Unnerving Theories for Sherlock: Season 4

When I first decided to review Sherlock: The Six Thatchers, I did so because I felt I had just watched an impressive film that I wanted to share my thoughts on. I didn’t expect to review Sherlock: The Lying Detective at all, but a week later I was here again, typing away. Shortly after posting that review, someone on social media said that now I was in for the trifecta, and that I had to review the final episode of the season when it came out. Well, I’m here to do one better. After reading a theory shared with us by one of our beloved fans, I knew that I had to come out with this bonus post that’s more speculation and awe than review.

Our reader Not a Casual Fan states:

If the episode seems to not make sense, have you considered either Extended Mind Palace theory or Alibi theory?

Extended Mind Palace Theory

Before we go into details, have you noticed something special about Mary?

No, it's not hair cream.
No, it’s not hair cream.

There’s a certain strange gesture she makes, only occasionally. Arms twisted, hands intertwined. She only seems to make that gesture when we see her in Sherlock’s “Mind Palace” as with the scene from His Last Vow in the pic above.

Or this clip from The Abominable Bride
Or this clip from The Abominable Bride
Or this clip from The Lying Detective... wait, isn't this from John Watson's perspective?? Oh crap.
Or this clip from The Lying Detective
Wait, isn’t this from John Watson’s perspective?? Oh crap.

As fans of the show know, Sherlock Holmes employs a technique he calls “The Mind Palace” to store and retrieve the encyclopedic knowledge he has amassed in his quest to become the coolest Asperger’s detective of all time. Like many things on this show, this strange contrivance has a wonderfully beautiful visual representation. It’s real neat, and has become interwoven into the way the show displays information, even fanciful information, to its viewers.

In the final episode of the Season 3 of Sherlock, His Last Vow, we are introduced to a character named Charles Augustus Magnussen, the “Napoleon of Blackmail” who has been blackmailing the rich and powerful. It is in this episode that we find Sherlock in a drug-den, discover that Mary is a spy, witness Mary shooting Sherlock, which Sherlock survives by escaping into his “Mind Palace,” where a hallucination of Moriarty inspires him to recover and save John. Anyway, it ends with the discovery that Charles Augustus Magnussen has been using his own version of a “Mind Palace” to store all the details of the things he’s using to blackmail people with, and Sherlock having “no other option” but to shoot him in the head. Sherlock then jumps on a government plane, takes off into hiding, and immediately gets re-routed because Moriarty is still alive or something! OMG!

The basics of the “Extended Mind Palace Theory” is that Sherlock may never have left his Mind Palace in the first place. The details are, of course, murky. How long was he in that state for? Did he actually shoot Magnussen, or was that part of the hallucination? Was he is this state since Mary shot him? Are the events of the special, The Abominable Bride, themselves a hallucination, merely a hallucination within another hallucination? Is anything that’s happening in Season 4 real?

The answer to all these questions, is of course:
Exploding Head

What’s compelling about this theory is that there are a lot of weird… inconsistencies within the last few episodes. Sherlock murders a man. That man is a master blackmailer, but does so only with the blackmail found in his unverifiable memory. Sherlock has an elaborate fantasy set in the Victorian period. Sherlock has a drug dealer living in his apartment making meth in his kitchen. The entire pregnancy of Mary Watson seems paced… wrong. Moriarty is, perhaps, alive? Sure, there are reasons for any of these things – but the doubt still lingers.

Not a Casual Fan goes on to say:

Hint: the baby isnโ€™t real. See: Rachel, Episode 1. In fact, as TAB is the decoder ring guide to TST, so ASP is a mirror for TLD. This show is all about the mirrors.

Allow me to translate that last bit out of Sherlock-fandom speak. “In fact, as ‘The Abominable Bride’ is the decoder ring guide to ‘The Six Thatchers’, so ‘A Study in Pink’ is a mirror for ‘The Lying Detective’. This show is all about the mirrors.”

Sherlock was wrong about a Baby Rachel in the first episode of this series way back in what we American’s call Season 1. The theory is that he’s wrong about the existence of Baby Rose as well. Wow.

There’s another, in my opinion not as compelling, theory about The Lying Detective, featuring a murderous John Watson, but we’ll save that for another post.

What do you think? Are we off our rockers? Did we just rock your world? Are you ready to rock?? Leave us a comment below!

Hat-tip to Not a Casual Fan, and the fine weirdos on Tumblr our fan-favorite of the week!

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