Sherlock doesn’t approve of embellishing how incredible a person is, so in The Sign of Three, all of those poetic things he says about John are exactly what he really thinks. He doesn’t think he’s being romantic because he’s just saying the truth. This is why when the audience (and John) are crying after Sherlock’s speech, he seems confused. Almost like ‘Why are you all doing that? I’m just saying how he is.’ He doesn’t realize how in love he seems on the outside. 

Clueing for looks

Season 3 and season 4 in a nutshell.

I think that we can widely agree on one thing: Sherlock is slow. Like, Mary and he admit it in HLV and TST respectively. We are shown something but what we see says the complete opposite.

“Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

I think that by the later half of HLV, Sherlock is twisting facts, knowingly or not, to suit his theory.

The detective work is to disregard his rambling and to watch with a critical eye what is presented in front of us. Only by confronting his deductions with the facts will we be able to consider the veracity of what he’s saying.

In this post, we will only focus on HLV. S4 will be for another times.

Several points will be adressed:

  • How did she get in Magnussen’s office?
  • What happened when she came?
  • Did Mary save Sherlock?

1. How did she get in Magnussen’s office?

Long story short, we don’t know. Sherlock doesn’t even try to tell us how she did it. We don’t even know how she knew Magnussen would be there. She was on sex holidays, remember? How did she know Magnussen would be here if that was a spur in the moment thing?

If that is indeed a spur in the moment thing, that means luck and most importantly, no planning. She couldn’t know if he’ll leave before she enters the office.

We’ve got the script of course but…

His eyes, raking round the room, details pinging at him - then one of the windows, the curtains blowing. He steps over, pulls the curtain back. The window is open, a giddy view over London. Someone has climbed in!! He looks down, the plunging drop, the cliff face of glass and steel. How the hell … ?? A word now floats on the screen … GYMNAST.

So she pulled a spider like in TBB? Then why did they decide to remove it? The GYMNAST deduction would have made us actually believe that it was Lady Smallwood. But this script is full of contradiction in itself and if we take a look at the set…

No curtain, no broken glass and more importantly, unlike this moment-

I don’t see how anyone could open any window. The windows are an aethetic choice in HLV, there is no visible way to open them.

So what can we conclude with what little intel we have?

There is no obvious way to enter the room other than the normal way aka the door.

2. What happened when she came?

The seat is warm and Sherlock deduces Magnussen was sitting on it. But if Mary had come, knocked Janine and his security guard, I’m pretty much sure he would have knocked the seat over in a hurry to escape. But no, everything is in its proper place. If Magnussen really wanted to escape Mary, he would have turned his seat not in the direction of the unconcious security guard (and as such a Mary attacking him) but on the opposite direction.

Mary completely went to Magnussen’s chair but the configuration implies that it probably wasn’t him. The only logical conclusion to draw is that she was sitting on it.

3. Did Mary ‘save’ Sherlock?

JOHN: I phoned the ambulance.

SHERLOCK: She phoned first.

Here, a little breakdown.

We loose sight of Magnussen for a moment, it doesn’t take a genius to assume he is trying to reach something while Mary isn’t looking. What else can it be but his phone that is right at his left?

Now, in the ‘totally fake because if it’s true then Mary is evil and killed me’ we have the little beauty:

Magnussen was totally reaching for his phone

And there was light coming from his phone because it calling someone. If this is 100% fake, a simple retelling of false facts there is no reason to do this. 

But if we assume that this is the “true” version:

Magussen is still reaching for his phone. This part doesn’t change, he is still doing the same thing and even if we can’t see his phone at the same moment there was light we have no reason to think this would have changed. The queer thing would be that Magnussen somehow changed what he’s doing.

Now, who could he be calling? Pizza Geronimo? At the point, only two options are viable: the police for his own murder or an ambulance in hope that’ll save him. 

Magnussen phoned the ambulance. We have evidence at the very least that’s what he is doing. If we assume that the rest is true, Mary took a phone that was already calling the ambulance.

He even has very good reasons to do so:

  • If he wants to use Sherlock Holmes as one of his pawns for his chain of pressure points (and own Mycroft), Sherlock is not allowed to die. Magnussen must make sure that he survives;
  • there is no way for him at this point to know he isn’t the one about to get shot. If he wants to survive he must maximize his chances to survive a shooting, like making sure an ambulance wins a few precious minutes to bring whoever is shot in the hospital.

The question then is this: did Mary tell the operator what happened or did she end the call?

First version shows that Mary has no phone in hand. It’s only when John points out the whole ‘phoning the ambulance’ that he mentions the call.

Except she’s just taken the phone and she has already an operator. She’s not even composing 999, you already hear the dialing, which means that someone has already composed the numbers and pressed the green button.

You also never see her bringing the phone to her head, considering how she’s even holding it and seems to intently look at it, if time was against them, she would hurry. But no.

At that point, if we trust nothing but our eyes and stop listening to Sherlock and use our heads, everything points out that Magnussen phoned the ambulance and Mary ended the call.

Either you accept considering the facts at hand that Mary the probability that didn’t phone the ambulance exists and is strong, or you acknowledge that we have a faulty retelling of what happened and, in this case, everything including Sherlock’s speech about Mary saving his life falls apart. The whole ‘Mary saves my life’ story has no basis and no leg to stand on.


At the point we’re in, not only do we have to acknowledge that Sherlock’s retelling of events is faulty, we are forced to acknowledge at minimum that the opposite is extremely more likely.

As soon as Sherlock introduced Molly to his parents, she formed a great bond particularly with his father.

They don’t have loads in common but they bond over the fact they’re the ‘sane’ ones.

He’s not one to usually get involved in anyone else’s business but this time it’s different. Whenever Sherlock says something stupid or insensitive to Molly, he’s the first to speak up.