Synopsis: Charles Augustus Magnussen; the ultimate form from which blackmail appears- and is very honoured by Mycroft Holmes. Sherlock is sought out to put an end to Charles, but with a twist. A big twist. The client seems obvious at first…but of course, is not. And what is said client have to do with Sherlock and John? What does it mean for Sherlock Holmes?
What a show-stopping, heart-wrenching, emotion-galore episode. I have to admit, I was slightly apprehensive before viewing this episode. The last two episodes have been very comical and have had a different tone- which was brilliant because it was different- but I was starting to miss the “thrill of the chase”. Having that in mind, I went into battle and came out flabbergasted- in the best way possible.
First off, Mary. Moffat and Gatiss are geniuses. I remember my friends telling me, “I hate Mary. She doesn’t contribute anything to the show; such an empty individual”. I, however, maintained faith that these writers don’t introduce characters for nothing. And boy, was I right. They made her look like just another ordinary character so that the audience would be like “Whaa…?!” when they saw it. I mentioned this in my The Empty Hearse review, but only as an odd thought: Mary and Sherlock are severely alike. Mary is a master of disguise, clever and, most of all, a liar. But so is Sherlock; when he was pretending to be in love with Ginny (which, by the way, initially left me incapable of thought for the next 5 mins. I was sure the loneliness had broken him and was mortified that they humanized him to the extreme- which, we find out, is not the case), Sherlock and Mary both care for John deeply, they both hurt him and they have histories of psychotic behaviour. Yes, I’m saying John, basically, married Sherlock.
In this episode, it does feel that the duo have regressed to the characters in the beginning; Sherlock with drugs, John having nightmares about war, even Moriaty being, in some form or the other, “back” has an aura of the first 2 seasons. What really had me, is when Sherlock had moved John’s seat back to its original place- as if he knew John was going come back to 221B. But I dismissed it because I figured Sherlock must’ve thought that John wouldn’t want to go back to Mary after this. Oddly though, later we see Sherlock helping John to understand that Mary is not an assassin but a client, so Sherlock knew John well enough to know he wouldn’t just walk away from Mary. But why is the chair back then? Sentimentality? We see a lot more of that in this episode, especially Sherlock’s dog, Redbeard, and the constant references to his childhood and parents. Yet…what if it is foreshadowing? A small, extremely subtle hint about Mary’s future…will the TV show conform to the Doyle canon of Mary?
The plot itself was just mind-blowing. I mean, Charles Augustus Magnussen sent shivers down my spine. Moriaty was the lovable, childishly passionate villain that you can’t ever truly hate. But Charles was so intelligent, mature and being the most powerful man in the country next to Mycroft. Although, having the mind palace, essentially being able to tell people’s vulnerabilities or “pressure points”; he reminded me so much of Sherlock. I bet if Sherlock did turn his incredible gift against the law, he would be Charles.
Molly standing up to Sherlock- and slapping him- was strangely heart-warming. She has grown so much with her persona; no longer the in-love-clumsy little lab girl, and Sherlock turns to her face in his time of death- again- in his mind palace…god, that mind palace was definitely my most favourite scene. He actually had stored in his head all the different ways to fall if shot to minimise injury- definitely keeping that in mind- and, once more, Mycroft for intelligence and a bit of Anderson, as well! Can I just mention that, even though John marrying Mary, nearly- literally- killed Sherlock, he still- literally- fought death to save John? That is 100x more beautiful than watching two straight people in love. They may not be in love, but that is one helluva friendship (and how symbolic that death should come in the form of Moriarty). Sherlock is always there for John, even if John has lately not been there for him. In The Sign Of Three, Sherlock’s first and last vow was to always be there for the couple, and, fittingly His Last Vow, was obviously referring to that; the depth, sincerity and truth of that pledge.
Conclusively, an epic ending to an epic season. If it had ended with Sherlock going to prison for giving state secrets and murder, that would’ve been terrible. It would have been even more disappointing if they left at him leaving John but it was saved when we saw Moriaty’s face plastered on every screen. Steven Moffat said in an interview that he’s definitely dead; he blew his brains out. And it’s not Moriaty’s spider web either who want vengeance because Sherlock spent two years dismantling the web. So who is behind this? Me and my sister came up with a crazy theory:
In The Empty Hearse, we see the last scene, where Tom, Molly’s ex now, is dressed like Sherlock and, as Anderson and Moriaty have proven, fans will go to great lengths to capture Sherlock’s attention. What does this mean? Well, either Molly dressed him like that, or he’s a fan. There is also a scene in The Sign of Three, where Sherlock is flicking through the telegrams and everyone laughs but, for the smallest bit of a second ever, the camera cuts to a scene of Tom looking…strange, out-of-place. And why did they break off the engagement? When Sherlock bought it up, Molly looked hurt so most likely, it was Tom that left her…conveniently when Moriaty is supposedly back. Does Tom have anything to do with it? This show has knack of turning the tiniest bit of detail into being extremely relevant (*cough* Mary *cough*). Perhaps Tom is a psychotic copy cat? Or maybe he’s just an odd guy. This is just day one; we have two more years- let’s see how crazy the theories get.
Verdict: 10 of 10 kicks
What are your theories? I would love to hear them! 🙂