2017 welcomed Sherlock fans with the long-awaited first episode of season 4. But was it worth the wait? The Six Thatchers picks up almost immediately after last season’s finale. Sherlock is on a plane after shooting Charles Augustus Magnussen, but his trip is cut short when Jim Moriarty’s video broadcasts across London. Is Moriarty alive? We have yet to find out.
While waiting for his nemesis’ next move in what Sherlock has described as a “posthumous game”, he investigates the mysterious death of a young man. The completion of the investigation leads him to another, which concerns a smashed bust of Margaret Thatcher owned by the dead man’s father. Inspector Lestrade then brings him another broken bust belonging to a different owner. Since there are only six sculptures, Sherlock eventually catches the culprit. However, becomes caught off-guard when he finds a USB marked with the acronym “A.G.R.A” after smashing the bust, which is identical to the one Mary had and thrown in the fire. Before escaping, the unnamed man tells Sherlock that he knows Mary and he will kill her for her betrayal.
Meanwhile, Mary and John become parents to a daughter; and John has a secret of his own: a woman, who he met on a bus he calls ‘E’ and has been texting. Sherlock proves to be fiercely loyal to his friends when he confronts Mary about the threat to her life and vows to protect her. But she refuses his help believing her former coworker, named Ajay, won’t go through with his plan. Several scenes catapult us back six years into Mary’s past as a freelance agent, when her team’s rescue mission goes terribly wrong. During the throwbacks we learn several things: the acronym on the memory stick is the initials of each agent’s first name; they all have one, which contains vital information of each member’s true identity and could implicate them (but apparently, it’s a symbol of trust); and finally, that Ajay believes Mary betrayed them, even though the only detail revealed about the traitor while he was being tortured was that she was an English woman.
In the final act, Sherlock confronts the true traitor, who is revealed to be Mrs. Norbury (beware of old ladies), a jealous secretary. When Mary, John, Lestrade and some police officers show up, Norbury, seeing no escape, aims her gun at Sherlock and pulls the trigger. Time slows down and in the final seconds, Mary steps in front of Sherlock and the bullet hits her in the chest. Her sudden death causes a rift between Sherlock and Watson.
So, was it worth the wait?
Perhaps not. Three years builds high expectations. While its trademark witty exchanges were entertaining, the plot’s attempt to unravel the mystery of Mary Watson fell short. At the pace that it was unfolding, it felt like a sub-plot they wanted over and done with. On the other hand, it does make us wonder what will happen to Sherlock and Watson now the latter refuses to see him. When Sherlock finds a CD amongst his paperwork with the words “Miss Me?” written on top, he initially thinks it’s from Moriarty until Mary’s face greets him from the screen. In the event of her death, she had prepared a video message asking Sherlock to fulfill her final request: Save John Watson.
From what exactly? We can only make assumptions. Does she have other enemies who will go after her husband and daughter? Did she foresee the fallout of Sherlock and Watson as an outcome from her death? Will John find himself in serious trouble?
Hopefully the next episode will give us some answers!
What did you think Sherlock fans?