Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson) from Sherlock. Image from MASTERPIECE on PBS

Sherlock: The Six Thatchers Review

Last Week in “The Six Thatchers” on Sherlock

After being called back from his exile to deal with Moriarty’s return, nothing happened. The video played. Moriarty didn’t return. Sherlock was puzzled, so he solved puzzles until this puzzle could be puzzled out. Sherlock binged cases like we binge Netflix, while John and Mary realized the joy of having a baby. Yeah. It’s awesome. Sherlock picked up a trail of broken Margaret Thatcher busts possibly linked to Moriarty. They weren’t. When the last bust was busted, the A.G.R.A. USB resurfaced. Mary’s past came back to bite her in the ass or at least try to kill her.

The USB she gave John with her entire background and history wasn’t the only copy. Each member of her assassin team had one and those letters? The first initial of each member. One of her team members had survived the mission that led to her retirement and wanted his revenge. Mary did what assassins do best and disappeared. Or so she thought, Sherlock quickly tracked her down with a tracker on the USB. These events all finally led to the person who had betrayed Mary’s team and sabotaged her mission. Sherlock confronted this evil old secretary with Mary and John by his side. Then he did what Sherlock does best and ignored Mary while he proved how smart he is with everything. He provoked the evil old lady until she predictably did something unpredictable and shot her weapon. Then bad things happened. Very bad things.

My Unhappy, but Not Entirely Surprised Thoughts

Miss Me? Image from Sherlock on Facebook.

Miss Me? Image from Sherlock on Facebook.


Much to the chagrin of many a Moriarty fan, he did not make a triumphant return in “The Six Thatchers.” In fact, it looks as though he may not be returning for a while (maybe). *insert Moriarty’s mock sad face here* I’ll admit, Moriarty is a fun character, and I enjoy Andrew Scott’s portrayal. It’ll be fun seeing him return, but “The Six Thatchers” was not set for him, yet. Moving on, Sherlock (the series not the character) has played around quite a bit with John’s wife. Of course, in the books, she dies soon after their marriage before any children come into the picture. Then John ends up moving back in with Sherlock after her death.

Sherlock took a different stance with Mary. Instead of making her a mere background character who happened to marry John. The show made her a strong, fun character who encouraged and accepted John’s relationship with Sherlock. They made her a rare person that Sherlock respected. She was a genius, a capable assassin, and entertaining. I’ve enjoyed her part on the show and Amanda Abbington’s portrayal of the character ever since her introduction. That said, I’ve also been wondering when or if they’d follow that little bit in the Arthur Conan Doyle series and end Mary’s life.

I began to have my doubts that they would kill off Mary when they developed the character so well and then added in a pregnancy. It’d be one thing to leave John on his own, depressed over his loss. It’s another thing to introduce a great character like Mary, place her in a more active role, only to kill her off. While she may have died in the stories, was it necessary to stick to that part of it after developing the character so much? Adding to that is John’s response to her death. He was probably feeling a bit guilty over his affair, which didn’t help, but he immediately blamed Sherlock for her death. By the end of the episode, not only has the show lost the fun, dynamic female character, it’s left John to raise his daughter alone and angry enough at Sherlock to shut him out.

Sherlock and Watson Moving to Splitsville?

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson) from Sherlock. Image from MASTERPIECE on PBS

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (Watson) from Sherlock. Image from MASTERPIECE on PBS

My favorite part of the show has always been Sherlock and Watson’s companionship. I can’t stand seeing these two fight or split for any reason, and this one seems hard to fix, if at all possible. Of course, there are some things at play here. Anger and blame are common reactions to shocking deaths like that. Not to mention John’s little tryst with the woman from the bus probably has John beating himself up quite a bit.

Given some time, John could come around and seek solace in his former companion and friend, placing blame where it belongs. Mary’s death could also have a very humbling effect on the rather large ego Sherlock carries with him. By the end of “The Six Thatchers,” Sherlock was speaking to a therapist, after all. Then again, it is Sherlock The therapist could just be part of another case. Plus, he knows his friend well enough to find a way back into John’s life. He no doubt figured out John’s affair a while ago and attributes John’s anger, at least in part, to that.

She Can’t Really Be Dead, Can She?

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Martin Freeman (Watson), and Amanda Abbington (Mary) from Sherlock. Image from MASTERPIECE on PBS

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Martin Freeman (Watson), and Amanda Abbington (Mary) from Sherlock. Image from MASTERPIECE on PBS

Mary’s death could also be a ruse. Faking someone’s death wouldn’t be the first time for the show. Sherlock did it, why not Mary? Okay, that would be a bit old hat. I may just have some wishful thinking here. Maybe Mary realized the only way she could keep her family safe was by dying. So she set it up with John or Sherlock or both. Or maybe even neither one. Who knows? But it’s not entirely crazy to think that Mary faked this death to protect her family or draw someone else out of the woodwork. Okay, let’s face it. That theory really is completely insane. As I said, wishful thinking. I really did like Mary and will miss her sass on the show.

Either way, faked death or real, “The Lying Detective” must deal with the repercussions of losing Mary. There is going to be anger and blame for both Sherlock and Watson over this loss.  Not to mention an evil man to contend with on top of it. Season 4 will surely be a darker season, if for Mary’s death alone.

“The Lying Detective” airs Sunday, January 8th, 2017 at 9/8c.

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