The costumes are different, the language more formal, but this is unmistakably still Moffat and Gatiss’s modern Sherlock, just double-translated back into its original vintage veneer. Some things are different, such as Mary’s character (at least at first, until she’s revealed to still be a spy, working for no less than Mycroft himself – I’m particularly glad that survived. I like Mary as part of the team, and Amanda Abbingdon is fun to watch). Lestrade’s hair… is a riot.
The Abominable Bride takes full advantage of its setting, too, with little in-jokes and references to goings-on at the time, such as Mary mentioning to Lestrade that she’s part of the campaign for votes for women, and Lestrade replies with “For or against?” as many people forget that there actually was a Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League that campaigned against women voting in parliamentary elections.
Also of note: Molly Hooper, in male drag, running the morgue. This is a classic character trope in Victorian-era storytelling, a woman doing a ‘man’s job’ in a period of history where that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible (or at least looked down on). Amusingly, Watson notices this when Sherlock does not.
|Jeremy Brett could not have been recast better.|
|Sometimes I hate being me.|
Not everything works in the cross-time translation, though, as Modern Moriarty is hilariously out of place. So much so that I couldn’t help but think that the previous episode’s villain, the blackmailer Magnusson, would have been right at home as a vintage Moriarty. Modern Moriarty benefits so much from the modern setting, much like Elementary’s Adler/Moriarty dynamic benefits from its setting as well.
Then the story twists with an earthquake during a showdown between Holmes and Moriarty in Holmes’s drawing room and, as we flash forward to the plane, we realize that three series and a special into the show, Holmes does actually have a substance abuse problem. It’s been hinted at, with his “on assignment’ heroin usage and the nicotine patches and occasional cigarette, but this is finally him coming clean. And the aforementioned earthquake, coupled with the faithful recreation of the Victorian era, calls into question whether Vintage Holmes is a memory exercise for Modern Holmes or Modern Holmes is a delusion of Vintage Holmes.
- Holmes was called back, and in the time it took his plane to turn around and land, he ran a simulation of a similar death in his mind to try and find out what Moriarty did.
- Vox misses the point that it wasn’t really the solution, and these women weren’t really murderers; it was simply a representation of women that Sherlock and company may have overlooked over the years, as well as a throwback to Vintage Holmes, who genuinely did have a low opinion of women for the most part, typical of the time.
- In other words, Vox literally mistook an overdose-fueled fever dream for a propaganda piece, and I can’t imagine why they did that.
- Not at all.
- They certainly weren’t projecting.
- Not at all.