m very hopeful about a “lost special” this Sunday (Jan. 29th).

    #55225
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    It looks like we’ve been looking in all of the same places. One of my favorite theories so far is that the final episode is actually in John’s head after he has been shot and that Sherlock is trying to save him. With so many callbacks to ASIP like Lestrade’s “good man” line, it could be John going back and remembering when he first met Sherlock. Also, if you look back to The Six Thatchers, many shots of John on the plane mirror the girl on the plane in The Final Problem.

    #55226
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hello @TheConsultingDoctor I am still thinking about this season too.

    Is John living with Sherlock again?

    The narrative leaves that deliberately ambiguous (one of the many reasons that, as it stands, The Final Problem is insufficient). We see John pick up a big bunch of unopened post back at his flat, which includes Mary’s “Miss You” DVDs (I mean – just how many DVDs do you record in advance of your death for your husband and his best friend?). That pile of post is suggestive – perhaps John has not been there in a while. If so, has he been staying with Sherlock?

    However, if we believe, as I do, that The Final Problem in fact takes place internally rather than in the external world – most probably in John’s mind as he lies seriously wounded after being shot in the head, then this is John’s imagining of where he and Sherlock might end up. In other words we can use it to psychoanalyse John, just as we were able to use The Abominable Bride to psychoanalyse Sherlock.

    Which would tell us that the centre of John’s hoped-for world is him, Rosie and Sherlock together at Baker Street, but he’s a bit shaky on whether or not he’d be fully moved in there. If we’re reading the subtext, Mary’s “I know what you two could become” line, if we understand it as taking place in John’s psyche, would suggest that John is hopefuly about something more intimate with Sherlock, but it’s still unspoken, longed for but not fully articulated.

    I too am hopeful for a “Lost Special” (really hoping this isn’t a trick but a plan). My thoughts on some of what might be in said special, based the available narrative:

    1) John is at death’s door having been shot in the head (possibly by Mary rather than Eurus)

    2) This near-death brings a confession of feeling from Sherlock (as per in the ACD story The Three Garridebs)

    2) Eurus may well be a fiction (representing a part of Sherlock’s psyche rather than a real Holmes sibling)

    4) Either Moriarty really isn’t dead or he has an evil twin – either way he’s back in some capacity, because his final problem was always to burn the heart out of Sherlock (see John being at death’s door – aka John is Sherlock’s heart)

    5) Mary is revealed as a villain (working with Moriarty or his evil twin). Perhaps she’s Moriarty’s sister or non-identical twin herself

    6) Molly may have been kidnapped or put under duress by Mary/ Moriarty (the note ostensibly from John which she passes to Sherlock and tells him he doesn’t have to read now)

    7) Mycroft has screwed up royally in one way or another (perhaps failing to recognise the danger posed by Mary)

    8) This is sad, but baby Rosie may already be dead (Sherlock says “I’m sorry about your daughter” to Charlie’s parents in The Six Thatchers and then he forgets about Rosie in The Lying Detective). John, mortally injured, cannot face that reality, so his injured brain imagines she’s still alive

    Please add to the list!

     

    #55227
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor – oh – our posts crossed.

    Yes, I think the John-has-been=shot theory is definitely go!

     

     

    #55228
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    Haha Yep, John’s MP/TAB theory is go.

    I’ll get back to you on more thoughts about all of this in a bit.

    #55229
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    I am mostly looking forward to the third Garrideb scene. If there is a fourth episode, this is how It will begin.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Mary will be coming back as a villain. (What a wasted opportunity!) I do think that Eurus is really Sherlock’s crazy sister, but maybe not the way John imagines her to be in TFP. I think he creates a scarier version of her based on horror movies he has seen in the past, and after the conversation he has with Mary in TST, we know he is familiar with horror movies.

    I was also thinking about the patience grenade scene and how ridiculous and random it is. The only reason this scene would make sense is if John is having some kind of dream/nightmare. Dreams are crazy, and they don’t have to make sense.

    It is heartbreaking thinking about later scenes like the “I love you” scene where the coffin deduction perfectly describes John or when Mycroft is telling Sherlock why he should shoot John, and John actually believes that Mycroft is right. He believes that he isn’t as important.

    (Sorry, I’m kind of just writing everything I’m thinking about from the episode.)

    My brother questioned the MP theory because of the Garrideb deduction scene. He didn’t think John would be able to come up with it on his own, but in that scene, John is the one to help Sherlock solve the case when Mycroft won’t even try. Also, this scene is important on its own because of the Chekhov’s rifle and the foreshadowing of a real Garridebs scene.

    (When this episode first aired a lot of people thought there was nothing to analyze, but now, there’s too much for me to remember everything. I’ll be adding to all of this later as I think of things.)

    For now, I’ll end with another question: do you know anything about the “John’s alibi” paper? I think it was from a behind the scenes video, but it never came up in the show.

    There are so many unanswered questions. What was in the note Molly gave to Sherlock from John? What was the scene Martin Freeman wanted to do alone? Why are there multiple versions of scenes?

    #55230
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @theconsultingdoctor

    Yes, once you read The Final Problem as happening in John’s head it makes so much more sense.  I think the entirety of S4 may be in John’s head, at least in part (the biggest clue being that his blog does not update in the official para-text all season, as I mentioned above). There’s a “dual time-lines” theory out there somewhere to try and make sense of whether or not John is mortally wounded all season or not.

    Eurus’ powers of deduction seem like ridiculous Bond villain super-powers – but when we read them as John’s perspective on Sherlock’s deductive abilities, then they become an incredibly endearing portrait of the way John thinks about his friend.

    And yes, obviously, the coffin with “I love you” written on it, if John is in a coma and we’re in his head, again acquires added sense and emotional poignancy. He knows he’s close to death in some part of his mind, and “I love you” is the thing he didn’t get to say to Sherlock.

    The “patience” grenade is just ridiculous, as are the three hanging Garridebs, until we read them as coded meta-narrative for the audience – as in – have patience a “Lost Special” is on the way which will resolve this hot mess, and the Garridebs moment of Holmes professing deep affection for Watson (well known to those who know the canon and one Moffat and Gatiss have explicitly professed love for in interviews) is currently a cliff-hanger (the three men are literally hanging over a cliff!). So – S4 ended on a massive cliff-hanger after all… those crafty buggers!

    I don’t know that Mary is coming back as such – she may well be dead – but I think there is still possibility for our understanding of her to be revised. If “some memories may have been corrupted” – as Culverton Smith says – that again may be a meta-narrative comment, meaning that the audience’s perspective is currently skewed, perhaps because we lack the “emotional context” that Eurus keeps going on about.

    If we read Eurus as a representation of some part of Sherlock’s psyche, then John was text-flirting with Sherlock Holmes himself.  This is a perfectly supportable reading of the show’s subtext. What I am not certain of is whether the show will chose to bring that subtext fully into text, or continue to cloak itself in ambiguity.

    With regard to John’s alibi – I have certainly seen “John’s alibi theory” posts floating about – the theory being that John shot Mary to protect Sherlock at the aquarium and then Mycroft and Sherlock devised an alibi for him, which involved making Norbury the villain of the piece and Mary into “Saint Mary”, and we are seeing “doctored” footage as a result. I do think that theory had a basis in a fleeting shot of a post-it note – but I’m not sure in which shot of which episode!

    It really is a connundrum of a season.

    In some ways, looking back on the show as a whole, I do think S4 jumps the shark somewhat, even if we get a “Lost Special”, because it has become unintelligible at a surface level. The Abominable Bride managed dream/ drugged mind-palace with (more or less) finesse, but S4 feels as if Moffat and Gatiss have thrown the kitchen sink at their text in a deliberate effort to fox and confound its decoding.

    In other words, they have become captivated by playing the “great game” with the detective part of their audience, and this is their grand move to out-smart them all.

    However, that has, in my view, meant that the surface level of the text, where the emotional resonances you are creating should ring out like a bell even for those members of the audience not reading the subtext or the “clue-text”, has lost its fine tuning.

    Clearly, if you subscribe to the “this is a modern Reichenbaching” theory, then the emotional resonances are deliberately messed with in The Final Problem to create outcry amongst the fan-base, making the full return of those emotional resonances in “The Lost Special”, presumably all the sweeter. In that, Moff and Gatiss definitely have succeeded. Ratings for the season on Amazon are divided (lots of one stars as well as five stars), the press critics are also divided, and a significant segment of the most devoted fans of the show are deeply upset.

    As quite a lot of that segment are young LGBT+ fans, who have been following the romantic subtext for years, and (at present, in the absence of “The Lost Special”) feel the show’s implicit promse was peed on from a great height (the hanging three Garridebs comes across as cruel in that context), I think that’s been a sgnificant miss-step on Moffat and Gatiss’ part.

    There are a number of Twitter accounts that I suspect may be para-text, as in under-cover associated with the BBC show officially – @contact_JM is one of them. They were all created in December and have been interacting with fans since. More clues that a “Lost Special” will indeed be forthcoming…?

    #55231
    Missy @missy

    My copy of Sherlock 4, is on its way – yippee! Watch this space.

    Missy

    #55234
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    I’ve just realized something. This is supposedly the first season/series to not end with a cliffhanger, but what if it did? And I don’t just mean the Garridebs scene. I remember thinking it was weird for episode 2 to end with a cliffhanger when it first aired because the middle episodes never do, but maybe that was the season’s cliffhanger.

    The title of the song played at the end of TLD is called “In the Tower” (this part of the theory I have just read on tumblr and can’t take credit for). This song title doesn’t really make sense. Nobody is in a tower, but going back to HLV, CAM calls John Sherlock’s “damsel in distress”. Assuming that John really did get shot, this title does make sense because it is hinting towards Sherlock having to save John. Sherlock has to save John after he has been shot (rescue him from the tower).

    Continuing the theory of TFP being in John’s head, we are still left with the cliffhanger of John getting shot. He still needs to wake up from his nightmare. We still got that season cliffhanger, just sooner than expected.

    The fourth episode will hopefully explain all of this and maybe even show flashbacks of what was really happening after John got shot like Sherlock telling medics that he and John are family and Sherlock telling John that he loves him.

    #55236
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    The DVD arrived today, so got to watch The Six Thatchers again. The result? Although the tone was…really was…different from S1-3, it worked on its own terms, I thought. It was clear that Gatiss was simply relishing the opportunity to reference both Arthur Conan Doyle and the Basil Rathbone movies, and that was part of the appeal of watching it.

    Was it all a dream? Of either Sherlock or John? Of Sherlock perhaps, but of John I think not. What I mean by that is that if it was a dream then the woman on the bus could only make sense if she was in Sherlock’s dream (given that we, or at least I, have seen the subsequent episodes).

    OK, I have totally confused myself, so perhaps time for bed.

    Tomorrow.. The Lying Detective!

    #55238
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor – heh “The Tower” – Sherlock still has a dragon to slay then, in order to rescue his “damsel in distress” John Watson…

    The @contactSH twitter account, which I swear is show-run undercover (it links to the official para-text Sherlock blog “The Science of Deduction”) has Sherlock tweeting “”It ain;t over ’til the fat lady dies” today (Fri 27th).

    @blenkinsopthebrave Heh prepare to be entirely confused 🙂

    One theory is that John or Sherlock or both have been dosed with TD-12 so their memories (which we are seeing) are corrupted. Another is that Eurus has mind-controlled them both – implanting the conditioning when she encountered them as “Faith” and “E” respectively.

     

    #55253
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    More post morning coffee ruminations. After re-watching The Lying Detective with the knowledge of what happens in the Final Problem, I may have been too hasty in accepting the story as presented, because, for instance, if Eurus was locked up since childhood, how did she acquire social graces like “how to be coquettish at a bus stop”?

    If this is what happens between the first cup of coffee and the second, I am not sure how many changes of opinion I will have before watching The final Problem for the second time. Perhaps there really is life left in the bonkers theory of @juniperfish and @theconsultingdoctor.

    #55262
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Excellent @blenkinsopthebrave – a convert!

    Incidentally, if anyone is interested, it has been kicking off on Twitter, as young LGBT fans explain why they didn’t appreciate the way S4 was marketed to imply a John/ Sherlock relationship, but the BBC has responded to complaints by denying there has ever been any sexual or romantic interest displayed between the characters throughout the entirety of the show.

    I sympathise entirely – the marketing was quite deliberate, and it’s a bit cack-handed of the BBC to try and shut down that particular reading of a text, when there is frankly a mountain of subtextual evidence to support it.

    The Beeb response is either terrible PR (a much better response would have been simply to say that whilst they fully supports fans who choose to read the show that way, it is only one of several possible readings) OR something else is afoot.

    Someone’s written about it at Buzzfeed:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrismelas/twitter-is-destroying-bbc-sherlock-right-now-2ssvd

     

    #55263
    winston @winston

    I got the series from my library today so I can have a rewatch. Yay!

    #55267
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    OK, have now re-watched The Final Problem, and have decided that…the story Gatiss and Moffat show is the story they intend us to see. I still think that the theory of @juniperfish and @theconsultingdoctor is a truly great bonkers theory, but if Sherlock the show does come back, I don’t expect it to turn everything we watched in S4 on its head. And, most importantly, I actually really liked The Final Problem.

    On first viewing I was so overwhelmed, I was a bit unsure of it all as it seemed, as I said before, as if the show was on LSD. But on a second viewing, hot on the heels of a second viewing of the two previous episodes, I actually think it is pretty brilliant.

    The episode copped a lot of flack for being too outlandish (eg, how did Eurus arrange everything, from the dangling Garridebs to John in the well, and so on?). But, and this might seem obvious, just how realistic was Arthur Conan Doyle’s telling of SH stories. And, perhaps more to the point, how realistic were all the other re-tellings of ACD, such as the Basil Rathbone movies. They all were what they were…stories.

    On second viewing, what I think is brilliant about TFP is they way it explicitly acknowledges this; indeed very explicitly by Mary at the end of the episode. As I was watching it last night I was reminded of another play on ACD–the Sherlock Holmes episode in Star Trek:The Next Generation called “Ship in a Bottle” where Data is playing Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck, and Moriarty (a holodeck projection from a previous SH-themed episode) appears with self awareness, and attempts to take over the ship. It is one of my favourite Next Generation episodes, because it does what The Final Problem also does–it consciously plays with the story AS a story. There was so much in The Final Problem that reminded me of the Next Generation SH story, from the Holodeck within the Holodeck, the image of Moriarty on the main view screen pulling the strings to take over the ship, to the brilliant 4th wall ending. I am not saying that Gatiss and Moffat were explicitly referencing that episode (although they might have been) but the two episodes were wonderful examples of writers telling stories about story telling.

    It is quite explicit right at the end of The Final Problem, with Mary’s final words, and not a million miles from what they did at the end of the Next Generation episode. So I think that The Final Problem is much more clever (and more me, much more satisfying) than it might have appeared on first viewing.

    #55269
    Anonymous @

    221b by Vincent Starrett

    Here dwell together still two men of note

    Who never lived and so can never die:

    How very near they seem, yet how remote

    That age before the world went all awry.

    But still the game’s afoot for those with ears

    Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:

    England is England yet, for all our fears—

    Only those things the heart believes are true.

     

    A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane

    As night descends upon this fabled street:

    A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,

    The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.

    Here, though the world explode, these two survive,

    And it is always eighteen ninety-five.

    #55273
    Anonymous @

    “Every good cause has martyrs. Every war has suicide missions. And make no mistake, this is war.”

    If you enjoyed this episode, I’m happy for you and advise you not to read further, but if you think that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss gave up with this final script, hopefully what I have to say will give you hope and explain why this episode possibly needed to go wrong.

    Every war has suicide missions. This episode could have been an intentional fail to make a point. The point being that this show is not just about the cases or the adventures. This show has always been about Sherlock and John. This episode showed what happens when John is taken out of the story. Yes, he wasn’t left out entirely, but to me at least, he seemed almost like an afterthought. Sherlock even ignored him when he said “Vatican Cameos”. John is just as important as Sherlock in this story, and now that this has been brought to attention, it is time to fix the backwards character/relationship development that this episode took. (If anyone wants to add to the purpose of writing this episode differently than past episodes, feel free.)

    How can they fix it? A fourth episode. Without a fourth episode, the way the actors advertised the show doesn’t make sense. Benedict Cumberbatch said “Love conquers all”, but was he really referring to a hug that showed his forgiveness towards his sister, a murderer? What did love conquer? I only saw Sherlock’s love for his friends and family putting them all in danger and turning him into his sister’s puppet. Amanda Abbington claimed that if they could pull it off this series “could make television history”, but I have yet to see any television history being made. And what exactly did they have to “pull off”? Amanda has said since The Final Problem aired that she was referring to Sian Brooke playing multiple roles, but it’s not like that hasn’t been done before. I think there is more to it than that. Something that could make history would be an important historical event repeating on an even larger scale.

    The event I am referring to is the publication of The Final Problem in 1893. Sherlock Holmes fans were sent into a panic after the death of the iconic detective. People wore black in mourning, 20,000 people canceled their subscriptions to The Strand Magazine where the Sherlock Holmes stories were published, and hundreds of letters of complaints were sent to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Since The Final Problem aired, over 25,000 complaints have been sent to the BBC about plot holes, queer coding only villains, and saying that abuse is okay and should be forgiven. Twitter has been taken over by angry fans using #norbury and #bbcqueerbait. Sound familiar? Is it really a coincidence that there is so much backlash after an episode titled The Final Problem?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is exactly what Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, two of the biggest Sherlock Holmes fanboys, wanted. They could have been planning all along to recreate The Final Problem in real life for the second time in history. Hopefully we won’t have to wait 10 years for the next episode, the redemption episode, like ACD fans did from 1893 to 1903.

    There are hundreds of pieces of fan collected evidence pointing towards a fourth episode, and even though the first two predicted air dates for this “lost special” have past, many have not lost hope.

    I find it interesting that this last episode was directed by Benjamin Caron who has never directed a Sherlock episode in the past. He has, however, directed many Darren Brown films which you may know means lots of on screen trickery. If there was a fourth episode, he would the perfect person to be in on such an elaborate trick. This also gives Paul McGuigan, the main director of Sherlock, a chance to direct a real finale. (Does anyone know what Paul M. was working on during Series 4 filming? I’m surprised he didn’t come back for any of the three episodes when the third seemed so final.) The thought of there being a fourth episode does seem crazy, but if they can pull it off, this really could make television history.

    This is war
    So love conquers all
    It may not be right
    But it is what it is
    So today we are soldiers
    Into battle

    Happy anniversary to Sherlock and John! 7 years ago today, these two men met as if fate brought them together, and 7 years ago today, they saved each other’s lives.

    #55274
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor – Ah – but that’s one of the great conundrums of this BBC Sherlock adaptation – it’s NOT 1895 any longer (1895 was the year of the Wilde trials).

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, your reading is quite lovely and is certainly in the spirit of narratives within narratives, which I definitely think is the theme of the season. I really love the reference to the Star Trek “Ship in a Bottle” episode.  It may be that we will never know which reading is “real world” and both yours and the “bonkers” one will continue to exist simultaneously.

    One has a happy ending – John and Sherlock back together at Baker Street, and one has a tragic ending – John hallucinating himself and Sherlock back together at Baker Street as he lies mortally injured. The second reading really needs a coda (the “Lost Special”). I’m still hoping…

    Just to play devil’s advocate, and because it’s bugging me, i’m going to go through the evidence for The Final Problem as happening in John’s injured mind.

    This is a bit long!

    Remember, the opening scene of The Lying Detective opens with a gun-shot and then an image of John, lying down. He is then at Eurus the therapist’s office, as she says, “Tell me about your morning”. The end scene of The Lying Detective is John, also in the therapist’s office, getting shot by Eurus with a gun (which doesn’t look like a tranquiliser gun at all) and then the screen turning red – like blood (and also rather like the graphics of a Bond Movie).

    As The Final Problem (which is rather like a Bond movie in entirety) opens, we see an adult face lying down, close up, and one blue eye opens. This is very similar to the opening of The Lying Detective. That shot then transitions into the little girl on the plane. Question – is that John Watson’s adult face, as it was in The Lying Detective? The correspondence is striking (I know the apparent solution is that it’s Eurus).

    Note – the actress playing the little girl on the plane in The Final Problem was in Sherlock’s A Scandal in Belgravia (one of two girls who sat together on a chair as Sherlock told them that people are taken to a special room and burned when they die). These girls and their dead relative turned out later in the episode to be connected to Mycroft’s “flight of the dead”, which involved a plane full of dead people – rather like the plane full of people whom the little girl in The Final Problem cannot wake up.

    Question – is John Watson’s injured mind writing a narrative which re-mixes elements of the cases he has covered with Sherlock (the same little girl, the same scenario involving a “flight of the dead”)? Also note the code for Mycroft’s plan was “Bond Air is go” – and here we have a Bond-esque vibe to the whole of The Final Problem.

    Let’s not forget that John Watson is a storyteller – he’s Sherlock’s blogger, and a writer of “romantic fictions” (as Sherlock describes it).

    The paintings in Mycroft’s house (as the noir romance movie he is watching is disrupted) bleed blood from the eyes. Did Sherlock and John really fix that as part of their elaborate “pantomime” horror scenario?!? Question – this is one of a series of recurring images of blood in the episode  – does John Watson, in some part of his mind, know he is critically injured and bleeding out somewhere (remember the ominous red cow-skin run in Eurus’ office in The Lying Detective)?

    Sherlock shouting that John is family, and the ridiculous “patience grenade” explosion – could these be elements from the real world bleeding into John’s injured brain’s Bond narrative, in hospital? The explosion as the explosive event of the bullet in his brain? (I ask this because why send a grenade to blow up your brother, and John Watson, with only 3 seconds to escape it in, if you want to ensure they arrive intact at Sherrinford to play your mind-games later?!).

    If you pause The Final Problem at 20.41 as the operators (supposedly at Sherrinford) repeat their message “Golf Whiskey X-ray” (note the importance of the word “X-ray”) you will see a bunch of screens in front of them. Look at the top left – it contains four brain scans. Are these in fact John’s injured brain’s understanding that he is having his brain scanned/ x-rayed in the real world, as this Bond-esque fantasy plays out in his mind? Seems a bit odd for brain scans to be on a monitor in a control tower on a prison island scanning for approaching craft!

    Next note the close-up of a red panic button, the sound of a siren (an ambulance?) the, “Tell my sister I’m here” written in the sand – supposedly by Sherlock for Eurus – but John has a sister, Harry, and if he was in the hospital, but unable to communicate, he’d be trying to articulate the need to inform his sister he was there, wouldn’t he?

    Also note the cut to the official in the car saying (supposedly with respect to Mycroft) “He’s not conscious, he’s severely injured, no one’s even confident he’s going to pull through”. Again – the real world bleeding through for John? He hears someone saying that about him as he lies shot in the head?

    The violin – is Sherlock playing that violin to John in the hospital?

    The stress scenarios Eurus puts Sherlock, John and Mycroft through – three involve guns (shooting the governor, the gun murder weapon of the Garridebs, shooting Mycroft or John). One involves a coffin. Put these together and you have a gunshot and being close to death – again – John’s injured mind’s way of understanding his situation? There are flashing red lights and clocks ticking throughout these scenarios – supposedly clips of Moriarty recorded in the past – but in fact events in the ICU?.

    The phrase “I gave her a Christmas present” which Mycroft uses to describe giving “treats” to Eurus, is exactly how Sherlock described giving Mycroft’s laptop to Charles Augustus Magnussen – “a Christmas present”. Again – is John’s brain re-working phrases and events from his past adventures with Sherlock in his injured mind?

    As Moriarty’s voice comes over the Sherrinford prison speakers, we get a close-up of John, specifically, getting clobbered in the back of the head, and then an intense transition that involves him spinning round as if passing out, before Queen’s “I want to break free…” starts up as we get flashback, apparently, to Moriarty arriving on the island. NB – if we are in John’s head – remember that every character is in fact a manifestation of John’s psyche (just as every character in The Abominable Bride was a manifestation of Sherlock’s). John wants to break free (from his coma or from his repressed bisexuality or both – the reading is open on both levels)…

    As Eurus and Moriarty do their weird reflections-merging dance (two aspects of John’s psyche merging into one – both characters are coded as gay/bisexual in the episode – or perhaps his imagining of two aspects of Sherlock’s merging into one?) we get another transition –  straight to John’s face, in extreme close-up, lying down. He opens his eyes. We see that he is on a bed supposedly in a Sherriford cell with Sherlock and Mycroft. Why are all these transitions focusing on John?!?! He grasps his head in pain.

    As the shoot the Govenor scenario unfolds, Eurus, says, “This is very good, Dr. Watson, I should have fitted you with a cardio-graph”. Ok – so we’ve had x-rays, brain scans and now a cardiograph – all associated with John.

    In the room with the Garridebs problem, the walls are splash painted red – they look as if they are smeared with blood. Both Sherlock and Mycroft remark that the paint is barely dry – it has been redecorated for their benefit. Remember Sherlock’s phrase from The Six Thatchers “Fresh paint to disguise another smell”? Another hint that things are not as they seem?

    The rifle as Chekov’s gun is something I’ve already discussed in an earlier post. But here is the exact quote from Chekov:

    “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there…”

    We have a literal rifle hanging on a wall and three men dangling over an actual cliff – cliff-hanger, Chekov’s gun…

    In the coffin scenario – Sherlock deduces it’s for Molly but the description of someone 5 ft 6” (adding the head-room Sherlock mentions) “unmarried… distant from close relatives… practical about death… alone” all apply to John (no longer married as Mary is dead, estranged from his sister Harry, a soldier’s practicality about death).

    The scene transition from Sherlock smashing the coffin zooms straight out to a very high aerial shot of Sherrinford – the prison clearly looks like a gun (or a penis – the Freudian readings lurking beneath) from the air. Then the scene transitions back to – John again – picking up the gun. Coffin – John – gun – linked…

    John’s mind (as all three characters) keeps telling him that he has to be a solider and keep going (somehow stay alive)..?

    After Sherlock refuses to shoot either Mycroft or John, finally a major transition belongs to Sherlock, as he sinks to the floor and is covered in the black goo of death. If we are in John’s mind, however, this is still an aspect of John, falling into darkness (losing greater consciousness) just after Moriarty says “This is where I get off”.

    Now, the voices of the little girl and John alternate in contact with Sherlock – suggesting they are linked – perhaps both aspects of John (indeed Sherlock has to save one to save the other?) “Are you there yet?” Sherlock says to the little girl, but it is John who answers, “Yeah I’m here”. An interesting (and telling) slippage. Images of death – drowning or crashing in a plane. Their voices keep alternating like this.

    Don’t you think that young Victor Trevor looks like young John Watson? The pirate patch an indication of a gun-shot wound to the head?

    The solution to the Musgrave ritual includes the lines “I am lost without your love, save my soul”. Following the language of visual transition as narrative which BBC Sherlock has used consistently over its four seasons – John is Sherlock’s soul (see the transition in The Empty Hearse from Lestrade saying “God rest his soul” about Sherlock to a close up of John’s eyes).

    The narrative John’s injured brain is telling him is of him and Sherlock playing pirates together (“I’m Sherlock Holmes… the pirate”). John becomes “damsel in distress”  – Eurus (in a well/ on a plane) the phrase Magnussen used to describe him, and Sherlock (the dragon slayer) saves him. John gets his cheesy happy ending back at Baker Street – a story teller’s ending in which, “Who you really are – it doesn’t matter – it’s all about the legend, the stories, the adventures.” Well – he’s a romantic.

    It rings odd to me – because who John and Sherlock are – their psyches – has been a major theme of this adaptation of Sherlock – the cases have played second fiddle in fact. Who they really are surely does matter?

    Also, to be nitpicky (and Moffat and Gatiss are fanboys who know the canon inside out). The Baker Street Boys refers to Sherlock’s “Baker Street irregulars” – his homeless network  – strictly speaking – not to John and Sherlock. A deliberate jarring note? Another clue something is “off”?

    And the question remains – what was all that blood, gunshots, x-rays, brain-scans, coffin, cardiograph, sirens, red-lights symbolism about?

    Did S4 end on a John is mortally wounded cliff-hanger after all?

    Thanks for reading! Anyone who has made it to the end of that deserves a nice strong cup of tea!

    NB – I put this together after a close re-watch, but I didn’t spot all of it first-off on my own. Credit to various Sherlock Tumblr fans for the spot of the brain scans, for the suggestion that the writing on the sand, “Tell my sister I’m here,” might be John, trying to signal someone needed to contact his sister Harry, and for Victor Trevor’s eye-patch as a possible indication that John has been shot in the eye/brain.

    #55275
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    Yes, that was honestly exactly my point of posting the poem. It is no longer 1895. We have the power to change it! (Have you read about the billboard in His Last Vow?)

    #55276
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor   No – I don’t think I have – what did the billboard say?

    #55277
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    I’ve just read your full post about the episode being in John’s head as he recovers after being shot. Thank you so much for putting all of this evidence together.

    The paintings in Mycroft’s house (as the noir romance movie he is watching is disrupted) bleed blood from the eyes…Question – this is one of a series of recurring images of blood in the episode  – does John Watson, in some part of his mind, know he is critically injured and bleeding out somewhere (remember the ominous red cow-skin run in Eurus’ office in The Lying Detective)?

    A very good point. I hadn’t made the connection with the bleeding paintings yet.

    “Tell my sister I’m here” written in the sand – supposedly by Sherlock for Eurus – but John has a sister, Harry, and if he was in the hospital, but unable to communicate, he’d be trying to articulate the need to inform his sister he was there, wouldn’t he?

    I love this reading of the sand message. Another very good point.

    I do hope that all of this evidence points towards what we both want it to.

    #55278
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish
    There were multiple advertisements pasted on top of each other reading “Now free for information is the power to change 1895.” 1895 is written as the price of something (18.95), and people often shorten it by just quoting “The power to change 1895.”

    #55279
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor – yes – I think your point about Ben Caron directing and the Derren Brown connection is a very good one.

    Gatiss and Derren Brown are friends. And he’s already appeared in The Empty Hearse as part of Anderson’s theory of how Sherlock faked his death.

    Happy anniversary to John and Sherlock indeed. Did you know some fans went and laid red roses at the statue of requited love, Anteros, in Picadilly in London today for the anniversary (a shot of which statue appeared in the original, un-aired, pilot for A Study in Pink, which is on the first dvd as a bonus)? I love the high romance of that fan gesture!

    A “Lost Special” makes so much sense, in terms of the canon, and the bizarre shift in tone of S4, which seems to be crying out for a resolution.

    To my mind, there’s no doubt Gatiss and Moffat have written their adaptation as, first and foremost, a love story between these men – but it’s very possible they and the BBC want to leave it platonic-romantic/ “desperately unspoken”.  Even though the whole coffin/ “I love you” scenario seemed like a huge Chekov’s gun to me…

    That doesn’t mean there won’t be a “Lost Special” however.

    I too remain hopeful….

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