*SPOILERS* ahead, you may want to watch first!
We were treated to quickly wrapping up the major cliffhanger from last series and the pool and the bomb and the snipers. “Staying Alive” – just about summed that up, right? Not to mention a scantily clad Miss Adler with a *hush hush* Princess??
And then we were off! I enjoyed the montage of ‘boring’ cases presented to him and the attached humor, but I love that even these, what seemed at the time – nonsense, were a bit of clues in the end. I can’t give enough praise to the writers, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who, Being Human), for being able to literally transform the original story from 1891 (A Scandal in Bohemia) to 2012. The tweaks were just so perfect. And they finally gave us the classic deerstalker cap!
The first half of this episode is pretty damn close to the original, at least in regards to the overall story. Months have passed since the standoff at the pool, and Holmes has grown famous thanks to Watson’s blog in which he retells the case stories. Eventually, Holmes’s brother Mycroft brings him to Buckingham palace. The government requires his services, but this time, it’s not the King of Bohemia but an unnamed member of the Royal Family. And a female member! And this Adler’s not a soprano, but a dominatrix. And naturally the original story’s photograph has been swapped out for a camera phone full of them. And all the brotherly banter, Mark Gatiss pulling a wonderful double shift as Mycroft Holmes.
One of my favorite scenes last night had to be the naked Sherlock in Buckingham palace, and he and Watson having a bit of a laugh at it – so classically boys at heart.
We meet then “The Woman”, as Irene Adler is so referred to both in text and now on-screen. Naked – purely, purely naked, which stumps Sherlock, as he is typically attuned to clues via people’s clothing. This whole scene was done to perfection, which is what makes this show so amazing. Americans show up for her phone, which Holmes and Adler eventually beat, but poor Sherlock is drugged by The Woman. Shall we even mention the brilliant piece about the safe’s code being her measurements?
The running gag of the *EROTIC MOAN TEXT ALERT* was not only funny, but, you know if Sherlock was really annoyed he’d have changed it right away. It also showed how stealthy The Woman really was.
Months pass and while celebrating Christmas, Sherlock being his usual mean self (poor Molly, all she really wants is to just snog him), they find out that The Woman has been found dead, but not before sending Sherlock her (locked) phone.
It is later revealed that she had to fake her own death to protect herself from some thugs because she has a stolen code from the Ministry of Defense. Naturally, she goes to Holmes for protection. It seems both the American and British agents are after her. Since her best people can’t crack the code, she hands it to over to Sherlock who within
minutes seconds, realizes it’s not a code at all: it’s an airplane seat allocation for a flight leaving Heathrow the following day. (Um, holy line memorization there??!!) While Holmes is trying to figure out why this flight matters, The Woman casually texts Moriarty. Moriarty then sends a text to Mycroft, basically rubbing it in his face that he knows the Ministry of Defense’s plan for this flight.
Sherlock figures out that the plane is the intended target of a terrorist attack which the British government knew about. Recalling one of Mycroft’s phone conversations, in which he referred to the Coventry Blitz, Sherlock remembers that there have long been rumors that the British government allowed the Nazis to bomb Coventry unimpeded, so as to avoid revealing to the Germans that they had successfully cracked German code. He then surmises that the British and American governments plan to let the terrorist attack happen.
Holmes is, of course, correct but when he’s brought to the airport by Mycroft he finds that the plane is full of corpses, so there will be no actual casualties from the attack. They had actually been planning this for years and Sherlock allowed it to be ruined by letting The Woman tip-off Moriarty. Mycroft is pissed! And to add to that The Woman shows up just to boast to Sherlock on how she beat him. And, on top of that, Moriarty construed the whole plan just to piss off Sherlock (and Mycroft)!
In a great scene that follows, The Woman tries to make demands in exchange for her assurance that she’ll keep the phone’s secrets. At this point, Sherlock has lost. The Woman has finally beaten him, the only one that ever could. But, Sherlock recants the past interaction where he could feel physically (faster pulse, dilated pupils) that she indeed has feelings for him, which allows him to reveal the password on her phone (Finally!):
I AM SHERLOCKED. I mean, at this point… who isn’t??!
Aghhhhh… what I wouldn’t give to be That Woman right now. (sorry, fangirl tangent thoughts).
It’s not over yet though, given that the phone is unlocked and all her secrets out, she’ll most likely be killed. Months have passed and Mycroft comes to reveal to Watson that she has in-fact, been beheaded by terrorists. Knowing how much Sherlock did actually care for her, Watson decides to lie and say she has gone to America under witness protection. Sherlock seems distraught/uncaring (as usual) yet, he keeps the camera phone, perhaps as a reminder of the whole experience and more specifically her. We see him reviewing the final texts she sent to him, the last of which was, “Goodbye Mr. Holmes.”
Cut to: Flashback of The Woman texting as a sword is held to her throat by a masked figure. She hits send.
*EROTIC MOAN TEXT ALERT*
It’s SHERLOCK! Sword in hand, rescues her and the episode ends – victoriously! Wow.
Until next week, when we see the “The Hounds of Baskerville“. Here’s a scene:
The next episode of Series 2 of Sherlock airs Sunday, May 13th on PBS Masterpiece Mystery – check for your local PBS listings.