16 Times Sherlock Drove Us All Crazy

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When They Tried to Explain How Mary Shot Sherlock in a Friendly Way

One of the big surprises of the Season 3 finale was that Sherlock Holmes got shot and nearly died. Actually, maybe it’s not that surprising. It seems like people are always trying to harm Sherlock in one way or another. What was shocking was who pulled the trigger. Yes, we learned that not only was John’s wife Mary a former assassin, who wanted to kill the villainous Charles Augustus Magnussen, but also that she was willing to shoot John’s best friend too. The reasons behind why Mary felt she needed to shoot Sherlock are murkier. (What are they again, exactly? Merely that he found out about her past?)

There’s a pretty ridiculous internal narrative counterargument about why this happened. Apparently, Mary is such a great shot that the fact that she didn’t shoot Sherlock dead outright is a gift. If she’d wanted him dead, he’d be dead. Or so the show’s logic goes. However, this ignores the fact that Sherlock did flatline, and only fought his way back to consciousness via a very unsubtle mind palace scene. (Unless there’s some other possible explanation for his long run up the Staircase of Life?) He survives through sheer force of will, not because Mary chose to let him live.

Apparently, her decision to shoot him had something to do with “protecting John” and keeping her own secrets, but this is the sort of logic that defies all reason. If she wanted to protect her secret at all costs, she probably should have just killed both the men in the room with her. (She doesn’t shoot Magnussen, either. How good of an assassin was she, anyway?) If Sherlock had died, would John have been more likely to forgive her? Did Mary think an incapacitated Sherlock would be less likely to tell John the truth? Why does Sherlock back up Mary’s explanation of what happened? (He actually argues at one point that she shot him to save his life. Um???)  It’s just all sort of a mess.

To be fair, the scene in which Mary shoots Sherlock is incredibly shocking. Many viewers had been suspecting something off with her character, but few ever predicted a twist of this magnitude. Does “His Last Vow” have a big shocking plot twist at the expense of the characters involved? Maybe. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Number of eyerolls: 9