BBC

Will Sherlock And Watson Survive A Sister Act?

And is anything actually what it is?

  • Previously

    Mary died, OMG. Also, there were apparently multiple ominous warnings of an "east wind" during season three, all of which were supposed to tip us to tonight's big reveal, more on which later and about which, I hope you'll forgive me: [eyeroll accompanied by wanking motion].

  • Alert!
    2017-01-09-sherlock-01

    In Love With Your Ghost

    Alert Type: Harsh Reality Alert.

    Issue: Watson is struggling to reconcile the fact that his beloved wife, Mary, is really dead.

    Complicating Factors: She keeps showing up! Well, not really, but he keeps talking to her, and even I believed for a moment that everyone was only pretending she was dead for some government spy reason. But, despite all the good advice she seems to be shelling out to John, she's really dead. More's the pity.

    Resolution: Jumping on the episode's trend of confessing stuff to dead people, Watson unburdens himself of his would-be crimes against their marriage and faces the truth.

    Spoiler: Mary, dead or alive, didn't know everything she thought she knew.

  • Symbolism
    2017-01-09-sherlock-02

    The Red Carpet Treatment

    The Scene: Watson dodges the truth with his weird therapist. He is bad at therapy.

    The Symbol: The therapist's deep scarlet animal-skin rug.

    The Meaning: The rivers will run with blood? Death everywhere? A killer on the loose? Someone's going to get shot on that rug? Any and all of the above?

  • Awkward
    2017-01-09-sherlock-03

    A Disturbance In The Force

    Situation: Watson's therapist is asking all sorts of probing questions like, "Why do you keep looking over my shoulder to chat to your dead wife?" and "Have you talked to your BFF Sherlock lately? I wonder how he'll get in touch with you…"

    What makes it awkward? Suddenly, a luxury sports car crashes into the front garden and all hell breaks loose. "Aren't you going to introduce me?" the counselor asks, joining an aghast Watson at the door.

    How is order restored? We won't know until we flash back to this after flashing back to the other flashback and then flashing forward -- but not all the way forward! -- to this flashback. I hate you, show.

  • Snapshot
    2017-01-09-sherlock-04

    Foretooth!

    The most villainous set of clackers in all of Her Majesty's Realm. Let us never speak of them again, even in our shared nightmares.

  • Character Study
    2017-01-09-sherlock-05

    Living, Breathing Coagulation Of Human Evil

    Name: Culverton Smith.
    Age: Late 50s.
    Occupation: Entrepreneur. Billionaire. Toupeed Television Personality…? Weirdly Familiar Tiny-Fingered Creep.
    Goal: To kill.
    Sample Dialogue: "If you think about it, civilization has always depended on a measure of elective ignorance."
  • Flashback
    2017-01-09-sherlock-06

    That Time A Teeny-Tiny Man Made A Big Confession

    Three years ago, a bunch of rich people attend an extremely complicated meeting where they were given drugs to make them forget what Culverton Smith brought them there to tell them while he crept around and around the table never getting to the point. Which was that he needed to unburden his conscience and confess to them that he intended to kill someone, but also that the drugs he just gave them would make them forget this entire conversation.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-07

    The only one who even half-remembered what he said was his own daughter, Faith, who even made notes on the whole thing as far as she could remember, which was not much.

  • Meeting Time
    2017-01-09-sherlock-08

    Lost Faith

    Who called the meeting? "Faith Smith."

    What's it about? Apparently, she kept the note from her post-meeting download three years ago, and has been haunted by the "one word" her father never spoke those years ago: the name of the person he was planning on killing. Now she wants Sherlock's help in getting to the bottom of it.

    How'd it go? Well…Sherlock is already at the bottom. Rock bottom. The evening's other attendee is his dealer/cooker, hanging out in his kitchen, and ya boy is hella messed up. It doesn't stop him from making many observances about Faith, however: she's let herself go in the last few years; she is practicing self-harm; she has a gun and intends to kill herself, soon. To his chagrin, knowing this, he can't let her go off into the night without helping her -- especially after her walking stick reminds him of Watson.

  • That Quote
    "You're suicidal. You're allowed chips. Trust me, it's about the only perk."
    - Sherlock -
  • Alert!
    2017-01-09-sherlock-09

    Big Brother Is Watching You

    Alert Type: Cheeky Bugger Alert.

    Issue: Sherlock has left his flat!

    Complicating Factors: Out on his rainy chips run with Faith Smith, Sherlock is of course being monitored by Mycroft, who has been watching him since Mary was killed, as Sherlock in a depressive state is a danger to national security. Sherlock Holmes doesn't appreciate being watched.

    Resolution: Sherlock drags Faith on a quick, nonsensical walk -- "it's a plan!" -- he knows will be tracked by Mycroft's henchmen. When mapped, his coordinates spell "Fuck off."

    Spoiler: Somehow Faith doesn't quite make it into camera frame during all of this crisscrossing…?

  • That Quote
    "Everybody dies. It's the one thing human beings can be relied upon to do. How can it still come as a surprise to people?"
    - Mycroft Holmes, not exactly doling out the empathy about Sherlock's shock over Mary's death -
  • Plot Lightning Round
    2017-01-09-sherlock-10

    Mycroft calls Watson to put him in the picture about Sherlock's stroll. He makes a rare slip of the tongue that implies, in the most awkward way, that he is the brother of a sibling other than Sherlock. And I realize that I was just awkward about it, myself, but it...was awkward and only got more so. For example:

    2017-01-09-sherlock-11

    Apropos of seemingly nothing, Mycroft's co-bitch, Lady Smallwood, chooses this fraught moment to ask Mycroft: "Do you still speak to Sherrinford?" Mycroft snits that Sherrinford is secure and goes back to spying on his li'l bro. (BTW, in Conan Doyle canon, Sherrinford Holmes was what the author originally called Sherlock…)

    2017-01-09-sherlock-12

    Speaking of Sherlock, he is still on his chips date with Daughter of Teeth! This lady, by the way, has taken quite a sentimental shine to our hero, even calling him "sweet." Sherlock is nonplussed. "I'm not sweet, I'm just high!" he says, before proving it by going into a total drug meltdown. Before she disappears into thin air, Faith adds that Sherlock is, in fact, "nicer than anyone."

    2017-01-09-sherlock-13

    This somehow -- along with multiple quick flash…backs? -- inspires Sherlock to see all in regards to Culverton Smith's little murder meeting: Ol' Chompers didn't say he wanted to kill someone; he said he wanted to kill anyone.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-14

    These revelations about Culverton Smith send Sherlock on a three-week drug bender, during which he loses his mind, assaults his fixer, and -- most shameful of all -- waves a gun at Mrs. Hudson. Um, about that last point…

  • Alert!
    2017-01-09-sherlock-15

    You Come At The King, You Best Not Miss: Part 1

    Alert Type: Boss Bitch Alert.

    Issue: Sherlock is on every damn drug, acting an absolute fool.

    Complicating Factors: When Mrs. Hudson can't take it anymore, she straight games his ass, dropping a tea cup in front of him causing him to put his gun down to catch it. She then picks up the gun, handcuffs the dude, and has the shop boys from downstairs throw him in her trunk!

    Resolution: She drives his junkie behind to Watson's therapy meeting, at speed, chased by the police. This does the job of catching up some of this flashbacking, and putting us at least where we started the episode.

    Spoiler: Mrs. H does not play. And no, you can't borrow her car.

  • Brain­teaser
    2017-01-09-sherlock-16
    Q Dr. John Watson has a PRIVATE appointment with his BRAND-NEW therapist that he has told NO ONE about. How many people will Sherlock Holmes invite well in advance to meet Watson there? For extra credit: how did Sherlock Holmes 1) know he had the appointment; 2) where and when the appointment would take place?

    A Four people, including: himself, Mrs. Hudson; Molly (to perform a medical exam because he somehow knew he'd be strung out, which he is), and oh yeah, the serial killer he has been obsessing over lately, with whom they have a lunch appointment. As to how he arranged all this…I mean, it's elementary! (No, it isn't. Dead Mary explains it to Watson on the way to lunch and it's all too Sherlockian to repeat and frankly, I have issues with the whole damn thing. Like, why…well, we'll get to that.)
  • And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
    2017-01-09-sherlock-17

    Gnash!

    When you're feeling a compulsion to really sink your teeth into the morning, start your day with Gnash! Go get 'em, Cereal Killer! (Blaaarrrrgh!)

  • Awkward
    2017-01-09-sherlock-18

    Thanks For Reading

    Situation: Smith drags Sherlock and Watson to meet with a bunch of kids at the children's hospital of which he is the patron.

    What makes it awkward? Everyone there loves Sherlock's blog! And has no idea who Watson, the writer of said blog, is. Honestly, the whole trip is awkward as hell to begin with, what with Sherlock tripping balls in front of all the kids, and Culverton Smith being…himself, talking all kinds of weirdness about how great it is to be rich and untouchable and a serial killer? Like the Queen. It's weird and awful.

    How is order restored? Well, Smith takes his special guests to visit his "favorite room" in the hospital. How nice!

  • Plot Lightning Round
    2017-01-09-sherlock-19

    ...Oh. His favorite room is the mortuary. And he's super-creepy about it, even namechecking another famous Holmes: one H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who did his dirtiest work during the 1893 World's Fair. (Note: If you have not read it, I highly recommend The Devil In The White City, a book by Erik Larson about this bizarre and shocking case. It is fascinating and reads like a novel.)

    2017-01-09-sherlock-20

    Even though Sherlock is being crazy smug about how he's alerted Faith Smith to come and see her father caught for his crimes, Smith seems less than bothered, bloviating about his genius idea of using the hospital as his murderous home base, but then switching back to accuse Sherlock of being delusional and on drugs.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-21

    Faith shows up! But, uh, it's not the Faith Sherlock met. He freaks out. Smith is delighted by Holmes's apparent crack-up.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-22

    He pulls a scalpel on Smith, forcing Watson to physically stop him. Watson, egged on by Smith, assumes it's all been a delusion of Sherlock's mind, that the woman who came to 221B never existed, and, like, maybe a little upset that Sherlock's responsible for Mary's death…kicks his ass.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-23

    And apparently does a good enough job that Holmes has to be admitted to the hospital. Culverton Smith tells the news, in fact, that he won't be bringing charges, and that he so admires Sherlock, he might even insist they move Sherlock to his "favorite room."

  • Alert!
    2017-01-09-sherlock-24

    Internal Bleeding

    Alert Type: Man Tears Alert.

    Issue: Watson has, he thinks, reached his emotional limit. He visits Sherlock a final time in the hospital, leaving his old walking stick for Sherlock's recovery as a parting gift.

    Complicating Factors: Of course Mycroft calls one second before he's out the door and sends a car to bring him back to Baker Street, where his goons are turning over Sherlock's flat to try to determine just what drugs Sherlock's been on.

    Dead Mary, in John's mind, reminds him of that weird thing Mycroft said last time they were on the phone about some third mystery brother…? Mycroft hedges. Unconvincingly.

    Resolution: Mrs. Hudson comes in and lays down the law, eviscerating the henchmen and calling Mycroft an idiot reptile. Why? BECAUSE SHE'S THE QUEEN. Anyway, they all discover the "Miss Me?" DVD from Mary and, upon watching it, realize that Sherlock's entire drug binge has been a plan -- "it's a plan!" -- to "save John" by forcing John to save Sherlock. She says Sherlock's got to go right into hell and make it look like he means it. So, he's picked a fight with Smith for this very reason and now it's come to this.

    Spoiler: This plan works, sort of.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
    2017-01-09-sherlock-25

    Sherlock Holmes vs. Culverton Smith

    So, apparently Culverton Smith had a whole wing of the hospital built with secret passageways and shit and nobody else knows? Okay. He creeps in on Sherlock and wonders aloud why Sherlock, knowing who he is, has put himself into the hands of a serial killer. Sherlock says, you know, he wants the guy to kill him -- because he knows Smith loves to confess to dead people -- though truth be told, Sherlock doesn't really want to die.

    Smith says okay, yeah, the truth is he just loves killing people! Because he wants to make people into dead things. Because then you can own them. Frankly, for a serial killer, his whole reasoning and method shtick is kind of overkill.

    Still, he very nearly kills Sherlock, but Watson busts in to save him and finds out that Smith's confession was recorded on a device in the walking stick Sherlock placed in it three weeks ago. For this, Watson calls him a cock, and Holmes can't help but agree.

    Winner: Holmes.

  • Wrap It Up
    2017-01-09-sherlock-26

    Back at Baker Street, Watson is on babysitting duty to keep Sherlock off the needle while he recovers. The two men -- with the help of Dead Mary -- come to a meeting of the minds about her death. Watson admits it's not Sherlock's fault; Sherlock admits that Mary's sacrifice placed a value on his life he can't justify. Like men, they agree that "it is what it is."

    2017-01-09-sherlock-27

    Sherlock gets the moan text from Irene Adler, overheard I guess for the first time by Watson. It's Sherlock's birthday! Watson didn't know! But, as a gift, here's a thousand gallons of angst spewed out about how lucky Sherlock is to have a living woman he can go see, possibly in High Wickham, though she is a sociopath and all. ("Oh, married an assassin!" Dead Mary chides.)

    2017-01-09-sherlock-28

    This leads John to confess that as much as he loved Mary, she was wrong about him. In a painful unburdening, he admits to the emotional affair he was having, via nonstop text, with the redhead from the bus. Mary, he says, made him want to be the man she thought he was. "Well then, John Watson," she says (in his mind), "get the hell on with it."

    2017-01-09-sherlock-29

    He breaks down in Sherlock's arms. The whole thing is not okay, they agree, but, Sherlock says, "It is what it is." Sherlock posits that, you know, they might all just be human. "Even you?" Watson jokes. Holmes: "Even you." He puts on his famous hat and tra la la, they're out the door for cake!

    2017-01-09-sherlock-30

    What a nice way to end an episode! I'm sure you're emotionally wrung out by all two hundred twists, but surely nothing else can happen now. Let's just check back in to see how well Watson is doing at his next therapy appointment! Oh, he's doing great. Everything's wonderful.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-31

    Sherlock's back at work, and oh, what's this? He finds the note from Faith Smith?! So, she wasn't a hallucination…and upon closer inspection, the note has invisible ink that says "Miss Me?" Whut. Sherlock leaps from the room.

    2017-01-09-sherlock-32

    Meanwhile, Watson's weird therapist casually asks him how Sherlock's "secret" brother is doing? And then, oh yeah, mentions the night she spent with Sherlock, eating chips? And then starts taking off her disguise because she's really THAT LADY? Whaaaat? (Y'all thought it was Moriarty for a second? So did I.)

    2017-01-09-sherlock-33

    For some reasons I cannot deduce, this chick got Faith's original note from Culverton, did the whole thing with Sherlock, setting this shit in motion…but then she is ALSO the bus woman from Watson's text romance? OH, ALSO, THIS IS THE SECRET HOLMES BROTHER EXCEPT SHE'S A SISTER. Named Euros. Which means "east wind." Watson, outraged, stands to protest -- for us all! -- and this bitch raises a gun in his face and seems to fire it? Does anyone understand why Sherlock now has not one but three psycho enemies that are all the time appearing out of nowhere, asking if he misses them? I DON'T. It stresses me out. You can't just throw in a non-canonical EVIL sister in Season 4! I didn't grow up reading Sherlock Holmes stories to suddenly be saddled with a sister! This is not okay!

Readers liked this episode
What did you think?

Discussion

Explore the Sherlock forum or add a comment below.