The wait is over. Sherlock is back with a new season, and off to a flying start.
Season 4, Episode 1: The Six Thatchers, begins with Sherlock, well, being exceptionally high. Makes perfect sense, after the events of The Abominable Bride…
Back at Baker Street–his name now cleared thanks to big brother Mycroft and some altered security footage–Sherlock is anxious to take on as many cases as possible.
An even bigger adventure awaits him and John when Mary goes into labour. She gives birth to her and John’s daughter, Rosamund, and makes Molly, Mrs. Hudson, and Sherlock the godparents. Luckiest kid in the world, or what?
The episode proceeds to outline a new case, involving the vandalism of several Margaret Thatcher busts. Ultimately, a connection is made to none other than Mary Watson, and her mysterious past: a former friend (if that’s what you call a partner in trained-assassin crime?) set on killing her for supposedly betraying him in their last mission.
A great deal of this episode is dedicated to revealing Mary’s past, while also remaining as dark and mysterious as ever. In turn, this strengthens the unique bond/friendship between her and Sherlock, as she helps him in nearly all his cases, and as he discovers her secrets and track her down when she tries to run away to go into hiding. They encounter A.J., her comrade she believed to be dead, and realize they were both betrayed by someone, the day their team (A.G.R.A.) was destroyed on a mission.
And during all of this, both Mary and John struggle with the reality of parenting. Additionally, John seems to be flirting with a stranger he met on the bus. Not gonna lie, my initial reaction to that, was a totally not censored phrase along the lines of “Are you serious, John? You scored big time in getting Mary as a wife, and this is what you do? Don’t screw this up, buddy.”
The relationship between John and Mary, albeit somewhat dysfunctional and strained, at this point, is still something beautiful. They do seem to truly love each other, even after the revealing of Mary’s dark past.
This love is even more beautiful and truly heartbreaking, when Mary is ultimately shot by the woman who betrayed/destroyed A.G.R.A. all those years ago. On top of that? The bullet was not directed at her, but at Sherlock.
We all know that Sherlock and John have been through a lot together. But this moment has definitely changed something, if not totally damaged something, between them. How do you move on from watching your own wife die in the place of your best friend? For John, this means cutting Sherlock out of his life.
It should also be noted that Mary sends Sherlock a video message, to be viewed after she dies. “Take care of John,” it says.
It’s at this point that we all just cry. A lot.
And that, my dear Sherlockians, is just the first episode of this already impressive season. Check back next week for coverage of Episode 2. Let’s take a wild guess, and predict that there will be (gasp) even more heart-wrenching feels.