Thoughts On Sherlock’s The Abominable Bride


Having just finished watching the Sherlock New Year’s Special, “The Abominable Bride,” I really found myself quite entertained, if not complimented. The entire story is essentially built on the premise of the Straw Feminist (see Feminist Frequency‘s #6).

I had already connected two similar ideas from this story and the last one, “His Last Vow.”


Additionally, in “His Las Vow,” there is a what appears to be a part of the Doctor’s TARDIS inside Sherlock’s mind palace mere moments from this. (Important later on.)

Rather, ironically, the inspiration for my favorite Sherlock story also got a decent mention.


The first link to this occurs when the landlady of 221B Baker Street, Ms. Martha Louise Hudson, lets Sherlock and Watson inside. As Watson and Hudson discuss his books, she complains of her placement in them, her “function” (as Watson states) being “show people upstairs and serve breakfast” (as she states). At this point, she explains: “I’m your landlady, not a plot device.” Admittedly, I laughed.


The next scene to get my attention was after Homles and Watson left for the morgue. As Watson leaves with Holmes, this exchange between him and Mary was immediately noticed:


The following exchange between Lestraude and Mary Watson was too quite funny:

At the morgue, Hooper was dressed up as a man:

As the Nerdist review states on the mystery solved on the Rickoletti murder:

So we return to the mystery at the heart of the Rickoletti murder: it was not a dead bride, but rather a bunch of be-cloaked feminists (the horror, the horror!) who were doing the murderous business, exacting revenge on men who’ve done them wrong while the women wait so patiently—making tea, answering rung bells, off caterwauling with lady friends (ahem, Watson)—to be recognized and considered for the fully formed humans they really are. (It was all a bit on the nose and eye roll-inducing, to be perfectly honest. And probably could’ve used a female writer’s hand or two to make it less cringe-y.) Emelia made sure her impending death from consumption would be worth something, by creating a mystery to unnerve the husbands taking for granted their long-suffering wives. “Once the idea exists, it cannot be killed,” Sherlock even quipped at one point. Creating fable for equality? OK, sure.


Even when Sherlock sums it up as to how the murderous suffragists have a strong political narrative ingrained in their activities, it is a concept I am familiar with:

Once the idea exists, it cannot be killed.

I didn’t know what to make of Moriarty dressed up as the Bride either:

Back in the real world, I thought this exchange between Watson and Mary was superbly done:

The post credits scene with Sherlock and Watson attempting to name the story is also quite superb:

Sherlock: Flying machines, these, er, telephone contraptions? What sort of lunatic fantasy is that?
Watson: It was simply my conjecture of what a future world might look like and how you and I might fit inside it.


One thought on “Thoughts On Sherlock’s The Abominable Bride

  1. Pingback: The Best and Worst of Sherlock: Series 4 | The Progressive Democrat

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