The Blue Skull

Like many of you, this season’s skull picture in 221b has bothered me, so I set my mind to figuring it out. Truthfully, I am not absolutely sure I have, but I wanted to share my observations with you all. Who knows? Maybe something I say will spark an epiphany within someone else.

I’ve seen the post with Arwel’s tweets on the vase and how that relates to the mystery of the skull and its newfound ability to change color. Maybe they ARE doing it just to screw with our minds, but I doubt it. That would mean they chose the color of the skull in the 221b scenes at random, then? Nah.

So, I began by creating a grid and watching the episodes again, noting everything from scene content, to people in the scenes, color of skull, and even whether Sherlock was using his cell phone in the scene. Unfortunately, there are no easily recognizable patterns that I can see, but I sure could have missed something.

I did have a moment of inspiration though, related to the Shakespeare we’ve been seeing this season! 

We have a bit from MacBeth in TST, and then the fabulous Henry V scene in TLD, and I was suddenly reminded of a bit of horror story lore that I have come across in my reading.

In fact, this superstition appears in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act 5 Scene 3. 

After dreaming of the ghosts of all of his victims, Richard says:

Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!

Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft, I did but dream.

O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!

The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.

Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.

What do I fear? Myself? There’s none else by.

Richard loves Richard; that is, I and I.

Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am.

Then fly! What, from myself? Great reason why:

Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?

Alack, I love myself. Wherefore? For any good

That I myself have done unto myself?

O, no! Alas, I rather hate myself

For hateful deeds committed by myself.

I am a villain. Yet I lie. I am not.

Fool, of thyself speak well. Fool, do not flatter.

Essentially, Richard is haunted by the ghosts of all the people he wronged, and he has a conversation with himself about his guilt vs. innocence. (I do know that Benedict Cumberbatch has portrayed Richard in this play.)

I definitely think there are some parallels with Sherlock here, so:

What if the skull painting turning blue is a sign that “spirits” are near? Not that we have actual ghosts in the show, but we definitely do have the hallucination of Mary lurking, and we have evidence that Sherlock is being “haunted” by her as well.

Let’s look at each episode: 

(I apologize in advance for quality of the screen shots. I have the episodes on DVR.)

The Six Thatchers- Sherlock is telling us a story. We know the episode is his retelling because we see aquarium images at the beginning, and Sherlock’s voice telling us the Samarra story we hear later on from others, and that he references at the very end of the episode. He is telling the story filled with lies for John’s sake, so it makes sense that he could be haunted by Mary the whole time he tells it. 

This may explain the number of times the skull glows blue within TST, the most of any episode. It’s like a neon sign signaling the points where Sherlock is haunted by Mary’s memory during his retelling of events. It may even explain all the blue lights we see during the episode.

The first time we see the blue skull is during the scene where Sherlock learns of the Wellsborough case. The scene where he does this:

Could he be looking at his vision of Mary?

The next time the skull is blue is during the scene with Balloon John. 

What is this blurry haze that lingers during the whole scene? It’s not the red balloon.

Next, we see Sherlock in 221b waiting for Greg after his fight with Ajay. He’s fiddling with the AGRA stick (Mary is certainly at the forefront of his mind.), and his eyes appear to flick toward the fireplace.


The Lying Detective- Sherlock is out of his head, high on drugs this entire time, and the skull glows blue only once at the very beginning of the episode when he is home alone, in pain, and “Faith” comes to present her case. He keeps glancing at John’s chair here. Remembering John, or is he seeing someone else sitting in it? 

Mary did sit there. (Check out how far apart those chairs are in this scene, BTW.)

Plus, during the “Unto the Breach” scene, Sherlock mentions hallucinations to Mrs. Hudson when she asks about the picture in the room. He says, 

“Oh, these pictures! Oh, you can see them too. That’s good.” 

And then he looks at the envelope from Mary on the mantle.

Now, remember “Mean Mary”? 

She appears alongside John’s nice Mary in the same hospital scene, leading me to believe that MM is Sherlock’s hallucination. 

Mean Mary. In the same scene with Nice Mary.

There is further proof that Sherlock has been seeing her himself when he speaks to her about the hat before leaving 221b at the end of the episode. 

And lastly,

The Final Problem- This entire episode is John’s dream, so there is no blue skull at all in this episode. 

 A Few Words about the Black Skull:

The skull picture appears very dark in the ‘Unto the Breach’ scene.

 I think this is symbolic of Sherlock’s descent into the drugs. Recall that Sherlock says this to John right after we see the darkened skull,

“I’m at the bottom of a pit and I’m still falling and I’m never climbing out.” 

(Can this also be a foreshadow for the well in TFP? Maybe this where John got the idea for his dream.)

The next time we see the skull picture, Sherlock is really at rock bottom. He is drugged out, dying, beaten by John, and willing to be smothered by Smith. His apartment is full of people, and Sherlock is in the hospital utterly alone.

This is the only scene where we see 221b without Sherlock in it and the skull is utterly blacked out. 

What does this mean in the context of my theory about the blue skull/lights? 

I don’t know. 

I told you I didn’t have all the answers.

Tagging: Apologies to those I have forgotten and those who don’t want to be tagged. Feel free to tag others!

@k-s-morgan @sherlockedmeta @the-7-percent-solution @marathecactupus @averybritishbumblebee @sherlock-overflow-error @fingerlocked @inevitably-johnlocked @flamboyantdetective @escaroles

Edward Snowden Part 2 of 2
  • Justin, still doing his terrible impression of Edward Snowden: Note that it IS a Denny's. I AM under a table, there's room for my shecrets. And me. And a Grand Shlam.
  • Travis: Did you say there's room for your Sucrets?
  • Justin: No, my shecrets. Uncle Sam, you've been naughty!
  • Griffin: Can you even get, like, the kind of high, high bandwidth Internet access that you need to project a Shnowden hologram?
  • Justin: I have eshernet, yes. It's plugged in from the table. It's complimentary with every Grand Slam. They also have given me a bib.
  • Griffin: I have never been offered either of those things at a Denny's.
  • Justin: Well, you've never revealed Uncle Sham's shecrets have you?
  • ...
  • Justin: I want to shank you gentlemen again-
  • Griffin & Travis at the same time: You want to shank us?!
  • Griffin: Jesus Christ, no!
  • Travis: Excuse me?!
  • Justin: I'm shorry, I did not mean - I meant, of course, to s-s-sh-sh-sh-thank you.
  • Griffin: Do you have a lisp or an aphasia because you keep dropping SHs on things that aren't S's.
  • Justin: I'd love to tell you that but unfortunately it's one of my shecrets.
Tonight, I'll Make You Feel Beautiful Once Again (Jack Barakat Imagine)

Anon requested: Hi, I was wondering if you could do one where you’re dating Jack and he makes a fat joke about you on Full Frontal and then you two get in a fight about it because he thinks you’re being sensitive and that you can’t take a joke but then people on twitter say things like “see I knew y/n was fat and it looks like jack thinks so too” or something like that and you start to starve yourself and work out more and Jack realizes what he did by making the joke and makes it up to you. Thank you!:)

Sorry i’m so late at uploading things, but here it is! I changed the prompt a bit because i’m not really comfortable with making a joke like that, so the setting is going start with the end of the show.

I also wanted to say that size doesn’t define you and you can flip off anyone who says it does. You’re beautiful inside and out and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because they’re wrong. I love you all!~ Chrissy

Title Credit: Hold On Till May- Pierce The Veil

“Well, that’s it for tonight’s episode of Full Frontal. Goodnight everyone!” You heard Alex close the show. The boys were somewhere in the back recording Full Frontal and you were on the couch playing on your phone.

“Hey Y/N.” Alex said as he walked by.
“Hey babe.” Jack said as he sat next to you on the couch. Your heart sank a little at the sight of him. It wasn’t because he looked sad or anything like that, it was because of something he said about you on FF. You decided it would be better for you to go home before you ended making some sort of scene.

“That sounded like a great show. I’m gonna head on home now, I feel a bit sick and tired. See you guys tomorrow.” You said as you got off the couch and got your things. Alex told you goodbye and Jack tried to walk you out to your car, but you made a speedy exit.

You got into the car and started going home. Were you mad at Jack? To put it simply, yes you were. Why were you mad at him? He made a joke about you on FF and you would normally be fine with that and laugh at it, but tonight had been different seeing as in the joke he basically called you fat. You knew it was a joke and that he didn’t mean it, but you never felt good about your weight and his joke didn’t help you.

You pulled into your driveway and made your way into your house. You threw your bag onto the couch and ran to your room. You jumped onto the bed and buried your face into the pillows. You heard your phone going off downstairs signifying Jack was calling. You debated whether or not to answer him and decided to go ahead get the impending fight over with.

You picked up your phone and hit answer.
“Hello.” You said.
“Y/N, what’s wrong?” Jack asked. You sighed.
“Nothing Jack, I was getting a migraine, but i’m ok now.” You said.
“Y/N, what’s bothering you? Who was talking shit about my girl.” He asked.
“Jack, i’m fine drop it.”
“I know you enough by now to know that something is bothering you. What is it?”
“You really want to know Jack. Last time I checked, you called me fat and now on Monday every fucking fan is going to hear it.”
“Y/N it was a joke. Calm down.” He said in a relaxed tone. That really set you off.
“No, I will not calm down. I’m fucking sorry for apparently being fat. Let me go fucking fix it for you.” You yelled down the phone.

“Calm the fuck down and quit being so fucking sensitive Y/N. It was a fucking joke and it was meant to be laughed at and paid no attention to. No one’s gonna take it seriously, especially since it’s coming from me of all people.” He said.

“That’s the problem, Jack. It’s coming from you. My. Boyfriend. Put that together. My boyfriend. My fucking boyfriend called me fat.”
“Y/N, take a joke. It’s not that big of a fucking deal.”
You had has enough of this.
“Okay, fine Jack. Whatever. Good fucking night. I’m done with this conversation.

Monday rolled around and the new episode aired. You were home alone and had it playing while you were sitting in bed relaxing for a little bit. It was getting towards the end of the show and you heard the joke. You frowned, but kept listening till the end of the show. When the show was over, your phone started going off with twitter notifications. You sighed and hoped Jack was right about no one taking the joke seriously, but to your dismay, they did. There tweets saying ‘so now @JackAllTimeLow finally realizes @Y/T/N is fat’ and 'see i knew @Y/T/N was fat and @JackAllTimeLow does too’. You threw phone on the bed and cried yourself to sleep that night.

-A few weeks later-

"Hey, Y/N. Where are you going?” Jack asked as you were about to head off on your morning run.
“I’m going for my morning run. Be back in like 30 minutes.” You said about to head for the door.
“Wait Y/N, you go for a run every morning. Why not sit back for today?” He asked.
“Because I have this routine in the mornings and skipping it will throw off my day.” You said and ran out the door.

It was lunch time and you didn’t eat much. You excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. You looked at yourself.
“Y/N” Jack knocked on the door. “Are you okay?” He asked before opening it slightly, then all the way.
Jack stood next to you and engulfed you in a hug.
“I really fucked up this time, didn’t I? I said no one would take it seriously and they did. I said something without any consideration on the effect it would have on the person I love most. Y/N, i’m so sorry.” He said with tears in his eyes.

“It’s not your fault Jack. I take things to heart too much.” You mumbled.
“No, Y/N. I should’ve never made that joke. It hurt you and if I could, I would go back in time and never have said that. Y/N, you’re not fat, you never were. You’re beautiful and deserve so much more than a shitty boyfriend who called his own girlfriend fat when she’s the definition of perfection. I’m sorry Y/N.”

You both stood there in each other arms for a while before pulling apart. You looked up at Jack and saw how distraught he looked.
“Jack. I forgive you.” Was all you said. A small smile appeared on his face.
“I promise that from now on, i’ll make you feel like happiest girl in this universe, but promise me you’ll try to start eating again.”
“I’ll try, but it’s going to be a slow process and Jack.”
“Yes, love.”
“I love you and don’t ever say that you’re a shitty boyfriend. You’re perfect and yea, here and there we’re both going to say shit about each other that we don’t mean, but if we mean anything to each other, we’ll work our way through it together.”
“You mean the whole world to me Y/N.” He leaned in and kissed you.