(Original post at Cultbox)
Last week’s episode of Sherlock left viewers on a huge cliff-hanger with John at the mercy of Sherlock’s long-lost sister, Eurus.
Fans have some burning questions that we hope to see answered in Sunday night’s Season 4 finale, ‘The Final Problem’…
Where has Eurus been?
The big reveal of ‘The Lying Detective’ was Eurus Holmes, whose arrival has been foreshadowed since Season 3, when Mycroft ominously spoke of his lack of fraternal affection after “what happened to the other one.”
Mycroft appears to know more about Eurus than Sherlock, who has never spoken of his sister, and was unable to recognise her when disguised as Faith. Perhaps Sherlock was too young to remember his sister before she was separated from him, or he has repressed the memory of her. Whatever happens in ‘The Final Problem’, we should expect to learn a little more about why Eurus was isolated from the rest of the Holmes family.
The sinister nature of Eurus is rooted in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original works – Eurus was the Greek god of the east wind, which in ‘His Last Bow’ was used to symbolise the approach of World War 1. In the third season finale, Sherlock tells John that the east wind was part of a story Mycroft told him as a child, about a “terrifying force that lays waste to all in its path.”
Why would Mycroft try to instil a fear of Eurus, the east wind, in Sherlock? Alternatively, did Eurus have a different name at first, and did she rename herself after the villainous east wind from Mycroft’s stories?
Who or what is Sherrinford?
Sherrinford was one of three words teased by the Sherlock team at San Diego Comic Con last year, and was introduced in William S. Baring-Gould’s fictional biography of Holmes as the name of Sherlock and Mycroft’s older brother. Now Eurus has arrived, it’s certainly possible that Sherrinford and Eurus are connected – but how?
Is Sherrinford another name for Eurus? It could be a code name, but it’s also worth mentioning that of the three words revealed at Comic Con (Thatcher, Smith, Sherrinford) the first two were both surnames. Alternatively, Mycroft’s insistence that “Sherrinford is secure” could suggest that Sherrinford is in fact a prison or institution in which Eurus (or someone else) was confined.
Mycroft’s reminder to “call Sherrinford” also occurs on Sherlock’s birthday, suggesting that Sherrinford (or a person confined there) is Sherlock’s twin. It would be a classic Sherlock twist if, after copious reminders that “it’s never twins”, Sherlock had a twin himself.
Speaking of reading too much into throwaway lines, could there also be significance behind Sherlock’s line last week, “Why do people always stop counting at three?”
Could there, in fact, be a total of four Holmes siblings?
What’s happened to Moriarty?
The one-off Christmas special was an entire episode dedicated to proving Moriarty was almost certainly dead. It seems unlikely that Moffat and Gatiss would try and pull another Reichenbach on us now, so the sight of a man who looked suspiciously like Moriarty in one of this season’s trailers suggests that Andrew Scott will be appearing in a flashback or a fantasy sequence.
Eurus was put in touch with Culverton Smith via “a mutual friend”, which many viewers believe to be Moriarty. This and the “miss me?” note appear to connect Eurus to whatever Moriarty may or may not have planned for Sherlock. It could be, as Sherlock initially suspected, that Moriarty set out a posthumous plan for Sherlock in case he died, which Eurus is now a part of.
Alternatively, Eurus may have been behind Moriarty’s message, manipulating the image to draw Sherlock into her own game.
What happened to Redbeard?
In ‘The Lying Detective’, Sherlock had flashbacks to two children playing on the beach with a dog, who we can safely assume is Sherlock’s childhood pet Redbeard. Charles Augustus Magnussen identified Redbeard as one of Sherlock’s pressure points, suggesting that the dog is tied to a significant and/or traumatic moment in his life.
The flashbacks and the memory Sherlock seems to have repressed could be linked to Eurus. In ‘The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire’, one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories, a boy attempts to kill his younger sibling and practises by poisoning the family dog. Could the Sherlock team have transliterated this story and made it part of Sherlock’s past?
The shots of the beach in the promo for ‘The Final Problem’ may also be the same beach that’s seen in Sherlock’s flashbacks. It seems appropriate that a case involving the long-lost Holmes sister would transport Sherlock back to his childhood, with violent consequences.
Who will make it out alive?
A shot of Mycroft outside a burning house was a key image from Sherlock’s trailers that hasn’t yet appeared in the new season. Quite where this house is, and why it is burning, is at this point unclear.
The burning house doesn’t appear to be the Holmes residence that we saw in Season 3, though Sherlock’s parents could have moved since their children grew up. It’s a spooky, isolated building that could easily have its secrets- could this building be significant to Sherlock and/or Eurus?
The menu on Mycroft’s fridge in ‘The Six Thatchers’ was for a Chinese restaurant in “Reigate Square”, a name taken from Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Reigate Squire’. In the story, Watson escorts Holmes to a house in the country to recover after burning out, a situation that parallels Sherlock’s current recovery. Though it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it clue, the Chinese menu could be a sly hint from the props department about the change of location in the next episode.
‘The Final Problem’ could well be the last ever episode of Sherlock, considering the busy schedules of its stars. If that turns out to be the case, then no character is safe. Other promo shots that are yet to be seen in the show include John waist deep in water at the bottom of a well, and the duo leaping from an explosion.
Will all our favourite characters escape unharmed?