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Season Four: Speculation WITHOUT Spoilers

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I am on the fence.  I am trying to hold my excitement for Season 4 (can a season really be a season with just 3 episodes???) because as we know it could be anytime, but most likely later than we want.

 

HOWEVER, I want to talk about Sherlock because quite frankly, it's one of the best shows that has come across my TV in a long time.

 

And it's not just because I have a thing for Benedict Cumberbatch, well, maybe that adds to it.  It's because it's a very well written show.

 

And my daughter (who introduced me to Sherlock) and her three friends are always talking about it and their theories on what is next.  So it is always in my thoughts.  Ugh...that is what makes the waiting harder. 

 

::giggle::

 

Thanks @photo fox for the grand job you did in preparation for this show.

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Have they used anything from The Valley of Fear in any episodes so far?  If not, I wonder if they'll work it into Season Four, since they've adapted the other three novels in episodes.

Edited by ElleryAnne
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While we wait impatiently for Season 4, let's pass the time casting about for wild theories. Who knows, maybe they'll use them on the show. ;-)

PLEASE NOTE: If you are spoiled, you are still welcome to post in here, but please be very careful with your posts. If you'd like to be free to openly discuss spoilers, please give the Speculation WITH Spoilers topic a look.

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I predict season 4 will broadcast (in the UK) in 2015 - hopefully sooner rather than later but who knows?! Sherlock is one of my top 3 favourite shows, however, I'm not a Cumberbiatch. :p

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I predict, as many others have done, that there will be no baby permanently and that the child will not be John's. Not that this will magically heal John's psychic scars from the Mary situation, but it will make it "easier" to move on. After chewing on season 3 for a few months, I find that "it's the only possible solution!" :-)

I read that Mark Gattis said recently that there would be no one-off Christmas special this year, contrary to the rumors of a few months ago that I think were sparked by some things others in the cast and crew had said. So if that's true, I guess the story of season 4 will be told over another 3-episode arc.

Edited by Peace 47
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I think the baby is there to stay, but that doesn't mean it (she?) will become the focus of the series. It's likely John will make protesting noises about not putting himself at risk because he's a father now, or because his child is a "pressure point" that can be used against him. To which Mary will likely reply that she's more than capable of protecting their child, right before she shoos John and Sherlock out of the house for a while so she can do the laundry and field strip her handgun.

 

There are plenty of people in dangerous jobs who have kids at home, and that doesn't cause a massive career change. This is true in real life and on television. I don't see why there's this need to wish away the Watson baby, as though it's some interloper that will endanger the show and stump all the writers by its very existence. I'm giving the writers--who have done nothing but excellent work--a little more credit.

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Fair enough. We won't know anything until next season, but I guess that I came at this from the perspective that they are not leading to telling the story of John Watson and his well-balanced life. He was already pretty unhappy and missing Sherlock after they were separated for just a month in "His Last Vow." And the writers made such a big deal about John's and Sherlock's respective empty chairs all season. They were kind of shown a few times to be longing to be living together again.

One interesting theory I read (100% not mine) is that John was not forgiving Mary in the Christmas scene in HLV. He mentions that he prepared his words (a possible reference to "The Empty Hearse" when Sherlock said that he worried John would give something away if Sherlock had let him in on the truth), indicating that he felt the need to be scripted so that he would not give away "the truth." John then proceeds to tell Mary that "the problems of her future are his privilege," which can sound kind of threatening when you think about it. On the other hand, they have the relatively nice hug/ conversation about her name/ jokes about lawn mowing, so who knows. I like the theory because it adds another layer of intrigue to the show.

Edited by Peace 47

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We won't know anything until next season, but I guess that I came at this from the perspective that they are not leading to telling the story of John Watson and his well-balanced life. He was already pretty unhappy and missing Sherlock after they were separated for just a month in "His Last Vow." And the writers made such a big deal about John's and Sherlock's respective empty chairs all season. They were kind of shown a few times to be longing to be living together again.

 

I agree that John Watson is about as unlikely to have a well-balanced life as is Sherlock, especially given the revelation that, psychologically, he's attracted to danger and dangerous individuals.  But I do think Mary is here to stay and as part of the team.  For one thing, I just hope that is the case since, as they said in one of the extras, she's the rare spouse who isn't cast in a show as a "third wheel" that disrupts the primary (for the show) friendship.  Mary wants the boys to get together, and we've seen her encourage that.  I kind of expect her to do the same, even going so far as being OK with John crashing at 221B when necessary for a case.

 

Second, I don't think we're done with Mary because I don't think A.G.R.A. are her initials.  It obviously calls back to the treasure of Agra in "The Sign of Four," but I expect the show to make a lot more of the reference.  So I think Mary gets more to do and maybe becomes a character along the lines of Mycroft; that is, has a few projects of her own that wind up intersecting with John and Sherlock.

 

Also, they absolutely cannot let Mycroft say "you know what happened to the other one [brother]" without the other shoe that drops being Sherrinford.

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I was originally very excited for Season 4, but after reading the following quote by Moffat, it makes me a little afraid for Season 4 and for the characters.  They're all such great characters, the loss of any of them would be devastating (not to overuse and abuse the word).  lol

 

‘We have a plan to top it. And I do think our plan is devastating,’ he replied.

‘We’ve practically reduced our cast to tears telling them the plan … we’re probably more excited that we’ve ever been about Sherlock.’

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Mary died in the original stories, so I assume she'll die in the series as well...and/or the baby (which didn't exist in the books at all). If it's Mary, it would probably at the end of the next season, since they have said that they didn't bring her in just to kill her off immediately; they might kill off the baby early, though, since a baby is very much in the way of an adventure story, which this series is.

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But I do think Mary is here to stay and as part of the team. For one thing, I just hope that is the case since, as they said in one of the extras, she's the rare spouse who isn't cast in a show as a "third wheel" that disrupts the primary (for the show) friendship.

She shot Sherlock in the chest: I might tend to classify that as disruptive to the primary relationship if she tries to kill one half of it. ;-) I'm being glib/jokey, but I do come out on the side of thinking that Mary is the "Sebastain Moran" equivalent, and that Sherlock and John are going to have to go up against her again before this is all over.

She shot Sherlock in the chest and attempted to kill him (and only Sherlock's own quick thinking and strong desire to protect John kept her from succeeding). Then she came to Sherlock's hospital room to threaten him when he was weak and disoriented, then threatened to shoot him again at the Empty Houses (deterred only by Sherlock noting that if she killed him there, Scotland Yard would be able to pin his murder on her due to her face being plastered on the side of the building), then threatened him one last time just before Sherlock revealed that John was there with them ("Understand, Sherlock, that there is nothing I would not do to stop that happening."). She never apologized for either being an assassin for hire ("People like Magnussen should be killed. That's why there are people like me.") or for lying to John about everything (he "forgives" her, but she never says that she is sorry). All of that to say, it seems that a surface narrative has been set up by the end of the episode to lull us into re-accepting her when if you scratch at the surface of her actions, she is shown to be something else.

Mary wants the boys to get together, and we've seen her encourage that.

Even that starts to fall apart in HLV. Maybe Mary and John are just having a cranky morning being awoken early by the neighbor, but Mary displays irritation when John says he hasn't seen Sherlock "in ages," and she (quite shortly) corrects that it's only been a month since they've been together. She also acts annoyed when correcting John on the subject of how well-known Sherlock is. Nothing in HLV led me to believe that Mary has been set up to be an integrated member of the team.
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Huh, I feel the opposite. I feel like the show thought Mary's rather non-apologetic attitude with John, and her being sort of unimpressed by but also understanding of Sherlock, was supposed to make her seem cool. It didn't work for me; I actually never liked her, pre- or post-reveal*, though I really really wanted to. But I'm resigned to her sticking around. And I mean, the alternative is that either she dies or the baby dies or both, and I don't want any of those things to happen. I highly doubt the show will just break them up amicably with shared visitation rights. Doesn't seem dramatic enough for Moffat and Gatiss.

 

*(But I also hated the way they handled Sherlock's return w/r/t John's grief about it--like, it was just all a huge joke and John's feelings honestly just didn't matter. It was the same thing with Mary--it was more important to Moffat and Gatiss that Mary seem cool and badass than it was to acknowledge that Watson's feelings are legitimate and deserve any kind of respect. It made both Sherlock and Mary come across as less appealing to me as characters.)  

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She shot Sherlock in the chest and attempted to kill him (and only Sherlock's own quick thinking and strong desire to protect John kept her from succeeding). Then she came to Sherlock's hospital room to threaten him when he was weak and disoriented, then threatened to shoot him again at the Empty Houses (deterred only by Sherlock noting that if she killed him there, Scotland Yard would be able to pin his murder on her due to her face being plastered on the side of the building), then threatened him one last time just before Sherlock revealed that John was there with them ("Understand, Sherlock, that there is nothing I would not do to stop that happening."). She never apologized for either being an assassin for hire ("People like Magnussen should be killed. That's why there are people like me.") or for lying to John about everything (he "forgives" her, but she never says that she is sorry). All of that to say, it seems that a surface narrative has been set up by the end of the episode to lull us into re-accepting her when if you scratch at the surface of her actions, she is shown to be something else.

 

You have a point, Peace 47, and I would amend my earlier comment to say that I don't necessarily think that the two are going to seamlessly become three (that is Sherlock and John aren't going to effortlessly add Mary).  I do like that she turned out to be a highly-trained assassin, on some level, because it took her out of the tropes of either being the wife jealous of the partnership or the pregnant little house mouse.  The woman has skills of her own, 

 

Unfortunately, her skillset doesn't give her an incredible amount of nuance in her approach.  Basically, she's solved most of the problems of her facade cracking with a gun, and it remains to be seen if she'll ultimately be damaging to Sherlock and John or not.  

 

I do agree with your point about shooting Sherlock and leaving him with a mortal wound.  The more I view and think about this relationship, the more I'm bothered by a shot to the liver (which is where it has to be, IMHO).  Why a large, blood-filled organ that's relatively fragile?  If I were a crack shot really able to surgically make a shot that would incapacitate someone and put on a good show about my "seriousness" in attempting to kill them, I might have gone for kidney region or even upper lobe of lung.  That shot was about an inch or an inch and a half to the right of midline.  Maybe she didn't really care all that much if she killed him or not.  

 

 

Mary displays irritation when John says he hasn't seen Sherlock "in ages," and she (quite shortly) corrects that it's only been a month since they've been together. She also acts annoyed when correcting John on the subject of how well-known Sherlock is.

 

I do think this was a little comic effect and meant to be more expository of John than Mary.  Somehow, my head canon fills in the back story that John and Mary come back from their "Sex Holiday" (as Sherlock calls it on John's blog), and it's John who immediately gets bored.  "It's all well and good that Sherlock Holmes is sitting over there in his dressing gown waiting for some international case to come in, but I just spent my day lancing boils on arses!"  Maybe even a little grousing that he (John) used to be complimented on his blog a lot, but apparently he's no Sherlock because he hasn't heard anything.  

 

I think that both John and Mary both thought that their marriage would make them fundamentally different people.  One of the tragedies of HLV is that we proved that their marriage intensifies their basic personalities, rather than changing them. 

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As much as I love Mycroft, I think the devastating thing may be that they finally kill him off or make him appear to be presumed dead. Of course, my theory hinges on whether or not there really IS a third brother in this version. *If* there is, I believe his death/banishment is a major bone of contention with Sherlock and Mycroft. I also think *if* he exists, he IS the rotten apple in the barrel, a fact Mycroft knows and Sherlock refuses to believe. I think it will come down to a brother versus brother versus brother thing, with Sherlock taking the other brother's side against Mycroft.

Because really, I can't imagine devastation on a scale other than that, which would make the whole cast teary.

 

Moffat and Gatiss have veered wildly from canon at times, but everyone-even those who've never touched ACD's stories-knows Mary dies. It's too predictable, expected, etc.  Even having John have to be the to do it, to me, that's not devastating. For John, yes. But for the audience? I can't see it.

 

However, you've got Mycroft, who is loved by a good portion of fans. On the one hand, would they deviate from canon so much as to kill off Mycroft? OTOH, he was in terms of stories he appeared in, a minor character in canon.

NOT minor in his shaping of who Sherlock is, though, both in the stories and in the series.

 

I told myself if they killed him off in series three I'd be devastated, but honestly this time around I think I'd be okay with it. It'd be a perfect jumping off point for me, if indeed this death "sticks".

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At the risk of sounding like a Johnlock shipper, I want the writers to get rid of Mary and baby, She's not needed in the story and I believe she could not have cared less if she had actually killed Sherlock, But Mycroft should stay.

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Guest Accused Dingo

I like Mary and honestly if she gets killed i will be annoyed.

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Actually, something I've been afraid of is that (mimicking Joss Whedon's "kill your darlings" theory)  little Molly Hooper might be the one that dies rather than Mary.  She is a familiar face-been here since the beginning, she's a complete innocent, and fans like her so her death would have real impact...but she's not necessarily crucial to the show's dynamics.  Another possibility for similar reasons is Greg Lestrade.  But I'm hoping that Molly's destined to remain a part of the "team" as it were.

 

Also, if the rumors about Hiddleston being up for the part of Sherrinford are true than that means they'll have to change him to a younger brother rather than a elder one

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I think Mycroft is dying and that he knows it. This is all pure conjecture based on "clues" from the last two episodes, clue 1) from S3E3 when Mycroft (uncharacteristically) says "Your loss would break my heart," and clue 2) from S4E00 (the Abdominal Bride) FatMycroft and Sherlock are betting on how long he has to live. I think this is a bit of foreshadowing. I think Mycroft has some fatal disease and has limited time left. I think his symptoms are detectable to Sherlock and probably John (it's noted in the mind palace scenes that John should notice jaundice in Mycroft's eyes or something)  and that Sherlock has subconsciously noticed these symptoms but hasn't actually realized it yet. That's why I think Mycroft is FatMycroft in the Mind Palace version of the story and why he and Sherlock are talking about/betting on how long he has left. I think that's why Mycroft keeps giving John meaningful looks and asking him to take care of Sherlock. He's dying and knows it and Sherlock just hasn't figured it out yet. 

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I think Mycroft is dying and that he knows it. This is all pure conjecture based on "clues" from the last two episodes, clue 1) from S3E3 when Mycroft (uncharacteristically) says "Your loss would break my heart," and clue 2) from S4E00 (the Abdominal Bride) FatMycroft and Sherlock are betting on how long he has to live. I think this is a bit of foreshadowing. I think Mycroft has some fatal disease and has limited time left. I think his symptoms are detectable to Sherlock and probably John (it's noted in the mind palace scenes that John should notice jaundice in Mycroft's eyes or something)  and that Sherlock has subconsciously noticed these symptoms but hasn't actually realized it yet. That's why I think Mycroft is FatMycroft in the Mind Palace version of the story and why he and Sherlock are talking about/betting on how long he has left. I think that's why Mycroft keeps giving John meaningful looks and asking him to take care of Sherlock. He's dying and knows it and Sherlock just hasn't figured it out yet. 

Interesting theory and you may be right. Hiding the foreshadowing under a funny callback to the books would be quite elegant.

Mycroft's death would fit well with the above quote from Moffat about season four:

 

‘We have a plan to top it. And I do think our plan is devastating,’ he replied.

‘We’ve practically reduced our cast to tears telling them the plan … we’re probably more excited that we’ve ever been about Sherlock.’

 

Out of all the possible choices (John excluded as that's obviously not going to happen), Mycroft's death would certainly have the biggest impact on Sherlock. And he didn't have a huge role in the books either, so it would make sense canon wise.

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Interesting theory and you may be right. Hiding the foreshadowing under a funny callback to the books would be quite elegant.

 

Thanks. The more I think about it the more I'm convinced it's true. He's been out of character sentimental for the past two episodes at least. Especially with the talking to John about Sherlock stuff. I'm not saying he's definitely going to die in S4 but I do think that an episode in S4 will be about Shrelock coming to terms with knowing Mycroft is dying and he can't "solve" it.

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On my second watch of the special, I had thought (and I've seen others reach this conclusion, too) that the gluttony displayed by Mycroft was more symbolic of Sherlock's own overindulgence with drugs and not necessarily a portent of things to come for Mycroft himself. That conversation among John, Sherlock and Mycroft in Victorian times echoed some themes of the modern conversation on the plane (e.g., John at first doesn't really acknowledge the problem, before becoming the most horrified). And the fact that Sherlock notes that Victorian Mycroft gained weight from one day to the next shows that the OD danger was increasing for Sherlock.

On the other hand, there's certainly been speculation swirling about something terrible befalling Mycroft since at least S3, when there was concern about the imagery surrounding Mycroft (such as the "angel wings" framing Mycroft in Sherlock's mind palace in TSoT or the red stripe down Mycroft's track suit like the attacked guardsman). And there's got to be something to Redbeard that involves Mycroft.

I also think there is something going on between Mycroft and Mary. I don't think the Victorian dream is a literal representation of the situation (Mary working for Mycroft), but as I mentioned in the episode thread, it's very odd that (1) Mycroft must know that Mary shot Sherlock and (2) Mycroft stands by while she hacks his government resources, when Mycroft is quite protective of Sherlock (like kidnapping and vetting John when John was on the verge of moving in with Sherlock).

Edited by Peace 47
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On the other hand, there's certainly been speculation swirling about something terrible befalling Mycroft since at least S3, when there was concern about the imagery surrounding Mycroft (such as the "angel wings" framing Mycroft in Sherlock's mind palace in TSoT or the red stripe down Mycroft's track suit like the attacked guardsman). And there's got to be something to Redbeard that involves Mycroft.

Are there any promising theories about that? I can't help but think it has to be a reference to someone or something named Barbarossa. I thought maybe there was some connection between Mycroft and Friedrich (or Frederick) Barbarossa, but nothing jumps out. Could it be the death in a river on a crusade (going after Moriarty's empire)? It was a rumored heart attack, after all, which could be why we got Fat!Mycroft. Maybe he has those health problems for quite a while now, which could be why he's seemingly overcompensating with his fitness regime.

Then again, the more logical connection here seems to be between Sherlock himself and Moriarty as frenemies Barbarossa and Saladin (though Moriarty would be the better fit for Barbarossa in this case).

 

Maybe Sherlock's takedown of Moriarty's empire goes terribly wrong at some point, akin to Operation Barbarossa - though how you could compare Mycroft to the 6th army or something like that is beyond me. The less obvious ones according to Wikipedia include a couple of medieval Turks (a pirate and an admiral), a British nuclear weapon (called Red Beard directly though, not Barbarossa) and some rather obscure stuff. Anyone?

Edited by Conan Troutman

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Are there any promising theories about that? I can't help but think it has to be a reference to someone or something named Barbarossa. I thought maybe there was some connection between Mycroft and Friedrich (or Frederick) Barbarossa, but nothing jumps out. Could it be the death in a river on a crusade (going after Moriarty's empire)? It was a rumored heart attack, after all, which could be why we got Fat!Mycroft. Maybe he has those health problems for quite a while now, which could be why he's seemingly overcompensating with his fitness regime.

Then again, the more logical connection here seems to be between Sherlock himself and Moriarty as frenemies Barbarossa and Saladin (though Moriarty would be the better fit for Barbarossa in this case).

 

Maybe Sherlock's takedown of Moriarty's empire goes terribly wrong at some point, akin to Operation Barbarossa - though how you could compare Mycroft to the 6th army or something like that is beyond me. The less obvious ones according to Wikipedia include a couple of medieval Turks (a pirate and an admiral), a British nuclear weapon (called Red Beard directly though, not Barbarossa) and some rather obscure stuff. Anyone?

12th & 20th century references? I think I love you!

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After watching TAB, this is more of a 'hope' than speculation, but I'm sad that they seem to be heavily implying that Moriarty really is no more.  I was thinking Moriarty would be the show's canonical 'big bad' for its entirety.  I don't even really know the full mythology & history of ACD's Sherlock Holmes, but I always thought that Moriarty was to SH what the Joker is to Batman, or Lex Luthor to Superman.  IE, that one 'big bad' who is always there - lying in wait, planning nefariously in the background, if not front and center. 

 

I know Andrew Scott can be a bit over the top with his portrayal of Moriarty, but at the same time, he just makes Moriarty feel so evil and creepy.  Its easy to get the sense of why Sherlock is so obsessed with him and afraid of what he can do, to not only him but the people he (tells himself he doesn't) care about.

Edited by iRarelyWatchTV36

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Not really speculation, but I really hope we get more Janine in the next series.  I loved how cheerfully self-serving she was.

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I liked Janine, too.  I've seen some people speculate (not based on anything concrete) that perhaps Janine is Moriarty's sister, since Moriarty had a brother in the stories and they're both Irish.  I have no opinion on that theory.  Don't love it.  Don't hate it.  They have substantially different Irish accents, though, that even my untrained ear can pick up.

Edited by Peace 47

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Yeah, I do like Janine. I like how she got her own back from Sherlock with the papers, without actually saying anything insulting.

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20 hours ago, rereader2 said:

Yeah, I do like Janine. I like how she got her own back from Sherlock with the papers, without actually saying anything insulting.

The best part was that she got own her back on Sherlock and Magnusson.  Sherlock by gossiping to the papers.  Magnusson by making sure none of those papers belonged to him.

As for the Janine is Moriarty's sister, I don't buy that.  First Jim Moriarty doesn't look even a little bit Pakistani, though they could be half-siblings.  Second, I find it very hard to image that Mycroft wouldn't have done a full background check on the woman his brother was dating.  Mycroft also knows the best way to get Sherlock to do something is for him to urge the opposite.

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 11:10 PM, Lisin said:

I think Mycroft is dying and that he knows it. This is all pure conjecture based on "clues" from the last two episodes, clue 1) from S3E3 when Mycroft (uncharacteristically) says "Your loss would break my heart," and clue 2) from S4E00 (the Abdominal Bride) FatMycroft and Sherlock are betting on how long he has to live. I think this is a bit of foreshadowing. I think Mycroft has some fatal disease and has limited time left. I think his symptoms are detectable to Sherlock and probably John (it's noted in the mind palace scenes that John should notice jaundice in Mycroft's eyes or something)  and that Sherlock has subconsciously noticed these symptoms but hasn't actually realized it yet. That's why I think Mycroft is FatMycroft in the Mind Palace version of the story and why he and Sherlock are talking about/betting on how long he has left. I think that's why Mycroft keeps giving John meaningful looks and asking him to take care of Sherlock. He's dying and knows it and Sherlock just hasn't figured it out yet. 

Well, all I have to say is, if they really do that, I won't be bothering coming back for Series 5 if there is one. I started out watching this series five years ago because I liked BC in Amazing Grace and sought out his other projects. I stayed, after Series one, for MG's amazing portrayal of Mycroft. I do not care for Martin Freeman's acting style, or his version of JW. At all. And  I do love BC, but at this point, my love of Sherlock really is completely tied to the relationship with Mycroft. And if that ends.....so does my viewership.

I wish it weren't so, but I think half of Sherlock's heart(whether he realizes it or not) will die with his brother-and half the heart of the show, whether Mycroft haters realize it or not-will also die with him. Mycroft is such an essential part of this series, it won't be the same, and for me, it won't be must see TV.

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