“Invisible Magic Friend”: How The Six Thatchers confirms what we we’ve been told since The Blind Banker
The answer to every question we’ve ever had solving Sherlock has been staring us in the face since The Blind Banker debuted in 2010. We heard them tell us but we ignored them. We saw but we did not observe. Until now.
One of Sherlock’s quirks is he talks to John even when John’s not there. This is first stated here in episode two:
We laughed at this, and continued to laugh when Sherlock did it again:
This is not played for laughs – this is happening because soon we’re going to get scenes from Sherlock’s point-of-view where the audience sees John and thinks John’s really there when he’s not. The writers have been setting this up for ages. They told us this happens. Now that we’ve taken a look at the mess that is The Six Thatchers, we know this is exactly what they’re doing. They even left us a bunch of clues in episode eleven to confirm it.
Take a look at the newspaper reading “be in two places at once?”:
This is the case of The Duplicate Man.
How about this moment, when John asks Sherlock to be the Godfather of his baby? Sherlock says God is an “invisible magic friend” that only stupid people look to for help.
Well, we know Sherlock absolutely does this in his life and has been doing this for seven years. He conjures images of John not only because he misses him, but because John helps him be a better detective. John channels his thoughts and makes him kinder. Sherlock becomes a great man because of John.
So you didn’t understand The Six Thatchers? I didn’t either until I realized this: We’ve been taking John Watson for granted. We see him on screen and assume he’s there. This is not true. We have slowly drifted further into Sherlock’s point-of-view ever since the The Blind Banker and we forgot that Sherlock conjures up false images of John. Frequently.
The Six Thatchers provides yet another clue of this:
This is a reference to “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” – one of the very few Sherlock Holmes stories told from Sherlock’s point of view and which does not feature John Watson at all. This is directly telling us to question John’s involvement with the story. Also, note the “assassin lurking close by” is linked to John walking up the stairs, giving strength to the idea of John being out of this story except for when his sharp-shooter skills come in handy making for a big reveal coming up soon. (I’ll leave you to your deductions)
“But we saw so much of John in The Six Thatchers! What do you mean he wasn’t in it??” – John most definitely was in this episode, just not the way you think. John is the Duplicate Man. He’s in two places at once. That’s why we see some of his scenes play out twice. One version is real, one is him as an “invisible magic friend”. I explain it in great length here.
Sherlock explicitly says in Morocco he doesn’t have much experience with happy families. At the very end when Norbury says she’s always wanted a nice family, Mary looks over to Sherlock and then down to the ground, guiltily. Sherlock is the one who’s always wanted the family, the love, the happily ever after. Now that we can see John has been a figment of Sherlock’s desperate imagination this whole episode, we realize Sherlock has been inserting himself into Watson family moments he was never in because he wasn’t able to leave Baker Street. He’s the target. Targets wait.. That’s why he’s on his phone during all of them – he wasn’t ignoring his surroundings, he was trying to attend those moments through his phone. He was at Baker Street solving crimes – “the best antidote to sorrow” – while calling, texting, face-timing, trying everything he could to be included in the family.
So it begs the question: Was John Watson present for Mary’s death? Or were John’s reactions, complete lack of medical knowledge, and unearthly sounds all part of how Sherlock thought John would’ve acted had he been there? Is John Watson still a figment of Sherlock’s imagination when he said “You made a vow!”, meaning Sherlock saw Mary die and immediately thought “oh my god John is never going to forgive me for this”? Playing off of speculation from many others, if John wasn’t at Mary’s death scene in the way we saw, does that mean he was the assassin lurking in the shadows behind them? Just like the killer Jellyfish in the aquarium?
There are many questions this theory brings to the table for the next two episodes, but it closes many cases still left open. It solves how Sherlock survived the Reichenbach Fall.It helps us decode the discrepancies between His Last Vow and The Abominable Bride. It validates the concept behind Extended Mind Palace Theory, but instead of everything being in Sherlock’s head, Sherlock is projecting fake images into real places.
This theory is gigantic and hard to understand on first read through, but if this story line is something the writers have had in mind since day one – and it’s looking like it is – then the big reveal in The Final Problem will be moments of the actual timeline we’ve seen but been ignoring this whole time. This rug pull would be the greatest plot twist ever seen on television – a television show shooting extra scenes years in advance to hold on to, lie about, and then reveal at the climax just what story they’ve been meticulously planning from the beginning. A complex set of clues, red herrings, and puzzles all laid out for us.
You think it’s not possible? That this is just too hard to do? That the writers and producers don’t care to film scenes in advance to manipulate how the viewers understand time?
Nothing is too complicated coming from two men who also write Doctor Who.
Thanks to Penguin Platform for this wonderful video on what it’s like to have prosopagnosia (aka face blindness). For those of you who’ve read Holding Up the Universe, this will help you see the world through Jack’s eyes. <3
Prosopagnosia, also called face blindness, affects 1 in 50 people. People with the condition can’t recognise faces, and struggle to navigate social situations as a result.
Lots of people say they have difficulty remembering names and faces, but what they really mean is they have trouble remembering which name goes with which face. Prosopagnosia works differently. People with this condition can’t recall faces at all. We can memorise somebody’s features, but it’s like looking at a scattered jigsaw. You can see the individual pieces, but your brain can’t put them together.
So when someone greets you like an old friend, you go into panic mode. You can’t just flat-out ask the person who they are. It could be someone you’ve known for years. It could be your sibling or your parent. How can you ask them what their name is? You can’t.
Many of us develop alternative techniques, such as learning to identify someone’s posture, gait, hairstyle, and voice. But something like a haircut or a shaved beard or a new pair of glasses can throw us right off. Then conversations become a sort of detective game, where you find yourself hunting for clues to the person’s identity. Asking questions like
“I’m not sure if I have your number. How do you spell your name?” or “are you still working at that place… oh, what’s it called again? My mind’s gone blank haha.”
I wish I could just say to people “tell me your name,” but it isn’t socially acceptable.
You know, I just thought of something. What if Raven has “Face Blindness,” it is said she doesn’t look into mirrors because her reflection reminds her of her mother. One of the symptoms of Face Blindness is the lack of recognizing your own reflection.
>Raven has to guess from other details who she’s talking to any time one of her friends changes their looks. Fortunately, most are distinct enough this isn’t a huge deal (Maddie’s pretty unmistakable even without a face to see) but if Blondie and Apple both changed their look for the day Raven waits for one to speak to figure out which is which to avoid guessing. >Maddie is aware of Raven’s situation, although Raven’s asked her not to tell people. Still, no one finds it out of character that Maddie seems to feel compelled to loudly announce her presence and who’s with her whenever she and a group of others are showing Raven new outfits or hairstyles; just Maddie being mad, right?
What is Prosopagnosia? What is it like to be “faceblind”? How many people have prosopagnosia? Is Prosopagnosia more common in autistic people? How can I accommodate someone who is faceblind? Answers to all of these questions and more in this episode of Ask an Autistic!
Have you ever had that weird feeling that comes with failing to recognize someone you’ve known all your life? Maybe it’s a friend you haven’t seen in six months who’s lost 70 pounds since you last saw them, or your doctor turning up at the grocery store in a Hawaiian shirt and a week of vacation-beard stubble. It’s almost like they’re in disguise.
Now imagine this is your experience with every single person you know – including your own family, spouse, and best friend. Constantly having to squint and say, “Bobby? Is that you?” That’s what life is like with prosopagnosia, aka “face-blindness,” an often hereditary condition that results in an inability to recognize faces. We sat down with someone who has this, and it turns out it’s even weirder than you’d expect…