“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.
Me: Well, everyday I wake up with the same awful chronic illnesses, each with their own set of terrifying symptoms and I have to muster the courage and strength to get on with my day, knowing that there is and quite possibly never will be a cure and my nightmare may never end.
[Image is a nine-panel comic. Two stick-figure girls are talking. The first says, “You’re always talking about how hard life is for you, but come on–it must be really nice to not have to go to work or school.” The other girl, shocked and slightly embarrassed by this, replies, “Um, actually, no–and that’s a really offensive and insensitive comment. And…it kind of makes me feel bad…” The first girl says, “Oh, you’re just being too sensitive! You know what they say–‘Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can’t hurt you!’” The fourth panel zooms out and we see that the girls are at a table with a book in front of the second girl. She says “Hmmmmmmm,” squinting at the first girl. She squints down at her book. “Mmmmmm…” She squints back at the first girl. “Mmmmmmm–” In the seventh panel, she picks up the book and THWAP! Nails the first girl right in the face. In the next panel, the second girl is yelling under the table, “What do you say to THAT, Susan?” From under the table, the first girl (aka Susan) replies with nothing more than a feeble, “Ow.”]
“You can’t spell Mirage without RAGE!” a pissed Mirage screams as he charges into battle, completely invisible. Friend and foe alike watch on in horror as anybot in his way seems to levitate and violently crash into the terrain several feet away. An aisle is carved straight through the battlefield this way.
You Can’t Arrest a Jellyfish: Why the Dual Timeline Theory gets more plausible by the minute
Two timelines running at once – John as Sherlock’s “Invisible magic friend” and one as reality. Read it here.
A reference to “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” is made near the beginning of the episode. John says “you can’t arrest a jellyfish” – obviously the jellyfish being the murderer in that Holmes story. However, that story is one of the few where Sherlock Holmes is the narrator and John Watson does not appear at all. The moment it is referenced in The Six Thatchers is when Mary goes into labor. This marks the moment the dual story lines split: Including this moment, whenever we see John with Sherlock, one or both is not actually there. John does not see Sherlock again until the Aquarium scene or later.
We are watching part-truth, part unreliable-narrator. Sherlock doesn’t mean any harm, he’s just so lonely he keeps talking to John Watson even though John’s not actually there. Like he always does.
The real question of The Six Thatchers was asked in The Abominable Bride.
The reason the NH wedding fits as the ending to the anime is because it brings EVERYONE together. So while yes, their bond is the centerpiece, everybody’s favorite character (well, cept Taka 😭) is seen. So its annoying to see some crying because the focus isn’t on Team 7 when that takes away spotlight from all the supporting cast that made the story worth following to begin with. Like I said before, this is how Naruto’s story ends, the once lonely unacknowledged orphan beginning the start of his own family with the girl who saw him when he was invisible, surrounded by friends and loved ones, bonds forged through his blood sweat and tears.