Thatcher, Redbeard, a series of dreadful events, and the love that have yet to speak its name.
Someday the true story may be told – for those of us that have recognized and believed in the romance between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, Sherlock has been the adaptation many of us wanted to see it happen. S4 was difficult – I didn’t think it possible to experience grief and loss because of a tv show, yet there I was, sad, disappointed, and moping for weeks. But after going back and reading some ACD canon as a form of therapy, I realized just how much I still love Sherlock. I can’t explain it, it is… what it is. So I watched S4 again quite a few times the last week or so. And guess what? I am here to tell you in all seriousness – love conquers all may still be on its way after all.
We already know the surface narrative of S4: Mary died saving Sherlock, Eurus, the long-lost third Holmes sibling killed Redbeard aka Victor aka Sherlock’s childhood best friend out of jealousy, and was the mastermind behind everything Moriarty ever did. After enduring the Sherrindford Experiment™, Sherlock solved Eurus’ riddles and saved John’s life; Baker Street Boys were back at 221B solving crimes as they always do, with some parenting on the side. The end.
My conclusion after tearing through layers of allusions? Mary probably didn’t die (I can’t make up my mind about this… for now); there was definitely no baby. It was all Mycroft’s fault, Eurus the east wind was a story he made up to conceal Lady Elizabeth Smallwood’s slaughterhouse, where Redbeard came into being and became Sherlock’s Reichenbach cauldron. Sherlock and John finally recognized the hurt, grief, and loss they both endured as a couple since TRF; but for now, they were back in the glass closet, the love they shared remained unspoken – until/if the lost special can be found. The end.
Don’t believe me? Let’s begin with Thatcher because so much of S4 revolves around the darkest moments in the UK during her time as the prime minister. Before I begin, please note that you’ll have to see beyond the suggested time and space presented on screen as the surface narrative unfolds, and instead try and think about allegory and allusion. Yeah, kinda like reading ACD canon, but a bit more difficult – let’s face it, visual media is just as capable of inspiring as deceit as we all know intimately by now.
Ready? Fair warning – this is the longest and saddest meta I’ve ever written, and it’s only the tip of an iceberg. Please be patience and try reading to the end, I promise it’ll be worth your time.
The scene that broke everything wide open for me was the exchange between Mycroft and Lady Smallwood:
Lady Smallwood. Alicia this time. PM – as in prime minister? Nope. Because earlier:
Why use an acronym, then? PM as in night? Darkness? Shadow?
A secret then. What did Mycroft reveal as he removed Alicia Smallwood’s card?
Oh and look what Eurus said in the scene right after:
The other one – Lady Elizabeth Smallwood. Lady…… Sherrinford?