Guest Post: The East Wind Takes Us All in the End
This is a guest post from my amazing friend Emily B. over at TheAltogetherUnexpected. She’s a fantastic writer and just as much of a geek as I am, if not more. If you like her post, go ahead and check out her blog!
**Major Sherlock spoilers ahead! If you have not watched the entire series, then I am begging you to please not read this post**
There’s no such thing as bad. We have evolved to attach an emotional significance to what is nothing more than a survival strategy of the pack animal. We are confident to invest divinity in utility. Good isn’t really good, evil isn’t really wrong, bottoms aren’t really pretty. You are a prisoner of your own meat.
—Eurus Holmes, from Sherlock Se.4 Ep.3, “The Final Problem”
We all thought Sherlock had met his match when Moriarty came to play. Then we were all certain he’d met his match when Irene pulled at his heart strings. But never, in our wildest dreams, did we know what was coming when we met Eurus Holmes.
Eurus: the sister Sherlock never knew he had. Having wiped Eurus from his mind, Sherlock lived a life completely oblivious to the fact that he had a sibling locked up on an island called Sherrinford (cleverly named after the third Holmes brother from William S. Baring-Gould’s 1963 fictional biography). But Eurus, clever as she is, knows how to get in and out of Sherrinford without causing so much as a little fuss.
She can hide in plain sight, transform into anyone, make deductions with the sharpest accuracy, and manipulate anyone into doing anything she wants.
Many Sherlock fans accuse the show’s writers (Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) of giving Eurus too great an intellectual capacity, but I beg to differ. While Eurus’s mind does seem capable of almost supernatural ability, all she’s had to live with for the past decade or so (the exact number of years Eurus spends in Sherrinford is never given) has been her mind. Born with an exquisite IQ, she had time to cultivate her mind into a super machine.
Eurus is an extraordinary character. She is a clever, calculating, and brilliant young woman. She surpasses Sherlock intellectually, and the reason being is her insensitivity.
Eurus does not feel. She does not care. She does not love. All she sees is reason, logic, and rationalism. While she never exhibits any kind of belief, Eurus is indeed a rationalist through and through. To make this philosophically interesting, rationalism, a philosophical stance, is (straight from Google): “a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.” Eurus is definitely the perfect (and extreme) example of a rationalist.
Looking at Sherlock for a moment, he is a character who has been plausibly hyped up as being a hard, cold, senseless reasoning machine. All he cares about is solving crimes and doing what he loves.
We catch glimpses of his hidden emotions from time to time: when he begins to weep as he calls John before jumping from the St. Bart’s hospital rooftop, when he goes to hug a weeping John Watson as he cries over the loss of his wife, and especially when Irene Adler comes on the scene. #lordhavemercy xD
But, I digress.
Despite the rare moments we see his humanity pop out, Sherlock is a cold, socially awkward, calculating, and arrogant (yes, I said arrogant) sort of human. And, as sympathetic people, we can get on him for being so tough. Sherlockian insults are a very real thing.
“Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring!”
“Anderson, don’t talk out loud – you lower the IQ of the whole street.”
“Because you’re an idiot. No, no, no, don’t be like that. Practically everyone is.”
“I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room.”
However, that’s what made “The Final Problem” such a fantastic ending for season four.
Because before “The Final Problem,” we equated Sherlock’s personality with Eurus’s. As we continue through season four’s final episode, we see just how good and how human Sherlock really is.
Eurus, through a series of unfortunate events, puts Sherlock in a position where he must do everything she says, because it is his only hope for not only his survival, but the survival of John and Mycroft, who are with him.
She tests Sherlock ethically, psychologically, and morally.
Many viewers who don’t care to analyze media critically claim that Eurus was a horrible villain because she had no motive. However, Eurus does have a motive. Her motive for putting Sherlock through her tests is her desire for him. She simply wants the brother who was never there for her. She wants to play with him, and to be loved by him. And she knows that the only way to capture his attention is to pull on his sympathies: the sympathies and emotions he was always known for…what she thought him weak for.
Eurus kills people without a care, she laughs when they die, and she thoroughly enjoys tormenting her brother’s mind.
The test that really shows us just how much Sherlock actually feels and actually loves is when he is told, by Eurus, to shoot either John or Mycroft. Conflicted beyond belief, it is so plain to see how Sherlock agonizes over killing his brother or his best friend. In the end, he chooses neither and turns the gun on himself. He would rather die than kill two of the people he loves most.
And if he was as heartless as we had believed all along, he wouldn’t have cared. If he had been like Eurus, he wouldn’t have hesitated in killing John or Mycroft to “play the game” with Eurus.
But, like Irene (as I mentioned in my post “…Let Me be Vulnerable.“), Eurus acted invincible. She was calloused, hard, and icy, but when she had a chance to be in Sherlock’s life, she took it. Posing as a young girl on a plane about to crash, Eurus finally gained Sherlock’s attention and his genuine care: the sympathy she had always wanted from him.
Realizing that the girl in the plane was all a façade, Sherlock took his sister in his arms and gave her what she had wanted from him for her entire life: love.
“Open your eyes. I’m here. You’re not lost anymore.”
I’d never seen Sherlock get down on his knees and cradle someone in his arms like he did for Eurus. He was a solace for his sister, rocked her back and forth in his arms, and told her it would be all right.
And finally, here, at the end of season four, we see the full, 100% caring, emotional, and loving side of our hero, Sherlock Holmes. Here, as he gets down on his knees to hold, caress, and hush his drowning sister, we see the humanity we have longed to see throughout the entire show.
When Sherlock mourned internally for the “death” of Irene Adler, Mycroft told him, “All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.”
And it’s true.
Caring isn’t an advantage, and it’s most certainly not a way to get ahead in life, but it is worth it. It can be argued that Mycroft’s statement is, truly, the pulse of the entire series. It’s seen everywhere. And it popped out fully at the end of season four.
And when Christ chose to love us, He did not do it for His own benefit. Indeed, caring did not give Christ an advantage. On the contrary, when He chose to love us, He died. He rose again victoriously, yes; but first, he died. His care for us was what killed Him.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
There are people in this world in the exact likeness of Eurus Holmes. Lost, lost in the sky. No one can hear them.
And then there’s us.
Will we choose to be the ones who can tell them just what Sherlock told his broken sister: “Open your eyes. I’m here. You’re not lost anymore.” Caring is a choice. Loving is a choice. Choosing to love and care is never an advantage. We will always be vulnerable in love, and we will always be endangered in care.
But to live our lives in that risk is what this life is all about.
And what made me love the ending of Sherlock season four even more was the violin duet played by Eurus and Sherlock “Who You Really Are.” Eurus doesn’t speak, but she feels the love. Look at that smile already beginning to take over her face:
What will we do in this life to bring Christ’s unfailing love, to bring His joy, and to bring a smile to someone else in this world? It is our calling from on high, our sacred duty, our “manifest destiny” if you will!
But really, what will we do?
I know you two, and if I’m gone, I know what you two could become, because I know who you really are: a junkie who gets high to solve crimes, and the doctor who never came home from the war. Will you listen to me? Who you really are, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the legend, the stories. The adventures. There is a last refuge for the desperate, the unloved, the persecuted. There is a final court of appeal for everyone. When life gets too strange, too impossible, too frightening, there is always one last hope. When all else fails, there are two men arguing in a scruffy flat, like they’ve always been there and always will. The best and wisest men I have ever known. My Baker Street boys: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
—Mary Watson, from a posthumous recording to John and Sherlock
Because that’s truly what it’s all about: the stories. The adventures. The refuge we give to the desperate, the unloved, and the persecuted.
Shall we go on this adventure together, then?
“The game is afoot!”
Thanks for reading! :)With Joy in the Lord,Emily 🙂“He must increase, but I must decrease…”- John 3:30