Quick to the cut....
We begin out little program with Magnussen, who is super-duper creepy and I might be spelling his name wrong, so I'll just call him Magnuts from now on. I couldn't figure out if the words he saw when he looked at people were in his mind or written on his glasses - and I didn't even realize this was a plot point. They're actually using the way they film the show against us! Brilliant.
Anyway, did I mention how super duper creepy Magnuts is? HE LICKS THAT WOMAN'S FACE! Uuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh
Let's cut to John, who is having bad dreams again :( It's interesting that his war dreams fade into dreams about Sherlock... I wonder if they're all war dreams? Personally, I think my headcanon will be that it's like me and Harry Potter - whenever I'm having a really bad dream, as soon as I reach a certain level of distress, my brain flips the "Harry Potter" switch and I start dreaming about Harry Potter instead. It's really really bizarre... it actually hasn't happened for several years, so I'm curious as to whether I've switched media or not, but I think I'll probably always call it the HP-switch, because before I got into Harry Potter, I used to just wake up from distressing dreams the way people usually wake up from nightmares.
Anyway, I've gotten super off topic. Someone's at John and Mary's door and it turns out to be a woman named Kate, who is in tears. It's interesting, because John treats her like a client from the beginning, more than that, John's the one that's being horribly insensitive. I love it.
I like John asking if she wants Sherlock Holmes, because "I haven't seen him in ages." And Mary interjects that it's only been 1 month. Again, I love that ages=1 month. Personally, I've gotten to the point where two weeks or so without speaking to my best friend feels like ages, so yeah, we've all been there.
Kate's son Isaac is into drugs and didn't come home last night, and she is much distraught.
John volunteers to go get him from the crack den. Mary objects and asks John what's gotten into him, and John actually yells "there is nothing the matter with me!" at her - and isn't that a Sherlock line?! Or am I confused? It sounded exactly like a Sherlock line.
John takes the tire iron from the trunk of the car, and I love Mary telling him "it's a tiny bit sexy." :)
Then John is the BAMFiest BAMF that ever BAMFed. I love precision fights like that one.... I love John just walking right up to the guy with the knife, and yeah, awesome. I love the line "I'm a doctor, I know how to sprain things." or whatever it was exactly.
But of course, as soon as John entered the crack-den, I thought, oh god, he's going to find Sherlock there... and I was right! Oh no! My mind immediately filled with all the sentimental stuff you see in fanfic about how Sherlock went back to drugs because John left him...and hell, actually, I think that's partially ACD canon... so it's hardly like those stories are wrong. But Sherlock insists that he's on a case.
I also love everyone piling into Mary's car and going to the hospital. Molly tests Sherlock's urine and then slaps him six ways from Sunday. (Is that a legitimate phrase? It's something my mother used to always say "six ways from Sunday", but it occurs to me that I may never have heard anyone else on earth say it.) Anyway, we also find out that Molly's engagement has fallen through... :( Okay, I'm not actually sad, because Molly/Lestrade is my OTP on this show.
Sherlock is indeed using again, which isn't good. Meanwhile, the junkie with the sprained arm starts deducing! My god, there's two of them... heheh..., his name is Bill. He deduces that John's been cycling to work, because there are creases in his shirts from where they've been packed in a backpack so he can change once he gets there.
They head back to Baker St, where Sherlock can tell from the door knocker that Mycroft is there - because it's straight, and Sherlock always puts it crooked. Mycroft is INDEED there, and Anderson and the Sherlock fanclub are picking apart the flat trying to find Sherlock's drugs.
John discovers that his chair is missing... and wow, that IS sad... because when Sherlock died John just moved out so that he wouldn't have to look at Sherlock's stuff, and yeah, John hasn't died, but Sherlock obviously couldn't bare to look at the empty chair. "It was blocking my view of the kitchen"... and then John has a funny line and I can't remember what it was, but yeah...
Mycroft is just about to go into Sherlock's closed bedroom when Sherlock tells him to stop, and we find out that Sherlock's case is good ol' Magnuts. Mycroft immediately tries to put the brakes on that case. Telling Sherlock that if he were to go against Magnuts, he'd be going against Mycroft.
Sherlock loses his temper and shoves Mycroft into a wall!! I love it! "Don't appall me when I'm high."
I love the mirror between what Mycroft says to Anderson and co. and what John says to Mycroft.
And once Mycroft leaves and Sherlock goes to wash, we discover why the bedroom door was shut. It was Janine! YAY! I liked her... only, not-yay? Because WHAT? Janine is in one of Sherlock's shirts and is obviously super familiar with everything. I love how she calls Mycroft "Myke" and Sherlock "Sherl" - awesome... mainly because I did that in one of my fanfictions, I'm not going to lie.
Janine goes to talk to Sherlock while he's in the bath and John is all O.o
It's super weird to watch Sherlock be coupley with Janine... but you can TELL that it's not genuine on Sherlock's part, and I think Janine is clever enough to tell too.... but we'll get to that.
I love Sherlock trying to explain the case to John, while John is stuck on trying to figure out why/how Sherlock suddenly has a girlfriend.
(Uh, I'm assuming you all watched the episode and know the case, but for the benefit of the one odd person who reads this without watching the show...or me, years from now, rereading this for some reason and not being able to remember the show: Magnuts is "the napoleon of blackmail" and supposedly has a vault underneath his house filled with documents that have blackmail material on everyone of influence in Britain. He also runs a newspaper.)
And that's when Magnuts arrives. He basically just ignores Sherlock, then pisses in their fireplace, while telling them that the reason he likes Britain so much is that everyone is socialized to be too polite to stand-up for themselves. He has a point. I didn't put it together when he was being super gross with Smallwood at the beginning, because women in general are socialized the most to just sit there and take whatever shit men do to them... so it didn't strike me as that odd that she just froze up instead of hitting him or doing anything else.
Personally, I think John would have done something ordinarily, but I think at this point John doesn't do things without Sherlock giving him the go-ahead....he knows that Sherlock often has multiple plans in his head, and John doesn't want to be an unpredictable component, so I think he restrains himself a lot. But, that's just my opinion...
Sherlock isn't dissuaded though, before Magnuts leaves, he pulls the Smallwood letters out of his pocket briefly, so Sherlock is excited. If he has the letter with him. Which means he's going to put it in the vault of his London flat while he's at a meeting that evening.
So, it's off for some good ol' fashioned burglary!
Sherlock, as it turns out, has been dating Janine in order to gain access to this flat - because she's Magnut's PA. He fakes a proposal at the security camera in order for her to open the door! I love it! Mainly because it's directly lifted from ACD canon where Sherlock did the exact same thing during a case, only they actually got engaged. Brilliant... and horrible, and brilliant.
When they get to the flat though, they find Janine unconscious from a blow to the head and a security guard unconscious too. As much as I know it's against the Hippocratic-oath and whatnot, I kind of love the fact that Sherlock's version of triage is to determine who deserves help based on Sherlock's opinion of whether or not they're a good person.
And then as soon as Sherlock named the perfume and John said "Mary wears it", I KNEW... they DID make Mary secretly evil! OH MAN! I was so thrilled, because if she were actually evil, I wouldn't be as sad if she died, which I was sure she was going to do in this episode...
And then she SHOT SHERLOCK! OOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mmmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn!
I LOVE the sequence of Sherlock being shot and his brain basically going into S.O.S. mode. Molly, Anderson, and Mycroft are in his brain to help him figure out the best way to fall, how to survive shock... Mycroft tells him to think of something comforting, and he thinks of Redbeard! Who turns out to be a dog, that apparently had to be put down.... I'm going to go ahead and assume that Sherlock didn't take that well as a child, seeing as how it's still a touchy subject for him.
When the pain hits, Sherlock goes into a padded room in his mind to find Moriarty to ask him how he was always able to ignore pain... and Moriarty tells him that there's no way to not feel pain, but you have to not fear it.
Meanwhile, Sherlock is in the hospital and dying... and he flatlines, but then Moriarty remind him that John is in danger, and Sherlock claws his way back to the living. Which, was nice, because I was starting to distress a bit that John wasn't showing up in the mind palace. But then it occurred to me that Sherlock uses Molly and Anderson as repositories for knowledge, Mycroft as a..., well, kind of a logic/deduction coach? Moriarty is, of course, a repository for slightly sociopathic-skills. But John is actually Sherlock's reason to live and that's a far more important job.
While Sherlock is still mostly out of it, Mary comes by to tell him not to tell John about her.
We next see Sherlock talking with Janine, who has sold her story to every paper that Magnuts doesn't own, about how Sherlock used her and it's her revenge... she's made a ton of money off him. I love her. Basically, she was using him for tabloid fodder while he was using her... personally, I think she knew from the get-go that he was using her, because, as she points out, she KNOWS how he is. The lovey-dovey routine would obviously be an act. So, her bitterness isn't about the fact that he used her, it's about the fact that he LIED to her - because he could have just told her the truth. And man, I love Janine, because that's my number one rule in my relationships - you can basically do whatever the hell you want, but you're not allowed to lie to me about it. I can't stand being lied to.
Janine is also awesome because she's bought a cottage on Sussex downs. It came with a whole bunch of bee hives, but she's going to take those down... and then she parts by saying that they could have been friends! AND CAN YOU MAKE-UP AND BE FRIENDS AGAIN?! BECAUSE YOU JUST BOUGHT SHERLOCK'S RETIREMENT HOME!!
Oh, before she leaves, we also find out that Sherlock never slept with her, much to her disappointment. So, I guess those who prefer to think of Sherlock as asexual will rejoice in knowing that he wasn't even lying back and thinking of England... and those who get upset about people sleeping together under false pretenses can't get upset either... but then, everyone probably still will get upset, because that's what people do.
Sherlock then disappears from the hospital when Lestrade comes to get his statement. Then it's an investigation about where his "boltholes" are... bolthole is actually a word that I had never heard before. Anyway, off topic...,
While everyone is off searching for Sherlock, John goes to Baker St and John ACTUALLY SOLVES A PUZZLE. He knows Sherlock was shot in the chest and saw the shooter, yet Sherlock didn't name them as soon as he woke up - which means he's protecting someone....Sherlock has put John's chair back in the living room, "why does Sherlock think I'll be moving back in?" There's a bottle of the perfume on the table by the chair... and yeah, Sherlock has left John a message and John recognizes it... and then takes off for Leicester Gardens, because John possibly knew the whole time where Sherlock was? I'm not actually sure how he knows to go to Leicester or why he didn't mention it... but nevertheless, he does...actually, maybe all he had to do was walk outside and ask the nearest homeless person and tell them he got the message in the flat... anyway, we don't know this last bit yet...
Mary meanwhile, has found Leicester as well, and giving money to the homeless guy on the corner has her receiving a cellphone in exchange, because that man is Bill! Yay! I love that when Mary comments about him working for Sherlock now, Bill says, "keeps me off the streets..." and Mary's like "well, no." Hahaha
Then the showdown between Sherlock and Mary... and it's basically the empty house - sort of. Sherlock's seems to have put a dummy in the a chair in the shadows at the end of the hall. Mary tries to get him not to tell John that she's not really Mary Morstan... because Mary Morstan was a still born baby and "Mary" just usurped her identity. Sherlock asks for a demonstration of her skills, and Mary threatens to shoot him right then...but Sherlock knows she won't, because she didn't fire a kill shot the last time and she's obviously been trained well and knows what she's doing. She shot Sherlock in a place that would give him a chance at survival and then called an ambulance for him.
She demonstrates her skills on a coin instead, and Sherlock steps out into the hallway behind her to take a look at it. Mary begs him not to tell John, because she doesn't want to break John's heart - she doesn't want John to hate her.
But Sherlock didn't have a dummy at the end of the hall. He had John Watson.... and John Watson is mad.
Then we flash forward to Christmas! They're at the Holmes' for Christmas, and it's wonderful!! Mycroft gets called "Mykey" which is TOTALLY WHAT I HAD HIS FAMILY CALL HIM IN MY FIC. *Ahem* Sorry.... but we get more Holmes parents!!! And therefore more Cumberbatch parents!! And they are wonderful! We find out that M.L. Holmes (Sherlock's mother) is a mathematician and a genius, who gave up her career to have a family. Their father self-identifies as a "moron", who just happened to think that their mother was hot stuff. They're ADORABLE.
Of course, through all this flashforward, we find out that Sherlock's parents don't know who shot him, and Mary is at their house or Christmas... so it's a glimpse of how the ensuing blow-out between John and Mary is going to go. I absolutely love Mrs. Holmes saying that if she ever finds out who shot her boy, she'll be all wrathful... I love the little glimpses they give us about how the Holmes brothers didn't necessarily just spring out of nowhere.
They go back to Baker St. to have it out... and Sherlock explains to John how this happened... John loves sociopaths. His wife is lying murdering sociopath, because that's the type of person that John falls in love with. It's apparently not just Molly Hooper that has a type. John is livid. Mary wasn't supposed to be like that. Mary was supposed to be normal. I think John has been fighting and fighting against this aspect of himself for years... that he KNOWS he has a problem, and he knows he should want a quiet "normal" life - it's part of the reason he went through so many women, I think... he would try to fit himself into a life that he didn't actually like, and then he'd rebel against that or self-sabotage to get away from it. Mary was the exception, because she was able to push the right buttons on him desire-wise, and yet she had the window-dressing of the life John was supposed to want.
Anyway, John is super mad, but Sherlock is actually on Mary's side here... and he gets John to calm down in a very good way. He gets John to put aside Mary-the-Wife and focus on Mary-the-Client..... Mary-the-person-who-needs-help. He basically has John put her betrayal on the back-burner, he gets him to shelve it and work on it slowly instead of doing anything rash. Mary takes the place of a client, but gives John a USB stick with her initials A.G.R.A. that has all her information - though she warns him that he'll hate her after he read it. A.G.R.A. I think is also a canon reference? But I'm not actually that well-versed on canon, so I could be wrong.
Sherlock meanwhile, is slowly bleeding internally, and has called his own ambulance. Oh, this is actually where the whole reveal about Mary calling Sherlock's ambulance after she shot him was... whatever... you know I do these things mostly from memory right?
Cut back to Christmas, and John gives Mary back her USB... he never read it. He decided that the Mary he knows is the only one that matters, that her past is in the past and he still wants to be part of her future. He throws the USB in the fire for good measure. I half wanted Mary to be like 'I still need that!' hhaha.
Meanwhile, Sherlock and Mycroft are having a smoke outside. Mycroft asks Sherlock why he's so adamant in going after Magnuts. Sherlock tells him that it's because Magnuts "attacks people who are different." - awww... Also, it's only just occurred to me, but does Mycroft not know about Mary?! Because Sherlock, I think, started going after Magnuts because of Smallwood and the fact that he attacks people using their secrets and such, but now I think its all about John and Mary and protecting them, like he vowed he would. I mean...it's the title of the episode!
I love the little bit where Mrs. Holmes comes out of the house and says, "are you two smoking!?!" And Mycroft is like "No!" and Sherlock says, "Mycroft did it!" And it's hilarious.
Mycroft tells him that MI5 or whatever, wants Sherlock to go on a mission, but Mycroft wants him to decline it. It's apparently back in eastern Europe and Mycroft has figured out that it would lead to Sherlock's death in six months. Sherlock declines it as told, and then asks Mycroft why he didn't leap at the opportunity to be rid of him - Mycroft says that he thinks Sherlock is still needed in London, but then as he's walking away, he admits, "also your loss would break my heart." To which Sherlock chokes on smoke and says, "what the hell am I supposed to say to that?!" And I love it... I mean, despite how hard I am on Mycroft sometimes, he DOES love Sherlock.
Anyway, Sherlock has secretly drugged his entire family (and Mary) - thanks to Bill, who I forgot to mention was also invited to Christmas. He and John then take off to go see Magnuts.
We find out that Sherlock and Magnuts met while Sherlock was still in hospital - and Sherlock thought that the glasses might be computer-glasses too! But they aren't!! And that should have been our first clue that the show was using it's own visuals against us.... but I didn't clue into the twist at all.
Sherlock has bartered Mycroft against a tour of Appledoor (Magnuts' vaults)... he'll give Magnuts what he needs to take Mycroft down, and Magnuts will let him into the vaults and allow him to extract the information on Mary.
I love Sherlock walking out to wait for the helicopter and asking John if he brought his gun like he asked him to, and John saying "Why would I bring my gun to Christmas at your parent's house?!!" And Sherlock just asks, "Is it in your jacket?" and John is like "yes." Hehehe...
Oh, earlier I forgot to mention how much I loved the scene where John was frisked and the guy found the switch blade and the tire iron in his trousers. Hehehhehe
We go to Magnuts' swanky house and he lays out what had been Sherlock's plan - bring him the laptop, which has GPS...Mycroft wakes up and orders a retrieval and arrest, they find all the other documents, and arrest Magnuts, Sherlock and John aren't charged because they exposed a traitor or whatever... and everyone is happy!
Only that plan isn't going to work, as Sherlock finds out, because Magnuts doesn't have a vault - he has a mind palace. His vault is a white room with a chair, because the information is all in his head. He doesn't need proof to blackmail people, because he runs the newspapers - he can print whatever he wants, unsubstantiated, and that's enough to bring down anyone in this day and age, where even lies can destroy your reputation because no one actually waits for proof to believe something anymore (or decides to believe something despite proof to the contrary.) Mind you, Sherlock had his reputation destroyed by Moriarty in a similar way, and it may have taken two years, but he DID end up having his reputation reinstated and the lies exposed as lies.
With this reveal, however, Sherlock doesn't have his escape plan - he doesn't have his "destroy Magnuts" plan... he doesn't know what to do.
Magnuts takes advantage of this, and starts flicking John's face, giving him a big speech about how this is what he does - unless John lets him flick his face, he'll reveal what he knows about Mary... (he's already revealed that she's ex-CIA, which means that Mary is most likely actually American.) John lets him, but only because Sherlock told him too with a nod... and I think that's an important bit, because John DOES have a gun in his pocket. Mind you, John might be someone who thinks of consequences more than I do.
Mycroft arrives with a police force and tells Sherlock and John to step away from Magnuts. I kind of thought that maybe Mycroft was going to kill him? I mean, again, that's what I would have done... um, I should mention that I'm not the most lawful person on the planet. Anyway, Sherlock is thinking along the same lines as me, because he realizes that in order to protect his friends, in order to defeat Magnussen, he has to take a page out of Mary's handbook and kill him. It's the only way. By being unwilling to negotiate, Magnussen has left him no other choice... and since Magnuts only has the information in his brain and nowhere else, by destroying the brain, he destroys the information. It appears that Magnuts hasn't put any fail-safes in place to prevent this line of action either... no, "and if you kill me, an email will automatically go out to so-and-so detailing horrible-thing-you-don't-want-known", so yeah, Magnuts has really shot himself here, in my opinion.
Sherlock does indeed take the shot - he's not a hero, he's a sociopath. It's what he told John back in The Great Game (1.3) - he's not a hero. He is though, he's just JOHN'S hero. He's a hero to those he loves, and if that means being a little loose with his morality, then so be it.
Of course, this means that Sherlock is a murderer, and has to be arrested as one. Mycroft suggests an alternative to the regular punishment to a council, a council with Smallwood on it. One member accuses him of acting out of familial sentimentality, but Mycroft denies it, saying that he's not one to be sentimental about his brother and "you know what happened to the other one." WHAT?!
Sherlock gets exiled. And we get a goodbye scene between Sherlock and John... and it's awesome.
We find out that Sherlock's full name is "William Sherlock Scott Holmes" ... "just in case you were looking for baby names." - adorable!! John lets us know that they're expecting a girl.
Sherlock says that "the east wind takes us all in the end" and John has him explain - he says that it was something Mycroft used to tell him, that the east wind comes and destroys everything in its path, plucking up the unworthy... apparently Mycroft used to use it to torture Sherlock as a kid.
John asks Sherlock where he's going, and Sherlock informs him that he's being sent on a mission to Eastern Europe for six months, because Mycroft says it'll take six months, and "Mycroft is never wrong" and John asks what Sherlock will do after that, and Sherlock just smiles and says he doesn't know. And GEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.... Sherlock isn't being exiled. He's going willingly to his death, in exchange for John and Mary being able to live happily ever after....
Then Sherlock says he has something he wants to tell John, since it's the last time they'll ever speak... "Sherlock is actually a girl's name."
Hahaha, oh Sherlock. John tells him that he's not naming his kid after Sherlock. He's totally going to name that girl Shirley, I just know it.
I LIKE the fact that there are no huge sentimental words between Sherlock and John... I like the fact that they just simply part. They've said everything they've needed to say to each other between Sherlock coming back from the dead and the best man speech at John's wedding. They know where they stand. They know how much they mean to one another.
But, just as we think the episode is over, and we're like "Oh Noooooooooooooossssssssss" we cut to Lestrade in the pub, and the TV flickers and he sees something unbelievable... and then all across London (the whole country?) we see TV's flicker and then we find out that it's a message from Moriarty, a picture of him saying "did you miss me?" Calls get made, and one of them is to Sherlock on the plane... telling him that he's needed. "It's only been seven minutes?" Hahaha...
And then the plane turns around and comes back, and John tells us that Sherlock is the east wind. :)
And it's NOT A HORRIBLE CLIFFHANGER! Yay! It's a happy cliffhanger!!
Now we just have to wait two years for everything horrible to happen that I was sure was going to happen in this episode. :P
So, tell me what you thought in comments!