Also, Black Widow accomplished all of it without being a billionaire.
And without being a moody-ass shit.
And she did it without stupid devil horn ears or a mask. Because she doesn’t need one. Even if you see her face, it’ll be the last thing you ever see.
Sherlock and the Seven-Percent Solution
Quite a few people around here have been discussing the opening of His Last Vow, where John finds Sherlock strung out on drugs. Specifically, they’re asking whether this counts as a relapse and whether he was driven to it out of desperation or loneliness or rejection by John, or whether it was part of a strategy for a case. I’d like to propose a third option. It’s not a relapse in my opinion; the behavior pattern throughout the episode doesn’t seem to match someone dealing with addiction. But it’s also not the kind of trick a mentally healthy Sherlock would pull. Rather, it’s a symptom of the rather bad case of combat stress Sherlock picked up rooting out Team Moriarty.
Let’s start with Theory A, the idea that this really is a relapse. I’ve seen this a lot in fanfic and it definitely makes for good drama. Sherlock’s pretty well-established as a drug addict but one in recovery, and John is equally well-established as the person who “keeps him right” in that regard. John’s the one that cancels his date when Irene seemingly dies, after all, who searches his flat and even hounds him about giving up cigarettes. The end of The Sign of Three is as big a danger night as we’ve ever seen, and by its very nature its one John can’t help him through.
There’s also a kind of canonical precedent in the Doyle stories. Take this bit from the tail end of The Sign of the Four (so minor spoilers for that book):
Yes but how do I know that you’re dating me for my heart and not for my international criminal empire
Seeing Christopher let Sylvia dance with Potty hits me hard.
do you think sherlock goes to the rooftop of st. bart’s whenever he feels lonely and just sits there for hours, missing that time when John really wanted him in his life?
I never noticed this before, but thanks to CookiesWillCrumble for drawing attention to it!
Now what exactly is Magnussen doing on his phone? I doubt he’s checking his mail at such a crucial moment… Is it possible that he anticipated Mary would shoot Sherlock and sent out a secret message for help (since he didn’t actually pick it up to talk)?
Lastly - notice his expression when he sees Mary actually really shooting him. Now I’m not trying to defend him in any way, because he is our villain and has done enough other bad stuff…. but that expression though! Am I the only one who reads sympathy in it?
This was a truly brilliant observation. Magnussen is reaching for his phone. And Mary isn’t even paying him any attention at that moment. I like this speculation that Magnussen sent for help. He could have easily had it coded so that just a key press or something equally simple gesture would send out an alarm causing a chain of events, which could include calling the ambulance. I like this very much! (It could be that he was turning on voice recorder or something to “get the evidence”, but Mary would have realized that after incapacitating both and destroyed the phone. Ok I will stop.)
Although, I don’t read Magnussen’s expression as sympathy. It seems to be just fear. I mean if she could shoot her own friend who was also her husband’s best friend, he feared that she wouldn’t hesitate to kill him as well. That’s how it looks to me.
Yes! I didn’t have time to add a note when I first reblogged it, but I wanted to point out that this totally makes me lean toward Sherlock outright lying when he says Mary was trying to save him. CAM called the ambulance, not Mary, and Sherlock would have seen him reaching for his phone as he was shot. Sherlock wouldn’t miss a detail like that, and the writers/director wouldn’t have put it in for no reason. Right? I hope?
Why was Sherlock lying? Just to make John happy? As part of a long con against Mary? Hmmmmm…. (Also I agree that CAM is just freaked out at the bottom. He didn’t expect Mary to shoot Sherlock any more than Sherlock did.)
Oh right, Mary didn’t see but Sherlock did that Magnussen was reaching for the phone! I never could believe that he knew Mary called the ambulance. Because in the 221B confrontation, he says to John, “You didn’t find me for another five minutes.” Dear lord, how the hell would he even know that! His mind-palace!Molly tells him that he has 3 seconds of consciousness left. Are we to understand that he was conscious for five minutes after receiving a gunshot wound that would later kill him? Of course, I don’t know how gunshot wounds work (even after researching a bit about it), so maybe it’s possible to retain consciousness. In that case, why say “3 seconds of consciousness left”? Also, when John finds him, his eyes are closed. So I think he was unconscious quickly. In which case, I just don’t trust him saying that Mary called the ambulance or that John found him 5 minutes after the shooting.
Of course. We keep hoping all these are clues. We did that with Reichenbach. And eventually really few of them were resolved. So it could be that we are supposed to just suspend our disbelief and accept that yes, Sherlock saw what happened after he was shot, or that he was conscious. Which mean, speculating about why Sherlock lied makes sense only if we stick to our readings. If not… well.
Further speculation about HLV which illustrates how Mary Morstan is the Reichenbach puzzle of series 3.
OMG!! This is from my meta!! I am so happy that it’s actually out there!! (I’m cookieswillcrumble… HI!!!)
I just want to point one thing out that will cement this theory once and for all.
This shot (where CAM is reaching for the phone) was in 3 different takes of the same scene. (too lazy to add screenshots here but you can see them in this chapter)
The first was when Sherlock was actually shot by Mary.
The second was when Sherlock explained to John that Mary could have gone for a head shot.
The third was when Sherlock told John what happened, including Mary calling the ambulance. (another extra point here is that when we see Mary exit the room, in this scenario, Sherlock was not on the ground where he would have been lying dying. I wonder if this is also relevant in some way)
In all three, we see CAM reaching for the phone. This was not a continuation error. This was a deliberate film making decision. They wanted this included in the final cut. Wasn’t there a comment floating around that one of the directors said: “If you blinked then you missed it”? I wonder if this is what he meant. (I am not sure in what context that comment was made but it bugs me to this day).
Since we discussed above that Sherlock would have seen Magnussen reaching for his phone, here is the proof.
Look where Sherlock is looking and look in the mirror what Magnussen is doing. As CAM is reaching for the phone, Sherlock glances at him, and starts saying, “Whatever he’s got on you, I can help.” So not only Magnussen was reaching for his phone, Sherlock most definitely knew it.
Re the comment above that it was thought lots of things were clues for Reichenbach but weren’t: some were correct clues, though. The rubber ball, John being told to stay in one place, a person who resembled Sherlock, Molly’s involvement, all were clues that were confirmed in TEH.
Three different shots of the same gesture in a scene seals it for me, that means they wanted to be sure it would be in there and noticed, they would have ensured it was captured in every take—that the audience would eventually notice that it was probably Mags who called the police . Also, it gives that mirror something to do besides being a giant Symbol of Symbolism—we see Magnussen reaching for the phone, but so does Mary. Sherlock knows Mags called the ambulance, and Mary knows Sherlock knows. So she knows he’s lying in 221B as well when he says he tells John it was Mary who called. And he knows she knows he’s lying because he knows there was a mirror there. Oh the tangled web. So now Mary and Sherlock know that they’re both keeping this info from John. Once again a huge subterfuge to keep John in the dark. Oh, John. You wanted things to happen to you. Never live in interesting times. This isn’t just like Sherlock faking his suicide to John, this is like Sherlock and Moriarty both agreeing to not tell anyone about their faked suicides, just standing there up on the roof going “what if we just tell everyone we’re both dead?” Maybe Sheriarty Girl was right after all.
(Of course Sherlock wouldn’t have to lie about it if he hadn’t led Mary and John to the Empty House to have a huge dramatic showdown about it geez Sherl you’re such a drama queen. Ever hear of texting?)
This leads me to the thought, so Sherlock told John to stay with Mary, dismissing his own murder under the basis that while Sherlock recovered in hospital John would at least be safe with a wife who would shoot anyone who came near them. Did he think he would ever have the chance to tell John the truth, perhaps after going to Appledore to get the materials? But why bother with Appledore if he was going to tell him eventually? If he was going to get rid of the non-existent blackmail materials to protect John, Mary, and Baby…like…okay so he doesn’t want to tell the truth that Mary actually shot to kill. Why not? Why lie about it, basically? Because he knows John wouldn’t forgive her if she had? Surely Sherlock could convince him it’s somehow acceptable, if he’s convinced himself. What purpose does the lie serve, basically? If he’s forgiven Mary, thinks it’s okay that she did what she did, then why not just tell John what happened; if he hasn’t forgiven Mary/doesn’t trust her then why go to Appledore? For the sake of the baby? My head hurts.
No need to hurt your head. Mary [probably] can’t see Magnussen. The mirrors are slightly tilted. :) Apologies for the messiness. It’s hard to get everyone and everything in exactly the right position, but I think the point gets across regardless. Black for Sherlock, red for Mary, blue for Magnussen, and orange for the camera.
Here is Mary’s [approximate] view:
Note that the further he goes to the left (where his phone is), the more he’s out of her view. And here’s the camera’s view:
We get his shoulder but nothing else. Convenient, huh? I was wondering why they used a tilty mirror.
[I know it’s not all exactly right, but Magnussen is to Mary’s left. The camera is to her right. If we can only see his shoulder, she can see even less. This was just my attempt to illustrate that.]