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If you've got a problem that you want me to solve, then contact me. Interesting cases only please.
Sherlock Holmes

A Study in Pink

  • In "A Study in Pink", Sherlock implies that he's stolen several of Lestrade's I Ds. So why, in "Hound" did he not know that Lestrade's first name was Greg?
    • He probably never bothered to look at it.
    • Or, he'd seen that Lestrade's first name was Greg a million and a half times, but didn't care enough to keep that in his "hard drive." Lestrade seems somewhat offended; the whole thing is a joke firstly that it took the writers a season and a half to tell us what Lestrade's first name is, and secondly, that Sherlock takes the poor guy so much for granted as a DI and not as a real person/actual friend that he's never bothered to retain his first name or address him as such.
    • In that scene in "A Study in Pink", John takes it off Sherlock and reads out "Detective Inspector Lestrade"- indicating his first name ISN'T on his badge. Which strikes this troper as unlikely, but as I've never seen a real police badge, I could be wrong on that.
  • In Study in Pink, Sherlock tells John that they'll go look at a flat he's had his eye on. . . so why does the flat they go to have so much of Sherlock's things in it? I'm clearly missing something, but I don't know what. . . .
    • After John says that he thinks the flat could be very nice, Sherlock agrees and mentions that's why he's already moved his stuff in. It's a little hard to catch what he says, since he says it at the same time John says that all the flat needs is for the stuff (which he probably thought was from a prior tenant) to be cleared out.
      • In short, that was just one of Sherlock's typical "one step ahead" things. He knew that John would say yes, he just said it that way to pretend John had a say in the matter.
  • Why did it take Sherlock so long in the first episode to figure out it was a cabbie? When he says, "Who do we trust, even though we don't know them?", I could provide a fair number of occupations -- lifeguards, police officers, cabbies, hotel staff -- yet Sherlock says he has no idea. And when they stop the cab that paused outside of 22 Northumberland Street, my brain was screaming, "Check the cabbie!! How can none of you see this?" It only got worse when they assumed the phone had to be in the room -- and Sherlock missed it, which Sherlock himself points out is a Wallbanger, especially since the murderer had called them on it -- and not someone outside.
    • On a related note, why did Sherlock suspect the man in the back of the cab when he had already established that the killer transported the victims to the location of their deaths and there were never any witnesses? Cabbies would count as witnesses. The only reason the killer would be in a cab is if he were driving it.
      • At that point he hadn't come to the connection with the cab and has no real reason to suspect a cab is involved, so he only has reason to suspect the passenger; it's only later that he realizes a cab is involved, and note that at that point he immediately comes to the conclusion that the murderer is a cab driver. At this point he probably assumes the murderer has his own transport which he uses for the kidnappings and murders (a reasonable assumption as it turns out, if not for the reasons Sherlock probably thinks at the time) and is just taking a cab now because he's trying to anonymously check on Sherlock's message rather than driving his own vehicle there (which -- if identified -- could implicate him). Then, once he discovers the guy in the back is just some tourist, he just assumes the cab has stopped there for some coincidental yet unrelated reason (like, the guy initially planned on getting out there but changed his mind or realized he originally gave the cabbie the wrong address or something). He doesn't immediately question the cab driver because unlike the audience, he hasn't been given any reason to suspect the cab driver.
    • The reason it took so long for Sherlock to figure out that a cabbie was responsible was probably because of the biggest outlier out of the victims: the 18-year-old kid. Three adults could be traced to a cab. A teen? Not many teenagers would hail a cab to go a short distance (especially if they were getting an umbrella in order to continue walking in the rain). It's also some Dramatic Irony, as the audience sees cabs at all the crime scenes at the start of the episode and can narrow down the suspect pool more easily.
      • Yes, this. We actually see quite a lot of purposeful shots of cabs in this episode, and as Holmes would point out, most puzzles seem simple if you know the answer in advance. We can't fault Sherlock for not having all the information that the audience has when that information mostly comes from flashbacks, leading camerawork, and so on. Admittedly, he really should have followed through on the "who do we trust that we don't know" question rather than running off to dinner and subsequently getting distracted by a chase scene and a drug bust, but he did at least pose the correct question; the scene was probably written this way so the audience COULD feel as though they'd gotten ahead of Holmes, forgetting that the episode itself basically handed them the conclusion.
      • Note also that in the pilot, Sherlock asks the same question - and answers it correctly immidiately. But since it was suddenly decided that the episode was to be 90 minutes long and not 60, one could see the change as a necessity - leaving out the question altogether would be throwing away a good idea, and answering it any other way than correctly would always end up a bit clunky.
    • In addition to the above, Sherlock's methods essentially work by ruling out the impossible and least likely options until you come to the only remaining one, which logically must be the correct one. When he answers his own question with 'no idea', he's probably not literally saying that he can't think of any one single profession to which this applies -- but given all the options you mention there, there are still too many plausible variables for him to conclusively rule anything out (well, given that this is the middle of London we're talking about 'lifeguard' is probably safely discounted). At that stage, given the evidence Sherlock has to hand at that point the killer still could be a police officer, or a nurse, or something.
  • What does Sherlock do for money?
    • That's likely now John's job.
    • He's obviously upper class, and his brother is a higher-up in the national government, both of which (if what I know of England is true) imply old family money. He's probably independently wealthy, or has some non-wage-related form of income (like a trust fund or investments). Also, Mycroft probably keeps an eye on his finances.
      • If he's independently wealthy, why was he looking for someone to share a flat with?
      • He may have a trust fund that provides him with a few hundred pounds per month to spend - enough to keep him from direly needing a steady job, but not enough to keep him living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
      • Although John's need for a flatmate is financial, Sherlock's motives for needing/wanting one are never explained. Since he is wandering around London wearing a coat worth more than a thousand pounds, throws significant amounts of cash at homeless people and freely lets John have his bank card for several days at a time, I would assume he never had a financial need for a flatmate. He needed someone to bounce ideas off- especially since Mrs Hudson was probably already threatening to confiscate the skull- and an audience for his genius.
      • This might also explain the earlier question of why the flat already has so much of Sherlock's stuff in - he was actually already living there. Though that's more Wild Mass Guessing
    • While it's entirely possible that Sherlock is meant to be wealthy, I don't think we can count the real-life price his wardrobe as evidence one way or another. Television characters usually wear designer clothes even when they obviously can't afford them, and we're just meant to assume they're something more affordable. We know Watson's broke, but his clothes are pricey too, and the watch he wears in this series would have cost him three thousand pounds.
      • True. And there's also the issue that, quite out of the ordinary for a TV show that sometimes falls just short of clothing porn, both Sherlock and John seem to have realistically limited wardrobes (Sherlock has an aubergine-coloured shirt he's seen wearing on no less than four occasions, not to mention his coat). However, there's a real difference stylistically in what these two guys are wearing- John's clothes are well-made and utilitarian, Sherlock's downright scream "wealthy" (suits, suits and more suits, what appear to be silks, velvets, etc.) Either way, there's no sign, in any episode to date, that Sherlock has money problems. The only thing that speaks to it is in The Great Game, where he asks John if he's got the cash to pay for a taxi. Kind of doesn't count, since he's temporarily out of pocket because he's just given a homeless woman a fifty pound note.
        • See, I assumed Sherlock's wardrobe was selected to evoke the Victorian while being obviously modern, so that he seems timeless and extraordinary, and generally, so that he looks like Sherlock Holmes. It contrasts with Watson's simple, utilitarian clothing, but that's an important character note in and of itself; Watson is down-to-earth and while Sherlock is exotic and borderline otherworldly. The other stuff I thought was just courting the ambiguity: Sherlock is careless with his bankcard and turns down a large check from an obnoxious ex-classmate, but he's also frighteningly impractical; he forgets to eat for days at a time, shoots holes in the wall of his flat when he's bored, and he'll apparently spend all the cash he has on hand without thinking about the fact that he still needs cab fare. There is at least some evidence in the other direction, too. Besides the fact that he wants a flatmate, he's getting a deal on a rental from someone who owes him a favor, and he's disappointed that John didn't agree to spy on him because he'd hoped they could just split the fee. Sherlock's home furnishings are substantially less posh than his clothing, too.
        • I thought the splitting the fee bit was more because he wanted to pull one over on Mycroft and get some of the money Mycroft was trying to bribe John with than any real desire for the money. He was probably expecting that if John accepted then he wouldn't actually be giving Mycroft the kind of information he was looking for, anyway.
        • Also, just to clarify, he gave a fifty pound note to a homeless person in exchange for information, not as a random act of kindness. It's an expense incurred while he's in a battle of wits with Moriarty, so we can't assume he'd have acted differently if it were all the money he had in the world. Obsession, and all.
        • I think it's heavily implied that the people in Sherlock's life (particularly Mycroft, Mrs Hudson, and most recently John) make it so that Sherlock never has to wonder where the money's coming from, and while he's probably not in a position to buy a Rolls Royce, he can afford to take cabs everywhere and if a case in Minsk comes up, doesn't have to wonder if he can afford to go. It's all very much a part of his manchild tendencies- everyone else realises he's not operating on the same level of existence as the rest of humanity and have arranged it so that he doesn't have to, and can carry on being brilliant without having to pause to do his own laundry or pay a phone bill.
        • Why are we ruling out the possibility of Sherlock solving private cases for money? I know we see him decline a check from the former classmate who works for the bank, but clearly the banker's an arrogant, condescending jerk whom the original Sherlock Holmes might not have taken money from either. And in the original stories Holmes does accept payment for his work. He still declines cases that aren't interesting to him and waives fees when he feels like it, but that's very probably why he needed a flatmate: it's not so much that he doesn't care about money because he's obscenely wealthy, it's that he's not obscenely wealthy because he's not paying any attention to the money. I don't see a lot to contradict that in Sherlock so far. Moreover, Moffat and Gatiss seem to take the canon pretty seriously, so I'd be surprised if the changed a fairly significant aspect of how Sherlock Holmes operates just to increase the role that class privilege plays in the story (if he's living off a trust fund) or to introduce that his older brother is footing the bill for his adventures around the world without him knowing it (which borders on Deconstructive Parody).
        • On Sherlock's official website, the unfortunate man who murdered his girlfriend in Belarus says his family have the money to pay Sherlock for his troubles and will "pay anything." Sherlock's response is "you think money interests me?" (Prompting an amusingly desperate "YES!" from John, ha.) In any case, this can't be proved or disproved at this point, but maybe will be addressed in the future. I would say that the whole mystery of how Sherlock is paying his half of the rent and bills isn't important to the writers, but the woeful state of John's finances, at least, plays a large part in The Blind Banker. The idea of Mycroft quietly making sure Sherlock can pay the rent and feed himself isn't, in this universe, that ridiculous though; in this universe, Sherlock is sometimes frighteningly helpless when it comes to the most basic matters of human existence. Book!Mycroft doesn't see the need to "worry about him, constantly" and try to bribe everyone he knows to keep an eye on him.
          • I do agree we really haven't got enough to go on here, and are probably veering into the realm of Wild Mass Guessing. (And only a few days before the start of a new season, at that!). Even the comment on the blog is, like so many things in the series, almost surgically ambiguous -- the client tells Sherlock next to nothing about the case except that it will pay well and he replies that money doesn't interest him; read literally, this just reestablishes that Sherlock selects cases based on what interests him rather than the sum of money offered, but the specific phrasing is still completely loaded.[1] Anyway, just to clarify, I certainly didn't meant to say the idea that Sherlock might live off Mycroft was ridiculous, just that it's a decontructive idea, and that Sherlock thus far seems pretty firmly at the reconstruction-to-revival end on the spectrum. [2] From a Watsonian perspective, the theory is still entirely logical. The short answer, in any case, is "we'll see".
            • So A Scandal in Belgravia answers the question, in part. Sherlock, as of season two, is taking private cases for money, so long as they aren't "boring." What he did before John's blog took off is still a mystery, but we'll probably never know.
        • But there's still the question of if he really needs the money or if he's just taking it because he sees no reason not to get paid for interesting cases when there's not some sort of extenuating circumstance (he doesn't feel he properly succeeded, dislikes his client, or the client can't afford to pay, for example).
  • Why does Sherlock keep referring to himself as a High Functioning Sociopath? There is no such thing, and he's misdiagnosed himself; you check the guidelines for diagnosis of a sociopath under the DSM, and...well...he's not. However, the usual term using "High functioning" is High functioning Asperger's Syndrome. Check The Other Wiki for that info, and Sherlock fits right down the line with classic Asperger's.
    • He very well could have coined his own term to describe himself, seems like the sort of thing he would do.
    • I took the modifier "high-functioning" to equal "extremely self-aware, and able to make said condition work for him".
    • Actually the term only turns up once in the first series and in context, the inaccuracy seems intentional; Anderson calls Sherlock a psychopath and Sherlock "corrects" him with an equally medically irrelevant term meaning approximately the same thing, probably in the interest of snark. Either way, the line wasn't intended to be taken at face value as much as to introduce uncertainty by indicating what other people think of Sherlock, so it's sort of research-failure-proof.
    • Also he doesn't really fit the autism spectrum. He's very good at reading body language and people, and clearly can be manipulative and fake emotions easily, he gets bored easily and is recklessly criminal at the drop of a hat... Whilst an autistic has trouble reading body language but still cares about the feelings of others, Sherlock can easily see people's emotions and body language but just doesn't care. He actually does match the Hare's Psychopathy Checklist quite well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist
    • He could just specifically use "sociopath" because Anderson said "psychopath" instead of a more specific disorder. The primary difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that psychopaths have no difficulty mimicking emotions they don't feel for long lengths of time, and are often more manipulative. For example, when psychopathy was a commonly accepted phenomena, Moriarty would have been labeled a psychopath and Sherlock a sociopath. He could simply be using that word because he doesn't want to give an annoying person the exact name of his disorder, or because he'd never been officially diagnosed.
    • Speaking as an adult with Asperger's married to another adult with Asperger's on the topic, I have to tentativly come down on the side of Sherlock being Asperger's also. First off, it is ENTIRELY possible for someone with Asperger's to learn to read social and emotional cues from other people- think of it like a language. Most people learn this stuff growing up, like a first language, same as they learn English or Spanish or Japanese or whatever Mom and Dad speak at home. People with Asperger's, though, thy don't learn it like that- it's like learning a second language in high school or college or something. You can get really good at it, but you'll never be perfectly fluent, or not have to think about the translation. Second, on the "high-functioning sociopath" thing- there are, and I do hesitate to admit this, a few admittedly scary similarities between sociopathy and Asperger's Syndrome that aren't usually talked about for whatever reason. Specifically, emotions; people with Asperger's often have an incredibly hard time connecting emotionally with people they don't know very well. A stranger might as well be a bit of scenery to go along with a tree or a building. The tree got cut down? It was an attractive tree, yes, but a new one can grow. The building burned down? Sad, yes, but how long will it take to rebuild? A person died? Unfortunate- how likely is it to happen to me? Not very? Well, allright- how about a cup of coffee? The difference is that, where a sociopath doesn't care about anyone other than himself, a person with Asperger's IS capable of forming emotional ties with people they take the time to get to know. It's just difficult.
    • High Functioning doesn't refer to any specific disorder, it just means that the person is able to live a somewhat normal life. In some contexts the term might even denotes the absence of any disorders.
  • Near the end of A Study in Pink, Sherlock asks the cabbie - to no avail - whether he chose the "good" pill correctly. Since it's known exactly what poison was used in the "bad" pills, couldn't he have had the pills analyzed to find out the answer? One would think that even if Lestrade demanded the police keep them as evidence, they would analyze them and Lestrade would be grateful enough to tell Sherlock which was which.
    • Unless one of them somehow pocketed his dose during all the shooting and dodging and what-not (unlikely), there'd be no way to tell who was holding which pill.
    • My impression was that after the adrenaline rush, it didn't matter any more. No sane man would care, Sherlock won the game, and possibly was a little bit better of a person for it. The good pill/bad pill question was a symbol how far from mental health Sherlock really is. So it's up to you as the viewer to decide whether Sherlock cares any more (maybe he went to the police and found out), but it doesn't matter.
      • I felt as though Sherlock would have thought that was cheating. The whole point is that his abilities are supposed to be so good that he could figure it out, without help, and that taking his pill was a display of his supreme confidence in his own abilities. Analyzing the pill would be "cheating," in that removing the risk would indicate that he was less than 100% confident in his skills.
    • The original unaired pilot was a lot more explicit in this. Lestrade actually asks Sherlock if he chose the right pill. When Sherlock explains that in all the confusion he lost track and didn't know which one he chose, this happens:

 Lestrade: Maybe he beat you.

Sherlock (crossly): Maybe, but he's dead.

    • This is probably a shout-out. While the murder with two pills is in the Holmes-Canon, The Battle of Wits (opposed to fate, as in the Holmes-Novel)is in the film/novel "The Princess Bride", including the "one move". So I wonder if both pills were poisoned, with the cabbie taking an antidot. But since the lady in pink died from asphyxiation and not organ failure, Holmes might have counted on being saved in time (in the pilot the police already is in front of the door)
  • At the beginning of A Study in Pink, whenever the cabbie's victims are shown taking the pill, the pills are together in one bottle. However, when the cabbie sets the pills out in front of Sherlock, they're in separate bottles, and there are only the two pills, whereas the woman in pink is shown picking up a bottle with three pills inside. Why the discrepancy - especially in the case of the number of pills? (Unless I'm losing my ability to count...)
    • The victims are seen holding the bottle they chose, while the murderer has the other. Presumably both bottles have equal amounts in them. It's impossible to tell how many pills are in the first victim's bottle as the angle isn't right. The second victim, James Phillimore, appears to be holding a bottle with 4 pills (but could be five.) The next victim appears to be holding a bottle with 3 pills (could be four.) By all rights then the bottle the pink lady picks up should have 2-3 pills in it, leaving 1-2 pills by the time Sherlock picks it up. However it's very unclear just how many pills there are until the end- the bottle Sherlock is offered clearly has one pill. Which leads to an even BIGGER headscratcher- if continuity was meant, and the pills were meant to decrease by one per bottle every round, then what happened to the other two pills? In any case, the visuals could have been clearer here, it's true.
      • The other two pills could have been used by the cabbie at some point -- only those deaths could have slipped under the rug somehow (categorised as accidental overdoses or something), or the M.O slightly changed so that the police didn't pick up on it
        • Also, note that we don't know (except on that first one) whether we're seeing them BEFORE or AFTER they took the pill. With victims 1-3 we don't even know the order they were killed in. However, when I saw the episode again they all seemed to have 3 pills to me.. The first one had two short pills though. I'd say halved, but then the poison would spread all over the bottle.
  • In A Study In Pink, before Sherlock and John chase the cab they suspect the killer is in, Sherlock stops to visualize a street map and plot the route the cab will take so they can get there first. This is awesome, but is it ever stated how Sherlock knew where the cab was going?
    • So far as I understand it, Sherlock's knowledge of roadblocks, one-way signs, etc, means he deduced that that was the only place a cab pointed in that direction could be going.
  • When Lestrade comes to 221B to tell Sherlock about Jennifer Wilson, how does he get in? John and Sherlock are both in the room, and Mrs. Hudson was in the kitchen. Nobody else lives at 221 - in The Great Game we learn that Mrs. Hudson can't find a renter for 221C, and it's pretty clear that she lives in 221A. I don't believe there's any knock at the door or anything, Lestrade just comes up the stairs.
    • The downstairs door is probably unlocked (and, given two people are moving in, Mrs. Hudson might possibly have left it open so they can keep moving their belongings in if necessary), and Lestrade is in an urgent hurry so probably forgets himself and just barges in without knocking. It's probably a callback to all those times in the original stories that Lestrade or someone would burst into 221B Baker Street urgently demanding to speak to Holmes.
  • Is it just me, or did John's nightmare at the very beginning seem a little...green for Afghanistan? The battle seems to be taking place amid lush emerald fields and lots of live trees.
    • It's a misconception that Afghanistan is one big arid desert. There are grasslands there, and even conifer forests. It would all depend on exactly where the fighting is meant to have taken place, and that's never specified. You can Google Image some pretty impressive photographs of how green Afghanistan is in places.
      • Huh. The more you know, I suppose.
    • The footage used for that flashback is from a documentary, Inside Afghanistan with Ben Anderson, so that's definitely the right terrain that John would have found himself in. There's a 40 minute edit of it here, if you want to check it out.
  • Is it really possible for a person to be shot in the shoulder yet have psychosomatic pain, to the point of causing a limp, in the leg? I'm neither a medical doctor nor a trained psychologist (though, I am majoring in psychology), but wouldn't it make more sense for any pain, brought on by actual physical damage or by way of the mind, to take place in either the shoulder or arm area? Or was that line meant to fall strictly under Rule of Funny?
    • No, not exactly. I mean, maybe, but I'm pretty sure that was a nod to the books. One of the major continuity mistakes was that in A Study in Scarlet, John's wound was in the shoulder, but later on, it was in his leg. And by later on, I think I mean the next story, The Sign of the Four. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?
      • You're right. Doyle eventually started refering to the injury as simply being in one of Watson's limbs so as to avoid having to remember where the injury was.
    • I am not quite sure if this is possible if only his shoulder was injured, but from what I understand of traumatic injuries, it would be possible that if his leg were hurt at the same time (because he fell down after he was shot or something), it would be possible that his leg fully healed afterwards but the pain remained.
  • In the unaired pilot version, John breaks into a house opposite 221B and shoots the cabbie from there. Why didn't he just break into 221B if he knew that was where Sherlock was? In the aired version John is only in a different building because he didn't know which one Sherlock was in and most likely saw that he wouldn't have had time to go running into that building as Sherlock was already about to take the pill. I don't understand the reason in the unaired version other than to demonstrate John's badass shooting skills.
    • Yep, that's pretty much the only reason. It's also a Mythology Gag to an ACD story where the victim was shot dead from a building across the street. The fact that it had to be changed for the aired version is probably exactly as you point out- from a plot/logistical point of view it makes no sense. Aside from the obvious (why didn't John just go into 221B) there's the issue of- how did he get into a random flat? Nobody saw or noticed this happen? And given that the police arrived just as the shot was fired, how did he then escape the flat across the street under the watch of about fifteen cops, dispose of the gun and make it back in time for Sherlock to meet up with him, an implied only few minutes afterwards?
      • If John had simply barged in to Baker's Street (where the seventh step creaks etc.), it would have been very easy to use Sherlock as a hostage and make the situation very complicated. If he's confident of his ability to shoot straight if the situation called for it, breaking into the house opposite and observing would have provided a strategy that didn't involve blindly walking into a room with a hostage and a probably armed serial murderer.


The Blind Banker

  • In The Blind Banker, Sherlock and John visit a shop selling lucky cats. Why are presumably Chinese marketers selling Japanese beckoning cats, maneki neko? Is this just a case of Did Not Do The Research, or am I missing something?
    • Probably, the marketers are smart enough to realize that the buyers Did Not Do The Research and will buy it anyway as "something Asian and cute". They own a shop, not a museum.
    • It's like how fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco, but every Chinese restaurant sells them.
    • Also, while lucky cats may be Japanese in origin, plenty of Chinese people own them as well and they're sold all over Asia.
    • There is actually at least one shop along Gerrard Street (the heart of London's Chinatown) that sells a large number of the beckoning cats, presumably to tourists, so this may be more Fridge Brilliance or Viewers are Local Geniuses.
    • Actually, it's a just case of Reality Is Unrealistic. They filmed the exterior of a real store on Gerrard street and then accurately recreated the interior of that specific store for the interior shots, and now it looks odd to some audiences because because London's Chinatown is actually full of Japanese stuff. The reasoning other tropers put forward still applies -- it is a matter of cultural cross pollination and Chinatown vendors selling whatever tourists will buy -- but mostly, the show was just making an effort to represent its locations accurately.
  • In the second episode, why did Sherlock insist on trying to untie Sarah when the crossbow was aimed at her? He could have just kicked her chair over and saved everyone the trouble.
    • For that matter why did Sarah insist on sitting in the chair crying and generally being useless rather than knocking her own chair over?
      • This appears to be a legitimate production error, as a less tip-overable-looking chair would have avoided the entire issue. For sake of argument, though, Sarah and John had both been recently knocked unconscious, and John seemed a bit slow on the uptake when asked to explain the contents of his wallet, so it's possible Sarah was too busy suffering the effects of a concussion to properly hatch escape plans. As for Sherlock, he probably knew exactly how much time it would take to untie the girl, and chose to do things the exciting way instead of the boring way because he's canonically insane.
  • At the end of The Blind Banker, the newspapers reported about the pin and hinted that it had been sold. Won't the Black Lotus still be after it and reporting about it would just incur trouble for whoever was buying and selling it?
    • The Black Lotus were only after it because they had a buyer on the black market. Once it was sold legitimately and so publicly, the deal likely dried up.
  • Isn't John, as a combat medic, in the wrong specialism to "over-qualified" for a GP post? Wouldn't he go looking for a job in a casualty department?
    • He'd qualify for locum work regardless of his speciality, though clearly over-qualified. He tells Sarah he doesn't care if the work is mundane, which kind of implies he's not interested in a hectic fast-paced long-houred job in an A&E somewhere. He's really only after a paycheck to get through a bunch of bills, after all.


The Great Game

  • Why did that guy in Belarus seek Sherlock's help when he's clearly guilty as sin? He needs the world's greatest lawyer, not the world's greatest detective.
    • Yes, but he also tells Sherlock his story, expecting Sherlock to help him, when it is clear that he's guilty as sin. Between that and his appalling grammar, you get the impression he's kind of... dim. Really dim.
  • In the beginning of The Blind Banker, Sherlock proves he's good at hand-to-hand fighting, even when his opponent has a sword. So why, in The Great Game, does he suddenly decide that the only way to deal with the Golem is to put 'em up? I would have thought it would have been more sensible to tackle the guy, or at least show off some more of those nifty sword-dodging skills.
    • It's a Mythology Gag, referencing book!Holmes' boxing skills- and the fisticuffs stance is a Shout-Out to the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes. It's not very effective, of course, and the Golem absolutely wipes the floor with Sherlock. Ha.
    • This troper thought for long what was the point of the said fight scene, and now suspects that it was played entirely in Sherlock's mind, where he thinks how he would act if an assailant came at him suddenly in his study. Just because. Unfortunately he hadn't yet gone through a scenario where a giant is suddenly attacking him in a planetarium when it came up in real life.
      • No, no. John examines a scratch we see made on the table in that fight when he gets home, and Sherlock subtly kicks the sabre under the couch when John comes in so that he won't see it. It's very 'blink and you'll miss it', but that fight definitely happened. It probably has more to do with Sherlock's fighting style being less well equipped to deal with fighting opponents twice as strong and more than a head taller than himself, while he's well-trained in taking on an armed opponent. Fighting styles aren't one-size-fits-all, especially against a skilled opponent.
    • In reference to why Sherlock is apparently suddenly useless in arm-to-arm combat, this troper believes that the implication was that while Sherlock is somewhat experienced in fighting, he DOES have a considerably smaller stature to The Golem, and frequently goes days without eating, and therefore lacks the strength to be any real challenge to The Golem.
  • In The Great Game, Sherlock trains a handgun on a vest full of Semtex. From everything I've read about Semtex, it's fairly stable, and could not be set off by being shot (it's similar to C4 in that respect). One would expect a genius of Sherlock's caliber to know this.
    • Given that Moriarty's explosives are demonstrably rigged to be set off by a bullet, Sherlock was more probably aiming for the detonation trigger.
  • Again with the bomb. Sherlock is a smart man, and he knew that the bomb was dangerous. Why didn't he throw it in the nearby pool in an attempt to neutralize it (or let the water absorb some of the impact?)
    • He thought Moriarty had left and probably didn't see the need to. Besides, he was more caught up in getting the bomb off of John and making sure John was safe, rather neutralizing the bomb.
      • Though I understand your point, neutralizing the bomb would make John even safer...unless Sherlock planned for the ending.
      • Remember the earlier scene where John accuses Sherlock of not caring about the hostages and Sherlock cynically asks if caring about them will help save them? The cliffhanger ending is entirely about that question. Though Sherlock is indifferent to the other victims, he actually cares about John, which is why he's so rattled that he fails to adequately dispose of the bomb during the pool scene. In the final seconds of the episode it's unclear if Shelock's isolated instance of caring is actually going to save them in a way he couldn't have predicted or explode and just plain kill everybody. This has to be intentional.
      • I figured the fact that he was a bit distracted was clear as day. He scratches his head with a loaded gun.
    • This Troper knows nothing about chemistry or bomb-making, but is it possible that Sherlock didn't want to mix the chemicals in the bomb with either the water or the chemicals in the pool? If an alkali metal were in the mix, for instance, throwing the vest into water could be a very bad idea indeed.
      • At one point, Lestrade points out that the victims are "covered in Semtex". Semtex is a type of plastic explosive, and plastic explosives are incredibly stable. Simply dunking it in the pool would not have had an adverse effect. I suppose you might be able to destablize it with very high concentrations of some acids or bases, but that would be very far away from the tiny concentrations you see in pool water.
  • Exactly how can the Golem operate as an assassin? He's not exactly nondescript. Wouldn't people get suspicious about an 8-foot tall Czech bald guy?
    • One does get the impression they sacrified realism for sheer awesomeness, as they do in many places. The whole Golem thing does come across as a weak spot in an otherwise very tautly written episode. Professor Cairns is killed and nobody seems to care, the Golem gets away and nobody seems to care that an eight foot tall psychotic Czech hitman is wandering around London. I seem to remember the creators have made remarks to the effect that the Golem/painting story was meant originally to be an entire episode in itself, back when they thought they were making six 60 minute episodes per season. Since it occupies all of, oh, ten minutes at most in The Great Game, they obviously lost a LOT of details that would no doubt explain things much better.
    • In addition to the Rule of Cool, the Rule of Scary was probably a major factor. Do remember that Mark Gatiss wrote the episode; this is the same man who made a three-part BBC Four documentary called A History of Horror. In addition to being scary, the Golem's appearance may even be an In Joke of some sort. Note that the Golem's shadow in the Vauxhall Arches scene is rather reminiscent of the vampire's shadows in Nosferatu.
  • In The Great Game, the blind old woman that Moriarty is holding hostage is killed because she begins to describe Moriarty's voice. What did Moriarty think was stopping her from describing his voice and everything he said in much greater detail to the police once she had been freed from the explosives?
    • I'm just guessing, but it could be he was planning to kill her all along, maybe even when the police arrived so they'd also die as an extra Kick the Dog moment. He just did so prematurely once she started to describe his voice.
      • I've actually discussed this at length with friends, and our theory is that he was actually telling her to say that. He wanted to show that he wasn't kidding around, that he would actually kill them, and to make sure that she wouldn't be able to tell the police anything about him.
    • It seems to have been Moriarty cruelly demonstrating that the hostages were in real danger, that he was morally and physically able to kill them, and that he could change the rules of the game whenever he felt like it. Sherlock seems to have thought that, unlike the previous two hostages, the old woman had been kidnapped by Moriarty in person. It seems unlikely, however, especially since Moriarity later directly says "I don't like getting my hands dirty."
    • She could have described his voice all she liked, it's not any kind of evidence and it wouldn't have led to anything.
      • It's not like arresting him after he's caught red-handed and putting him on trial where he doesn't mount a defence led to anything either. This was not self-preservation.
    • Since the entire series of events in this episode are seen as a game to Moriarty, it's entirely possible that he killed her purely because she broke the rules- once Sherlock solved the puzzle, she was to ask for help. She broke the rules, so Moriarty killed her.
  • In the finale of The Great Game, Holmes says that Moriarty set up all those murder puzzles to distract him from solving the case of the dead Ministry of Defense worker and the missing missile plans. This would seem to imply that Moriarty was somehow involved in the theft of the plans. However, as we've just learned, the person who killed the MoD guy and stole the plans worked alone. So if Moriarty was distracting Holmes from that case, why exactly was he doing it? The only other explanation I can think of is that Moriarty wanted to solve the case and find the missile plans himself, before Holmes did. But that doesn't seem to fit Moriarty's character: he's a master criminal, not a master crime solver. (His "game" with Holmes is about setting up a crime Holmes can't solve, not about being a better detective than Holmes.) If Holmes is wrong, and Moriarty actually wasn't involved with the MoD case in any way, then it would be hell of a Contrived Coincidence that that particular death happened at the same time Moriarty set his own plan in motion. (Not to mention that Holmes being wrong is something that had never happened before.)
    • Perhaps Moriarty happened to hear about what the theft, figured it out himself, and then incorporated it into the "game." Even if he hadn't heard about it, he could probably just as easily used some other thing, but perhaps he was just really lucky, because the thing with the plans allowed him to not only screw with Sherlock, but also with Mycroft, whom he seems to have a separate rivalry with in the second series.
    • Another possiblity is that Moriarty already knew who had committed the theft because Moriarty manipulated Westie's brother-in-law into it. For example, Moriarty may have already known the bike messenger prior to the theft, and gotten him talking about his sister's upcoming wedding. Then mentioned how lots of people would pay for the kind of info West could get his hands on. Follow that up with playing on his fears over the money he owes, and the poor idiot ends up doing exactly what Moriarty wants. Moriarty may even have planned on making an offer for the information, once he'd let the boy sweat long enough. As for why, because Moriarty sees people as toys, and would likely delight in making them dance.
  • How did John fail to notice the explosion at the beginning of the episode? He walks out of the apartment, and Sherlock talks to Mrs. Hudson for barely half a minute before the building blows up.
    • He'd probably already gotten in a cab, which then drove off in enough time to get clear of the sound of the blast.
  • We have a doctor in this series... now when it is revealed that Connie Prince was killed with botulinum toxin and not tetanus toxin, why isn't he surprised at all? I believe the symptoms are quite the opposite (muscle spasms vs. paralysis).
    • Even a doctor can't be an expert on any and every toxin available/every disease, disorder and injury in existence. Sherlock himself points out that botulinum is a rare poison that's nearly impossible to detect in an autopsy even if you are looking for it, so it's entirely probably that John barely has a nodding acquaintance with the stuff. From memory, his resume indicates that John is a cardiac surgeon, which makes sense given his role as an army doctor. (He may be a cardiologist, and I don't have a way of checking this just now. But either way, it's not that surprising that botulinum poisoning means very little to him.)
      • The effects of both tetanus and botulinum toxin are basic medical knowledge, and even a psychiatrist should know them. For an army doctor, who works in an environment "ideal" for wound infections or food poisoning, this might be a matter of life and death. Sherlock might say it's a rare poison, but I cannot imagine a doctor who doesn't know this.
        • Who said anything about his being a psychiatrist? John does know off the top of his head how long tetanus takes to incubate, in any case. There's also the issue that any of Connie Prince's symptoms prior to her death that suggested botulinum and not tetanus would not have been reported as such, at least not by the man who killed her. John, Sherlock and everyone else were working off the assumption that Connie Prince actually died of tetanus, because the autopsy report had said so- they were trying to find how the tetanus was introduced to her deliberately and not by accident. When Sherlock mentions the botulinum, John's first remark is to ask why that wasn't found at the autopsy.
          • I meant even a psychiatrist (who doesn't really treat physical diseases) should know the difference, so for an 'army doctor' it should be obvious. Sorry for being unclear. I don't think the spasms from the tetanus toxin would have resolved before a physician examined her body - unless they didn't call anyone until a few days passed after her death. She was famous-ish, so I doubt that. It doesn't really matter what her brother said - tetanic spasms can be so strong that they even break the patient's bones, and botulism results in flaccid paralysis. If they missed this very clear difference at the autopsy (which I doubt), John should look puzzled... and not just admire Sherlock's obviously great skills. It's not really about the toxins for me, it's the symptoms they cause. I mean, you can diagnose a tetanus infection from its clinical appearance only, and it would definitely need an explanation why it could not be differentiated from botulism. (John's question about why it wasn't found at the autopsy was about Carl's case and not Connie's.)
  • During this episode, Sherlock mentions the missile plans haven't left Britain because Mycroft would know, saying "we do actually have a secret service". John replies "I know - I've met them." Is he talking about Mycroft and his crowd, or did John have some sort of contact with the secret service in his life before Sherlock?

A Scandal in Belgravia

  • In "A Scandal in Belgravia", who was the mysterious illustrous client supposed to be?
    • "Highness" is the customary form of address for a prince or princess.
    • "A person of significance to [palace bloke's] employer (who owns three small dogs and lives at the Buckingham Palace)." It's strongly, strongly suggested to be Kate Middleton (!!)
    • Not necessarily. It could be Princess Beatrice or Eugenie, or Zara Philips.
      • True, but fans seem to have latched pretty firmly on Kate Middleton for a couple of reasons. First, fans like to assume that Irene's assistant Kate was named as such as a cute little in-joke. Two, Kate Middleton is fairly new to the Royal Family, not having the typical grooming that a born royal would have, and would be the most likely to slip-up (although some of the other royals have also had their slips, too.)
    • There seems to be some confusion here about Holmes's client and Irene's client. Irene's client is a young female member of the Royal Family who enjoys...um, discipline. Holmes's "illustrious" client is trying to recover the evidence of said discipline to protect the family from scandal and enjoys little dogs and smoking.
    • Mycroft says Sherlock is "to be engaged by the highest in the land", and this troper thinks that is highly suggestive of the Queen, who must by now have some minor experience in avoiding scandal, and loves those dogs. As an older member of the family she's more likely to be a smoker and have an advisor who is constantly pressed for time [he says "we have a schedule" or something like that] and is sort of old.
    • However, this theory falls down because the Queen absolutely hates smoking. After all, it's what killed her father.
  • Does anyone have a clue as to how Sherlock even knew there was a booby trap in Irene's safe? I've watched and watched and can't figure out how Irene signalled to Holmes to dodge or how he even knew it would hit the right target.
    • One, he likely knew that Irene was Crazy Prepared for something like this (she had a hidden safe, so she probably had a hidden booby-trapped safe.) As far as the right target, it was pointed straight out. It would hit whoever was standing there, hitting the operative (whose name was Mr. Archer) was just bad luck on his part. Finally, right before he says "Vatican Cameos," Sherlock looks at Irene, who drops her eyes to the floor. It's as close to a "get down" signal as I could find.
  • Why did Irene Adler have no contingency plans apart from her smartphone? It only makes sense to store all the information in one place if your purpose is to blackmail the people involved for it, but she seems to be quite truthful in saying that it's all insurance for her own safety. In that case it would make so much more sense to have multiple copies stored in various locations where the information would leak out in case she got killed. It's the lack of contingency on her part that almost leads to her death in the end!
    • She had the phone hidden in the secret, booby-trapped safe, until the CIA showed up. The phone was in permanent airplane mode, almost, except for the phone signal. Presumably, even the USB was disabled (barring charging functions). She could send the pictures to another phone via MMS, but to do that, you'd have to get into the phone, which requires the passcode. There's no way to break into it the hard way, because it'd destroy the hard drive. If you can't get into the hard drive, you can't see if she's sent it to anyone, so even if you killed her, you wouldn't be safe. This was implied to be the first time her little photo ops put her in real danger (most people are unlikely to hire an assassin over some naughty photos), or if it's not, she certainly knows how to handle herself, and presumably assumed her brain, her skills, and her seduction abilities would carry the day. She might not even care if she's dead; Irene seeks advantage, not posthumous revenge. And before anyone asks, it's a customized Vertu Constellation Quest, which will run you a few thousand bob.
      • All that is explained in the episode. It still doesn't explain what was the point of the insanely elaborate arrangement when it made Irene more vulnerable, not less. Putting all your eggs in the same basket is dumb, no matter how small the risk is, and rigging the basket to explode even more so. Just leave a few encrypted files in web servers and memory sticks, and arrange the password to be publicized in the event of your demise. Simple, elegant and way more certain to keep you safe than one physical phone that can be destroyed or stolen.
        • ^ No one was supposed to be able to even find the safe, much less get to the phone in the first place. She doesn't need backups, she only needs people to think she has backups. In fact, she had to tell Holmes the phone was locked down, so that's presumably not public knowledge. Irene likes taking risks, as long as she thinks she's in control. In fact, she seems to have a pathological need for control, like Sherlock's addiction to logic and proving himself smarter, even when it puts him in harms way (the cabbie) or hurts people. It's a risky plan, sure, and there are safer ones, but coming up with it is entirely in-character for her.
        • Any burglar worth their dime could find that safe. Some could even open it. There is no indication that Adler lets people think that she has backups either -- she likes to give the impression of a "straight" blackmailer who will hand over the incriminating photos as soon as she gets the cash, with the caveat that she never ends up demanding any. That kind of scheme denies the possibility of extra copies, which was the reason Sherlock deduced there was only one copy in the first place. And considering that the decision to have her insurance for life in one place where a simple mechanical failure could erase it in seconds, and that losing it almost gets her killed, it seriously doesn't put her in more control, but less. It might make sense for a pure thrill seeking adrenaline junkie, but that's not how Irene Adler is presented in the episode. As a dominatrix obsessed with control and cleverness, and very much concerned for her own safety, the scheme simply does not make sense for her.
        • Heck, this troper was completely pulled out of the scene because that safe was so obviously cheap. Go on to youtube for thirty seconds and you could bust it open, without even revealing that you'd been there. You don't have to be worth anything to get into that safe, I promise you.
        • Because the phone is useless as a device for extortion unless the pictures can be meaningfully destroyed. If she had started scattering the photos in 30 different locations for backup, and implying so, then the picture is no longer what needs to be disposed of - she is. By keeping the pictures contained in a single place, albeit well-protected, she makes it worth the while of the blackmailed to submit and remove the threat for good without things getting dirty.
  • How did Sherlock manage to get to wherever Irene was and rescue her without either John or frigging Mycroft noticing he was missing?
    • He's Sherlock Holmes. All he has to do is leave Britain and lay a false trail. As long as John and Mycroft thought he wasn't anywhere near where Irene was, they'd be fine with it.
    • Sherlock took himself off to Belarus for a client; as the above troper mentions, John probably wouldn't question another trip to "foreign parts" and he could probably get it past Mycroft, too. Ultimately, though, I think the ending speaks to the boys-own fantasy elements of the original books, where Sherlock Holmes is depicted to have wandered overseas and done some pretty much impossible awesome things just because Doyle thought it would be neat.
    • I thought that perhaps the ending was meant to be ambiguous - the viewer can interpret it as what really happened, or as Holmes' fantasy of how he might have saved her life.
    • Who says he had to go anywhere? There wasn't any specific details giving any clue as to where they were. In fact, if you look closely, during the "When I say run, RUN" line, there's a roof over their head. That could have simply been in a parking structure somewhere in London (if Irene has gotten into as much trouble as she thinks she has, it's plausible that her enemies came to her instead of the possibly of her slipping away while she was delivered to them.) Granted, it is something of a reach, and it means that Mofftiss is implying there's a terrorist cell somewhere in London, but going from the details in the scene alone, it could have been almost anywhere.
  • Sherlock doesn't get paid by the police, so he and Watson get all their money from private clients?
    • With 2000 internet hits per 8 hours, they're probably doing okay money-wise. Plus, John probably still has his small army pension. Not enough to live off, but I'm sure it helps. In John's blog, they receive offers of large sums of money for interviews (Sherlock declines) and even a graphic novel (John is speechless. Harry snarks it.)
  • In A Scandal In Belgravia, when Irene tells John he hasn't responded to her, John says "'Sherlock always replies. He's Mr. Punchline. He'll outlive God trying to have the last word." Great line, except that Sherlock has a pretty notable habit of not replying in the series to date... so what's John on about? In the scene immediately before he makes this claim, we see that the last conversation he had with Sherlock ended with Sherlock not replying to him, just before he left the flat. In the Christmas party scene just slightly before it, John actually gets no reply to yelling "DO YOU HAVE A REPLY?" after Sherlock doesn't reply to him over something else. It seems odd that these lines would appear in such close proximity by accident.
    • It's my impression that Sherlock always replies. He might do it a few minutes, hours, days or six months later, but he always does. There's a later scene where he seems to be picking a conversation with John back up- only to find he's talking to Irene, and John left the house a couple of hours before. In the sequence with the dead hiker, John says "do you just keep talking while I'm away?". There's also the issue of him having "the last word" not necessarily verbally.
      • Hmm. I really like that idea in general, so I'd like it if I could square it in my head with what he's saying this scene. On the other hand, if that's what John's thinking of, I'm not sure why he'd concede that the lack of response might mean Irene is special, as opposed to saying "no, that's how he treats everybody, you'll probably hear from him by Guy Fawkes Day" or somesuch.
        • The whole "answering a ridiculously long time later" is implied, I think, to demonstrate that Sherlock doesn't even grasp the concepts of time and space like everyone else does. But I think the fact that he's ignored nearly sixty texts from her over what turns out to be nearly four months is significant. That's not him being his usual flakey self, or passive-aggressively deciding to answer when he's good and ready- it's deliberately not answering, and it's implied that he doesn't answer because he has no idea how to respond to flirting. Which is why John admits she might be special- the first person who ever put him in a position where he says nothing because he doesn't know what to say. After all, even though in "The Great Game" Sherlock ignored/deleted at least eight of Mycroft's texts, he "responded" by solving the case the way Mycroft wanted him to. A passive-aggressive answer, but an answer. Also, there's the issue of Sherlock becoming more and more miserable over the past few months of receiving these texts- he's rarely lost for words, and truly enjoys having a witty retort to everything, but is truly out of his element here. John's taken note of how many texts Sherlock's received from Irene, and his increasingly uncomfortable reactions to each one. Sherlock later references the conversation: "I imagine John Watson thinks love is a mystery to me."
    • Listen to the party scene again: when Sherlock walks out of the room, John isn't asking "do you have a reply [for me]," he's asking "do you ever reply [to those texts]".
  • This is probably a headscratcher that doesn't even have an answer, but regarding A Scandal in Belgravia- what on earth was going through John's head in taking Sherlock home and chucking him into bed like that, when he'd been drugged with something and John didn't know what it was? It was totally dangerous and stupid of him. And of Lestrade too. The idea of him filming Sherlock on his phone for the sheer lulz of it is quite funny, but it's also very out of character and unprofessional. It all realistically could have ended with Sherlock dying during the night, and John and Lestrade in a shitload of trouble. Also, John failing to render proper first aid to Kate, unconscious on the floor. Come on, writers. John's a doctor, and Kate has concussion. You kind of don't just take her pulse and go "yeah, she's fine" when someone has a head injury.
    • Theoretically an ambulance could have been called to the scene for both Kate and Sherlock; the police arrived, so why not an ambulance? For the surviving CIA agents, too. However, that really doesn't explain what hospital on earth wouldn't admit a semi-conscious man who'd been drugged by an unknown substance- at least until either his condition improved or they worked out what the hell he'd been given, or both. And it definitely doesn't explain why John stands stock-still having a conversation with a half-naked chick while his best mate is sprawled on the floor, or why he fails to properly render first aid to an unconscious girl.
    • The writers really did not know what to do with John in this episode, largely because the emphasis was focused around Irene. She ate up the majority of screen time and attention, meaning other characters had to be shuffled to the background. Look again at the fight in Irene's house with the CIA - John spends it crouched on the floor almost off camera. The writers wanted to stage Irene as a badass as well as a vixen, which meant she had to get camera time, so they had to deliberately hide the one character who has professional combat training. Later, when Sherlock has been drugged - this is Irene's sexy parting shot before her escape. She's got to have someone to quip to, and since John is the only other person in the scene he cannot have his attention occupied by other things, even if that means he has to be out of character.
      • This. John casually tells Irene "it's all right, she's just out cold", as if this was all well and fine, when it would have taken another couple of seconds of screen time for him to have put a blanket over her and tack on some reference to having called an ambulance, or something. After the scene where he's used as leverage for Sherlock (again, poor guy) he becomes kind of superfluous and it's clear that the writers struggled to make him relevant to the scene. And not just there. Reference the bit near the end, where Sherlock starts talking about Coventry and is confused because John isn't there and Irene is. Since the last time John left Sherlock alone with Irene she'd drugged him, slapped him about and whipped him with a riding crop, it makes no sense at all that the highly protective John would just wander out to the pub or somewhere and leave them together, trusting that Irene wasn't going to hurt Sherlock again or even kill him. However, the scene required them to be alone, so John conveniently "went out, a couple of hours ago." There are other characters who suffer slightly for the insertion of Irene, but the amount of out of character things John does is quite disappointing from Moffat, who gave us such a great depiction of the character in A Study in Pink.
      • Speaking of inconsistencies with John's character, why does he stop himself from going after Sherlock, when he realises he followed him to the Power Station, just because Irene tells him to? John has been chewing her out for how much she's upset Sherlock for that entire scene and then he easily lets her get in the way of wanting to go comfort his friend with a simple; "I don't think so." What does Captain John Hamish Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers care what she thinks?
        • This troper's interpretation is that he left Sherlock alone not because Irene told him to and he was following her instructions, but because he agreed with her. John can be very impulsive, and obviously cares a lot about Sherlock; but going after him at that point would have either got him ignored entirely or pushed away again. Irene says "I don't think so... do you?" and on consideration, John agrees it isn't the time or the place. It's possibly why John seems to detour on the way home, meaning Sherlock gets there ages before he does- he may have been deliberately giving Sherlock space to process what had just happened.
    • He's a doctor, Sherlock has problems being in places where he knows nobody and nothing and Mycroft exists: after he's been stabilized, I don't think there would have been any problem for John to just take Sherlock home.
  • What did exactly Irene intend to gain by getting Sherlock to decypher the email for her? My assumption was that she wanted the code cracked in order to demonstrate to the British government that she actually knew how to make use of the information on her camera phone (what it was, how to decrypt it, who to sell it to, etc. ) so she'd be taken seriously -- otherwise it would have been sufficient to just forward the seating arrangement email to Mycroft and without the bother of figuring it out first. But if that's it, the elaborate means she transparently went to in order to get one code cracked when her life was in danger seemingly undermine the point. If Irene is supposed to be nearly as clever as Sherlock Holmes, shouldn't she have assumed that Mycroft would assume that she'd have acted sooner if she had the means to?
    • a)Get the email cracked so she could learn what it was and send it to Jim, who would make use of that information. He sold it to terrorists, or something, and sent it to Mycroft. Alternately, she and Jim didn't actually know whether the email confirmed the terrorist plot, so they needed Holmes to confirm the specifics so they'd have something to tell the terrorists and send to Mycroft. b)She could test the phone's security by leaving it with Holmes for six months, and demonstrate, in a way Mycroft cannot deny, that they can't get into the phone. c)Put Holmes in jeopardy. They can't prosecute Irene for leaking the info without prosecuting Holmes as well. d)your first one. If Mycroft had known she had somehow gotten the means to decode or act on the information on the phone sooner, he wouldn't have let her walk around unmolested for months. Of course, she didn't until she tricked Sherlock, and Mycroft's first sign was the text from Jim, a few seconds afterward, before he could be informed by whoever was monitoring Sherlock. In fact, that person might not even have been aware of the significance.

      Also, Irene's genius lies in figuring out people, while Holmes' genius lies in data and information. Unless Mycroft and Co could get into the phone (which they couldn't, even when they had it, until "SHER") then they wouldn't know for sure if she had made backups, no matter what she said.
      • I understood A) as being a means to D) since disrupting the Bond project all by itself doesn't directly benefit Irene in any way that we're told about, unless there's something I missed. I did catch C), but it seems like something of a poor plan; I can't see how she'd have any evidence of Sherlock's involvement, and it's not as though they don't have enough evidence to put her away without Sherlock testifying that he helped her. B) is interesting, but it seems like more of a useful bonus than the goal, since there are other, presumably less risky ways the same thing could be accomplished (mail a fake phone to Mycroft, for example, then arrive months later to collect payment for the real one). Which brings us back to D, and D is maybe a problem. Again, if the point is to prove that she can handily break the codes on her phone and use them to cause trouble, she hasn't quite done that. Mycroft clearly knows she's been playing Sherlock from the beginning (he says as much in his speech in the plane). If he knows that, he has extremely good reason to believe that Irene can't really break these codes with any kind of reliability or efficiency; she had to take a year to con a total stranger into doing it for her when her life was in danger. Not to say the state still shouldn't respond to the threat, but really, how was any of this better than just posting the seating number email somewhere on the internet? It probably would have had the same effect substantially faster and there'd be no shred of doubt as to whether she could repeat the trick.
        • ^ As far as Mycroft knows, she might only have needed Holmes to decode that one email. She even says she might have more information critical to the safety of the realm on there, which, she implies, need not be decoded by anyone. Irene likes risk, even to herself, as long as she thinks she's in control, and will take a risky plan over a safer one. The email would've been useless if she hadn't shown it to Holmes around that period, when she noticed the heat going up and figured some deadline was approaching. Those weren't exclusionary options, mind. I meant all or none or a combination of them could be valid.
        • If Irene has never been in real trouble before this episode, why did she feel she needed security? And not being able to guess the password wouldn't keep her safe. If Sherlock (or anybody else who got their hands on the phone) had just destroyed the phone then all of her so-called safety is gone.
          • Mycroft could assume Irene has further critical information she knows how to make use of, yes, but by the end of the episode Irene hasn't provided any proof of this. And if the point of getting Sherlock to crack the code was to supply proof that she's capable of causing further damage, then this is hugely a problem. It doesn't really matter if Irene prefers to do things in risky and roundabout ways -- few government officials would look at the tremendous effort she went to to crack one code and think "oh, she probably had a stack of these things cracked already and was just prolonging the fun". Which means by choosing Mycroft's own brother to scam into cracking the code and thus making her methods transparent she's actually undermining her credibility as an extortionist, possibly to the point of making the entire demonstration moot. (As for the point about the email being useless until a few days before the Bond project date, that's valid, but there's no way to know that before figuring out the email, so the idea that Irene was waiting for the heat to be on won't work; in fact, we can assume Irene is being truthful about not knowing it was a seating arrangement and not a code, because the second you know it's something to do with a plane, figuring out the rest is actually pretty easy -- it's just cool when Sherlock does it because he does it in under six seconds.)
          • ^ An alternative interpretation is that this is part of the deal between her and Jim- she says he didn't want payment, but it does seem like he wanted to stick one to Mycroft. So, Jim helps Irene 'play the Holmes boys', which she want to do, and in return, she uses the opportunity to get Sherlock to decode the operation Bond thing for her, which Jim then sells to the terrorists and uses to draw Mycroft's attention.
          • ^ I very specifically did not say she had other codes on the phone. She implied there might by other information Mycroft could use. The phone is also evidence of Sherlock's accidental treason, and he doesn't know if she's sent it to anyone, unless he can get in the phone. I argued Irene might've been reacting to the heat on her going up, and decided it was time to get Holmes to figure whatever it was out.
  • When Irene reveals to John that she's not dead and asks for his help in securing her phone back, why does she give in so easily? He's pretty adamant she tell him he's alive, but she sends the text "I'm not dead, let's have dinner" in about one minute flat of debating the issue with him. If she thought it was genuinely for Sherlock's safety, why do it? And if she wasn't really all that fussed about telling Sherlock she was alive, why go to elaborate lengths to make Sherlock believe she was dead, and why go to elaborate lengths to spirit John away in a car and drive him to Battersea Power Station for the meeting? In any case Sherlock himself was also there (how? John arrived by car and Sherlock was playing the violin when he left Baker Street). But I'm clearly missing something- why all that drama when she sent the text and it was no big deal anyway?
    • Adler's whole scheme was to give Sherlock the old Distressed Damsel act. She wanted him to be distraught for her apparent death and relieved by her sudden reappearance. She needed John's involvement to make the transition to seem natural -- she had to appear to be reluctant to inform Sherlock that she really is alive, or otherwise the arranged dissapparance wouldn't have seemed so natural. Ultimately she had two goals: to leave her smartphone in Sherlock's hands for months to demonstrate that it can't be broken into, and to get Sherlock to solve the code, and inform Moriarty which flight would be staged as a terrorist bait.
    • Regarding how Sherlock got there when he was playing the violin: he was probably at the window looking down at John and saw him get in a strange car. He then followed after that in a cab.
  • Why do people think this depiction of Irene Adler was sexist?
    • This (female) troper doesn't believe Adler's depiction is sexist, but those that do object to:
      • Her "falling in love with Sherlock" (even though she did not necessarily do so; elevated pulse and dilated pupils indicate excitement and MAYBE titillation, not love)
      • She "needed to be saved" at the end (in the book, there's none of this threatening international security and playing both Holmes brothers off each other. Instead, Doyle redeemed her by marrying her off and having her leave town because she realised that priest bloke she'd had in her house was Sherlock Holmes and he was onto her. I'm not sure this is much more "feminist" frankly)
      • Some object to her being a sex worker. How voluntarily being a sex worker--and apparently a very good one--makes her anti-feminist... eh. Not sure either.
      • Ultimately many fail to see that the ending is exactly what Adler wanted out of Sherlock- not to be "saved by the big strong man", but to gain protection, which she certainly did. Protection was all she wanted out of Mycroft, and the implication is that the kind of "protection" she demanded was next door to impossible and simply not gonna happen from Mycroft's part. Now that even the great Mycroft Holmes- and the British Government- believe her to be dead and have closed her file, she's safe from any further enquiries into her doings and from any monitoring or threat. Plus, she exploited Sherlock and his weakness for her by getting him to risk his life in Pakistan to save hers- and then apparently never contacts him again.
        • ^ Sherlock chooses to help her. She wasn't expecting him to. She seemed to fully expect to be killed.
        • ^ For her to have asked him to would have fallen under begging and really WOULD have made her a damsel in distress. She had pissed off a lot of people and was paying dearly for her actions, but there is a sort of nobility in that she seems to accept that. I honestly can't see how it's sexist to depict anyone, man or woman, being executed because they played a deadly game and made enemies too powerful for them, and it strikes me as overplaying the role of gender altogether. In any case, Irene had previously wound Sherlock Holmes around her little finger. So much that this man, who we've seen is frequently too lazy to get dressed or go to his bedroom to fetch his computer, raced out to Pakistan to save her life and she didn't HAVE to beg him to. And she didn't use sex to do so, since he was basically sexually unresponsive. She captivated him by being smart as hell and audacious.
      • To answer the question from more of the other direction:
        • Problem 1, she loses. The thing that makes the original Irene Adler unique is that she wins against Sherlock Holmes. Here, she doesn't get that- protection or no protection, she clearly didn't want him to be able to get into the phone, and he did. Also, she doesn't even get to be playing her own game- she says that the whole idea came from Moriarty.
          • ^ She specifically says she consulted Moriarty about how to play the Holmes brothers. In return she did forward him the seating plans, but the initial gambit was hers, and it was her game. Moriarty is a consulting criminal. He works for other people.
          • ^ She "won" at the end of act one, in basically the same way she did in the original story; leaving. She isn't even about to be married. Unlike in the original story, she sees straight through the priest disguise, and, oh yes, Irene is smart enough to generate parts of the plan on her own, especially with her love of being in control.
        • But then her "winning" becomes meaningless when she ultimately loses everything at the end and needs to be rescued.
        • Problem 2, the reason she loses is her love for/attraction to Sherlock, a man (especially problematic since she is stated to be a lesbian).
          • ^ She's bi. Had relations with both people in a marriage, remember? Unless they were both women, which is currently impossible in the UK, one of them had to be a dude. "Gay" is sometimes used to refer to bisexuals as well.
          • ^ It's the oddest conundrum that Irene claims to be gay, and it's gospel, but John claims to be straight and most of the fanbase still think he's lying and is bisexual at the very least. Are characters in this TV series the sexuality they claim to be, or not? There needs to be some consistency. I'm not saying that the troper above in particular necessary buys that John is bi or gay even when he explicitly claims NOT to be, but there does seem to be a HUGE amount of "John says he's straight but we know better, wink wink nudge nudge" from the fanbase in general, though when Irene claims to be gay, she's instantly assumed to be 100% gay on the Kinsey scale with no bisexual urges whatsoever. Despite the reference to her having an affair (read: sex) with both sides of a marriage. Ultimately, though, dilated pupils and a heightened pulse rate do not mean she wanted to have sex with Sherlock, despite his arrogant and unrealistic assumption that it does.
        • Problem 3, somewhat related to problem 1, and an issue with the sex work: Irene is depicted as a 'powerful female character', but her power comes entirely through using her sexuality to service and manipulate men, which plays into a lot of sexist stereotypes.
          • ^ Well, which is it? Is she a lesbian, or does she service men? Or is she a lesbian who services men out of job necessity rather than actually being attracted to them? That's not present in the text. In fact, we see that she gets power from servicing women, as well. Any woman hot enough can drag a man around by his John Major, but Irene is smart enough to also successfully hold off some very powerful people trying to get at her blackmail material. She secured her phone in such a fashion Holmes couldn't crack it in six months. She uses her sexuality (and +5 CHA, so to speak) in a manner equivalent to how Holmes' uses his +5 INT; with very little regard for others. She sees people as tools, he sees them as puzzles.
        • Well, she does outright say that she's gay and we know that she has had male clients. Her taking male clients for the money and power rather than the attraction seems a reasonable conclusion.
        • True, but we do learn later that she was lying about being attracted to Holmes in that very scene. Which also means she could be lying about her monosexuality. She did seem to enjoy belaboring Holmes with a riding crop, and I'm not sure her little frustrated frown (in the scene in question) at the phone at Holmes lack of response wasn't real. Irene likes being in control, and the fact that Sherlock wasn't responding to her flirting as she expected might've provoked a genuine response. Frankly, Irene doesn't exactly seem the sort to be concerned with most people's "quaint little categories".
        • What the…? Okay, I’m sorry, but has no one on here ever at least looked up what professional Dominatrices do? FYI, someone who makes a career out of being a Dominatrix rarely has sex with her clients. She dominates them. She ties them up in interesting positions and hurts them as much as they both want her to, with personal doses of humiliation on the side. She has them lick her boots and beg for mercy, and many other sordid acts. It is, in fact, extremely rare that sex comes into play with professional Dominatrices. Therefore, it is perfectly possible for Irene to have clients of both sexes, and to also be a lesbian and only have sex with other women.
        • Also, saying someone is gay is not the same as saying they’re bisexual. As someone who is bisexual, while I wouldn’t be offended if someone thought I was gay, I would certainly correct their misassumption. By sheer definitions, someone who is only attracted to their own gender is not the same as someone who is attracted to both genders. Irene specifies that she’s gay. She sleeps with women only. She never states that she wants to have sex with Sherlock. She wants to throw him down, tie him up, and make him beg for mercy. Twice. The definition of a professional Dominatrix. When Sherlock reads her pulse and pupil dilation, he does not find out that she wants to have sex with him. He finds out that she cares about him in some way. In fact, that’s the whole point of her and John’s little conversation:
          • John: We’re (John and Sherlock) not a couple.
          • Irene: Yes, you are.
          • John: Now who the hell knows about Sherlock Holmes, but for the record, if anyone out there still cares, I’m not actually gay.
          • Irene: Well, I am. Look at us both.
        • It tells us that, even though Irene is a lesbian and John’s straight, both of them have deep feelings for Sherlock. And that John is in a relationship with Sherlock. It just isn’t a sexual one. And it doesn’t matter if their feelings are romantic or platonic, sexual or not. Sex was not what Irene was implying, and why John doesn’t refute what she says.
  • If Sherlock could decypher the email for Irene, I assume Jim could have too; so why didn't she just send him instead of going to Sherlock for it?
    • Although Jim is clever, there's as yet no indication he has any head for decyphering code like that. In any case, getting Sherlock to do it was a coup for Irene because it gave her extra leverage against Mycroft, who she wanted to protect her against various parties she'd pissed off.
  • Sherlock "calls the police" by discharging a pistol in the air. As a detective, surely he knows how dangerous that could potentially be? Wouldn't aiming at the ground be a much safer option? Seems out of character.
    • This is also the man who shot holes in his living room wall (which could have gone through the wall, or ricocheted), the man who scratched the back of his head with a loaded gun, safety off, finger on the trigger. It's interesting to speculate on who would have taught Sherlock to use a gun in the first place, but in any case, it's canonical/in character that Sherlock completely fails gun safety forever.
    • And it was much faster. The other choice was calling 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3.
  • I've seen the episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" a few times now, but I still don't understand Holmes' remark just as he opens Adler's boobie-trapped safe. He says "Vatican Cameos" and Watson seems to interpret that as a warning, as he dives for cover before the gun fires. "Vatican Cameos" was a Noodle Incident case that was mentioned in passing in The Hound of the Baskervilles (the book), but it can't be just a meaningless reference, right? Can anyone shed some light?
    • Presumably the two have agreed on a set of code-words in case of trouble where they don't want to cue anyyone listening. "Vatican Cameos" presumably means "duck!"
    • When Sherlock yells it, John doesn't just duck. He genuflects.
  • How come Sherlock could see Irene's "Goodbye Mr.Holmes" text on the confiscated smartphone from Mycroft's case on her? She didn't have it anymore in Karachi, where she sent it from.
    • She did have it in Karachi, we she see him sending the "Goodbye Mr.Holmes" text from it right before she (supposedly) gets beheaded. I think you're mixing up the smartphone that had all of Irene's top secret files, and the regular phone she was using to text Sherlock. They're not the same phone, as Irene was sending Sherlock texts while he had the top secret phone in his possession. It's regular phone Mycroft confiscated from the fake body of Irene, the top secret phone he had probably already sent to some top secret place to get its content analyzed.
    • No no, it's most definitely the same phone - looks identical, and John specifically states that the data on it has been wiped and that there's nothing on it anymore, suggesting it was indeed the infamous cameraphone. The only explanation I have is some sort of bluetooth or wireless synch between the two, but since Sherlock states she specifically disabled any uplink or connection...
    • Sherlock put Irene's phone in his pocket. The phone he views the texts on is his own. Also, Irene probably wasn't texting Sherlock from the phone she had the photos on anyway.
  • Did they ever address how or why Sherlock reached the Battersea Power Station at about the same time John did, despite the fact that he was playing the violin in his dressing gown when John left? And how or why he then proceeded to beat John home by a significant amount of time- enough time that he was able to have the CIA agent all bundled up and duct taped on the chair, etc? After John realised Sherlock knew Irene was alive, you'd think he'd be anxious to catch up with Sherlock and see that he was okay.
  • I'm prepared to be wrong about this as I haven't got immediate access to a copy of Belgravia, but in the scene with Sherlock accessing Irene's safe at gunpoint, the CIA agents say they've been listening. They then refer to John as "Dr Watson"- but while John did identify himself as a doctor when they came in the door, did Irene ever use the name "Watson" in that conversation? Sherlock certainly just addresses him as "John", and to the best of my memory, Irene doesn't address him by any name until after the commotion is over, when she starts calling him "Dr Watson." They can't have pulled John's surname out of thin air, so if nobody had mentioned it yet, it seems like more Fridge Brilliance- the CIA didn't just happen to come across Sherlock and John at Irene's. They knew they'd be there, and had researched them in advance.
    • I thought that it was something they had researched in advance, because they also stated that they knew of Sherlock's reputation, after assuming that they had missed something.
  • I understand the importance of the scene in context, but how did Sherlock turn up absolutely NOTHING on Irene the first time he did his scan on her? I mean, she obviously didn't have any clothes to get details from, but in the exact same scene, Sherlock scans some non-clothing related details off of John (his lower lip gave us "New Toothbrush" and the bags under his eyes mentioned he was out late the night before.) There was still the application of her makeup (which I know Kate did, but Sherlock didn't know that, or did he?), her nails and hands, her hair and any possible marks, scars, or calluses we didn't see. And yet Sherlock Holmes turns up absolutely nothing but "???????"
    • My impression was that, as you say, Kate was the one who applied Irene's (very heavy) makeup, did her hair and nails, and otherwise put a mask on her. Then there's the fact that we later find out that Sherlock was able to guess Irene's measurements simply by looking at her. He may well have been far less cool with her being naked than he appeared to be, upsetting his deductive skills.
    • One of the things Sherlock deduced about John was that he hadn't called his sister, from his eyebrow. I always thought Sherlock knew most of this because he knows John well. I don't think even the great Sherlock Holmes can tell that a stranger hasn't call his estranged sister from his eyebrow. Also, about her measurements, she was curled up in a chair at the time. He might not have been able to get them then, but a moment later she stood up to force John to look at her. He probably got her measurements then.
  • When Mycroft tells John to pass it on to Sherlock that he'll never see Irene again, John remarks that Sherlock will be all right because "he doesn't feel things that way". Yet over this past episode he's seen Sherlock have as many 'human' moments than in the whole of the first series. He's seen him panic when John was held at gun-point, he saw him feel guilt over humiliating Molly enough for him to apologize, he watched him become horribly depressed for a week because he thought Irene was dead and he saw him go into a barely controlled rage when someone laid a finger on Mrs. Hudson. After witnessing all that, why does John still assert that Sherlock doesn't have feelings?
    • I don't think John meant that Sherlock doesn't have feelings in general, just that his are very much out of the ordinary. From memory, isn't his remark in response to Mycroft suggesting that Sherlock referring to Irene as "The Woman" was not because he despised her, but respected her and regarded her as the one woman who counted? It's fair that John disagrees, considering that Sherlock doesn't appear to feel ordinary romantic feelings for her. In any case, John finishes with "I don't think..." and it's clear he's out of the loop about Sherlock's feelings about Irene. Which is fair enough, because he missed most of their interactions toward the end of the episode and it's not clear how much he understood about what happened between Mycroft, Irene and Sherlock.
  • When those guys come to Sherlock's apartment to take him to Buckingham Palace, how does he deduce that they work at the palace (he says "I know exactly where I'm going") from the fact that one of them is an indoor office worker with three small dogs and manicured nails? That's an awfully specific deduction to make from traits common to thousands of people in Britain alone.
    • Most likely the fact that he had dog hairs on his rather nice suit. If he was simply an office worker with a dog, that particular combination wasn't very likely. Merely an office worker with small dogs wouldn't likely have that much hair on his suit since he'd most likely wear his suit at work and wear more casual clothes around his dogs. That meant someone who is required to be around small dogs, and remain very well-dressed. How many jobs are there in England that require a three piece suit, and constant exposure to small dogs?
  • How did the dead body that was supposed to be on the crashed plane end up in the car boot? Did someone forget to load one of the dead bodies onto the plane and leave their car in the lot by accident? Or was this part of Moriarty's plan to tip Sherlock off?
  • Less a question regarding the episode, and more of one regarding the fan response. Why was it so impossible to believe that Irene was captured in Karachi? Granted, I don't get to do much international travel, but it doesn't seem incredibly difficult to assume that, for example, Irene was attempting to flee to Hong Kong, or Australia or New Zealand, and was intercepted during a layover in Karachi.


The Hounds of Baskerville

  • So Sherlock, on noting that he and Henry saw the hound and John didn't, leaps to the conclusion that the common denominator must be the sugar. But there's a really obvious reason why John didn't see the hound- he wasn't there with Sherlock and Henry at the time. If he had been, he'd have seen something- if he'd been in the fog, he'd have seen the hound, and if he'd been nearby, probably a real dog. Mystery solved- or at least mystery solved a bit quicker than going through the business with the sugar. John admits to hearing the hound, after all, indicating that if Sherlock and Henry were simply hallucinating when there was nothing at all there, then they'd all been hearing things. Is there any other reason Sherlock concludes that John not seeing the hound must be because of narcotics, and not just because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? (or the right place, depending on how you see it?) Sherlock's reasoning doesn't make sense to me.
  • If Sherlock pinched Mycroft's security pass some time ago, why wasn't it cancelled? Unlike, say, Lestrade's police badge which is something subjective for a person to look at and judge, Mycroft's pass is electronic ID. Anyone who has a security swipe for anywhere knows that if you lose it or someone steals it, and then someone who isn't you uses it without authorisation, YOU are the one in deep crap for not cancelling it and having a new one re-issued. Sherlock blithely assumes that a pass he nicked from Mycroft long before would work instead of tripping the system as an expired or cancelled pass, having them arrested at the front gate of Baskerville. Mycroft has some 'splaining to do about why he can't keep track of his personal security.
    • He knows who has the pass - Sherlock. He also knows that Sherlock wouldn't use it unless he felt he needed to - hence the 'S what are you doing?' text, instead of 'OMG, someone's stolen my pass!'. It's a way for Mycroft to give Sherlock access if he needs it.
      • This I can see, but in that case, why does it flag as a serious security breach which nearly gets Sherlock and John apprehended? Surely if he was notified that someone was using his security pass at Baskerville, and he KNEW it was Sherlock and was basically okay with it, the CCVI Security Enquiry to his department wouldn't have sent back word that there HAD been a level 5 breach. It seems odd that he texted Sherlock instead of calling him or someone else in a position to figure out what was happening, especially since "Mycroft never texts when he can talk". And it's REALLY odd that Sherlock would say "Mycroft's getting slow" to John within earshot of the corporal to whom he's still pretending to BE Mycroft.
      • It flags as a serious security breach because it MAY be a serious security breach. Suppose Sherlock's got a gun to his head? Someone's knocked him out and stolen the ID? As to the 'Mycroft's getting slow', that implies that it's happened before and the Holmes brothers have a routine. Something along the lines of 'hello, Major. I've just sent my brother in to check your security levels and I note that not only did you not check the photo on the ID, it took 23 minutes for your security system to raise the alarm. Furthermore, Captain Watson has informed me that he was allowed into high security areas by simply flashing his regimental identification...'
        • If Sherlock had a gun to his head, texting him asking him what he was doing would be a rubbish way of finding out. Mycroft needed to, as you pointed out, get on the phone and talk to security at Baskerville, not send snarky texts to Sherlock.
          • Perhaps Mycroft was in the Diogenes Club and therefore couldn't call Sherlock right away so he settled for texting him. And then there's the fact that if Sherlock was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be then calling him might blow his cover and there's no guarantee that Sherlock would even pick up while he's much more likely to at least read a text.
    • We don't know when he stole it. Maybe he got it the previous day during tea. Besides, Mycroft probably wouldn't have noticed anyway: from what we've seen of him, he goes from house to work and, very rarely, says hi to Sherlock. Probably he stays in London for much of the time and everyone he works with knows him enough to not need him to show his ID.
      • This troper likes to think that Mycroft's line of thinking is "he broke in, he can break himself out". After all, Sherlock did steal Mycroft's badge, and they already aren't the best of pals. Why should he help out Sherlock when he doesn't even know why he broke onto the base yet?
  • Where exactly would Henry Knight have got a gun from? This is the UK we're talking about. Their firearms laws are extremely strict compared with most of the world. It might be that, living in a rural area, he might have access to a hunting rifle and permission to use it, but not a handgun like the one he has. (Even if he were allowed to have it, WHERE would he have gotten it? You can't buy guns at the corner store in England.) He's more likely to have attacked his therapist with a knife or a shard of glass or something. The fact that he's got a gun conveniently gives John one in his hand when the hound appears, but John owns a gun, presumably has it on his person somewhere, and doesn't need someone else's.
    • It is true that few people in the UK own a handgun, but it isn't impossible to acquire one. Inner city gangs in most large cities use them (and could presumably acquire one for the right price). Incidently the UK has just seen an incident (January 2012) when a gun owner with known mental health issues started shooting his own family.
    • Everyone and their mums is packin' round there! Or maybe he just kept the one that his father had (I just guess he had one, seeing where he worked). Or maybe, since he was so frightened by the idea that something could kill him, he asked for the licence and found a place that sells weapons. It's hard, not impossible, after all, and for what we have seen there is nothing that tells us that he can't have just done that.
      • Firstly, no police force would have given any firearms licence to a man publicly known to be undergoing psychiatric treatment. Secondly, that Beretta pistol wouldn't be legal in the UK if it was capable of firing live ammunition. So I'd go for 'his father had it' (pistols were UK-legal 20 years ago) and in the confusion of the death, the police forgot to call and ask who'd bought it afterwards.
      • Which reminds me, psychiatric treatment requires the person to be mentally ill. Henry just needs to overcome traumatic memories, which is the job of a psychologist. What he's doing looks like talk therapy, which would mean that his doctor is more of a psychologist than a psychiatrist. So either she's some kind of psychologist and Henry is not going through any psychiatric treatment, making it possible for him to apply for a firearm licence, or she's a psychiatrist and the writers didn't do the research...
        • John, while flirting with Louise Mortimer, addresses her as "doctor" and justifies trying to get her to talk about her "patient" by pointing out that they are both doctors. As far as this troper is aware, a psychiatrist is a doctor, but a psychologist is not, and would not be addressed or referred to as "doctor." Louise Mortimer may be helping Henry through therapy, mainly (and Henry refers to her as his "therapist" which could mean anything, really) but she does legitimately seem to be an actual doctor, making her theoretically capable of prescribing/administering drugs.
          • ^Psychologists are addressed as doctors. They are PHD, but still...
        • If Henry wanted to go to a psychiatrist for whatever reason then I don't think she would refuse to treat him because he wasn't mentally ill. And if he needed to be prescribed some anti-anxiety medication (something that doesn't mean you're necessarily mentally ill) then going to a psychiatrist who could prescribe medication instead of a psychologist that couldn't would be a good move.
          • ^ Well, in the same way you can't go to a neurologist if your brain's all right, you can't go to a psychiatrist if you're not mentally ill. Besides, you can get anti-anxiety medication by explaining the situation and asking your doctor.
        • What, you tell your doctor (and go on to TV to say) that your father was torn to bits by a giant hound with glowing red eyes and they don't think you're possibly mentally ill? Henry's also showing significant signs of paranoia. Essentially, he has a substance-induced psychosis, but since the medics don't know about the substances, there'd be at least a suspicion of psychotic disorder. Besides, it doesn't matter about the licence. Beretta's are illegal in the UK unless converted to air pistols or blank-firing.
          • There was a period of time before he went on the telly, and he displays paranoia only in the last period of time because he's been drugged and he sees a giant hound trying to kill him. He thought it was just some kind of weird coping mechanism before somebody bought a big dog and started frightening him, and even if people then suspected that he had a psychotic disorder, it's possible that he didn't go to a psychiatrist yet, making him technically still okay for a firearm licence. As for the Beretta... meh. People managed to get their hands on worse things.
    • Guys... Henry's rich.
    • It may be a piece of Fridge Brilliance by the writers. We know Sherlock is set in an alternate reality where Doyle never wrote about Sherlock Holmes. Suppose one of the other minor changes is that the gun licensing laws are essentially the same as in 1895? This explains why John has a pistol when his army personal sidearm should have been returned, Lestrade carries a pistol when he should need special permission to carry a gun on a case, and Henry has a pistol which is technically illegal.
    • Also an army scientist staged the whole thing remember? It would have been trivial of him to plant the blasted thing.
  • In 'The Hounds of Baskerville', why did the Major, described as a martinet, have a full beard? This is very, very non-reg in both the Army and the Royal Marines. I realise it was likely that the actor needed to keep his beard because he was going straight on to another part, but couldn't they have either dropped the martinet line or put him in a Navy uniform?
    • Its an acceptable break from reality, because the character Barrymore nearly always looks like this in adaptations (based on his description in the original story). Its a sort of in joke reimagining all the characters for the modern setting. Also it is common for British Army personnel in the field not to shave, even in modern day theatres.
    • Invokes Beard of Evil as a red herring, I think, and also because the Major's appearance fits in with what civilians who don't know any different might expect an army Major to look like. This frequently happens in movies/TV shows that depict the armed forces. There are quite a few examples of it in this episode- the corporal would never have saluted John, since he was in civvies at the time and bare-headed. However, most audience members would find it more odd if John wasn't saluted, since that's a popular misconception of what the army is like, so it made more sense to actually be inaccurate.
      • Yes, the salute made me wince as well. Perhaps they had the idea that the corporal salutes the I.D.?
        • Perhaps, but it's more likely just speaking to the misconception civilians have that everybody in the military salutes everybody else in the military regardless of circumstance and protocol. It's something we come to expect. (Besides, it's satisfying for the audience to see John saluted.)
    • Could also speak to the Major's attitude that he can do whatever he likes, pretty much. After all, when they first meet him he gives a mouthful of abuse to someone who, at that time, he still believes to be one of the most powerful government officials in Britain, as if he were above rules and was untouchable. If he thinks he can run a top-secret weapons facility without having the government pop in to say hi every now and again, it's a fair claim that he'd grow a beard if he felt like it.
  • At the conclusion of The Hounds of Baskerville, how come when Sherlock drags Henry over to view the dog's body they both saw just an ordinary dog? I understand that this was for storytelling reasons ultimately, but if the drug was in the fog, they're all still standing in the middle of it breathing in said drug. At first I thought that simply the knowledge that there was a drug in the fog would help them see the hound for what it really was, however, earlier in the scene Sherlock and John, both knowing that there was a drug involved somehow, distinctly saw the hound as a monster, not a dog. Frankland, too, who orchestrated the drug itself, sees a monstrous hound and is panicked enough to beg Lestrade and John to shoot it.
    • Lack of fear and stimulus? That's what the drug operated on, so no fear due to the dog being dead and no active stimulus like growling, recorded or otherwise due to spoiler: the dog being dead meant there was nothing for the drug to exploit and distort into a nightmare hound. Maybe?
  • In "Hounds of Baskerville", how come Watson did not need to vouch for who he was when they entered Baskerville, or not need to swipe through every door in the way Holmes and the corporal did as part of the "Spot Inspection".
    • He outranks the corporal and was able to intimidate him into not asking him to explain himself further by "pulling rank." The army is based on hierarchy; once John had made it clear he had given an order, the corporal had little choice but to comply or risk being severely punished for insubordination. John did, though, have official military photo ID on him. Which makes this troper wonder all the more that he's still carrying his military ID in the clear window sleeve of his wallet after, what, at least eighteen months out of the army?
      • Well, he misses the action, so he probably carries it around because of that. One day he'll take his shirt off to reveal a perfectly ironed military uniform.
      • I'm not sure if it's completely uncommon for soldiers, but many people carry around older forms of ID. Also, not sure if it's the same in the UK, but in the US there are quite a few day-to-day discounts you can get with proof of military service.
  • Even given that he IS a doctor, why is John Watson walking around Dartmoor with sedatives in his pockets? Disappointingly is probably just a convenience for the sake of storytelling, but it does lead one to wonder whether either he's slipping them to Sherlock (perhaps to take the edge off his climbing the walls antics) or he's taking them himself (still having combat nightmares? It's possible.)
    • He works with Sherlock. I'm surprised he doesn't carry a scalpel and a defibrillator just in case.
    • On a related note, why didn't he ask Henry if he was taking any other medications before administering it? He knew the guy was in therapy, so there was a chance of it at least.
      • Come to think of it, actually, Henry tells Sherlock the next day that he had a rubbish night's sleep anyway. It's possible that John gave him aspirin or something as a placebo, hoping it would help to calm him down.
    • He never says explicitely what he's giving Henry. And it's pretty standard practice to go: 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor, take this, it'll help.' Of course, whatever you hand over in this situation just needs to look the right way, so any and all white, vaguely pill-shaped things might do, even chewing gum or a Tic Tac might do the trick. So, chance are, what he handed Henry were some random sweets he had in his pocket. No interference, no risk, but has a chance to work absolute miracles.
  • In The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock gets through a military base with Mycroft's pass. Fine, except the pass has Mycroft's face on it. Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Gatiss look alike, but not THAT much alike. For one obvious thing, the picture has an obviously different hairstyle. Why did the guard still let them through?
    • My interpretation of that was that the guard wasn't looking particularly carefully, and both Sherlock and John had such a confident "of course we're entitled to be here" routine that it worked for them, for a brief time.
    • It's an Ultra-level security pass. It intimidates people into not asking questions. Though the base staff is Genre Savvy enough to send a query on the ID which is determined to be in wrong hands a mere 23 minutes later.
  • In The Hounds Of Baskerville, are we honestly meant to sympathize with John for getting butt-hurt that Sherlock didn't respond well to him basically accusing him of being insane??? "Why would you listen to me, I'm only your friend, that's why it took me five minutes to notice your distress and then totally dismiss it because, in my experience, you're prone to emotion, let alone emotion so intense that you fucking hallucinated a giant dog." Sure, it turned out to be a hallucinogen, but what if, John? Bet you'd feel like a douchebag then.
    • John didn't even hint at Sherlock being insane. Sherlock is the one who thinks he's insane: he knows that what he saw can't possibly exist, so the only conclusion he can draw is that his usually razor sharp senses are lying to him. It's this doubt of his senses/sanity that's upsetting him, more so than what he saw. Regarding John: it took him much sooner than five minutes to notice Sherlock's distress. For John to have directly addressed Sherlock's distress or have said anything overtly sympathetic to him would have probably embarrassed Sherlock horribly and upset him even more. In the scene, Sherlock is already withdrawing; he's shutting down fast, and overt sympathy would have shut him down even faster. It's how Sherlock operates- he doesn't like to be pitied, and most men of that age don't bond by giving each other hugs and kind words anyway. John's pauses and expressions reveal he can see his friend is upset and he is trying to carry on normally, encouraging Sherlock to stay rational and think his way out of his fear. John is responding to Sherlock as a medical professional would respond to someone with severe anxiety- by being calm, rational and reassuring. John's been there. PTSD generally incorporates anxiety, and he's been in therapy himself. Moreover, John was right, even if you factor out the drug. That Sherlock saw something that doesn't exist does not make him insane. People can hallucinate because they've been programmed to see something in particular, purely with the power of suggestion. And if Sherlock had been able to calm down, he would have known that John was pretty much on the money with a lot of his remarks about the case.
  • So Sherlock just never apologizes for locking John in that lab, scaring him out of his wits, when he knows that John has PTSD and is his best friend. Yeah...
    • The idea with Sherlock is that he's an interesting character becuause he is so flawed, egotistical, short tempered at times, lacking in many human qualities such as empathy and sympathy. He is also unable to form relationships on an equitable level and can be very childish at times. It just makes him all the more compelling, a bit like the Doctor for example...
    • I thought we had established that he's kind of a dick. For what he thinks, there's no reason for him to apologize: John was never really in danger (physically speaking, at least), he had everything under control and it was for the case. It's lack of empathy with "I'm the only one allowed to mess with you".
      • It's still an epic Dick Move, even for Sherlock. Especially when he knows John has had issues with PTSD in the past. (Random thought: he tells John he wanted to know how the drug would act on a 'normal person.' But John really isn't a normal person in that respect; he's an extraordinarily brave person with nerves of steel, who's had/has PTSD. Is that actually what Sherlock meant?) Anyhow. Sherlock does seem apologetic about it toward the end, especially his facial expression. It's interesting that he felt the need to apologise to John over their little snit at the pub, but both of them brushed off what a horrible, cold-blooded thing that was for Sherlock to have done. Sherlock did seem genuinely concerned about John when he finally rescued him; I'd say that he didn't expect the experiment to work that well, but we later see footage of him promising to come find John when he's sprawled out relaxed in a chair with no intention of hurrying. Plus, he's a good actor. Like you say, though, Sherlock has a distinct "I can mess with you, because I adore you, but God help anyone else who tries to mess with you" attitude toward his (few) loved ones. He has the same hypocritical attitude regarding Mrs Hudson, who he's happy to threaten with a harpoon for no real reason, despite throwing a guy out a window last episode for messing with her.
      • Oh, I wasn't trying to justify him- it was a dick move of epic proportion. It's just that, for him, it was acceptable: the fact that it was a laboratory experiment and therefore without any real danger was enough of a justification. Basically an horrible, horrible thing but, well, pretty In Character. Now, had John somehow found the way to hurt himself, Sherlock would have probably gone crazy...
    • In the original Study In Scarlet, Watson is warned by Stamford about exactly this sort of thing, so it is pretty In Character. And in this instance, Sherlock needs the answer and he needs the answer soon. He cannot do it himself, because in being aware of the experiment, he would screw with the results. Subjecting an unknown person to this might have fatal results. But John has proven himself to be brave and level-headed and willing to trust Sherlock in damn near everything (apart from grocery shopping). So if the conditions of a functional and relevant need to be met, John is the only option available. And Sherlock is concerned, sorry and even manages an rather nice not-apology. So, no. It wasn't a dick move. It was the least of a bunch of evils.
      • Just because it was useful and maybe even the most practical option doesn't preclude it from being a dick move.
      • Stamford's remark is made about someone he doesn't truly know intimately (Holmes) to someone that, at that point, Sherlock didn't give a damn about and nobody really expected he ever would (Watson.) In-universe, the relationship between John and Sherlock reached a point in this episode where Sherlock finally admitted that John is his only friend (though there were elements of manipulation in the admittance, and John seemed to see them, hence why he responded by walking away.) As for Sherlock's experiment, there were other options available to him (like seeing if limiting his OWN sugar would produce a different result in the hollow, among other things.) And, mind, this wasn't just putting something in his coffee to see if he'll break out in hives or not. This was Sherlock watching five straight minutes of his best friend being psychologically tortured- and deliberately ramping up the psychological torture. We later find out that the substance used was intended as a biological weapon. In terms of the books, it's worth referring to later "experiments" of Holmes', after he becomes attached to Watson. His needlessly melodramatic dick move in The Adventure of the Empty House, which causes Watson to pass out on the living room carpet, is immediately and profusely apologised for and regretted. His experiment, corresponding to this one, in The Devil's Foot has similar effects on Watson, but there he is warned, discouraged and also thoroughly apologised to. In terms of what John is suffering here, it seems to hint at the suffering he goes through in The Adventure of the Dying Detective. Largely considered to be Holmes' canonical epic dick move, though it really wasn't a patch on this stunt and was, again, thoroughly and unreservedly apologised for after. Despite what Mike Stamford might say, there's no real evidence that Book!Sherlock Holmes would intentionally drug his only friend, lock him up in the dark and watch him mentally disintegrate for minutes on end, ramping up his terror on purpose for an experiment.
      • Also, one of the first things Sherlock does after this scene is... examine the sugar in question under a microscope for any signs of a substance that shouldn't be there. This is all he needed to do in the first place without the testing on John.
      • This is BBC!Sherlock, though. There are differences from Book!Sherlock, like in any other version of Sherlock- the relationship between him and Mycroft is an example. In this series he's more cold and, well... deranged, so his treatment of John is IC. As for the sugar, well, he would have noticed that it was normal sugar, then he might have found the gas, studied it... and then use it to experiment on John to see the effects "on a normal mind". He's just that kind of a dick.
        • That isn't making sense to me. I could sort of understand finding the substance in the sugar and then testing it on John (even though that would still be horribly cruel), but to not bother testing it until after the "experiment" not only makes Sherlock a whole lot more sadistic, but it's also a violation of common sense and reasoning. Sherlock was convinced that there was a drug involved. He was right. He was simply looking for where it was. There was absolutely no logical reason to test what could have been (and in fact WAS) ordinary sugar on someone like that before going and testing it in a lab. Sherlock's got a microscope back home on his kitchen table. He's clearly comfortable in a lab and uses these methods a lot. That he said "screw it, I'll torture John first and then do a simple easy test later" seems very out of character. Sherlock isn't above being heartless in the name of science, but this heartless experiment was not as useful to him until or unless he had tested the sugar for the drug. It's a waste of time and energy to test a substance on a subject when you don't even know if it's drugged or not.
        • Probably he couldn't ask to use the military lab until he wasn't sure he had something to use against the scientist.
          • Sherlock asks Dr Stapleton if he can borrow her microscope by threatening to tell her eight year old daughter Kirsty that her mother was behind Bluebell's glowing in the dark and subsequent disappearance. He'd already concluded as much when he'd met Dr Stapleton the day before. He makes a reference to murder, but doesn't explain anything about the sugar, simply asking to borrow the microscope.
          • Probably he only wanted to know if there's something weird in the sugar, and only then he cared enough to see what it was: after all he was already sure of the answer, and we have seen that if Sherlock is sure of something he doesn't even think that he might be wrong ("Your brother" , "the bag totally exists even if we've never seen it" , "it's obviously the plans that he wants" etc). Sherlock probably didn't see the difference- whatever it was that's causing fear, he was going to test it on John anyway so doing it sooner or later wouldn't matter as long as it didn't kill him or hurt him (which he knew it wouldn't because it didn't kill or hurt him). That's what confidence does to you.
      • Some of you are rather missing the point. Yes, Sherlock makes his friend go through psychological torture and calmly watches him relive his PTSD moments. He's also genuinely unable to understand why someone wouldn't put down their dog after it becomes a nuisance. Whether he qualifies as a sociopath or not, he does have genuine problems with empathy. He's also excellent at detaching himself from emotions. In short, if he doesn't have PTSD, if he hasn't gone through genuine trauma, if he has never been subjected to psychological torture like that, it's not surprising that he doesn't see a problem with making John go through with it. In fact, since he's good at controlling his emotions, he'd be more inclined to assume that everyone is that in control of themselves, and overestimate John's psychological strength. Plus, he also seems convinced that the drug might affect an "average" mind in a lesser way. All this heavily in favour of him only analysing his actions based on strict criteria of physical harm, and genuinely not seeing why it's a big deal.
      • In addition to the above, this troper would like to point out that within the bounds of Sherlock's above lack of understanding of emotions -- someone who has not been through a PTSD attack has no idea just how devastating they can be, and Sherlock barely understands them at all -- Sherlock did his level best to make sure no harm came to John. The instant the experiment was over, he raced down and let John out, and did his best to comfort him. It's clear from events in "The Great Game" and "The Reichenbach Fall" that Sherlock goes into something close to panic when John's life is threatened -- if Sherlock doesn't understand just how damaging a PTSD flashback is, he genuinely doesn't comprehend that he's hurting his friend. Presumably John educates him quite firmly on this subject later, but the important thing is this -- yes, it was absolutely a dick move, but it was not malicious. Considering the bounds of what he was doing -- he couldn't test it on himself, that would invalidate the whole thing and muck up the results -- he chose John over currently serving, highly trained military men because John was the only one he trusted enough to get the job done and done right, and because he had faith in his friend's courage and level-headedness -- again, remembering that he doesn't comprehend the true meaning of PTSD. In fact, it speaks quite a bit to how much he cares for and trusts John. ...but it was still a dick move.
        • Also, when Sherlock goes to rescue John, he seems honestly astonished at how upset John actually is, and that a (for him) comforting "it's okay" didn't make him feel any better. This at first seems not only to really outline his lack of empathy but also be extremely hypocritical: Sherlock glanced the hound once, in the company of Henry, and with John- who was probably armed- nearby as backup, as well as a clear escape route. He nonetheless spent the evening completely freaked out crying and shaking and nursing a stiff drink. And he expected John- who spent about five minutes locked in alone and unarmed frantically trying to get out- to be "okay" not ten seconds after being rescued? But once Sherlock got the idea that he'd been drugged, he may have rationalised his own intense response to the hound as being the result of the drug on his extraordinary mind- and therefore thought John would react better? Either that, or it goes back to being an absolutely jaw-dropping instance of his lack of empathy. Factoring out John's PTSD and the fact that his "hound" experience was vastly different to Sherlock's, you'd think Sherlock by now would at least be able to deduce- not via empathy but via observation and common sense- that John would react with as much fear as he himself did the night before. Yet he seems amazed that John doesn't immediately get over it.
        • YMMV. This troper has never got the impression that Sherlock was stunned at John's reaction to the drug. When he opens the cage, he looks worried or afraid for John, immediately asking if he's all right and touching him. No matter how carefree he appears in the flashback, it doesn't seem to be until John admits to seeing the hound that he truly hears how upset he is and presumably ran to let him out judging by the time it took. He waits for John to catch his breath and gives him some space (the way he immediately scrambled to get out of the cage and didn't want to be touched shows he wanted this) as well as telling him; "It's okay now." John screams that it isn't but Sherlock doesn't look taken aback by that, he merely goes back to observing John, possibly snapping back into Scientist Mode now that he's learned that his friend isn't in any immediate harm. He doesn't tell John to "snap out of it" or admonish him for being so distressed. It seems to be exactly what he expected and his attempts to comfort John are a lot more patient than John's attempts to comfort him were - because Sherlock has been through the same experience and is fully aware of how John is feeling because he felt the exact same thing the night before. It's still an epic dick move but I just don't see anything hypocritical in his understanding of John's initial reaction to the experiment.
        • In addition to what the above poster said, look again at precisely how Sherlock comforts John. John freaks out, yells "No it's NOT alright!!!", then says he was wrong. It is at this point that Sherlock contradicts him, saying he may have been right after all, and launches into his explanation about the drug, and you can see how it totally catches John off guard and distracts him, and very soon he's caught up in the investigation again instead of dwelling on his distress. It's notable because it echoes how Sherlock treated him in the very first episode. Rather than patronising him or treating him like an invalid, Sherlock simply jumped into the thick of it and swept John up with him, and it turned out to be the best way to help him. Remember that John is very stoic and reluctant to show weakness to otthers - hell, in The Reichenbach Fall', even the viewer isn't allowed to see John cry in anything but a hazy reflection in a gravestone. The best way to calm John down is to treat him like he's not as freaked out as he is, because it allows him to regain his strength - and whether through instinct or calculation, Sherlock did just that.
    • The debate is muddied not because of the experiment itself or anything Sherlock or John did during it, but because it's later Played for Laughs, which strikes this troper as an epic miscalculation on the part of the creators/writers/director/etc. Because we're clearly meant to find the explanation that it was Sherlock behind it all along funny, it confuses the issue of whether Sherlock thought it was funny, or just how blase he was about the whole thing. Performing a cruel experiment on his best friend simply because a) he fails at empathy and b) he for some reason doesn't just test the sugar first is one thing, especially when (as pointed out) he immediately gets John out afterward and tries to comfort him in his clueless kind of way. It makes sense, is (for the first part, the lack of empathy part) in character, and while it's still awful, it's not dissonant. But the notion that he was watching the whole time and was amused at John's suffering, or that we're supposed to find his shocking lack of empathy funny, is really the issue here. I think. Rather than it being a Crowning Moment of Funny, many viewers have found Sherlock's experiment to be closer to Nightmare Fuel.
      • I don't see it as a miscalculation, mainly because I don't see any indication that it was meant to come across as funny. Since the scene follows through with Sherlock admitting to have no idea why someone wouldn't put down a pet if it became a nuisance, I think the message was more "Sherlock DOES have issues with empathy, and DON'T YOU FORGET IT".
        • YMMV, I suppose. This troper had issues with the tone of Sherlock and John's conversation (in which John is only mildly annoyed at Sherlock, when many fans thought that John punching him again would be more emotionally appropriate) and the replayed footage itself, emphasising the dissonance between John's suffering and Sherlock relaxing in the booth with his feet up on the bench. It's even been offered (NOT by this troper, who finds it appalling) as a Crowning Moment of Funny. (Added: and this troper has also watched the episode with at least two perfectly intelligent and normally empathetic people who thought that the reveal was hilarious.)
        • I didn't like the experiment for a long time, and I thought that it really was something appalling until I realized this: John, when he figures out that it was Sherlock who drugged him DOESN'T get angry. We, as the audience, can put ourselves in that situation and say that, logically, we would punch Sherlock in the face, but all John says is "oh, it was you" and then proceeds to call Sherlock out, not for drugging John, but for being WRONG. It's easy to forget, because John is charming and wears cuddly jumpers, but John is also rather messed up and dangerous himself. He kills people when they aren't nice, and he punches people, not out of justice, but because he gets angry. He likes danger and is an adrenaline junkie, and Sherlock has probably experimented on him before. So really, it's not that Sherlock made a dick move, even though from our perspective it seems like it. It's just that John and Sherlock's relationship is not all kittens and rainbows, and in this case the audience got a taste of that.
  • Did "The Hounds of Baskerville" confirm that Sherlock has Asperger's? I couldn't tell if John was just speculating, or being genuine.
    • Speculating. He went "I don't know. Asperger?" in the kind of way one would say "meh? *shrugs*"
  • Why exactly was Dr. Frankland wearing a shirt that spelled the name ("H.O.U.N.D.") and the location ("Liberty, In.") of the CIA project he used to be involved with the night he killed Henry Knight's father? The only reason I can think of why such a shirt would even exist is that it was printed as in-joke by people who were working on the H.O.U.N.D. project (such a project probably wouldn't have an "official" shirt, certainly not one with growling dog picture). But if that's the case, why did he still have the shirt years later, and why was he wearing it while conducting illegal experiments related to the original H.O.U.N.D. project? Didn't he think there was a risk someone might see the shirt and connect the text on it to his experiments - as Sherlock indeed did?
    • It was a shirt from a defunct project that had been dropped. He was wearing it because he still believed he could get the drug would work. It's a pride thing. I expect most people who saw him with it on assumed it was some obscure pop culture reference, and those who did know about H.O.U.N.D would've known it hadn't worked out.
  • Why does Mycroft text Sherlock instead of calling him? We know he never texts if he can talk.
    • Fridge Brilliance. We later find out Mycroft is in the Diogenes Club, where he's not permitted to talk. (Why, if he thought some sort of emergency might be happening, he doesn't just step outside to call, I don't know.)
  • Why does John relent and give Sherlock his cigarettes? For the entire previous scene he's been firmly refusing to give into Sherlock, even when watching him come close to what seems like a mental breakdown from the withdrawal and also when Sherlock outright begged him (the man who in the previous episode had claimed to never have begged for 'mercy' in his life). Then, after saying he's not going to Dartmoor, John almost instantly melts just because Sherlock throws him the most pathetic, laughable, puppy dog-like facial expression ever seen on television? Was it to bribe Sherlock into agreeing to take the case? If so, John is a terrible enabler.
    • John at that point thought Sherlock was sending him to Dartmoor on his own. Considering how absolutely crazy Sherlock was going, a likely interpretation of the exchange is that John didn't want him to be going through a major detox downswing on his own, or with just Mrs Hudson there. (After all, he'd been next door to physically threatening to Mrs Hudson earlier in the scene. She handles Sherlock well even at his worst, but she honestly seems to not know what to do with him in his current state, even looking to John at one point for any ideas.) The fact that John says "we agreed" that Sherlock would go cold turkey implies that he's keeping a close eye on how Sherlock is coping (or not coping). The fact that there's a hidden stash of cigarettes at all implies that they were hidden there, by John, so that if Sherlock really crossed the line and started to have a breakdown, he'd be able to give him a cigarette for the sake of his overall mental health.
      • Of course, John could just be an enabler, but John has been out to plenty of locations on his own by now, and it seems unlikely that he would be that bothered by taking the Baskerville case that he'd bribe Sherlock with cigarettes to go with him.
  • On a side note considering Sherlock's superhuman powers of observation allowing him the ability to cold read anyone with terrifying details how were John and Mrs. Hudson able to hide that one pack of cigarettes at all?
    • It speaks to an issue that's come up a few times in the show- emotion is playing havoc with Sherlock's faculties. Sherlock is so upset and angry, partly because he's bored and partly because that's what nicotine withdrawal does to your emotions, that he's unable to sit back, think logically about what spectacularly unimaginative location John would hide his cigarettes/watch his body language to see if he'd inadvertently give the hiding place away. In fact, it's testament to how mentally foggy Sherlock is (comparatively) that he actually thinks it's easier, and will get him his fix faster, if he just pleads pathetically with John instead, and that humiliatedly begging for a cigarette, along with an offer to tell him next week's lottery numbers (which is ludicrous and John knows it) was worth a try.
  • Is it purely a coincidence that Watson happened to get dosed with the hallucinogenic gas at the exact same time that Holmes thought Watson had been dosed by the sugar? How did Watson just happen to find the one part of Baskerville with 'leaky pipes' spewing the chemical agent, precisely when Sherlock was in the middle of staging his experiment on Watson?
    • Sherlock had already commented earlier about "coincidence", so it's mainly meant to be that. However, Sherlock's systematic technique of breaking John [3] down mentally and making him as suggestible as possible means he may have hallucinated the hound without the drug. Human beings in general are very susceptible to the power of suggestion- even perfectly intelligent, non-gullible, sensible, mentally stable people. So- bit of both. Mostly, though, coincidence.
  • Shouldn't the Baskerville facility/base be jammed or a dead zone for mobiles? At least in the U.S., security procedures for highly sensitive installations often lead to such measures.


The Reichenbach Fall

  • In the lab toward the end, Sherlock and John are discussing what Moriarty may have left at 221B on the day of the trial. John asks if he touched anything, and Sherlock said "an apple- nothing else." John then asks if Jim wrote anything down, and Sherlock, sounding irritated, says he didn't. Both of these are downright lies- Moriarty drank tea with Sherlock and had his hands all over the cup and saucer [4], and he wrote "I O U" in the apple skin. Is this one of those WMG mysteries we have to wait until next season to have sorted out or is there something in-episode I'm missing about why Sherlock would lie like that?
  • Someone do correct me if I'm wrong, but Sherlock finds the hidden camera on the bookshelf in his flat by moving a book that was in front of it. How on earth could the camera have picked up a visual (as we've seen it do earlier) with a book covering it? And a bigger question, how did it get there? The implication is that Moriarty put it there, but he can't have without it being obvious, because Sherlock has to climb the bookshelf to get to it... if Moriarty had done that, he'd have seen him.
    • If you remember there were workmen coming in and out of Baker Street throughout the episode, carrying ladders etc. One of those workmen had a gun in his toolbox, ready to shoot Mrs Hudson if Sherlock didn't jump. I'd guess that the same workman (or one of the other workmen) put the camera in the bookcase. They were working for Moriarty all along.
  • Any ideas as to how Sherlock knows mercury by its taste?
    • This is Sherlock Holmes we're talking about. The man who keeps body parts in the fridge and doesn't hesitate to drug his only friend for an experiment. The man who practises all kinds of self-destructive behaviour like depriving himself of food and sleep for days. He probably tested mercury on himself for whatever reason. Judging from the periodic table in his bedroom and all that science equipment he owns, it's also possible that he studied chemistry, so getting access to all kinds of nasty chemicals would not have been a problem for him.
  • How come the Chief Superintendant of Scotland Yard doesn't know that Sherlock has been let in on "serious cases"- when the opening few minutes of the episode reveal that Sherlock helped capture Interpol's Number One Most Wanted Since 1982???
    • Good point. Eh, I got the impression that the Chief Super was a bit of an idiot.
    • Lestrade says they have Sherlock to thank for "giving [them] the decisive leads". If you know them, it's obviously code for "Sherlock did all the work", but to an outside observer, it sounds something like "This guy who saved the ambassador happened to stumble on some evidence and share it with us", which is the kind of involvement the super or someone like him might have permitted as long as they didn't realise how intimately Sherlock was involved in this case and others, including those he didn't get permission for.
  • When Sherlock was having that last conversation with John over the phone, John says Sherlock couldn't be a fake because when they first met Sherlock knew everything about him, including his sister. To which Sherlock replies he just researched him. But at their first meeting John's sister was the only thing he got wrong -- he thought it was a brother.. Did the writers have a total brain fart or were they talking in codes or something?
    • Neither. Sherlock isn't a fraud, so he was flailing for a way to try to get John to believe he is one. (The "I'm a fraud" being the only plausible reason for a suicide jump that he could come up with at the time.) And he failed utterly. Partly, perhaps, because John remembered that he had got Harry's gender wrong. Alternatively, he initially says knowing about Harry was a "magic trick" and then goes on to explain that he researched John. It's possible that what he meant was that after striking initial (somewhat) gold with knowing about Harry via "magic trick", and seeing how much John admired him for that, he rushed home and researched as much as he could about John so that he could impress him some more. Of course, he didn't. It was never a particularly convincing line, but that's the point. He's not a fraud, so he can't give convincing reasons for being a fraud, and John knows it.
      • Also, remember that Harry is short for Harriet. Likely when Sherlock did his research, it only showed that Watson had a sister named Harriet, with no mention of her going by a nickname. When he saw the name Harry, he probably just assumed Watson also had a brother named Harry, too. Also, shortening Harriet to Harry isn't nearly as common as shortening (Alex)andria or (Mack)enzie, and I can't really think of a woman who would voluntarily go by the name "Harry" (Hairy.) But again, Sherlock is pulling all of this out of his ass while knowing that he's about to jump of a roof and/or the people that he's (however involuntarily) close to are about to be brutally murdered. Likely even his brain is a little scrambled at that point.
  • When Moriarty does his whole break-in thing, Lestrade's got a point in bitching that it's "not our division." Is there an in-episode reason why a division that seems to deal fairly exclusively with homicide cases, or at least violent crimes against people (Lestrade's fake-out drug busts aside) were called to attend what then appeared to be a major, but fairly straightforward, break-in at the Tower of London? Or was it just to give Lestrade and Sally a reason to be there?
    • Sally said "You'll want this". This is likely an allusion to the fact that Lestrade & Co. have dealt with Moriarty before during the suicide bombings case. It does make some sense for the people with direct experience with a dangerous criminal to be there when said criminal is apprehended, so it's not too far out there.
  • How is it that the assassin intended for John arrived at St Bart's long before John himself did? The other two assassins were onto a safe bet by being at Baker Street and New Scotland Yard, but there was no guarantee if and when John was going to show up at St Bart's or that he was going to stand out in the carpark as an easy target to where the sniper just happened to set himself up. Or am I missing something?
    • Moriarty knew John would come rushing back when he realized something was up, so he instructed the sniper to set up there? It does seem to stretch believability that he knew John would show up on time, however...
  • After the shock meeting at Kitty's flat, Sherlock comments that Moriarty has his whole life story. But how does he know that? Kitty showed the "proof" to John, not Sherlock, who was busy staring down Jim and didn't look at the documents she had. Sherlock also never more than glances at the heading in the newspaper earlier. Unless, of course, Mycroft had already told Sherlock about giving out those details...
  • When Mycroft first tells John that he has identified four hired killers who have moved within twenty feet of 221B, why does John brush it off? He says that if it was Moriarty behind it, they'd be dead already, but the argument about whether it was Moriarty or not seems a bit moot. There's still four hired killers circling around the flat, for heaven's sake. It's only when the one shaking Sherlock's hand is shot by a sniper (which could easily have missed and got Sherlock instead, if he made a sudden movement forward) that John even bothers to say something dismissive like "Oh, him. Yeah, Mycroft told me about him, he's a big Albanian gangster, and whatever." Sure, there was a kidnapping investigation underway when John returned home after his meeting with Mycroft, but "there are four hired killers who are probably going to kill you and your best friend" is not something that strikes me as easy to slip one's mind.
  • Rich Brook. Is Kitty Riley a very shitty journalist (even by Sun standards), or did Moriarty have an acting career under the alias of Rich Brook? If the first, then debunking Moriarty's claims should prove easy, if the latter, then... Wow.
    • The former seems to be the implication. When Moriarty enters her flat, I think he starts by saying 'darling,' which could imply an ulterior motive for her to believe him (aka they're sleeping together).
      • He definitely calls her "darling", for what it's worth.
    • The impression that I got was that it was neither of those things; Moriarty created Richard Brook out of thin air. He has the money and the power to manufacture the evidence, and how hard is it for him to insert a few articles into archives, write up a CV, and film a DVD of himself telling stories? Borders on the brilliant when you realize that as an out of work actor, he wouldn't have to alter anything recent enough that it might be noticed.
      • There's one more problem there. He isn't just the story teller. There was an article that mentioned he joined the cast of some medical drama, and there also seemed to be some other film and TV credits on his C.V. Either he's had a Crazy Prepared acting career, he's hacked into the Internet Movie Database, the BBC Archive, and the DVD collection of every British subject, or there's still a huge hole in his story (i.e. all the other credits on his C.V. that don't exist.)
    • In addition to the two points mentioned, also consider that this was The Sun that Kitty Riley was working for, a tabloid that reports on everything, no matter how untrue (that Rowan Atkinson was definitely going to play Voldemort, for instance). She's just that bad of a journalist. Also, more of a WMG than anything, but how amazing would it be if the story of Sir Boasts-A-Lot was on the DVD?
  • How did Sherlock survive? He fell from a multi-storey building, had doctors around him with in seconds, and it was unquestionably him.
    • That's operating under the assumption that it was he who did the actual falling, that the doctors weren't a rent-a-crowd he paid, that the cyclist who hit John wasn't also paid, and that it was a coincidence that he ordered John to stand where he couldn't see the point of impact onto the pavement. It's not totally clear but there are some compelling things being pointed out. Those, among others, the fact that John is prevented from trying to take his pulse, and that in complete violation to normal protocol of an obviously dead suicide case, his body is dumped on a stretcher immediately and rushed into a hospital that has no Accident and Emergency department anyway. It just doesn't happen. If there was any chance of his being alive he'd be taken to a hospital with an A&E in an ambulance, one of which is parked a few metres away. If he was very obviously dead he'd be covered and left until experts arrived to investigate. Hmmm.
    • We never do find out what Molly does for him, so she's obviously in on it. Plus, if you look carefully, when he gets up and leaves to join Moriarty on the rooftop, you see him slip what looks like one of the vials from the table into his pocket. Presumably there are substances that would help imitate the symptoms of death - a muscle relaxant would help too, since keeping your body loose when it falls from a height helps reduce shock trauma across the whole body and limit the damage to one area. I don't think he did a last-minute switch with Moriarty's body - it's too convoluted, and he knew Moriarty's people were watching him to see if he would jump - any odd behaviour would be endangering his friends.
    • For what it's worth, I don't think it's a chemical vial. It's the ball. A simple "magic trick" is to slow one's pulse considerably [certainly long enough for the short period of time John tries to take Sherlock's] by putting a small solid object under the armpit of the arm in which the pulse is being taken. I tried it, it works. In addition he could easily have a pint of blood taken, not unlike Janus' cars, or even taken some of Moriarty's. But now I'm WM Ging.
    • It may be related to how no-one seems to have found Moriarty's body on the roof
  • I don't quite understand the scene where Sherlock realizes Jim has a code to stop the assassins, and leaps straight to the conclusion that this means he can stop the hit. What is he holding over Jim exactly that would make him give up the code. As Jim points out, all the kings horses and men couldn't make him give it up, so it isn't torture. Somehow Jim is convinced the code isn't safe when Sherlock allegedly proves that they are the same sort of person. Is he afraid Sherlock will deduce the code, and if so, how would he send it out? In other words, why was the code safer if Jim killed himself?
    • Even if Sherlock did figure it out (and nothing says he wouldn't), Moriarty would still need to be the one to give the code to the assassins. As you (and he) said, no amount of torture would make him talk, nor did Sherlock have any kind of leverage over him to make him give it up. The way Mortiarty had things set up, no matter the outcome, meant someone (preferably Sherlock) would die, as well as himself. He dies and so goes the code, therefore there is nobody to call off the hit. Either Sherlock lets his friends die, or dies himself and their lives are spared. ...that is, of course, assuming he wasn't lying about there being a call-off code in the first place.
    • To be honest, I wouldn't even put it past Moriarty to kill himself in front of someone just because it'll screw with that person's mind. He's mentally broken like that. Even he admits he's unpredictable.
    • The point of the scene wasn't that Moriarty chose to kill himself so Sherlock won't get the code but instead it's because he realized he has become the hope for Sherlock's chance of winning. As Sherlock said "I don't need to die, I got you" that means that as long as Moriarty has the code Sherlock won't despair and give up on his life, so in order to take the very last hope of Sherlock winning the game, Moriarty decided to kill himself and assure that he'd have the last laugh.
      • I think it goes further than that. When Moriarty thanks Sherlock and shakes his hand, it is because Sherlock has finally given him a good enough reason to kill himself. The final problem? Staying alive. The solution? A situation where Moriarty needed to kill himself in order to win the game.
  • When Moriarty is arrested, the newscasters call him James Moriarty, but he still goes by Jim Moriarty. Which is his real name?
    • Jim is a nickname for James.
  • Why did Sherlock decide to tell John that he was a fake at the end?
    • Since he's committing suicide and John's going to see him do it, he needs to give a reason for it, otherwise John is going to conclude that Moriarty engineered it and that would put John in danger. The best excuse he has right then for suddenly committing suicide in broad daylight and public is disgrace and remorse over being a "fraud." Moriarty had already explained that this was what he wanted Sherlock's death to come off as, Sherlock was simply completing the plan as instructed.
    • Most likely his phone was tapped. He wanted to give the assassins a good reason to let John live even after Jim was dead. "Confessing" his fraud to him made it sensible to leave him tell the tale.
    • Well, he, or at least his death, is a fake, after all. There is always the possibility that it was some sort of coded message because of course, John wouldn't believe it to be true.
    • He doesn't just tell John that he's a fraud. He very specifically wants John to tell all his friends that he's a fraud. This troper thinks that it's very heavily implied that he's trying to soften the blow of his death to people he's only just realised are his friends, by trying to convince them that he was only a fraud and not worth mourning. Moreover, he's got to have SOME reason given for him suddenly committing suicide. Since the papers are already proclaiming him as a fake, this ties up nicely. As Moriarty pointed out.
    • Sherlock goes into hiding because it has become obvious that Moriarty's death won't solve anything - this episode is the first where we are really shown what kind of power Moriarty has in the criminal world. Sherlock's friends were in danger just by association with him. If they keep supporting Sherlock after his "death", Moriarty's men might wipe them out anyway. So the only way to ensure their safety is to convince their enemies that his friends are not a threat, and that Moriarty has won, completely. Convincing his friends that he's a fraud is the surest way to do it.
      • A friend of mine made a point that sort of ties in and adds to all of the above; Sherlock has hit fame status, something he clearly preens about but doesn't necessarily want. At one point in an episode he even comments that he doesn't need his face plastered all over the papers. Destroying his own reputation, as well as 'dying', allows him to fly under the radar again, even when he DOES come back.
        • Does it? I would think that a man who was once a celebrated genius detective but who was proven to be a fraud and who committed suicide coming back from the death and going back to solving crimes is going to attract a lot more attention than if Sherlock just kept going and waited for people to lose interest. It's not like the scandal is going to do anything to make him less famous. Quite the opposite, actually.
  • What was with Moriarty's I.O.U. clue? Was it a simple Red Herring (if so why did Sherlock become obsessed with it?) or did it have an obvious meaning I missed?
    • It was a Red Herring but it wasn't an audience Red Herring so much as a Moriarty Red Herring. He was messing with Sherlock just like with the finger tapping and the code.
    • There's still a chance we'll find out IOU wasn't a red herring after all. Wild Mass Guessing has suggested that it may have been the code to call off the assassins- after all, it's not like Jim to give Sherlock absolutely no chance of beating him.
    • The I.O.U's do have a significance. It's probable you missed the third one: Watch the scene where Sherlock pretends to take John hostage. Pay careful attention to the wall they back away towards. There's an I.O.U. graffitied on it, with black angel wings, no less. Three gunmen. Three bullets. Three victims. Three I.O.U's. The apple in the flat, the building opposite New Scotland Yard, Baker Street. John, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson.
  • I'm fairly sure the answer is Jim's over-the-top personality, but was there an actual reason behind him asking the female officer to stick her hand in his pocket that I missed? And if there wasn't, why did she comply?
    • He wanted a mint.
      • Thank you. I'm not sure how I managed to miss that the first time around.
  • This question may be due to my total ignorance of British legal proceedings, but how do Donovan and Lestrade get an arrest warrant for Sherlock? The only evidence linking him with the kidnapping was that he was able to solve it with limited evidence. By this logic, most policemen are secretly murderers.
    • Lestrade's boss ordered him to make the arrest, didn't he? And there were other issues, including that the kidnapped little girl was terrified of him and Sherlock's past involvement with the police. The commissioner is shown being unnecessarily prejudiced toward a guy he has never met, however.
  • Why did the officers cuff Sherlock and John together? Sherlock was already cuffed. So, they uncuffed one of his hands to handcuff one of John's hands. For that matter, it was implied the two of them would be taken in the same car. From what little I know about police procedure, two arrested people are never taken in the same car if it can possibly be helped, and since there were, at least, two cars there, it could have been helped.
    • Convenient plot reasons! It's implied that since they went there only expecting to make one arrest, they only brought one set of cuffs and had to make do when John went ballistic. However, and as John himself points out to them just prior to said going ballistic, there was no need to cuff Sherlock at all, since he was not resisting arrest or being violent in any way. If they absolutely had to cuff them together, they would then necessarily have to take them in the same squad car. Lestrade's reasons for cuffing Sherlock aren't explained, but perhaps relate to a suspicion that he would do as he does- suddenly either attack or try to escape.
      • Surely, though, more than one officer would be carrying handcuffs, wouldn't they? Isn't every officer required to carry a pair? As for Sherlock not resisting, is that common in England to only do handcuffs if the person's resisting? Where I'm from, if you get arrested, you get cuffed, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The only possible exception is if you happen to be in the police station when you're arrested; then, if you don't resist, you're just escorted to the nearest cell/the booking area.
      • Re: the not resisting thing, you can hear John start to say "He's not resisting," as Sherlock is cuffed. Possibly because the commissioner is there?
      • Last time I was arrested (ahem) in the late 90's the police normally only cuff you if you refuse to come quietly, or if there are extenuating circumstances. Rebekah Brooks, former newspaper editor for publications belonging to News International was recently arrested and basically invited to attend the police station (much less embarrassing than having the police show up at your house)
      • I'm also wondering, if there was such an urgency to arrest John (who, fair enough, was being violent and probably resisting arrest as well) they apparently let him put his coat on before taking him downstairs to slam him up against the police car. Continuity FTL!
      • We didn't see everything in between ordering the warrant and them arriving. With the number of police officers there, it could be that word got around that Sherlock Holmes was getting arrested and they wanted to see him eat humble pie, and someone who Sherlock had crossed, and who had standing with the Commissioner, talked him into it. It would have been within guidelines, and Sherlock has proved to be difficult in a number of ways in the past so that's reasonable cause there for it. Basically the police might be bending the rules to have satifaction. As to why he is cuffed to John... no idea.
      • It could be that Lestrade orchestrated it to help him escape.
  • Did they ever address the gaping plot hole issue of why, if Sherlock had kidnapped the children, he would deliberately volunteer to go and interview the little girl, who would surely recognise him and give him away? After all, if that were the case, why wouldn't he just make an excuse to send John in instead?
    • If the officers had calmly looked at the facts, then there would be a whole bunch of such holes in their logic. In addition to your example, here's another: Sherlock's been involved in cases that he clearly could not have engineered, involving events that happened years ago. For example, the Hounds of Baskerville case. But people (at least, people who are not Sherlock) don't operate on good logic most of the time. It didn't take much to convince Donovan and Anderson since they already half-suspected as much of Sherlock, and the 'evidence' presented played to their sympathies. And outside the circle of people who actually know Sherlock, it's easier to believe that he was a fraud rather than so extraordinarilly clever. The point about Sherlock Holmes - what makes him different from others in all his incarnations - is that he looks at the facts and makes a deduction while those around him start out with a hypothesis and pick the facts that suit it. It's very neat that Sherlock would be brought down by the kind of sloppy thinking and hearsay that he rails against. And it's a marker of the difference in his and Moriarty's thinking, as well: Sherlock 'always wants everything to be clever', whereas Moriarty knows that you just have to push the right buttons, bribe the right people and people's prejudices will do the rest.
      • It seems Anderson was the one to begin speculation on Sherlock's possible involvement in any or all of the past cases he'd worked with the police on; there's no evidence that they could possibly find Sherlock involved in any/all of them, though. Your last point is still true though. That Anderson even speculated on that is proof enough of the way these people were thinking (and we've also already established that Anderson is a moron in a lot of ways.)
    • They probably thought that he didn't consider that she might panic. After all, he's not very empathetic. I'm grasping for straws here. The episode was great, but there were a couple of plotholes. For example, how could John just calmly walk to Baker Street to check on Mrs Hudson? He was a fugitive!
      • I'm claiming that one as heartwarming- he's not bothered by the whole fugitive thing because omgz Mrs Hudson!
    • I'm more bothered by this: If Mrs. Hudson had really been shot, why would she still be at Baker Street? Presumably she would've been rushed away by paramedics in a last-ditch effort to save her life.
      • Rather. It's possible John was at Baker Street prior to a hospital run to pick something up or otherwise unwittingly follow Sherlock's intentions, but that's not borne out by the script, and even though he IS in a mad panic about Mrs Hudson's welfare, it does seem a little out of character for John to become that illogical.
        • No idea which hospital she went to? He came home to check up?
    • Concerning "Sherlock is a fraud" - it's obvious that the idea doesn't hold water on closer examination. If he was a fraud, he must still have been a genius to be able to orchestrate it so perfectly. If he was a genius, he didn't need to be a fraud. As "unbelievable" it is that he'd be able to find the children from a footprint, he could have had Molly corroborate his story on how he'd come to that conclusion. And of course, if he's been committing crimes and framing other people for it for years without even being suspected, why would he suddenly be so sloppy as to let the kidnap victim see his face? But that's the whole point. When you're someone like Sherlock, it takes so very little to make people turn against you, beyond all reason.
    • We can probably blame more than a little bit of "Sherlock's a fraud" on Tall Poppy Syndrome as well; for whatever reason (envy and jealousy, cynicism, etc), there's a lot of people who tend to expect, hope for or even enjoy seeing other people who are shown to be 'better' than them in some way be 'taken down a peg or two' (which often means 'brought down to my level'), so it wouldn't have been hard to convince them to accept Sherlock's 'fraud' in spite of the evidence so that they could have the satisfaction of sneering at Sherlock's downfall.
    • It seems likely that Donovan doesn't actually think Sherlock's a fake genius, but rather that he is a bored psychopath who has finally crossed the line; just as she predicted he would in the first episode.
    • There's also the fact that Sherlock almost never makes an effort to explain his logic. Fans who carefully, dispassionately, go over his deduction can understand his thought process but in person it would be almost impossible to follow.
  • So did Jim genuinely work as an actor to establish his cover story, and if so, why did nobody recognize him when he was all over the papers as the criminal mastermind of the century?
    • As mentioned above, it's implied that Kitty is just a crappy journalist who got all excited over a "scoop" and didn't bother checking her sources properly. Anybody can have a DVD made. Especially if you're Jim Moriarty.** One professional review of this episode suggested that Kitty was driven at least partly by Holmes' extreme, even for him, rudeness to her in the courthouse, and that her desire to get back at him by getting the scoop may have led her to believe anything she was told, much like the jealous police officers.
      • Given that the DVD was of a children's show, Moriarty was probably banking on most adults not being aware of children's entertainers, so would take him at his word. As mentioned above, he has the money and resources. Hell, he could probably even manage to have The Storyteller put on a little known digital channel for several months to back up his story with Kitty (who as mentioned above wasn't really checking anyway).
  • After Sherlock commits suicide, the newspapers read "FAKE GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE." Assuming Sherlock had created Moriarty, Sherlock proved himself capable of concocting plans that would allow him to break into the Tower of London, opening the vault in the Bank of England, and setting a bunch of prisoners free. Even were he faking his deductions, that still seems pretty genius to me.
    • "FAKE GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE" is a better headline than "GENIUS WHO WAS PRETENDING TO BE ONE KIND OF GENIUS BUT WAS INSTEAD A DIFFERENT KIND OF GENIUS COMMITS SUICIDE". The newspaper editors are more interested in the sensationalist angle of him being a fraud than the exact details of whether he actually was a genius or not.
    • If memory serves, the specific newspaper featured was The Sun, famed for it's sensationalist headlines (such as the infamous "Gotcha" during the Falklands war and "It's the Sun Wot Won It [sic]" from the 1992 General Election). Its inclusion with the accompanying headline was probably chosen deliberately for that reason, which verges on a fridge Take That.
  • How exactly was a diamond supposed to help Moriarty break through toughened glass in the crown jewels room? While diamonds might be very hard, they're not very tough, so a sharp, sudden impact (such as, say, being hit with a fire extinguisher) would cause it to shatter. What Moriarty should have ended up with was chewing gum full of diamond powder, and a pane of glass with a slight scuff mark.
    • Rule of cool, or it wasn't an actual diamond, but something tougher than the glass shaped like a traditional diamond.
    • Armoured glass is most sensitive to one thing: extreme pressure applied at extremely small area. The diamond is cut into a small point, and applying a strong blow at it would have been quite likely to shatter the glass. Mind you, the diamond would most likely have shattered, as well.
  • I'm most definitely missing something completely obvious here, but how was Sherlock able to track the kids to the factory based on finding the residue of chalk, brick dust, asphalt, vegetation, and chocolate on the footprint? Wasn't the footprint from at the school, before the kids were taken, and therefore they'd never have been at the sweet factory by that point?
    • It was the kidnapper's footprint, not the child's. Presumably Sherlock deducted that the kidnapper had already been to the factory to sus it out.
    • Also, the whole thing was more than likely set up in such a way that provides Sherlock with all the clues, yet to a layman looks suspiciously like Sherlock is making it up all along. Don't forget Moriarty is just as meticulous as Sherlock.
  • Have none of these offensively stupid police officers heard of interrogation? "Okay, setting aside Donovan and Anderson's rampant bias against the suspect and harassment of civilians, Mister Holmes, we've cleared your alibi with Mister Watson, your landlady, and your extremely influential brother, you're free to go. Donovan, you're fired."
    • It's a truly glaring and bizarre omission that nobody, not even Lestrade, bothers to ask Sherlock where he was the night of the kidnapping. And that John, who's so sure Sherlock is innocent, never vouches for where he was (even if he had to lie to do it. Which he totally would.) Sherlock never bothers to protest his innocence either, which doesn't help, though he no doubt has an idea that Jim may have arranged matters so that the more he protested, the more guilty he looked.
      • Considering that John and Mrs. Hudson are two of the people who care most about him, an alibi from them would likely have been less than convincing and might even have caused the suspicion to fall on John as well. There's also the possibility that Sherlock really didn't have an alibi - he keeps odd hours, often not sleeping at night, sometimes runs off on investigations of his own, and is presumably left alone for hours on end while John works at a clinic (assuming he still has that job). That aside, I assume they would have asked him if he had an alibi - that would've been part of being brought in for questioning.
        • John's job is as Sherlock's PA, basically. There's no evidence of him working in medicine past The Blind Banker. Sherlock wasn't just "brought in for questioning"- he was arrested in a dramatic scene with cuffs and sirens blazing and half of Scotland Yard showing up at his flat. There is no way that the police would do that, only to have him prove once they'd gotten him down the police station that if they'd bothered to ask, he had a watertight alibi of some kind or could otherwise make them look like idiots (and possibly sue them for false arrest) by proving he couldn't possibly have done it. As it is, they arrested a guy for kidnapping without even checking where he was the night it happened- a standard, basic police procedure. (Incidentally, since John works alongside Sherlock, it's quite the wonder that suspicion didn't fall on John.)
    • Besides, does anyone on this very page really believe that Sherlock Holmes wouldn't have an alibi if he was committing a crime? He's Sherlock Holmes. He's memorized 243 different kind of tobacco ash, there's no way he would be unable to fabricate evidence supporting his innocence.
  • So the code was a hoax. Problem is, it wasn't just Sherlock who knew about it, whomever Mycroft is working for was just as desperate about it ... and nowhere along the line was there someone reasonably tech savy to tell them that they were obviously being screwed with?
    • There's much about The Reichenbach Fall that will probably be explained in season 3. This valid point is never properly addressed in the episode, but it's been conjectured that neither Sherlock, nor Mycroft, nor any of Mycroft's co-workers, genuinely believed in the code, but made Moriarty think they did as a way of taking him down. We'll see next season, no doubt.
    • The entire point of the triple break-in at the beginning of the episode and the sensational trial that followed was to prove to Moriarty's buyers that he actually had the code. Sure, it seems impossible (and it is) but computers do essentially run on logic, and this is Moriarty. If anyone could find a logical flaw in every computer system ever and exploit it, Moriarty could. I don't think that any of his buyers stopped to consider that if Moriarty is this smart, then he's smart enough to pull off a triple break-in without a computer code. They simply looked at the demonstration and said, "there's no way that one guy could have done this on his own, unless he actually has a universal key."
  • So at the end of Hound we saw Mycroft's people release Moriarty, and in Reichenbach we find out that they picked up him in order to interrogate him, and actually tortured him as part of the interrogation, only getting something out of him when Mycroft gave him some details about Sherlock's life story. My question is: WHY would Mycroft release Moriarty after having tortured him? That doesn't seem like standard procedure. At all. Wouldn't he just make him disappear?
    • Perhaps in the hope of later being able to obtain Moriarty's code as long as he was out there? Since Moriarty wouldn't give it to them in interrogation.
  • Perhaps more of You Fail Law Forever, but the fact that the prosecutor has apparently never interviewed Sherlock before getting him on the stand. Whatever happened to "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to"?
    • Not to mention the prosecutor asking Sherlock a leading question, something so audaciously stupid that Sherlock even points it out to her that it'll be objected to and the judge will uphold it. This is the sort of basic rule of questioning that people can pick up by watching various crime shows on television (not exactly known for realistic depictions of court cases) or from, in this troper's case, high school legal studies. And this is the prosecutor for the "Trial of the Century" at the Old Bailey? Good grief. No wonder Sherlock couldn't hold back his contempt for her.
      • Moriarty was also blackmailing the prosecution, perhaps?
  • On the above note, Sherlock says this at the trial:

 Sherlock: Five minutes in total. I pulled a gun, he tried to blow me up.

    • Did the star witness just admit to pulling a gun on someone in the witness stand? And nobody- not a soul- bothers to say anything about this incident... at all... and just continue to allow Sherlock to be a smartass about the jury as if nothing unusual had just come to light? Even the judge totally ignores the remark. You'd think that even if Moriarty isn't raising any defence he and his legal team would love to discredit and humiliate the high-functioning sociopath for the prosecution.
  • Knock on wood, I've yet to have jury duty, but when it comes to big cases like Jim's trial, aren't the jurors specifically banned from watching the news, reading newspapers, and listening to the radio? If that were true, wouldn't they be deposited in hotel rooms without T Vs, radios, etc.? Unless they were locked in, which I think would be illegal, that wouldn't stop them from going somewhere else to listen to music, watch their favourite shows, etc., but it would put a damper on the using personalised T Vs to intimidate them.
    • My understanding of it is that the T Vs in the hotel rooms weren't linked to outside stations but had access to internal movies and things like that.
  • Why does Sherlock refuse to come down to the station when Lestrade asks him to? He says that Moriarty wants a photograph of him being taken in for questioning and he won't play that game. But surely he knew, or at least suspected, that the police were going to arrest him if he didn't go willingly. Why would he prefer being handcuffed up against a police car in full view of the whole street to going with Lestrade as a free man? Sherlock often helps the police, so a photograph of him getting into a police car with Lestrade under his own power could simply mean he was helping them again, not being questioned over his own involvement. Half the Met showing up and dragging him out the door in handcuffs, on the other hand...
  • If Mycroft (A) knows that Moriarty is faking the evidence against Sherlock and (B) is so high up in the government, why doesn't he just say, "Chief Super, you've been fooled. Let Sherlock go."
    • No time? Sherlock and John never made it into the police car, much less to Scotland Yard. Mycroft just didn't have time to hear about it and get the message to the Superintendent. He's not completely omnipotent, after all... it took his people twenty-three minutes to tell him his ID was being used by someone else.


Other

  • The supplementary online material for the show is great. However, it causes some headscratchers indeed. According to John's blog, the Christmas New/Year sequence in the series was for the Christmas/New Year of 2011/2012. Making pretty much everything mentioned after Irene receives Sherlock's New Year's text stuff that, as of the time the show aired and the time of writing, can't have happened yet. Yep. This version of Sherlock Holmes is so progressive and modern, much of it takes place in the future. It will be interesting to see when in-universe "The Hounds of Baskerville" is meant to take place, and where exactly chronologically Sherlock's little jaunt to Pakistan is meant to have happened.
    • Evidently the BBC writers noticed this also, as they have now taken the year stamps off the entries. It seems that when the blog was created nobody expected that one episode would span nearly a year.
  • Where was Sherlock living before A Study in Pink? With Mycroft?
    • His website indicates he had a flat in Montague Street, and left shortly before the events of A Study in Pink following a "disagreement with the landlord" (read: got kicked out.)
  • John had a limp in A Study In Pink but after the episode it's fine. What happened to it?
    • If you watch A Study in Pink you discover his limp was psychosomatic, which means that the pain was real, but it was not related to any outside injury and was a symptom of his PTSD. He also had an intermittent tremor in his left hand which was much the same thing. Mycroft implies that both were related to frustration and boredom. When his life gains a new purpose in solving crimes with Sherlock, he loses the physical symptoms of the limp and the tremor. This was all very clearly set out in the actual episode...
  • This is more a question aimed towards the fandom but what in canon points towards the pairing of Mycroft/Lestrade when the two have barely met?
    • Nothing. Nothing at all. There is some mention in Hounds about Lestrade being sent there by Mycroft to keep an eye on Sherlock, but that's the only sign these two even know the other exists. However, the fandom is rather shipping-happy, they are both attractive man around the same age and their dynamic could mimic Sherlock and John, only as professionals.
    • This is, IMO, a fandom-based Pair the Spares occurrence. Consider the four most shipped people in the fandom: Sherlock, John, Mycroft, and Lestrade. Of all the possible pairings here (and, indeed, all of them are at least a little popular) Sherlock/John is by far the most popular. Thus, the Sherlock/John shippers can just ship Lestrade and Mycroft to get them out of the way, in addition to all the people who are primarily Mystrade shippers anyway.
    • Well, from the perspective of someone who writes slashfanfic herself: The fact that Sherlock/John is such an obvious pairing with virtually all of the series devoted to their Heterosexual Life Partners status/bromance actually makes it less attractive for someone who likes to build up a relationship first in a long drawn out Will They or Won't They? fic. When it comes to Sherlock/John, pretty much all you can do with their relationship is to add sex (and maybe some kind of conflict or unrelated plot) and that is done excessively by a huge part of the fandom. To come up with something new is nigh impossible. In that case, Mycroft/Lestrade is an easy way out of the dilemma. The fact they haven't even met yet is part of the appeal. No one knows how the pairing could work out, all we know is that they are two rather handsome men (one living a very lonely life by default, the other recently divorced) of roughly the same age who are implied to know each other. For a slashfan, this is more than enough to make it work.
  • A couple times on John's blog, Sherlock tells John to "fetch my revolver". Sherlock owns a revolver? Why haven't we ever seen it? Why does he always use John's gun?
    • It's a running punchline, so it's possible he doesn't own a revolver, and it's just witty shorthand for "that comment was awful, you deserve to be shot." If he does own a revolver, there's no guarantee that it's functional- knowing the crazy things Sherlock owns, it's possible it's a 200 year old display relic that wouldn't be able to actually shoot anything. And although the blogs are technically canon, it's worth noting that there is no depiction or mention of a revolver anywhere in the actual show... which hints at it being more a punchline than a plot point.
  • OK, let me be the one to ask the stupid question: Is Rupert Graves good at football and does he have five children? Or was Benedict just making up random nonsense so there wasn't dear air on the commentary?
    • Benedict was making it up!

Notes

  1. As a fussy little aside, I will throw in that I *do* think the writers seem to have a certain, sustained interest in Sherlock's relationship with money and class, and that the ambiguity seems more intentional than the result of indifference to the topic. But this too is speculation.
  2. The emphasis on Sherlock's helplessness is fascinating, but the drug use and shooting at walls and indifference to food and sleep are all directly from the source material; IMO, throwing out Book!Sherlock's ability to support himself financially on the grounds that those other traits are the traits of a crazy person moves into a place that's substantially more critical of the Holmes mythos than Moffat and Gatiss seem to be. Also, the idea that Holmes is emotionally dependent on Watson isn't new, but that's traditionally tempered by our knowledge that Holmes associates with Watson voluntarily, and their relationship is mutually beneficial; you move in a different direction if Holmes is just surviving off his brother's charity without wanting or knowing about it, which strikes me as very deconstructiony.)
  3. (incidentally, although I realise it's habit with some people, John is never addressed as "Watson" by any character in-universe)
  4. (thank you for the DNA/fingerprint samples, Jim?)
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