16 Times Sherlock Drove Us All Crazy

12 of 17

Amanda Abbington as Mary Morstan in her least killer-for-hire-looking outfit. (Photo: BBC)

When Mary Turned Out to Be a Secret Assassin

One of the big twists of Sherlock Season 3 is the revelation that Mary Morstan has a past. Not just a past, though – a dark past. It turns out that she was basically a killer for hire. And also a former CIA agent, it seems? We’re not told the specifics of Mary’s past; merely that she’s done some unsavory things. Some of those things were for hire. And some of those things are apparently so bad that John might stop loving her over them if he knew what they were.

While it’s hard to argue with Sherlock finally giving a female character a major storyline, the secret of Mary’s past feels like it comes out of nowhere. We’re shown a few moments here and there that Mary is probably not what she seems. However, there’s a difference between making a character not just shady, but killer-for-hire level shady. Mary not only lies about her past, but her present. She lies about everything in her life. Her identity, her history, everything. Even her name is a fake. It’s kind of ridiculous when you think about it. The entire character viewers knew, was a lie.

That there was ultimately more to Mary’s character than originally meets the eye wasn’t surprising. In Season 3’s first two episodes she’s an okay character. Generally charming, sometimes funny, or occasionally bland. She’s incredibly accepting of the many idiosyncracies of Sherlock and John’s relationship. In short, she’s exactly the kind of character that Moffat can’t help but mess with. Unfortunately, the Mary twist reads as something based on plot needs, rather than character ones. It feels as though to have a big, shocking moment involving Mary and worked backward from that, rather than what made sense for her character. The exceptionally complicated plot and emotional gymnastics going on in this storyline seem exhausting.

Number of eyerolls: 4