An Alternate Ending for PBS’s Sherlock
Just finished watching the new BBC series Sherlock (it’s streaming on the PBS website! love that internet!). I liked it well enough, as a procedural murder investigation show with a quick British wit. But I was massively disappointed with the reveal of the identity of Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty. The show is so postmodern–full of twists and turns that signal “This is not your grandfather’s Sherlock!” I was sure, then, that Moriarty was going to be a woman.
There were at least three good candidates, and through the three episodes that make up the first season, I was continually weighing their pros and cons. There’s Watson’s doctor girlfriend, who was extremely nosy when he brought her back to the apartment Watson shares with Sherlock. “Ooh, is this your research?” Picking up papers, looking at everything. Of course, she was put into peril in the second episode which sort of worked against her. But it could have been misdirection! Something she set up to deflect suspicion from herself.
Then there’s the kindly old landlady–she seemed the least likely, which is why I kind of thought it might be her. She was certainly up in Sherlock’s business, too, and had excellent proximity to him. And in the third episode, she kept trying to begin conversations with Sherlock and having him wave her off. That seemed for sure to be setting up a “You can’t ignore me now!” villain monologue.
But the best option, and the one I was pulling for, was Molly the medical examiner.
She has a crush on Sherlock, to which he is indifferent. Not oblivious–because of course, he notices everything. In the first episode: “You’re wearing lipstick now. You weren’t wearing it before.” Does he care that she put it on for him? No. Just, hmm, you’re wearing lipstick. Also, you are a medical doctor, and of short stature. And it’s raining outside. Shrug. She could deliver the “You can’t ignore me now!” monologue just as well as the landlady, plus she would have that Dexter thing going for her, that killer hiding in plain sight thing: working with law enforcement to see what they know. The murder victims in the first episode were poisoned (hey, that’s medical!). It wouldn’t take too much trouble to create a shadowy backstory for her in which she was orphaned and adopted into the criminal underworld or something, and grown up into both physician and supervillain.
And she’s a shy, stammery girl. What a great twist that would have been. Oh well.