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Episode 4.0: The Abominable Bride (alias The Special)


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What did you think of "The Abominable Bride"?  

122 members have voted

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    • 10/10 Excellent.
      47
    • 9/10 Not quite the best, but not far off.
      26
    • 8/10 Certainly worth watching again.
      32
    • 7/10 Slightly above the norm.
      12
    • 6/10 Average.
      2
    • 5/10 Slightly sub-par.
      1
    • 4/10 Decidedly below average.
      1
    • 3/10 Pretty Poor.
      0
    • 2/10 Bad.
      0
    • 1/10 Abominable.
      1


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Oh my... :cowdance: So glad I am here.. don't ask me how.

To celebrate.. here, plump pudding for everyone.

 

Went out for dinner after watching and couldn't keep my mind out of it. Not sure if I paid proper attention to conversations around. Can't wait for chance to rewatch it.

 

(I was putting it in spoiler box but I guess it's not required anymore? I did a lot of self-restrains before I watched and it's just common sense not to be here if you don't wish to be spoiled. So while it will take months/years (trust me) for it to be shown everywhere else in the world, I don't think spoiler in this thread is necessary. It is spoiler in another threads when users reveal info accidentally that needed to be watched.

 

Prelimiary takes:

 

For the points that had been mentioned:

 

- I believe Sherlock took drugs after Mycroft told him to turn around. He was airborne for four minutes, it needs a while for the plane to turn around plus another four minutes and landing. As we saw in HLV, few seconds is a long time in Mind Palace. So, imo, there should be ample of time in this world.

 

- I think it is telling us that Moriarty IS dead. Yes, the case is not parallel. But he is right that nobody would survive that gun shot in the head. To me, the bride case proves that, not the other way around.

One thing that catches my attention a lot in the beginning is, no one was hit in the shooting, and she was 'targeting' them. From the look, she was capable of killing and slaughtering everyone, but yet, no one was hit, not even a bit.

Because it's all magic trick.

Sherlock was in the rooftop with Moriarty, he believes no magic trick escapes him and so do I.

 

Twin? It's plausible, because it's his weakness and Moriarty knows it. He thinks/wants everything to be clever.

But he will still be right, he is dead.

 

- I thought the ceremony of the women is a unnecessary and doesn't make sense, it's not a cult. But, it's explained. He likes it to be dramatic, and it's his mind, he can presents it anyway he wants.

(And hearing many real stories about how women lives back then, their motive is not really a stretch).

 

 

Small things:

- For this special, the T-shirt: 'I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes'. Pretty sure I remember he was clean shaven when they met. XD

I have to love the whole introduction redone.

 

- Not very nice, but I laughed at Sherlock and Mycroft walking awkwardly in the plane because they need to bend, while John doesn't need too. Sorry. :P

 

- I always said I believe Mycroft is a good big brother, now. And they show it here. Whatever happened in the past, I am glad it seems like they are going to reveal it someway.

 

- Despite what Sherlock says, I echo John What makes him this way? The wish to be brain without heart?

My guess is still Redbeard.

 

That's for now,

I have a lot of thing going through my head but it's a mess and I don't have chance to access it now.

 

Oh. I hope he finds the missing leg somehow. XD

Regarding scull from above post; I shouted: Billy! When it appeared. Billy the friend.

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Well, I see there was no point in trying to get a good night's sleep after that episode.  So many thoughts flying around in my head that there's little to be done but write it all out in proper thesis style.  So after only a couple of hours of sleep, I am back at the computer to thoroughly and properly dissect the episode.  More on that later.

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I saw a screen capture of Mycroft surrounded by various kind of dishes. Anyone can identify some of them for the Food in SHERLOCK thread? :D Also, a picture of Mrs. Hudson talking with Sherlock. Why did not she wear a hat at outdoor? I seems to recall that Victorian ladies always wear hat when they are outside of their house.

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Plump pudding. :)

 

(I'm not sure I get 'plump' right. But hey, what do you expect from non English hearing complicated English show for one time?)

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I was afraid I wasn't going to love it. I was afraid I would see Benedict Cumberbatch playing a Sherlock Holmes instead of 'my' Sherlock, especially after the release of that trailer where Mrs. Hudson welcomes them back home - the lines felt rehearsed, and it all seemed a bit too self-indulgent. I was happily proven wrong yesterday in the cinema when I simply enjoyed the episode and loved the acting (except for the aforementioned scene, which still seemed 'acted' to me). However, it was fun but not great for me.

Then we were suddenly on a plane with modern day Sherlock and I sat at the very edge of my seat and realised this was 1,5 hours of insight into how Sherlock sees himself and the people around him. Finally I felt that excitement and rush of adrenaline I would expect to come with a new Sherlock episode.

 

I don't watch Sherlock because I love Doyle's books or the mysteries.

I watch the series for the psychology of this BBC Sherlock, the genius, the addict, the socially incompetent man with so many hidden emotions. And most of all, I watch it for his bond/relationship with John. Looking back, it turned out this episode was all about that and that's what made it great.

 

So, my expectations were not great but I ended up in love with it and can't (but have to) wait to watch it again.

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If we don't have to use spoiler boxes now - and I hope this is okay - I'd like to say:

 

Generally, I'm not keen on "it was all a dream" explanations. (Anyone old enough may remember Dallas, where an entire series turned out to be the dream of a character they had killed off and wanted to revive.). However, I was quite glad that the more fanciful bits were a fantasy - as Moriarty pointed out, criminals don't tend to go in for melodramatic effects such as hoods, gongs, etc., so it was a good thing that they were just part of Sherlock's drug- induced dream.

 

I haven't had a chance to rewatch it yet, which I need to do because it was too much to absorb in one go, but I've tried to make sense of the ending. If the Ricoletti case was Sherlock's attempt to understand the riddle of Moriarty's return, then presumably it is significant that the Bride was able to commit crimes after her death because she was more than one person. Sherlock says Moriarty is definitely dead - a shame, as Andrew Scott is so good in the role - but he knows exactly what he is going to do next. Because Moriarty is more than one person? That is the only way I can see how the Bride's case helped him to solve Moriarty's.

 

I also liked the fact that during the tarmac scene, which I hated, Sherlock was apparently high. Explains a lot!

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I don't watch Sherlock because I love Doyle's books or the mysteries.

I watch the series for the psychology of this BBC Sherlock, the genius, the addict, the socially incompetent men with so many hidden emotions.

Very well put.

I guess everyone has their own struggles to understand themselves, deep down, I believe we all have our own hidden emotions. That's why this series is strangely very relatable, at least I speak for myself. That's also the reason that it is so compelling.

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Also - for me, it's pretty clear that 2015 was the real world and 189...? was the mind palace/dream state that was used to figure out the problem. Also because Victorian Mycroft mentioned 'the virus in the data', which can't be a 125 year old saying. :D

 

And I love explorations of Sherlock's substance abuse. I would not mind seeing more of that in series 4.

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Oh, I will find a way to rewatch that THING before the DVD, because the episode was a personal affront: first they create a fancy, techno-savvy modern Sherlock, who also happens to be an excellent actor, then they are so successful at it that an entire fandom with its perquisites, merchandise and whatnot is created, then they indulge in S3, where the unthinkable happens!

And now, they deliver this lame excuse of how (or maybe not) Moriarty could have faked his death, that Mary was in the service of Mycroft in the Mind Palace, to make her more likeable from a plain, ordinary gun-for-hire, and they reduce the most self-sufficient, arrogantly egocentric archetype of a master crime-and-puzzle solver to a drug-addled mess who clearly needs others, and most importantly the minor official in the government, to protect him from the harsh reality of the outside world? How much farther are they going to take him down? This has gone beyond a peg or two! :evil::evilmoff: but praise :moriarty: to the skies: he had all the best one-liners!

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If we don't have to use spoiler boxes now - and I hope this is okay - I'd like to say:

 

Generally, I'm not keen on "it was all a dream" explanations. (Anyone old enough may remember Dallas, where an entire series turned out to be the dream of a character they had killed off and wanted to revive.). However, I was quite glad that the more fanciful bits were a fantasy - as Moriarty pointed out, criminals don't tend to go in for melodramatic effects such as hoods, gongs, etc., so it was a good thing that they were just part of Sherlock's drug- induced dream.

 

I haven't had a chance to rewatch it yet, which I need to do because it was too much to absorb in one go, but I've tried to make sense of the ending. If the Ricoletti case was Sherlock's attempt to understand the riddle of Moriarty's return, then presumably it is significant that the Bride was able to commit crimes after her death because she was more than one person. Sherlock says Moriarty is definitely dead - a shame, as Andrew Scott is so good in the role - but he knows exactly what he is going to do next. Because Moriarty is more than one person? That is the only way I can see how the Bride's case helped him to solve Moriarty's.

 

Since Moriarty has always relied on other people's services to succeed, that would make a lot of sense.

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Does anybody know this picture? To me it's like a symbol for the whole episode.

 

qxaqsl43.png

 

IPlayer on BBC has subtitles!

 

From what Arwel & Sherlockology said online it's called All is Vanity by Allan C. Gilbert.  I like how it looked like a skull until the zoom and pan when we realized that there was a lady's head & reflection in it.

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If we don't have to use spoiler boxes now - and I hope this is okay - I'd like to say:

 

Generally, I'm not keen on "it was all a dream" explanations. (Anyone old enough may remember Dallas, where an entire series turned out to be the dream of a character they had killed off and wanted to revive.). However, I was quite glad that the more fanciful bits were a fantasy - as Moriarty pointed out, criminals don't tend to go in for melodramatic effects such as hoods, gongs, etc., so it was a good thing that they were just part of Sherlock's drug- induced dream.

 

I haven't had a chance to rewatch it yet, which I need to do because it was too much to absorb in one go, but I've tried to make sense of the ending. If the Ricoletti case was Sherlock's attempt to understand the riddle of Moriarty's return, then presumably it is significant that the Bride was able to commit crimes after her death because she was more than one person. Sherlock says Moriarty is definitely dead - a shame, as Andrew Scott is so good in the role - but he knows exactly what he is going to do next. Because Moriarty is more than one person? That is the only way I can see how the Bride's case helped him to solve Moriarty's.

Since Moriarty has always relied on other people's services to succeed, that would make a lot of sense.

 

 

And I'm not sure it will be the last we see of Andrew Scott despite Moriarty being dead.  He lives on in Sherlock's mind palace and no doubt will continue to be the ghost that haunts him from time to time.

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And I cannot get past the fact that in SherlockedCamper's thread about the Baby (which sfmpco started on a lark for my sake), we posited the possibility of Mary being known to the services under the direction of the minor government official! Well done the monstrous brigade!

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I would like having Moriarty's Ghost around.

Well, what we desperately need now is a transcript.

 

I definitely don't like the "Sherlock was high" interpretation at the airport in HLV. It robs the whole scene of significance.

 

I still have this "something is wrong with this picture" feeling. And I am still not sure whose head it was. Could be John's as well.

1 he seems to be in charge, 2 his wife is the cleverest one of them all, 3 Sherlock is quite diminished in the whole story, 4 John is the Dragon Slayer at the end...

 

On the Victorian level, there are several hints that what we see is actually the written version of the stories. Written by John...

 

Excuse me while I retreat to the cellar to pull my hair and scream. Sherlock-OD, I believe.

 

Moftiiis.gif

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I only have one little complaint so far: I think it was highly unfortunate to connect the secret society of angry women to the original story of The Five Orange Pips. Because there, it was the Ku Klux Klan (that's why Holmes mentioned America, btw). The costumes they wore were way too reminiscent of that organization as well, even though they were purple. Now, even though all this was supposed to be only a product of Sherlock's imagination on drugs, it's still very unwise and quite offensive to liken a group of radical feminists to a gang of racists. 

 

 

Yes, also on the feminist angle, this article describes various reactions online to that aspect of the special. I really do think it was a hamfisted tackling of such a big subject- I mean, for the first time in their lives they tackle what (in the sense it tackles a topical issue about equality) has shades of a 'Tonight, on a very special Sherlock...' and there is a stunning lack of nuance. I don't remotely agree that Sherlock was 'mansplaining feminism' (if anything he was Sherlocksplaining at best and Moffatsplaining at worst). But I do find it kind of humorous that they are now being accused of having likened a feminist suffragette group to a murderous KKK- esque gang! I really don't think it was their intent, but they could have been so much more sensitive in their handling of the issue.

 

They put so much thought into the rest of the episode, and I thought their use of Molly was inspired

 

- Despite what Sherlock says, I echo John What makes him this way? The wish to be brain without heart? My guess is still Redbeard.

 

 

I agree to an extent. I also got the feeling from the Mycroft's notebook section, that maybe Redbeard has become a code word for some sort of larger past Holmes family related incident? 

 

 

 

I like your list! I think Moriarty was behind the veil instead of Mrs Whatshername, because Moriarty was truly behind the murder, even though she was probably the person who executed it. Moriarty never gets his own hands dirty, remember? And he loves turning people's sins of the past against them. He's quite a devil-figure. At this point, actually, I am not sure whether Sherlock sees Moriarty so much as a person. He seems to have become the embodiment of evil and / or criminal intent - the driving force behind murders, suicides, conspiracies, blackmail, everything Sherlock is up against in his work. Maybe that is why he can be dead and yet alive, gone and yet always present.

The scene took place inside Sherlock's brain. It wasn't real. So of course one person can morph into another, like they can in dreams or in anyones imagination.

 

 

 

So, in your way of thinking, the person responsible for Moriarty's return may only be philosophically linked to Moriarty, rather than actually/ personally  linked? Do you see Richard Brook having any part in that scenario? Or do you see him as 100% gone?

 

Also, just about Irene Adler- I think the locket picture was very in keeping with canon, but wasn't sure why she wasn't physically in the episode? Because she featured very strongly in the 'previously' clips, but also because she had links to Moriarty too, so I thought she might be important in some way to solving the Moriarty issue. I just wonder are they holding something back and planning on having her appear in series 4 or something? Which, I am not her biggest fan, so it's not that I want that, but I guess I expected a bigger presence than just the photo, because before she was physically in the 'mind palace' in a less controlled way. Or, maybe it was the show's way of placing her in that special part of Sherlock's mind that was true to canon, and represented by the photo he keeps? I would have expected her to be there more than Janine, even though I am glad Janine was there.

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The writers love to drop bombshells, destroying our previous beliefs, don't they?  I know a lot of people loved the tarmac scene, with both characters being all repressed and manly, but it irritated me.  I'm willing to accept Sherlock as emotionally crippled (but unable to say a meaningful farewell, when he thinks he is leaving forever? really?) but John seemed cold as well.  Now we know Sherlock was stoned throughout the whole thing.  Maybe it will turn out that John was heavily sedated as well!

 

I like the idea that Moriarty, as well as having some sort of continued presence in the real world, exists in Sherlock's mind as a symbol of his fears and weaknesses.  I hope he will continue to pop up in the Mind Palace at significant moments.

 

I hope Mary isn't going to be part of MI5 in the next series.  That would really annoy me. 

 

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@Sherlockandjohn, you are quite right! But enhancing his perception through the famous seven percent solution is entirely due to ACD, so in this mishmash of Christmas leftovers all mixed together to make a New Year's pie to induce even more discussion and debate until S4 ( after this, I very much doubt BBC will commission a fifth one), it did its job

Moriarty in mind palace sequences only, Mycroft declaring "I was there for you before,...I'll always be there for you," made it look as if the greatest fictional consulting detective in history is a mentally imbalanced personality on top of being a junkie! And the Tarmac scene was one of the most moving bits in that otherwise controversial episode. To trash both it and Sherlock's LUCID melancholy look out of the aeroplane window for the sake of a drug-induced haze will definitely bite the creators in the back, and good luck with that!

Speaking of which, Moriarty and Mary got the best one-liners! Miss me? Does the illustrator travel with you? Where's the intimacy in that? Truth is boring!

On top of that, Mycroft the recluse of the Diogenes Club tasking a woman in 1895 with anything, is engaging Douglas Adams's Improbability Drive in the Hitchhiker trilogy!

A bit MORE than not good!

 

I sometimes feel like such a no-knower (if there is such a thing). Can you tell me what the Tarmac scene is?

 

 

The tarmac refers to the plane on the landing strip.  That area is the tarmac.

 

 

Thank you, sfmpco.

 

@Inge-I-w: I know what you mean. It's not the first time, either, that the creators of Sherlock killed the sentiment of scenes in previous episodes by later telling us, "Here's what really happened". Need I mention The Empty Hearse? Maybe I have adjusted to it, because it somehow didn't bother me as much this time. Besides,

it doesn't mean that Sherlock didn't recognize John's sadness at his leaving  - though I honestly don't know what a drug-induced mind is capable of registering.

 

The creators could have just said that Sherlock took the drugs on board the plane - but when it comes to emotional impact, Moffat and Gatiss don't always seem to get what attention to detail can do, although they are attentive enough in other areas.

 

 

There is very little I can do about this, though :) so I guess I've accepted it.

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... Sherlock Holmes is not just about mysteries. It's about solving them. Writer are too busy creating mysteries and just simply answering some of them for the sake of it. As a great fan of Sherlock, I want to be fooled not just be in the dark. The special was more of a ploting device for season 4 which is no compliment. It may even work if the next episode in the next week. But when you take 2-3 years to return this simply doesn't work. It's just a poor way to create excitement rather than showing what Sherlock has been for three season. As a stand alone episode, it falls short. Magic it has is only because of what Season 4 can be. Not for what it is. (except the Victorian Visuals) Again Sherlock is about Charm of solving the mystery. Not The Cliff hangers or so many unanswered mysteries that writers won't answer or "don't dare" to answer (because of over hype) in any near future. This is bad storytelling (Even if you are excited about next season). Especially bad for a Stand alone.

 

Yeah, the writers do tend to create cliffhangers and then deflate them when the next season airs. I agree that it would work better if the next episode was just around the corner, because these cliffhangers inspire expectations that quite possibly increase over time and are not easily met.

 

I will need to watch The Abominable Bride a few more times before finally making up my mind about it, but last night I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the above. It was so exciting and fun! Whether I'll feel the same after having repeatedly rewatched and analysed it to death, I cannot say :)

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As far as the feminists and suffragettes you do need to keep in mind that the suffragettes, led nder the Pankhurst banner, could be quite militant, although they were not at their most militant in 1895.  Those extreme days came between about 1910-1913.  They actually laid down their agenda for the war effort to help England, and that is largely considered why they got the vote within a year after the war ended.  There was at least one suffragette who threw herself in front of the King's horse at one of the big races and killed herself to bring attention to the vote. Studying Britain's suffrage is quite fascinating.

 

As for the purple color - the suffrage colors were white, green and purple.  White for purity, green for new life and purple for royalty, so the color of their robes would be correct.

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I only learned a little about the Suffragettes in school, but from what I remember, I think their motivations and actions were more politically based than personal. I think what grates on people- on me anyway, in the Sherlock version is that there is a muddying of the waters between fighting for your rights and getting rid of disappointing husbands (which I don't think has ever been particularly high on the feminist agenda).

 

I can sort of understand the logic behind the writing- if they are implying that the women were so oppressed the only choice left was violence or murder- mostly because it came from the same minds that brought us murdering Magnussen as the only choice when your clever opponent has achieved the upper hand, and not because the logic is actually sound. The real Suffragettes I think committed acts of vandalism and destruction (rather than, from my limited understanding, personal physical harm) mostly to attract attention to the cause.

 

Another reason I think the whole thing was illogical was that the women were essentially all conspiring to commit murder, which rather than eliminate guilt could easily have spread it around and led to many of them being convicted rather than just one. Added to that, the use of disguises and those purple capes to carry out their aims, IMO comes across as cowardly and unlikely to garner public support.

 

 

As for the purple color - the suffrage colors were white, green and purple.  White for purity, green for new life and purple for royalty, so the color of their robes would be correct.

 

 

I think it is the tall pointed hats that are making people compare to the KKK. Though, for me those hats are also bringing comparisons to witches covens. American Horror Story: Coven had very similar garb shown on 'historical' pictures of covens in their credit sequence. I'm not sure if they had a factual basis but the outfits did look quite convincing.

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Oh BBC, you're seriously interfering with my sleep patterns! I planned to go to bed really early today, but when I turned on the TV I saw an ad on BBC3 that they'd show the Abominable Bride again today. And here I am, still awake but happy. I loved watching it again, though I have to say: I still don't like the first 10-or-so minutes and I don't like the waterfall-scene - it doesn't tell me anything I didn't know before and is really overdone in some respects. But the rest is just great =)

 

What I like is how Mycroft is really likened to England in the episode. When Mary gets his invitation she tells Mrs Hudson that an old friend needs her, and being asked who that old friend is, she answers "England."

 

I'd have loved to get more details on how Mary found out about the secret women's society. She only says something about doing some research on her own and that she suspected Emilia must've had help. Or did I miss something (again)?

 


I am still not sure whose head it was. Could be John's as well.

1 he seems to be in charge, 2 his wife is the cleverest one of them all, 3 Sherlock is quite diminished in the whole story, 4 John is the Dragon Slayer at the end...

 

Funny, your reasons why it could all be John's version is the reason why I'd say it's Sherlock's. I think that is just the way Sherlock thinks of John and Mary, not the way John thinks of himself. That's what I love about this show, it's so complex and there is never the one correct version of interpreting things.

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The Suffragettes damaged property but I can't think of any incident where they attacked people. (Incidentally, there is evidence which seems to indicate quite clearly that Emily Wilding Davison, who was trampled by the King's horse, was trying to attach the Suffragette colours to its bridle, not committing suicide.) I assume that the pointy-hooded ladies weren't supposed to be Suffragettes - that was Mary's role - but had decided on direct violent action against abusive men. In a weird way, I suppose the episode could be Moffat's attempt to answer the accusations of misogyny which have been levelled against his creation of female characters. We have Mycroft's saying, in effect, that women are right in their struggle against patriarchy, and Sherlock explaining women's rights to John (and a roomful of women.) On the other hand, we still have the idea that women are deceptive and violent (like Mary and, to a lesser degree, Irene.) However, it all becomes a bit irrelevant when you realise that the Bride is Moriarty and it's all about a power struggle between two men or, considering John's role in the scene of the waterfall, about the bond between two men. Basically, we women are still just bystanders, like poor Mrs Hudson and her lack of lines.

 

It doesn't worry me too much, because the story is centred round the Sherlock-John relationship and I wouldn't want that to change. Moftiss really are on shaky ground, though, with their female characters. Loved Molly in drag, though.

 

Speaking of the waterfall, I enjoyed the way that the uber-posh Holmes admired his enemy's brain but added that, when it came to fighting on the edge of a precipice, " you're going into the water, short-arse."

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