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Sherlock Recap: A Scandal in Belgravia

Sherlock Recap: A Scandal in Belgravia

By Robert Runyon

Allow us to get you up to speed on all of the exciting, neo-Doyle-esque action during this season's (far too short) Sherlock.

For the newbies, here’s a brief introduction to our main characters. Sherlock Holmes is our hero. He’s a sociopath detective that chooses to use his incredible mind for good (that, or he just likes solving mysteries). Dr. John Watson is his trusty sidekick. Then there's Jim Moriarty. He is Sherlock's equal in every way, except in reverse. While Sherlock works as a consulting detective with the police, Moriarty works as a consulting criminal with the London criminal underground. He’s certifiably insane, and absolutely loves his work.

Caught up? Good. This season of Sherlock picked up right where the last left off, as one of the greatest season-ending cliffhangers ever. How do these two manage to avoid the bomb, get away from the guns, and escape the pool? Beyond turning invisible, it appeared they had no options.

So, what’s the way they get out? Easy. The Beegees. Well, that and S&M mistress Irene Adler. The show has played with the idea of a female foil for Holmes and Watson, but they usually don’t extend beyond Watson’s myriad girlfriends and Molly, the girl in forensics who has a crush on Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson can keep up, but she’s more of a mother to our dynamic duo than a peer. Adler, as we see later, works.

After the standoff, Holmes and Watson settle back into their old routine of solving mysteries. Watson chronicles them on his blog, titling them with clever puns based on the original Sherlock Holmes titles. “The Greek Interpreter” becomes “The Geek Interpreter” and “The Speckled Band” becomes “The Speckled Blonde.” Eventually, the blog blows up in popularity, and Holmes and Watson become (minor) celebrities. While trying to avoid the press, Holmes dons a deerstalker hat to keep his face out of the papers. And it seems likely that this entire portion of the episode was designed just to get Sherlock in that hat.

As Sherlock discovers, it’s much more difficult to work as a detective when famous. Before, he could stop by a crime scene and leave with no fuss. Now, there are reporters interested in him as well as the crime. This also could change the dynamic between Watson and Sherlock, as Watson is mainly responsible for their fame.

After a few random cases, the game is on: Irene Adler. She has pictures of herself with a young female in the royal family (Kate? Pippa? Elizabeth!? Eww). The crown wants Sherlock to get them back. After an elaborate ruse to get into Irene’s house, Irene immediately disarms Sherlock. She walks in naked. Where he can read everything about Watson, she’s a blank slate.  She’s what interests Sherlock most: someone he can’t figure out.

After some annoying Americans break up their good time, Sherlock gains the pictures and her phone for a little while. Then, she jabs him with a shot, and takes off with everything. Except the coat. She's considerate enough to return that. It's very expensive. She always wins.

Until she’s dead. With a Christmas text and the phone on the mantelpiece, she lets Sherlock know about her untimely demise, and he plunges into a depression of composing on his violin. Then, she isn’t. She reveals herself to Watson in a secret meetup at an abandoned factory. Too bad for her plan, Sherlock followed. He leaves in a huff to find Mrs. Hudson kidnapped by those annoying Americans. He dispatches them easily. This is the side of Sherlock that we didn’t see last season. He sincerely cares for his friends, despite his desire to hide it. When one of them is wronged, he will ruin whoever did it. It turns out that he’s not the cold, unfeeling robot we thought he was.

Then through Irene’s return, and a nifty code-cracking sequence, Sherlock gets to the heart of the mystery. There’s a flight to Baltimore, and Irene is working for Moriarty.  As it happens, it’s a conspiracy between the US and UK governments to get around a terrorist attack. They were to sacrifice a jet full of already dead people. Sherlock ruined everything in order to impress her. He’s in love, in his own way.

When Adler tries her victory lap with the British government, Sherlock stops her. He’s broken the code to her phone, rending her blackmail useless. He noticed her eyes dilating and her pulse quickening. She loves him. The phone's screen read “I AM _ _ _ _ LOCKED.” Our password? “I AM SHERLOCKED.” Aren’t we all?

Lines We Loved:

Watson to Sherlock: “I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking, but it’s usually subtext.”

“Hamish. John Hamish Watson. If you’re looking for baby names.”

See you next week for “The Hounds of Baskerville.” And no spoilers in the comment sections, please.

Are you watching this season's Sherlock?

Tags: tv, mysteries, sherlock holmes, sherlock

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