(I don’t have a Sherlock tumblr, so I hope you don’t mind this long submission)
Weeks ago you were talking about non fandom person’s thoughts on 4th series, so I thought I’d share this:
I have a work friend that’s what I would call a devoted casual in that she adores Ben, so owns and rewatches the series DVDs, but is not in any fandom, doesn’t read/watch press, and relies entirely on me for info on when the next series comes out.
We’ve talked about the show before- superficially and for only ~10 min each series. But after she’d finally watched the 4th series, she made a point to seek me out so she could talk/vent. (Highlights of that conversation include ‘Well, Ben looked and acted great as usual.’ And ‘It was ok while I was watching it…but looking back it didn’t make much sense.’)
She ended with expressing huge disappointment with the whole series, and regretted that she’d bought the dvds because she didn’t want to rewatch them again.
Pervious to this, I’d never talked about the show real in-depth or ‘fanish’ with her, but seeing as she was so disappointed, I just couldn’t resist. I talked about the things that I’d read ‘on the internet’ that made me feel better about the series- namely the concept of unreliable narrator (edited footage with Magnussen; the memory altering drug T12) and the theory that TFP was in John’s mind- like TAB was in Sherlocks.
We only talked for a few minutes, but I could see something click for her and she was super excited to rewatch with these things in mind.
A week later, after rewatching the series x3 with those things in mind, she sought me out again. ‘I think I know what happened in last season of Sherlock! Want to hear my theories?’ Of course I did!
So, what follows is what she came up with. Obviously, I influenced her, but overall I think what she came up with (on her own outside of fandom) is interesting.
John killed Mary, and T6T is the ‘cover story’ of events. John and Sherlock were working together to find out the truth about Mary- John didn’t love or want to stay with her, but that was the easiest way to keep track of her. The plan wasn’t necessarily to kill her, but to get her and the danger around her out of their lives.
There was no ‘woman on the bus’ that John had a thing with. That was a readymade lie that John could admit to if he got caught in inconsistencies on the cover story or if Mary became suspicious over John’s behavior. Admit to the small lie to hide the big lie- that sound like something Sherlock would suggest.
Smith had zero to do with the drug T12- that was just a bit of ‘overflow’ from Sherlock and John choosing to take it for *reasons* (better cover story? John needed to sell the grief, but couldn’t?)
It’s Sherlocks idea to take T12, and he sells it to John as necessary. John learns that Sherlock had this done before but not the reason why. He only learns that are code words associated with these sessions, and Sherlocks previous code word was ‘Redbeard.’ The code word for their session is of course ‘Eurus.’
They take it, and it has some unexpected consequences. It worked perfectly, but the lie that John loved Mary and was devastated when she died was too big for John to handle- it was too far from the truth. John’s mind told him he loved Mary and was sad she was dead, but his heart knew that was a lie. That internal conflict started John drinking, which further complicated the issue. Now John not quite remembered, but somehow knew that it was Sherlocks fault for this (Sherlock got John to take the T12) and that is why John blamed Sherlock for Mary’s death.
And so both John and Sherlock are abusing their substances, which further messes with both their memories- i.e. John also ends up thinking that the woman on the bus is real -and they end up estranged.
The case with Smith happened mostly as shown- but it is thru John and Sherlocks substance abusing POV so it’s unreliable. Fake!Faith and the therapist were real and the same woman- but the reason the woman on the bus had the same face was because John mind wasn’t very creative when it made her real.
Fake!Faith/therapist is a bad guy- either tied to Moriarty or on her own. She knows about the T12 and manipulated both using that knowledge- maybe even drugging them with more.
She shoots John, and TFP is all in John’s head as he’s dying. It’s a mix of the movies John likes (she pointed out to me the bit from T6T about John knowing the horror stories) and John’s assumptions about Sherlock. ‘Sherlocks sister’ of course has the same face as the woman that shot him, becasue again- John’s mind isn’t that creative. John in the dream thinks it’s real, but a part of him knows he’s dying- that part is Victor, and that shows how much John is worried that not only will Sherlock will fail to save him in time, he’ll also forget about him when he is gone.
And that was her theory. I was pretty impressed, and she was pleased to have thought it out like that.
(submitted by itreallyisthelittlethings)
Oh gosh, I don’t remember which post you’re referencing, so I’m just going to assume it’s any of the many I get LOL. Thank you very much for this interesting theory from your friend! My own theory differs slightly from your friend (ie. I believe that the Bus Stop Lady is the “one true face” who was an agent for Mycroft / MI5 and John integrated her into his TD-12 fuelled story, much like Sherlock did with Lady Carmichael and the Airline Stewardess), but we both believe it’s a faulty narrative, TFP is John’s TAB, and that TD-12 has a LOT to do with the unreliable narration.
I really love all these theories. Thank you for sharing!