"If you've got a problem that you want me to solve, then contact me. Interesting cases only please."
open/close all folders
A Study in Pink
In "A Study in Pink", Sherlock implies that he's stolen several of Lestrade's IDs. So why, in "Hound" did he not know that Lestrade's first name was Greg?
He probably never bothered to look at it.
Or, he'd seen that Lestrade's first name was Greg a million and a half times, but didn't care enough to keep that in his "hard drive." Lestrade seems somewhat offended; the whole thing is a joke firstly that it took the writers a season and a half to tell us what Lestrade's first name is, and secondly, that Sherlock takes the poor guy so much for granted as a DI and not as a real person/actual friend that he's never bothered to retain his first name or address him as such.
In that scene in "A Study in Pink", John takes it off Sherlock and reads out "Detective Inspector Lestrade"- indicating his first name ISN'T on his badge. Which strikes me as unlikely, but as I've never seen a real police badge, I could be wrong on that.
In Study in Pink, Sherlock tells John that they'll go look at a flat he's had his eye on. . . so why does the flat they go to have so much of Sherlock's things in it? I'm clearly missing something, but I don't know what. . . .
After John says that he thinks the flat could be very nice, Sherlock agrees and mentions that's why he's already moved his stuff in. It's a little hard to catch what he says, since he says it at the same time John says that all the flat needs is for the stuff (which he probably thought was from a prior tenant) to be cleared out.
In short, that was just one of Sherlock's typical "one step ahead" things. He knew that John would say yes, he just said it that way to pretend John had a say in the matter.
Why did it take Sherlock so long in the first episode to figure out it was a cabbie? When he says, "Who do we trust, even though we don't know them?", I could provide a fair number of occupations — lifeguards, police officers, cabbies, hotel staff — yet Sherlock says he has no idea. And when they stop the cab that paused outside of 22 Northumberland Street, my brain was screaming, "Check the cabbie!! How can none of you see this?" It only got worse when they assumed the phone had to be in the room — and Sherlock missed it, which Sherlock himself points out is a Wallbanger, especially since the murderer had called them on it — and not someone outside.
On a related note, why did Sherlock suspect the man in the back of the cab when he had already established that the killer transported the victims to the location of their deaths and there were never any witnesses? Cabbies would count as witnesses. The only reason the killer would be in a cab is if he were driving it.
At that point he hadn't come to the connection with the cab and has no real reason to suspect a cab is involved, so he only has reason to suspect the passenger; it's only later that he realizes a cab is involved, and note that at that point he immediately comes to the conclusion that the murderer is a cab driver. At this point he probably assumes the murderer has his own transport which he uses for the kidnappings and murders (a reasonable assumption as it turns out, if not for the reasons Sherlock probably thinks at the time) and is just taking a cab now because he's trying to anonymously check on Sherlock's message rather than driving his own vehicle there (which — if identified — could implicate him). Then, once he discovers the guy in the back is just some tourist, he just assumes the cab has stopped there for some coincidental yet unrelated reason (like, the guy initially planned on getting out there but changed his mind or realized he originally gave the cabbie the wrong address or something). He doesn't immediately question the cab driver because unlike the audience, he hasn't been given any reason to suspect the cab driver.
The reason it took so long for Sherlock to figure out that a cabbie was responsible was probably because of the biggest outlier out of the victims: the 18-year-old kid. Three adults could be traced to a cab. A teen? Not many teenagers would hail a cab to go a short distance (especially if they were getting an umbrella in order to continue walking in the rain). It's also someDramatic Irony, as the audience sees cabs at all the crime scenes at the start of the episode and can narrow down the suspect pool more easily.
Yes, this. We actually see quite a lot of purposeful shots of cabs in this episode, and as Holmes would point out, most puzzles seem simple if you know the answer in advance. We can't fault Sherlock for not having all the information that the audience has when that information mostly comes from flashbacks, leading camerawork, and so on. Admittedly, he really should have followed through on the "who do we trust that we don't know" question rather than running off to dinner and subsequently getting distracted by a chase scene and a drug bust, but he did at least pose the correct question; the scene was probably written this way so the audience COULD feel as though they'd gotten ahead of Holmes, forgetting that the episode itself basically handed them the conclusion.
Note also that in the pilot, Sherlock asks the same question - and answers it correctly immediately. But since it was suddenly decided that the episode was to be 90 minutes long and not 60, one could see the change as a necessity - leaving out the question altogether would be throwing away a good idea, and answering it any other way than correctly would always end up a bit clunky.
In addition to the above, Sherlock's methods essentially work by ruling out the impossible and least likely options until you come to the only remaining one, which logically must be the correct one. When he answers his own question with 'no idea', he's probably not literally saying that he can't think of any one single profession to which this applies — but given all the options you mention there, there are still too many plausible variables for him to conclusively rule anything out (well, given that this is the middle of London we're talking about 'lifeguard' is probably safely discounted). At that stage, given the evidence Sherlock has to hand at that point the killer still could be a police officer, or a nurse, or something.
The biggest clue that it was a cabbie should have been the bag. Holmes guesses straight off that the killer didn't realize he had it with him until after the crime, but if you're grabbing someone off the street, there's no way you just wouldn't notice the hot pink roller suitcase they were grabbing onto, and yet somehow bring it along anyway. More likely, the victim would either let go of it and leave it behind, or be trying to hit you with it. The only way it could get into the car undetected would be if the victims (a) entered the killer's car on their own, and (b) he couldn't see them below the waist while they were doing this (which would seem to be the point of specifying that it's a small suitcase). Cabbie is the obvious answer, no hindsight necessary.
What does Sherlock do for money?
That's likely now John's job.
He's obviously upper class, and his brother is a higher-up in the national government, both of which (if what I know of England is true) imply old family money. He's probably independently wealthy, or has some non-wage-related form of income (like a trust fund or investments). Also, Mycroft probably keeps an eye on his finances.
If he's independently wealthy, why was he looking for someone to share a flat with?
He may have a trust fund that provides him with a few hundred pounds per month to spend - enough to keep him from direly needing a steady job, but not enough to keep him living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Although John's need for a flatmate is financial, Sherlock's motives for needing/wanting one are never explained. Since he is wandering around London wearing a coat worth more than a thousand pounds, throws significant amounts of cash at homeless people and freely lets John have his bank card for several days at a time, I would assume he never had a financial need for a flatmate. He needed someone to bounce ideas off- especially since Mrs Hudson was probably already threatening to confiscate the skull- and an audience for his genius.
This might also explain the earlier question of why the flat already has so much of Sherlock's stuff in - he was actually already living there. Though that's more Wild Mass Guessing
While it's entirely possible that Sherlock is meant to be wealthy, I don't think we can count the real-life price his wardrobe as evidence one way or another. Television characters usually wear designer clothes even when they obviously can't afford them, and we're just meant to assume they're something more affordable. We know Watson's broke, but his clothes are pricey too, and the watch he wears in this series would have cost him three thousand pounds.
True. And there's also the issue that, quite out of the ordinary for a TV show that sometimes falls just short of clothing porn, both Sherlock and John seem to have realistically limited wardrobes (Sherlock has an aubergine-coloured shirt he's seen wearing on no less than four occasions, not to mention his coat). However, there's a real difference stylistically in what these two guys are wearing- John's clothes are well-made and utilitarian, Sherlock's downright scream "wealthy" (suits, suits and more suits, what appear to be silks, velvets, etc.) Either way, there's no sign, in any episode to date, that Sherlock has money problems. The only thing that speaks to it is in The Great Game, where he asks John if he's got the cash to pay for a taxi. Kind of doesn't count, since he's temporarily out of pocket because he's just given a homeless woman a fifty pound note.
See, I assumed Sherlock's wardrobe was selected to evoke the Victorian while being obviously modern, so that he seems timeless and extraordinary, and generally, so that he looks like Sherlock Holmes. It contrasts with Watson's simple, utilitarian clothing, but that's an important character note in and of itself; Watson is down-to-earth and while Sherlock is exotic and borderline otherworldly. The other stuff I thought was just courting the ambiguity: Sherlock is careless with his bankcard and turns down a large check from an obnoxious ex-classmate, but he's also frighteningly impractical; he forgets to eat for days at a time, shoots holes in the wall of his flat when he's bored, and he'll apparently spend all the cash he has on hand without thinking about the fact that he still needs cab fare. There is at least some evidence in the other direction, too. Besides the fact that he wants a flatmate, he's getting a deal on a rental from someone who owes him a favor, and he's disappointed that John didn't agree to spy on him because he'd hoped they could just split the fee. Sherlock's home furnishings are substantially less posh than his clothing, too.
It is also worth noting that psycopaths are known for dressing flashy as part of their tendency towards "superficial charm" (see the Hare Psycopathy Checklist or the Cleckley clinical profile for a more complete list of Sherlock's personality traits).
I thought the splitting the fee bit was more because he wanted to pull one over on Mycroft and get some of the money Mycroft was trying to bribe John with than any real desire for the money. He was probably expecting that if John accepted then he wouldn't actually be giving Mycroft the kind of information he was looking for, anyway.
Also, just to clarify, he gave a fifty pound note to a homeless person in exchange for information, not as a random act of kindness. It's an expense incurred while he's in a battle of wits with Moriarty, so we can't assume he'd have acted differently if it were all the money he had in the world. Obsession, and all.
I think it's heavily implied that the people in Sherlock's life (particularly Mycroft, Mrs Hudson, and most recently John) make it so that Sherlock never has to wonder where the money's coming from, and while he's probably not in a position to buy a Rolls Royce, he can afford to take cabs everywhere and if a case in Minsk comes up, doesn't have to wonder if he can afford to go. It's all very much a part of his manchild tendencies- everyone else realises he's not operating on the same level of existence as the rest of humanity and have arranged it so that he doesn't have to, and can carry on being brilliant without having to pause to do his own laundry or pay a phone bill.
Why are we ruling out the possibility of Sherlock solving private cases for money? I know we see him decline a check from the former classmate who works for the bank, but clearly the banker's an arrogant, condescending jerk whom the original Sherlock Holmes might not have taken money from either. And in the original stories Holmes does accept payment for his work. He still declines cases that aren't interesting to him and waives fees when he feels like it, but that's very probably why he needed a flatmate: it's not so much that he doesn't care about money because he's obscenely wealthy, it's that he's not obscenely wealthy because he's not paying any attention to the money. I don't see a lot to contradict that in Sherlock so far. Moreover, Moffat and Gatiss seem to take the canon pretty seriously, so I'd be surprised if the changed a fairly significant aspect of how Sherlock Holmes operates just to increase the role that class privilege plays in the story (if he's living off a trust fund) or to introduce that his older brother is footing the bill for his adventures around the world without him knowing it (which borders on Deconstructive Parody).
On Sherlock's official website, the unfortunate man who murdered his girlfriend in Belarus says his family have the money to pay Sherlock for his troubles and will "pay anything." Sherlock's response is "you think money interests me?" (Prompting an amusingly desperate "YES!" from John, ha.) In any case, this can't be proved or disproved at this point, but maybe will be addressed in the future. I would say that the whole mystery of how Sherlock is paying his half of the rent and bills isn't important to the writers, but the woeful state of John's finances, at least, plays a large part in The Blind Banker. The idea of Mycroft quietly making sure Sherlock can pay the rent and feed himself isn't, in this universe, that ridiculous though; in this universe, Sherlock is sometimes frighteningly helpless when it comes to the most basic matters of human existence. Book!Mycroft doesn't see the need to "worry about him, constantly" and try to bribe everyone he knows to keep an eye on him.
I do agree we really haven't got enough to go on here, and are probably veering into the realm of Wild Mass Guessing. (And only a few days before the start of a new season, at that!). Even the comment on the blog is, like so many things in the series, almost surgically ambiguous — the client tells Sherlock next to nothing about the case except that it will pay well and he replies that money doesn't interest him; read literally, this just reestablishes that Sherlock selects cases based on what interests him rather than the sum of money offered, but the specific phrasing is still completely loaded.note As a fussy little aside, I will throw in that I *do* think the writers seem to have a certain, sustained interest in Sherlock's relationship with money and class, and that the ambiguity seems more intentional than the result of indifference to the topic. But this too is speculation. Anyway, just to clarify, I certainly didn't meant to say the idea that Sherlock might live off Mycroft was ridiculous, just that it's a decontructive idea, and that Sherlock thus far seems pretty firmly at the reconstruction-to-revival end on the spectrum.note The emphasis on Sherlock's helplessness is fascinating, but the drug use and shooting at walls and indifference to food and sleep are all directly from the source material; IMO, throwing out Book!Sherlock's ability to support himself financially on the grounds that those other traits are the traits of a crazy person moves into a place that's substantially more critical of the Holmes mythos than Moffat and Gatiss seem to be. Also, the idea that Holmes is emotionally dependent on Watson isn't new, but that's traditionally tempered by our knowledge that Holmes associates with Watson voluntarily, and their relationship is mutually beneficial; you move in a different direction if Holmes is just surviving off his brother's charity without wanting or knowing about it, which strikes me as very deconstructiony. From a Watsonian perspective, the theory is still entirely logical. The short answer, in any case, is "we'll see".
So A Scandal in Belgravia answers the question, in part. Sherlock, as of season two, is taking private cases for money, so long as they aren't "boring." What he did before John's blog took off is still a mystery, but we'll probably never know.
Well, he had his website, he was doing some publicity.
But there's still the question of if he really needs the money or if he's just taking it because he sees no reason not to get paid for interesting cases when there's not some sort of extenuating circumstance (he doesn't feel he properly succeeded, dislikes his client, or the client can't afford to pay, for example).
Why does Sherlock keep referring to himself as a High Functioning Sociopath? There is no such thing, and he's misdiagnosed himself; you check the guidelines for diagnosis of a sociopath under the DSM, and...well...he's not. However, the usual term using "High functioning" is High functioning Asperger's Syndrome. Check The Other Wiki for that info, and Sherlock fits right down the line with classic Asperger's.
He very well could have coined his own term to describe himself, seems like the sort of thing he would do.
I took the modifier "high-functioning" to equal "extremely self-aware, and able to make said condition work for him".
Also he doesn't really fit the autism spectrum. He's very good at reading body language and people, and clearly can be manipulative and fake emotions easily, he gets bored easily and is recklessly criminal at the drop of a hat... Whilst an autistic has trouble reading body language but still cares about the feelings of others, Sherlock can easily see people's emotions and body language but just doesn't care. He actually does match the Hare's Psychopathy Checklist quite well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist
He could just specifically use "sociopath" because Anderson said "psychopath" instead of a more specific disorder. The primary difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that psychopaths have no difficulty mimicking emotions they don't feel for long lengths of time, and are often more manipulative. For example, when psychopathy was a commonly accepted phenomena, Moriarty would have been labeled a psychopath and Sherlock a sociopath. He could simply be using that word because he doesn't want to give an annoying person the exact name of his disorder, or because he'd never been officially diagnosed.
Speaking as an adult with Asperger's married to another adult with Asperger's on the topic, I have to tentativly come down on the side of Sherlock being Asperger's also. First off, it is ENTIRELY possible for someone with Asperger's to learn to read social and emotional cues from other people- think of it like a language. Most people learn this stuff growing up, like a first language, same as they learn English or Spanish or Japanese or whatever Mom and Dad speak at home. People with Asperger's, though, thy don't learn it like that- it's like learning a second language in high school or college or something. You can get really good at it, but you'll never be perfectly fluent, or not have to think about the translation. Second, on the "high-functioning sociopath" thing- there are, and I do hesitate to admit this, a few admittedly scary similarities between sociopathy and Asperger's Syndrome that aren't usually talked about for whatever reason. Specifically, emotions; people with Asperger's often have an incredibly hard time connecting emotionally with people they don't know very well. A stranger might as well be a bit of scenery to go along with a tree or a building. The tree got cut down? It was an attractive tree, yes, but a new one can grow. The building burned down? Sad, yes, but how long will it take to rebuild? A person died? Unfortunate- how likely is it to happen to me? Not very? Well, all right- how about a cup of coffee? The difference is that, where a sociopath doesn't care about anyone other than himself, a person with Asperger's IS capable of forming emotional ties with people they take the time to get to know. It's just difficult.
High Functioning doesn't refer to any specific disorder, it just means that the person is able to live a somewhat normal life. In some contexts the term might even denotes the absence of any disorders.
Reading just the base diagnostics of the condition, I think that they writers may have overshot Asperger's and landed him on Schizoid Personality Disorder. Almost everything from his emotional and mental state down even to his sexual state fits remarkably well. (With a few discrepancies obviously, but no one's going to fit every single criteria for any one disorder.)
Why are the fanbase so eager to diagnose Sherlock with something? It's entirely possible, even probable, that he's neither autistic nor sociopathic nor schizoid nor anything at all except a highly intelligent and undersocialised person who has poor social skills. You learn acceptable behaviour growing up around socially adept people- friends and family. Sherlock's family seem to amount to a once-mentioned "Mummy" who may not have been around for some time, and Mycroft, who is implied to have mostly raised him. With a parental figure like Mycroft- intelligent but cold enough for his nemesis to nickname him "The Ice Man"- and deductive skills that people hate and find creepy, is it any wonder that Sherlock has serious problems with empathy, has had no real friends before John, and has no idea how to behave properly around others? You don't need to have a diagnosed disorder for that.
Disorders have several causes, childhood environment is one of them (some would argue it's the most important). Your claim that he doesn't have a disorder because his childhood was less than beneficial for social relationships is counter-productive. The only things necessary to say he has a disorder is that he has a cluster of mental or social deficiencies that significantly impact his day to day life and the lives of others. Wherefore is of no consequence, though it may matter in treating.
My point is not that he doesn't have a disorder, but that there is no necessity for him to have one, thus making the fandom obsession with diagnosing him with something odd and ultimately unnecessary. Although Sherlock MAY have some kind of official disorder, he in all probability actually doesn't- it's just his personality. The writers seem to have gone out of their way to avoid giving him a set of consistent "cluster of mental or social deficiencies", and thus to avoid labeling Sherlock with any kind of official disorder. ('High-functioning sociopath' is both facetious and wrong, and 'Aspergers' is a "meh, dunno" response from John and not an actual diagnosis.) Most of the fanbase, though, seem determined to label Sherlock, not questioning whether he even has a disorder but assuming he does, and arguing in favour of the particular one they "like." In-universe, Sherlock has apparently not been medically/psychiatrically diagnosed as having any kind of disorder- if he had been, the writers would have brought it up by now, unless we're in for one hell of a Wham Episode later.
Near the end of A Study in Pink, Sherlock asks the cabbie - to no avail - whether he chose the "good" pill correctly. Since it's known exactly what poison was used in the "bad" pills, couldn't he have had the pills analyzed to find out the answer? One would think that even if Lestrade demanded the police keep them as evidence, they would analyze them and Lestrade would be grateful enough to tell Sherlock which was which.
Unless one of them somehow pocketed his dose during all the shooting and dodging and what-not (unlikely), there'd be no way to tell who was holding which pill.
My impression was that after the adrenaline rush, it didn't matter any more. No sane man would care, Sherlock won the game, and possibly was a little bit better of a person for it. The good pill/bad pill question was a symbol how far from mental health Sherlock really is. So it's up to you as the viewer to decide whether Sherlock cares any more (maybe he went to the police and found out), but it doesn't matter.
I felt as though Sherlock would have thought that was cheating. The whole point is that his abilities are supposed to be so good that he could figure it out, without help, and that taking his pill was a display of his supreme confidence in his own abilities. Analyzing the pill would be "cheating," in that removing the risk would indicate that he was less than 100% confident in his skills.
The original unaired pilot was a lot more explicit in this. Lestrade actually asks Sherlock if he chose the right pill. When Sherlock explains that in all the confusion he lost track and didn't know which one he chose, this happens:
Lestrade: Maybe he beat you.
Sherlock (crossly): Maybe, but he's dead.
This is probably a shout-out. While the murder with two pills is in the Holmes-Canon, The Battle of Wits (opposed to fate, as in the Holmes-Novel)is in the film/novel "The Princess Bride", including the "one move". So I wonder if both pills were poisoned, with the cabbie taking an antidote. But since the lady in pink died from asphyxiation and not organ failure, Holmes might have counted on being saved in time (in the pilot the police already is in front of the door)
At the beginning of A Study in Pink, whenever the cabbie's victims are shown taking the pill, the pills are together in one bottle. However, when the cabbie sets the pills out in front of Sherlock, they're in separate bottles, and there are only the two pills, whereas the woman in pink is shown picking up a bottle with three pills inside. Why the discrepancy - especially in the case of the number of pills? (Unless I'm losing my ability to count...)
The victims are seen holding the bottle they chose, while the murderer has the other. Presumably both bottles have equal amounts in them. It's impossible to tell how many pills are in the first victim's bottle as the angle isn't right. The second victim, James Phillimore, appears to be holding a bottle with 4 pills (but could be five.) The next victim appears to be holding a bottle with 3 pills (could be four.) By all rights then the bottle the pink lady picks up should have 2-3 pills in it, leaving 1-2 pills by the time Sherlock picks it up. However it's very unclear just how many pills there are until the end- the bottle Sherlock is offered clearly has one pill. Which leads to an even BIGGER headscratcher- if continuity was meant, and the pills were meant to decrease by one per bottle every round, then what happened to the other two pills? In any case, the visuals could have been clearer here, it's true.
The other two pills could have been used by the cabbie at some point — only those deaths could have slipped under the rug somehow (categorised as accidental overdoses or something), or the M.O slightly changed so that the police didn't pick up on it
Also, note that we don't know (except on that first one) whether we're seeing them BEFORE or AFTER they took the pill. With victims 1-3 we don't even know the order they were killed in. However, when I saw the episode again they all seemed to have 3 pills to me.. The first one had two short pills though. I'd say halved, but then the poison would spread all over the bottle.
No, we do know the order they were killed in because they gave the dates at the beginning of each victim's death scene. I'd assumed that there was a bottle of good pills and a bottle of bad. During the Pink Lady's murder, there were 3 pills in her bottle (although why they were on the floor is still a question...). After she takes the pill, there would be two pills per bottle. By the time Sherlock faces the cabbie, there is one pill in each bottle. Remember the travelling man that was in the cab while Watson and Sherlock was chasing it down? I think it would be reasonable to think that he may have been killed between the time that the cab drove off and when the cabbie showed up at Baker Street. If he were killed in that time, I don't think the police would have discovered him before tracking down Sherlock.
One could assume that the cabbie knew that this was going to be his last "game" and put one pill in each bottle. It's also possible that at that point both pills were the poison ones.
In A Study In Pink, before Sherlock and John chase the cab they suspect the killer is in, Sherlock stops to visualize a street map and plot the route the cab will take so they can get there first. This is awesome, but is it ever stated how Sherlock knew where the cab was going?
So far as I understand it, Sherlock's knowledge of roadblocks, one-way signs, etc, means he deduced that that was the only place a cab pointed in that direction could be going.
Presumably Sherlock knows Th Kowledge, so that narrowed it down considerably — not the destination, but at least the route.
When Lestrade comes to 221B to tell Sherlock about Jennifer Wilson, how does he get in? John and Sherlock are both in the room, and Mrs. Hudson was in the kitchen. Nobody else lives at 221 - in The Great Game we learn that Mrs. Hudson can't find a renter for 221C, and it's pretty clear that she lives in 221A. I don't believe there's any knock at the door or anything, Lestrade just comes up the stairs.
The downstairs door is probably unlocked (and, given two people are moving in, Mrs. Hudson might possibly have left it open so they can keep moving their belongings in if necessary), and Lestrade is in an urgent hurry so probably forgets himself and just barges in without knocking. It's probably a callback to all those times in the original stories that Lestrade or someone would burst into 221B Baker Street urgently demanding to speak to Holmes.
Is it just me, or did John's nightmare at the very beginning seem a little...green for Afghanistan? The battle seems to be taking place amid lush emerald fields and lots of live trees.
It's a misconception that Afghanistan is one big arid desert. There are grasslands there, and even conifer forests. It would all depend on exactly where the fighting is meant to have taken place, and that's never specified. You can Google Image some pretty impressive photographs◊ of how green Afghanistan is◊ in places.
Huh. The more you know, I suppose.
The footage used for that flashback is from a documentary, Inside Afghanistan with Ben Anderson, so that's definitely the right terrain that John would have found himself in. There's a 40 minute edit of it here, if you want to check it out.
Is it really possible for a person to be shot in the shoulder yet have psychosomatic pain, to the point of causing a limp, in the leg? I'm neither a medical doctor nor a trained psychologist (though, I am majoring in psychology), but wouldn't it make more sense for any pain, brought on by actual physical damage or by way of the mind, to take place in either the shoulder or arm area? Or was that line meant to fall strictly under Rule of Funny?
No, not exactly. I mean, maybe, but I'm pretty sure that was a nod to the books. One of the major continuity mistakes was that in A Study in Scarlet, John's wound was in the shoulder, but later on, it was in his leg. And by later on, I think I mean the next story, The Sign of the Four. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?
You're right. Doyle eventually started refering to the injury as simply being in one of Watson's limbs so as to avoid having to remember where the injury was.
I am not quite sure if this is possible if only his shoulder was injured, but from what I understand of traumatic injuries, it would be possible that if his leg were hurt at the same time (because he fell down after he was shot or something), it would be possible that his leg fully healed afterwards but the pain remained.
Sometimes psychosomatic symptoms develop on a particular limb due to witnessing someone else suffer there; soliders in the first World War who shot someone in the arm could go on to have trouble with their own corresponding arm. Maybe something like that happened?
If John needed an artery or vein replaced in his shoulder, it would have been taken from his leg. note Wish I could say this is original to me, but someone pointed it out to me. That would have meant physical therapy and recovery for his leg which might have been easier for his mind to deal with.
In the unaired pilot version, John breaks into a house opposite 221B and shoots the cabbie from there. Why didn't he just break into 221B if he knew that was where Sherlock was? In the aired version John is only in a different building because he didn't know which one Sherlock was in and most likely saw that he wouldn't have had time to go running into that building as Sherlock was already about to take the pill. I don't understand the reason in the unaired version other than to demonstrate John's badass shooting skills.
Yep, that's pretty much the only reason. It's also a Mythology Gag to an ACD story where the victim was shot dead from a building across the street. The fact that it had to be changed for the aired version is probably exactly as you point out- from a plot/logistical point of view it makes no sense. Aside from the obvious (why didn't John just go into 221B) there's the issue of- how did he get into a random flat? Nobody saw or noticed this happen? And given that the police arrived just as the shot was fired, how did he then escape the flat across the street under the watch of about fifteen cops, dispose of the gun and make it back in time for Sherlock to meet up with him, an implied only few minutes afterwards?
If John had simply barged in to Baker's Street (where the seventh step creaks etc.), it would have been very easy to use Sherlock as a hostage and make the situation very complicated. If he's confident of his ability to shoot straight if the situation called for it, breaking into the house opposite and observing would have provided a strategy that didn't involve blindly walking into a room with a hostage and a probably armed serial murderer.
So I know it's a very explicit reference to the service revolver Watson carried in the stories, but would John be able to legally own, let alone carry concealed, the pistol we see in his apartment and he kills the cab driver with?
Probably not. On the other hand, the 'you would've probably gotten away with it scot-free, but fuck the paperwork' approach seems to imply for it to not be a very big concern. Mycroft probably carries enough authority around to let Watson have a gun.
Why did the cabbie claim that Moriarty was "so much more" than a man?
Sherlock explains this in the court during the Reichenbach episode. He says "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."
Is it really accurate to say that John saved Sherlock's life? At that point, the only thing Sherlock was going to die from was taking the pill, and his sole motivation for doing so was to prove his own brilliance (and even then he wouldn't die unless he'd picked the wrong one). The cabbie dying wouldn't, in principle, actually change anything — unless it was all about proving his brilliance to the cabbie, period. Is that what's going on?
Sherlock would've probably taken the pill because he's just that kind of an arrogant idiot. Besides, I thought the implication was that both of them were actually poisoned/caused you to die, the Cabbie was just immune to it via whatever means. The idea of him being some kind of a genius able to make people chose wrong in a 50-50 choice, five times in a row just seems impossible for how much could go wrong.
So how's the cabbie's "ploy" in any way genius, and somehow goads Sherlock into playing it to prove his own Genius? It's pure randomness. The Cabbie's not still alive because he's some mastermind, he's just lucky enough to have hit the 6.25% (1/16) odds of winning his game 4 times in a row. Despite his assurance that "it's not chance it's chess", yeah, it really is just chance. Assuming the Cabbie's words of how he doesn't cheat are true, this isn't some advanced mind game the way he makes it seem, or the way Sherlock seems to buy into it. The Cabbie's analogy "This is a game of chess with one move" doesn't even make sense since Chess isn't about trying to do a cold reading on someone to figure where a pill is, but to plan on expectational outcomes to strategies. I really don't get how Sherlock falls for this and the Cabbie's constant repeating that "4 people in a row ain't luck!" (Still are Higher odds than getting anything above a three of a kind in poker for example). Seriously, the odds aren't that low that sheer dumb luck is not a likely answer and Sherlock should in any way feel compelled to play his game.
He played it the same way people play Rock-Paper-Scissors. It's only 50-50 if you know nothing about anything. The cabbie knows which pill is poison. He knows which pill he will push towards his victim. Presumably, he picks his victims carefully. He talks to them in the cab; he gets to know them. He finds out things that he can use to manipulate them. I'm not saying he wasn't lucky, but his odds were way more than 1/16.
With the whole thing about the cabbie's mistake being leaving a pink suitcase where it would be obtrusive and out him, why did Sherlock never assume that the cabbie (or whoever he thought it would be at the time) could be a woman who wouldn't care? Maybe there are just more male serial killers, but women DO comprise ~50% of the population...
I may have missed the explanation within the episode, but how the HECK did Sherlock text the cellphones of ALL those reporters?? How did he get their numbers?
The Blind Banker
In The Blind Banker, Sherlock and John visit a shop selling lucky cats. Why are presumably Chinese marketers selling Japanese beckoning cats, maneki neko? Is this just a case of Did Not Do The Research, or am I missing something?
Probably, the marketers are smart enough to realize that the buyers Did Not Do The Research and will buy it anyway as "something Asian and cute". They own a shop, not a museum.
It's like how fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco, but every Chinese restaurant sells them.
Also, while lucky cats may be Japanese in origin, plenty of Chinese people own them as well and they're sold all over Asia.
There is actually at least one shop along Gerrard Street (the heart of London's Chinatown) that sells a large number of the beckoning cats, presumably to tourists, so this may be more Fridge Brilliance or Viewers are Local Geniuses.
I thought the culturally incorrect merchandise was how you could tell it was a smugglers shop...
While it is Japanese in origin, lucky cats really are ubiquitous in Chinatowns all over the world. It's not like the Chinese don't absorb cultural traits from other cultures, same as everyone else.
In the second episode, why did Sherlock insist on trying to untie Sarah when the crossbow was aimed at her? He could have just kicked her chair over and saved everyone the trouble.
For that matter why did Sarah insist on sitting in the chair crying and generally being useless rather than knocking her own chair over?
This appears to be a legitimate production error, as a less tip-overable-looking chair would have avoided the entire issue. For sake of argument, though, Sarah and John had both been recently knocked unconscious, and John seemed a bit slow on the uptake when asked to explain the contents of his wallet, so it's possible Sarah was too busy suffering the effects of a concussion to properly hatch escape plans. As for Sherlock, he probably knew exactly how much time it would take to untie the girl, and chose to do things the exciting way instead of the boring way because he's canonically insane.
As my paramedic husband answered me when I asked this question, she may be in shock. (Fanfictioners tend to think this is the norm.)
At the end of The Blind Banker, the newspapers reported about the pin and hinted that it had been sold. Won't the Black Lotus still be after it and reporting about it would just incur trouble for whoever was buying and selling it?
The Black Lotus were only after it because they had a buyer on the black market. Once it was sold legitimately and so publicly, the deal likely dried up.
Isn't John, as a combat medic, in the wrong specialism to "over-qualified" for a GP post? Wouldn't he go looking for a job in a casualty department?
He'd qualify for locum work regardless of his speciality, though clearly over-qualified. He tells Sarah he doesn't care if the work is mundane, which kind of implies he's not interested in a hectic fast-paced long-houred job in an A&E somewhere. He's really only after a paycheck to get through a bunch of bills, after all.
So who is Sherlock fighting at the start? Since it never comes up later (I think) it seems like a Big Lipped Alligator Moment of sorts.
When Watson comes back from the shop in the next scene and asks about about some 'exotic Al-Jahid diamond' case, Sherlock mentions it didn't really pan out in reference to the aforementioned fight. It was a Big Lipped Alligator Moment in a way, but one serving to establish that Sherlock is quite physically capable despite his wimpy nerd persona and make his later antics more believable.
When Sherlock convinces D.I. Dimmock to let him into the journalist's flat, how did he know to pick up that specific book that the journalist had thrown into a pile when there were books everywhere? Furthermore, how did John know to pull books out from the opposite shelf to see the message written on the shelf? It all seems too much of a stretch for me.
The Great Game
Why did that guy in Belarus seek Sherlock's help when he's clearly guilty as sin? He needs the world's greatest lawyer, not the world's greatest detective.
Yes, but he also tells Sherlock his story, expecting Sherlock to help him, when it is clear that he's guilty as sin. Between that and his appalling grammar, you get the impression he's kind of... dim. Really dim.
In the beginning of The Blind Banker, Sherlock proves he's good at hand-to-hand fighting, even when his opponent has a sword. So why, in The Great Game, does he suddenly decide that the only way to deal with the Golem is to put 'em up? I would have thought it would have been more sensible to tackle the guy, or at least show off some more of those nifty sword-dodging skills.
It's a Mythology Gag, referencing book!Holmes' boxing skills- and the fisticuffs stance is a Shout-Out to the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes. It's not very effective, of course, and the Golem absolutely wipes the floor with Sherlock. Ha.
I thought for long what was the point of the said fight scene, and I now suspect that it was played entirely in Sherlock's mind, where he thinks how he would act if an assailant came at him suddenly in his study. Just because. Unfortunately he hadn't yet gone through a scenario where a giant is suddenly attacking him in a planetarium when it came up in real life.
No, no. John examines a scratch we see made on the table in that fight when he gets home, and Sherlock subtly kicks the sabre under the couch when John comes in so that he won't see it. It's very 'blink and you'll miss it', but that fight definitely happened. It probably has more to do with Sherlock's fighting style being less well equipped to deal with fighting opponents twice as strong and more than a head taller than himself, while he's well-trained in taking on an armed opponent. Fighting styles aren't one-size-fits-all, especially against a skilled opponent.
In reference to why Sherlock is apparently suddenly useless in arm-to-arm combat, I believe that the implication was that while Sherlock is somewhat experienced in fighting, he DOES have a considerably smaller stature to The Golem, and frequently goes days without eating, and therefore lacks the strength to be any real challenge to The Golem.
In The Great Game, Sherlock trains a handgun on a vest full of Semtex. From everything I've read about Semtex, it's fairly stable, and could not be set off by being shot (it's similar to C4 in that respect). One would expect a genius of Sherlock's caliber to know this.
Given that Moriarty's explosives are demonstrably rigged to be set off by a bullet, Sherlock was more probably aiming for the detonation trigger.
demonstrably how? rigging a bomb to detonate via gunshot is both redundant (the gunshot is also likely to kill john before the explosion) and unnecessarily complicated (it would be easier to hit john himself than a tiny kill switch strapped to john)
similarly, why did sherlock aim for the bomb jacket anyway? it would probably be easier to hit a big target like moriarty than the aforementioned hypothetical kill switch, with the added benefit of not needlessly endangering him and john.
Possibly that Moriarty would move if he noticed Sherlock pulling the trigger? The bomb jacket can't move and that exploding would take out Moriarty /and/ the snipers. The snipers might be considered loose ends and needed taking care of...?
and wasn't Moriarty chatting with him earlier while EVERYONE was much closer to the bomb jacket? why should it be so much more threatening after that?
really the whole scene is just full of fail.
Again with the bomb. Sherlock is a smart man, and he knew that the bomb was dangerous. Why didn't he throw it in the nearby pool in an attempt to neutralize it (or let the water absorb some of the impact?)
He thought Moriarty had left and probably didn't see the need to. Besides, he was more caught up in getting the bomb off of John and making sure John was safe, rather neutralizing the bomb.
Remember the earlier scene where John accuses Sherlock of not caring about the hostages and Sherlock cynically asks if caring about them will help save them? The cliffhanger ending is entirely about that question. Though Sherlock is indifferent to the other victims, he actually cares about John, which is why he's so rattled that he fails to adequately dispose of the bomb during the pool scene. In the final seconds of the episode it's unclear if Shelock's isolated instance of caring is actually going to save them in a way he couldn't have predicted or explode and just plain kill everybody. This has to be intentional.
I figured the fact that he was a bit distracted was clear as day. He scratches his head with a loaded gun.
That just seemed very Sherlock to me. I mean, he obviously was rattled, but he couldn't care less about gun safety either way, as is shown earlier in the episode when he empties a handgun into the wall.
Is it possible that Sherlock didn't want to mix the chemicals in the bomb with either the water or the chemicals in the pool? If an alkali metal were in the mix, for instance, throwing the vest into water could be a very bad idea indeed.
At one point, Lestrade points out that the victims are "covered in Semtex". Semtex is a type of plastic explosive, and plastic explosives are incredibly stable. Simply dunking it in the pool would not have had an adverse effect. I suppose you might be able to destablize it with very high concentrations of some acids or bases, but that would be very far away from the tiny concentrations you see in pool water.
Holmes is Holmes. How likely is he to dump a major piece of physical evidence into a swimming pool before he's had a chance to examine it, even if it is a bomb?
Exactly how can the Golem operate as an assassin? He's not exactly nondescript. Wouldn't people get suspicious about an 8-foot tall Czech bald guy?
One does get the impression they sacrified realism for sheer awesomeness, as they do in many places. The whole Golem thing does come across as a weak spot in an otherwise very tautly written episode. Professor Cairns is killed and nobody seems to care, the Golem gets away and nobody seems to care that an eight foot tall psychotic Czech hitman is wandering around London. I seem to remember the creators have made remarks to the effect that the Golem/painting story was meant originally to be an entire episode in itself, back when they thought they were making six 60 minute episodes per season. Since it occupies all of, oh, ten minutes at most in The Great Game, they obviously lost a LOT of details that would no doubt explain things much better.
In The Great Game, the blind old woman that Moriarty is holding hostage is killed because she begins to describe Moriarty's voice. What did Moriarty think was stopping her from describing his voice and everything he said in much greater detail to the police once she had been freed from the explosives?
I'm just guessing, but it could be he was planning to kill her all along, maybe even when the police arrived so they'd also die as an extra Kick the Dog moment. He just did so prematurely once she started to describe his voice.
I've actually discussed this at length with friends, and our theory is that he was actually telling her to say that. He wanted to show that he wasn't kidding around, that he would actually kill them, and to make sure that she wouldn't be able to tell the police anything about him.
It seems to have been Moriarty cruelly demonstrating that the hostages were in real danger, that he was morally and physically able to kill them, and that he could change the rules of the game whenever he felt like it. Sherlock seems to have thought that, unlike the previous two hostages, the old woman had been kidnapped by Moriarty in person. It seems unlikely, however, especially since Moriarity later directly says "I don't like getting my hands dirty."
She could have described his voice all she liked, it's not any kind of evidence and it wouldn't have led to anything.
It's not like arresting him after he's caught red-handed and putting him on trial where he doesn't mount a defence led to anything either. This was not self-preservation.
Since the entire series of events in this episode are seen as a game to Moriarty, it's entirely possible that he killed her purely because she broke the rules- once Sherlock solved the puzzle, she was to ask for help. She broke the rules, so Moriarty killed her.
I thought it was to punish Sherlock for breaking the rules. He mentioned that he solved the case fairly early on and just pretended he didn't. Moriarty figured out that Sherlock was just stalling, and didn't like that.
In the finale of The Great Game, Holmes says that Moriarty set up all those murder puzzles to distract him from solving the case of the dead Ministry of Defense worker and the missing missile plans. This would seem to imply that Moriarty was somehow involved in the theft of the plans. However, as we've just learned, the person who killed the MoD guy and stole the plans worked alone. So if Moriarty was distracting Holmes from that case, why exactly was he doing it? The only other explanation I can think of is that Moriarty wanted to solve the case and find the missile plans himself, before Holmes did. But that doesn't seem to fit Moriarty's character: he's a master criminal, not a master crime solver. (His "game" with Holmes is about setting up a crime Holmes can't solve, not about being a better detective than Holmes.) If Holmes is wrong, and Moriarty actually wasn't involved with the MoD case in any way, then it would be hell of a Contrived Coincidence that that particular death happened at the same time Moriarty set his own plan in motion. (Not to mention that Holmes being wrong is something that had never happened before.)
Perhaps Moriarty happened to hear about what the theft, figured it out himself, and then incorporated it into the "game." Even if he hadn't heard about it, he could probably just as easily used some other thing, but perhaps he was just really lucky, because the thing with the plans allowed him to not only screw with Sherlock, but also with Mycroft, whom he seems to have a separate rivalry with in the second series.
Another possibility is that Moriarty already knew who had committed the theft because Moriarty manipulated Westie's brother-in-law into it. For example, Moriarty may have already known the bike messenger prior to the theft, and gotten him talking about his sister's upcoming wedding. Then mentioned how lots of people would pay for the kind of info West could get his hands on. Follow that up with playing on his fears over the money he owes, and the poor idiot ends up doing exactly what Moriarty wants. Moriarty may even have planned on making an offer for the information, once he'd let the boy sweat long enough. As for why, because Moriarty sees people as toys, and would likely delight in making them dance.
How did John fail to notice the explosion at the beginning of the episode? He walks out of the apartment, and Sherlock talks to Mrs. Hudson for barely half a minute before the building blows up.
He'd probably already gotten in a cab, which then drove off in enough time to get clear of the sound of the blast.
We have a doctor in this series... now when it is revealed that Connie Prince was killed with botulinum toxin and not tetanus toxin, why isn't he surprised at all? I believe the symptoms are quite the opposite (muscle spasms vs. paralysis).
Even a doctor can't be an expert on any and every toxin available/every disease, disorder and injury in existence. Sherlock himself points out that botulinum is a rare poison that's nearly impossible to detect in an autopsy even if you are looking for it, so it's entirely probably that John barely has a nodding acquaintance with the stuff. From memory, his resume indicates that John is a cardiac surgeon, which makes sense given his role as an army doctor. (He may be a cardiologist, and I don't have a way of checking this just now. But either way, it's not that surprising that botulinum poisoning means very little to him.)
The effects of both tetanus and botulinum toxin are basic medical knowledge, and even a psychiatrist should know them. For an army doctor, who works in an environment "ideal" for wound infections or food poisoning, this might be a matter of life and death. Sherlock might say it's a rare poison, but I cannot imagine a doctor who doesn't know this.
Who said anything about his being a psychiatrist? John does know off the top of his head how long tetanus takes to incubate, in any case. There's also the issue that any of Connie Prince's symptoms prior to her death that suggested botulinum and not tetanus would not have been reported as such, at least not by the man who killed her. John, Sherlock and everyone else were working off the assumption that Connie Prince actually died of tetanus, because the autopsy report had said so- they were trying to find how the tetanus was introduced to her deliberately and not by accident. When Sherlock mentions the botulinum, John's first remark is to ask why that wasn't found at the autopsy.
I meant even a psychiatrist (who doesn't really treat physical diseases) should know the difference, so for an 'army doctor' it should be obvious. Sorry for being unclear. I don't think the spasms from the tetanus toxin would have resolved before a physician examined her body - unless they didn't call anyone until a few days passed after her death. She was famous-ish, so I doubt that. It doesn't really matter what her brother said - tetanic spasms can be so strong that they even break the patient's bones, and botulism results in flaccid paralysis. If they missed this very clear difference at the autopsy (which I doubt), John should look puzzled... and not just admire Sherlock's obviously great skills. It's not really about the toxins for me, it's the symptoms they cause. I mean, you can diagnose a tetanus infection from its clinical appearance only, and it would definitely need an explanation why it could not be differentiated from botulism. (John's question about why it wasn't found at the autopsy was about Carl's case and not Connie's.)
During this episode, Sherlock mentions the missile plans haven't left Britain because Mycroft would know, saying "we do actually have a secret service". John replies "I know - I've met them." Is he talking about Mycroft and his crowd, or did John have some sort of contact with the secret service in his life before Sherlock?
I'm assuming he's talking about Mycroft's little faux kidnapping thing from Study in Pink.
What was the purpose of the opening scene in Belarus? As far as I can tell, it has no bearing on the episode's plot, and all it reveals about Sherlock's character is that he can't stand it when people use incorrect English.
There's a theme of "boredom" running through this episode. The cold open indicates that Sherlock, who is also very lazy, is so incredibly bored that he went out to Minsk in the middle of winter to make enquiries after a case that he could probably have worked out was "open and shut domestic murder, not worth my time" with a phone call. He's bored to tears and getting desperate.
Moriarty murdered Carl Powers while they were both children (Watson suggests that Moriarty was "older" than Carl, but it can't have been by much). Now, where does a child get his hands on botulinum toxin?
According to Wikipedia, Clostridium botulinum of type C is commonly found in soil; the reason it doesn't kill us all is that it only produces its toxin in a totally anaerobic environment. Isolating the stuff actually seems terrifyingly easy even for a (sufficiently chemically aware) kid.
How did the old lady read the lines Moriarty fed to her if she was blind? Where did John get his from, come to think of it, when his eyes were on Sherlock?
Both the old lady and John had an earpiece instead; they were relaying what they were hearing instead of reading.
So the lost painting was discovered to be a fake because the picture couldn't have been painted during the artist's lifetime. How can you make a fake of something that couldn't exist in the first place?
The picture was discovered to be a fake because it contained a depiction of a star that didn't exist until two centuries later. However, the forger presumably did not know that- most people wouldn't- and thus made the mistake of including it. The forger was presumably trying to paint a realistic depiction of the night sky during Vermeer's time, and the anachronism was something that only diehard astronomers or Sherlock Holmes would be likely to see.
More likely the forger only went so far as to research how the sky should appear over the location and season where the landscape was set, but it never even occurred to them that the pattern of stars might've changed over the centuries.
The body of "Westie" is found next to train tracks, and it's presumed that he threw himself in front of a moving train and killed himself. Later it's discovered that his murder laid his body on top of a train, which later threw it to the ground at a curve in the tracks. Couldn't this conclusion have been reached 'way' earlier if they had asked if any train operators had hit someone on that stretch of track?
It's not inconceivable that that train operator simply wouldn't know. Trains are huge, noisy things and unless the engineer actually saw the guy I don't think he would have even noticed the impact.
It seems out of character that Sherlock can't see that none of the pictures of cars behind the car rental guy are Mazda RX 8's. They're quite distinctive looking cars (and pretty unlikely to be hire cars). Presumably Sherlock is just not a car guy?
A Scandal in Belgravia
In "A Scandal in Belgravia", who was the mysterious illustrous client supposed to be?
"Highness" is the customary form of address for a prince or princess.
Not necessarily. It could be Princess Beatrice or Eugenie, or Zara Philips.
True, but fans seem to have latched pretty firmly on Kate Middleton for a couple of reasons. First, fans like to assume that Irene's assistant Kate was named as such as a cute little in-joke. Two, Kate Middleton is fairly new to the Royal Family, not having the typical grooming that a born royal would have, and would be the most likely to slip-up (although some of the other royals have also had their slips, too.)
There seems to be some confusion here about Holmes's client and Irene's client. Irene's client is a young female member of the Royal Family who enjoys...um, discipline. Holmes's "illustrious" client is trying to recover the evidence of said discipline to protect the family from scandal and enjoys little dogs and smoking.
Mycroft says Sherlock is "to be engaged by the highest in the land", and that is highly suggestive of the Queen, who must by now have some minor experience in avoiding scandal, and loves those dogs. As an older member of the family she's more likely to be a smoker and have an advisor who is constantly pressed for time [he says "we have a schedule" or something like that] and is sort of old.
However, this theory falls down because the Queen absolutely hates smoking. After all, it's what killed her father.
I think the smoker was the man who was sent to pick up Sherlock. He probably wouldn't smoke anywhere near the Queen, but on his own time...
Perhaps, unlike Sherlock, you "have been kept successfully in the dark about this little fact"... the show specifically states that it's a well-concealed secret.
Does anyone have a clue as to how Sherlock even knew there was a booby trap in Irene's safe? I've watched and watched and can't figure out how Irene signalled to Holmes to dodge or how he even knew it would hit the right target.
One, he likely knew that Irene was Crazy-Prepared for something like this (she had a hidden safe, so she probably had a hidden booby-trapped safe.) As far as the right target, it was pointed straight out. It would hit whoever was standing there, hitting the operative (whose name was Mr. Archer) was just bad luck on his part. Finally, right before he says "Vatican Cameos," Sherlock looks at Irene, who drops her eyes to the floor. It's as close to a "get down" signal as I could find.
Why did Irene Adler have no contingency plans apart from her smartphone? It only makes sense to store all the information in one place if your purpose is to blackmail the people involved for it, but she seems to be quite truthful in saying that it's all insurance for her own safety. In that case it would make so much more sense to have multiple copies stored in various locations where the information would leak out in case she got killed. It's the lack of contingency on her part that almost leads to her death in the end!
She had the phone hidden in the secret, booby-trapped safe, until the CIA showed up. The phone was in permanent airplane mode, almost, except for the phone signal. Presumably, even the USB was disabled (barring charging functions). She could send the pictures to another phone via MMS, but to do that, you'd have to get into the phone, which requires the passcode. There's no way to break into it the hard way, because it'd destroy the hard drive. If you can't get into the hard drive, you can't see if she's sent it to anyone, so even if you killed her, you wouldn't be safe. This was implied to be the first time her little photo ops put her in real danger (most people are unlikely to hire an assassin over some naughty photos), or if it's not, she certainly knows how to handle herself, and presumably assumed her brain, her skills, and her seduction abilities would carry the day. She might not even care if she's dead; Irene seeks advantage, not posthumous revenge. And before anyone asks, it's a customized Vertu Constellation Quest, which will run you a few thousand bob.
All that is explained in the episode. It still doesn't explain what was the point of the insanely elaborate arrangement when it made Irene more vulnerable, not less. Putting all your eggs in the same basket is dumb, no matter how small the risk is, and rigging the basket to explode even more so. Just leave a few encrypted files in web servers and memory sticks, and arrange the password to be publicized in the event of your demise. Simple, elegant and way more certain to keep you safe than one physical phone that can be destroyed or stolen.
^ No one was supposed to be able to even find the safe, much less get to the phone in the first place. She doesn't need backups, she only needs people to think she has backups. In fact, she had to tell Holmes the phone was locked down, so that's presumably not public knowledge. Irene likes taking risks, as long as she thinks she's in control. In fact, she seems to have a pathological need for control, like Sherlock's addiction to logic and proving himself smarter, even when it puts him in harms way (the cabbie) or hurts people. It's a risky plan, sure, and there are safer ones, but coming up with it is entirely in-character for her.
Any burglar worth their dime could find that safe. Some could even open it. There is no indication that Adler lets people think that she has backups either — she likes to give the impression of a "straight" blackmailer who will hand over the incriminating photos as soon as she gets the cash, with the caveat that she never ends up demanding any. That kind of scheme denies the possibility of extra copies, which was the reason Sherlock deduced there was only one copy in the first place. And considering that the decision to have her insurance for life in one place where a simple mechanical failure could erase it in seconds, and that losing it almost gets her killed, it seriously doesn't put her in more control, but less. It might make sense for a pure thrill seeking adrenaline junkie, but that's not how Irene Adler is presented in the episode. As a dominatrix obsessed with control and cleverness, and very much concerned for her own safety, the scheme simply does not make sense for her.
Heck, I was completely pulled out of the scene because that safe was so obviously cheap. Go on to youtube for thirty seconds and you could bust it open, without even revealing that you'd been there. You don't have to be worth anything to get into that safe, I promise you.
Because the phone is useless as a device for extortion unless the pictures can be meaningfully destroyed. If she had started scattering the photos in 30 different locations for backup, and implying so, then the picture is no longer what needs to be disposed of - she is. By keeping the pictures contained in a single place, albeit well-protected, she makes it worth the while of the blackmailed to submit and remove the threat for good without things getting dirty.
How did Sherlock manage to get to wherever Irene was and rescue her without either John or frigging Mycroft noticing he was missing?
He's Sherlock Holmes. All he has to do is leave Britain and lay a false trail. As long as John and Mycroft thought he wasn't anywhere near where Irene was, they'd be fine with it.
Sherlock took himself off to Belarus for a client; as the above troper mentions, John probably wouldn't question another trip to "foreign parts" and he could probably get it past Mycroft, too. Ultimately, though, I think the ending speaks to the boys-own fantasy elements of the original books, where Sherlock Holmes is depicted to have wandered overseas and done some pretty much impossible awesome things just because Doyle thought it would be neat.
I thought that perhaps the ending was meant to be ambiguous - the viewer can interpret it as what really happened, or as Holmes' fantasy of how he might have saved her life.
Who says he had to go anywhere? There wasn't any specific details giving any clue as to where they were. In fact, if you look closely, during the "When I say run, RUN" line, there's a roof over their head. That could have simply been in a parking structure somewhere in London (if Irene has gotten into as much trouble as she thinks she has, it's plausible that her enemies came to her instead of the possibly of her slipping away while she was delivered to them.) Granted, it is something of a reach, and it means that Mofftiss is implying there's a terrorist cell somewhere in London, but going from the details in the scene alone, it could have been almost anywhere.
That they were still in London seems to be supported by the text message he received. Had he been outside of England, anybody who could access his cellphone records (I would be surprised if Mycroft didn't keep loose tabs on Sherlock's calls) would know if Homes was anywhere near Irene at the time of her death. The only way that wouldn't raise alarm bells was if the text was received somewhere near London.
Sherlock doesn't get paid by the police, so he and Watson get all their money from private clients?
With 2000 internet hits per 8 hours, they're probably doing okay money-wise. Plus, John probably still has his small army pension. Not enough to live off, but I'm sure it helps. In John's blog, they receive offers of large sums of money for interviews (Sherlock declines) and even a graphic novel (John is speechless. Harry snarks it.)
In A Scandal In Belgravia, when Irene tells John he hasn't responded to her, John says "'Sherlock always replies. He's Mr. Punchline. He'll outlive God trying to have the last word." Great line, except that Sherlock has a pretty notable habit of not replying in the series to date... so what's John on about? In the scene immediately before he makes this claim, we see that the last conversation he had with Sherlock ended with Sherlock not replying to him, just before he left the flat. In the Christmas party scene just slightly before it, John actually gets no reply to yelling "DO YOU HAVE A REPLY?" after Sherlock doesn't reply to him over something else. It seems odd that these lines would appear in such close proximity by accident.
It's my impression that Sherlock always replies. He might do it a few minutes, hours, days or six months later, but he always does. There's a later scene where he seems to be picking a conversation with John back up- only to find he's talking to Irene, and John left the house a couple of hours before. In the sequence with the dead hiker, John says "do you just keep talking while I'm away?". There's also the issue of him having "the last word" not necessarily verbally.
Hmm. I really like that idea in general, so I'd like it if I could square it in my head with what he's saying this scene. On the other hand, if that's what John's thinking of, I'm not sure why he'd concede that the lack of response might mean Irene is special, as opposed to saying "no, that's how he treats everybody, you'll probably hear from him by Guy Fawkes Day" or somesuch.
The whole "answering a ridiculously long time later" is implied, I think, to demonstrate that Sherlock doesn't even grasp the concepts of time and space like everyone else does. But I think the fact that he's ignored nearly sixty texts from her over what turns out to be nearly four months is significant. That's not him being his usual flakey self, or passive-aggressively deciding to answer when he's good and ready- it's deliberately not answering, and it's implied that he doesn't answer because he has no idea how to respond to flirting. Which is why John admits she might be special- the first person who ever put him in a position where he says nothing because he doesn't know what to say. After all, even though in "The Great Game" Sherlock ignored/deleted at least eight of Mycroft's texts, he "responded" by solving the case the way Mycroft wanted him to. A passive-aggressive answer, but an answer. Also, there's the issue of Sherlock becoming more and more miserable over the past few months of receiving these texts- he's rarely lost for words, and truly enjoys having a witty retort to everything, but is truly out of his element here. John's taken note of how many texts Sherlock's received from Irene, and his increasingly uncomfortable reactions to each one. Sherlock later references the conversation: "I imagine John Watson thinks love is a mystery to me."
Listen to the party scene again: when Sherlock walks out of the room, John isn't asking "do you have a reply [for me]," he's asking "do you ever reply [to those texts]".
This is probably a headscratcher that doesn't even have an answer, but regarding A Scandal in Belgravia- what on earth was going through John's head in taking Sherlock home and chucking him into bed like that, when he'd been drugged with something and John didn't know what it was? It was totally dangerous and stupid of him. And of Lestrade too. The idea of him filming Sherlock on his phone for the sheer lulz of it is quite funny, but it's also very out of character and unprofessional. It all realistically could have ended with Sherlock dying during the night, and John and Lestrade in a shitload of trouble. Also, John failing to render proper first aid to Kate, unconscious on the floor. Come on, writers. John's a doctor, and Kate has concussion. You kind of don't just take her pulse and go "yeah, she's fine" when someone has a head injury.
Theoretically an ambulance could have been called to the scene for both Kate and Sherlock; the police arrived, so why not an ambulance? For the surviving CIA agents, too. However, that really doesn't explain what hospital on earth wouldn't admit a semi-conscious man who'd been drugged by an unknown substance- at least until either his condition improved or they worked out what the hell he'd been given, or both. And it definitely doesn't explain why John stands stock-still having a conversation with a half-naked chick while his best mate is sprawled on the floor, or why he fails to properly render first aid to an unconscious girl.
The writers really did not know what to do with John in this episode, largely because the emphasis was focused around Irene. She ate up the majority of screen time and attention, meaning other characters had to be shuffled to the background. Look again at the fight in Irene's house with the CIA - John spends it crouched on the floor almost off camera. The writers wanted to stage Irene as a badass as well as a vixen, which meant she had to get camera time, so they had to deliberately hide the one character who has professional combat training. Later, when Sherlock has been drugged - this is Irene's sexy parting shot before her escape. She's got to have someone to quip to, and since John is the only other person in the scene he cannot have his attention occupied by other things, even if that means he has to be out of character.
This. John casually tells Irene "it's all right, she's just out cold", as if this was all well and fine, when it would have taken another couple of seconds of screen time for him to have put a blanket over her and tack on some reference to having called an ambulance, or something. After the scene where he's used as leverage for Sherlock (again, poor guy) he becomes kind of superfluous and it's clear that the writers struggled to make him relevant to the scene. And not just there. Reference the bit near the end, where Sherlock starts talking about Coventry and is confused because John isn't there and Irene is. Since the last time John left Sherlock alone with Irene she'd drugged him, slapped him about and whipped him with a riding crop, it makes no sense at all that the highly protective John would just wander out to the pub or somewhere and leave them together, trusting that Irene wasn't going to hurt Sherlock again or even kill him. However, the scene required them to be alone, so John conveniently "went out, a couple of hours ago." There are other characters who suffer slightly for the insertion of Irene, but the amount of out of character things John does is quite disappointing from Moffat, who gave us such a great depiction of the character in A Study in Pink.
I don't know anything about standard police procedure (especially in the UK) but might reports of gunshots not warrant an ambulance as well as a police presence as a matter of protocol?
Speaking of inconsistencies with John's character, why does he stop himself from going after Sherlock, when he realises he followed him to the Power Station, just because Irene tells him to? John has been chewing her out for how much she's upset Sherlock for that entire scene and then he easily lets her get in the way of wanting to go comfort his friend with a simple; "I don't think so." What does Captain John Hamish Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers care what she thinks?
My interpretation is that he left Sherlock alone not because Irene told him to and he was following her instructions, but because he agreed with her. John can be very impulsive, and obviously cares a lot about Sherlock; but going after him at that point would have either got him ignored entirely or pushed away again. Irene says "I don't think so... do you?" and on consideration, John agrees it isn't the time or the place. It's possibly why John seems to detour on the way home, meaning Sherlock gets there ages before he does- he may have been deliberately giving Sherlock space to process what had just happened.
He's a doctor, Sherlock has problems being in places where he knows nobody and nothing and Mycroft exists: after he's been stabilized, I don't think there would have been any problem for John to just take Sherlock home.
What did exactly Irene intend to gain by getting Sherlock to decypher the email for her? My assumption was that she wanted the code cracked in order to demonstrate to the British government that she actually knew how to make use of the information on her camera phone (what it was, how to decrypt it, who to sell it to, etc. ) so she'd be taken seriously — otherwise it would have been sufficient to just forward the seating arrangement email to Mycroft and without the bother of figuring it out first. But if that's it, the elaborate means she transparently went to in order to get one code cracked when her life was in danger seemingly undermine the point. If Irene is supposed to be nearly as clever as Sherlock Holmes, shouldn't she have assumed that Mycroft would assume that she'd have acted sooner if she had the means to?
a)Get the email cracked so she could learn what it was and send it to Jim, who would make use of that information. He sold it to terrorists, or something, and sent it to Mycroft. Alternately, she and Jim didn't actually know whether the email confirmed the terrorist plot, so they needed Holmes to confirm the specifics so they'd have something to tell the terrorists and send to Mycroft. b)She could test the phone's security by leaving it with Holmes for six months, and demonstrate, in a way Mycroft cannot deny, that they can't get into the phone. c)Put Holmes in jeopardy. They can't prosecute Irene for leaking the info without prosecuting Holmes as well. d)your first one. If Mycroft had known she had somehow gotten the means to decode or act on the information on the phone sooner, he wouldn't have let her walk around unmolested for months. Of course, she didn't until she tricked Sherlock, and Mycroft's first sign was the text from Jim, a few seconds afterward, before he could be informed by whoever was monitoring Sherlock. In fact, that person might not even have been aware of the significance.
Also, Irene's genius lies in figuring out people, while Holmes' genius lies in data and information. Unless Mycroft and Co could get into the phone (which they couldn't, even when they had it, until "SHER") then they wouldn't know for sure if she had made backups, no matter what she said.
I understood A) as being a means to D) since disrupting the Bond project all by itself doesn't directly benefit Irene in any way that we're told about, unless there's something I missed. I did catch C), but it seems like something of a poor plan; I can't see how she'd have any evidence of Sherlock's involvement, and it's not as though they don't have enough evidence to put her away without Sherlock testifying that he helped her. B) is interesting, but it seems like more of a useful bonus than the goal, since there are other, presumably less risky ways the same thing could be accomplished (mail a fake phone to Mycroft, for example, then arrive months later to collect payment for the real one). Which brings us back to D, and D is maybe a problem. Again, if the point is to prove that she can handily break the codes on her phone and use them to cause trouble, she hasn't quite done that. Mycroft clearly knows she's been playing Sherlock from the beginning (he says as much in his speech in the plane). If he knows that, he has extremely good reason to believe that Irene can't really break these codes with any kind of reliability or efficiency; she had to take a year to con a total stranger into doing it for her when her life was in danger. Not to say the state still shouldn't respond to the threat, but really, how was any of this better than just posting the seating number email somewhere on the internet? It probably would have had the same effect substantially faster and there'd be no shred of doubt as to whether she could repeat the trick.
^ As far as Mycroft knows, she might only have needed Holmes to decode that one email. She even says she might have more information critical to the safety of the realm on there, which, she implies, need not be decoded by anyone. Irene likes risk, even to herself, as long as she thinks she's in control, and will take a risky plan over a safer one. The email would've been useless if she hadn't shown it to Holmes around that period, when she noticed the heat going up and figured some deadline was approaching. Those weren't exclusionary options, mind. I meant all or none or a combination of them could be valid.
If Irene has never been in real trouble before this episode, why did she feel she needed security? And not being able to guess the password wouldn't keep her safe. If Sherlock (or anybody else who got their hands on the phone) had just destroyed the phone then all of her so-called safety is gone.
Mycroft could assume Irene has further critical information she knows how to make use of, yes, but by the end of the episode Irene hasn't provided any proof of this. And if the point of getting Sherlock to crack the code was to supply proof that she's capable of causing further damage, then this is hugely a problem. It doesn't really matter if Irene prefers to do things in risky and roundabout ways — few government officials would look at the tremendous effort she went to to crack one code and think "oh, she probably had a stack of these things cracked already and was just prolonging the fun". Which means by choosing Mycroft's own brother to scam into cracking the code and thus making her methods transparent she's actually undermining her credibility as an extortionist, possibly to the point of making the entire demonstration moot. (As for the point about the email being useless until a few days before the Bond project date, that's valid, but there's no way to know that before figuring out the email, so the idea that Irene was waiting for the heat to be on won't work; in fact, we can assume Irene is being truthful about not knowing it was a seating arrangement and not a code, because the second you know it's something to do with a plane, figuring out the rest is actually pretty easy — it's just cool when Sherlock does it because he does it in under six seconds.)
^ An alternative interpretation is that this is part of the deal between her and Jim- she says he didn't want payment, but it does seem like he wanted to stick one to Mycroft. So, Jim helps Irene 'play the Holmes boys', which she want to do, and in return, she uses the opportunity to get Sherlock to decode the operation Bond thing for her, which Jim then sells to the terrorists and uses to draw Mycroft's attention.
^ I very specifically did not say she had other codes on the phone. She implied there might by other information Mycroft could use. The phone is also evidence of Sherlock's accidental treason, and he doesn't know if she's sent it to anyone, unless he can get in the phone. I argued Irene might've been reacting to the heat on her going up, and decided it was time to get Holmes to figure whatever it was out.
^ It's still the same thing, though. Irene ruining the Bond project basically proves, from the perspective of any sane government official trying to sort out her motives, that she did not have any other information on the phone she could more efficiently make use of, coded or not. If her plan was merely to say "I have something and and I won't show you or tell you what", she didn't need to crack the code at all. If she was just trying to prove she had information the British government might want, it would have been enough to show them the uncracked Bond project code (or seating arrangement, as it turned out to be). Actually knowing what the information on her phone means only becomes relevant if she's trying to prove that she can cause trouble with the information, but as I've said, she only proves the opposite by conspicuously going to a lot of probably-unreplicable effort over the course of many months to crack a single code. If there was unencrypted information on the disk she knew how to make use of, the government ought have assumed she'd have used that for her demonstration instead rather than hanging out for several more months while her life was in danger. And lastly, Irene implied the phone is evidence of Sherlock's treason, but it never answers the question of how it's evidence of that, which is a huge huge omission if nothing about her plan makes sense without that being the case. Surely, it's not supposed to be her word against his?
When Irene reveals to John that she's not dead and asks for his help in securing her phone back, why does she give in so easily? He's pretty adamant she tell him he's alive, but she sends the text "I'm not dead, let's have dinner" in about one minute flat of debating the issue with him. If she thought it was genuinely for Sherlock's safety, why do it? And if she wasn't really all that fussed about telling Sherlock she was alive, why go to elaborate lengths to make Sherlock believe she was dead, and why go to elaborate lengths to spirit John away in a car and drive him to Battersea Power Station for the meeting? In any case Sherlock himself was also there (how? John arrived by car and Sherlock was playing the violin when he left Baker Street). But I'm clearly missing something- why all that drama when she sent the text and it was no big deal anyway?
Adler's whole scheme was to give Sherlock the old Distressed Damsel act. She wanted him to be distraught for her apparent death and relieved by her sudden reappearance. She needed John's involvement to make the transition to seem natural — she had to appear to be reluctant to inform Sherlock that she really is alive, or otherwise the arranged dissapparance wouldn't have seemed so natural. Ultimately she had two goals: to leave her smartphone in Sherlock's hands for months to demonstrate that it can't be broken into, and to get Sherlock to solve the code, and inform Moriarty which flight would be staged as a terrorist bait.
Regarding how Sherlock got there when he was playing the violin: he was probably at the window looking down at John and saw him get in a strange car. He then followed after that in a cab.
Kate, Irene Adler's assistant/girltoy, is not seen again after Irene fakes her own death. Is the faceless body Sherlock identifies actually Kate's? The assistant who later fetches John to meet with Irene is a different woman. If this is so, it provides a chilling window into Irene's true nature. Such a contingency would have required advance planning in order to set up the convincing misidentification of DNA, and would have meant that Irene chose Kate as her body double knowing exactly what lay in store for the girl if Irene needed to activate that plan.
Why do people think this depiction of Irene Adler was sexist?
The fact that she can only get what she wants by using her "feminine wiles" to manipulate others, when the whole point of her character in the book was that she was just a clever, independent woman who came out on top by using her wits, and didn't need to be defined by her sexuality (which, in 1892, was a bigger deal than you might think). Making her a dominatrix (whose first on-screen act is to walk into a room stark naked just to get the best of Sherlock) kind of goes the other way on that.
The fact that she doesn't have her literary counterpart's sympathetic motivations kind of rubbed some people the wrong way. Considering how many times the character's been flanderized into "Victorian Catwoman" (most recently in the 2009 film) it's easy to forget that, in the story, she was just an ordinary woman trying to move on with her life with a man that she loved, and her conflict with the King of Bohemia came from the fact that she just didn't want to be bullied into giving away a personal memento of a past affair (not from her actively trying to scam or manipulate anyone).
I don't believe Adler's depiction is sexist, but those that do object to:
Her "falling in love with Sherlock" (even though she did not necessarily do so; elevated pulse and dilated pupils indicate excitement and MAYBE titillation, not love)
She "needed to be saved" at the end (in the book, there's none of this threatening international security and playing both Holmes brothers off each other. Instead, Doyle redeemed her by marrying her off and having her leave town because she realised that priest bloke she'd had in her house was Sherlock Holmes and he was onto her. I'm not sure this is much more "feminist" frankly)
Some object to her being a sex worker. How voluntarily being a sex worker—and apparently a very good one—makes her anti-feminist... eh. Not sure either.
Ultimately many fail to see that the ending is exactly what Adler wanted out of Sherlock- not to be "saved by the big strong man", but to gain protection, which she certainly did. Protection was all she wanted out of Mycroft, and the implication is that the kind of "protection" she demanded was next door to impossible and simply not gonna happen from Mycroft's part. Now that even the great Mycroft Holmes- and the British Government- believe her to be dead and have closed her file, she's safe from any further enquiries into her doings and from any monitoring or threat. Plus, she exploited Sherlock and his weakness for her by getting him to risk his life in Pakistan to save hers- and then apparently never contacts him again.
^ Sherlock chooses to help her. She wasn't expecting him to. She seemed to fully expect to be killed.
^ For her to have asked him to would have fallen under begging and really WOULD have made her a damsel in distress. She had pissed off a lot of people and was paying dearly for her actions, but there is a sort of nobility in that she seems to accept that. I honestly can't see how it's sexist to depict anyone, man or woman, being executed because they played a deadly game and made enemies too powerful for them, and it strikes me as overplaying the role of gender altogether. In any case, Irene had previously wound Sherlock Holmes around her little finger. So much that this man, who we've seen is frequently too lazy to get dressed or go to his bedroom to fetch his computer, raced out to Pakistan to save her life and she didn't HAVE to beg him to. And she didn't use sex to do so, since he was basically sexually unresponsive. She captivated him by being smart as hell and audacious.
To answer the question from more of the other direction:
Problem 1, she loses. The thing that makes the original Irene Adler unique is that she wins against Sherlock Holmes. Here, she doesn't get that- protection or no protection, she clearly didn't want him to be able to get into the phone, and he did. Also, she doesn't even get to be playing her own game- she says that the whole idea came from Moriarty.
^ She specifically says she consulted Moriarty about how to play the Holmes brothers. In return she did forward him the seating plans, but the initial gambit was hers, and it was her game. Moriarty is a consulting criminal. He works for other people.
^ She "won" at the end of act one, in basically the same way she did in the original story; leaving. She isn't even about to be married. Unlike in the original story, she sees straight through the priest disguise, and, oh yes, Irene is smart enough to generate parts of the plan on her own, especially with her love of being in control.
But then her "winning" becomes meaningless when she ultimately loses everything at the end and needs to be rescued.
Problem 2, the reason she loses is her love for/attraction to Sherlock, a man (especially problematic since she is stated to be a lesbian).
^ She's bi. Had relations with both people in a marriage, remember? Unless they were both women, which is currently impossible in the UK, one of them had to be a dude. "Gay" is sometimes used to refer to bisexuals as well.
^ It's the oddest conundrum that Irene claims to be gay, and it's gospel, but John claims to be straight and most of the fanbase still think he's lying and is bisexual at the very least. Are characters in this TV series the sexuality they claim to be, or not? There needs to be some consistency. I'm not saying that the troper above in particular necessary buys that John is bi or gay even when he explicitly claims NOT to be, but there does seem to be a HUGE amount of "John says he's straight but we know better, wink wink nudge nudge" from the fanbase in general, though when Irene claims to be gay, she's instantly assumed to be 100% gay on the Kinsey scale with no bisexual urges whatsoever. Despite the reference to her having an affair (read: sex) with both sides of a marriage. Ultimately, though, dilated pupils and a heightened pulse rate do not mean she wanted to have sex with Sherlock, despite his arrogant and unrealistic assumption that it does.
Gay women being approached by men or assumed to be waiting for "the right man" is probably the most common form of prejudice or oppression, that's why it's extremely provoking to have a self identified lesbian behaving in a manner which proves that prejudice right. Also, note the difference in that gay women acting falling for men are practically unicorns compared to closet cases in real life.
Problem 3, somewhat related to problem 1, and an issue with the sex work: Irene is depicted as a 'powerful female character', but her power comes entirely through using her sexuality to service and manipulate men, which plays into a lot of sexist stereotypes.
^ Well, which is it? Is she a lesbian, or does she service men? Or is she a lesbian who services men out of job necessity rather than actually being attracted to them? That's not present in the text. In fact, we see that she gets power from servicing women, as well. Any woman hot enough can drag a man around by his John Major, but Irene is smart enough to also successfully hold off some very powerful people trying to get at her blackmail material. She secured her phone in such a fashion Holmes couldn't crack it in six months. She uses her sexuality (and +5 CHA, so to speak) in a manner equivalent to how Holmes' uses his +5 INT; with very little regard for others. She sees people as tools, he sees them as puzzles.
Well, she does outright say that she's gay and we know that she has had male clients. Her taking male clients for the money and power rather than the attraction seems a reasonable conclusion.
True, but we do learn later that she was lying about being attracted to Holmes in that very scene. Which also means she could be lying about her monosexuality. She did seem to enjoy belaboring Holmes with a riding crop, and I'm not sure her little frustrated frown (in the scene in question) at the phone at Holmes lack of response wasn't real. Irene likes being in control, and the fact that Sherlock wasn't responding to her flirting as she expected might've provoked a genuine response. Frankly, Irene doesn't exactly seem the sort to be concerned with most people's "quaint little categories".
What the…? Okay, I’m sorry, but has no one on here ever at least looked up what professional Dominatrices do? FYI, someone who makes a career out of being a Dominatrix rarely has sex with her clients. She dominates them. She ties them up in interesting positions and hurts them as much as they both want her to, with personal doses of humiliation on the side. She has them lick her boots and beg for mercy, and many other sordid acts. It is, in fact, extremely rare that sex comes into play with professional Dominatrices. Therefore, it is perfectly possible for Irene to have clients of both sexes, and to also be a lesbian and only have sex with other women.
Also, saying someone is gay is not the same as saying they’re bisexual. As someone who is bisexual, while I wouldn’t be offended if someone thought I was gay, I would certainly correct their misassumption. By sheer definitions, someone who is only attracted to their own gender is not the same as someone who is attracted to both genders. Irene specifies that she’s gay. She sleeps with women only. She never states that she wants to have sex with Sherlock. She wants to throw him down, tie him up, and make him beg for mercy. Twice. The definition of a professional Dominatrix. When Sherlock reads her pulse and pupil dilation, he does not find out that she wants to have sex with him. He finds out that she cares about him in some way. In fact, that’s the whole point of her and John’s little conversation:
John: We’re (John and Sherlock) not a couple.
Irene: Yes, you are.
John: Now who the hell knows about Sherlock Holmes, but for the record, if anyone out there still cares, I’m not actually gay.
Irene: Well, I am. Look at us both.
It tells us that, even though Irene is a lesbian and John’s straight, both of them have deep feelings for Sherlock. And that John is in a relationship with Sherlock. It just isn’t a sexual one. And it doesn’t matter if their feelings are romantic or platonic, sexual or not. Sex was not what Irene was implying, and why John doesn’t refute what she says.
This troper feels that Lara Pulver (who, after all, has the best insight into Irene's character out of anyone), addresses the sexuality aspect of this conversation very concisely. Obviously, YMMV, but I believe that trying to fit her into a neat little box means that you've missed the point of the entire episode, or at the very least, the point of the character. Irene Adler is supposed to be uncategorizable, and to me, this thread of comments is the equivalent of Sherlock coming up with nothing but '??????' on her.
If Sherlock could decypher the email for Irene, I assume Jim could have too; so why didn't she just send him instead of going to Sherlock for it?
Although Jim is clever, there's as yet no indication he has any head for decyphering code like that. In any case, getting Sherlock to do it was a coup for Irene because it gave her extra leverage against Mycroft, who she wanted to protect her against various parties she'd pissed off.
Sherlock had the motivation of fancying her, I guess?
I thought she wanted to show that she had enough of a hold over Sherlock to have him decipher it for her.
At the pool, we can surmise Irene told Jim something to the effect of "I have a code that somehow relates to Mycroft's big counter-terrorism operation, I want to use Sherlock to decipher it for me". Seemingly, either Moriarty agreed that only Sherlock would be able to figure it out, or he decided it would be enough fun to (have Irene) play Sherlock in this way that it was worth keeping him alive.
Sherlock "calls the police" by discharging a pistol in the air. As a detective, surely he knows how dangerous that could potentially be? Wouldn't aiming at the ground be a much safer option? Seems out of character.
This is also the man who shot holes in his living room wall (which could have gone through the wall, or ricocheted), the man who scratched the back of his head with a loaded gun, safety off, finger on the trigger. It's interesting to speculate on who would have taught Sherlock to use a gun in the first place, but in any case, it's canonical/in character that Sherlock completely fails gun safety forever.
And it was much faster. The other choice was calling 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3.
I've seen the episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" a few times now, but I still don't understand Holmes' remark just as he opens Adler's boobie-trapped safe. He says "Vatican Cameos" and Watson seems to interpret that as a warning, as he dives for cover before the gun fires. "Vatican Cameos" was a Noodle Incident case that was mentioned in passing in The Hound of the Baskervilles (the book), but it can't be just a meaningless reference, right? Can anyone shed some light?
Presumably the two have agreed on a set of code-words in case of trouble where they don't want to cue anyone listening. "Vatican Cameos" presumably means "duck!"
When Sherlock yells it, John doesn't just duck. He genuflects.
It could be a code, as mentioned before, but this troper thinks it's more likely a Noodle Incident in this universe also; a past case that also involved a rigged safe. Sherlock mentions the case, Watson associates "Vatican cameos" + opening a safe to equal "Oh Shit I should duck".
It's mentioned on UrbanDictionary that "Vatican Cameos" is a code in the military for an armed, non-military person entering a British military base and that everybody onsite should duck out of the line of fire. Sherlock shouted the term knowing that John is well-trained in the military and would react accordingly. Since the CIA is from America and Irene already knew there was a gun about to discharge in the safe, it was a code that could save Sherlock, Irene, and John and have an advantage over the CIA agents. Therefore, I don't think it was a specific code between Sherlock and John at all.
How come Sherlock could see Irene's "Goodbye Mr.Holmes" text on the confiscated smartphone from Mycroft's case on her? She didn't have it anymore in Karachi, where she sent it from.
She did have it in Karachi, we she see him sending the "Goodbye Mr.Holmes" text from it right before she (supposedly) gets beheaded. I think you're mixing up the smartphone that had all of Irene's top secret files, and the regular phone she was using to text Sherlock. They're not the same phone, as Irene was sending Sherlock texts while he had the top secret phone in his possession. It's regular phone Mycroft confiscated from the fake body of Irene, the top secret phone he had probably already sent to some top secret place to get its content analyzed.
No no, it's most definitely the same phone - looks identical, and John specifically states that the data on it has been wiped and that there's nothing on it anymore, suggesting it was indeed the infamous cameraphone. The only explanation I have is some sort of bluetooth or wireless synch between the two, but since Sherlock states she specifically disabled any uplink or connection...
Sherlock put Irene's phone in his pocket. The phone he views the texts on is his own. Also, Irene probably wasn't texting Sherlock from the phone she had the photos on anyway.
Did they ever address how or why Sherlock reached the Battersea Power Station at about the same time John did, despite the fact that he was playing the violin in his dressing gown when John left? And how or why he then proceeded to beat John home by a significant amount of time- enough time that he was able to have the CIA agent all bundled up and duct taped on the chair, etc? After John realised Sherlock knew Irene was alive, you'd think he'd be anxious to catch up with Sherlock and see that he was okay.
Sherlock could have easily seen John get into a car and the direction he was going from his playing the violin and looking outside the window. In A Study in Pink, Sherlock is able to figure out alternate routes and passageways in about thirty seconds to beat a runaway taxi restricted by one-way streets, streetlights, etc. Wouldn't be difficult for him to get dressed and hail a taxi or traverse home this way.
I'm prepared to be wrong about this as I haven't got immediate access to a copy of Belgravia, but in the scene with Sherlock accessing Irene's safe at gunpoint, the CIA agents say they've been listening. They then refer to John as "Dr Watson"- but while John did identify himself as a doctor when they came in the door, did Irene ever use the name "Watson" in that conversation? Sherlock certainly just addresses him as "John", and to the best of my memory, Irene doesn't address him by any name until after the commotion is over, when she starts calling him "Dr Watson." They can't have pulled John's surname out of thin air, so if nobody had mentioned it yet, it seems like more Fridge Brilliance- the CIA didn't just happen to come across Sherlock and John at Irene's. They knew they'd be there, and had researched them in advance.
I thought that it was something they had researched in advance, because they also stated that they knew of Sherlock's reputation, after assuming that they had missed something.
I understand the importance of the scene in context, but how did Sherlock turn up absolutely NOTHING on Irene the first time he did his scan on her? I mean, she obviously didn't have any clothes to get details from, but in the exact same scene, Sherlock scans some non-clothing related details off of John (his lower lip gave us "New Toothbrush" and the bags under his eyes mentioned he was out late the night before.) There was still the application of her makeup (which I know Kate did, but Sherlock didn't know that, or did he?), her nails and hands, her hair and any possible marks, scars, or calluses we didn't see. And yet Sherlock Holmes turns up absolutely nothing but "???????"
My impression was that, as you say, Kate was the one who applied Irene's (very heavy) makeup, did her hair and nails, and otherwise put a mask on her. Then there's the fact that we later find out that Sherlock was able to guess Irene's measurements simply by looking at her. He may well have been far less cool with her being naked than he appeared to be, upsetting his deductive skills.
One of the things Sherlock deduced about John was that he hadn't called his sister, from his eyebrow. I always thought Sherlock knew most of this because he knows John well. I don't think even the great Sherlock Holmes can tell that a stranger hasn't call his estranged sister from his eyebrow. Also, about her measurements, she was curled up in a chair at the time. He might not have been able to get them then, but a moment later she stood up to force John to look at her. He probably got her measurements then.
When Mycroft tells John to pass it on to Sherlock that he'll never see Irene again, John remarks that Sherlock will be all right because "he doesn't feel things that way". Yet over this past episode he's seen Sherlock have as many 'human' moments than in the whole of the first series. He's seen him panic when John was held at gun-point, he saw him feel guilt over humiliating Molly enough for him to apologize, he watched him become horribly depressed for a week because he thought Irene was dead and he saw him go into a barely controlled rage when someone laid a finger on Mrs. Hudson. After witnessing all that, why does John still assert that Sherlock doesn't have feelings?
I don't think John meant that Sherlock doesn't have feelings in general, just that his are very much out of the ordinary. From memory, isn't his remark in response to Mycroft suggesting that Sherlock referring to Irene as "The Woman" was not because he despised her, but respected her and regarded her as the one woman who counted? It's fair that John disagrees, considering that Sherlock doesn't appear to feel ordinary romantic feelings for her. In any case, John finishes with "I don't think..." and it's clear he's out of the loop about Sherlock's feelings about Irene. Which is fair enough, because he missed most of their interactions toward the end of the episode and it's not clear how much he understood about what happened between Mycroft, Irene and Sherlock.
When those guys come to Sherlock's apartment to take him to Buckingham Palace, how does he deduce that they work at the palace (he says "I know exactly where I'm going") from the fact that one of them is an indoor office worker with three small dogs and manicured nails? That's an awfully specific deduction to make from traits common to thousands of people in Britain alone.
Most likely the fact that he had dog hairs on his rather nice suit. If he was simply an office worker with a dog, that particular combination wasn't very likely. Merely an office worker with small dogs wouldn't likely have that much hair on his suit since he'd most likely wear his suit at work and wear more casual clothes around his dogs. That meant someone who is required to be around small dogs, and remain very well-dressed. How many jobs are there in England that require a three piece suit, and constant exposure to small dogs?
How did the dead body that was supposed to be on the crashed plane end up in the car boot? Did someone forget to load one of the dead bodies onto the plane and leave their car in the lot by accident? Or was this part of Moriarty's plan to tip Sherlock off?
He definitely wasn't 100% sure of the Coventry repeat. Why else would he work with Irene to get Sherlock to crack the "code"? Mycroft also seemed to have written the incident off as an accident.
Less a question regarding the episode, and more of one regarding the fan response. Why was it so impossible to believe that Irene was captured in Karachi? Granted, I don't get to do much international travel, but it doesn't seem incredibly difficult to assume that, for example, Irene was attempting to flee to Hong Kong, or Australia or New Zealand, and was intercepted during a layover in Karachi.
That last scene: did anyone else read it as Irene IMAGINING Sherlock saving her at the last moment before she was beheaded, i.e. indulging in a fantasy in order to face death with dignity? I don't see how it's possible for Sherlock to have actually gone there and saved her but so many people seem to have interpreted it that way.
The big reason is the way the final scene was edited together. Since it was framed on both sides by shots of Sherlock, that did a lot to imply that it was less Irene's fantasy and more Sherlock's flashback. Also, since he was reading the "Goodbye, Mr Holmes" text before in her sent messages, and after was looking pretty smug, like he pulled off something very clever, it lent a lot to the idea of Sherlock actually saving her.
Apart from the general rule in filmmaking that you're not allowed to lie in flashbacks (unless the flashback is explicitly a dramatisation of a lie being told to someone else in the course of a scene), the framing of the scene, with Irene texting Sherlock and then recognising that he's standing behind her, and then cutting to Sherlock smiling to himself, implies as strongly as possible that he really did rescue her, without actually going to the point of her sending him a further text message saying "Thanks for rescuing me btw, xx". To assume that it's her fantasy implies that Sherlock is able to imagine that her happiest thought before dying would be a fantasy about him rescuing her even though he'd failed to do so, and then that he, thinking about it, would be more pleased by that idea than depressed by the fact that he hadn't done it. This is Sherlock Holmes we're talking about; he's so fascinated by her that he wouldn't just feel smug about a fantasy that he'd saved her life. He'd actually do it.
Probably too trivial to be bothered by, but since when do smartphones have hard drives? A hard drive is bulkier and more delicate than flash memory, so would be less suitable for a device that needs to be as small and light as can be managed and gets a lot of bouncing around (and yes, I know about iPod models that have hard drives).
It was probably just a normal colloquilism. Many modern devices have hard drives, and almost every average home computing device would have had one until recently. To a computer scientist or information technologist, hard drive means something other than 'The place/device where data is stored'. The point was that the device where the data was is going to rendered inoperable, so it doesn't matter what it's called as long as both parties understand.
What, exactly, makes Adler's phone password so significant? I don't see anything particularly telling about it. If anything, it was probably a spur-of-the-moment thing for her to make the password I AM S-H-E-R LOCKED.
It was a password pun that pertained specifically to the name of the man she was supposedly trying to avoid getting into the phone. Like Sherlock said, if she had picked a completely random alphanumeric code he wouldn't have had a hope in hell of guessing/deducing it. It's sort of why the tell you never to pick a password based on a dictionary word, much less the name of someone close to you, a birth date, etc. Irene "got carried away" in not using her head and picking a random unguessable passcode.
It's been a while, but this has always confused me. Why did Irene even have the data in the first place? From what I recall, she phones up Moriarty because she doesn't know what to do with all this data, and he tells her to blackmail the royal family. If she hadn't done that, and more to the point, if she hadn't been collecting sensitive information in the first place, she would not have been in danger. Was that ever addressed in the episode?
Why does everyone take Irene Adler's declaration of exclusive homosexuality as gospel? Even discounting that she's a lying liar who lies to everyone all the time, including herself by the climax, in that scene in particular she was manipulating a man with a homosexual sister and, since she could be reasonably sure that Sherlock would follow John, a narcissist with 0 romantic experience. The idea of a lesbian falling in love with a man would underline the seriousness of her emotions to John, who himself has a lot of ship tease with Sherlock despite insisting that he is exclusively heterosexual, and would play to Sherlock's ego to better play into the damsel in distress (which she absolutely was not) role she was playing for him.
The Hounds of Baskerville
So Sherlock, on noting that he and Henry saw the hound and John didn't, leaps to the conclusion that the common denominator must be the sugar. But there's a really obvious reason why John didn't see the hound- he wasn't there with Sherlock and Henry at the time. If he had been, he'd have seen something- if he'd been in the fog, he'd have seen the hound, and if he'd been nearby, probably a real dog. Mystery solved- or at least mystery solved a bit quicker than going through the business with the sugar. John admits to hearing the hound, after all, indicating that if Sherlock and Henry were simply hallucinating when there was nothing at all there, then they'd all been hearing things. Is there any other reason Sherlock concludes that John not seeing the hound must be because of narcotics, and not just because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? (or the right place, depending on how you see it?) Sherlock's reasoning doesn't make sense to me.
Sherlock was conflicted about the hound because he KNEW it couldn't have really been a genetically engineered gigantic hound, but couldn't ignore the fact that he did physically see one with his eyes. Given how panicked and frightened he was over this, he'd obviously go for the more "logical" explanation that he and Henry were drugged rather than believe that there really is a monster out there and John just didn't see it from where he was.
If Sherlock pinched Mycroft's security pass some time ago, why wasn't it cancelled? Unlike, say, Lestrade's police badge which is something subjective for a person to look at and judge, Mycroft's pass is electronic ID. Anyone who has a security swipe for anywhere knows that if you lose it or someone steals it, and then someone who isn't you uses it without authorisation, YOU are the one in deep crap for not cancelling it and having a new one re-issued. Sherlock blithely assumes that a pass he nicked from Mycroft long before would work instead of tripping the system as an expired or cancelled pass, having them arrested at the front gate of Baskerville. Mycroft has some 'splaining to do about why he can't keep track of his personal security.
He knows who has the pass - Sherlock. He also knows that Sherlock wouldn't use it unless he felt he needed to - hence the 'S what are you doing?' text, instead of 'OMG, someone's stolen my pass!'. It's a way for Mycroft to give Sherlock access if he needs it.
This I can see, but in that case, why does it flag as a serious security breach which nearly gets Sherlock and John apprehended? Surely if he was notified that someone was using his security pass at Baskerville, and he KNEW it was Sherlock and was basically okay with it, the CCVI Security Enquiry to his department wouldn't have sent back word that there HAD been a level 5 breach. It seems odd that he texted Sherlock instead of calling him or someone else in a position to figure out what was happening, especially since "Mycroft never texts when he can talk". And it's REALLY odd that Sherlock would say "Mycroft's getting slow" to John within earshot of the corporal to whom he's still pretending to BE Mycroft.
It flags as a serious security breach because it MAY be a serious security breach. Suppose Sherlock's got a gun to his head? Someone's knocked him out and stolen the ID? As to the 'Mycroft's getting slow', that implies that it's happened before and the Holmes brothers have a routine. Something along the lines of 'hello, Major. I've just sent my brother in to check your security levels and I note that not only did you not check the photo on the ID, it took 23 minutes for your security system to raise the alarm. Furthermore, Captain Watson has informed me that he was allowed into high security areas by simply flashing his regimental identification...'
If Sherlock had a gun to his head, texting him asking him what he was doing would be a rubbish way of finding out. Mycroft needed to, as you pointed out, get on the phone and talk to security at Baskerville, not send snarky texts to Sherlock.
Perhaps Mycroft was in the Diogenes Club and therefore couldn't call Sherlock right away so he settled for texting him. And then there's the fact that if Sherlock was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be then calling him might blow his cover and there's no guarantee that Sherlock would even pick up while he's much more likely to at least read a text.
We don't know when he stole it. Maybe he got it the previous day during tea. Besides, Mycroft probably wouldn't have noticed anyway: from what we've seen of him, he goes from house to work and, very rarely, says hi to Sherlock. Probably he stays in London for much of the time and everyone he works with knows him enough to not need him to show his ID.
I liketo think that Mycroft's line of thinking is "he broke in, he can break himself out". After all, Sherlock did steal Mycroft's badge, and they already aren't the best of pals. Why should he help out Sherlock when he doesn't even know why he broke onto the base yet?
Where exactly would Henry Knight have got a gun from? This is the UK we're talking about. Their firearms laws are extremely strict compared with most of the world. It might be that, living in a rural area, he might have access to a hunting rifle and permission to use it, but not a handgun like the one he has. (Even if he were allowed to have it, WHERE would he have gotten it? You can't buy guns at the corner store in England.) He's more likely to have attacked his therapist with a knife or a shard of glass or something. The fact that he's got a gun conveniently gives John one in his hand when the hound appears, but John owns a gun, presumably has it on his person somewhere, and doesn't need someone else's.
It is true that few people in the UK own a handgun, but it isn't impossible to acquire one. Inner city gangs in most large cities use them (and could presumably acquire one for the right price). Incidently the UK has just seen an incident (January 2012) when a gun owner with known mental health issues started shooting his own family.
Everyone and their mums is packin' round there! Or maybe he just kept the one that his father had (I just guess he had one, seeing where he worked). Or maybe, since he was so frightened by the idea that something could kill him, he asked for the licence and found a place that sells weapons. It's hard, not impossible, after all, and for what we have seen there is nothing that tells us that he can't have just done that.
Firstly, no police force would have given any firearms licence to a man publicly known to be undergoing psychiatric treatment. Secondly, that Beretta pistol wouldn't be legal in the UK if it was capable of firing live ammunition. So I'd go for 'his father had it' (pistols were UK-legal 20 years ago) and in the confusion of the death, the police forgot to call and ask who'd bought it afterwards.
Which reminds me, psychiatric treatment requires the person to be mentally ill. Henry just needs to overcome traumatic memories, which is the job of a psychologist. What he's doing looks like talk therapy, which would mean that his doctor is more of a psychologist than a psychiatrist. So either she's some kind of psychologist and Henry is not going through any psychiatric treatment, making it possible for him to apply for a firearm licence, or she's a psychiatrist and the writers didn't do the research...
John, while flirting with Louise Mortimer, addresses her as "doctor" and justifies trying to get her to talk about her "patient" by pointing out that they are both doctors. As far as I am aware, a psychiatrist is a doctor, but a psychologist is not, and would not be addressed or referred to as "doctor." Louise Mortimer may be helping Henry through therapy, mainly (and Henry refers to her as his "therapist" which could mean anything, really) but she does legitimately seem to be an actual doctor, making her theoretically capable of prescribing/administering drugs.
^Psychologists are addressed as doctors. They are PhD, but still...
If Henry wanted to go to a psychiatrist for whatever reason then I don't think she would refuse to treat him because he wasn't mentally ill. And if he needed to be prescribed some anti-anxiety medication (something that doesn't mean you're necessarily mentally ill) then going to a psychiatrist who could prescribe medication instead of a psychologist that couldn't would be a good move.
^ Well, in the same way you can't go to a neurologist if your brain's all right, you can't go to a psychiatrist if you're not mentally ill. Besides, you can get anti-anxiety medication by explaining the situation and asking your doctor.
What, you tell your doctor (and go on to TV to say) that your father was torn to bits by a giant hound with glowing red eyes and they don't think you're possibly mentally ill? Henry's also showing significant signs of paranoia. Essentially, he has a substance-induced psychosis, but since the medics don't know about the substances, there'd be at least a suspicion of psychotic disorder. Besides, it doesn't matter about the licence. Beretta's are illegal in the UK unless converted to air pistols or blank-firing.
There was a period of time before he went on the telly, and he displays paranoia only in the last period of time because he's been drugged and he sees a giant hound trying to kill him. He thought it was just some kind of weird coping mechanism before somebody bought a big dog and started frightening him, and even if people then suspected that he had a psychotic disorder, it's possible that he didn't go to a psychiatrist yet, making him technically still okay for a firearm licence. As for the Beretta... meh. People managed to get their hands on worse things.
It may be a piece of Fridge Brilliance by the writers. We know Sherlock is set in an alternate reality where Doyle never wrote about Sherlock Holmes. Suppose one of the other minor changes is that the gun licensing laws are essentially the same as in 1895? This explains why John has a pistol when his army personal sidearm should have been returned, Lestrade carries a pistol when he should need special permission to carry a gun on a case, and Henry has a pistol which is technically illegal.
Also an army scientist staged the whole thing remember? It would have been trivial of him to plant the blasted thing.
In 'The Hounds of Baskerville', why did the Major, described as a martinet, have a full beard? This is very, very non-reg in both the Army and the Royal Marines. I realise it was likely that the actor needed to keep his beard because he was going straight on to another part, but couldn't they have either dropped the martinet line or put him in a Navy uniform?
Its an acceptable break from reality, because the character Barrymore nearly always looks like this in adaptations (based on his description in the original story). Its a sort of in joke reimagining all the characters for the modern setting. Also it is common for British Army personnel in the field not to shave, even in modern day theatres.
Invokes Beard of Evil as a red herring, I think, and also because the Major's appearance fits in with what civilians who don't know any different might expect an army Major to look like. This frequently happens in movies/TV shows that depict the armed forces. There are quite a few examples of it in this episode- the corporal would never have saluted John, since he was in civvies at the time and bare-headed. However, most audience members would find it more odd if John wasn't saluted, since that's a popular misconception of what the army is like, so it made more sense to actually be inaccurate.
Yes, the salute made me wince as well. Perhaps they had the idea that the corporal salutes the I.D.?
Perhaps, but it's more likely just speaking to the misconception civilians have that everybody in the military salutes everybody else in the military regardless of circumstance and protocol. It's something we come to expect. (Besides, it's satisfying for the audience to see John saluted.)
Could also speak to the Major's attitude that he can do whatever he likes, pretty much. After all, when they first meet him he gives a mouthful of abuse to someone who, at that time, he still believes to be one of the most powerful government officials in Britain, as if he were above rules and was untouchable. If he thinks he can run a top-secret weapons facility without having the government pop in to say hi every now and again, it's a fair claim that he'd grow a beard if he felt like it.
At the conclusion of The Hounds of Baskerville, how come when Sherlock drags Henry over to view the dog's body they both saw just an ordinary dog? I understand that this was for storytelling reasons ultimately, but if the drug was in the fog, they're all still standing in the middle of it breathing in said drug. At first I thought that simply the knowledge that there was a drug in the fog would help them see the hound for what it really was, however, earlier in the scene Sherlock and John, both knowing that there was a drug involved somehow, distinctly saw the hound as a monster, not a dog. Frankland, too, who orchestrated the drug itself, sees a monstrous hound and is panicked enough to beg Lestrade and John to shoot it.
Lack of fear and stimulus? That's what the drug operated on, so no fear due to the dog being dead and no active stimulus like growling, recorded or otherwise due to spoiler: the dog being dead meant there was nothing for the drug to exploit and distort into a nightmare hound. Maybe?
In "Hounds of Baskerville", how come Watson did not need to vouch for who he was when they entered Baskerville, or not need to swipe through every door in the way Holmes and the corporal did as part of the "Spot Inspection".
He outranks the corporal and was able to intimidate him into not asking him to explain himself further by "pulling rank." The army is based on hierarchy; once John had made it clear he had given an order, the corporal had little choice but to comply or risk being severely punished for insubordination. John did, though, have official military photo ID on him. Which makes me wonder all the more that he's still carrying his military ID in the clear window sleeve of his wallet after, what, at least eighteen months out of the army?
Well, he misses the action, so he probably carries it around because of that. One day he'll take his shirt off to reveal a perfectly ironed military uniform.
I'm not sure if it's completely uncommon for soldiers, but many people carry around older forms of ID. Also, not sure if it's the same in the UK, but in the US there are quite a few day-to-day discounts you can get with proof of military service.
Even given that he IS a doctor, why is John Watson walking around Dartmoor with sedatives in his pockets? Disappointingly is probably just a convenience for the sake of storytelling, but it does lead one to wonder whether either he's slipping them to Sherlock (perhaps to take the edge off his climbing the walls antics) or he's taking them himself (still having combat nightmares? It's possible.)
He works with Sherlock. I'm surprised he doesn't carry a scalpel and a defibrillator just in case.
On a related note, why didn't he ask Henry if he was taking any other medications before administering it? He knew the guy was in therapy, so there was a chance of it at least.
Come to think of it, actually, Henry tells Sherlock the next day that he had a rubbish night's sleep anyway. It's possible that John gave him aspirin or something as a placebo, hoping it would help to calm him down.
He never says explicitely what he's giving Henry. And it's pretty standard practice to go: 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor, take this, it'll help.' Of course, whatever you hand over in this situation just needs to look the right way, so any and all white, vaguely pill-shaped things might do, even chewing gum or a Tic Tac might do the trick. So, chance are, what he handed Henry were some random sweets he had in his pocket. No interference, no risk, but has a chance to work absolute miracles.
In The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock gets through a military base with Mycroft's pass. Fine, except the pass has Mycroft's face on it. Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss look alike, but not THAT much alike. For one obvious thing, the picture has an obviously different hairstyle. Why did the guard still let them through?
My interpretation of that was that the guard wasn't looking particularly carefully, and both Sherlock and John had such a confident "of course we're entitled to be here" routine that it worked for them, for a brief time.
It's an Ultra-level security pass. It intimidates people into not asking questions. Though the base staff is Genre Savvy enough to send a query on the ID which is determined to be in wrong hands a mere 23 minutes later.
In The Hounds Of Baskerville, are we honestly meant to sympathize with John for getting butt-hurt that Sherlock didn't respond well to him basically accusing him of being insane??? "Why would you listen to me, I'm only your friend, that's why it took me five minutes to notice your distress and then totally dismiss it because, in my experience, you're prone to emotion, let alone emotion so intense that you fucking hallucinated a giant dog." Sure, it turned out to be a hallucinogen, but what if, John? Bet you'd feel like a douchebag then.
John didn't even hint at Sherlock being insane. Sherlock is the one who thinks he's insane: he knows that what he saw can't possibly exist, so the only conclusion he can draw is that his usually razor sharp senses are lying to him. It's this doubt of his senses/sanity that's upsetting him, more so than what he saw. Regarding John: it took him much sooner than five minutes to notice Sherlock's distress. For John to have directly addressed Sherlock's distress or have said anything overtly sympathetic to him would have probably embarrassed Sherlock horribly and upset him even more. In the scene, Sherlock is already withdrawing; he's shutting down fast, and overt sympathy would have shut him down even faster. It's how Sherlock operates- he doesn't like to be pitied, and most men of that age don't bond by giving each other hugs and kind words anyway. John's pauses and expressions reveal he can see his friend is upset and he is trying to carry on normally, encouraging Sherlock to stay rational and think his way out of his fear. John is responding to Sherlock as a medical professional would respond to someone with severe anxiety- by being calm, rational and reassuring. John's been there. PTSD generally incorporates anxiety, and he's been in therapy himself. Moreover, John was right, even if you factor out the drug. That Sherlock saw something that doesn't exist does not make him insane. People can hallucinate because they've been programmed to see something in particular, purely with the power of suggestion. And if Sherlock had been able to calm down, he would have known that John was pretty much on the money with a lot of his remarks about the case.
So Sherlock just never apologizes for locking John in that lab, scaring him out of his wits, when he knows that John has PTSD and is his best friend. Yeah...
The idea with Sherlock is that he's an interesting character becuause he is so flawed, egotistical, short tempered at times, lacking in many human qualities such as empathy and sympathy. He is also unable to form relationships on an equitable level and can be very childish at times. It just makes him all the more compelling, a bit like the Doctor for example...
I thought we had established that he's kind of a dick. For what he thinks, there's no reason for him to apologize: John was never really in danger (physically speaking, at least), he had everything under control and it was for the case. It's lack of empathy with "I'm the only one allowed to mess with you".
It's still an epic Dick Move, even for Sherlock. Especially when he knows John has had issues with PTSD in the past. (Random thought: he tells John he wanted to know how the drug would act on a 'normal person.' But John really isn't a normal person in that respect; he's an extraordinarily brave person with nerves of steel, who's had/has PTSD. Is that actually what Sherlock meant?) Anyhow. Sherlock does seem apologetic about it toward the end, especially his facial expression. It's interesting that he felt the need to apologise to John over their little snit at the pub, but both of them brushed off what a horrible, cold-blooded thing that was for Sherlock to have done. Sherlock did seem genuinely concerned about John when he finally rescued him; I'd say that he didn't expect the experiment to work that well, but we later see footage of him promising to come find John when he's sprawled out relaxed in a chair with no intention of hurrying. Plus, he's a good actor. Like you say, though, Sherlock has a distinct "I can mess with you, because I adore you, but God help anyone else who tries to mess with you" attitude toward his (few) loved ones. He has the same hypocritical attitude regarding Mrs Hudson, who he's happy to threaten with a harpoon for no real reason, despite throwing a guy out a window last episode for messing with her.
Oh, I wasn't trying to justify him- it was a dick move of epic proportion. It's just that, for him, it was acceptable: the fact that it was a laboratory experiment and therefore without any real danger was enough of a justification. Basically an horrible, horrible thing but, well, pretty In Character. Now, had John somehow found the way to hurt himself, Sherlock would have probably gone crazy...
In the original Study In Scarlet, Watson is warned by Stamford about exactly this sort of thing, so it is pretty In Character. And in this instance, Sherlock needs the answer and he needs the answer soon. He cannot do it himself, because in being aware of the experiment, he would screw with the results. Subjecting an unknown person to this might have fatal results. But John has proven himself to be brave and level-headed and willing to trust Sherlock in damn near everything (apart from grocery shopping). So if the conditions of a functional and relevant need to be met, John is the only option available. And Sherlock is concerned, sorry and even manages an rather nice not-apology. So, no. It wasn't a dick move. It was the least of a bunch of evils.
Just because it was useful and maybe even the most practical option doesn't preclude it from being a dick move.
Stamford's remark is made about someone he doesn't truly know intimately (Holmes) to someone that, at that point, Sherlock didn't give a damn about and nobody really expected he ever would (Watson.) In-universe, the relationship between John and Sherlock reached a point in this episode where Sherlock finally admitted that John is his only friend (though there were elements of manipulation in the admittance, and John seemed to see them, hence why he responded by walking away.) As for Sherlock's experiment, there were other options available to him (like seeing if limiting his OWN sugar would produce a different result in the hollow, among other things.) And, mind, this wasn't just putting something in his coffee to see if he'll break out in hives or not. This was Sherlock watching five straight minutes of his best friend being psychologically tortured- and deliberately ramping up the psychological torture. We later find out that the substance used was intended as a biological weapon. In terms of the books, it's worth referring to later "experiments" of Holmes', after he becomes attached to Watson. His needlessly melodramatic dick move in The Adventure of the Empty House, which causes Watson to pass out on the living room carpet, is immediately and profusely apologised for and regretted. His experiment, corresponding to this one, in The Devil's Foot has similar effects on Watson, but there he is warned, discouraged and also thoroughly apologised to. In terms of what John is suffering here, it seems to hint at the suffering he goes through in The Adventure of the Dying Detective. Largely considered to be Holmes' canonical epic dick move, though it really wasn't a patch on this stunt and was, again, thoroughly and unreservedly apologised for after. Despite what Mike Stamford might say, there's no real evidence that Book!Sherlock Holmes would intentionally drug his only friend, lock him up in the dark and watch him mentally disintegrate for minutes on end, ramping up his terror on purpose for an experiment.
Also, one of the first things Sherlock does after this scene is... examine the sugar in question under a microscope for any signs of a substance that shouldn't be there. This is all he needed to do in the first place without the testing on John.
This is BBC!Sherlock, though. There are differences from Book!Sherlock, like in any other version of Sherlock- the relationship between him and Mycroft is an example. In this series he's more cold and, well... deranged, so his treatment of John is IC. As for the sugar, well, he would have noticed that it was normal sugar, then he might have found the gas, studied it... and then use it to experiment on John to see the effects "on a normal mind". He's just that kind of a dick.
That isn't making sense to me. I could sort of understand finding the substance in the sugar and then testing it on John (even though that would still be horribly cruel), but to not bother testing it until after the "experiment" not only makes Sherlock a whole lot more sadistic, but it's also a violation of common sense and reasoning. Sherlock was convinced that there was a drug involved. He was right. He was simply looking for where it was. There was absolutely no logical reason to test what could have been (and in fact WAS) ordinary sugar on someone like that before going and testing it in a lab. Sherlock's got a microscope back home on his kitchen table. He's clearly comfortable in a lab and uses these methods a lot. That he said "screw it, I'll torture John first and then do a simple easy test later" seems very out of character. Sherlock isn't above being heartless in the name of science, but this heartless experiment was not as useful to him until or unless he had tested the sugar for the drug. It's a waste of time and energy to test a substance on a subject when you don't even know if it's drugged or not.
Probably he couldn't ask to use the military lab until he wasn't sure he had something to use against the scientist.
Sherlock asks Dr Stapleton if he can borrow her microscope by threatening to tell her eight year old daughter Kirsty that her mother was behind Bluebell's glowing in the dark and subsequent disappearance. He'd already concluded as much when he'd met Dr Stapleton the day before. He makes a reference to murder, but doesn't explain anything about the sugar, simply asking to borrow the microscope.
Probably he only wanted to know if there's something weird in the sugar, and only then he cared enough to see what it was: after all he was already sure of the answer, and we have seen that if Sherlock is sure of something he doesn't even think that he might be wrong ("Your brother" , "the bag totally exists even if we've never seen it" , "it's obviously the plans that he wants" etc). Sherlock probably didn't see the difference- whatever it was that's causing fear, he was going to test it on John anyway so doing it sooner or later wouldn't matter as long as it didn't kill him or hurt him (which he knew it wouldn't because it didn't kill or hurt him). That's what confidence does to you.
Some of you are rather missing the point. Yes, Sherlock makes his friend go through psychological torture and calmly watches him relive his PTSD moments. He's also genuinely unable to understand why someone wouldn't put down their dog after it becomes a nuisance. Whether he qualifies as a sociopath or not, he does have genuine problems with empathy. He's also excellent at detaching himself from emotions. In short, if he doesn't have PTSD, if he hasn't gone through genuine trauma, if he has never been subjected to psychological torture like that, it's not surprising that he doesn't see a problem with making John go through with it. In fact, since he's good at controlling his emotions, he'd be more inclined to assume that everyone is that in control of themselves, and overestimate John's psychological strength. Plus, he also seems convinced that the drug might affect an "average" mind in a lesser way. All this heavily in favour of him only analysing his actions based on strict criteria of physical harm, and genuinely not seeing why it's a big deal.
In addition to the above, within the bounds of Sherlock's above lack of understanding of emotions — someone who has not been through a PTSD attack has no idea just how devastating they can be, and Sherlock barely understands them at all — Sherlock did his level best to make sure no harm came to John. The instant the experiment was over, he raced down and let John out, and did his best to comfort him. It's clear from events in "The Great Game" and "The Reichenbach Fall" that Sherlock goes into something close to panic when John's life is threatened — if Sherlock doesn't understand just how damaging a PTSD flashback is, he genuinely doesn't comprehend that he's hurting his friend. Presumably John educates him quite firmly on this subject later, but the important thing is this — yes, it was absolutely a dick move, but it was not malicious. Considering the bounds of what he was doing — he couldn't test it on himself, that would invalidate the whole thing and muck up the results — he chose John over currently serving, highly trained military men because John was the only one he trusted enough to get the job done and done right, and because he had faith in his friend's courage and level-headedness — again, remembering that he doesn't comprehend the true meaning of PTSD. In fact, it speaks quite a bit to how much he cares for and trusts John. ...but it was still a dick move.
Also, when Sherlock goes to rescue John, he seems honestly astonished at how upset John actually is, and that a (for him) comforting "it's okay" didn't make him feel any better. This at first seems not only to really outline his lack of empathy but also be extremely hypocritical: Sherlock glanced the hound once, in the company of Henry, and with John- who was probably armed- nearby as backup, as well as a clear escape route. He nonetheless spent the evening completely freaked out crying and shaking and nursing a stiff drink. And he expected John- who spent about five minutes locked in alone and unarmed frantically trying to get out- to be "okay" not ten seconds after being rescued? But once Sherlock got the idea that he'd been drugged, he may have rationalised his own intense response to the hound as being the result of the drug on his extraordinary mind- and therefore thought John would react better? Either that, or it goes back to being an absolutely jaw-dropping instance of his lack of empathy. Factoring out John's PTSD and the fact that his "hound" experience was vastly different to Sherlock's, you'd think Sherlock by now would at least be able to deduce- not via empathy but via observation and common sense- that John would react with as much fear as he himself did the night before. Yet he seems amazed that John doesn't immediately get over it.
I have never got the impression that Sherlock was stunned at John's reaction to the drug. When he opens the cage, he looks worried or afraid for John, immediately asking if he's all right and touching him. No matter how carefree he appears in the flashback, it doesn't seem to be until John admits to seeing the hound that he truly hears how upset he is and presumably ran to let him out judging by the time it took. He waits for John to catch his breath and gives him some space (the way he immediately scrambled to get out of the cage and didn't want to be touched shows he wanted this) as well as telling him; "It's okay now." John screams that it isn't but Sherlock doesn't look taken aback by that, he merely goes back to observing John, possibly snapping back into Scientist Mode now that he's learned that his friend isn't in any immediate harm. He doesn't tell John to "snap out of it" or admonish him for being so distressed. It seems to be exactly what he expected and his attempts to comfort John are a lot more patient than John's attempts to comfort him were - because Sherlock has been through the same experience and is fully aware of how John is feeling because he felt the exact same thing the night before. It's still an epic dick move but I just don't see anything hypocritical in his understanding of John's initial reaction to the experiment.
In addition to what the above poster said, look again at precisely how Sherlock comforts John. John freaks out, yells "No it's NOT alright!!!", then says he was wrong. It is at this point that Sherlock contradicts him, saying he may have been right after all, and launches into his explanation about the drug, and you can see how it totally catches John off guard and distracts him, and very soon he's caught up in the investigation again instead of dwelling on his distress. It's notable because it echoes how Sherlock treated him in the very first episode. Rather than patronising him or treating him like an invalid, Sherlock simply jumped into the thick of it and swept John up with him, and it turned out to be the best way to help him. Remember that John is very stoic and reluctant to show weakness to otthers - hell, in The Reichenbach Fall', even the viewer'' isn't allowed to see John cry in anything but a hazy reflection in a gravestone. The best way to calm John down is to treat him like he's not as freaked out as he is, because it allows him to regain his strength - and whether through instinct or calculation, Sherlock did just that.
The debate is muddied not because of the experiment itself or anything Sherlock or John did during it, but because it's later Played for Laughs, which strikes me as an epic miscalculation on the part of the creators/writers/director/etc. Because we're clearly meant to find the explanation that it was Sherlock behind it all along funny, it confuses the issue of whether Sherlock thought it was funny, or just how blase he was about the whole thing. Performing a cruel experiment on his best friend simply because a) he fails at empathy and b) he for some reason doesn't just test the sugar first is one thing, especially when (as pointed out) he immediately gets John out afterward and tries to comfort him in his clueless kind of way. It makes sense, is (for the first part, the lack of empathy part) in character, and while it's still awful, it's not dissonant. But the notion that he was watching the whole time and was amused at John's suffering, or that we're supposed to find his shocking lack of empathy funny, is really the issue here. I think. Rather than it being a Crowning Moment of Funny, many viewers have found Sherlock's experiment to be closer to Nightmare Fuel.
I don't see it as a miscalculation, mainly because I don't see any indication that it was meant to come across as funny. Since the scene follows through with Sherlock admitting to have no idea why someone wouldn't put down a pet if it became a nuisance, I think the message was more "Sherlock DOES have issues with empathy, and DON'T YOU FORGET IT".
I had issues with the tone of Sherlock and John's conversation (in which John is only mildly annoyed at Sherlock, when many fans thought that John punching him again would be more emotionally appropriate) and the replayed footage itself, emphasising the dissonance between John's suffering and Sherlock relaxing in the booth with his feet up on the bench. It's even been offered as a Crowning Moment of Funny. (Added: and I have also watched the episode with at least two perfectly intelligent and normally empathetic people who thought that the reveal was hilarious.)
I didn't like the experiment for a long time, and I thought that it really was something appalling until I realized this: John, when he figures out that it was Sherlock who drugged him DOESN'T get angry. We, as the audience, can put ourselves in that situation and say that, logically, we would punch Sherlock in the face, but all John says is "oh, it was you" and then proceeds to call Sherlock out, not for drugging John, but for being WRONG. It's easy to forget, because John is charming and wears cuddly jumpers, but John is also rather messed up and dangerous himself. He kills people when they aren't nice, and he punches people, not out of justice, but because he gets angry. He likes danger and is an adrenaline junkie, and Sherlock has probably experimented on him before. So really, it's not that Sherlock made a dick move, even though from our perspective it seems like it. It's just that John and Sherlock's relationship is not all kittens and rainbows, and in this case the audience got a taste of that.
Did "The Hounds of Baskerville" confirm that Sherlock has Asperger's? I couldn't tell if John was just speculating, or being genuine.
Speculating. He went "I don't know. Asperger?" in the kind of way one would say "meh? *shrugs*"
Why exactly was Dr. Frankland wearing a shirt that spelled the name ("H.O.U.N.D.") and the location ("Liberty, In.") of the CIA project he used to be involved with the night he killed Henry Knight's father? The only reason I can think of why such a shirt would even exist is that it was printed as in-joke by people who were working on the H.O.U.N.D. project (such a project probably wouldn't have an "official" shirt, certainly not one with growling dog picture). But if that's the case, why did he still have the shirt years later, and why was he wearing it while conducting illegal experiments related to the original H.O.U.N.D. project? Didn't he think there was a risk someone might see the shirt and connect the text on it to his experiments - as Sherlock indeed did?
It was a shirt from a defunct project that had been dropped. He was wearing it because he still believed he could get the drug would work. It's a pride thing. I expect most people who saw him with it on assumed it was some obscure pop culture reference, and those who did know about H.O.U.N.D would've known it hadn't worked out.
Why does Mycroft text Sherlock instead of calling him? We know he never texts if he can talk.
Fridge Brilliance. We later find out Mycroft is in the Diogenes Club, where he's not permitted to talk. (Why, if he thought some sort of emergency might be happening, he doesn't just step outside to call, I don't know.)
Why does John relent and give Sherlock his cigarettes? For the entire previous scene he's been firmly refusing to give into Sherlock, even when watching him come close to what seems like a mental breakdown from the withdrawal and also when Sherlock outright begged him (the man who in the previous episode had claimed to never have begged for 'mercy' in his life). Then, after saying he's not going to Dartmoor, John almost instantly melts just because Sherlock throws him the most pathetic, laughable, puppy dog-like facial expression ever seen on television? Was it to bribe Sherlock into agreeing to take the case? If so, John is a terrible enabler.
John at that point thought Sherlock was sending him to Dartmoor on his own. Considering how absolutely crazy Sherlock was going, a likely interpretation of the exchange is that John didn't want him to be going through a major detox downswing on his own, or with just Mrs Hudson there. (After all, he'd been next door to physically threatening to Mrs Hudson earlier in the scene. She handles Sherlock well even at his worst, but she honestly seems to not know what to do with him in his current state, even looking to John at one point for any ideas.) The fact that John says "we agreed" that Sherlock would go cold turkey implies that he's keeping a close eye on how Sherlock is coping (or not coping). The fact that there's a hidden stash of cigarettes at all implies that they were hidden there, by John, so that if Sherlock really crossed the line and started to have a breakdown, he'd be able to give him a cigarette for the sake of his overall mental health.
Of course, John could just be an enabler, but John has been out to plenty of locations on his own by now, and it seems unlikely that he would be that bothered by taking the Baskerville case that he'd bribe Sherlock with cigarettes to go with him.
On a side note considering Sherlock's superhuman powers of observation allowing him the ability to cold read anyone with terrifying details how were John and Mrs. Hudson able to hide that one pack of cigarettes at all?
It speaks to an issue that's come up a few times in the show- emotion is playing havoc with Sherlock's faculties. Sherlock is so upset and angry, partly because he's bored and partly because that's what nicotine withdrawal does to your emotions, that he's unable to sit back, think logically about what spectacularly unimaginative location John would hide his cigarettes/watch his body language to see if he'd inadvertently give the hiding place away. In fact, it's testament to how mentally foggy Sherlock is (comparatively) that he actually thinks it's easier, and will get him his fix faster, if he just pleads pathetically with John instead, and that humiliatedly begging for a cigarette, along with an offer to tell him next week's lottery numbers (which is ludicrous and John knows it) was worth a try.
Is it purely a coincidence that Watson happened to get dosed with the hallucinogenic gas at the exact same time that Holmes thought Watson had been dosed by the sugar? How did Watson just happen to find the one part of Baskerville with 'leaky pipes' spewing the chemical agent, precisely when Sherlock was in the middle of staging his experiment on Watson?
Sherlock had already commented earlier about "coincidence", so it's mainly meant to be that. However, Sherlock's systematic technique of breaking Johnnote incidentally, although I realise it's habit with some people, John is never addressed as "Watson" by any character in-universe down mentally and making him as suggestible as possible means he may have hallucinated the hound without the drug. Human beings in general are very susceptible to the power of suggestion- even perfectly intelligent, non-gullible, sensible, mentally stable people. So- bit of both. Mostly, though, coincidence.
Remember Watson also has more than a dash of PTSD, which he copes with via being an adrenaline junkie. But it's still coping, so he could easily of been having a PTSD-induced panic attack.
Shouldn't the Baskerville facility/base be jammed or a dead zone for mobiles? At least in the U.S., security procedures for highly sensitive installations often lead to such measures.
Why does Henry see the words "Liberty In" and not Liberty IN? In the US, state abbreviations are capitalized. It seems like a deliberate case of obfuscation to make "In" look like a pronoun.
Unless he read "Liberty, Indiana" at the time, but his subconscious only picked up on the first two letters?
That's what the shirts said, "Liberty, In", not "Liberty, IN".
How does everyone know that Henry means "Liberty In" when he says that phrase, and not the much more reasonable "Liberty Inn," beyond Hollywood Spelling? He never writes it down.
He spells it when telling Dr. Mortimer.
The Reichenbach Fall
When the little boy was kidnapped, Sherlock deduces he used linseed oil to produce the trail of shoe prints. How did the boy get oil on the kidnapper's shoes, let alone enough to leave more or less whole prints? It's possible he rubbed some oil on his own feet, but the kidnapper's and the sister's?
The oil spilled on the floor either accidentally or on purpose, people walk through the spill, done.
I have replayed the scene several times and doesn't see any oil/puddle/glow on the floor. The blanket looks like it's glowing, though.
In the lab toward the end, Sherlock and John are discussing what Moriarty may have left at 221B on the day of the trial. John asks if he touched anything, and Sherlock said "an apple- nothing else." John then asks if Jim wrote anything down, and Sherlock, sounding irritated, says he didn't. Both of these are downright lies- Moriarty drank tea with Sherlock and had his hands all over the cup and saucernote thank you for the DNA/fingerprint samples, Jim?, and he wrote "I O U" in the apple skin. Is this one of those WMG mysteries we have to wait until next season to have sorted out or is there something in-episode I'm missing about why Sherlock would lie like that?
Someone do correct me if I'm wrong, but Sherlock finds the hidden camera on the bookshelf in his flat by moving a book that was in front of it. How on earth could the camera have picked up a visual (as we've seen it do earlier) with a book covering it? And a bigger question, how did it get there? The implication is that Moriarty put it there, but he can't have without it being obvious, because Sherlock has to climb the bookshelf to get to it... if Moriarty had done that, he'd have seen him.
The camera is in the top corner of the shelf. There was both a gap above and beside the book for the camera to look out. The removal of the book merely unblocked the series's camera angle (not the same as the hidden camera's angle) and also removed the book's shadow hiding the camera.
If you remember there were workmen coming in and out of Baker Street throughout the episode, carrying ladders etc. One of those workmen had a gun in his toolbox, ready to shoot Mrs Hudson if Sherlock didn't jump. I'd guess that the same workman (or one of the other workmen) put the camera in the bookcase. They were working for Moriarty all along.
Any ideas as to how Sherlock knows mercury by its taste?
This is Sherlock Holmes we're talking about. The man who keeps body parts in the fridge and doesn't hesitate to drug his only friend for an experiment. The man who practises all kinds of self-destructive behaviour like depriving himself of food and sleep for days. He probably tested mercury on himself for whatever reason. Judging from the periodic table in his bedroom and all that science equipment he owns, it's also possible that he studied chemistry, so getting access to all kinds of nasty chemicals would not have been a problem for him.
In olden times, tasting was a valid chemical diagnostic test. Marie Currie's demise was most probably up to ingesting radium during chemical tests. Sherlock may have used taste in his researches figuring that it might come in handy although it is extraordinary dangerous.
How come the Chief Superintendant of Scotland Yard doesn't know that Sherlock has been let in on "serious cases"- when the opening few minutes of the episode reveal that Sherlock helped capture Interpol's Number One Most Wanted Since 1982???
Good point. Eh, I got the impression that the Chief Super was a bit of an idiot.
Lestrade says they have Sherlock to thank for "giving [them] the decisive leads". If you know them, it's obviously code for "Sherlock did all the work", but to an outside observer, it sounds something like "This guy who saved the ambassador happened to stumble on some evidence and share it with us", which is the kind of involvement the super or someone like him might have permitted as long as they didn't realise how intimately Sherlock was involved in this case and others, including those he didn't get permission for.
When Sherlock was having that last conversation with John over the phone, John says Sherlock couldn't be a fake because when they first met Sherlock knew everything about him, including his sister. To which Sherlock replies he just researched him. But at their first meeting John's sister was the only thing he got wrong — he thought it was a brother.. Did the writers have a total brain fart or were they talking in codes or something?
John says "you knew all about my sister", which is still true even if he didn't know her gender: he deduced everything else about her person and her relationships: her marriage and divorce, her alcoholism, the state of her relationship to her brother, etc.
Neither. Sherlock isn't a fraud, so he was flailing for a way to try to get John to believe he is one. (The "I'm a fraud" being the only plausible reason for a suicide jump that he could come up with at the time.) And he failed utterly. Partly, perhaps, because John remembered that he had got Harry's gender wrong. Alternatively, he initially says knowing about Harry was a "magic trick" and then goes on to explain that he researched John. It's possible that what he meant was that after striking initial (somewhat) gold with knowing about Harry via "magic trick", and seeing how much John admired him for that, he rushed home and researched as much as he could about John so that he could impress him some more. Of course, he didn't. It was never a particularly convincing line, but that's the point. He's not a fraud, so he can't give convincing reasons for being a fraud, and John knows it.
Also, remember that Harry is short for Harriet. Likely when Sherlock did his research, it only showed that Watson had a sister named Harriet, with no mention of her going by a nickname. When he saw the name Harry, he probably just assumed Watson also had a brother named Harry, too. Also, shortening Harriet to Harry isn't nearly as common as shortening (Alex)andria or (Mack)enzie, and I can't really think of a woman who would voluntarily go by the name "Harry" (Hairy.) But again, Sherlock is pulling all of this out of his ass while knowing that he's about to jump of a roof and/or the people that he's (however involuntarily) close to are about to be brutally murdered. Likely even his brain is a little scrambled at that point.
Don't forget that really good frauds make a few mistakes along the way, to make it more believable. It's like how it's more believable that someone could move a pencil an inch from three feet away, after much effort, than that someone could float that pencil about and fling it at people.
When Moriarty does his whole break-in thing, Lestrade's got a point in bitching that it's "not our division." Is there an in-episode reason why a division that seems to deal fairly exclusively with homicide cases, or at least violent crimes against people (Lestrade's fake-out drug busts aside) were called to attend what then appeared to be a major, but fairly straightforward, break-in at the Tower of London? Or was it just to give Lestrade and Sally a reason to be there?
Sally said "You'll want this". This is likely an allusion to the fact that Lestrade & Co. have dealt with Moriarty before during the suicide bombings case. It does make some sense for the people with direct experience with a dangerous criminal to be there when said criminal is apprehended, so it's not too far out there.
It's more likely to be a case of seniority - with a break-in at a place of such importance, they'd insist on having a very senior D leading the case, and Lestrade is probably pretty high up. Just because he works the homicide division doesn't mean he wouldn't take other cases, if there wasn't anyone more senior available, or if it was (as in this case) a case of some prestige.
How is it that the assassin intended for John arrived at St Bart's long before John himself did? The other two assassins were onto a safe bet by being at Baker Street and New Scotland Yard, but there was no guarantee if and when John was going to show up at St Bart's or that he was going to stand out in the carpark as an easy target to where the sniper just happened to set himself up. Or am I missing something?
Moriarty knew John would come rushing back when he realized something was up, so he instructed the sniper to set up there? It does seem to stretch believability that he knew John would show up on time, however...
Also remember that two of the assassins were killed instantly during the course of the episode. It's more likely that Moriarty just has snipers everywhere and the one we saw was aiming at John was just one of several who could have potentially been near him at the time.
After the shock meeting at Kitty's flat, Sherlock comments that Moriarty has his whole life story. But how does he know that? Kitty showed the "proof" to John, not Sherlock, who was busy staring down Jim and didn't look at the documents she had. Sherlock also never more than glances at the heading in the newspaper earlier. Unless, of course, Mycroft had already told Sherlock about giving out those details...
When Mycroft first tells John that he has identified four hired killers who have moved within twenty feet of 221B, why does John brush it off? He says that if it was Moriarty behind it, they'd be dead already, but the argument about whether it was Moriarty or not seems a bit moot. There's still four hired killers circling around the flat, for heaven's sake. It's only when the one shaking Sherlock's hand is shot by a sniper (which could easily have missed and got Sherlock instead, if he made a sudden movement forward) that John even bothers to say something dismissive like "Oh, him. Yeah, Mycroft told me about him, he's a big Albanian gangster, and whatever." Sure, there was a kidnapping investigation underway when John returned home after his meeting with Mycroft, but "there are four hired killers who are probably going to kill you and your best friend" is not something that strikes me as easy to slip one's mind.
Maybe the fact that he mentions Moriarty is because John thinks anyone else wouldn't be a threat. It's a little out of character for him to be so optimistic though. Especially since he would've had plenty of time to mention it anyways just to be safe on the car ride over to the school, or when he later brings up the mysterious envelope full from earlier.
Rich Brook. Is Kitty Riley a very shitty journalist (even by Sun standards), or did Moriarty have an acting career under the alias of Rich Brook? If the first, then debunking Moriarty's claims should prove easy, if the latter, then... Wow.
The former seems to be the implication. When Moriarty enters her flat, I think he starts by saying 'darling,' which could imply an ulterior motive for her to believe him (aka they're sleeping together).
He definitely calls her "darling", for what it's worth.
The impression that I got was that it was neither of those things; Moriarty created Richard Brook out of thin air. He has the money and the power to manufacture the evidence, and how hard is it for him to insert a few articles into archives, write up a CV, and film a DVD of himself telling stories? Borders on the brilliant when you realize that as an out of work actor, he wouldn't have to alter anything recent enough that it might be noticed.
There's one more problem there. He isn't just the story teller. There was an article that mentioned he joined the cast of some medical drama, and there also seemed to be some other film and TV credits on his C.V. Either he's had a Crazy-Prepared acting career, he's hacked into the Internet Movie Database, the BBC Archive, and the DVD collection of every British subject, or there's still a huge hole in his story (i.e. all the other credits on his C.V. that don't exist.)
In addition to the two points mentioned, also consider that this was The Sun that Kitty Riley was working for, a tabloid that reports on everything, no matter how untrue (that Rowan Atkinson was definitely going to play Voldemort, for instance). She's just that bad of a journalist. Also, more of a WMG than anything, but how amazing would it be if the story of Sir Boasts-A-Lot was on the DVD?
Or, if you're willing to indulge in a truly [[Epileptic Tree]], Richard Brook was real, he believed everything he told Kitty, and all his records were true - but instead of it being Sherlock who hired him, it was the real Moriarty, who we have yet to meet. Most of the fandom is entertaining the idea of Moriarty faking his death as well, so this theory would be the not-so-logical next step. Maybe Moriarty's got another sniper prepared to off Rich Brook if he doesn't play the part and continue to fool Sherlock.
The best part about actors is that they can easily take uncredited roles or work under a different name, and no one would question it. Moriarty could have easily faked an acting career on the side knowing he'd someday need "proof" for a fake identity someday, and then just as easily filled in any holes and inconsistencies later on. People would see five year old footage of "Richard Brook" reading stories to little kids and not care about minor details like why he used an alias.
One fan theory is that Jim Moriarty is an alias- who uses their legal name to found a shadowy criminal empire? The fairy tales are a hint- "funny name, sounded german, like in the fairy tales" is supposed to refer to "Rumplestiltskin." The idea is that Sherlock is allowing Moriarty to think he hasn't figured this out as part of his plan to do whatever death faking stunt he had planned. Either way, Jim would have to have lived as "Richard Brook" for a very long time because he has a CV full of television roles, and anyone would be able to check and see if he was in them by looking at back episodes.
How did Sherlock survive? He fell from a multi-storey building, had doctors around him with in seconds, and it was unquestionably him.
That's operating under the assumption that it was he who did the actual falling, that the doctors weren't a rent-a-crowd he paid, that the cyclist who hit John wasn't also paid, and that it was a coincidence that he ordered John to stand where he couldn't see the point of impact onto the pavement. It's not totally clear but there are some compelling things being pointed out. Those, among others, the fact that John is prevented from trying to take his pulse, and that in complete violation to normal protocol of an obviously dead suicide case, his body is dumped on a stretcher immediately and rushed into a hospital that has no Accident and Emergency department anyway. It just doesn't happen. If there was any chance of his being alive he'd be taken to a hospital with an A&E in an ambulance, one of which is parked a few metres away. If he was very obviously dead he'd be covered and left until experts arrived to investigate. Hmmm.
We never do find out what Molly does for him, so she's obviously in on it. Plus, if you look carefully, when he gets up and leaves to join Moriarty on the rooftop, you see him slip what looks like one of the vials from the table into his pocket. Presumably there are substances that would help imitate the symptoms of death - a muscle relaxant would help too, since keeping your body loose when it falls from a height helps reduce shock trauma across the whole body and limit the damage to one area. I don't think he did a last-minute switch with Moriarty's body - it's too convoluted, and he knew Moriarty's people were watching him to see if he would jump - any odd behaviour would be endangering his friends.
For what it's worth, I don't think it's a chemical vial. It's the ball. A simple "magic trick" is to slow one's pulse considerably [certainly long enough for the short period of time John tries to take Sherlock's] by putting a small solid object under the armpit of the arm in which the pulse is being taken. I tried it, it works. In addition he could easily have a pint of blood taken, not unlike Janus' cars, or even taken some of Moriarty's. But now I'm WM Ging.
This, also keep in mind that it's not impossible to fall from a four story building and survive. Especially when you happen to spread your arms out while wearing a big heavy coat and fall feet first. We don't see enough to know if Sherlock might have sprained or broken anything even though he survived, and people who aren't crazy prepared or trained to take falls have been known to survive falls from that height.
In addition I noticed that Sherlock falls perpendicular to the hospital but is later seen on the ground parallel to it. His body does not look like he landed on his feet and fell over, which would also imply incredible damage to the legs. Is this a hint that the body (whoever it was, an alive Sherlock or dead other person) was placed there while John wasn't looking? Or is it simply a filming mistake?
I don't quite understand the scene where Sherlock realizes Jim has a code to stop the assassins, and leaps straight to the conclusion that this means he can stop the hit. What is he holding over Jim exactly that would make him give up the code. As Jim points out, all the kings horses and men couldn't make him give it up, so it isn't torture. Somehow Jim is convinced the code isn't safe when Sherlock allegedly proves that they are the same sort of person. Is he afraid Sherlock will deduce the code, and if so, how would he send it out? In other words, why was the code safer if Jim killed himself?
Even if Sherlock did figure it out (and nothing says he wouldn't), Moriarty would still need to be the one to give the code to the assassins. As you (and he) said, no amount of torture would make him talk, nor did Sherlock have any kind of leverage over him to make him give it up. The way Mortiarty had things set up, no matter the outcome, meant someone (preferably Sherlock) would die, as well as himself. He dies and so goes the code, therefore there is nobody to call off the hit. Either Sherlock lets his friends die, or dies himself and their lives are spared. ...that is, of course, assuming he wasn't lying about there being a call-off code in the first place.
It's not necessarily true that no amount of torture would make him talk. Just because Moriarty said so doesn't mean anything, he lies whenever he feels like it. Sherlock made the point of saying "just because I'm on the side of the angels, don't think that I'm one of them." He also pointed out that he and Moriarty were similar in that they were both willing to do what others wouldn't or couldn't do. Basically, Sherlock could probably improvise a much more effective torture on the spot than all of the king's horses and all of the king's men could come up with in the few weeks that they had held him (especially considering all we saw them do was slap him around a bit). Even if he couldn't have gotten the direct code he would have had a decent chance of making Jim give up a clue, and one clue is all Sherlock needs.
To be honest, I wouldn't even put it past Moriarty to kill himself in front of someone just because it'll screw with that person's mind. He's mentally broken like that. Even he admits he's unpredictable.
The point of the scene wasn't that Moriarty chose to kill himself so Sherlock won't get the code but instead it's because he realized he has become the hope for Sherlock's chance of winning. As Sherlock said "I don't need to die, I got you" that means that as long as Moriarty has the code Sherlock won't despair and give up on his life, so in order to take the very last hope of Sherlock winning the game, Moriarty decided to kill himself and assure that he'd have the last laugh.
I think it goes further than that. When Moriarty thanks Sherlock and shakes his hand, it is because Sherlock has finally given him a good enough reason to kill himself. The final problem? Staying alive. The solution? A situation where Moriarty needed to kill himself in order to win the game.
When Moriarty is arrested, the newscasters call him James Moriarty, but he still goes by Jim Moriarty. Which is his real name?
Jim is a nickname for James.
Why did Sherlock decide to tell John that he was a fake at the end?
The assassins are going to shoot John & Co. unless Sherlock takes his fall - it has to be a fall of reputation as well as a physical fall to his death. Moriarty's gunmen have probably been given an order to kill Sherlock's friends unless he gives up his pride as well as his life.
Since he's committing suicide and John's going to see him do it, he needs to give a reason for it, otherwise John is going to conclude that Moriarty engineered it and that would put John in danger. The best excuse he has right then for suddenly committing suicide in broad daylight and public is disgrace and remorse over being a "fraud." Moriarty had already explained that this was what he wanted Sherlock's death to come off as, Sherlock was simply completing the plan as instructed.
Most likely his phone was tapped. He wanted to give the assassins a good reason to let John live even after Jim was dead. "Confessing" his fraud to him made it sensible to leave him alive to tell the tale.
Well, he, or at least his death, is a fake, after all. There is always the possibility that it was some sort of coded message because of course, John wouldn't believe it to be true.
He doesn't just tell John that he's a fraud. He very specifically wants John to tell all his friends that he's a fraud. I think that it's very heavily implied that he's trying to soften the blow of his death to people he's only just realised are his friends, by trying to convince them that he was only a fraud and not worth mourning. Moreover, he's got to have SOME reason given for him suddenly committing suicide. Since the papers are already proclaiming him as a fake, this ties up nicely. As Moriarty pointed out.
Sherlock goes into hiding because it has become obvious that Moriarty's death won't solve anything - this episode is the first where we are really shown what kind of power Moriarty has in the criminal world. Sherlock's friends were in danger just by association with him. If they keep supporting Sherlock after his "death", Moriarty's men might wipe them out anyway. So the only way to ensure their safety is to convince their enemies that his friends are not a threat, and that Moriarty has won, completely. Convincing his friends that he's a fraud is the surest way to do it.
A friend of mine made a point that sort of ties in and adds to all of the above; Sherlock has hit fame status, something he clearly preens about but doesn't necessarily want. At one point in an episode he even comments that he doesn't need his face plastered all over the papers. Destroying his own reputation, as well as 'dying', allows him to fly under the radar again, even when he DOES come back.
Does it? I would think that a man who was once a celebrated genius detective but who was proven to be a fraud and who committed suicide coming back from the death and going back to solving crimes is going to attract a lot more attention than if Sherlock just kept going and waited for people to lose interest. It's not like the scandal is going to do anything to make him less famous. Quite the opposite, actually.
ACD canon has it that Sherlock vanishes for a while in order to hunt down Moriarty's men, so it's likely that this is also the reason for him going into hiding. Probably so that he can make sure he's disposed of all the hitmen and found the proof he needs to show Moriarty was real and Sherlock himself isn't a fraud. I bet he's staying with Molly Hooper during this time - I hope there are flashbacks of that!
Remember that Moriarty's told everyone that there is a code hidden in 221b that would open any door. Criminals would continue coming even after Moriarty stopped giving orders because they want the code. Sherlock wanted John to tell everyone who would listen that he was a fraud and that the story that he had CREATED MORIARTY was true. That would mean that at least some of Moriarty's criminal empire (the stupider parts) would believe that everything that they had heard from and about the man was a falsehood i.e. no code and no reason to come to London. Sherlock was willing to discredit himself if it also meant discrediting Moriarty's power and influence in the criminal world.
What was with Moriarty's I.O.U. clue? Was it a simple Red Herring (if so why did Sherlock become obsessed with it?) or did it have an obvious meaning I missed?
It was a Red Herring but it wasn't an audience Red Herring so much as a Moriarty Red Herring. He was messing with Sherlock just like with the finger tapping and the code.
There's still a chance we'll find out IOU wasn't a red herring after all. Wild Mass Guessing has suggested that it may have been the code to call off the assassins- after all, it's not like Jim to give Sherlock absolutely no chance of beating him.
The I.O.U's do have a significance. It's probable you missed the third one: Watch the scene where Sherlock pretends to take John hostage. Pay careful attention to the wall they back away towards. There's an I.O.U. graffitied on it, with black angel wings, no less. Three gunmen. Three bullets. Three victims. Three I.O.U's. The apple in the flat, the building opposite New Scotland Yard, Baker Street. John, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson.
I'm fairly sure the answer is Jim's over-the-top personality, but was there an actual reason behind him asking the female officer to stick her hand in his pocket that I missed? And if there wasn't, why did she comply?
He wanted a mint.
Thank you. I'm not sure how I managed to miss that the first time around.
This question may be due to my total ignorance of British legal proceedings, but how do Donovan and Lestrade get an arrest warrant for Sherlock? The only evidence linking him with the kidnapping was that he was able to solve it with limited evidence. By this logic, most policemen are secretly murderers.
Lestrade's boss ordered him to make the arrest, didn't he? And there were other issues, including that the kidnapped little girl was terrified of him and Sherlock's past involvement with the police. The commissioner is shown being unnecessarily prejudiced toward a guy he has never met, however.
"Able to solve it with limited evidence" is a huge understatement. Consider what Donovan sees: Sherlock gets called in and immediately deduces that the kid, in his last moments before being kidnapped, wrote a message on the wall in invisible ink. He pulls a few pieces out of a footprint on the floor and shows up at Scotland Yard knowing that the kids are at an abandoned sweets factory - the name and location of which he deduces in seconds because of the chemical content of brick dust. When they arrive, he tastes and immediately knows the kids have been poisoned with Mercury. When he goes to speak with the kids, the girl immediately screams at him in terror. If I hadn't been following Sherlock this whole time as the viewer, I'd have possibly reached the same conclusion.
Why did the officers cuff Sherlock and John together? Sherlock was already cuffed. So, they uncuffed one of his hands to handcuff one of John's hands. For that matter, it was implied the two of them would be taken in the same car. From what little I know about police procedure, two arrested people are never taken in the same car if it can possibly be helped, and since there were, at least, two cars there, it could have been helped.
Convenient plot reasons! It's implied that since they went there only expecting to make one arrest, they only brought one set of cuffs and had to make do when John went ballistic. However, and as John himself points out to them just prior to said going ballistic, there was no need to cuff Sherlock at all, since he was not resisting arrest or being violent in any way. If they absolutely had to cuff them together, they would then necessarily have to take them in the same squad car. Lestrade's reasons for cuffing Sherlock aren't explained, but perhaps relate to a suspicion that he would do as he does- suddenly either attack or try to escape.
Surely, though, more than one officer would be carrying handcuffs, wouldn't they? Isn't every officer required to carry a pair? As for Sherlock not resisting, is that common in England to only do handcuffs if the person's resisting? Where I'm from, if you get arrested, you get cuffed, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The only possible exception is if you happen to be in the police station when you're arrested; then, if you don't resist, you're just escorted to the nearest cell/the booking area.
Re: the not resisting thing, you can hear John start to say "He's not resisting," as Sherlock is cuffed. Possibly because the commissioner is there?
Last time I was arrested (ahem) in the late 90's the police normally only cuff you if you refuse to come quietly, or if there are extenuating circumstances. Rebekah Brooks, former newspaper editor for publications belonging to News International was recently arrested and basically invited to attend the police station (much less embarrassing than having the police show up at your house)
I'm also wondering, if there was such an urgency to arrest John (who, fair enough, was being violent and probably resisting arrest as well) they apparently let him put his coat on before taking him downstairs to slam him up against the police car. Continuity FTL!
We didn't see everything in between ordering the warrant and them arriving. With the number of police officers there, it could be that word got around that Sherlock Holmes was getting arrested and they wanted to see him eat humble pie, and someone who Sherlock had crossed, and who had standing with the Commissioner, talked him into it. It would have been within guidelines, and Sherlock has proved to be difficult in a number of ways in the past so that's reasonable cause there for it. Basically the police might be bending the rules to have satifaction. As to why he is cuffed to John... no idea.
It could be that Lestrade orchestrated it to help him escape.
Did they ever address the gaping plot hole issue of why, if Sherlock had kidnapped the children, he would deliberately volunteer to go and interview the little girl, who would surely recognise him and give him away? After all, if that were the case, why wouldn't he just make an excuse to send John in instead?
If the officers had calmly looked at the facts, then there would be a whole bunch of such holes in their logic. In addition to your example, here's another: Sherlock's been involved in cases that he clearly could not have engineered, involving events that happened years ago. For example, the Hounds of Baskerville case. But people (at least, people who are not Sherlock) don't operate on good logic most of the time. It didn't take much to convince Donovan and Anderson since they already half-suspected as much of Sherlock, and the 'evidence' presented played to their sympathies. And outside the circle of people who actually know Sherlock, it's easier to believe that he was a fraud rather than so extraordinarily clever. The point about Sherlock Holmes - what makes him different from others in all his incarnations - is that he looks at the facts and makes a deduction while those around him start out with a hypothesis and pick the facts that suit it. It's very neat that Sherlock would be brought down by the kind of sloppy thinking and hearsay that he rails against. And it's a marker of the difference in his and Moriarty's thinking, as well: Sherlock 'always wants everything to be clever', whereas Moriarty knows that you just have to push the right buttons, bribe the right people and people's prejudices will do the rest.
It seems Anderson was the one to begin speculation on Sherlock's possible involvement in any or all of the past cases he'd worked with the police on; there's no evidence that they could possibly find Sherlock involved in any/all of them, though. Your last point is still true though. That Anderson even speculated on that is proof enough of the way these people were thinking (and we've also already established that Anderson is a moron in a lot of ways.)
They probably thought that he didn't consider that she might panic. After all, he's not very empathetic. I'm grasping for straws here. The episode was great, but there were a couple of plotholes. For example, how could John just calmly walk to Baker Street to check on Mrs Hudson? He was a fugitive!
I'm claiming that one as heartwarming- he's not bothered by the whole fugitive thing because omgz Mrs Hudson!
I'm more bothered by this: If Mrs. Hudson had really been shot, why would she still be at Baker Street? Presumably she would've been rushed away by paramedics in a last-ditch effort to save her life.
Rather. It's possible John was at Baker Street prior to a hospital run to pick something up or otherwise unwittingly follow Sherlock's intentions, but that's not borne out by the script, and even though he IS in a mad panic about Mrs Hudson's welfare, it does seem a little out of character for John to become that illogical.
No idea which hospital she went to? He came home to check up?
Paramedics will spend a lot of time trying to recover someone, and to then stabilise them enough for transport. They won't give up until the person is gone, and that can take a fair amount of time. If Mrs H had been shot, and a neighbour heard it, called the ambulance then called John, it's very likely the ambulance wouldn't have even been at the scene yet. Hence John would have had to at least start heading for Baker St.
Concerning "Sherlock is a fraud" - it's obvious that the idea doesn't hold water on closer examination. If he was a fraud, he must still have been a genius to be able to orchestrate it so perfectly. If he was a genius, he didn't need to be a fraud. As "unbelievable" it is that he'd be able to find the children from a footprint, he could have had Molly corroborate his story on how he'd come to that conclusion. And of course, if he's been committing crimes and framing other people for it for years without even being suspected, why would he suddenly be so sloppy as to let the kidnap victim see his face? But that's the whole point. When you're someone like Sherlock, it takes so very little to make people turn against you, beyond all reason.
We can probably blame more than a little bit of "Sherlock's a fraud" on Tall Poppy Syndrome as well; for whatever reason (envy and jealousy, cynicism, etc), there's a lot of people who tend to expect, hope for or even enjoy seeing other people who are shown to be 'better' than them in some way be 'taken down a peg or two' (which often means 'brought down to my level'), so it wouldn't have been hard to convince them to accept Sherlock's 'fraud' in spite of the evidence so that they could have the satisfaction of sneering at Sherlock's downfall.
It seems likely that Donovan doesn't actually think Sherlock's a fake genius, but rather that he is a bored psychopath who has finally crossed the line; just as she predicted he would in the first episode.
There's also the fact that Sherlock almost never makes an effort to explain his logic. Fans who carefully, dispassionately, go over his deduction can understand his thought process but in person it would be almost impossible to follow.
So did Jim genuinely work as an actor to establish his cover story, and if so, why did nobody recognize him when he was all over the papers as the criminal mastermind of the century?
As mentioned above, it's implied that Kitty is just a crappy journalist who got all excited over a "scoop" and didn't bother checking her sources properly. Anybody can have a DVD made. Especially if you're Jim Moriarty.** One professional review of this episode suggested that Kitty was driven at least partly by Holmes' extreme, even for him, rudeness to her in the courthouse, and that her desire to get back at him by getting the scoop may have led her to believe anything she was told, much like the jealous police officers.
But there was also information about him being on a TV Hospital Drama. But people not really recognizing him isn't that weird- Moriarty has a very animated, cartoon villain way of speaking, holding his face, body language, etc. Whereas when we see him come inside as "Rich Brook" he slumps, his hair is messy and styled differently, the shadows under his eyes are more prominent, and his voice is different. Plus, even if he looked like "that guy from the TV" that doesn't mean people would assume they were the same man- the manager of my local McDonald's looks an awful lot like Robert Downey JR, and conspiracy theorists on the internet are still arguing over whether or not Miley Cyrus was killed and replaced with a double because she has different hair.
Given that the DVD was of a children's show, Moriarty was probably banking on most adults not being aware of children's entertainers, so would take him at his word. As mentioned above, he has the money and resources. Hell, he could probably even manage to have The Storyteller put on a little known digital channel for several months to back up his story with Kitty (who as mentioned above wasn't really checking anyway).
Is it possible that Kitty was in on Moriarty's plans in the first place?
After Sherlock commits suicide, the newspapers read "FAKE GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE." Assuming Sherlock had created Moriarty, Sherlock proved himself capable of concocting plans that would allow him to break into the Tower of London, opening the vault in the Bank of England, and setting a bunch of prisoners free. Even were he faking his deductions, that still seems pretty genius to me.
"FAKE GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE" is a better headline than "GENIUS WHO WAS PRETENDING TO BE ONE KIND OF GENIUS BUT WAS INSTEAD A DIFFERENT KIND OF GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE". The newspaper editors are more interested in the sensationalist angle of him being a fraud than the exact details of whether he actually was a genius or not.
If memory serves, the specific newspaper featured was The Sun, famed for it's sensationalist headlines (such as the infamous "Gotcha" during the Falklands war and "It's the Sun Wot Won It [sic]" from the 1992 General Election). Its inclusion with the accompanying headline was probably chosen deliberately for that reason, which verges on a fridge Take That.
How exactly was a diamond supposed to help Moriarty break through toughened glass in the crown jewels room? While diamonds might be very hard, they're not very tough, so a sharp, sudden impact (such as, say, being hit with a fire extinguisher) would cause it to shatter. What Moriarty should have ended up with was chewing gum full of diamond powder, and a pane of glass with a slight scuff mark.
Rule of cool, or it wasn't an actual diamond, but something tougher than the glass shaped like a traditional diamond.
Armoured glass is most sensitive to one thing: extreme pressure applied at extremely small area. The diamond is cut into a small point, and applying a strong blow at it would have been quite likely to shatter the glass. Mind you, the diamond would most likely have shattered, as well.
I'm most definitely missing something completely obvious here, but how was Sherlock able to track the kids to the factory based on finding the residue of chalk, brick dust, asphalt, vegetation, and chocolate on the footprint? Wasn't the footprint from at the school, before the kids were taken, and therefore they'd never have been at the sweet factory by that point?
It was the kidnapper's footprint, not the child's. Presumably Sherlock deducted that the kidnapper had already been to the factory to sus it out.
Also, the whole thing was more than likely set up in such a way that provides Sherlock with all the clues, yet to a layman looks suspiciously like Sherlock is making it up all along. Don't forget Moriarty is just as meticulous as Sherlock. One example of this that we see explicitly is when he provides a Hansel and Gretel reference that Sherlock is sure to get because of Moriarty's talk about fairy tales. He may have also posed as a member of Sherlock's homeless network when providing the location that matches everything.
Have none of these offensively stupid police officers heard of interrogation? "Okay, setting aside Donovan and Anderson's rampant bias against the suspect and harassment of civilians, Mister Holmes, we've cleared your alibi with Mister Watson, your landlady, and your extremely influential brother, you're free to go. Donovan, you're fired."
It's a truly glaring and bizarre omission that nobody, not even Lestrade, bothers to ask Sherlock where he was the night of the kidnapping. And that John, who's so sure Sherlock is innocent, never vouches for where he was (even if he had to lie to do it. Which he totally would.) Sherlock never bothers to protest his innocence either, which doesn't help, though he no doubt has an idea that Jim may have arranged matters so that the more he protested, the more guilty he looked.
Considering that John and Mrs. Hudson are two of the people who care most about him, an alibi from them would likely have been less than convincing and might even have caused the suspicion to fall on John as well. There's also the possibility that Sherlock really didn't have an alibi - he keeps odd hours, often not sleeping at night, sometimes runs off on investigations of his own, and is presumably left alone for hours on end while John works at a clinic (assuming he still has that job). That aside, I assume they would have asked him if he had an alibi - that would've been part of being brought in for questioning.
John's job is as Sherlock's PA, basically. There's no evidence of him working in medicine past The Blind Banker. Sherlock wasn't just "brought in for questioning"- he was arrested in a dramatic scene with cuffs and sirens blazing and half of Scotland Yard showing up at his flat. There is no way that the police would do that, only to have him prove once they'd gotten him down the police station that if they'd bothered to ask, he had a watertight alibi of some kind or could otherwise make them look like idiots (and possibly sue them for false arrest) by proving he couldn't possibly have done it. As it is, they arrested a guy for kidnapping without even checking where he was the night it happened- a standard, basic police procedure. (Incidentally, since John works alongside Sherlock, it's quite the wonder that suspicion didn't fall on John.)
Besides, does anyone on this very page really believe that Sherlock Holmes wouldn't have an alibi if he was committing a crime? He's Sherlock Holmes. He's memorized 243 different kind of tobacco ash, there's no way he would be unable to fabricate evidence supporting his innocence.
Does anyone think Moriarty actually kidnapped those kids himself? He almost certainly hired a someone else to do it. Likewise, there is no reason that Sherlock would have had to be present to be responsible for a kidnapping; he has most of London's homeless in his employ after all.
But the entire issue was that the kids recognized him, if he hadn't kidnapped them himself they wouldn't have.
So the code was a hoax. Problem is, it wasn't just Sherlock who knew about it, whomever Mycroft is working for was just as desperate about it ... and nowhere along the line was there someone reasonably tech savy to tell them that they were obviously being screwed with?
The entire point of the triple break-in at the beginning of the episode and the sensational trial that followed was to prove to Moriarty's buyers that he actually had the code. Sure, it seems impossible (and it is) but computers do essentially run on logic, and this is Moriarty. If anyone could find a logical flaw in every computer system ever and exploit it, Moriarty could. I don't think that any of his buyers stopped to consider that if Moriarty is this smart, then he's smart enough to pull off a triple break-in without a computer code. They simply looked at the demonstration and said, "there's no way that one guy could have done this on his own, unless he actually has a universal key."
Yes, but it's implied that the trial took a long time, and presumably intelligence agencies, lock-makers, etc. would have a lot invested in finding whatever flaw was in every computerized lock in the world and fixing it as soon as possible. And even if they weren't able to do so quickly, they could switch to non electronic locks in the meantime. Once knowledge of the bug is widespread, the code will become useless pretty fast.
Perhaps the tech-savvy people wildly conjectured that Moriarty might have had a polynomial-time integer factorizer or SAT solver (I haven't watched the episode in quite some time, so it's possible that even these wouldn't have been sufficient for what he did), and the not-so-tech-savvy people failed to realize how unlikely that was and jumped to conclusions.
So at the end of Hound we saw Mycroft's people release Moriarty, and in Reichenbach we find out that they picked up him in order to interrogate him, and actually tortured him as part of the interrogation, only getting something out of him when Mycroft gave him some details about Sherlock's life story. My question is: WHY would Mycroft release Moriarty after having tortured him? That doesn't seem like standard procedure. At all. Wouldn't he just make him disappear?
Perhaps in the hope of later being able to obtain Moriarty's code as long as he was out there? Since Moriarty wouldn't give it to them in interrogation.
Perhaps more of You Fail Law Forever, but the fact that the prosecutor has apparently never interviewed Sherlock before getting him on the stand. Whatever happened to "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to"?
Not to mention the prosecutor asking Sherlock a leading question, something so audaciously stupid that Sherlock even points it out to her that it'll be objected to and the judge will uphold it. This is the sort of basic rule of questioning that people can pick up by watching various crime shows on television (not exactly known for realistic depictions of court cases) or from, in my case, high school legal studies. And this is the prosecutor for the "Trial of the Century" at the Old Bailey? Good grief. No wonder Sherlock couldn't hold back his contempt for her.
Moriarty was also blackmailing the prosecution, perhaps?
On the above note, Sherlock says this at the trial:
Sherlock: Five minutes in total. I pulled a gun, he tried to blow me up.
Did the star witness just admit to pulling a gun on someone in the witness stand? And nobody- not a soul- bothers to say anything about this incident... at all... and just continue to allow Sherlock to be a smartass about the jury as if nothing unusual had just come to light? Even the judge totally ignores the remark. You'd think that even if Moriarty isn't raising any defence he and his legal team would love to discredit and humiliate the high-functioning sociopath for the prosecution.
Knock on wood, I've yet to have jury duty, but when it comes to big cases like Jim's trial, aren't the jurors specifically banned from watching the news, reading newspapers, and listening to the radio? If that were true, wouldn't they be deposited in hotel rooms without TVs, radios, etc.? Unless they were locked in, which I think would be illegal, that wouldn't stop them from going somewhere else to listen to music, watch their favourite shows, etc., but it would put a damper on the using personalised TVs to intimidate them.
My understanding of it is that the TVs in the hotel rooms weren't linked to outside stations but had access to internal movies and things like that.
Why does Sherlock refuse to come down to the station when Lestrade asks him to? He says that Moriarty wants a photograph of him being taken in for questioning and he won't play that game. But surely he knew, or at least suspected, that the police were going to arrest him if he didn't go willingly. Why would he prefer being handcuffed up against a police car in full view of the whole street to going with Lestrade as a free man? Sherlock often helps the police, so a photograph of him getting into a police car with Lestrade under his own power could simply mean he was helping them again, not being questioned over his own involvement. Half the Met showing up and dragging him out the door in handcuffs, on the other hand...
I hate to play the rabid fan and say that the writers know what they're doing, but I think that there are only two possible explanations. The first is that it's just bad writing, like the cops' inexplicably uncuffing Sherlock in order to cuff him together with John, or Moriarty not even knowing what kind of gun John owns. This just infuriating, so I prefer to go with the second theory. The second theory is that almost all of TRF is an extremely complex game played by Sherlock and Moriarty. It could be Sherlock knew he would have to 'die' (or actually die) and be disgraced, so he had to make sure it would happen obviously, so that everyone knew he was a fraud. Alternately, he needed to lure Moriarty into a false sense of security.
If Mycroft (A) knows that Moriarty is faking the evidence against Sherlock and (B) is so high up in the government, why doesn't he just say, "Chief Super, you've been fooled. Let Sherlock go."
No time? Sherlock and John never made it into the police car, much less to Scotland Yard. Mycroft just didn't have time to hear about it and get the message to the Superintendent. He's not completely omnipotent, after all... it took his people twenty-three minutes to tell him his ID was being used by someone else.
I think people frequently misremember Mycroft's role in the government. By his own words he 'occupies a minor role'. Obviously this isn't true, but it's significant that he tries to maintain this facade. It means that he may not be able to swoop in and rescue anyone from any part of the government just by brandishing his ID or whatever, partially because he needs to continue to pretend to be unimportant in order to better do his job, and partly because he probably doesn't have official status as a high-ranking civil servant and people might not recognize his (supposed) authority.
Is it just me or did Sherlock have an Iphone during his Fall note? John's phone didn't look like his usual one either. Am I just seeing things after the trauma of Reichenbach or does this mean anything(a part of his plan? a clue for the viewers?)? I want to make sure.
I saw that too, but I'm not sure what his other phone looks like. Maybe they had just gotten new ones.
Is there any connection between the yellow smiley face on the wall in their Baker Street flat (the one Sherlock was shooting at in Season 1) and the smiley face that Moriarty drew on the case of the crown jewels?
I find it hard to believe that Moriarty did not know that Sherlock also cared for Molly and considered her a friend. Molly came to their Christmas party, just like the other three. Jim wouldn't be up to his reputation if he didn't know Molly had a crush on Sherlock and that Sherlock had been "exploiting" it. But it is also clear that Sherlock interacts with her on a regular basis and that he has managed to not drive her away. It just doesn't make sense that he wouldn't hire an assassin for her in addition to the other 3. (Further, it appears that Sherlock is relieved when he hears from Jim that there are only 3 gunmen on the roof. Jim would pick up on that too.) I have a similar question about Mycroft (why he wasn't threatened), but that is a tad bit more believable.
It's entirely possible something in the episode contradicts this as I've not seen it in a long time, but doesn't a hired killer near Baker Street get killed for shaking hands with Sherlock earlier in the episode? Maybe he was hired to kill Molly.
That's a common mistake. The four assassins that Mycroft talks to John about are completely separate from the three assassins that Moriarty sends after Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade and John.
I've seen at least one theory that Moriarty actually liked Molly, so he wasn't going to kill her (a nice break from her woobie status). But that's just a theory.
It's hard to hide a sniper in a small, stark white morgue and he thought three was enough.
Okay, so during the court case Sherlock is put in the holding cell with Moriarty, right? Does anyone else besides me think they may have come up with the biggest horrible plan ever, and may have been in on a few things together? Or at least talked about something. Or am I just imagining things?
They weren't put in the same cell. The scene was just shot with the camera showing both of their perspectives through the doors with the wall between them. Though, depending on how thin those walls are, it's not out of the question they could have communicated with each other somehow.
When Mycroft meets John at the Diogenes Club, he makes a reference to something that happened in 1972. From the context, it sounds like a political scandal of some kind. What's he referring to?
This is speculation, but 1972 was one of the most violent years of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The infamous Bloody Sunday shootings happened in February of that year, so it could be to do with that.
The Empty Hearse
So are they just never going tell us how Sherlock faked his death?
Probably not. Given that Anderson (who, in this episode, represents the fans) says that he was a bit disappointed with the whole thing, this troper took it to mean that no explanation would be good enough for the fans who had spent two years hypothesizing. Of course, considering that the fans spent two years hypothesizing...
Moffatt and Gatiss have confirmed in a few interviews that it's the third scenario, where Sherlock flat out tells Anderson how he did it. Anderson comments about how precise the timing and placement of everyone would have to be in order for that to work and Sherlock practically looks in to the video camera when he sighs and says "everyone's a critic", because they knew no one would be satisfied. They've said they made some adjustments to the explanation over the past two years but they didn't incorporate fan theories, though they admired how much work the fans put into it, and they don't think every fan is writing slash fiction instead of trying to solve the mysteries themselves (Moffatt says he included the Sherlock/Moriarty kiss because he thought, before he was corrected, that it was the ONLY pairing people DON'T do!). They can't believe how many professional reviewers think the explanation was never given when it's right there in the episode.
Microft and Sherlock look at least several years apart, how could there have been a time when Sherlock was old enough to talk but Microft hadn't been exposed to other children yet?
Mark Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch are 10 years apart. It wouldn't even take five years of leeway for each (which is pretty normal for TV-land) for the timeframe to work even without homeschooling.
In the books they were 7 years apart. If it is the same in this case, they must have either been homeschooled or very skilled at avoiding contact with the other children they went to school with.
Why did Sherlock need a human to talk to well he was on cases, before John he made do with a skull to bounce ideas off?
He got used to humans, thanks to John.
Okay, I could've SWORN I heard them call the man in the hotel "Moran," but he wasn't in the credits. Please tell me I wasn't just imagining things.
No, that was definitely Moran.
Did the bit with Anderson talking to Sherlock actually take place, or was it part of his delusions? To me, the way Anderson looked surprised to turn around and not see Sherlock there and the following editing of him losing his mind seemed to suggest that the man was hallucinating, however the lead-in to that scene appeared to imply that it was supposed to be a flashback?
I believe that was Sherlock's Imagine Spot, hence Anderson's over-the-top reaction.
But we do see Sherlock get up and leave the room, he doesn't vanish like a hallucination is normally depicted and there's no reason he wouldn't tell Anderson just to get him to stop bugging Sherlock. From this troper's point of view, there's nothing wrong with the explanation Sherlock gives (it's important to note that it's the only explanation related by Sherlock, the first one was by Anderson, the second by the fanclub girl) and it conforms more or less to a lot of fan theories (an inflatable mattress, fake blood, a corpse that happens to look like him, the bouncy ball, the staged cyclist accident, the homeless network, Mycroft's agents, the position of the ambulance station, etc...are all things people have suggested over the last two years that aren't ludicrous like Mission: Impossible style masks, bungee cords and secret make out sessions). Yes, he had to have impeccable timing to fit all of that stuff into about two minutes, but this an operation run by Sherlock and Mycroft, two of the biggest brains in Britain, and all of Mycroft's resources working like the best stage hands ever. Pretty much every crazy scheme in a movie or TV show hinges on the possibility that the patsy (in this case John) might not show up at exactly the same spot at exactly the same time and do exactly what you've predicted they'll do, the schemers just have to take that risk and the audience is expected to suspend their disbelief for the sake of entertainment.
Sherlock might have explained it to Anderson as a way to needle him, telling him the simple truth knowing that he wouldn't believe it and would drive himself even crazier picking holes in the story and coming up with even more bizarre theories.
So I understand it was important for Moriarty's assassins to believe that Sherlock was dead, but why was it so important for Watson to believe he was dead? It seemed like enough people knew, so why did Watson have to be left in the dark for so long.
Sherlock thought that John would make it obvious that he wasn't dead. Why he didn't have the same fear about Mycroft, his parents, Molly, or any of his homeless network is a mystery to me, too.
No one ever implicated or suspected Molly, not even Moriarty who dated her, Lestrade even comments on one of Anderson's theories that Molly being involved is farfetched. Mycroft doesn't have any friends to tell about Sherlock's survival, and as the guy who simultaneously runs the British government while occupying 'a minor position' in it, Mycroft is more than a dab hand at the whole secrecy thing. The Holmes parents, well, they didn't know any of the main cast, and we don't know all too much about them, but given they're parents, wanting to believe your son is neither a fraud or dead is a believable response. As for the homeless network, the clue is in the name. They're homeless, they live on the streets, who is gonna believe a homeless person ranting that they helped the clever detective in the funny hat fake his own death?
Furthermore, the real reason Sherlock kept it a secret from John was so he wouldn't make a scene, especially seeing as Moriarty's network, as well as other antagonistic individuals, were out there. As shown in the episode, John made enough of a scene that half of London knew by the next morning.
My theory is that he wanted to make sure Watson was safe, that Moriarty's crooks wouldn't try to get to Sherlock through Watson, as they had done in the past. You may notice that the three major characters Sherlock didn't inform about his faked death are the same ones Moriarty's snipers targeted in the previous episode, i.e. the people Moriarty considered to be Sherlock's true friends. It was possible Moriarty's network was still keeping an eye on them even after Sherlock had "died"; Moriarty might've even been Genre Savvy enough to figure out Sherlock might try to fake his death, so maybe he ordered his goons to spy on these three people in the case Sherlock would re-emerge and try to contact them. So by not contacting them Sherlock made sure they stayed out of harm's way until he had fully dismantled Moriarty's network.
As mentioned above, Molly is Beneath Suspicion. Mycroft is The Stoic. Sherlock is not close to his mum and dad, so most people would probably not even bother checking them. But Watson? Watson probably had people spying on him for a good year in case Sherlock wasn't dead, on the assumption that he would know.
It strikes me as pretty like that it was just similar to John not talking to Ms. Hudson. For whatever reason Sherlock left John thinking he was dead, the more time that passed, the harder it somehow got to get in touch and make it right. He just let it all slide. He even seems to start saying so himself —“I’ve nearly been in contact so many times, but…” before changing his mind and suggesting that John might have been indiscreet.
Since Moran sets the bomb off remotely from a distant location, why does it need to have a timer? Wouldn't it have been easier and more fool-proof to make it explode the moment he sets it off?
Remember, they always have an off switch. If something goes wrong, he needs time to hit the switch.
But if something goes wrong, Moran couldn't possibly make it there in the 2.5 minutes to switch off the bomb. So why is the timer set at 2.5 minutes? Also, what exactly could go wrong that a timer would help him fix? If Moran finds out something's wrong before he's due to set off the bomb, he just doesn't set it off, simple as that. He shouldn't set it off until everything is in order, and then it should just explode immediately. A timer actually makes it easier for the plan to get screwed, as something could go wrong between the moment Moran starts the timer and the moment the bomb explodes - which is exactly what happens.
It is probably there in case the bomb was accidentally activated while Moran was setting it up. If he was in the bomb and there was something wrong with the activation where the countdown was started without inputting the code, he would want a couple minutes to flip the off switch rather than have it just blow up. And the 2.5 minute delay shouldn't have added much risk to his plan once he wanted to set the bomb off for real because the chances of anyone happening to be in there and finding the off switch is almost zero (unless of course a brilliant detective has deduced his entire plan).
The mystery of the guy disappearing in the metro. We are introduced to the question by the train buff carefully explaining how it's impossible because there's absolutely nothing between the two stations, no tunnels, no ghost stations, etc. Then later Sherlock figures it out by very carefully asking him if there's anything between the stations again, and it turns out he does know about a ghost station along the line. Ok, it's not on any map, but still if the train buff knew it existed, why did he mention it earlier? Is this whole "mystery" based on an obvious solution slipping the guy's mind?
That is probably the most realistic part of the show. Important, even vitally crucial things, slip people's minds all the time. That is why the real police spend so long in interviews asking the same question in different ways. Sherlock (and the viewer) just made the assumption that everyone has the same perfect recall he does and took the answer at face value instead of pressing a little.
Didn't the guy contacting Sherlock say that he's responsible for deleting the videos after someone else had already looked through them? I thought it was odd that the people who viewed the surveillance tape previously missed the fact that a man got on but not off. Of course, this only proves what the previous poster said: We're human, we miss things or forget them. Real life in action.
Why didn't Mrs Hudson ever call John in the two years? Unless he specifically told her not to, which would strike me as out-of-character for him, what exactly would stop her? Even if she didn't know his new number or his mobile, she still could have contacted him through his blog.
If you read the comments on his blog, she constantly leaves remarks saying they should meet up for a drink or he can come round and eat one of her fry-ups but he never responds to her.
Thank you. I've only read some of it so far. That does make her anger more understandable.
So did Moriarty actually get to be a Magnificent Bastard at all in the end? This episode seems to imply that everything he did was anticipated and undone by the Holmes brothers before it even began... kinda ruins one of the greatest villains in fiction history, doesn't it?
That always had to be the case, though, unless you thought Sherlock put together his entire survival plan right there on the rooftop with no supplies, no contacts, and no resources, in full view of anybody and everybody watching. Sherlock must have anticipated and undermined Moriarty's plan ahead of time. He simply must have.
I thought he'd planned out everything from the rooftop scene onward but not the ENTIRE episode
Think about it this way: Moriarty was more than a match for Sherlock. But Moriarty wasn't just going up against Sherlock, he was going up against The Holmes Brothers (not forgetting that Mycroft is even more clever than Sherlock himself), along with all of the eldest brother's resources. Two geniuses beat out one.
My problem was never about it making sense. It's about tension. Completely undermining a villain like that makes them look pathetic and pretty much ruins all of the crap he managed to pull across the series. And Moriarty is meant to be one of the greatest villains of all time. I just question Moffat's decision to do this. Like, was Sherlock EVER in any danger? Through anything Moriarty pulled?
Is Britain now at war with North Korea?
No. Relations are probably icing up and they are likely to have even more trouble dealing the UN sanction concession etc, but Britain won't risk upsetting China unless we have actual proof that this was North Korean backed, not just North Korean connected. I suspect that North Korea might throw a military officer under the bus to take the blame.
So these random bad guys kidnap John, are somehow able to build a bonfire around him in the middle of a public square without ANYBODY noticing, then fail to bind or gag John, who then doesn't bother yelling for help until only AFTER the bonfire gets lit... and then Sherlock arrives at the scene and tears off only a FEW PARTS of the bonfire WHILE IT'S BURNING UP without showing any signs of the bonfire's smoke slowing him down, and without letting any of the dozens of people at the bonfire know that there's a person under the Guy Fawkes effigy so he could get help with rescuing John, before he's able to reach in and pull John out, indicating that John could've actually gotten himself out of that situation without Sherlock's help!
John must have been given a paralytic drug, it's the only explanation for his inaction. Why Sherlock and Mary didn't try to get any help from others (either calling Lestrade from the beginning or shouting for help when they got there), no idea.
The paralytic makes sense. You notice he was having trouble moving or making a sound (paralytic or heavy tranquilizer; sometimes after a deep sleep you have trouble getting all your limbs working.) As far as asking for help, they decided to not bother wasting time trying to explain and just tore into it (the crowds reaction is pretty normal as well; confusion, shock, etc.) The still burning part is probably explained by the fact that the two people making the rescue are his fiance and a man who considers Watson one of his only friends in the world who has already gone to extreme lengths to protect him. It would take a whole hell of a lot more than fire to slow them down.
Why does Mycroft occasionally recruit Sherlock to solve mysteries if he believes himself to be just as good at deductions?
Because he hates "legwork." He is too lazy to run around and collect evidence, interview witnesses, etc. so he can only solve mysteries if someone lays out all the facts for him. He is also a very busy man with other things to do. Sherlock also has more practical knowledge of certain things related to crime from experience and experiments measuring things like "the coagulation of saliva after death" which Mycroft doesn't.
Where did Anderson get the skeleton? He got the clothes from a fire sale at a museum but surely the museum wasn't also selling a 6 month old human skeleton and anyways Sherlock said the clothes were on a mannequin in the museum. Unless the skeleton was fake, but in that case why would the police bother investigating it as a case instead of just assuming it was some sort of joke. Sherlock also called it a "corpse", which would be an odd word to use if it wasn't real. But if it was a real skeleton, did Anderson dig up a grave... or what?
Well, we do have the recurring possibility that Anderson's lost his damn mind. Apart from that, had Anderson not lost his job I'd assume that he merely took one from a crime scene (this is a show that once filled a plane with corpses, we really can't put anything past them.) Sherlock did say (in what was possibly an Imagine Spot, but work with me here) that it was "you and your little fan club." Maybe someone in the Empty Hearse had some kind of ability to procure a corpse (medical student, maybe?)
Why does Sherlock say "Blood" at the end of his conversation with Mycroft? "Welcome back Mr. Holmes." "Thank you. Blood."
Its slang for a fellow gang member or relative. Term seems old to me, maybe Sherlock's slang database is old...
There was a stain on his coat.
It's "blud", which is a fairly common slang term meaning friend or brother. Probably to annoy Mycroft (like how he uses "laters" in an earlier episode), given Mycroft's overly-formal "brother mine" and "brother dear".
Why was Mrs. Hudson so surprised that John's fiancée was a woman? Even if she really did believe him and Sherlock were a couple, she saw him date both Sarah and Jeanette.
She may have figured the "Not gay!" was just John in denial (all the fans think that, after all!) Even Sarah and Jeanette were casual relationships at best. Moreover, even though John and Mrs. Hudson lost touch for a period after Sherlock's "death", when the have visited it's clear John is still crushed a long time after Sherlock's "death." Since Mrs. Hudson has always been a Shipper on Deck, that would just lend credence in her mind to John and Sherlock being, er, more than friends. Finally, given Sherlock's oddness, she may have assumed they had a bisexual open relationship, since she seems pretty open-minded, and that the women John dated were "permitted."
The Sign of Three
Even if they weren't dying yet why weren't either of those guys in pain from the stab wound?
You can be injured without realizing it. Presumably, even if they felt minor pain, they wouldn't think "I've been stabbed."
Earlier, Sherlock had asked John how soldiers on parade resisted the urge to "scratch their behinds." John responded, "afferent neurons in the peripheral nervous system." Long story short, a trained soldier would hardly feel the minor sting of a very fine blade and be able to totally write it off.
How did that guy get from his locker to the shower without noticing he was bleeding to death? and why was there no blood between the shower and his locker?
The tight belt was acting like a tightly bound bandage. It held the wound closed until it was removed. It probably took a few moments after undressing for blood to start gushing out, and moving around without knowing it's there may have opened the wound up more.
Sherlock stated "He's soaking wet and there's shampoo in his hair." This is completely impossible since the wound would open much sooner that that - by the time he undresses (belt goes first) he should already start bleeding and there is no way he wouldn't notice it for that long. It is a plot hole.
He might have wrapped a towel around himself immediately after removing his clothes. Once he got into the shower, if he stood very still while shampooing his hair, that might have kept him from bleeding out right away. Provided the towel was a dark colour and he didn't look down, it's unlikely he would have seen the blood.
Is it even possible to bleed to death that fast? It's kind of an important plot point that it was a small blade, hence the reason they didn't feel it. However, a small blade leaves a small wound, which would probably bleed very little and clot fast. I could get it if it was poison tipped or lacerated a kidney, but it takes longer than that to donate a single pint of blood. Is the implication supposed to be an artery was cut and they were bleeding internally (thought I don't think a tight belt would delay that?)
What was the point in rehearsing the murder before hand? Normally when you rehearse something you do it because you want to practice something in a context with less risk than when you do it for real, this guy would have faced the exact same consiquences had he been court during either murder
A rehearsal is also to make sure that when you do it for real, you know exactly what you are going to do and how you will do it. The murderer knew he had a limited time frame to commit his murder, so everything had to be done right the first time he did it; hence, the rehearsal. And assuming he was following John's blog, he has one more important piece of information: Sherlock has no idea how the rehearsal murder was committed, meaning that the likelihood that he'll get away with it is much higher.
In addition, a big part of identifying murderers has to do with identifying a motive. Small would have been an obvious suspect in the murder of Sholto, as it wasn't all that hard to figure out he was the brother of one of the dead soldiers, but there would have been nothing to connect Small to Bainbridge, so there really was less risk in the rehearsal.
The photographer guy's murder plan was full of holes and improbabilites. Besides the ones already mentioned above, here's a few more:
If his motive was to avenge the death of his innocent brother, how could he justify killing another innocent soldier as a way of rehearsing the murder?
Sherlock did mention he suspected the man was a monomaniac. Some people are not very nice people and put their needs above the lives of others.
If the murder had to happen in the wedding because Major Sholto was living in secret place, and all of his staff had to sign a confidentiality agreement that they wouldn't disclose any information on him, how did the photographer find all those women working for him in the first place? Did he just randomly date thousands of women until he happened to come across the right ones? But if the location of Sholto's residence was a secret, he wouldn't even know in which city to begin the whole dating thing. And what if Sholto's female employees had all been married or in an exclusive relationship?
If Sholto goes through staff rapidly (as is implied) then there will have been quite a few over the course of the last four years. No indication WHEN they worked for Sholto, the man was looking for an opening, not nessicarily a specific date. Maybe he hoped that Sholto took a regular walk or something.
How could the photographer be sure Sholto would be wearing his uniform for the wedding? It wasn't a military occasion, so he could've showed up in his civvies.
Info from the women. If he got special dispensation to keep it then he would certainly wear it to this sort of event. He is that sort of man.
What was in the shots that John and Sherlock took? They got wasted very fast. Even with the amount of pints they had in the two-hour time frame of the stag party, it seems unlikely they would be THAT wasted. It couldn't have been vodka. What was it?
Answer: What Lestrade said, these two are a couple of lightweights.
1. Think of how thin Sherlock is and how short John is. Alcohol tolerance increases with body mass.
2. They're getting older, the need to sleep is hitting them earlier than when they were in their 20s.
3. You don't see them snacking while drinking, which would slow them down and fill them up.
4. They continue to drink back at the flat once they've had a little rest on the stairs, so the actual drinking lasts more than two hours.
5. The reason editing exists is so we don't have to see every little thing a character does, just the most important stuff. We don't know how many pubs were on the itinerary, so they could have gone to more pubs than we saw on screen, it's just that nothing funny happened there; it's not like they purposely stuck around any one place to pick up girls, Sherlock wanted them to move quickly.
6. The ultimate reason is that these two aren't really drinkers, and regular drinking increases tolerance. We saw Sherlock have a drink in extremis in "The Hounds of Baskerville", but that's about it, and he does say he "lacks the practical experience" when it comes to pub crawls. Sherlock has a history of addiction to stimulants, nicotine and possibly cocaine, not depressants like alcohol, and he probably doesn't drink normally because it would interfere with his thinking. In "The Empty Hearse" John gets the "waiter" to pick a bottle for him because it's "not really my area" and that bottle has actually been recommended to Sherlock by Mycroft, it's not Sherlock's personal taste. John doesn't seem to have a problem with alcohol, but it's very likely that his sister's (maybe one or both of his parents too?) alcoholism has had an impact on his drinking habits, namely in that he doesn't have one. In "A Scandal in Belgravia" Sherlock deduces John had a late night out having drinks with Stamford, but there's no reason to think this is a regular occurrence or that he got drunk; John's tired, not hungover, he's been working since first thing in the morning. It's just part of male/British culture to drink with friends, especially ones you're not particularly close to (in his blog after Sherlock "dies" multiple people ask him to have drinks with them because they don't know how else to help him). That's kind of the point of this insane stag night: it's clear that Sherlock and John have NEVER gone out drinking together before because it's not who they are, they don't have a bloke-y friendship that involves taking in the London nightlife. Neither of them need a social lubricant to be at ease with each other, because they have so many more interesting things to do together than the utterly pointless activity of drinking for the sake of getting drunk. But they "had" to have a pub crawl because "it's what people do" before they get married - Sherlock took his role as Best Man so seriously he practically planned the wedding, and went through with ALL of the traditions including the ones he thought were stupid because he processes like a robot things that most people consider instinctive. The next morning they both comment on how much they weren't actually having fun even before the disastrous crime solving part, they were just going with it because they felt obligated to see it through to the end. Maybe John spiked their drinks so that they would feel like they had to go home even earlier?
7. Maybe Molly deliberately overestimated how much they could handle out of revenge? "Oh you think I'm a drunk, Sherlock? I'LL SHOW YOU A DRUNK."
8. They appear to go to about 5-6 pubs in two hours, having a beer at each. If John was slipping shots into their drinks at each stop, that would have been 6 beers and shots apiece in two hours, then whatever they had at home. That's plenty for getting wasted, and as others commented, neither of them drinks much.
It's probably completely insignificant, but what was Sherlock saying during his fight in the pub? "I know Ash/Ashton/Ashley?"
I believe he said "I know ash!" as in tobacco ash. (He wrote an analysis of 243 types of it, remember?
He said "Ash" once and "Ashton" twice. Presumably Ash is short for Ashton.
As hilarious as a drunk John and Sherlock were trying to solve the nurse's case: One, Mrs Hudson knew they were drunk, and instead of telling the woman to come back later, she brought her up. Two, someone with zero medical training could work out that they were drunk. What was the nurse's excuse for not realising it? There's being prepared for eccentricities, and there's seeing that the men in front of you are obviously under the influence of something.
What was the point of Sherlock using multiple laptops to speak to the women in the online chat? Couldn't he have just opened another tab on one computer?
It's been a while since I watched it, but if he was speaking to everyone under a different identity, it would've been easier to use seperate devices. What with the all-for-one-and-one-for-all attitude of modern computers, it's difficult to simultaneously log in with multiple usernames. Furthermore (speaking from experience), if he wanted to maintain speed and make them think that he was talking only to them, it would be easier to dash about to whichever caught his eye with a new message instead of constantly alt-tabbing through everything.
Because he was using a deeply visual technique to imagine himself in a debating room with the women he was talking to. The laptops are arranged around him in a semicircle, just like we see the women in the imaginary sequence. Each laptop physically stands for each woman, which obviously helps Sherlock's deductive/visualisation process.
Why was Sherlock so obsessed with planning the wedding and reluctant to go on a case if Mary had spoken to him before hand asking him to find a case for John, as is implied when the two talk before the 'devil horns' shot of Mary? John even has to beg him for them to go out on a case in the end. He reads out potential cases before and Sherlock brushes them off. But Mary whispers to Sherlock while John is out the room; "You said you'd find him a case."
He was trying to do the right thing by both parties, and thought John wouldn't want to be dragged away from wedding preparations to take on a case - John had, after all, told him the wedding was going to be the biggest and most important day of his life, and Sherlock took that at face value. It was only when John approached him and outright begged him to "get me out of here" that he was assured he really wasn't dragging John away from Mary against his will or better judgment.
His Last Vow
The BBFC rated this a 12 for "one use of strong language". Where is the one of use of strong language?
There's three that might qualify: Janine calls Sherlock a "bastard", Sherlock calls Janine a "whore" (though it was in the context of "tabloid whore", which means something quite aside from sex work) and John tells Isaac Whitney he's at the arse-end of the universe. Which one was the word that annoyed the BBFC is anyone's guess.
Why didn't John suspect something dire when he found out the maid of honour at his own wedding just so happened to be the secretary of the loathsome villain he and Sherlock were going after? He doesn't act surprised or concerned at all.
John does give Sherlock a What the Hell, Hero? rebuke in the elevator when it becomes clear that Sherlock is using the Janine to get to Magnusson. He didn't put two and two together with Mary's involvement before he found out the truth about her because he couldn't conceive that Mary was an ex-assassin hunting Magnusson down.
He gives Sherlock the rebuke because he assumes Janine loves Sherlock and thinks he's a bastard for using her to get to Magnussen, but it still seems odd that "hang on, my wife's best friend works for a supervillain" apparently never goes through his head and strike him as an almost impossible coincidence.
Well to be fair he was in the middle of a robbery and then Sherlock had been shot, so not much time to stop and think. He does put it together pretty quickly once he had a chance to sit down at Baker Street, which is why he participated in the deception when they confronted Mary.
How could Magnussen ever have become such a ubiquitous, powerful, worldwide threat when none of his blackmail material actually has any physical proof? Somebody must have called him on it over the years.
His very own explanation given in the episode is that he doesn't need proof since he's the news. Instead of presenting any proof he can just put the story in the papers (presumably attributing it to anonymous sources) and let it go from there. It's actually pretty ingenious.
That makes a limited amount of sense, but by that logic every news mogul on Earth should have exactly the same amount of power as Magnussen, since without proof there's no actual need for the "blackmail" material to be true or even logical. You can print a paedophilia accusation about literally anyone (and in fact Mycroft threatens this in the very same episode). Magnussen is simply an expert at unnerving and intimidating people and his strategy seems to be reliant on nobody pulling the thread.
The main thing preventing every news mogul from having the power is libel laws. Citing anonymous sources can let you get to print without needing to worry about proof but if you end up in court you usually can't get away with just saying "anonymous sources told me". J. Random News Mogul making up things about people has to be concerned about ending up on the wrong side of a defamation lawsuit. Magnussen, on the other hand, never needs to concern himself with that. Since he'd actually be reporting truth—and especially because people believe he actually does have the proof—the target would have to think that a defamation case would really only serve to make the blackmail item even more public.
And of course, nobody knows that he has no physical proof - except when he admits it to Sherlock, Mycroft, John and the army Mycroft brought with him. Sherlock could have just avoided the whole "murder" thing, and just let him get hit by a few thousand libel/defamation cases once they let that fact become public. Makes you wonder why they didn't.
There are other ways that Magnussen could use his information. For example, he threatens to tell Mary's enemies where she is.
Magnussens blackmail brings to mind a blackmail story from a Nero Wolfe mystery, run by an organization headed by Wolfe's version of Moriarty, Arnold Zeck. They have an impressive scheme where they financially back subscription newsletters and help with the subscriptions (and therefore get a cut of the fees), examine many peoples possible pressure points (a la Magnussen) and then send them blackmail letters threatening to expose those pressure points unless they subscribed to one of those newsletters for a year, whether those accusations were true or not. They also promised, and followed up on the promise, that it would only be one year. It worked because the people couldn't risk the story getting out even if false, as it would severely damage reputations (or expose other problems as a result), and because it was just the year, it became a "pay it off and forget it" deal. It only went sour because they accidentally hit upon an ACTUAL true pressure point and it got one of the newsletter writers killed. Magnussen has a similar sweet deal in that he legitimately knows a lot of dirt AND he's the news magnate himself. He doesn't have to worry about vetting his own info before he publishes.
On a similar note, why would he ever just tell Sherlock that his entire empire exists solely in his head? Logically, all it would ever do is paint a target on his back.
He made the same mistake as Moriarty: assuming that because Sherlock is on the side of the angels, that he is also one of them and would never commit murder to stop a foe.
But even if he didn't think Sherlock would kill him, giving that info to him was extremely stupid. What if Sherlock tells the truth to someone else who is willing to kill Magnussen? It seems he's made many powerful enemies, so surely it would cross his mind that some of them might have the will and means to kill him? Especially since one of said enemies (Mary) almost did exactly that not long ago. What did Magnussen actually gain by letting Sherlock and Watson know the truth? He could've simply let Mycroft's men ransack his house, and when they find no secret vaults there, they would've thought the vaults are hidden somewhere else.
Arrogance; Watson and Holmes were about to be caught in the act of selling secrets to him. He can get them imprisoned, and then just threaten everyone as he needs to to keep his secrets. It's not a guaranteed success if you stop to think about it, but Magnussen didn't; he's always got away with things, and so it never even occurs to him to think about the consequences of his actions.
Why the hell wasn't Sherlock one of John's pressure points the way he was one of Sherlock's? Is it because Sherlock can look after himself? Eight previous episodes have told us how much John loves Sherlock and how far he'll go for him, and Magnussen somehow didn't know this? Is it just because Magnussen wasn’t looking at the right evidence or he can’t understand good people like John?
Magnusson ultimately wanted influence over Mycroft. To do that, he needed influence over Sherlock. The only way to get to Sherlock was through his nearest and dearest. Sherlock may indeed have been one of John's pressure points, but that's irrelevant to Magnusson who only cares about the chain of leverage leading in one direction - Mycroft. But Magnusson knew very well that the leverage could not involve directly threatening Sherlock because that woulds bring Mycroft's wrath down upon him. He had to find a much more subtle approach, like threatening to leak Mary's whereabouts to people who wanted her dead. That would be far more likely to make Mycroft tell Sherlock and James to shut up and play ball since he could not protect Mary and would not feel the same wrath as if Sherlock were threatened.
Why does Mary wear the same perfume as Lady Wossname when she's on her mission to assassinate the Big Bad?
This one is ridiculously obvious. To implicate Lady Wossname in the murder. A smart killer sets up a scapegoat with false evidence so that the murder investigation will run its course quickly without the risk of the killer ever becoming a suspect. Usually once the police have a suspect (Lady Wossname) with a likely motive (protecting her husband) and some real or planted evidence (like perfume), they tend not to bother looking for other suspects.
If Mary wanted to deliberately implicate an innocent person for the murder of an unarmed man, that's just more red in her ledger.
She always wears it. Only Sherlock has acute enough sense to detect and identify and she didn't know he would be there. When Sherlock identifies the perfume John says that Mary wears it. It's simply a coincidence. Much like how four of the Mayfly Man's victims wore Chanel No. 5.
Why would Moriarty announce his big comeback from the dead to the whole of England? They all know him for what he really is now, they all adore Sherlock, and Moriarty has no criminal network to back him up anymore (unless Mycroft barely scratched the surface of it). Why would Moriarty do something as monumentally stupid as revealing himself to the world when he was previously so effective because he hid behind anonymity and fooled the world into thinking he was an innocent nobody while painting Sherlock as a criminal mastermind?
Moriarty, like Sherlock, is a massive show-off. He probably finds it very amusing to have the whole country stirred up.
Though we won't know for a while, this troper is not convinced Moriarty is actually back. If it's a new Big Bad using his name to distract the authorities with a futile hunt for a dead supervillain, it would make perfect sense to announce the return of Moriarty to the world.
While unlikely, Sherlock himself could have cooked that up in advance in case he had to kill Magnussen and needed a way for Mycroft to "overlook" it.
If so, it would be a brilliant move because no one would suspect Sherlock to Really Fake Moriarty this time around.
If you assume Moriarty is alive, clearly the Brothers Holmes overlooked Jim's "dead" body on the roof, as it's never brought up by anyone other than Anderson. So as for Moriarty's network... maybe they overlooked some things there, too.
Why wasn't Magnussen worried about someone killing him and taking the jail time? Granted, most people might have thought that his documents would be revealed in case of his death, but he gave away to Sherlock that this wasn't the case and he could have told one of Magnussen's many enemies about that. One mitigating factor is that he might have figured no one would want to ruin their lives (murder charge) just to get him.
Can you really keep your self from going into shock by thinking happy thoughts or just willing your self not to?
No. While few medical emergencies are helped by having a good old panic, they're confusing psychological shock (the thing that gives you PTSD) with circulatory shock (blood loss leading to fast weak pulse, clammy skin, falling blood pressure and eventually death).
Really? All of John's friends are psychopaths? What about Lestrade? Was Sherlock just forgetting him and Stamford?
Neither Sherlock or Mary are actually psychopaths.
What this troper said, it was just a moment of dark humour in a serious scene. John's attracted to people who have a certain edge to them, but most of his friends are capable of empathy and aren't liars. The remark about "all of John's friends hate him" from "Many Happy Returns" might just be Sherlock being cynical and jealous. Keep in mind that the only people who refer to Sherlock as a psychopath or a sociopath are people who don't like him and Sherlock himself. John, who knows him best and is pretty much the opposite of a psychopath, has never called him that. This troper's theory is that Sherlock figured out a long time ago that he is undiagnosable, he fits into so many diagnoses that he just picked an outdated label that he felt described him best (high-functioning sociopath sounds accurate) and insists that other people view him the way he views himself, he isn't a psychologist. As for referring to other people John is close to as psychopaths, sometimes when you're diagnosed with something you start seeing symptoms in others and feel the urge to label them - Sherlock thinks of himself as a sociopath, so he recognizes traits of it in others (Mary, John's off-screen friends who secretly resent him or something) but blows it out of proportion.
Does Magnussen have a "file" on everyone on earth or just on public figures? Sherlock said so long as he's alive privacy is an illusion, and he did have a file on Mrs Hudson.
Probably not everyone on Earth, but certainly he creates one for anyone with influence he thinks he might need.
With Mrs. Hudson, I assumed it was him doing a Sherlock Scan: certainly it's not that hard to figure out that someone's a pot smoker. Perhaps he does that with other people.
What exactly prompted Sherlock to suddenly hate Magnussen so much? He's "the one man Sherlock truly hates," as if Moriarty couldn't be that, but Magnussen seems to come out of nowhere.
After the Mary fallout Sherlock tells Mycroft it's because Magnusson targets people who are "different". Maybe it bothers Sherlock more than he lets on when people try to exploit his weaknesses and make a spectacle out of his...oddness.
Plus, most of the speech is quoted from canon. Holmes positively despised blackmailer.
So where Mary and Janine ever actually friends? Obviously the friendship seems to have been genuine on Janine's part but has Mary been manipulating her for several years just to get access to Magnussen or did it start as that and become a real friendship?
Sherlock had a list of everyone who hated Mary (maybe they saw things John didn't?). Presumably Janine wasn't on it because Sherlock liked Mary, he wouldn't want to be friendly with someone who hated a woman he liked (this is before he knew about her connection to Magnusson presumably, when she was just a cute girl at the wedding). Mary has some kind of psychopathic traits in her ability to be a charming liar and make friends with someone for almost five years just to get what she wants. Janine may have liked her though, she seems to have a type!
Oh I think Janine definitely liked Mary (and presumably still does being in the dark about the truth). Sherlock would probably have noticed if the chief bridesmaid secretly hated the bride (and as you pointed out at that point Janine was just the cute girl at the wedding.) I was more wondering at Mary's feelings.
If Janine is so terrified of Magnussen that she would willingly let him flick her in the eye rather than have him divulge information about her, why on Earth would she sell a massively lucrative story tearing Sherlock down to his rivals?
Janine was already screwed. She let a famous detective into Magnussen's private office because he was being romantic. She obviously knew her boss was a criminal, so the real question is: how could Janine have been stupid enough to let Sherlock in, even if the proposal was real?
She might not have known he was a criminal in the strictest sense - the people who worked for Rupert Murdoch certainly didn't think of themselves as working for a villain (except the people who wiretapped the families of dead soldiers and abducted children), he had some unethical business practices but those people could justify anything to themselves if it meant getting paid well and getting a good story. Of course Magnussen is Murdoch turned up to eleven, but there's no indication that Janine knew Magnussen did things like put people in bonfires, just that he maybe printed some bullshit and her job was to organize his calendar, not hire goons.
On the subject of Sherlock's proposal, what the hell was Janine thinking? They'd been dating a month, at most. Probably less. I don't care how infatuated she was with the guy, if she's bright enough to be the PA of the CEO of a corporation as large as CAM, and savvy enough to be friendly with Sherlock, she's not going to get engaged to a guy she's known a couple weeks. Especially when she seems to have a quasi-decent grasp of of his character.
According to John's blog, his marriage was in early August, whereas this episode takes place around Christmas. Given that she was already interested in Sherlock (to an extent), it's not too bizzare to suggest that the two had a whirlwind romance (the original Sherlock was also noted to be quite The Casanova when he wanted to be).
Although officially sanctioned by the BBC, the blogs are often inaccurate, and this is one instance. Both the script of The Empty Hearse and an actual wedding invitation shown in The Sign of Three indicate John and Mary married in May, not August - May 18th. The raid on Magnussen's office takes place approximately one month after the wedding, according to the script... John tells Kate he hasn't seen Sherlock in a month, is annoyed at Sherlock for falling into drugs in only a month, and Sherlock later says John couldn't cope with domestic life in the suburbs for more than a month without "storming a crack den and beating up a junkie." The proposal and shooting would have taken place no later than about early July.
Maybe she was just very flattered but wanted to talk him out of it in person, she does say later she wouldn't have married him. She must have realized he had little experience with relationships ("I wish you weren't...whatever it is you are." "I know.") and thought "Aw, I'm his first girlfriend and he's overreacting, it's actually kind of sweet! I can't say 'no' over a screen, I have to let him down gently."
Okay, so the vaults of Appledore aren't real, they're just in his mind palace. Fine, I can believe that. But he very clearly has real evidence in a few cases: the letters he can quote word for word, or Mary's history, or that video of them burning John alive. That's not something he's just keeping in his mind palace, that's real evidence. Where does he keep that? And moreover, how does he keep all that (especially the John bonfire, given that it connects him to a crime) without it being used against him?
He definitely has a computer and probably a filing cabinet, he just inflates those completely commonplace items into "I have a secret vault full of valuable evidence that will protect me forever!" Irene Adler kept her vault of evidence on her phone, Magnusson didn't necessarily need a dungeon of blackmail.
He does say that if he ever does need real evidence he "sends out for it", but never says where he has it sent from.
How on Earth is Redbeard one of Sherlock's pressure points? A pressure point is, clearly, something that Magnussen can use to make you do what he wants. It's either something personally dangerous to you ("I will give your name and address to the families of the people you killed") or something personally dangerous to someone else close to you ("I will publish these letters your husband wrote"). Redbeard dying is sad, yes, and personally makes Sherlock unhappy, but it isn't a threat. Pressure points are threats. How is Redbeard a threat?
A pressure point doesn't need to be a threat, just something that can be pushed on to get a result. Even briefly mentioning Redbeard was enough to break Sherlock's usual rhythm and even caused him to stammer a bit. Magnussen doesn't mention it again because it isn't the right pressure point to accomplish what he wants, but it was useful in throwing off Sherlock's train of thought.
How could Magnussen possibly use the fact of a drug problem to badly hurt Sherlock? Sherlock's deductions can't hurt people if he's wrong, the police have to confirm everything he says before they can use it in court. It's not like he's a head of state where if he makes bad choices people go along with them regardless.
For most people, a drug problem is embarrassing at best and destructive to their careers and lives at most. It certainly would hurt anyone else: look at Mrs. Hudson and her "herbal soothers." But Sherlock is completely unrepentant about it, and only stays off the drugs because other people around him, like Mycroft and John, force him to. That's precisely why Magnussen doesn't buy into the "drugs as pressure point" ploy: he can't use it as a pressure point, because it's not something Sherlock cares about and therefore not something that would hurt him.
It's probably common knowledge that Sherlock had a drug problem because of the gossip published by Kitty Reilly. If Mycroft (with Sherlock's permission) was going to feed deeply personal information to Moriarty that would interest him so much it finally got him talking during the interrogations, it would have to be something embarrassing like a drug habit. People like Sherlock - posh, educated, brilliant people who claim to be above emotions and human weakness - usually aren't junkies or at least they'd want anything that reveals they're actually in pain and need help kept completely private (unless it's alcohol, that's fairly socially acceptable and not as "lower class" as an injectable narcotic). We don't actually see onscreen what it is that Moriarty has given to Kitty but John is SO upset at this "betrayal" by Mycroft it can't be something as commonplace as "Sherlock's a virgin" (that would make him a laughingstock, it wouldn't make people doubt Sherlock's claims to be a genius detective, if anything it would reinforce the "boffin" and "geek" labels). "Sherlock's a former junkie who threw away his potential to be a professor/chemist/doctor whatever so now he has to pretend he can solve crimes just to impress people and overcompensate for his shameful past" is a gripping story right from the mouth of Sherlock's "friend" Richard Brook. Sherlock went back on drugs to make himself appear vulnerable and off his game, and to draw Magnussen's attention back to something that actually isn't a pressure point anymore (like how the memory of his dead dog is upsetting, but he's dead, so unless Magnussen dug up the dog's skeleton and put it in Sherlock's bed, Redbeard isn't relevant), and he probably avoided John for a month in order to protect him, a ploy that Magnussen saw through.
If Mary had precisely aimed to not kill Sherlock, why was he so close to death that his heart actually stopped?
People have died from (seemingly) very minor gun wounds and survived (apparently) mortal ones... no matter how good Mary was, there is no way to shoot someone and guarantee you won't kill them.
Yeah, she basically shot him in a way that gave him a chance at life, rather than the instant kill shot she easily could have delivered.
Was it supposed to be implied in the scene where Sherlock is explaining how Mary 'saved his life' that the only reason she didn't shoot to kill both Sherlock and Magnussen was because she didn't want John to be suspected of murder? If that's true then it means Mary had no qualms about killing Sherlock because he was clearly never really her friend or at least her freedom was more important to her than his life. Yet the two are awfully chummy to each other after that.
My impression is that she does genuinely like Sherlock, but had John not been a factor, she still would have killed him if she had to. Such is the life of a gratuitously badass super-spy assassin. Personal attachments get put aside.
Mary spared Magnussen to protect John, but spared Sherlock because she genuinely did not want to kill him for his own sake. If Mary had shot Sherlock dead in cold blood, it's probable that suspicion wouldn't realistically fall on John, anyway. Like Sherlock pointed out in The Sign of Three, most people you can kill any old place. Even if John had a reason to shoot Sherlock dead, waiting until they were both breaking into Magnussen's office/apartment to do it would be pretty bizarre. However, someone who broke into Magnussen's bedroom would probably be doing so to hurt or kill him. It would be much easier and more realistic to assume John killed Magnussen than to assume he killed Sherlock, which is why Mary knocked Magnussen unconscious (a blow to the head that didn't even hospitalise him) whereas she actually shot Sherlock. Nobody seems to for one second suspect that John shot Sherlock when he didn't die, so if Mary had actually killed him, it would make no difference in whether John was accused of pulling the trigger.
Sherlock's fine with it as it was his own theory that Mary spared him for John, and even that was sentiment getting the better of her according to Sherlock. The idea that she kept Sherlock alive merely because she likes him doesn't even seem to occur to Sherlock, so he's not hurt about it. He could hardly imagine anyone (not just Mary) being that warm in that situation.
No one would think John had shot Sherlock, for any reason. It's possible that if Mary had shot both Sherlock and Magnussen then John would have been suspected of killing JUST Magnussen, as in Magnussen shot Sherlock and John killed him out of revenge. Most fans are fairly certain that Lestrade knows John has a gun (he certainly brings it on a lot of cases) and shot Jeff Hope to protect Sherlock after knowing him for only a day, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that he'd be accused of killing Magnussen. Plus "traumatized war veteran" means "powder keg waiting to blow up" to an average jury; they might even have been sympathetic to John considering how famous this friendship is. Of course, in order for John to be implicated Mary would have to leave the gun there ("where's the weapon?") and ensure that John and Magnussen were at least carrying gloves because she's wearing gloves. It doesn't change the fact that Mary could have knocked Sherlock out like she did Magnussen, Janine, and the guard. Why did she have to risk killing him, when all it did was buy her a week of time? Did she hope amnesia would take care of the problem? She didn't use that week to explain to Sherlock or to John what had been going on or even to disappear before she got caught. Her priority was preserving the façade of her relationship with John and her new identity at all costs - she even brought a gun to Leinster Gardens and started to pull it out of her purse before Sherlock asked her to show him what a good shot she was, implying she was prepared to kill him AGAIN before he reminded her that she would be suspected. If she thought John finding out she was a fraud and a killer would destroy him, then what the hell did she think it would do to him if his best friend had died a second time right in front of him? She could have reversed her strategy, told Sherlock "sorry about what I'm going to do, I'll explain later, just shut up and trust me", knocked him out, shot Magnussen in the head, escaped with the gun, and John wouldn't have been left holding the bag (even if he brought his gun with him it wouldn't match her bullet). Everything we know about Sherlock indicates that he would lie to the police and say he didn't see the killer's face before he was attacked. No one except Mycroft knows about Sherlock's vendetta against Magnussen, so the only reason he was in that office is that he's dating Magnussen's assistant and he accidentally walked in on this murder. Mission accomplished for both sides now that their mutual antagonist is dead. Why the writers thought anything Mary does in this episode makes her redeemable may not be known until Series 4/an interview where they explain everything they thought came across in the writing of Mary but actually didn't.
Since Janine went against Magnussen by letting Sherlock into his office and then by selling her stories to his rivals, why didn't he take some terrible revenge against her? Obviously he knows a pressure point for her if she was willing to let him flick her eyes but if he revealed some horrible information about her why did no one notice? And if he did attack her pressure point already, why doesn't she get revenge back at him by mentioning him in her stories about Sherlock? "He was only dating me to break into my boss's office because my old boss was a huge super-villain" or something like that.
Sherlock accidentally engineered an escape clause for her; Magnussen cannot pressure her at all. If she already mentioned Magnussen in her story in passing, then the moment her pressure point hits the press she can accuse him right back, and the fact that Sherlock Holmes was after him alone would be enough to sway the general public. Magnussen would have to discredit Holmes, and Holmes is a large player, and Mycroft's pressure point. attacking Janine would be more trouble than it's worth, and mess up the game, so he just let her go.
How did Mary get into the private office? Sherlock had to propose to get her to let him in, how does a friend - a good friend, but still - measure up to that?
Since she was dressed in full commando gear, she almost certainly wasn't 'let' in by anyone. She would have had to break in, either by picking the lock or some other method. She was a CIA-trained assassin, after all.
Moffatt and Gatiss confirmed in Empire Magazine's podcast that there was originally a scene where she did some James Bond-style gymnastics to break in but it was cut. She'd have to have broken in instead of asking Janine, because Janine would have mentioned "Oh Mary's here too!" and she doesn't run into John on her way down the stairs.
This one's weird, but bear with me: Magnussen's Stat-O-Vision lists porn preferences as part of the information he has on a person. Lady Smallwood's are listed as "none" but Sherlock's are listed as "normal." I don't know exactly what Sherlock's habits would be - if not "none" he'd probably view porn for research purposes or something - but, Sherlock being who he is, how could it be "normal" under any definition of the word?
By "normal" it probably means he's not into, say, torture porn or rape fetishism any other completely off the wall fetishes. Sherlock has a unique intellect, but his sexual preferences may well be quite ordinary, and that's just the way people are wired from a very young age. In A Scandal in Belgravia, he and John (whose porn preferences are also apparently "normal") bicker briefly about the porn on John's laptop, which John maintains Sherlock "borrows" and Sherlock maintains he "confiscates." From the context, by "laptop" they clearly mean "porn." John is accusing Sherlock of swiping his porn not to confiscate it or do research or analyse him, but to simply do what people do with porn: get off on it. Since the creators, writers and actors in the show have pretty much all Jossed the idea of Sherlock being asexual and have instead said he's straight and chooses to be celibate, this makes sense. He does have sexual urges, like most people. And while actual relationships with real people may interfere with Sherlock's mental faculties, masturbating to porn wouldn't.
Magnussen says that John wasn't in any danger on Guy Fawkes Day, as he had agents in the crowd. But the pyre was on fire. It went up like a light. How long were they going to wait to get John out?
Presumably, a few minutes after Magnussen sent the texts to Mary. Remember, she and Sherlock were given a deadline to make it to the site. Assuming that they could not make it, no doubt the agents would've acted in time, call out that there is a perosn there, and pull John out easily.
Relatively minor, but when Sherlock said that Wiggins is an "excellent chemist" after he spiked the punch, did he mean that literally (as in, he is/was a real chemist who just happened to fall into an unfortunate smack habit) or figuratively (as a junkie, he's got experience with dosing people?) It would seem like he'd need practical experience to properly dose Mary's tea.
Minor nitpick, but in keeping with Sherlock tradition, the episode is named after an original Holmes story it is loosely based on. My question is why they named it after "The Last Bow" when the storyline is actually based on "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" (the story where Charles Augustus was featured). The only similarities this episode had to the "Last Bow", that I could find, was a the "East Wind" speech.
My initial guess was so that they could make us worry it might be the last ever episode, as His Last Bow was the final chronological canon story. Plus the name of the villain doesn't make for a good episode title, probably why Granada titled their adaptation The Master Blackmailer.
Another similarity between the "The Last Bow" and this one: Sherlock's career as a detective has ended ("The Last Bow") / is about to end ("His Last Vow"), but then it turns out his country is threatened, and it needs his services one more time. Though admittedly this similarity only involves the cliffhanger of "His Last Vow", not the main plot.
Well, episode two is called "The Blind Banker" instead of "The Dancing Men" and episode three "The Great Game" instead of "The Bruce Partington Plans". "Charles Augustus Magnussen" isn't exactly a great title. Plus, most of the elements of "His Last Bow" actually were in the episode. Holmes acting as a spy, trapping someone by presumably selling him information and naturally the speech about the east wind.
Mycroft says that recruiting Sherlock on a MI6 mission in Eastern Europe is preferable to locking him up because there is no prison they could keep him in without causing a riot. Surely there are secret bases or secluded prisons (such as the one they kept Moriarty in) that they could keep him in away from the public eye? Or keep him in a solitary cell? Why is Mycroft so ready to send his little brother on a fatal mission that a couple of days before he was against, knowing it would result in Sherlock's death? Surely keeping him in a cell would be preferable and he'd be on hand should 'England need him'?
The supplementary online material for the show is great. However, it causes some headscratchers indeed. According to John's blog, the Christmas New/Year sequence in the series was for the Christmas/New Year of 2011/2012. Making pretty much everything mentioned after Irene receives Sherlock's New Year's text stuff that, as of the time the show aired and the time of writing, can't have happened yet. Yep. This version of Sherlock Holmes is so progressive and modern, much of it takes place in the future. It will be interesting to see when in-universe "The Hounds of Baskerville" is meant to take place, and where exactly chronologically Sherlock's little jaunt to Pakistan is meant to have happened.
Evidently the BBC writers noticed this also, as they have now taken the year stamps off the entries. It seems that when the blog was created nobody expected that one episode would span nearly a year.
Why doesn't Mrs. Hudson use her maiden name?
This can be Truth in Television. A lot of women who were previously married keep their married name after being divorced or widowed (look at the women of The Golden Girls, three widowed and one divorced, all keeping their married name, or if you're interested in real life, look at Cheryl Cole or Ivana Trump.) Some keep them because changing their name on lots of paperwork is a hassle, some do it so they'll continue to share their name with their children, and some (depending on how young they were married and for how long) have been addressed by their married name more than their maiden name, and it's simply more comfortable.
Okay, so I admittedly haven't been counting the months, but I have noticed Sherlock wearing that coat and scarf all the time. All the time. Doesn't it get, y'know, warm?
Well, London does have that reputation (outside of the UK) of always being chilly, damp and drizzly. Apart from that, it leads to Fridge Brilliance: Remember that Sherlock can go for days without eating. Many anorexics are bundled up even in the warmer months because they're constantly freezing. One of your body's basic functions is to regulate body temperature, and if it doesn't have an energy supply (i.e. calories from food) to do it, it can't. One of the warning signs of anorexia is being constantly cold. He's not an actual anorexic, but the same metabolic damage might be in play.
Might also be a Rule of Cool matter ... in some Making Of they noted that they *had* a lighter summer coat made, but it just didn't look right, so they kept the warm one.
Where was Sherlock living before A Study in Pink? With Mycroft?
His website indicates he had a flat in Montague Street, and left shortly before the events of A Study in Pink following a "disagreement with the landlord" (read: got kicked out.)
So then how does he develop a relationship with Mrs. Hudson? When John says that she should go to her relative, Sherlock says something about 'Mrs. Hudson leave? England would fall.' And she's considered one of his only friends by Moriarty. Yes, John eventually becomes his friend, but I get the feeling that Sherlock has been in 221B for a little while... And how did all of his stuff get in and around the apartment that fast?
John had a limp in A Study In Pink but after the episode it's fine. What happened to it?
If you watch A Study in Pink you discover his limp was psychosomatic, which means that the pain was real, but it was not related to any outside injury and was a symptom of his PTSD. He also had an intermittent tremor in his left hand which was much the same thing. Mycroft implies that both were related to frustration and boredom. When his life gains a new purpose in solving crimes with Sherlock, he loses the physical symptoms of the limp and the tremor. This was all very clearly set out in the actual episode...
In later episodes he still does have a fairly obvious nervous habit of clenching his left hand.
This is more a question aimed towards the fandom but what in canon points towards the pairing of Mycroft/Lestrade when the two have barely met?
Nothing. Nothing at all. There is some mention in Hounds about Lestrade being sent there by Mycroft to keep an eye on Sherlock, but that's the only sign these two even know the other exists. However, the fandom is rather shipping-happy, they are both attractive man around the same age and their dynamic could mimic Sherlock and John, only as professionals.
This is, IMO, a fandom-based Pair the Spares occurrence. Consider the four most shipped people in the fandom: Sherlock, John, Mycroft, and Lestrade. Of all the possible pairings here (and, indeed, all of them are at least a little popular) Sherlock/John is by far the most popular. Thus, the Sherlock/John shippers can just ship Lestrade and Mycroft to get them out of the way, in addition to all the people who are primarily Mystrade shippers anyway.
Well, from the perspective of someone who writes slashfanfic herself: The fact that Sherlock/John is such an obvious pairing with virtually all of the series devoted to their Heterosexual Lifepartners status/bromance actually makes it less attractive for someone who likes to build up a relationship first in a long drawn out Will They or Won't They? fic. When it comes to Sherlock/John, pretty much all you can do with their relationship is to add sex (and maybe some kind of conflict or unrelated plot) and that is done excessively by a huge part of the fandom. To come up with something new is nigh impossible. In that case, Mycroft/Lestrade is an easy way out of the dilemma. The fact they haven't even met yet is part of the appeal. No one knows how the pairing could work out, all we know is that they are two rather handsome men (one living a very lonely life by default, the other recently divorced) of roughly the same age who are implied to know each other. For a slashfan, this is more than enough to make it work.
It's also helped along by Actor Allusion. Mark Gatiss is openly gay. Rupert Graves starred opposite James Wilby as the working-class lover of a sexually and emotionally repressed high society man in Maurice.
A couple times on John's blog, Sherlock tells John to "fetch my revolver". Sherlock owns a revolver? Why haven't we ever seen it? Why does he always use John's gun?
It's a running punchline, so it's possible he doesn't own a revolver, and it's just witty shorthand for "that comment was awful, you deserve to be shot." If he does own a revolver, there's no guarantee that it's functional- knowing the crazy things Sherlock owns, it's possible it's a 200 year old display relic that wouldn't be able to actually shoot anything. And although the blogs are technically canon, it's worth noting that there is no depiction or mention of a revolver anywhere in the actual show... which hints at it being more a punchline than a plot point.
It might be a convoluted reference to original Sherlock Holmes telling Watson to bring his service revolver if things were likely to get violent.
Rupert Graves does have five children, don't know if he is good at football though.
Why do people always assume Sherlock is hiding a heart of gold? Am I the only person who finds a character who is nothing more than an amoral genius who keeps people around because they convenience and entertain him, and happens to take more pleasure out of solving crimes than committing them far more interesting than "oh he wants to be loved and love really"? Heck, even his fake suicide was pretty much his only option at that point. He was going to jail and going to lose to Moriarty, two things a proud man could never let happen.
Well actually if you look at it closely he probably wasn't going to jail, the case against him was full of holes and he'd never actually be arrested. Also you say he would "lose Moriarty" but by the time he made the choice to commit suicide Moriarty was dead. Killing himself was exactly what Morairty wanted, doing so was kind of letting him win.
And if this is how the writing is going, why do writers always feel the need to humanise a protagonist who is much more compelling when not humanised? I have this issue with the later seasons of Dexter.
They probably assume he's hiding a heart of gold because he's based on the Sherlock Holmes of literature, who waives his consulting fee for people who can't pay, is willing to die to stop Moriarty, utterly loses his cool when he believes Watson's been shot, and maintains a deep friendship for over thirty years. Among other things.
You don't have to have a heart of gold in order to be a human being. Even though amoral and calculating, Sherlock is still capable of feeling lonely or misunderstood, as Cumberbatch's acting has shown us again or again. It is possible that he sacrificed himself not because he wanted to do the right thing, but because without Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson and John he'd be all alone in the world where noone was on his side.
Alternatively, if you want to believe he's a sociopath, it could be that he likes having people who admire him, so he does his best to keep them around.
There's also the fact that Sherlock's symptoms—lack of empathy and misunderstanding of basic societal mores—suggest to a lot of people low-spectrum autism rather than sociopathy, which, in turn, means you don't understand how to react to people properly, but it doesn't mean you aren't human.
Just an fyi, but lack of empathy is not an aspect of autism. That can have a difficulty recognising you've hurt someone, whilst sociopathy will involve a difficulty *caring* that you've hurt someone: very separate concepts. Sherlock notices, he just doesn't see why it should matter to him.
Um, no he doesn't. Whenever Sherlock says something hurtful, someone always has to point it out to him, and even then he usually still doesn't quite understand what he did wrong; most of the time he believes he's being helpful. The reason he doesn't see why it should matter is because he doesn't get what he did wrong in the first place.
Handguns are illegal in the UK, so it's obvious that John must have stolen his service weapon. But how does he maintain his (remarkable) skill as a marksman? It's not as though he could haul his highly illegal stolen handgun down to the (probably nonexistent) shooting range and load it with highly illegal and probably also stolen ammunition for a few hours' practice.
There's an interesting theory regarding the presence of handguns in Sherlock in WMG. Basically handguns were made illegal in the UK in response to a particuarly horrific shooting in 1996, so if the series was set in a timeline where the shooting hadn't occurred, then John's gun makes somewhat more sense.
So is the concept of asexual but still romantically interested in people not one that occurs to the writers? Steven Mofatt has stated Sherlock isn't asexual, since that would kill any tension in A Scandal in Belgravia, but it wouldn't since it means Irene would still be the first woman to make Sherlock interested in as more than a puzzle, without him needing to want to bring "Mr. Happy" into the equation (which is what saying someone isn't asexual implies). And no tension? I dunno, having an Asexual being sexually pursued seems like a hell *lot* of tension to me. I mean, it's his writing but it just seems like an odd to me and not the most entertaining or interesting one.
Sherlock is never actually called asexual anywhere in the series, so I'm not sure what it is you're asking. His sexual and romantic orientation is supposed to be ambiguous, and nothing has ruled out him being asexual but not aromantic, or aromantic but not asexual, or both, or neither, or shades of gray in between. The particular variety of tension you're asking for ("having an asexual being sexually pursued") seems to more or less be present in A Scandal in Belcravia as-is. Or, if you're really asking whether or the concept of other points of the asexual spectrum have ever occurred to the writers — I'm sure it's occurred to them, since they're adults living in the 21st century and they wrote a whole 2-hour episode around exploring Sherlock's ambiguous asexuality. Question answered?
You are of course quite correct, my headscratcher was more how the writer's statement Sherlock isn't asexual, to me, seems to destroy all of that tension and exploration. It just seems, to me, like it kinda invalidates and makes pointless the entire episode. And no, just living in the 21st century and being an adult doesn't mean those things may have occured to them. In fact, when one "comes out" as asexual it's surprising how few people actually do seem to be aware of the idea.
Meta-headscratcher: what's with all these headscratchers about the various mysteries in The Reichenbach Fall? It was a cliffhanger, guys. The answer to these questions is mostly "we don't know because we haven't been told yet", and if anybody has speculation to offer, there's Wild Mass Guessing for that.
Both Mycroft and Athena wears an wedding-band on the wrong hand. What is up with that?
They're both married to their work? Or maybe just plain old-fashioned mind games (worked on us apparently).
Not everyone who wears a wedding band is married. Some people wear the wedding band of a deceased family member/loved one, some single women wear one as a form of protection (it implies they might have a man nearby who'd physically defend them against harm or that they have a family who'd notice very quickly if they were to go missing), likewise, some men who want to deter romantic attention wear one, some people just like the way a ring looks and wear regardless of what it normally symbolises, some people wear a wedding band for a darker form of trickery than the aforementioned single women and uninterested men, and some people who are married just don't wear it on the socially conventional finger/hand. It's extremely unlikely the last one applies to Mycroft, but it could apply to Athena. Any of the others could apply to both.