Sherlock Lets The Dog Have His Day
In the season (series?) finale, Eurus makes our boys jump through some pretty messed-up hoops, and the truth behind Redbeard is revealed.
Fakes On A Plane
Alert Type: (Actual) Nightmare At 20,000 Feet Alert.
Issue: A "little girl" wakes up on a "plane" on which all the other "passengers" have either "passed out" or "died."
Complicating Factors: The "pilot" is also "dead," so no one is "flying" the "plane."
Resolution: The "little girl" gets hold of a "ringing cell phone" which she "answers," and lo and behold... the voice of "Moriarty" is on "the other line!"
Spoiler: Get that "shovel" out, because this whole "storyline" is "bullshit"!
Wanted: Guy Willing To Dress Up As Clown, Possibly Get Killed As Part Of A Prank
Who's causing a family crisis? Ha ha! Who isn't causing a family crisis this week, amirite? But if you want to get technical, at the current moment it's Sherlock.
How? By staging the mother (or should I say sister) of all ruses to trick Mycroft into admitting out loud that Eurus -- the surprise sibling revealed last week -- is a real person who exists. Boy, is this thing elaborate! You've got bleeding-eye paintings, a creepy-voiced girl scampering around, and yes, a sword-fighting clown. Also, we find out that Mycroft has a pretty awesome cane (at least when it's actually loaded).
Which relatives have a problem with it? Oh, you better believe Mycroft has a problem with it. He's hidden the truth about Eurus from Sherlock for a reason, and he's quite chagrinned to see that particular bottle uncorked.
Who's an unlikely ally? Watson, who appears to be fully back on Team Sherlock now that The Case Of The Guy Who Totally Wasn't Supposed To Be Trump successfully brought them back together, as per Mary's posthumous wishes. In fact, he's the one who advised Sherlock that Mycroft wouldn't reveal the truth until he was, and I quote, "actually wetting [himself]." (Did Mycroft actually wet himself? The jury's still out.)
Spoiler: Mycroft hasn't come close to revealing everything yet.
And Sister Makes Three...That's Everyone, Right?
Back at 221B, Mycroft finally sits down in the Client Chair he's disparaged for so long, and after enduring a solid burn from Mrs. Hudson (he can get his own fucking cup of tea!), the elder Holmes begins to tell the long-secret tale of Eurus. And what a tale it is. We already know it's got to be traumatic enough for Sherlock to have repressed it entirely, but who knew it would involve drowning an innocent dog?
Anyway, we learn that Eurus was deemed an "era-defining genius" by the professionals who tested her as a child, and everyone was flummoxed by her abilities even though she lived in a household full of crazy-smart folks. But her genius had a severely dark side, and things started to go south right around the time she decided to hide Redbeard from Sherlock and then make up a creepy song to give him clues as to where to find him. They never saw Redbeard again, but that wasn't enough to make the family send Eurus away! No, they kept her around until she got bored and burned the family estate down...
...and as far as Mr. & Mrs. Holmes know, Eurus herself died in that fire...but she actually didn't! Uncle Rudy (who presumably had the same kind of shadowy government job Mycroft now holds) stepped in and shipped Eurus off to a place that was deemed suitable for her particular needs.
Sherlock and Watson only have about fifty gazillion follow-up questions to this story, but they'll have to wait, because...
Okay, Who Left The Window Open?
What's the game? Nobody Move Or We All Die.
Who's playing? Sherlock, John, and Mycroft.
What's at stake? The very '90s-looking bomb sitting in the middle of that drone is called a "Patience Grenade," and it will take out a large chunk of 221B if it detects any motion. Fortunately, the device has a three-second fuse, which maybe gives our trio enough time to leap for the nearest door or window. But they'll have to wait until Mrs. Hudson is out of the blast radius, and they can't warn her because she's got Iron Maiden blasting in her headphones. (Side note: I guess the producers blew all their licensing money on this song, because that "classic noir film" Mycroft was watching earlier was a blatant phony.)
Who wins? Well, if Eurus's only goal with this thing was to destroy 221B without killing anyone -- and I guess it was, because if she thought she was going to kill Sherlock immediately she wouldn't have bothered with all the Sherrinford shenanigans -- then I suppose victory is hers. But we'll award silver medals to Holmes and Watson for jumping through two closed windows (wait a minute, how the hell did the drone get inside?) and suffering not so much as a scratch.
Place Of Interest
Hey, Gattis? It's Moffat. I Just Watched The First 30 Minutes Of Suicide Squad On My iPad, And Boy Do I Have Some Ideas
You've heard of the world's most secure prisons. Alcatraz. Guantanamo. Fort Knox if, like, the gold were trying to escape. Well, no. Just no. Forget all those. Those are fuckin' bush league, man. Sherrinford is the real deal.
Q: So it's impenetrable?
A: Completely! No one's ever gotten in or out.
Q: No one no one?
A: Well, okay. Jim Moriarty managed to get in one time. But he's one of the most devious criminals in history!
Q: How'd he manage to find the place? Did he exploit his global network of criminal contacts to track down one of the guards, and then torture that guard's family until he revealed the top-secret location?
A: Er, no. Mycroft told him where it was and invited him to stop by.
Q: O...kay. He must have had a pretty good reason for that!
A: Oh, yeah, totally! His sister requested it.
Q: His sister, the super-dangerous prisoner whose very existence threatens the entire world. She requested it. And Mycroft was like "Okay."
Q: Well. Anyway. No one's ever gotten out, right?
A: We thought that was the case until recently. Turns out one person actually did get out. Just one, though!
Q: Which one?
A: Oh, you know which one. The worst one. Also she's now in charge of the place, but I didn't tell you that and oh god there's that voice in my head BRB have to go kill my family.
Q: Listen. Let's say, hypothetically, someone wanted to get into this place without an invitation.
A: No way. Impossible. I told you, it's impenetrable! Impenetrable!
Q: Well, what if I told you I had a boat?
Q: Once I get inside -- because I will -- are there any flaws in security protocol I could exploit?
A: Absolutely not! What do you take us for?
Q: So, for example, does your head of security always look his employees in the eye when he hands them his ID badge?
A:[sigh] Fine. Not always.
Q: That was a trick question! What the hell is he doing handing off his ID badge in the first place?
Q: Oh boy.
A: I... I know.
Who called the meeting? Sherlock.
What's it about? Hey, it's not every day you find out you have a sister that you actually spent several years of your life with but then somehow entirely forgot about. Sherlock just wants to catch up!
How'd it go? Pretty good, at first! Eurus plays her violin for him -- it's a Stradivarius! -- and they reminisce about their shared childhood. Eurus says Sherlock was her favorite, because she could always make him laugh. Or, well, she thought it was laughter. Maybe it was actually screams of torment, but that kind of nitpicking is the province of mere mortals. Eurus has her mind on loftier concepts, like, say, corrupting the mind of everyone she ever speaks to and turning them into her personal slaves. Except Sherlock doesn't get to find out about that part, since he removes his earpiece to keep Mycroft from bugging him. Whoops! Also it turns out that there isn't actually any glass divider in the room; Eurus removed it and then hung the warning signs in place to make it look like there was still a wall, which is...kind of a lot of effort to go to when she can already come and go as she pleases? Anyway, the meeting concludes with Eurus choking Sherlock unconscious while Watson and Mycroft are taken hostage by the minion guards. Hey, at least Sherlock got to play a Stradivarius.
For about forty-five seconds, we get to bask in the possibility that Moriarty is still alive -- and, hence, that we're going to get a sure-to-be-insane explanation for how he so convincingly blew his brains out right in front of Sherlock -- but no, alas, we've taken the narrative DeLorean back five years. It's Christmas Day, and Jim is paying a visit to Eurus as -- we'll soon find out -- a reward for her assistance in solving some super-tough criminal cases.
"Smell all that insane criminality!" Moriarty exclaims as he gets a tour through Sherrinford. "Do you have any cannibals here?" (You bet they do!) Once he arrives in Eurus's cell, it's pretty clearly love at first sight, even if they're only permitted five minutes together.
"I'm your Christmas present," Moriarty tells her. "So what's mine?" And though we never see any of their ensuing conversation, it's clear that Eurus had a big hand in helping Moriarty plan the events of "The Reichenbach Fall," which actually makes that episode less satisfying in retrospect.
But Moriarty apparently finds out the truth about Eurus's familial connections before he even talks to her, which means that Mycroft is more forthcoming with the most dangerous criminal on Earth than he is with his own brother, which...eh, that actually sounds about right.
Alert Type: The First Of Many Sadistic Games Alert.
Issue: Watson wakes up in Eurus's cell, which he now shares with Sherlock, Mycroft, and the guy we still only know as the Governor.
Complicating Factors: Remember that "little girl" on the "plane"? She's on the "phone," and if our heroes want to "save her," they have to follow Eurus's instructions. And those instructions are easy, but also horrible: Eurus is holding the Governor's wife hostage, and she's going to kill her unless either Watson or Mycroft shoots the Governor dead.
Resolution: After both Mycroft and Watson get cold feet about going through with the dirty deed -- Mycroft, of all people, says he won't have "blood on his hands," which is really weird considering how much this show has bent over backwards to establish him as the coldest human being on Earth -- the Governor himself grabs the pistol and blows his own head off. Unfortunately, Eurus is a rigid adherent of Robert's Rules of Order[ing Someone Murdered], and so she kills Mrs. Governor anyway. (If it's any consolation, she does tell the gang that she greatly enjoyed their display of moral strife.)
Spoiler: Things ain't gonna get any easier from here.
BrainteaserQ If three brothers are accused of the same murder, and the first one has glasses, and the second one is an alcoholic, and the third one has Lasik and a spray tan, and the murder weapon is a "buffalo gun" (whatever the hell that is), then does it make any difference whether or not Sherlock can spot the culprit, since his sister is just going to drop all three dudes into the ocean anyway?A No!
The Bomb Would Have Been More Humane
Situation: As the next of Eurus's super-fun death games begins, the gang learns that Molly Hooper's house has been rigged with explosives and Sherlock only has a few minutes to save her.
What makes it awkward? The only way to save Molly is by getting her to say "I love you." To Sherlock. A person to whom she has already confessed her attraction and been rebuffed. Repeatedly.
How is order restored? Well, the jury's still out on whether it's actually "restored" at all, but at least Molly will live another day. (Er, maybe. We don't know what she did after she hung up.) Suffice it to say that this is the biggest nail-biter in an episode full of them, because Molly does not like talking to Sherlock at all (she doesn't even want to answer the phone at first), and she definitely doesn't want to be dragged -- seemingly out of nowhere -- into an intimate discussion of feelings. It's only when Sherlock finally tells her that he loves her (and she chooses to believe him, even though we all know he's lying) that Molly finally says the words that will save her from imminent doom. Except, there was no imminent doom, and Eurus just made Sherlock toy with Molly's feelings solely for Eurus's own entertainment. Eesh. "This is vivisection," Sherlock tells Watson once the deed is done. "We're experiencing science from the perspective of lab rats."
His Conscience Grew Three Sizes That Day
Is it possible that Mycroft isn't actually the coldest bastard on the entire planet? Maybe! I mean, let's not jump to conclusions; he probably still spends most of his time ordering air strikes on orphanages with a snifter of cognac in his hand, but at least in this one particular instance he steps up and does the right thing.
Now that she's through killing innocent wives and murder suspects and gaslighting a hapless pathologist, Eurus is really taking the gloves off: she tells Sherlock that he has to kill either Watson or Mycroft before he can leave the room. Mycroft immediately launches into a pompous explanation of why Watson is clearly the expendable one, but Sherlock quickly surmises that he's simply engaging in a bit of reverse psychology; to wit, he's actually trying to make it easier for Sherlock to kill him. The fact that this ruse is also super-obvious to anyone who has seen more than one television show in their lifetimes doesn't change the fact that, hey, it's a pretty decent thing of Mycroft to do. He may have the emotional capacity of a sawed-off medicine dropper, but he understands how important Watson is to Sherlock, and that definitely means something. (Not for nothing, he also cops to letting Moriarty into Sherrinford and thus setting this whole shitshow in motion.)
But Sherlock has a bit of hidden nobility of his own, and he won't kill Mycroft even with permission. "Not on my watch," he says, and puts the gun to his head, thwarting Moriarty's gleeful pre-recorded celebration of "Holmes killing Holmes!" Eurus is forced to hit the panic button and simply knock all three men unconscious. Again.
Exclusive Tell-All From The A/V Guy Who Hooked Up All Of Eurus's TV Screens
Oy! My name's Barty Preston and I'm a senior technician with Them Blokes What Get Your Telly Fixed Up An' Workin' Again. (I b'lieve they call it "Geek Squad" in the States.) Anyway, the other day I'm 'bout ready to close up and head to the pub when I get a call from a funny-sounding lady. Bit off her rocker, she seemed! And I couldn't hardly b'lieve what she wanted from us! Ninety-seven flatscreen tellies, all set up by the next morning, with high-speed internet connections and built-in microphones. Oy, you shoulda seen the look on me face! I had to pull in everyone on the team, plus Shingles McGarry from the Them Blokes office in Liverpool! Knows his way 'round an HDMI cable, that Shingles does. I tell ya, we was workin' all night! I mean, this lady, she wanted them tellies in the oddest places! I'd say we went through 'bout twenty miles of extension cord, and that's not even counting the... ooh, gettin' a bit drowsy, I am. The lady told me that might be a bit of a side effect of those pills what she gave me to take. Bit strange, now that I think of it. Not too many customers who insist on me takin' pills before I can get paid f'r a job. But I'm sure it's nothin' to worry 'bout. Can't wait to tell the lads at the pub 'bout this one!
Wrap It Up
Sherlock wakes up, again, except this time he's somewhere completely different, and it seems like a lot of time has gone by.
Watson wakes up too, and things aren't looking great for him: he's standing in two feet of water, and his leg is chained to the ground. He realizes he's in a well, which means they're a long way from Sherrinford.
Sherlock knocks down the wall and finds himself back at Musgrave Hall, his old family estate. Remember that riddle Eurus gave him about the location of Redbeard? He has to solve it again, and this time it's Watson's life on the line.
Watson finds bones in the well...but they're not dog bones, they're human! Ew, and there's a skull too. Wait a second...
...Redbeard wasn't a dog at all! He was a boy! Sherlock's long-forgotten best friend, with whom he used to play pirates! And Eurus killed him because she was jealous of their friendship! (Which I guess is pretty bad, but nowhere near as bad as killing an actual dog. Signed, a childless dog owner.)
Sherlock finally figures out that he needs to use the fake dates on the tombstones to solve Eurus's puzzle...
...which leads him to Eurus herself, who's crying in her old bedroom. (She's also the one who's been pretending to be the girl on the plane, because that girl is a manifestation of her childhood angst. Ugh. Whatever. I mean, the rest of the episode is solid so I'll let it go, but jeez. That was one hell of a cheap narrative trick.) Sherlock hugs her, and tells her it's okay: "You just went the wrong way last time. Get it right. Tell me how to save my friend." The end!
Well, not quite. Mycroft still has to explain to Ma and Pa Holmes why he's kept their daughter locked away for the past two decades while they both thought she was dead. And why they still can't see her now. For once, though, Mycroft and Sherlock are on the same side, and Sherlock concurs that Mycroft did his best. (We still don't find anything more about who the hell Uncle Rudy is.) (Or why Ma and Pa apparently colluded with Mycroft to keep the entirety of both Eurus's life a secret from Sherlock. Maybe they're not the best ones to be pointing fingers right now?)
Sherlock visits Eurus for a rousing violin duel, and it's quite a sweet moment. Hey, if he's also got another long-repressed sibling who plays cello, they could really get something going here!
Mary pops in for one last posthumous greeting, which is much more upbeat than the last one. "When life gets too strange, too impossible, too frightening, there is always one last hope," she says. "When all else fails, there are two men arguing in a scruffy flat, like they've always been there, and they always will. My Baker Street boys. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson."
And off they go to solve another mystery! Hey, just a thought, but maybe the next one could have nothing whatsoever to do with either of their families or secret pasts!