Last night’s episode of Sherlock, the Lying Detective, ended with a twist that could change the entire series. So spoilers below.
The first episode of Sherlock this season was meant to put the show back on path to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle canon. While the second episode seems to have made a serious detour. In the original stories, John Watson gets married but ends up back in 221B Baker Street and though it’s not specifically said, it’s believed he was a widower. So the death of Mary Morstan was expected by long-standing Holmes fans.
Last night we got a couple bait and switches. We’ve been told that Toby Jones was the big bad for the season… he was for one episode. Culverton Smith may play a part in The Final Problem, but I doubt it. We’ve been teased before about another sibling, a secret brother. John even suspects it as much and we keep getting references to Sherrinford. This is not a name Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss came up with. Nor is it something Doyle ever used. The idea of Sherrinford Holmes comes from author William S. Baring-Gould who wrote a fiction biography of Sherlock and introduced the idea of an older sibling. It made sense for that era where sons would follow a pretty common pattern: the eldest takes over the estate, the second goes into public service leaving the remainder to do what they please. So while Mycroft is part of the government, there needed to be an older sibling to manage the estate. Sherrinford was then picked up by later authors and worked into some Holmes stories. They even made him an intellectual equal of his brothers.
Moffat and Gatiss took that and hinted at another brother and even dropped the Sherrinford name twice in the episode. And then went the opposite way by introducing Euros, a secret sister and master of disguise. She appeared in both the Six Thatchers and The Lying Detective, taking on three different appearances. Now there is no way for sure to know where the show will take this character, but a clue may be the title of the next episode.
The Final Problem is an very important story in the Doyle / Holmes lore. This is where we meet Professor James Moriarty and the famous Reichenbach Falls scene happens. This was Doyle’s attempt to kill of Sherlock. He wanted to move on to other things, but popular demand made him return to the great detective. But since we’ve already met Moriarty and did a variation on the falls… perhaps they are looking at the themes of the story more so than the events. This is where we meet Sherlock’s greatest enemy and it’s where the stories were supposed to end. If Euros is the person behind Moriarty… the person that put Moriarty onto Sherlock in the first place. And the person who has been manipulating things for years, then she would be his greatest enemy. Or, that is what Moriarty’s final vengeance is… turning his sister against him.
And since no one seems to know if there will be any Sherlock after this series… with both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman becoming insanely popular… what better way to end the run than with there version of what Doyle wanted to be the final Sherlock Holmes story? Unlike the other episode titles that are a play on the names of Doyle stories, this one is using the actual Doyle title.
Besides everything else in the episode, you have to appreciate that they finally addressed how Mrs. Hudson could afford that house on Baker Street… drug money!
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