Title: Sherlock S4.E03 “The Final Problem”
Released: 2017
Series:  Sherlock

Previously on Sherlock: Sherlock’s drug use leads him close to ruin, and forces John back into the game. The two investigate a possible serial killer and come face to face with Sherlock’s other sibling.

The Game Is On

A little girl wakes up on turbulent plane ride and finds that all of the adults are unconscious. She answers a ringing phone and Moriarty’s voice is on the line.

At home alone, Mycroft’s watching a terrible movie, and is startled when scenes of an old home video are spliced in. Right before it dissolves, a message appears: I’m back. Mycroft then hears a little girls’ voice. As he moves through his house looking for her, he sees that his paintings are bleeding from the eyes, and then a creepy clown appears. Just as Mycroft’s ready to face off with it, Sherlock arrives … and reveals that the entire thing was an elaborate hoax to get Mycroft to admit that Euros is real.

The next day, Mycroft heads to 221B Baker St. where he, Sherlock and John discuss Euros how she was the smartest (by far) of them all. Euros’ intellect led to a very disturbing childhood, including self harm and dognapping/presumably killing Sherlock’s dog Redbeard. After she lit their ancestral home on fire, she was institutionalized. And after another fire, she was taken to Sherringford, a fortress asylum/prison.

As they’re chatting, a drone topped with a motion-activated grenade arrives. They survive (natch), and hatch a plan to check on Euros at Sherringford. Sherlock and John take over a fishing boat near the island and make a lot of noise while arriving. The guards capture John and a man they think is Sherlock, but it’s just Mycroft in costume. Sherlock heads to Euros’ cell disguised as a guard while Mycroft and John watch tapes of her psychological evaluation and talk about how she has the ability to “reprogram” people. As Sherlock chats with Euros, John realizes that the governor is also under her control.

Euros surprises Sherlock with the fact that there’s no glass in her cell, and that everyone’s working for her. As John tries to run from the guards, a strange red alert message starts playing, and then a video of Moriarty appears. He then arrives on the island—but it’s a flashback of Christmas, five years ago, when he was a “treat” for Euros.

Euros traps her brothers, John and the governor in her old cell, and connects them briefly to the little girl in the airplane, who they’re tasked with saving. She also reveals that she has the governor’s wife, and she’ll kill her if John or Mycroft doesn’t kill the governor. When neither can, he shoots himself. And because neither could, Euros shoots the wife.

In order to get to speak more with the little girl, Sherlock’s tasked with “games.” The first: deducing which one of three brothers killed a man. (Even though Sherlock figures it out correctly, she kills the two innocent ones.) The second: saving Molly from her flat being blown up. (Molly is forced to reveal her love for Sherlock, but there were no bombs.) The third: choosing who to kill between John and Mycroft. (Sherlock chooses himself instead, but Euros tags them with tranquilizers before he can pull the trigger.)

Sherlock wakes up in a cell and John in a well—possibly the same well in which Euros trapped Redbeard and he drowned. Sherlock must find the well before it’s too late. But it turns out that Redbeard the dog never existed. Redbeard was actually Victor, a childhood friend of Sherlock’s. Euros trapped him in a well where he died, and she’s trying to do the same thing to John. When Sherlock finally figures out her childhood riddle that would have led to the well, he realizes that it’s not about the well at all; it’s about Euros, and the part of her that thinks she’s the little girl in the airplane. Sherlock helps her, and she helps him save John.

Back in London, Mycroft tells his parents that Euros is still alive. They’re angry, but both Holmes’ brothers assure them that her being kept away from the public is all for the best. Sherlock goes to visit Euros and play the violin with her, and it seems to help her come out of her shell-shocked state.

Then John gets another message from Mary, telling him and Sherlock that they’re exceptional, her “Baker Street Boys.” Visions of the future show them healthy, happy, and happily doing what they love and are so very good at: working together, with friends and family, to solve crazy crimes.

Everybody Shut Up!

  • Moriarty IS back! Or … not.

  • The little girl is Euros?

High-Functioning Sociopaths and Good-Old Fashioned Villains

Winner: Sherlock. He beat his sisters’ games without too much collateral damage, and made a meaningful connection—as much as he could—with her at the same time. He also saved both his brother and John from terrible deaths, and came to terms with a traumatic childhood event. He certainly came out of the situation the better for it.

Loser: Euros. Sometimes being too smart isn’t a good thing. I’m no neuroscientist, but she seems to be a good example of how ill equipped the brain can be with dealing with intelligence beyond compare. There is, after all,  a fine line between genius and insanity. (Thanks, Oscar Levant.)

From the Mind Palace

Mycroft: “This is a private matter.”
Sherlock: “John stays.”
Mycroft: “This is family!”
Sherlock: “That’s why he stays!”

John: “Middle child. Explains a lot.”

Moriarty: “Do you have cannibals here?”
Governor: “Yes.”
Moriarty: “How many?”
Governor: “Three.”
Moriarty: “That’s good. People leave their bodies to science, I think cannibals would be so much more grateful.”

Young Cop: “Is that him, sir, Sherlock Holmes?”
Lestrade: “Fan, are you?”
Young Cop: “Well, he’s a great man, sir.”
Lestrade: “No, he’s better than that. He’s a good one.”

Did You Miss Me?

  • How did Euros do the things she did?

  • Was Euros afflicted with multiple personality disorder, or was she just having a mental break?

  • I could be reading into things, but Molly looked really happy in that vision of the future. Do we think that could mean there was something more to the “I love you” exchange?

  • Is this The End for Sherlock? It certainly seemed like the end of the episode was wrapping things up.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would love to watch a documentary/read a study on the Holmes’ children and their gifts. They are FASCINATING. But I’m going to be really sad if this was goodbye.

What did you think of “The Final Problem?” Let’s discuss below.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.