Recap: Children Of Time S 1 E Finale
This is it. The big four-part
finale that the entire season has been building up to. And it is enormous
, easily the length of the rest of the season. This page is one huge spoiler, so if you don't want that, click back now!In "Dynamics of a Point"...
The Doctor returns the gang to London, November 1895, then takes the TARDIS over to the Cardiff Rift to refuel. And that's the last event ripped directly from Nu Who's Season 3
, specifically from "Utopia"
. Holmes is only getting darker and moodier
, and Watson insists that their time in the TARDIS is up. Holmes needs to move on with his life now, needs the stability of being home
The Doctor reluctantly agrees, heartbroken to have to leave his kids. Naturally, things fall apart completely in his absence. Holmes accepts the case of the Bruce-Partington Plans
from his brother but doesn't include Watson in the deal; they proceed to have a tremendous falling-out which results in the Watsons leaving 221B.
Beth insists on joining the Irregulars and helping Holmes out on his new case, to the point where she tells him point-blank that she's coming along for the ride whether he takes her or not
. Holmes isn't at all happy but agrees. Eventually, however, she admits that she knows this case, and Holmes forcefully ensures that she'll return to 221B while he continues his investigation. Two vehement arguments follow, the latter ending on a decidedly dark note. Holmes apologizes, but Beth ends up calling him out on his actions
. Still, she says that leaving will
break her heart, and Holmes admits that he doesn't want her to go
Holmes ends up failing his investigation but isn't given time to dwell on it before he's kidnapped by Torchwood agents
. And his host is none other than Professor James Moriarty
, alive and apparently in his forties. Moriarty explains the incredible circumstances of how he survived Reichenbach and rounds his tale off by declaring that Time is freezing over thanks to Holmes breaking one of his Fixed Points. Enter Colonel Sebastian Moran with a struggling Beth, who'd followed Holmes here and been caught by Moran. Moriarty realizes that, in Frozen Time, Beth is a Temporal Paradox
, and he explains that she will have to die to keep Time stable. Beth escapes, but Holmes is subdued by Moriarty. Watson
is then brought into the equation, and Moriarty brutally exploits the friendship to force Holmes to capitulate to his will. It's quite simple: Moriarty wants to remake the Great Detective into himself.In "The Dying Detective"...The world is stuck in November 1895
. Holmes and Watson are Moriarty's prisoners, Holmes having Jumped Off The Slippery Slope
after being given a Sadistic Choice
. The Doctor and the TARDIS are trapped inside
the Cardiff Rift going haywire.
On the run from Moran, Beth reaches Mycroft's office to get information on Oberstein, intending to track him down and get the Bruce-Partington Plans back to their rightful place. But once she acquires her data, Moran reappears and shoots Mycroft
, Beth narrowly escaping the same fate. She reaches the Irregulas, with whom Sally has been staying, and from there heads off with the current lead Irregular, Will, to find Oberstein and get the papers back. They succeed, but their hard work is all for naught. Time remains frozen, and Sally realizes that the case was never the issue — it was always the friendship between her husband and his best friend.
Meantime, Moriarty is working on corrupting Holmes
, a process that Holmes allows quite willingly, sick of dealing with emotions and heartache
. Watson is subjected to witnessing the process on his own phone, thanks to Moriarty.Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse
join the womenfolk and the boys, and the band of misfits grows into a working, fighting family unit. Sally soon learns that she is pregnant, and as the group plans rescues for Holmes and Watson, they also seek out a truly safe place for Sally and the younger boys to stay.
Several months later, Beth has an all-too-close encounter with Moran, who tries and nearly succeeds in raping her
before killing her
. The Irregulars intervene, and Moriarty tells Holmes that Beth has been killed, testing his progress. He finds it wanting: Holmes is obviously a bit shaken
and lying when he expresses congratulations for Moran.
Eventually, the baby is born, a daughter whom Sally names after her best friend: Kathy. The group gears up at last for their double-rescue, which will occur in two different parts of London but must
happen at the same time, lest Moriarty find out about the one and make it utterly impossible to reach the other. This means an uphill battle of wills for Beth versus the rest of the "family," who don't at all approve of her plan to slip into Moriarty's main base alone.
Beth eventually wins out, however, and the operations commence. The Irregulars have a simple time of it, having already infiltrated Watson's holding place. Beth, on the other hand, faces some close calls before finally reaching Holmes's room. But something's terribly wrong: if Holmes before was not quite being himself, the man before her is more like James Moriarty than Sherlock Holmes. Holmes takes all her shock and pleas and throws them back in her face, but Beth refuses to leave, even when she hears Moriarty's men coming. Holmes rebels against Moriarty with complete suicidal intent, but Beth takes the bullets meant for him
and bleeds to death
. A furious Moriarty then promises Holmes a Fate Worse than Death
for his rebellion.In "Every Good Fairytale"...
Since Moriarty failed to control Holmes, the Professor is now intent on resurrecting the detective’s humanity, only to use it to torment him
. In the copious amounts of time during which Holmes is utterly alone, he can't keep from thinking about the people once closest to him, especially Beth. The moment she gave her life to save his haunts him
, and he realizes that not only did she truly love him, but that he loved her in return
... and loves her still
Meanwhile, the Irregulars
have rescued Watson, who shares a joyous and tearful reunion with Sally and discovers that he's a father again. After a difficult conversation about Holmes and Beth, Watson realizes that there might still be hope for his friend. Accordingly, a raid is staged on Moriarty's main base — during which, Watson finds Moriarty making his escape with a hostage Holmes, half-dead from torture. In the ensuing struggle, Watson is fatally shot.A desperate Holmes tearfully embraces the dying Watson
... and Time starts to thaw
. Holmes and Watson are returned to the sitting room of 221B
, where their first breakup occurred. But Holmes still bears the marks of Moriarty’s torture, and Watson is still dying from his bullet wound. Beth enters, resurrected by the repaired timeline, followed closely by Sally with baby Kathy, who still exists as a newborn by virtue of being a Temporal Paradox
. Baby Kathy senses that her father is dying, and it awakens her Time Lord DNA, her regenerative abilities healing Watson and Holmes completely. (This is the second time in the series
that Holmes has been wiped clean of marks via the Time Vortex.)
The stunned companions realize that the Bruce-Partington Case must be solved once more from the very beginning, and Holmes and Watson set out to do so, the way they were always meant to. Despite Beth's resurrection, Holmes’s acknowledgment of his love for her isn’t enough to persuade him to tell her that—the memory of watching her die, unmoved, paralyzes him with shame. Watson's wake-up call
convinces him that he owes her the truth, even if she is due to leave again at the end of the case.
Returning home later that day, Holmes and Watson are relieved to find a battered TARDIS parked across the street. The Doctor is overjoyed to see his Companions again, having spent several long months trapped in the TARDIS. Eventually alone with Beth, Holmes begs her forgiveness for his actions... but after all she has endured at his and Moriarty’s hands, it takes him some time to convince her of his sincerity and his love.
Holmes invites Beth to partake in the investigation, this time trusting her not to create a paradox. Upon returning to Baker Street alone... Beth does not return, kidnapped by Torchwood. The Professor is still bent on getting revenge. Scared and desperate, Beth pleads with him to spare the Doctor and his Companions in exchange for her surrender and the Doctor finding a way to re-reverse Moriarty's aging
. Holmes, Watson, and the Doctor set out to rescue Beth and find Moriarty and Moran awaiting them
. The confrontation ends in gunshots, Holmes being wounded and Moriarty and Moran being shot to death by Watson and Will
Holmes and Beth are healed with the TARDIS equipment (another Call Back
to Holmes's healing in "Smith and Holmes"
).In "The Long Goodnight"...
The next morning, Holmes proposes to her, anxious now to make the most of the little time they have left together. Beth accepts, and they are married by the Doctor that same day
, promising each other to try to find a way to eventually reunite
They honeymoon at Baker Street, interrupted only by the wrapping up of the Bruce-Partington Case. Beth has to return home now—she has her own destiny to fulfill in her own time, and Time will accept nothing less than her immediate departure
. In one of the biggest tear-jerkers of the series
, husband and wife say their goodbyes, and the Great Detective breaks down completely. The Doctor says his final farewells to his Companions, only to move on to the tragedy of the ''Titanic''
And Beth, in time, becomes the next Inspector Lestrade
. When her world takes a sudden turn for the worst, she makes a last-ditch attempt to get her husband back
These Episodes Provide Examples of:
open/close all folders
- All Up To You:
- Holmes indirectly gives Beth the information she needs regarding the Broken Point in order to fix it. At least, in theory...
- Sally encouraging her husband to make things right with Holmes.
- Always Save the Detective: Beth's driving goal throughout the finale, leading her to commit no fewer than two Heroic Sacrifices.
- Anyone Can Die
- Baby Talk: Sally and Beth do this with Kathy, and, of course, the Doctor speaks baby!
- Back from the Dead: Two entirely separate cases.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Brutally averted in Beth's case.
- Berserk Button: Moriarty certainly knows how to press them. Eventually it comes back to bite him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Good heavens, Watson.
- Bloodier and Gorier: With Family-Unfriendly Violence (including two Family Unfriendly Deaths) and Cold-Blooded Torture, the finale is this compared to the rest of the series.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Beth and Holmes both borrow Ten's "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
- Break Them by Talking
- British Weather: Natch.
- Broken Pedestal: Beth's realization that her hero is not the man she believed he was, starting with handcuffs and spiraling down from there. Even worse is the scene in which she attempts to rescue Holmes, only to find him dark and very much like Professor Moriarty. By the time the world has been set right, she's downright scared of him.
- The Cavalry: The Irregulars.
- Cerebus Retcon: In-universe. Holmes is left with hardly any untainted memories of his childhood after Moriarty reveals that he was a large part of it.
- Cliff Hanger: "Dynamics of a Point" and "The Dying Detective".
- Cold-Blooded Torture
- Coming of Age Story: For Beth.
- The Corrupter
- Courtly Love: Beth's feelings for Holmes fall under this, since she's thoroughly convinced that he's completely a Celibate Hero, as per Canon.
- Cuteness Proximity: Any time a character comes into contact with Baby Kathy.
- Darker and Edgier: "The Dying Detective," in particular, is by far the darkest episode of the season, and the near-rape and character death situations are not all that earns it this distinction!
- Deal with the Devil: Both Holmes and Beth at different times make essentially the same choice, selling themselves out when Moriarty confronts them with unbearable alternatives.
- Deconstruction: Of the Doctor himself, In-Universe and out of it. Moriarty Breaks Him By Talking, and viciously deconstructed him in discussion with Holmes. Moreover, the Doctor can't stop the Big Bad. He's dealing with a human Chessmaster Cursed with Awesome and Dangerously Genre Savvy, and the only way to stop him is to kill him. Moriarty won't allow the Doctor to bargain a happy ending out of the situation.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: And how!
- Emotions vs. Stoicism: One of Holmes's driving internal conflicts.
- Endless Winter: Or near enough, being late November in the British Isles and in the midst of the Continent.
- Everyone Can See It: Holmes is still the only one who can't/won't see Beth's attraction to him or vice versa. Made worse, though, by the fact that, this time around, even the villains can see it!
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Averted, Defied, and Discussed. This is what makes Moriarty an even more dangerous opponent than he was in the Canon — he goes so far as to mock Holmes for not having studied the affairs of the heart.
- Evil Gloating
- Flaw Exploitation: Moriarty is a master at this, exploiting Holmes's obsession with protecting Watson, Beth's love for Holmes, and the Doctor's insecurity at his darker side.
- Forced to Watch: For Holmes, see Sadistic Choice below. For Watson, being forced to hear audio recordings of Holmes's gradual Face-Heel Turn.
- For the Evulz/Evil Is Petty
- Freudian Excuse: The entire season up to this point is turned into one for Holmes to Jump Off the Slippery Slope.
- From Bad to Worse: Up to Eleven.
- Genre Savvy: Beth and Sally.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Played with. Typically invoked by Beth, justified in that she's a seventeen-year-old and a good kid. Entirely dropped, however, when the chips come down. See What the hell, Sherlock? in "The Dying Detective".
- Held Gaze: A recurring event for Holmes and Beth.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Holmes and Beth seem to have an unhealthy tendency towards this...
- Heroic Spirit
- Hero of Another Story: Beth's father (a late-21st century Inspector Lestrade) and her half-brother Geoff (several years older and in the USAF) are mentioned several times. Beth clearly comes from a heroic family.
- The Hero's Journey: Holmes and Beth both experience this.
- Hope Springs Eternal: The attitude of Beth, Sally, the Irregulars, and George and Nikola.
- Insane Troll Logic: Beth more than once threatens to kill Holmes if he gets himself into (deadly) trouble.
- Ironic Echo
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Moriarty and Beth enjoy doing this, albeit with very different circumstances. Moriarty is Time Sensitive and knows how the Sherlockian fandom should have progressed; Beth is a Fangirl and thus knows how fans would react to various events.
- Let no Crisis Go to Waste: Moriarty is the ultimate opportunist.
- Like Brother and Sister: Will and Beth.
- Longing Look: Beth gets in several poignant ones.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Played with. Holmes and Beth are certainly willing to go to extremes...
- Madness Mantra: "I can't" — heartrendingly, almost a Catchphrase, as Beth says it all throughout the finale]] and never more than thrice at a time.
- Malicious Slander: Moriarty does not let up on the Doctor.
- Never My Fault: Initially, nothing is Holmes's fault. Eventually, this attitude transitions to It's All My Fault.
- Obviously Evil: Used to its most terrifying effect.
- Ominous Fog: Subverted. Beth once remarks just how useful the constant fog has been for herself and the Irregulars.
- Our Vampires Are Different: The plasmavore gets fleshed-out more here by virtue of having more screentime in the finale than in her first, brief TARDISode, and comes off first as being very much a vampire... and then very much not so. She's an alien woman who plays at being The Vamp and does require blood to live as part of her DNA... However, she experiences some definite Character Development.
- Poor Communication Kills: The basis for nearly everything that goes wrong in these three episodes.
- Precision F-Strike: Different words but quite as powerful in context.
- Holmes and Watson both call Moriarty a bastard, Holmes in his head and Watson to the man's face, as well as saying it again for good measure later on.
- See Gosh Dang It to Heck! above. Beth uses G-rated swearing so much that you'd think she'd never say something serious, would you? Well... not if Holmes scares her. See the renamed What the Hell, Hero? in "The Dying Detective".
- Reconstruction: Of Moriarty himself, even if he did have to Come Back Wrong for it to happen. Often in fanfic, Moriarty cannot win the day ultimately because he can't understand The Power of Friendship. Well... guess what he is able to understand this time, and guess how thoroughly and ruthlessly he utilizes that understanding...
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Basically, anyone who is very connected to the Holmes/Watson/Moriarty conflict retains their memory both into Broken Time and back out of it. Notable characters who don't remember either way are Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft, and Inspector Lestrade.
- Screw Destiny/You Can't Fight Fate: Obviously a Motif of this trilogy.
- Security Cling
- Self-Inflicted Hell: Invoked several times by Moriarty when speaking with Holmes or Watson, explaining that he would have had gained no serious foothold in Holmes's soul had the pair not damaged their friendship so thoroughly. He also brings up more than once the fact that they broke Time, putting them all in the Crapsack World.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Bonus points for it having to be done twice.
- Seven Deadly Sins:
- Envy: Holmes envies Moriarty his emotional detachment. Moriarty harbors a severe malice towards the happiness of the True Companions.
- Gluttony: Moriarty and Moran in their insatiable desire to inflict pain, particularly upon Holmes...
- Greed: Moriarty's hunger for power, as well as the reason for his corruption of Holmes.
- Lust: Moran and later Moriarty towards Beth. (Also, the plasmavore, who really makes her living off of seducing men and tries to seduce Holmes.)
- Pride: It has always been Moriarty's greatest shortcoming.
- Slothfulness: Dark!Holmes, who has no real ambition anymore and is bored to the point of suicidal intentions as a result.
- Wrath: Moriarty's most frightening trait. Also notable in Moran.
- Seven Heavenly Virtues: Best exemplified by Sally and Beth.
- Charity: Beth, though she sees this virtue in herself as simply being her willingness to do what has to be done.
- Chastity: Beth later tells Sherlock that she was very close to submitting to his darker self in order to be with him, and had to choose instead to die.
- Diligence: Beth's hard, faithful work towards rescuing Holmes and Watson and restoring Time, as well as keeping Sally and the Irregulars safe.
- Humility: Sally is simply comfortable with herself. Beth, on the other hand, has serious self-esteem issues.
- Kindness: Both women, though serious props to Beth for her handling of Holmes in his worst moments.
- Patience: Beth. Holmes. Worst moments. The one time she truly loses it... she immediately apologizes.
- Temperance: Sally, who ends up being the Voice of Reason.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat
- Staring Down Cthulhu: Watson's general reaction to Moriarty's presence. Plus, you realize that Beth is truly Watson's Distaff Counterpart when she does the exact same thing.
- Stock Monster Symbolism: It's kind of inevitable, and it's deliciously subverted. Rather than having literal monsters serving as metaphors for real life issues, we have realistic humans who closely resemble mythical beings.
- Consider Professor Moriarty. He comes off as a classic vampire — the similarities between him and Literature/Dracula are many — in all but being literally undead and bloodsucking. He thrives off of inflicting pain (much as a vampire does from feeding), corrupts Holmes (as a vampire can convert others), displays deadly fury when something goes seriously awry, and ends up capturing Beth and making her as his Sex Slave. (And as far as the whole undead thing is concerned, well... he was supposed to be dead long before now... and instead of dying, came back more powerful than ever before.)
- Colonel Moran is scarcely less vampiric, also thriving on sadism and clearly fitting the more hedonistic elements in vampire lore. (His blinding lust for Beth is truly disturbing.)
- Stopped Clock: Of course, a side-effect of Time Standing Still. Played to heartbreaking effect later on, however, when a clock misses a chime and helps convince Beth to go.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Beth as an Irregular.
- Take a Third Option: Used twice and fatally for someone each time.
- Took a Level in Badass: Beth between "Child of Time" and "Dynamics of a Point", as well as mid-"The Dying Detective".
- Dear heavens, Moriarty himself.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Holmes. Made painfully explicit in his treatment of Beth in "Dynamics", and he levels up even further in "Detective".
- Trauma Conga Line: Sally is the only hero who manages to escape this fate.
- Trope Overdosed: Quite possibly, but the whole thing is easily the length of the rest of the series.
- True Companions: Sally, Beth, the Baker Street Irregulars, and George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla.
- Unrequited Love: As far as Beth can tell, and it only gets worse as the story progresses, taking her relationship with Holmes into All Take and No Give territory.
- Victorian London: And how.
- Villains Never Lie
- Welcome to Hell: Invoked by Moriarty more than once.
- What Could Have Been: Originally, Beth did not die. Originally, the authors toyed with the idea of Watson's memory being wiped by Time freezing over, and remaining at liberty. More to the point, the entire second half of the original "Every Good Fairytale" was expanded from a handful of actually-written scenes. Moriarty's death scene was far shorter and less involved, and Sherlock and Beth confessed their love right before she left, which means that they did not marry in the original draft.
- And then that second half became an episode in its own right because it got too long — "The Long Goodnight".
- What You Are in the Dark: The secondary Central Theme to The Powers of Friendship and Love.
- Wicked Cultured: Moriarty, Moran, and the plasmavore.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Beth and the Irregulars.
- Women Are Wiser: Than the heroes, at any rate, as Sally and Beth (and Mrs. Hudson!) consistently show more common sense and compassion than the men they love.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: At which Moriarty is a master.
- Beth, however, is the real player throughout the first three episodes, though she wouldn't even think of it that way, herself. Nevertheless, she gambits with Sherlock, the entire Time/Space Continuum, and the Big Bad, moving from half-formed plans to well-plotted schemes to going in blind. When something goes wrong, she might blank out for a few minutes but she will adjust accordingly. Better still, her gambits win more than anyone else's...
- You Are Worth Hell: Ruthlessly deconstructed.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: Never ever ever.
- You Got Spunk: The reason why Moriarty and Moran appear to like Beth so much. That, and...
Ah, Beth—you really have changed very little. I had forgotten how refreshingly hot-headed
you could be.
Dynamics of a Point
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Beth slaps Holmes one good when he insults her very seriously. He's not at all happy about it.
- Back for the Finale: Mrs. Hudson, Inspector Lestrade, Mycroft Holmes, and the Baker Street Irregulars. The Bus Really Came Back on that last one (the Irregulars' last chronological appearance in the Sherlockian Canon is in The Sign of the Four).
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Shades of this between Holmes and Beth. The Hot-Blooded Beth is quite aware of her feelings and doesn't exactly hide them, but Holmes can't seem to figure his out, let alone spit them out. Except for knowing that he doesn't want Beth to go, even if he does cuff her to cab doors and insult her dreadfully.
- Big Bad: Torchwood, as the season has been setting them up to be.
- Breaking the Fellowship: The consequences of the Doctor leaving the gang in London while he refuels in Cardiff.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Beth dishes this out to Holmes after they've both cooled down.
- Can't Spit It Out: Holmes even admits as much to Watson later, regarding his confusion with his feelings for Beth.
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Holmes and Beth, heartbreakingly hard, by the end. Their last real conversation boils down to this:
Holmes: I don't want you to go.
Beth: Then tell me to stay.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Although we've had increasingly dark episodes, "Dynamics" is where this trope really kicks off.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The Irregulars.
- Curse Cut Short: Consider Beth's Hot-Blooded retort to Holmes (which she herself stops just in time):
How dare you, you selfish, inconsiderate—
- Ineffectual Loner: Holmes briefly becomes this.
- Jerk Ass: "Downright cringe-worthy" does not begin to cover Holmes's behavior in this episode.
- Just a Kid: Basically Holmes's purported attitude towards Beth — made even worse when Beth actually says this about herself in as many words, adding "and nothing special".
- Like an Old Married Couple: Beth and Holmes have shades of this... which gets really uncomfortable when Holmes starts to rail abuse at her.
- Mama Bear: Mrs. Hudson.
- Man Child: Beth bitingly (and rightly) accuses Holmes of this, to a degree:
"This from a grown man who indulges in petulant sulking on a regular basis?"
- Master of the Mixed Message: Beth accuses Holmes of this as well, based on the way he treats her compared to his dislike of the thought of her leaving 1895.
- Meaningful Name: The title, which is truly a Wholockian title with references to both the Sherlockian Canon and Doctor Who.
- Monster Sob Story: Everyone, including the man himself, agrees that Moriarty is a monster: there is absolutely no crime he will not commit. However, much of his current personality is built up of what happened to him after his supposed death — after all, the man has been aging in reverse for two decades by the time the story opens!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Holmes and Watson break a Fixed Point in Time with a serious rift they create in their friendship.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: Blithely subverted by Beth early on when, high on excitement, she throws her arms around Holmes and hugs him hard. Sadly... things go downhill from there.
- Oh Crap
- Refused by the Call: Poor Beth... twice. First by the Doctor, who says that he's taking her home (after her having been only to the 1980s and then the 1890s), then by Holmes, who doesn't want her to break something in the Time-Space Continuum by tagging along on a recorded case.
- The Reveal: "Welcome back to the nineteenth century, Mr. Holmes. So charming to see you once again."
- Sadistic Choice: Sell your soul or let Watson be broken piece by piece. Yeah, that goes down about as well as it sounds.
- Sherlock Scan: Mycroft pulls silent scans on his brother and Watson, realizing that there are a lot of details that don't add up.
- Tag Along Kid: Holmes won't stop thinking of Beth in this light.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Knowledge of the whole of Time and Space? Yeah, that'll go over well... It actually does, if you call a psychopath resisting madness and instead becoming more powerful than ever "going over well".
- Wham Line
- Would Hit a Girl: The villains come as no surprise, but Holmes does...
You can be thankful my physical control far exceeds your own, but you would still be wise not to repeat that performance
The Dying Detective
- A Day in the Limelight: Holmes remains The Protagonist, but Beth steps up to be The Hero.
- Anger Born of Worry: Holmes's anger at Beth for ignoring his instructions, getting herself nearly killed, and getting herself marked for death.
- Attempted Rape: The Irregulars rescued Beth Just in Time from being raped by Colonel Moran, which he decided on the spot to do before murdering her.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: The emotional, compassionate, loving Holmes becomes the emotionless, cruel, uncaring Moriarty.
- Benched Hero: The Doctor.
- Poor Sally expresses her despair at being stuck at "home" while waiting for her baby to be born.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Irregulars save Beth from being murdered twice, which is lampshaded later on by her thoughts.
- Blatant Lies: Moriarty tells distressingly few of these, although one that he does use is Beth's death at Moran's hands. Holmes wasn't entirely convinced but was visibly disturbed.
- Call Forward: "Rule One: The Doctor lies." (Even though it's in the Doctor's future and Moriarty is speaking of it as if it has already happened, this might have been a deliberate usage of that future.)
- Pompeii also gets a mention — from the viewpoint of human history, it's already happened, anyway.
- The Chosen One: Holmes and Watson get to see firsthand the consequences of not fulfilling a Fixed Point in their timeline, a.k.a. the consequences of screwing Fate: it screws the entire planet.
- The Dark Side Will Make You Forget
- Dead Girl Junior: Baby Katherine for Sally's blasted-to-the-past BFF Cathy Nightingale.
- Despair Event Horizon: Holmes finally hits it when he can't save Robin Locksley, his men, or Marion, and Robin is beheaded right in front of him.
- The End of the World as We Know It
- The Night That Never Ends: For London, at any rate, stuck in false dawn around six in the morning.
- Time Stands Still: Because of the broken Fixed Points, a la "The Wedding of River Song", producing a...
- Crapsack World: The world stuck in 1895 when Time freezes. Sally and Beth regard it this way for different reasons. This is followed by
- Apocalypse How: A planetary Class Z if temporal paradoxes are allowed to exist within Frozen Time. (And it would happen, anyway, because Reality continues to fracture
- Even Evil Has Standards: Moran makes a complicated case, being a Complete Monster for the most part... and yet... He knows that Beth's love for Holmes is unconditional, and Holmes's disregard for that love bewilders him completely.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Tom Johnstone may be an amoral smuggler, selling out his own country to Napoleon Bonaparte (and would have no problems in tossing Beth overboard if she objects to that), but, knowing Beth's actual gender, he assures her that she will not be taken advantage of.
- Heroic Vow:
“And at this point, I don’t bloody well care if I have to knock you out and carry you on my shoulders, because I’m not leaving without you.”
- Historical-Domain Character: Tom Johnstone.
- Hope Spot: Holmes gets out a message to Robin Locksley's Merry Men, but it's too late: Cromwell already has them.
- Beth reaches Holmes's room to rescue him, and for a moment, Holmes seems like his old self again. But only for a moment...
- Jerkass Façade: Holmes defends his attitude towards Watson in Moriarty's presence as being this. "One does not bleed in front of sharks, Doctor!"
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The scary thing is that not even much "encouragement" was needed...
- Kill the Cutie: Beth's fate at the end, which includes the following:
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Averted with Sally. Although she is pregnant in Frozen Time, she is a Temporal Paradox within Frozen Time, as is her baby. The two of them and Beth age normally whilst everyone else stays the same.
- Which means that all other pregnant women are stuck in whatever stage of pregnancy they were at before Time froze. Fridge Horror, indeed.
- Loving a Shadow:
“I suggest you relay your message to his shade, wherever it may roam, and cease to bore me with your melodramatic sentiments.”
- More than Mind Control/Not Brainwashed
- Name's the Same: As "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", one of the canonical short stories in His Last Bow.
- Not Afraid to Die: Robin Locksley and Beth...
I chose [this path]... and I have no regrets.
- Not So Different: Beth realizes that Holmes has done a Face-Heel Turn because he's acting just like Moriarty — moreover, like Moriarty in the Canon rather than the man he's developed into.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: In the end, Moriarty is definitely regretting certain actions...
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
"Then what does matter to you? The fact that because you're oh-so-aloof-and-alone, you're not going to be hurt anymore by the people you love? You're not going to see them get hurt or die? [...] Coward."
- Redemption Rejection: Of the preemptive variety. Doubles as a Wham Line from Beth's POV.
- Red Herring: The Bruce-Partington Plans. The case only hastened along the freezing of Time — what really did it was Holmes and Watson breaking up. Even so, the first part of the episode revolves around resolving this plot point.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Poor, poor Doctor and Watson...
- Soft Glass: Subverted. Beth even snarks that she does a lot of window-jumping, but she doesn't get through it unscathed.
- Stopped Caring/Lack of Empathy: This comes back to bite Holmes big time...
- Suicide Mission: Beth is well aware that her one-man rescue operation is probably this.
- Team Mom: Sally to the Irregulars.
- Temporal Paradox: What Beth and Sally become once Time Stands Still.
- Trapped in the Past: Beth.
- Unwanted Rescue: Types 1 and 3 show up when Beth does to rescue Holmes.
- What. The. Hell, Sherlock.:
[[spoiler: "You... Who are you?"
Every Good Fairytale
The Long Goodnight
- Affectionate Nickname: Ohhh boy. Beth calls Sherlock "Kitty" because of his catlike-ness, and he calls her "sunshine" in turn.
- Altar the Speed
- Bittersweet Ending
- Broken Bird: Beth, by her own admission, is still damaged. She doesn't know how to take compliments; is reminded often of bad memories before, during, and after Frozen Time; and experiences full-out flashbacks and nightmares.
- A handful of vulnerable moments show that Sherlock is pretty much this, as well.
- Call Back: Sherlock and Beth renew their exploration of the TARDIS.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Well, what else are we to call Sherlock's French endearments when he's with Beth?
- Flashback Nightmare: Initiates a heartbreaking scene for Sherlock and Beth.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: Sherlock realizes the hall clock's missed chime is a warning: Beth has to leave now.
- Future Me Scares Me: Calling the Doctor "Valeyard" turns out to be an effective weapon.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for both couples. The Irregulars allow John and Sally to have some serious alone-time upon their reunion. Sherlock and Beth have their wedding night... and the rest of their brief honeymoon.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Beth's wedding gown.
- Insatiable Newlyweds
- I Will Find You: Almost a part of Beth's wedding vows is to find a way back to Sherlock.
- Lighter and Fluffier: After the first three episodes, TLG presents a dramatic shift in tone! Primarily fluff with good ole hurt/comfort.
- Long Distance Relationship: Or rather, Long Distance Marriage.
- Snow Means Love: Subverted. Sherlock and Beth are already married when London receives her first snowfall of the season. Sherlock looks at his bride, standing enraptured in the snow, and tells her that he's just fallen in love with her all over again.
- Take That: Holmes delivers several of these to his own fandom when Beth asks him questions about himself and his past.
- They Do
- Time Skip: At the end. Eight years for Beth... forty-two for Sherlock.
- Time Travel Romance
- What Could Have Been: Originally, the finale was only three parts. However, "Every Good Fairytale" got so long that it was split in two, just to give the honeymoon its own episode!
- Worth Living For:
- Write Back to the Future: Holmes promises this for Beth.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: The world is set right. Moriarty and Moran are dead. Holmes and Beth marry... Beth still has to return to her own time.