It is the last week of Watson’s six week term with Holmes. Watson is reluctant to leave since she actually likes the investigative work done by Holmes.
As can be expected, a murder has happened that puzzles Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) and soon Holmes and Watson are at the crime scene. There is no body at the scene and no indication of a crime like footprints or fingerprints, except for a big pool of blood.
|Aidan Quinn as Captain Gregson|
Holmes immediately discovers the handiwork of “M”, a serial killer he had tracked in London in the past. M kills victims in all age ranges, removes the blood from their bodies and dumps them in the sea.
Sherlock could not catch M back in London due to his increasing drug addiction. Holmes believes M killed Irene Adler, who Sherlock was dating for a few months. Sherlock wants to be the judge, jury and executioner for M.
This is easily the one of the best episodes in the show. We get to see the dark side of Holmes. The ending is inspired and promises some interesting episodes in the future.
|Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson|
The acting is solid. Miller and Lucy get to go deeper into their roles. Joan Watson makes some good deductions at various points in the episode. The part where Holmes mentions that people only need Haptics to converse with others was a nice touch. Other fun parts were Holmes’ opinion of a Vietnamese restaurant as a front for songbird smuggling and Holmes arranging security measures for his apartment. These were very Sherlockian in nature.
Vinnie Jones does his usual “menacing thug” routine. M being a fan of British soccer (Arsenal F.C.) was played out well.
|Vinnie Jones as M|
This episode had an amazing number of references to the original stories. There are some spoilers in the next section. I would recommend the readers who have not watched the episode yet to skip this section.
1. Holmes’ plans to convert Joan Watson’s room to an apiary – In His Last Bow, Sherlock Holmes has written a book: “Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.”
2. Holmes’ lock collection on the wall and Holmes commenting on M’s excellent way of picking the locks – In The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, Holmes displays his burgling kit, complete with keys, glass-cutter and a jimmy.
3. Miller's Holmes maintains his own personal files on M - Sherlock Holmes maintained alphabetically sorted files, as stated by Dr Watson in A Scandal in Bohemia: “For many years he had adopted a system of docketing all paragraphs concerning men and things, so that it was difficult to name a subject or a person on which he could not at once furnish information.”
4. We get not one but 3 Ms from the Canon – Sebastian Moran, Moriarty, and Mycroft Holmes who is revealed to be Joan’s employer. We see Watson preparing the final assessment of her client to be given to her employer, a certain M.Holmes.
5. Watson’s employer does not extend her contract – Further credence to the fact that Mycroft is her employer as he would be having knowledge of Sherlock’s latest activities and probably wants to keep Joan out of danger. After all, according to Sherlock Holmes: Mycroft is the British Government.
6. M’s message composed by pasting together printed words - Reference to Beryl Stapleton’s message to Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles: “As you value your life or your reason keep away from the moor.”
7. Miller’s Holmes makes deductions based on the scent from M’s note – Sherlock Holmes made a deduction from Beryl Stapleton’s message to Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles.
|Lucy Liu as Joan Watson|
8. Miller’s Holmes states to Watson: “My enemies are legion” – Sherlock Holmes has had many enemies in the Canon.
9. Miller's Holmes observes from M's expensive gloves and shoes: “M has money. That much is obvious” - Sherlock Holmes makes a similar deduction about his client in A Scandal in Bohemia: “There’s money in this case, Watson, if there is nothing else.”
10. Theodore aka Teddy is a young homeless man who performs errands for Holmes in return for money - Baker Street Irregulars!
11. Theodore’s comment about being Holmes’ associate as the latter does not have any friends - Reference to Holmes’s exchange with Watson about having friends from The Five Orange Pips: “Except yourself I have none…”
12. Miller’s Holmes quotes the following line (attributed to William Winwood Reade, British historian) from The Sign of the Four almost verbatim – “.. while the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant.”
13. Miller’s Holmes gets emotional towards the end of the episode – In the Canon, Holmes rarely showed his emotional side. The few exceptions include The Adventure of the Three Garridebs and The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.
14. Miller’s Holmes uses drugs even in the midst of a tough investigation – A direct departure from the Canon, where Holmes takes drugs only when he has no case.
The plot and the Canonical nods made this episode eminently watchable. Hopefully, the show will not fall back into its usual routine of mediocrity with the next episode and will continue to be as exciting as this one.
Image Source: CBS
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