BBC’s Sherlock Series 4 Episode 1: The Six Thatchers Recap and Review

Unless you count ‘The Abominable Bride’, it has been 3 years since the last series of Sherlock and this episode picks up right where the last episode left off.

Sherlock has been taken from the plane and into a government building where the tech people have done some quick work and altered the footage of Sherlock killing Magnussen, making it look like it was the work of a sniper. Throughout this scene, Sherlock seems a little bit hyperactive and is more interested in both the ginger nuts and tweeting rather than the fact he is being exonerated for murder. After striking up a conversation with an elderly secretary, Sherlock is informed that his exoneration is under the condition that he finds out what Moriarty is up to. The leading theory is that Moriarty is in fact dead but he must have conjured up something before he died and only now is it being set into motion.

Sherlock, John and a heavily pregnant Mary go back to Baker Street and over the passing weeks, Sherlock solves a number of cases at an alarming rate, often solving two at the same time. Watching this, I got the feeling that Sherlock is eager for Moriarty to make his move and is just keeping his mind sharp.

Sherlock is solving so many cases that he is texting away whilst Mary is giving birth, whilst he is being asked to be Godfather and during Rosamund Mary’s christening. Mrs Hudson and Molly Hooper are both her Godmothers.

Lestrade comes to Sherlock with a new case that he is having trouble with. The son of a government minister calls his parents from abroad during a gap year and the son asks his dad to go outside and take a picture of his car because his friends don’t believe that he has a power ranger attached to the front. A week later, a high speed car chase ends up with the car being blown up and the son’s body is found. The autopsy shows that he had been dead for a week before being roasted in an explosion. This tickles Sherlock’s interest and he goes to see the parents.

Whilst at the house, Sherlock takes an interest in the small shrine that the father has erected to Margaret Thatcher who was the father’s inspiration for going into politics. The parents want answers about their son but Sherlock has already figured it out. The call was prerecorded and the son was hiding underneath a fake seat in his car in order to surprise his father for his birthday. When he got underneath the fake seat, he suffered a seizure and died. When the car was blown up, the fake seat burnt away and his body was uncovered. But before this tragic revelation, Sherlock learns that a plaster bust of Margaret Thatcher was broken supposedly by some vandals. Sherlock’s curiosity is
tickled one again.

Sherlock gains the purchase records for the six Thatcher busts that are in the country. He gets a call from Lestrade, another has been broken and this time the owner was murdered.

Sherlock goes to the last address on the list and finds the man who was breaking the Thatcher statures. They have a big old bust up and end up in a swimming pool at one point. Sherlock gets the upper hand and smashes the statue. Inside, he finds the same A.G.R.A. memory stick that Mary gave to John in ‘His Last Vow’. Obviously it’s not the same one because John threw it on a fire but it is what this guy was looking for. The guy manages to escape.

Mary is invited to a secret location by Sherlock and questioned about the stick. Mary tells the story of A.G.R.A. Instead on it being her name like she had told them, it is the first initial of every member of her old team. Alex, Gabriel, Mary’s real name and Ajay. She and her team were sent in to sort out a hostage situation but something went wrong and everyone but Mary were either killed or captured then killed. But now we know that Ajay is alive and is not only looking for Mary, but wants to kill her because he thinks that Mary betrayed them. Mary denies this and Sherlock believes her. Now that she knows that she is a wanted woman, She drugs Sherlock and makes her escape. She leaves a note for John, telling him that she has to leave and all the other cliches.

In an undisclosed amount of time, Mary travels seemingly all over the fucking world. She chooses her next destination by rolling a dice and chooses her next identity accordingly, knowing that not even Sherlock Holmes can anticipate the random roll of a dice. However, when she shows up in Morocco, Sherlock and John are waiting for her. Turns out, John had planted a tracking device in the memory stick and they have been following her. John figures out that Mary’s real name is Rosamund Mary. Given that her initial was R and she named her baby Rosamund, that was not a huge leap. Mary is in the process of apologising
profusely when Ajay shows up with all guns blazing. During the confrontation, Ajay recalls the time that he was captured and tortured. He was told that he was betrayed by the ‘British woman’. Those dudes tortured him, not because they wanted something from him but because they enjoyed it. Then he is gunned down by the police.

On the plane back to London, John has a little flashback. When he is riding the bus, he gets a smile from a red headed woman. She talks to him and gives him her number, signing her name as ‘E’. John doesn’t mention that he is married with a baby. He thinks for a minute about binning her number but instead, pockets it. Later that night, he puts her number into his phone and begins a conversation. They text each other a number of times. Nothing sexy but it is certainly suggestive. He tells ‘E’ that he cannot meet her.

The night they get back to their home, John is about to tell Mary about ‘something’ when she gets a text from Sherlock telling her to come to the aquarium. She leaves for the aquarium whilst John waits for someone to come and babysit Rosamund.

At the aquarium, Sherlock has figured out who it was that betrayed A.G.R.A. It was Mrs Norbury who was also the secretary that Sherlock chatted to at the end. Mrs Norbury starts to tell the story of a merchant in Baghdad, a story which Sherlock hates. She always thought that she was like the merchant and could outrun the inevitable. Mary shows up and Sherlock introduces them. A.G.R.A. were her personal assassination unit and she was selling secrets. But an ambassador found out and was taken hostage. A.G.R.A. were sent in so Norbury sent a message to the terrorists to eliminate all the variables. There was nothing linking Norbury so she got away. She begs to be let go but Mary goes for her, Norbury produces a gun. Sherlock goes off on one, accusing Norbury of being jealous of the field agents and never seeing any action. She was just a secretary. He goes further into her life, mentioning her deceased husband and her drinking habit. As Sherlock keeps on digging someones grave, Mary tells him to stop but he keeps going. Mycroft, Lestrade and three police officers show up, called by John. Seeing that there is no way out, Norbury raises the gun. She proves that she can still surprise and pulls the trigger. The bullet speeds towards Sherlock but Mary jumps in the way. She hits the ground as the bullet hits her square in the chest. Mycroft goes to call an ambulance as John arrives and comforts his dying wife. Mary apologises to Sherlock for shooting him and tells him that they are even. She then turns to John and tells him to look after Rosamund and above all, she thanks him for giving her the only life worth living … a life as Mary Watson. She slumps down, dead. John is utterly devastated and immediately turns on Sherlock.

Back at Baker Street, Sherlock asks Mrs Hudson to say the word ‘Norbury’ if ever she thinks that Sherlock is getting a bit cocky. He sees a package on his desk. It contains a disc that is labelled ‘Miss Me?’. He plays the disc and it’s Mary. A prerecorded message that gives Sherlock one more mission for her. She wants Sherlock to ‘save John Watson’. But John doesn’t want Sherlock anywhere near him.

This episode is definitely a brilliant one to start off the series with some interesting twists that I can’t wait to see develop. I can guarantee that this episode will contain some elements as to how the series will end. Sherlock’s voice overs about death could possibly be one. I wonder if the writers would be as bold at to have Sherlock actually die at the end of the series. That would definitely seal the lid on the whole thing. Clearly, John hates Sherlock for what happened to Mary despite the fact that she saved his life. I’m thinking about where this ‘E’ fits in. She has to come back otherwise it’s pointless her being there. She might be a creepy stalker as John isn’t exactly a ‘nobody’. She has to be someone weird because she signed her name as ‘E’ and not her actual name. Who does that? Weird people, that’s who.

I don’t know if anyone else noticed but there were a lot of cliches running through the last portion of the episode. When Mary is dying, she asks John to look after Rosamund. I wonder why she would have thought that he wouldn’t look after his own daughter. And who can forget the ‘If you are watching this then I am dead’ prerecorded message which is as old as the hills. It had to be that or a letter. I also wonder why she sent one to Sherlock and not one to say… her husband and daughter. She might have done and it’s in the next episode but I haven’t seen it and glancing at the time on my computer, anyone reading this will have seen the next episode by now. ‘Save John Watson’ was a bit cryptic. One would assume that ‘saving’ him would mean she wants Sherlock to look after John but I think it’s something deeper and will fit in either in the next episode or the last. I’m betting on the last. I maybe wrong. At the end of the credits, the last four words of Mary’s video message are revealed. ‘Go to hell, Sherlock’. She says it like she means it aswell. Anything about the final episode is merely speculation at this point and we will have to wait another week to find out how this amazing show is going to end.

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