"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace, Stephen
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Welcome back. When I was editing the recap of the last movie, I realized
that while Chrissy and I did a pretty good job of picking up our little
Sherlock/John roleplay after three years, it felt like Chrissy was doing all
the heavy lifting, playing every character except Sherlock. I thought we
might need to add another voice to the mix, so I invited Emilio to help us
with this one.
Chrissy: You're just trying to put
off doing Endgame, aren't you?
Diandra: I don't think I ever tried to deny that.
Emilio: I feel like she's gonna need us to be with her in person
for that one, not on a group video chat.
Chrissy: Right. With plenty of alcohol.
Diandra: After doing two of these movies, recapping Endgame drunk
might increase the odds that we will forget which of us is Robert Downey
Chrissy: Good. Something to look forward to.
Okay, so the first movie basically led directly into this one by setting up
the whole Moriarty plot. It also set up a device I just learned going into
this one is called Holmes-o-vision; the thing where he runs through a fight
sequence in his head before enacting it. I apologize for not using this term
from the beginning, which seems especially negligent since I kept referring
to Sherlockvision in my recaps of the BBC show.
Emilio: Was that the thing that
looked like MTV's pop-up videos?
Diandra: ........yeah, sure, that sounds like a pretty accurate
We have a bit more sedate opening this time with gentler music accompanying
the logos on pages of a book an unseen hand is flipping through.
Chrissy: You call that gentler? It
sounds like someone is frantically sawing on a violin.
Diandra: Okay, maybe not.
We open on a bunch of typewritten papers scattered on a desk, being held
down by a magnifying glass. We scroll over them and several crumpled pieces
to Watson's hands clacking away on a typewriter. His voiceover declares that
the year was 1891 and "storm clouds were brewing over Europe".
Chrissy: Ha. Hahahahahahahaha.
France and Germany are already on the brink of declaring war over some
bombings. The culprits are thought to be anarchists or some extreme
political group, but Sherlock has another theory. We focus on a church
somewhere as the entire front of it explodes out onto the street, knocking
people over and sending others scattering. We smash to a newspaper salesman
shouting a headline about a bombing in Strasbourg that is suspected to be
the work of anarchists. We follow a man walking past him carrying a package,
passing it off to a woman. We don't see either of their faces, but we can
probably make assumptions about the woman based on the last movie. The
camera pans up slowly and...yeah, it's Irene Adler.
Emilio: And you conveniently don't
have to use the actresses name, which is what again?
Diandra: Don't you start ragging me on that now.
Chrissy: Oh, come on, you can do it. She was the one in Mean Girls.
Diandra: I'm not falling for that again.
Emilio: She's actually not trying to trip you there. Rachel was in
Diandra: .............she was? Like...as one of the main
Diandra: Oh. Okay.
Emilio: She was also in "Midnight in Paris" if that helps.
Diandra: Who was she? Zelda Fitzgerald?
Chrissy: Oh, great. Now we're bringing a third actress into this.
Diandra: No, wait...right that was the woman who played Liz Cheney.
Chrissy: THAT WAS AMY. WE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT IN THE LAST
Diandra: All right. Sheesh. It's not my fault a lot of white women
She walks past what is obviously Holmes laying on a makeshift cot and
puffing on a pipe, his eyes closed behind dark glasses. He is dressed like a
terrible Hollywood stereotype of an Asian with a wispy, long beard/mustache
and braids coming out from under his head covering. He jumps up and starts
following behind her, shoving handfuls of rice and beans from stands into a
bag. After a while, he just sidles up to her and asks when she started
working for the postal service. He snatches the package from her, replacing
it with a loaf of bread. She asks when his "activities" landed him in the
Chrissy: The minute I moved out,
He ignores this and asks who the package is for. She suggests discussing it
over dinner tonight. He says he's free for lunch right now. She says she's
not and offers more specifics on dinner, which he agrees to. She asks if he
will be himself. He says yeah, sure, if he must. Then he pulls her aside and
mutters that some men have been following her for the last half a mile and
they don't look friendly.
Diandra: Oh, shut up.
She pulls him down a side street where they run flat into one of the men
before telling him that they're not following her so much as escorting her.
She takes her package back, pats him on the cheek and asks that they be
careful with his face because they have a date tonight. She skips off while
the four thugs surround him. One decides to taunt him by whistling Eine
Kleine Nachtmusik and he just picks up the tune while they rip off his
disguise. Then he claims he forgot how the rest of the song goes and goes to
run. The first guy who started the whistling grabs him by the throat and
slams him into a wooden post. He kicks him in the shin and they all fight.
Holmes is holding his own until two of them manage to pin his arms. He spits
at the third, who seems to have a glass eye and gets whacked in the head
with a crate or something before the whistler goes back to strangling him.
A couple cops walk by down the street and one of the thugs shouts a warning
to the others, who drop Holmes immediately and pretend they weren't doin'
nothin'. Holmes kind of drops into something like a lotus crouch with his
eyes closed. The whistler throws coins at him while meeting the cops' eyes
like ‘see? Perfectly innocent!' Everything kind of starts slowing down as
the cops leave, then stops entirely as we go into Holmes-o-vision (sort of).
He sees two guys have brass knuckles, one with a knife blade attached,
another has a club and the whistler has a gun. He runs through the fight
without the internal monologue from the last movie, then opens his eyes and
everything snaps back into motion.
Knife knuckles dives at him and he deflects it into regular brass knuckles
guy's chest. He deflects a blow from the club and flips that guy totally
onto his back. The Whistler goes to put the gun to his head and he just
reaches up and rips it right out of the guy's hands, turning it on him. He
pops the bullets out and hands it back before running off after Irene.
Chrissy: She had to know that would
happen, right? I mean...she's seen him fight.
Diandra: Eh, maybe.
Irene enters an auction house where the auctioneer is presenting an Egyptian
sarcophagus from the Valley of Kings.
Chrissy: Don't open it.
She sits next to an old man she calls "doctor" and hands him his "payment",
the package. She says "he sends his thanks". The doctor hands her a note he
says the person who sent the package will expect. "Tell him our friend
thinks I delivered it to his sister." She starts to leave, but he insists
she stay while he opens the package. She insists the money is all there. He
asks if "he" assured her of that, really. Has she ever actually met "him" in
Emilio: Meh, a vengeful mummy might make things more interesting.
He removes the paper from the box and Holmes arrives suddenly and slaps an
auction paddle down to block a piece of metal that snaps up like a
mousetrap. He tells the doctor not to move. He says the size and weight
suggest it isn't money. The doctor asks Irene who this guy is.
Chrissy: Oh, just some booty call I
can't seem to get rid of.
The doctor removes a piece of paper covering half of the insides of the box
to reveal a bunch of moving gears and a stick clearly labeled "dynamite".
Holmes reprimands him for moving it because he's activated a secondary
charge now. Irene tries to escape again, but Holmes insists he might need
her to help him with this. He jumps up and bids a million pounds on the
sarcophagus and knocks a lit pipe into a tapestry, setting it on fire. He
yells fire and everyone but the three of them starts clearing the room.
Irene goes to leave and this time Holmes lets her. She reminds him that
they're still on for dinner and kisses him to try to distract him while her
hand slides toward his pocket. He stops her and chuckles that she is "so
confident, even in retreat." She kind of shrugs and flounces off like ‘I'll
get it eventually.'
He acts like he's just noticed her and says "hello, darling" brightly
before kissing her cheek. She squirms and tries to pull away. He takes the
card from her hand.
The doctor goes to stand and Holmes tells him to stay put. "Trust me, this
is what I do for a living." He takes the bomb, runs up to throw it in the
sarcophagus, knocks out the plank propping it open and wheels it into the
vault nearby as he rambles about this faceless man the doctor is doing
business with being the "Napoleon of crime". Fortunately for the doctor,
Holmes is on his side. "Perhaps you've heard of me," he says theatrically.
"My name is Sherlock [bomb in sarcophagus explodes]."
Chrissy: That would actually be the
perfect tagline for these movies. "My name is Sherlock [explosion noise]."
The doctor has already run right out the door. Holmes follows belatedly and
finds him slumped against a wall with a dart sticking from his leg.
Chrissy: We did the midget thing in
the last movie, right?
Diandra: Yeah, but there were no poison darts. The plots of these
movies don't really adhere to canon, so much as they remix, revamp or
allude to parts of it randomly. Much the same way the BBC series did,
Emilio: Oh, are we referring to that series in the past tense now?
Diandra: And disregarding anyone who claims there will be a fifth
season, yes. At any rate, it is pretty common to see variants play mix and
match with canon and things considered canon even if they weren't
technically, like – I recently realized – the fly scene in the last movie
that came from William Gillette's stage play. They've done this since at
least the Basil Rathbone series.
Chrissy: I'm finding it terrifying just how versed you are becoming
in all things Sherlock.
Diandra: Maybe that's the real reason quizzes keep telling me I'm
Chrissy: No. I'm pretty sure those are accurate and you've always
been like that.
Emilio: Yeah. You've always been Sherlock. But hey, that would make
me your Watson.
Diandra: Aww. Love you too, BroSis.
Chrissy: I thought I was her Watson.
Diandra: You're my Moriarty. But since your role as Watson has been
well established by over a dozen recaps by now, I think Emilio should play
Moriarty in this one.
Chrissy: And since you just reminded us of the whole BroSis thing,
he should definitely play Mycroft.
Emilio: Yes! I forgot he was in this one. Okay. We're set then.
Irene is seated at a table in the restaurant she decided they should meet
at. There's a plate of fruit and macaroons and a pot of tea already on the
table. She asks for a fresh pot. A voice from the next table – now very
clearly Jared Harris – asks if she has the letter. His face is still hidden
behind some sort of curtain. She says it was "taken" during the chaos
created by that package he sent her with. The waiter returns with her tea
and she suggests maybe if he had shared his plans with her this wouldn't
have happened before taking a sip. "Did you imagine, Miss Adler, that
something would happen to you?" he smarms, asking if that's why she chose to
meet in this public place like this. He drops the pen he is writing with,
which signals a guy at another table to strike his glass with a fork.
Everyone but the three of them abruptly clears out.
Moriarty pulls aside the curtain and we finally see his face. He says he
blames himself, really, because it's been obvious for a while that she has
"succumbed" to her feelings for Holmes. And Holmes keeps "inconveniencing"
him as of late, so...obviously something needs to be done. "But that's my
problem to solve now."
Chrissy: Call it the final problem.
He says he no longer requires her services and calmly turns back to his
table. She gets up to leave, but starts stumbling into tables immediately.
And we cut back to Moriarty's face, calmly sipping his tea as she crashes
loudly to the floor.
So Holmes is waiting for her to meet him for dinner later and wondering why
she's not showing up.
The next day. Or whenever. Watson walks Gladstone to 221b. He calls Mrs.
Hudson, but she doesn't seem to be in. He goes up to knock on Sherlock's
door, waits a few seconds of silence and just opens it. Some branches of a
tropical tree spill out. He takes a moment to look at the jungle that is
inside the room for some reason before wryly noting "your hedge needs
Emilio: [cough cough]
Chrissy: Yes, I am fully aware that
is not the first time I have said those exact words, thank you.
"Where am I," Holmes asks in a loud, creepy whisper. Watson says he really
doesn't care WHERE he is "as long as you're ready."
Chrissy: Yes, that is not a first
Watson picks his way through the plants everywhere, hearing a goat, several
birds and something the closed captioner can't even identify. He finds what
looks like Holmes standing at a window and starts approaching him when a
dart hits him in the back mid-sentence. Holmes notes that if that were real
he would be dead right now. Watson is like ‘congratulations on winning this
ridiculous game I wasn't actually playing. Now can we get going so I don't
miss the train?' He picks up a newspaper and another dart spears through it.
Holmes notes that Watson still hasn't figure out where he is. Then he steps
out of the corner in a full body suit painted to blend into the wallpaper
and part of a bookcase. Watson just calmly says he's not going anywhere with
Holmes dressed like that. Holmes is like ‘says the person wearing a hideous
handmade scarf with an otherwise beautiful ensemble.' "Clearly one of your
fiancee's early efforts?" Watson just chuckles and says he missed Holmes.
Holmes is like ‘oh, really? Because I barely even noticed you were gone.'
Then again, he notes has been busy what with the urban camouflage and the
experiments the animals are helping with. He's been working on his most
important case yet and he's almost at a breakthrough.
Mrs. Hudson picks her way through the vegetation by the door, holding a
tray. She greets Watson and thanks him for inviting her to that thing
tomorrow. He thanks her for agreeing to look after the dog. Holmes goes to
rip the napkin covering the tray off, revealing some mice under a glass
dome. "Feed the snake, woman," he orders. "YOU feed it," she snarls right
back in his face. He takes the tray and grumbles about her being "touchy".
She begs Watson to please throw Holmes in a sanitarium and throw away the
Chrissy: Don't you think I would have
done that years ago if I could?
She pulls out one of the darts still in Watson's coat and says Holmes has
been on a steady diet of coffee, tobacco and coca leaves and he doesn't ever
sleep any more. And she's been hearing him talk in several different voices
as if he were rehearsing a play in here. Holmes appears behind her and
reminds her that the goat needs worming. She smiles and says she'll get
right on that and wishes Watson luck before hurrying off.
Emilio: See, you really are Sherlock, sis.
Holmes is like ‘right, so...back to why you're here.' Watson reminds him
he's getting married tomorrow. Holmes is like ‘oh! Right! And I'm totally
thrilled about that!' He hugs Watson, who notes that he's lost weight.
Holmes mutters that Watson found it. "Noshing on Mary's muffins, no doubt."
Chrissy and Emilio simultaneously:
Holmes goes to change out of the body suit, inviting Watson to pour the
brandy so they can drink to their final adventure and get the stag party
officially started. Watson takes off his hat and scarf and follows Holmes
through a curtained partition where he finds newspaper clippings and photos
tacked to the wall with lines drawn between them in crazy serial killer
fashion. He dryly notes that Holmes has made use of his old office space.
Holmes is like yep, and indicates a string from behind his changing wall for
Watson to follow, rambling about an Indian cotton tycoon, a Chinese opium
trader who overdosed, bombings in two countries on the continent and an
American steel magnate dying suddenly. He asks what these things all have in
common. Watson reaches the end of the thread he was following, which is
pinned to a picture of Moriarty. He exposits that Professor Moriarty is a
genius and kind of a celebrity. Holmes adds that he is also friends with
their current Prime Minister. Watson asks if he has any evidence to back up
this theory that he's some sort of master criminal.
Holmes comes out from behind the dressing wall and points to one of the
clippings about the attempted bombing at the auction house with a side line
about the man Irene was meeting having a fatal heart attack. He notes that
Watson has talked about the man often because he was a pioneer in the
medical field. And somebody tried to blow him up. Watson shrugs and points
out that the article says he died of a heart attack afterward, which is in
no way suspicious. Holmes is like ‘clearly I have failed in my efforts to
Chrissy: And I failed in my efforts
to civilize you.
He rambles about he and Moriarty playing a "shadowy" game of cat and mouse
in case you were wondering where the movie title came from. While he's doing
this, he pours himself a glass of something. Watson eyes the bottle, which
is marked formaldehyde, and calmly suggests Holmes meant to allude to the
story of the spider and fly. Holmes mutters that he's a CAT, damnit, not a
Diandra: Well, we all knew that was a lost cause.
Watson doesn't make any attempt at all to stop him as he drinks formaldehyde
and just makes the obvious observation that he's drinking embalming fluid.
Which explains why he seems a little..."manic". He grumbles that he should
have thought to bring a sedative. Holmes is like ANYWAY, Moriarty is a
criminal mastermind and he MUST be stopped. Watson asks WHY he would do any
of the things Holmes is accusing him of. Holmes thinks criminals don't need
a reason beyond "because I can". Watson is like ‘sure...absolutely nobody
can uncover the truth of this massive conspiracy but a doped up Sherlock
Holmes. Whatever.' He drinks from another glass containing a less toxic
alcohol and looks up when Gladstone suddenly collapses in the doorway. He
asks what Holmes has done to him now. Holmes says he probably ate some toxic
fruit and leaps at the opportunity to try that adrenal gland extract
antidote he was working on. He stabs the needle in the dog before
half-assedly asking Watson if he minds. Once it's injected, Gladstone, who
Watson just noted was barely breathing, jumps up and runs off barking.
Watson notes the sudden energy and mutters that he may need one of those
injections in a couple hours. Holmes hands him the pouch with the syringe
and tells him to call it a wedding gift.
They start heading for the front door, but Holmes asks if they can use
another exit. Watson turns and blinks at the bushy beard we can see Holmes
wearing even from the back. He asks if something is different suddenly.
Holmes mutters that he's under observation. Watson is like ‘oh, finally?
What does that have to do with that ridiculous disguise?' Holmes just turns
on his heel and walks away like he's not even going to dignify that reply.
In the car, which turns out to be some sort of prototype of a modern car
with an engine instead of a horse, Watson mildly asks if his beard is going
to be with them all night.
Chrissy: And I will ask that you
don't respond with the obvious "will yours?"
Holmes thinks it will be safe to take it off once they're passed Trafalgar
Square. Watson asks why he's being this conspicuous if he really thinks
Moriarty has him under observation. Holmes thinks it's so obvious Moriarty
is sure to overlook it, actually.
Diandra: Wouldn't dream of it.
Once they pass Trafalgar, Holmes takes the beard off and stares at Watson
with what Watson interprets as an expression of "concern." Holmes says he
can't help but worry. "Your vitality has been drained from you! Marriage is
the end, I tell you!" They have a little argument about the costs and
benefits of marriage in general with Holmes insisting it isn't worth having
to answer to a woman and have so many restrictions and Watson saying that's
just what being in a relationship is about and it isn't THAT BAD, Jesus. And
besides, "who wants to die alone?" "So we'll have a good old-fashioned romp
tonight, you'll settle down, have a family, and I'll die alone." Watson is
like 'uh...yeah. That's the plan.' Holmes pouts some more and theorizes that
it might be better to die alone, actually than to live "in eternal
Chrissy: You know, I can't tell if
you're acting like this because you're upset that I'm leaving you for Mary
or because you're channeling what everyone assumes is Doyle's regret at
having made it more difficult for his great crime solving duo to go off on
their little adventures once he saddled one with a wife.
Diandra: ...........was there a question in there, or......
Emilio: Either way, the answer is yes.
Watson just looks at him for a beat, shakes his head and gets out of the
car, noting that it's actually a pretty good means of transportation.
Stephen Fry's voice comes from somewhere nearby to predict that every town
in Europe will have one of those things in the future.
Chrissy: You could dream a little
Holmes greets him as Mycie, which prompts him to greet Holmes as Sherly.
Diandra, Chrissy and Emilio in unison: Don't
call me Shirley.
Mycroft notes that Sherlock's bootmaker has obviously taken ill and Sherlock
notes that Mycroft has changed shaving soap. Mycroft says the chimney in the
front room at Baker Street could use a good sweeping.
Chrissy: Is...is that code for
Sherlock is like ‘yeah, well, your carriage has a broken wheel.'
Chrissy: Seriously, do we need a
Diandra: And it wouldn't kill you to take out the trash once in a
whi-oops, wrong series.
Mycroft says Sherlock has obviously gotten a new bow for his violin.
Sherlock snots that it's the same bow actually, just new strings. Watson is
like SO ANYWAY, you must be Mycroft. He takes off his glove and offers his
hand. Mycroft just looks at it and says "no." Sherlock is like yeah, um...he
doesn't shake hands. Watson just shrugs and continues that Mycroft doesn't
ever stray from the path between his house and the Diogenes Club, especially
when they're serving his favorite shrimp, so he must be here for something
more important than Watson's stag party. Mycroft notes that this guy isn't
nearly as dim witted as Sherly has led him to believe.
Emilio: In fact, I like him. He
reminds me of a young man I once knew...
Chrissy: [cough cough] I thought we agreed we wouldn't speak of
that again, sir.
Emilio: Well, you did.
Mycroft starts leading them past the riff raff clustered outside, talking
about how the situation in Europe is likely to erupt into something big any
day now and he's here to avoid catastrophe. "If the concerns of two nations
which shall remain nameless (but I can tell you they speak French and
German) are not dealt with tonight I shall be forced to go to Switzerland to
attend a ghastly peace summit in Reichenbach." He continues walking,
rambling about how much he hates the high altitudes and they give him
nosebleeds, while the other two lag behind. "I'm so glad you invited your
brother," Watson says with extreme sarcasm.
Inside what looks like a very strange Cabaret, Watson orders some champagne
from a waitress and says they'll probably need more chairs. Holmes asks for
a cigar and mutters that they will not be needing any more chairs, actually.
The Exposition Fairy, just arriving now after having run late, waves her
wand frantically at Watson, who asks just what it is Mycroft does anyway.
"He's the keeper of the broom cupboard of state," Holmes answers, if you can
call that an answer. Just a second...
Diandra: Should I start referring to
everyone by first name now so it's not so confusing?
Chrissy: Weren't you referring to Holmes and Mycroft in that
Christmas special? Why can't you just do that?
Watson looks at Mycroft off somewhere talking with a group of men while
Holmes says basically that he doesn't seem to do much, but "I'm repeatedly
told that he's indispensable to the British government." Then he abruptly
moves on, standing up and announcing a toast to his dear friend, whose full
name (Hamish) he gives while looking around the place distractedly. Watson
is like 'I'm sitting right here. What are you looking at? Also, why are we
not waiting for my other friends? You do know I have other friends, don't
you?' Holmes mutters mid-sentence that they couldn't make it and keeps
going, undaunted. Watson is like 'really? All of my friends happened to be
too busy to show up at my bachelor party?' Holmes keeps talking through him
noting that he should have friends from the military, med school AND a rugby
club and it's highly doubtful not ONE of them was able to make it. I don't
know "a single damn person here" and you're STILL looking for somebody
anyway. Holmes tells him to not get hysterical or be a "ponce". Watson
snorts and says he obviously completely forgot about the stag party
altogether, so what are they here for?
Chrissy: Was the whole "going on one
last adventure" thing some sort of code?
Diandra: What can I say? I paraded around in front of you in a full
body suit that left very little to the imagination and you barely looked
up from your newspaper. Clearly, desperate measures were required.
Emilio: As well as lots of alcohol, which is why you started
drinking before you even left 221b.
Chrissy: Son of a...
Holmes just sucks down his entire glass of champagne so he doesn't have to
answer. Mycroft arrives just then to answer instead that they are here to
celebrate Watson's "good health" and it really is a shame about none of his
friends being able to make it. They all laugh. Watson stops abruptly and
announces that he's going to go play cards or dice or whatever they have in
this place. He demands Holmes "give me my money." Holmes says fine, but he
has to hand over the wedding ring for collateral. Watson sneers that fine,
Holmes is supposed to be keeping it anyway if he wants to be the best man.
Holmes says he's just making sure it isn't used for gambling, but Watson is
still ranting about him doing a piss poor job of the stag party and he has
LOTS of friends, unlike Sherlock who barely has the one. He snatches the lit
cigar from Holmes, puts it in his mouth and stalks away. After a beat,
Mycroft sneers that he's awfully self-centered.
Sometime later, Holmes sneaks off to a private room somewhere with a woman
conducting seances or something. She tells him to put his money on the
table. He noisily drops three coins into a metal dish and she turns to face
him. It is Rooney Mara, who introduces herself as Madam Simza. And she is a
fortune teller who uses tarot cards, which she reveals as she waves incense
around a bit for show. She instructs him to hold any specific questions he
has in his mind while she readies the deck. He grunts and makes a show of
concentrating on his question. Then he takes the deck from her hands and
says actually he would rather read HER fortune if it's all the same to her.
She just sighs and lets him. He throws out the "temperance" card, which he
notes is inverted to indicate volatility. Obviously she has recently turned
to alcohol to drown out her problems. She's like 'keep embarrassing
yourself, idiot.' He's like 'ha, but seriously, the next card is the Fool
card.' He says someone was involved in something without their knowledge and
"led astray." She says he's not bad at this, actually, but "you have to make
me believe you. I have to see it in your eyes." He acknowledges that he
could be doing this better. He pulls the Two of Cups and theorizes it's all
about siblings maybe. Her face falls as he says he sees a name...Rene? Then
he slaps the Devil card over all the others. She asks what exactly he's
playing at here and what does he want.
He pulls a letter out of his jacket pocket and throws it to her. He says he
stole it from a woman in an auction room and believes it was actually
supposed to be for her. She pulls out a drawing of a man on the back of a
note from Rene in French. The subtitles translate that he wants his darling
Sim to remember his face as "you will never see it again." He has accepted
this is the price he must pay for the sake of history and fulfilling his
purpose in life. Holmes says the question he had was what Rene's purpose
was. She just closes off again and says his time is up and she needs to get
to her other possible customers. He starts to get up, then leans over and
mutters a couple observations about the bit of fur caught in a nail over his
shoulder and the smell of herring pickled in vodka and "a truly unfortunate
body odor", all of which point to a man hiding in the rafters above them.
And given all those details plus the acrobatics required to hold himself up
there, he would have to be a Cossack assassin. "So it's safe to presume that
your next client is here to kill you. Anything else? No?" He heads for the
exit, then stops and grabs an umbrella from a stand.
And now we get the Holmes-o-vision with narration. But to make it more
interesting, he uses avian metaphors to describe each move. "Pillage the
nest," he says as he uses the umbrella to knock the assassin from the
ceiling. "Clip the wings" describes knocking the knife from his hand and
hooking the umbrella handle around his wrist to give Holmes leverage to
break his arm. "Blunt his beak" is an elbow and karate chop to the face.
"Crack eggs" is probably obvious as he drops to the floor and drives either
his shoulder or possibly the umbrella into the guy's crotch, but it is
alarmingly followed by "scramble, pinch of salt..."
Chrissy: Season to taste...
Now he's just bludgeoning the guy with the umbrella and deflecting a second
blade the guy produces before he can be stabbed in the face with it. Having
shifted entirely from raiding a bird nest to cooking the eggs taken from
said nest, he ends with "flip the omelet" which involves flipping the
assassin over his back and clubbing him one last time when he proves to
still be conscious. Runthrough over, he launches into the actual fight,
which gets as far as breaking the guy's arm before a knife comes out of
nowhere and stabs the guy in the chest. A second knife hits beside the
first, followed by a third and the guy falls over. Holmes looks at Simza,
whose hand is still in knife throwing pose.
Chrissy: What? You expected her to
just stand there and watch like a helpless female? Pffttt.
Diandra: You'd think he would have learned that with Irene Adler.
Emilio: Yes, but he considered her an exception.
Diandra: Right. The Woman.
He recovers and herds her from the room a second before the guy's eyes open
and he sheds the really thick coat that was acting as a protective vest. The
assassin pulls a knife and does some highly acrobatic moves along the inner
balconies, swinging down a floor and intercepting them. Sherlock recommences
fighting him while insane fiddle music plays.
Chrissy: It should be noted that the
music in this movie is composed by the same guy who did all the Pirates of
the Caribbean movies.
Diandra: And DaVinci Code. And, like, 60% of all the DC Comics
movies that have come out lately. Yes.
Meanwhile, Watson is cluelessly playing cards down on the main level,
seemingly having a good time despite his earlier complaining.
Simza shatters some sort of glass on the assassin's head, which does fuck
all. Holmes gets the knife blade driven into one cheek while grappling. They
both manage to get him into a side room of some sort and the assassin grabs
her by the hair. Holmes knocks the knife from his other hand and starts
pummeling him with a wooden staff he got from somewhere, not noticing as the
guy seems to attach something to his belt. He ducks to the side and Simza
kicks the guy out a window. That's when it becomes clear the thing he was
attaching to Holmes was some sort of line tying them together. Holmes
catches himself with the staff on the window before he goes flying out after
the assassin, landing in a convenient pile of grain outside. He barely
catches his breath before the assassin comes up out of the grain under him
and puts him in a choke hold.
They grapple and fall over into what looks like an underground room right on
the street. This is apparently some sort of fight club as a bunch of rough
looking men separate them and the ring leader announces that they may have a
new "cockfight" to bet on. The assassin grabs a knife left nearby and nobody
tries to stop him. Nor do they care what Sherlock is reaching for, which,
when they release them again at each other turns out to be a very surprised
chicken. He throws the chicken, grabs a cane from somebody nearby and hits
the assassin with it a few times. Then manages to leverage the cord still
tying them together to flip himself over the guy's back and then yank him to
the ground. Having finally had enough of this bullshit, apparently, the
assassin finally uses the knife to cut the cord and run back toward the
building, climbing up to where Simza is still hanging out the window
watching. Holmes tries to climb after him and ends up blasting through a
lower window right across the table Watson was playing at, scattering all
the money he just won.
The frantic music stops for a few seconds while everyone at the table blinks
at him in shock, then starts up again as we focus on the assassin chasing
Simza across the upper floor again. Holmes staggers away and a brawl erupts
as the crowd surrounding the table all lunges to pick up the money from the
floor at once.
The assassin catches up to Simza behind the stage and she holds her own
fighting him with another dagger for a while, but the second he gets the
upper hand, Holmes shows up to kick him through another window, this time
into water. She wipes blood from her nose and mutters that Holmes was right
about him smelling awful. And then Watson staggers in drunkenly and demands
to know where Holmes was just now when he was getting into a fight. Mycroft
appears at the other end of the room to make a snarky comment about Sherlock
taking his duties as best man so seriously.
Chrissy: Yes, you're supposed to be
DEFENDING MY HONOR.
Watson yelps that a woman was just BITING HIS LEG.
Chrissy: No, really, Robert, I'm not even sure she was supposed to
be on the set.
Diandra: Wait, now we're roleplaying the actors?
Emilio: Haven't we basically been doing that all along? Didn't the
two of you have an argument about who won the most awards in Infinity War?
Chrissy: That wasn't an argument. I was just reminding him of who
was on whose turf.
Mycroft offers to have his manservant – the guy hovering beside him silently
– fill their car with fuel.
Emilio: He's really very good at
He reminds them they have a wedding they need to get to. What, right now?
Diandra: I invite you to these things to HELP, Emilio.
Emilio: That's not helping?
We cut fairly abruptly to daytime, with Holmes pulling up in the prototype
car, casually puffing on a pipe. Watson is passed out in the passenger seat,
looking like something the cat literally dragged in. Holmes pokes him a
couple times, then just gestures at some bagpipers standing near the
entrance of the gardens. They start playing loudly, snapping Watson awake.
He blinks at them like ‘holy fuck, seriously?!' and tries to roll over and
go back to sleep. Holmes yanks the blanket he has thrown over him away,
after a brief tug of war.
Chrissy: Feeling some definite déjà
Diandra: Except usually it's the other way around.
Chrissy: Oh, right. Yes.
Diandra: The conversation about Infinity War made you forget which
one you were playing for a minute there, didn't it?
Watson staggers out of the car and Holmes tries to fix his tunic but only
manages to rip one arm of it clean off. They look at each other meaningfully
and Holmes takes Watson's hand and leads him toward the gate.
Chrissy: I am still marrying what's
her face, right?
Emilio: It's okay, it will only be temporary.
Somehow they manage to clean up Watson and install him at the front of the
church. Holmes, who is pretty much still looking like he spent the night in
the gutter, is asleep in the pew and manages to wake up just as Mary is
coming down the aisle. She looks John up and down and looks to Holmes, who
just winks at her like 'it's fine. He'll be fine.'
Chrissy: But is he able to sit down?
Diandra: Do you need him to?
We kind of fast forward through Watson putting the ring on Mary's finger and
Holmes looking vaguely forlorn. And then the new couple walks under some
crossed swords as they exit the church while flower petals are thrown at
them. Watson catches a glimpse of Holmes before he sneaks away.
As Holmes is cranking up the car, a guy strikes up a conversation about
weddings and funerals and enough chit chat "the professor wants to meet."
Holmes is like 'oh, that's later than I was expecting, but okay.' Lackey
asks if Holmes can come by the college this afternoon.
Emilio: Or will you be needing more
time to uh...prepare?
Holmes says yeah, sure, now get out of the way. The guy – can probably
assume he's Moran – steps aside and waves at the clouds of smoke produced by
the "car" as Holmes drives off.
Diandra: If you are trying to imply what I think you are trying to
imply, you'll need to talk to Watson because he usually handles those
Chrissy: And don't you forget it!
College. Holmes arrives to the sound of a woman singing in German. He
identifies the song as Fiecherweise, a Schubert from 1826.
Chrissy: Okay, if Doctor Strange
starts bleeding in here this is going to get VERY confusing.
He recites part of the lyrics...apparently. "Give up your foolish
trickery..." "...this fish you cannot cheat," Moriarty finishes. Holmes asks
if he's "intruding" given that he appears to be with a student. Moriarty
excuses the student, handing him a book to bring to "Mr. Williams" and "make
sure he packs my white tie and tails". He explains this last bit to Holmes
as preparing to go on a lecture tour. He offers tea or coffee. Holmes
declines. Moriarty asks if he would prefer something stronger.
Diandra: Maybe for you.
Emilio: I probably still have some of
what Miss Adler gave you in that hotel...
Diandra: Ha. No.
Holmes says he would like an autograph and hands Moriarty a copy of his own
book "The Dynamics of an Asteroid & Lecture Notes".
Chrissy: I guarantee you he hasn't
read it. He still isn't convinced the Earth revolves around the sun and
not the other way around.
As Moriarty sits to write in the book, Holmes wanders over to look at a
chalkboard full of formulas. Moriarty casually notes that the "good doctor"
was getting married today, wasn't he? "How was the service?" "Definitive,"
Holmes says distractedly.
Diandra: Nice reference.
Chrissy: Well, that's...certainly a
word. Not usually one used in this context, but...
Diandra: I AM NOT SULKING.
Apparently he's not going to even try to pretend here because he further
states that Watson will no longer be helping in his investigations and "he's
out of the equation. I trust you'll take this into consideration."
Emilio: Wait...are you actually
propositioning me here?
He focuses on a book of horticulture sitting on the chalkboard ledge and the
dead plant sitting on the window ledge while Moriarty asks what
considerations Holmes plans to grant HIM. Holmes doesn't reply. Moriarty
hands him the book back and asks if he's actually read it. Holmes non
answers that it was "compelling", but he's more interested in the
professor's current "endeavors". Moriarty says he'll take that as a
compliment and adds "I have the utmost regard for your talents. It's a
pleasure to finally meet you...officially."
Diandra: I'm just saying I'm missing my better half and hoping
you'll consider it a handicap.
Chrissy: If you're trying to imply that I'm the wife here...
Diandra: I'm not sure I was, but you kind of are.
Emilio: He totally is.
Emilio: I know so much about you. You
could say I'm your number one fan.
Diandra: And we're in "Misery" territory now, huh? Haven't we been
They shake hands and Holmes looks vaguely uncomfortable.
Emilio: Sorry, my hands are a bit
damp, but you'll get used to it.
Holmes asks if he's familiar with the study of graphology. Moriarty says
he's never given it any serious thought. Holmes continues as if he wasn't
listening, which he probably wasn't, expositing that it is the psychological
analysis of handwriting. He is looking at the signature Moriarty just put in
the book and indicating points that would suggest genius intellect,
creativity and a "meticulous nature". And overall it suggests Narcissism and
a lack of empathy toward others.
Diandra: Oh, hello reference to a random rape-y scene I had almost
Chrissy: Pfffttt. No, you didn't. You went out of your way to recap
that scene off YouTube.
Emilio: Well, that part sounds
Diandra: I know you're making vague allusions to a certain would be
despot, but this is actually just reminding me of the whole psychopath
versus sociopath argument from "Sherlock".
Chrissy: Wasn't He Who Shall Not Be Named diagnosed a sociopath by
Diandra: Yup. Pretty sure Hitler was one too. All the dictators,
He starts to say that it suggests an inclination toward..."NO," Moriarty
interjects, but Holmes just finishes anyway with "moral insanity".
Emilio: Oh, I...thought you were
going to say something else that was illegal in Victorian times. Never
Moriarty says the answer to his previous question re: Doctor Watson is no,
incidentally. Then he recites a law about celestial objects colliding
invariably resulting in collateral damage. Then he rambles about a story
about two men at odds with each other and a young woman falling ill "with
tragic consequences". He drops Irene's bloodied handkerchief in the middle
of a nearby chess board and adds that the woman in the story died of a rare
very acute form of tuberculosis. Sherlock both reacts and very obviously
tries not to, his face taking on an expression that can only be described as
murderous rage. Moriarty asks if he's sure he wants to play this game. "I'm
afraid you'd lose," Holmes growls. Moriarty says oh, well, don't worry
because if you try it the destruction will be mutual. See, the only reason
he hasn't killed him yet is because he RESPECTS him. "If I were assured of
the former eventuality," Holmes says. "I would cheerfully accept the
latter." He takes the handkerchief and storms out, Moriarty calling after
him that he'll be sure to send his regards to the newlyweds. Then he moves
one of the chess pieces on the board pointedly.
Train station. Watson and Mary are, apparently, headed on their honeymoon.
Mary is impressed to find that they are traveling in a first class car and
climbs right in. Watson pauses as he sees some soldiers loading something
into another car and Mary sticks her head out to impatiently call him to
hurry because "your wife needs you."
Chrissy: You know this libido of
yours might kill me faster than running after criminals with Holmes,
As she is admiring the bottle of champagne waiting for them, he peeks into
the hall to find a steward explaining to a woman at the end of the hall that
the lavatories are closed until the train starts moving.
Emilio: Are you complaining?
Sometime later, Mary is sprawled on John's lap, checking his tonsils with
her tongue when she discovers a pistol shoved down the back of his pants.
She pulls it out and he apologetically explains that old habits die hard. A
steward knocks on the door and presents them with another bottle of
champagne, which Watson says he didn't order. The steward says it's
complimentary and suspiciously closes the door as he goes to put it in the
bucket. The lights flicker and he pulls a knife, lunging at John. John fends
him off and Mary – who briefly leapt to the side like a distressed damsel –
points the gun at him and directs John to open the outer door of the
carriage. He tosses the guy out the door, takes the gun from Mary and makes
a shushing gesture while he goes to check the inner door.
He peeks into the hallway just as another steward comes charging down it.
The woman from earlier (because of course that was important) suddenly
emerges from the next berth and elbows him in the face, turning around this
time so we can see it is Sherlock. Holmes pulls a gun from somewhere and
shoots at a few more guys who try to approach before meeting Watson at the
door, Watson holding his gun between them.
Chrissy: And don't even THINK of
asking if I'm happy to see you.
Holmes says yeah, it's not his best disguise, but he had to "make do".
Diandra: I don't have to. I can see you are.
Two things. First, here's where I have to note something from an interview.
When both of these guys were on Graham Norton, the topic of this disguise
came up. Despite apparently having been the one to come up with the idea for
this disguise instead of the priest disguise that was originally in the
script, Robert Downey Jr. was noting that he looked like his own ugly sister
or something. Which led to this exchange:
Graham: But you are a beautiful man.
Jude Law (IMMEDIATELY and emphatically): Yes, you are.
[Jude and Robert pause, look each other in the eye and sigh dramatically]
Chrissy: I love how they just lean in to the ho yay.
Second...come on. You expect us to believe you improvised this outfit when
there's, like, five layers of petticoats, a bonnet and a massive wig? You're
Chrissy: Improvising does not
inherently mean that he didn't have those things on hand for SOME reason
Watson pulls him into the room and Mary groans loudly at the sight of him.
Emilio: I'm sure he's used to that.
Holmes hands Watson his gun and says those men will be back. Mary begs John
to close the door, but he says they'll only shoot through it. Holmes helps
her down on the seat, sitting next to her. He apologizes for the terrible
inconvenience of all this while she eyes him critically. Then he announces
to John that they're running out of time and looks out the window so we can
get a panning shot of the cliff and bridge up ahead.
Watson asks who the HELL these guys are. Holmes says they're a wedding
present from Moriarty. Then he rambles at Mary about how lovely the ceremony
was until she whines "John". He says he's busy and goes back to firing out
into the hallway. Holmes grabs her and asks if she trusts him. "No," she
says without thinking. Holmes sighs, looks at Watson and mutters he'll have
to do something about that then. Later. For now... He shoves her
unceremoniously out the door as the train goes over the bridge, landing her
in the water below.
He turns to Watson, who is still shooting and hasn't noticed anything going
on behind him for the past minute, and asks him to shut the door.
Chrissy: When did he start calling
Watson hesitates only a second before obeying and looking around the cabin
with increasing alarm as he realizes his wife is no longer present. "It had
to be done," Holmes says.
Diandra: Just now, I think?
Emilio: She was getting in the way.
Watson runs to look out the still open outside door and Holmes says it's
okay, he timed it perfectly, she's safe. Watson, apparently not inclined to
take his word for it, throws him on the bench and starts strangling him,
shrieking "did you just kill my wife?!" Sherlock both fights back and wraps
his legs around John's waist so he can't just pull away.
Chrissy: Knew you were a twisted
little shit. Also, you just switched to first names?
Diandra: I figure at this particular moment at least, last names
are a bit too impersonal, don't you?
Emilio: Yes, I'd say we're past formalities now.
John rips Sherlock's shirt off. Sherlock gets his legs wrapped around John's
neck and orders him to CALM DOWN ALREADY. He would have explained the plan,
but he didn't have TIME. Of course, this is when some stews break open the
door and find the two of them locked together, Sherlock half undressed and
mussed with John between his legs. But because these guys were sent by
Moriarty, we don't take the time to address what this looks like. Instead,
we freeze and go down the barrel of the gun pointed in Sherlock's face,
which seems to have a very particular bullet with an ornate engraving on it.
We flash back to see it clutched in Sherlock's hand earlier as it forms the
base of the lipstick he is wearing. We see the steward telling him he can't
use the bathroom while the train is in the station from this angle where
it's hard to imagine the guy bought this disguise. Once the stew is out of
sight, he breaks into the room anyway and cobbles together some sort of
smoke bomb that he uses to distract the guards long enough to exchange a
couple of their bullets for lipstick.
So in the present, when the guard tries to fire this "bullet", it causes the
gun to backfire and explode the powder back on him and the other guys with
him. Sherlock manages to slam the door before throwing John off him. Then he
reveals something else he cobbled together in the bathroom and has
apparently been storing over his crotch this whole time: the pull chain from
the toilet tank, which has a long billy club type bar with a grenade
attached on one end and a bulb on the other and looks alarming dangling
between his legs.
Chrissy: And here I thought you were
happy to see me...
He uses it to bar the door, takes off what is left of the dress and asks if
Watson needs him to explain or if they can just get on with it already.
Chrissy: Well, a little foreplay
wouldn't kill you.
Diandra: What do you think I was just doing?!
Holmes climbs out the door and along the outside of the train. Watson
hesitates for barely a second before following. Now, with the wind rushing
crazily, Holmes decides he can talk again, assuring John that Mary is
perfectly safe because she is with Mycroft now.
Emilio: What he doesn't say is that
he killed Mycroft this morning.
Watson just shrieks that he's supposed to be on his HONEYMOON and WHY ARE
YOU GETTING US INVOLVED IN YOUR BULLSHIT?! Holmes says they didn't follow
HIM, they came specifically for Watson, so...YOU'RE WELCOME. One of the
guards breaks open the door, pulling the pin on the grenade and manages to
fire a couple wild shots out the door in their direction before the
explosion sends him flying to the ground.
Diandra: Ha, funny. As if I could.
Holmes gets the door to the next cabin open and enters with a polite
greeting like the elderly couple in there will just overlook the fact that a
half naked man with makeup smeared all over his face just crashed into their
room. He opens the inner door and invites them to go check out second class.
They just gape at him, clutching each other, so he barks at them to MOVE
DAMNIT and they flee the room just as Watson swings in. By the time Watson
gets the door closed and turns around, Holmes is laying on the floor. "Lay
down with me, Watson," he says.
Chrissy: Look, I know you're gagging
for it, but NOW IS NOT THE TIME.
Watson balks, so Holmes just drags him down onto the floor.
Diandra: You say that every time!
Chrissy: Bossy for a bottom, aren't
Watson asks what they're doing down here anyway and Holmes says waiting.
Diandra: What makes you think I'm...no, scratch that. Never mind.
We're not going down that rabbit hole.
Emilio: That's not what you said in the last movie.
Chrissy: This is the second time you've referenced other recaps
we've done, Emilio. I'm starting to worry about your mental health.
The fake stewards/assassins have rigged up a machine gun and, after a pause,
they start shooting the shit out of the room. Both men cover their faces,
except Jude Law apparently didn't do it fast enough and got a scratch to his
eyeball right here. Holmes hands Watson his gun and tells him to wait for
his opportunity. The string of bullets reaches the second lipstick Holmes
planted and the gun jams. Watson jumps up while Holmes just sprawls with his
hands behind his head and tells him to "make it count".
Chrissy: Yes, as I was saying just
Chrissy: You really are lucky that I'm very good at taking orders.
Diandra: That wasn't luck. Why do you think I chose you?
Watson hits the guy shooting in the arm through a series of holes in walls
of the train. Another guy just gets the gun unjammed and starts firing
Watson is back on the floor, clutching his eye in pain because I guess Guy
Richie hadn't figured out that Jude was actually injured yet. And apparently
neither has Robert because Holmes yells that he was supposed to make that
Meanwhile, the guy Watson shot realizes he just fell on a pile of grenades.
He closes his eyes a second before the explosion that causes several cars of
the train to detach.
Chrissy: And hopefully there were
very few other passengers on the train after all of that. Did you take
that into consideration when you were "improvising" this plan?
Sometime later, Watson is sitting on the floor of the new aftmost train car,
staring at the passing scenery numbly when Holmes tries to joke about
honeymooning in Brighton being more dangerous than one might have expected.
Watson is like JUST SHUT UP BEFORE I DECIDE TO TRY MURDERING YOU AGAIN. No,
wait. First, explain how my wife is safe again. We flash back to her falling
into the water as the train passes over the bridge. Mycroft and his servant
paddle up in a rowboat and Mycroft introduces himself as "the other Holmes"
and congratulates her on her wedding. She is less than thrilled to discover
that there are two of them.
Emilio: Yeah, our parents weren't too
thrilled about it either.
Back on the train, Watson asks why he was targeted, exactly. Holmes takes a
breath and starts launching into a long winded explanation, but Watson cuts
him off with a summary: "he's after us because of you." Holmes is like,
well, if you must know, this IS partly your fault because you're the one who
was in such a fired up hurry to get married before we could finish this
case. Watson is like ‘oh, whatever. This is not my fault.'
Chrissy: You can't just go flinging
yourself into danger the minute I stop paying attention to you and then
blame me when it bites you in the ass.
"Thus, our relationship..." Holmes says in conclusion. Watson winces at that
wording, so Holmes sighs and amends it to "partnership" and finishes that it
isn't over yet.
Chrissy: Honestly, the fact that you
think my relationships with you and Mary are mutually exclusive is
Holmes clenches his jaw and promises that if Watson helps him "see this
thing through", he will never ask for his help again.
Chrissy: Pfft. Liar.
Watson sighs and signals acquiescence with "once more unto the breech."
Holmes excitedly lurches right into a deduction in progress: that a criminal
mastermind isn't actually after the gypsy fortune teller, but her brother
and if they can find him... Watson cuts him off with an order to find his
luggage first. And also tell him where they're going now, exactly. Holmes is
like 'where you should have planned to go for your honeymoon: Paris.'
Diandra: I mean...obviously.
And we're on a ship. It's daytime and both of them are cleaned up again.
Watson has apparently waited this long to ask why they are going to Paris.
Holmes picks up a little cloth bag and rambles about a gypsy camp outside of
Montreuil famous for dried peaches. He pulls one out of the bag and waves it
at Watson. He thinks this is where they will find the fortune teller again.
Watson reaches for the bag Holmes has at his feet and pulls out Irene's
bloodied handkerchief. They stare at each other for a moment. Holmes grabs
the handkerchief and goes to the railing, hesitating for a moment and
holding it to his face before throwing it overboard.
Book signing. Moriarty speaks a few words of French with a man whose copy of
his book he has signed, just to establish where we are. The lackey who
called on Sherlock earlier sits beside him and hands him a note with a bunch
of numerical codes. He sticks it in his address book and asks about his
ticket. Moran – that HAS to be who this is, right? – pulls two tickets to
Don Giovanni from his inner coat pocket and hands him one. Moriarty
ominously says he won't be needing his. Moran just walks out and tells a guy
hovering by the entrance of the building courtyard to "follow Meinhard."
Holmes and Watson pull a carriage up to a gypsy camp and Holmes tells Watson
to brace himself because "we're about to be violated."
Chrissy: Just because you seem to
give off pheromones that attract would be rapists doesn't mean everybody
is after you.
Actually, Watson jokes that he's being "cynical" and greets the first man he
sees in French and asks for Simza.
As they are being escorted from the carriage, Watson notes that they are
stealing his luggage. Holmes suggests "laugh[ing] them away" and they take
his/Simza's bag too. And Watson's coat. Watson asks again where Simza is
because this whole fleecing had better at least be worth it and the guy
leading them points to a goose a sleeping man is clutching and laughs. Then
he goes one step over the line by taking Watson's scarf and Watson finally
snaps and punches him. Holmes giggles while all the gypsies go silent and
start surrounding them. He tries to avert total disaster by saying no,
seriously, we wanted to discuss her brother. Simza appears, the bag he was
recently relieved of in her hand and asks if they're hungry.
So we cut to them eating what Holmes describes as the best hedgehog goulash
he's ever tasted while Watson makes faces and chokes down spoonfuls. Watson
asks when the hell he's ever had such a thing before. Holmes doesn't
remember. Watson suggests that's because he repressed the memory. "Unlike
you, I repress nothing," Holmes snots. He reprimands Watson for being rude
to the lady who invited them into her tent. "Says the man who throws women
from trains," Watson snaps.
Emilio: If you two are finished
Simza has had enough and asks why someone is trying to kill her. Watson
summarizes that her brother is involved in something shady with a dangerous
man who apparently believes he told her something. She says she doesn't know
anything and has been looking for her brother for more than a year, in fact.
She was in London only because it was the last place he was spotted. Holmes
thinks it's unlikely he would have sent any message to her that would put
her in harm's way DELIBERATELY. Unintentionally, though...Watson asks if he
sent her anything else. She pulls out some drawings.
Holmes flips through the sketches and does quick analyses of them. The gauge
of paper is thicker than usual – like the kind of paper used in a printing
press. Same as the letter he sent. Watson sniffs the letter and notes that
they both smell musty – like they were stored someplace damp. He notes a red
stain in the corner of a page Holmes is holding and asks if it's blood.
Holmes, of course, tests it by licking the spot on the paper. He concludes
that nope, it's wine. Which means they need to find a wine cellar near a
printing press. Simza looks at her assistant, who shrugs and mysteriously
says "he" promised he wouldn't go back there. She turns to the boys and says
that there is a wine cellar that the anarchist group Lapin Vert used. She
and her brother were both part of the group at one point, until it got to be
"too extreme". The leader of the group is named Ravache. Simza's assistant
leaves to get in contact with him. She grabs a jug of something and starts
slugging from it. Holmes leans over and warns Watson against drinking
anything the gypsies might give him. Except the minute the words are out of
his mouth, he's accepting the bottle from Simza and guzzling from it, so...
Chrissy: Basically you're
volunteering me as your designated driver then.
Emilio: Doesn't he always?
Simza asks if Watson dances. Holmes hisses at him to for god's sake DON'T.
Simza takes Watson's hand and leads him from the tent without any further
protest from Holmes, who is busy finishing the bottle of probably moonshine.
The next day...probably. Mary is just climbing some stairs in a castle
somewhere when a very naked Mycroft appears to ask if she's had breakfast
yet and points to a little old guy slowly bringing a tray in her direction.
She splutters and looks very determinedly out the window like I DIDN'T SEE
ANYTHING. Another servant appears with a letter for Mrs. Watson. The fact
that nobody is at all phased by Mycroft's lack of clothing suggests this is
his house and this is a familiar sight to them.
Chrissy: Really, it's probably not
the worst thing they could walk in on any given day.
She rips it open and pronounces that the contents don't make sense. He takes
it from her and reads "my most loathed Mary, I don't love you, I wish to
never see you again..."
Chrissy: No, it makes perfect sense.
Sherlock is forging my handwriting.
No, he identifies this as the encryption he and Sherlock used when they were
kids. Basically if the first word starts with a consonant, then everything
that follows is the opposite of what is meant. That...seems obvious and
beneath either of their intelligence, but okay.
He gives a rambling sort of half compliment that he can see how some guys
might enjoy the company of someone of her sex under certain circumstances.
Emilio: Someone not me, obviously.
She acts very uncomfortable and looks everywhere but at him before grabbing
the letter and fleeing the room.
Elsewhere, sometime. A cab stamped with Les Sept Grenouilles stops in a back
alley and Simza, Holmes and Watson pile out of the back. They are escorted
into what must be said restaurant through the kitchen, where they are
frisked before they can go down into the wine cellar where Ravache is
waiting with his back turned. He calls that he's pleased to see Simza in
French. She replies in English that she's not here to see him. "Is he here?"
Ravache says no, he hasn't seen her brother in a long time. Watson inspects
some paper sitting off to one side and notes that it is the same paper Rene
used to send a letter to Simza. Holmes says that's because he took it with
him and Ravache isn't lying about him not being here NOW. Ravache says yes,
he was sent on assignment by some Englishman who offered to fund their
cause...so long as they did a few things for him and claimed responsibility
for a few terrorist acts. "I made a deal with the devil." But, he says
cryptically, it will all be over after tonight. Watson concludes this means
there's another bomb somewhere. Simza begs Ravache to talk to Holmes and
Watson as they can help. Ravache doesn't think so, actually, and seeing as
this benefactor is using his wife and children as leverage to force him to
do these things... Holmes promises to help his wife and children if he'll
just... Ravache says no, it's "taken care of". He says they have less than
ten minutes, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger.
The thugs upstairs hanging around the kitchen start moving. Holmes instructs
Watson to take the gun from Ravache and cover the stairs while he looks
around and runs over what a bunch of evidence points to: a hidden passage
having been built behind a wall. Watson shoots up at a couple guys as they
start coming down the stairs. Holmes pulls on one of the coat hooks on the
wall and the secret passage swings open. Watson fires a couple more bullets
and the three of them dart down the passage, closing the door behind them.
Simza sneers that Holmes could have WARNED her since he obviously suspected
that might happen. Holmes illuminates a bunch of bomb making supplies with a
torch along with evidence that points toward the bomb being in the Paris
opera house. They make their way out to the street somewhere behind the
cathedral and run to the opera house. They walk right in and go backstage
past Moran, who the camera focuses on as he smirks evilly and walks away.
Holmes gets on a platform that is cranking up onto the center of the stage,
throwing a stagehand out of his way unceremoniously. Simza throws a knife to
him without prompting. He uses it to slice through the covering on the
interior of the platform while the actor on top of it starts singing his
part. He finds a chess piece sitting in front of a hole in the platform and
looks past it out into the audience. Moriarty is up in one of the viewing
boxes with opera glasses. Then Holmes runs back the "tape" in his head of
the past few minutes and refocuses on a newspaper in that kitchen with a
headline about that Meinhardt guy and the hotel he's staying at.
He blasts out of the platform and runs off the stage, meeting Watson and
Simza in the wings. He says he was wrong and angrily throws the chess piece
on the ground.
They go back outside and run toward the nearby hotel, where a couple thugs
are already wheeling what is obviously the bomb hidden in some sort of cake
through the halls. We catch a glimpse of it placed behind Meinhardt, who is
speaking to a room full of important looking men before it explodes. We get
a little montage of Holmes et al running in to see the damage, intercut with
the opera still going on, Moriarty watching the action on stage with rapt
Realizing there is a bullet hole near where the bomb was, Holmes follows the
line of it back to a roof. All three of them traipse over there and Watson
verifies that this is definitely where the bullet came from. He and Holmes
identify marks on the ground where the shooter set up a tripod for the rifle
and a scorch mark from a cigarette. Watson pronounces it a very difficult
shot that maybe only a half a dozen men in all of Europe could have made.
Holmes asks how many of them served in Afghanistan because that is what he
makes of the bit of tobacco he just found that fell out of the cigarette.
Because, you see, he is an expert in tobacco ash. He wrote a paper and
Chrissy: Nobody read that.
Diandra: Shut up.
Now we run back the tape on Watson, who suddenly remembers a smell as they
were going down the hallway past Moran. Holmes prompts that he read
something about a colonel... "Sebastian Moran," Watson says. "Best marksman
in the British army." He was dishonorably discharged. Holmes concludes he's
probably a hired gun now and this is his second victim at least. Watson
thinks that's an ingenious way to cover up a murder since nobody would think
to look for a bullet hole in a room where a bomb went off. And we rewind to
show that Moran shot Meinhardt a second before the bomb went off.
Next day. I guess. Watson and Simza are sitting at a café at the base of the
Eiffel Tower and Watson is checking his watch, noting that "he" is twenty
minutes late. Simza eyes some constables patrolling nearby and mutters that
she doesn't have papers. Watson agrees that between that and his status as a
foreigner..."this climate is exactly what Moriarty wants." Holmes arrives
with a tray of breakfast, which he declares is delicious...except for the
tea because France. He sits and launches into a recap of what has happened
so far. The assassination/bombing was orchestrated to look like a
retaliation on the part of Germany against Strassbourg. AND the bombing
covered the murder of Meinhardt. When Simza looks confused by this, Watson
explains to her that Meinhardt makes guns. Holmes adds that a large share of
his company was bought by persons unknown days ago. Which must be Moriarty,
but to avoid making a mistake similar to the one he made yesterday, Holmes
needed to gather more evidence, which is why he was late just now.
Elsewhere, sometime earlier, Moran finds Moriarty reading about the
explosion in the paper. He announces that the train is leaving in 40
minutes. As Moriarty is leaving, Sherlock jumps up from a nearby table and
runs off, stripping his old man disguise as he goes, changing into a
porter's uniform and arriving in the hotel lobby in time to wheel the cart
with Moriarty's luggage as Moriarty and Moran stroll past. Moriarty asks if
they have time for him to "indulge my little habit."
Chrissy: You couldn't have thought of
that before you checked out? The maid is probably already cleaning the
Diandra: I'm afraid to ask what is going on in your head right now.
Emilio: I'm not, but I think I already know.
Apparently, Moriarty's "little habit" is feeding the ever present pigeons,
who Holmes describes as "feral". Watson interrupts his narrative suddenly by
reaching over and ripping off a chunk of fake mustache that Holmes missed.
Holmes just blinks at him and continues verbally working out the time it
takes to get from the park with the highest concentration of pigeons to a
train station and concludes that his train is leaving from Gare du Nord
which has a 11:04 going to Berlin. Watson cuts in before he can finish with
the reveal that one of the stops along that train's route is Hellbron, the
location of Meinhardt's factory. Holmes says Moriarty owns it now. Only
problem is after the bombing the border between France and Germany was
closed, so unless they know someone who is good at getting across borders
through less legal means... he looks pointedly at Simza.
So we go right back to the woods, with the boys dressed in less proper
English attire. Holmes says Watson makes a very good gypsy, actually.
Simza's friend tries to give Watson back his scarf, but he says the guy can
keep it because it will look better on him. Which might be an acknowledgment
that it really does look terrible. Simza directs them to horses, indicating
which is for who and Holmes asks where the wagons are. She asks if he can't
just ride a horse. The horse snorts and he looks at it sideways like 'oh,
who asked YOU?' Watson says it's not that he can't, he just...doesn't.
Because, Holmes adds "they're dangerous at both ends and crafty in the
middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about
between my legs?"
Chrissy: What was that earlier about
reasons why you chose me again?
He says he'll just find himself a bicycle or something and questions why
they couldn't have chartered a balloon because it's 1891 for god's sake. He
storms away and Watson asks if they can find a way to make "this" more
Diandra: Ahem. I wasn't going to say anything, but...
This leads to the comedy of everyone riding past the camera on horseback
and, after a pause, Holmes following on a pony, loudly complaining.
They arrive at a crossing point that is heavily guarded and populated. Simza
says they know another way. Holmes makes a face and coaxes his dwarf horse
into moving again.
There's a short montage of the group riding through hills and valleys, until
they come to a body of water with an industrial area on the other side that
must include the factory. Watson lays out the plan: in through the loading
bay, figure out what's going on in there and get out before anyone notices.
Holmes thinks the getting out part might be harder than he expects. Simza
says her crew can facilitate that if they just focus on the part where they
get her brother out alive.
Closer to the building, Holmes and Watson hide as a group of soldiers march
past. Once they are clear, Holmes asks if Watson is happy right now like
'this beats spending time with your wife, right?' Watson is like
'........seriously, dude?' Holmes sniffs, waits a beat, and asks again.
Watson snaps at him to FOCUS on the reason they're here, damnit.
Chrissy: We can talk about your
insecurities and feelings of abandonment later.
Holmes asks what time it is. Watson looks at his watch and says 3:15. Holmes
says great, so they can meet back here in exactly an hour after Watson sends
this telegraph to Mycroft from the office over there. Watson takes the paper
without another word and runs off. Holmes pulls out another piece of paper
and starts writing.
Diandra: You keep saying that, but it never IS later.
We go back and forth for a bit as Watson breaks into the telegraph office
while Holmes is running around back alleys. Holmes finally enters what looks
like a laboratory. Behind a heavy steel door with a teeny window deep
inside, there is the sort of room you'd usually find populated with high
ranking military officers, full of maps with little markers identifying
various countries laid out like players on a battlefield.
Chrissy: You never played Risk, did
On the wall, a bunch of pieces identifying various types of weapons are
associated with various countries as well as cost possibly. And I feel I
should note the music here sounds an awful lot like the soundtrack to
Pirates of the Caribbean because Hans Zimmer.
Holmes goes to another part of possibly the same facility and finds a whole
giant warehouse floor full of missiles. All the lights go on and Moran's
voice gloats that this is the result of industry meeting weaponry.
Chrissy: [cough] Er...any of them
Coming into view, Moran suggests Holmes put his gun down, holding his own
very casually not pointed at anything in particular for emphasis. Because
he's not just taking the easy upper hand: he just thinks Holmes should
upgrade his choice of weaponry and take one of the steampunk automatic
pistols from the crate he is crouched next to. He tosses him a ten round
magazine to go with it. They both snap the magazines into the guns
simultaneously. Holmes notes that it's easy to load and deduces that he has
to pull back the bolt to "engage" a bullet. Moran does so and points his gun
at Holmes' head before Holmes can actually do anything. Then a couple other
goons run up and disarm Holmes before chloroforming him unconscious. Moran
tells them to take him to the "surgery" while he finds Watson.
Watson is pacing at the meeting point outside impatiently. Then he notices
the note Holmes was writing earlier stuck to the wall. "Come at once if
convenient." He flips it over and reads "if inconvenient, come all the
same." Nice reference. The two notes are written on the outside of a folded
paper. Watson unfolds it to find one of Rene's drawings of a lighthouse,
which can be seen from the location Watson is currently standing, it's light
creating a lens flare worthy of JJ Abrams.
Holmes wakes up when someone waves a glass of "schnapps" under his nose,
then hands it to him. He tosses it back, coughs and declares that it's
actually aquavit distilled from potato mash, but that's a common mistake.
"Thank you, by the way," he adds as the guy takes the glass back and spins
the chair he's propped in around to face a table where Moriarty is sitting.
Moriarty has already started speaking while Holmes was rambling about potato
mash, asking who the telegram that was sent from this location was sent to.
Holmes just says something similar to what he said to Blackwood in the last
movie: that he admires the skill Moriarty exhibits in his committing of
horrific crimes. "You used the anarchists and their bombs to create a crisis
in Europe, nation against nation. Under various pseudonyms, you bought,
schemed or murdered your way into numerous industries, assuring that none of
it could be traced to you."
Chrissy: From anyone else, this would
sound like the ravings of a conspiracy obsessed lunatic.
"Now that you own the supply, you intend to create the demand," he finishes.
"A world war."
Emilio: Ah, pretty sure it sounds like that from him too.
The next two scenes are overlaid and cut rapidly back and forth, but I will
recap them separately.
Outside, a goon catches up to Watson. We see Moran trying to shoot Watson
from a distance, but the guard is in the way. So after a few seconds he just
shoots the guard. Watson leaps for cover.
While this is happening, Moriarty revs up his bad guy soliloquy by reminding
Holmes of another Schubert song "The Trout". "A fisherman grows weary of
trying to catch an elusive fish, so he muddies the waters. Confuses the
fish. It doesn't realize until too late that it has swum into a trap." This
is punctuated by a goon coming up behind Holmes and spearing him in the
shoulder with a giant hook that lifts him right out of the chair. Moriarty
calmly walks over to start a phonograph playing The Trout, drowning out
Holmes' whimpering, and turns it to some sort of speaker system that
amplifies and pipes the sound outside. Then, because we need to drive home
just how deranged he is, he sings loudly along with the song and punctuates
the chorus by pushing Holmes and spinning him around to make him scream some
Chrissy: This is veering close to
cable territory, isn't it?
Diandra: Close, but sadly still not as gruesome enough for, say,
HBO or AMC.
Moran is still shooting at Watson, who gets his own pistol loaded just
before Holmes' screaming comes drifting from the "speakers".
The phonograph stops just as Holmes seems to pass out and Moriarty has him
lowered to the floor. He blinks blearily, the whole side of his shirt
covered in blood, as Moriarty stands over him and asks again who the
telegram was sent to. Holmes says "to my..." and trails off, seemingly
struggling to stay conscious. Moriarty makes a face like he's annoyed that
he's going to have to get his hands dirty and leans down over him, grabbing
the hook with one hand and pinning Holmes' other wrist with the other. He
puts his ear close to Holmes' mouth and Holmes gasps that he sent it to
Mycroft. Moriarty leans back and says he just has one more question then.
Emilio: How does it feel to have my
hook inside you?
Diandra: No, you're not.
Emilio: No, not really.
Chrissy: You can't just expect us to ignore the rape subtext at
Diandra: Is that what this even is? It feels more like a broader
Chrissy: I mean, it looks a lot like that one story you had saved
on your reader where Moriarty fucks Sherlock while John watches.
Diandra: The fact that you know more about computers than I do does
not give you the right to HACK INTO MY DEVICES all the time, Chris.
Chrissy: Who needs to hack into anything when you use the same
easily guessed lock code for everything?
Emilio: Are we sure you're the one who is Sherlock, Diandra?
Chrissy: Yes, she is. But we're probably giving a live
demonstration right now of why I am Moriarty.
Actually, the question is: which of them is really the fish and which the
Outside, Watson has isolated Moran's location at about the same time he
realizes he is crouching next to a giant covered canon. Up in the
lighthouse, Moran sees the cover fall off the canon as it rotates in his
direction and scrambles to retreat. Just as Moriarty is finishing that
question, Watson fires and the lighthouse starts crashing down right onto
the building they are in, which has skylights so they can see it happening.
Holmes starts rolling out of the way, but we cut to an outside shot of the
crash before we can see how, exactly, either of them escape being crushed to
death. Because we all know they will both survive, right?
Chrissy: I mean, there could have
been a slight chance that this was replacing the whole Reichenbach falls
scene, but making Watson directly responsible for Holmes' "death" would
have been especially cruel.
Diandra: Ugh. Yes. Not to mention, he definitely didn't have the
upper hand there, so it would have changed his death from a knowing
sacrifice to an accident.
Watson climbs from the rubble that his own little bunker has turned into and
runs for the main disaster area, calling for Holmes as he picks his way
inside. From somewhere, Holmes groans "take your time." Watson finds him and
just yanks the hook out of his shoulder, which...yeah, that seems like a bad
idea. Holmes grunts a little, but otherwise doesn't seem to find that all
that painful, and grumbles that it's good to see him.
And then we cut right to them running across whatever is left of the factory
with Watson supporting Holmes like apparently he isn't losing as much blood
as you would think he should be. Or maybe it's adrenaline because he
stumbles and begs Watson to hold up a minute. Watson lets him drop and he
picks up the gun from the floor where he left it before Moriarty decided to
stage that torture porn scene. He asks what the HELL Holmes was thinking
while he gathers weaponry of his own. Holmes says he THOUGHT he had Moriarty
right where he wanted him. Obviously he severely underestimated Moriarty's
capacity for sadism though.
Speaking of Moriarty, Moran, who ducked clear enough to escape the
destruction largely unscathed, digs him from the rubble. Moriarty snaps that
he's FINE and Moran shouldn't waste time here when he could be catching
Simza and the rest of her band of merry gypsies meet the boys and they all
shoot their way out as the goons close in, including Holmes, who is
awkwardly shooting with his left hand while nursing his right. Once they are
out the door, Simza asks if they saw her brother. Holmes says no, but he was
DEFINITELY here recently. Watson asks how Holmes knew he'd find him.
Chrissy: I mean, aside from the fact
that I always do.
Holmes is like 'is that what you call collapsing a building on top of me?
Chrissy: Oh, whatever. You're
obviously fine if you're complaining.
They reach a wall at the edge of the facility grounds and one of Simza's men
throws a rope over it to them. But before they can climb it, they have to
shoot another half a dozen goons. One goon loads an early machine gun
prototype and blasts the shit out of the entire area around them. When the
dust settles, there is a giant hole in the wall they needed to climb over.
So they're running through the woods and Holmes asks where the HELL the
horses are. Simza says they had to leave them behind and they can't really
go back now. Holmes asks where they need to get to and she points at the
nearby railroad tracks.
So there's a chase sequence where the German goons are launching mortars
just short of the running group and Moran joins the goons running after
them. He picks up a rifle and pauses to fire. Everything kicks into slow
motion so we can see the bullet just graze Watson's side before embedding in
a tree. Back to normal speed for a moment, then slow again as a tree
splinters right by Holmes and one of the gypsies fires back and nails one of
the goons in the chest. Moran seems to get one of the gypsies in the back.
And then one of the goons back at the wall announces that it's time to
introduce "Little Hansel".
Diandra: NO! Neither of you say a
Little Hansel turns out to be their biggest ass missile, which they load and
all cover their ears before firing. We're in slow motion again as the canon
fires and trees all around the heroes explode clean through. Everyone is
knocked over by the force of the blast. They recover just as the goons
arrive and launch into hand to hand combat. Holmes manages to disarm one
goon and pass off his rifle to Watson, who shoots another coming up over the
hill. The train arrives just then and Simza, Holmes and Watson manage to
make it into one of the cars before Moran can catch up. But not before Moran
has time to shoot the last of their group as she is trying to get on the
train. I don't think it was ever mentioned before, but it is obvious she was
Simza's right-hand-man's girlfriend.
So sometime later, he is staring out the open car door mourning silently.
Simza is singing quietly while Watson tries to patch up Holmes, who is in
her lap. Holmes is just staring at Watson until he suddenly closes his eyes
and, according to Simza, stops breathing. Watson checks his pulse, then
orders her to support his head and the other guy to lift his legs while he
starts chest compressions, muttering that he is bloody well NOT letting him
DIE. He keeps checking Holmes' pulse and pounding on his chest in the way of
your average drama, shrieking "I know you can hear me you selfish bastard!"
until Simza shoves him away. Simza hugs him and the other guy pats his
shoulder. And then Watson remembers the "wedding gift" he still has on him
for whatever reason. He unwraps the syringe and stabs it into Holmes' heart.
After a couple seconds Holmes sits bolt upright screaming and runs to the
other end of the car before settling a little.
Chrissy: I love how they found a use
for the ugly scarf as a sling to keep his arm immobile.
Diandra: Oh, it is, isn't it? Ha.
He starts rambling about a nightmare he was having wherein he was with
Watson and Mary and Gladstone at a restaurant and the "satanic" pony he was
riding was trying to eat him with a giant fork.
Chrissy: I would ask what the
psychological analysis is of that mess is, but I'm pretty sure it's just
Holmes asks who was dancing on his chest. Watson is like 'that would have
been me and you're welcome.' Holmes asks why his ankle itches. Watson says
there's still a piece of wood sticking from it. Holmes, already distracted,
tells Simza's friend that he has a job for him to do later and remind him.
Watson pushes him to sit down and drink a vial of...something...and he can
get the wood from his ankle before it causes any more damage. Holmes
suddenly remembers Watson calling him a selfish bastard somehow and Watson
is like yeah, well...I stand by it.
Diandra: Yeah. Like the one about oysters taking over the world
because they breed unchecked in the ocean. His logical thinking breaks
down quickly when he's not fully cognizant.
When everything quiets again, Holmes mutters an apology that Watson never
made it to Brighton. Watson agrees, then after a pause says they should go
home. Holmes says yes, but...swing by Switzerland first. Because obviously
the plan is to use the peace summit as ground zero for the start of the war
and they need to stop it.
Switzerland. We pan over some mountain scenery to a castle built into the
face of a cliff over a waterfall. Inside, apparently, Watson exposits that
he doesn't understand why Mycroft can't just have the whole summit canceled
to be safe. Mycroft thinks the summit will happen one way or another and
there's nothing they can do about it. All the parties have arrived already
and canceling could very well set them off because really it wouldn't take
much for some of them. He passed their telegram to his superiors, but those
are the same people who were already consulting with Moriarty – a personal
friend of the prime minister - so they weren't inclined to do much.
Especially since there is no evidence to prove anything they are saying
about him. Mycroft's manservant assures them they have doubled security,
which Simza notes around a mouthful of food, is less than reassuring.
Holmes appears in the room (or possibly rises from the sofa where he was
sleeping or passed out), puffing on some sort of breathing apparatus, and
asks Mycroft if he can have it because "the effect is most invigorating".
Mycroft says that's because it's oxygen and NO. Holmes puts it down and
waves his empty hand to show that he's no longer touching it. Then because
clearly none of them know Sherlock very well, they all just turn back to
their conversation like he can be trusted to behave himself.
Chrissy: Yes, well. We keep hoping
one day you'll surprise us.
Mycroft says he's arranged for them to attend the ball, which is about all
they can do because they don't even know what Moriarty might be planning
anyway. Simza and Watson agree that it couldn't be another bomb. Holmes says
it will be an assassination. Lone gunman. Close range. "Rene," Simza says.
Holmes says yes, he suspected that might be the plan, but now that he knows
who will be in attendance he is sure. Watson concludes that Rene is the
"evidence." Holmes thinks if they can stop him, they will both save his life
and "stop the collapse of Western civilization."
Emilio: Oh, I gave up on that long ago. I just don't care anymore.
Diandra: Love you too, Bro.
Emilio: Eh. More like put it off for
another decade or so.
Sometime later, on a dark and snowy night, Moriarty arrives at the ball and
joins a line of people being checked at the entrance by a guy using a
photobook to identify them.
In the ballroom, Holmes and Simza join Watson, Mycroft and his servant.
Mycroft says he's figured out who the targets are. The German and French
prime ministers and their ambassadors and all other countries present would
have to work out which side of the battle they want to be on since there's a
lot of blood mixing across borders. Holmes asks if there will be an official
photograph taken. You know, something that would require everyone to gather
together and stand still. Because that's when he'll try it. Mycroft looks at
his watch and says it's scheduled in 38 minutes. Holmes shrugs that they
might as well dance then and holds a hand out to Simza. She accepts, but
notes once they are on the dance floor that she's never done this. He tells
her to follow his lead. We get an overhead shot to show that the floor is
designed like a giant chess board. Because that is the theme in this movie
in case you didn't notice and it's about to get a whole lot more prominent.
His eyes rove all over the place while they're dancing and she asks what
he's seeing. "Everything," he says. He seems especially focused on the
medals pinned to various dignitaries' dress uniforms. She says he doesn't
see what he's looking for though. He says nothing, but takes her back to the
edge of the floor and holds a hand out to Watson. "I thought you'd never
ask," Watson says without blinking. Once they are out on the floor, Holmes
directs him to look over his shoulder at the guy with the German uniform and
Chrissy: Uh-huh. You do realize I'm
letting you lead, right?
Watson spots the guy and identifies the scar on his face as signifying
previous major injury that was repaired really quite well. "Doctor
Hoffmenstahl?" Apparently he means the doctor who died outside that auction
house was the guy who did the repair work.
"Those twins weren't twins," he adds. This is a reference to some goons
working with Moran and Moriarty. Apparently Holmes noticed a scar behind a
guy's ear indicating facial reconstruction as he was being chloroformed.
Because of course he did. Watson realizes they were part of some sort of
experiment in making one man look identical to another
Chrissy: Oh, a German doctor doing
experimental surgeries? You don't say.
So in conclusion: Rene no longer looks like Rene. "What better way to make
his world war than to make the assassin..." Watson blinks and finishes
"...one of the ambassadors." Holmes says the good news is that means their
suspect pool is narrowed down to six men. He tells Watson to take Sim and
get on figuring out which one is her brother. "You know my methods." Watson
realizes Holmes intends to leave him there, but knows exactly where he's
headed and doesn't try to stop him. Holmes asks as an afterthought who
taught Watson how to dance. "You did," Watson says, blushing. Holmes says he
did a "fine job" if he says so himself and walks away before one of them
gets any ideas in their heads or anything.
Diandra: Er, yeah.
Chrissy: Too late.
Watson calls after him to be careful.
Holmes hands a slip of paper to the man posted at the door on his way out.
Watson goes over to whisper the plan in Simza's ear. The man by the door
hands the paper to Moriarty as he enters the room. The photographer starts
gathering people for the photo.
Moriarty finds Holmes waiting on a balcony overlooking the falls. Anyone
with even a hazy memory of having read Doyle's original stories can see
where this is headed. Holmes points to the time clock over on another table
and asks Moriarty to bring it over to the one set up for a chess game.
Moriarty does and then fetches a cloak to throw over Holmes' shoulders as he
sits, smarming that he doesn't want him to catch cold.
Emilio: Yes, I prefer you warm.
Diandra: That...came out sounding creepy.
Emilio: Good, I meant it to.
Moriarty throws on his own cloak and sits on the opposite side of the board.
Holmes asks if they should play a five minute game. "If you think you can
manage it," Moriarty fires back.
Emilio: I mean, I don't know what
kind of stamina YOU have, but...
The following scenes have an incessant ticking noise in the background to
give everything a sense of urgency. We cut back and forth between Watson and
Simza searching the crowd in the ballroom and Holmes and Moriarty moving
pieces. Their banter turns to chess analogies with Holmes announcing that
they both have two bishops and he clearly doesn't mean the ones on the
board. "I may be absent from the room, but my methods are not." Moriarty
understands he's referring to Watson and "that doesn't seem fair".
Watson and Simza meet in the middle of the room again and Watson mutters
that only four of the six suspects have a hairline that could hide the sort
of surgical scars their guy must have.
Holmes takes one of Moriarty's pawns as he asks if the ambassador Rene
replaced is still alive. Moriarty just moves a bishop without thinking,
flips the clock back and asks if Holmes needs a recommendation for his next
Simza says all the men have the right height and build, but their eyes are
all wrong because Rene's eyes are blue. The camera focuses on all the brown
eyes in turns. Watson suggests he could be wearing some sort of colored
glass lenses, which would hurt like a bitch, so... Simza focuses on one guy
lifting a cigar to his mouth and says Rene is also left handed.
Holmes, half over Watson's observations of another guy holding a brandy
glass in his left hand, suggests maybe the assassin is taking extra
precautions to conceal some obvious tells.
Simza thinks she has identified him. Watson asks if she's sure. The guy they
are looking at does a very deliberate blink like he has something in his
eyes but is determined not to scratch at it.
Moriarty says his clock is ticking and reminds Holmes that they are playing
Blitz chess and "a single miscalculation will cost you the game."
To reinforce this metaphor, Watson says if she's wrong and he tackles the
wrong guy he could start a war. Holmes voiceover rambles about less obvious
tells like nervous anxiety and ticks while the guy Watson is watching taps
his foot and fiddles with his glass.
Moriarty thinks everyone has a reason to be nervous tonight, so...
Watson whispers something to Simza and approaches the guys setting up the
camera and flashbulb while Holmes voiceovers that they might need to look
for the opposite then. Someone so preoccupied with his performance that he
cannot adapt to spontaneity. Watson knocks over the tray of champagne
glasses a butler on the other side of the cameraman is holding. Everyone
gasps and looks at the loud crash except the guy with the cigar, who drops
it and backs away from the guy he was talking to. Watson nods at Simza, who
grabs the guy's arm as he starts to reach into his vest. She pleads with him
in Romanian. He shoves her aside and pulls a gun. Watson tackles him just as
he gets off one wild shot that hits no one. Mycroft starts herding the
ambassadors while guards descend and drag Rene away, screaming that Germany
Holmes looks in the direction of the shouting and calmly says that's
probably not a good sign, is it? Moriarty says his bishop proved useful
after all. But it's not over yet.
Just outside the ball room, Moran shoots Rene with a contraption disguised
as a cane. Watson hears the screaming from the hall and rushes out, pushing
the guards out of the way with shouts of "I'm a doctor." Rene is gurgling
and foaming at the mouth. Watson plucks the obviously poison dart from his
leg. Simza runs out and falls beside her brother, shrieking at Watson to DO
Holmes hears Simza shrieking in the distance and Moriarty notes that he's
just lost his "most valuable piece." Holmes coldly says winning strategies
sometimes require sacrifices. The goal was to stop a war, which they have
done. Moriarty is like 'have you, though?' "Didn't you find it strange that
the telegram you sent didn't inspire any action to stop me?" Because deep
down, people seek out conflict. It's part of the human condition. All he was
trying to do is profit from the inevitable because all those European
countries are just LOOKING for a reason to fight. All he has to do is wait
and they will find another. Holmes kind of swallows uncomfortably. Moriarty
goes off on a seeming tangent, talking about how much he loves Switzerland
and their respect of "privacy" and wealth. He shrugs off the cloak and
stands up like a Victorian version of a mic drop.
Holmes moves a piece and announces that his bishop has taken his knight and
check. Moriarty is like 'no, see, we're done playing now. I won.' He says
Holmes should get his shoulder looked at in an actual hospital too. Holmes
is like yeeeeaaaaahhhh, actually...you no longer have quite the wealth you
think you do. "King to rook two," Moriarty says without looking. Holmes
reveals that he's actually been attending some of Moriarty's lectures in
disguise and at one of them he noticed this little book he carries with
him..."rook to king's rook three, check." Moriarty feels for the book in his
pocket and pretends to not be taken by surprise. "Bishop to rook three," he
says, turning back. Holmes continues that it didn't really mean much until
he figured out the pigeon feeding habit and caught him thumbing through it
while sitting on a bench. "Bishop takes bishop."
Chrissy: Okay, who is the bishop
Diandra: Don't worry about it.
Chrissy: Easy for you to say, your *majesty*.
"Rook to bishop four." Holmes says he just needed to get hold of the
notebook then, which he tried to do in that hotel lobby when he was dressed
as a bellhop, but couldn't actually get it out of Moriarty's pocket. So he
knew he would need to "endure a considerable amount of pain." We flash back
on that moment when Moriarty had to lean close after torturing him with the
hook and see from a different angle him switching the book in Moriarty's
pocket with a different one. Using the hand attached to the arm that had a
giant meat hook stabbing through it. Uh-huh.
Emilio: Obviously underestimated your
ability to withstand pain.
Except Holmes says the contents MUST be encoded, so he would need to crack
that… "rook takes rook." "Pawn takes rook," Moriarty fires back. Neither of
them is moving any of the pieces on the board anymore, they're just playing
in their heads. "Bishop to bishop seven." "Queen takes knight pawn." This is
an actual legitimate game they're playing designed by a professional chess
player, by the way.
Chrissy: Or level of masochism, which I'm starting to think is
another thing Diandra has in common with Sherlock here.
Holmes asks if The Art of Domestic Horticulture means anything to Moriarty.
We flash back on that meeting at the college where Holmes noted that the
book was sitting in full sight in his office, yet the flowers in the
windowsill were very dead, which doesn't really make sense for someone like
him. As in, he probably wouldn't even own the book if he didn't actually
read it. Moriarty finally gives in and reaches for the book in his pocket.
Holmes says nah, don't worry about it. It's in London. We flash back on
Holmes handing the real one to Simza's friend (I have something for you to
do later), who hands it to Mary, who uses the decryption key hidden in the
horticulture book to decode it because she's not a totally useless
character. In conclusion, Holmes gloats, Moriarty just had his money stolen
by "perhaps the most inept Inspector in the history of Scotland Yard." This
being, of course, Lestrade, who watches some men carry boxes into the office
under Mary's direction.
Moriarty flips through the duplicate book, which is blank except for the
little sketches that make a moving scene as you flip pages. The scene is a
man fishing from a boat and the fish turning into a shark and eating him, a
little bubble appearing over its head saying "be careful what you fish for".
Emilio: Hey, if you'd just said you
wanted to eat me...
He glares at Holmes, who is finishing his gloating reveal by assuring
Moriarty that the money will be donated to a good cause. The Widows and
Orphans of War Fund. "Bishop to bishop eight. Discover check. And
incidentally...mate." He plops his pipe in his mouth and turns to face a now
quietly seething Moriarty. He holds out his lighter and says "I seem to have
injured my shoulder, do you mind?"
Chrissy: We could have saved a WHOLE lot of time here.
Moriarty takes the cap off the lighter and vows to find a "creative ending"
for Sherlock's dear doctor and the missus. He lights the pipe and Holmes
stares at him as we kick into Holmes-o-vision. He notes the clear
disadvantages they both have: he has an injured arm and Moriarty is blinded
Chrissy: I mean, Holmes should be
pretty pissed off too after that threat to Watson, right?
Diandra: Er...yeah. Sure.
Chrissy: Oh, come on, we already did the Worth the Wound thing in
the last movie. Everyone knows you care.
Emilio: Which is obviously why Moriarty threatened him. He knew
Holmes' biggest weakness.
We run in slow motion through Moriarty throwing a few punches and getting a
couple in before Holmes "uses his momentum to counter", getting in a punch
to the gut and the chin. And then we freeze and go right back to the
starting point and Moriarty asks in voiceover if Holmes really thinks he's
the only one who can play this game. He runs through his own version of the
fight, where he blocks Holmes' punch and holds his good arm immobile while
he digs into the injured shoulder. He throws Holmes against a pillar and
goes to do a "haymaker" and we kick right back to Holmes' perspective as he
remembers that Moriarty was a boxing champion at Cambridge.
Chrissy: Well, this is one way to
illustrate how a fight between them is evenly matched.
Diandra: Another way is everything else they've been doing in this
Emilio: Or the entire movie.
Diandra: Or that, yes.
Holmes blocks the next three blows while Moriarty-vision sneers that he's
competent, but "predictable." Holmes gets a punch in to the jaw. Moriarty
blocks the next punch with his hand and lunges for Holmes' throat. Holmes
notes that he's running out of strategies here and needs to try something
else. This being, apparently, stomping on Moriarty's foot. He yelps when he
tries to land another punch and Moriarty notes that his wound is starting to
really hinder him. He grabs Holmes by that arm and slams him face first into
a table, then jabs at the back of the shoulder with a horrible crunching
sound. Holmes calmly notes that the injury is "making defense untenable" as
he is kneed in the gut. Moriarty throws him onto the railing and he further
notes that the prognosis is looking increasingly bad. Moriarty slams his
chest a couple times, then sighs that they should stop wasting each other's
time and starts throwing Holmes over, pausing long enough for the camera to
pan up from the rushing water as he says "we both know how this ends." He
lets go and Holmes falls screaming.
And we're back to the beginning again. "Conclusion: inevitable," Holmes says
in voiceover as they both chuckle. "Unless..." He blows the embers from his
pipe in Moriarty's face and then just locks his arms around him and braces a
foot against the table with the chess board. Watson arrives just then and
gets one good look at Holmes before Holmes closes his eyes and kicks them
both over the balcony. Watson just stares at the empty space where they just
were and slowly closes his eyes. And we get a quick shot of the two falling.
Moriarty is screaming and Holmes still has his eyes closed. They separate
and disappear into the spray at the base of the falls.
Chrissy: So point of discussion...I
saw somewhere a possible fanwank that the reason he closes his eyes just
then and keeps them closed the whole way down is because he wasn't totally
sure he was going to survive and he wanted Watson's face to be the last
thing he saw if he died.
Diandra: Yeah, I saw that too. And it seems like an obvious
reading, but I'm not sure if that's because I saw that fanwank (and I
think I saw it in a fic, actually) or because that's what Robert is
actually consciously doing there. I mean...his expression when he saw
Watson come through the door suggests it could have been, but that could
also have just been relief that Watson would be okay and his sacrifice
wasn't in vain or something.
Emilio: Or both.
Chrissy: Yeah, probably both.
Watson numbly approaches the balcony and peers down at the raging water
beneath. His voiceover exposits that only a few words are probably needed to
tell the rest of the story. God knows Doyle certainly didn't want to linger
on it. Anyway. Any attempt to find the bodies was futile, so they had
Sherlock's funeral without. We pan across the church packed with people.
Mycroft and Mary are sitting next to each other like it's nice to see them
getting along so well. A plaque on a pillar of the church reads "in loving
memory of Sherlock Holmes 1854-1891. He played the game for the game's own
sake." That must have been stipulated in the will or something. Watson is
sitting by himself on one wall, staring numbly into space. Simza sits down
next to him as the voiceover finishes that he will always regard Sherlock as
the best and wisest man he ever knew.
We go to the room where he was typing at the beginning of the movie and
where he has obviously just finished typing those words. Mary brings the
mail in to him and reminds him he should be packing because the carriage is
coming in less than two hours to take them to Brighton for that long
postponed honeymoon. He's like 'yep. Uh-huh. It'll be fun' and keeps right
on typing. "You know, I miss him too," she says. He types the words "THE
END" and says Holmes would have wanted them to go. She snorts and says he
would have wanted to come with them.
Chrissy: Uh, yeah, I believe we went
over that in the last movie.
Mary leaves the room and Watson unwraps a box that was in with the mail. It
has Mycroft's breathing apparatus in it. He stares, the gears in his brain
visibly cranking. Then he jumps up to go ask Mary if it was the usual
postman who delivered this package or if he looked "peculiar". At that word,
part of the chair in the corner moves and Sherlock rips off the urban
camouflage hood he's wearing, gesturing at Gladstone on the floor to be
quiet. He runs over behind the desk, reads the last line and adds a question
mark after "the end". Smash to credits.
Apparently the plan was originally to start filming the third movie back in
2016, but by that point Marvel had taken over Robert's career, so... Between
that and the pandemic pushing it out even further I think they may have
unintentionally mirrored the gap in the original stories of a full decade
between Holmes' death and Doyle finally caving to pressure to resurrect him.
Of course, like the Mofftiss version, we were given the proof that he
survived the fall immediately because it's been known for over 100 years
that Sherlock didn't actually die at Reichenbach and why bother pretending?
Chrissy: We even have the added
benefit here of knowing HOW he survived. Although I think the fall itself
and the rocky terrain were more of a danger than the actual water.
Diandra: Yeah, which is why when Doyle was backtracking he didn't
even have Sherlock going over the falls. I pointed this out when I
recapped that episode: both of these versions decided to up the ante by
making Watson a direct witness to Holmes' "death". In the original story
(and most adaptations), Watson doesn't actually SEE Holmes fall. He just
draws a logical conclusion based on evidence. When Doyle backtracked it
was very obvious that he was creating a loophole that he deliberately
didn't create in the first place.
Chrissy: It was far fetched because he never intended for Holmes to
Diandra: Exactly. He killed him off and ten years later had to
figure a way he could have escaped certain death.
Chrissy: Which begs the question of why the hell every adaptation
does the "Sherlock Holmes commits suicide, oh, oops, no he doesn't" story
when it would be so much easier to just...not.
Emilio: Probably because it's the most well known story and you
can't do a Sherlock Holmes without Moriarty.
Diandra: I think it might be possible to divorce Moriarty from the
Reichenbach "final problem" story. Elementary had to do it when they
couldn't get Natalie Dormer back. But yeah. Doyle's attempt to kill his
most popular creation ended up being the most popular of all the stories
and has been done in just about all adaptations including very loose ones
like "House". The thing that everyone (especially fans of the BBC series)
seems to forget is that Moriarty was not really that prominent of a
character. He didn't even have any lines. Watson never saw him to verify
that he existed, which is apparently why some versions suggest that he
Emilio: I assume you're planning on recapping the third movie too
Diandra: Yeah, that was kind of the idea when I started recapping
this series. That and it would remind me of what happened in those first
two movies that I haven't seen in several years before the third movie
Chrissy: Oh, so you weren't just using this as a fun distraction to
avoid recapping Endgame?
Diandra: I can have more than one reason for doing things.
Chrissy: At the rate things are going, we should be safe to get
together for a normal recap pretty soon, so...should we plan on doing
Emilio: We could plan on doing "Deadpool" or "Far From Home"
immediately after if that would help.