5 Throwaway Scenes in Sherlock That May Yet Mean Something


Written by Prof. Jenn

There is so little Sherlock to go around that us Sherlockians have taken to analysing each and every scene with a magnifying glass to ponder over any hidden meanings they might possess. As such, we’ve come to the conclusion that several seemingly throwaway scenes throughout the ten episodes we have had so far are actually more important than they appear. Here are a few of them:

5. DI Dimmock


A one-off character from fandom’s least favourite episode , Dimmock begins nearly verbatim as Forbes from Doyle story ‘The Naval Treaty,’ with a low opinion of Holmes’ techniques and the fact that he takes credit away from the police. Once admonished and corrected, however, he is contrite and asks to help. Dimmock is the same way in ‘The Blind Banker’, and is even given a huge compliment at the end of the episode, where Sherlock tells him he has great hopes for him as a detective. He’s a young up-and-comer, too, so it’s hard to say why a copper who has been given such a compliment never shows up again. Maybe Sherlock can’t bring himself to work with anyone other than Lestrade?


4. The Other One

sherlock mycroft

Here is one throwaway line that has really set the internet alight with theories. Towards the end of ‘His Last Vow’, while in deliberation with some officials about what to do with murderous Sherlock, Mycroft scoffs at the notion that he is protecting his brother because of a tender heart, reminding the officials: “You know what happened to the other one.” This quick aside  – which suggests there is a third Holmes brother! – hasn’t yet been elaborated on, but we can hope we get more about this mysterious “other one” in Series Four.


3. The Empty Hearse


This obvious nod to the show’s real life obsessive fandom is an adorable way to show various versions of how Sherlock survived his apparent suicide and the lovely little reveal that he’s alive to the public. But what happened to the club once he appeared? Did they just dissolve, like Anderson tearing down his conspiracy theory notes from the wall? It’s been a heckuva lot of fun seeing Fanboy Anderson in his new fawning mode but it would be a treat to see what became of The Empty Hearse. Maybe they become Baker St. Irregulars? Maybe they continue their sordid fan-fiction?

(And speaking of Anderson, where has Donovan – his co-conspirator in bringing Sherlock down in Series Two – gone? She was largely absent in Series Three and completely absent in ‘The Abominable Bride’. Did her customary prickly disdain for Sherlock go away like it did for Anderson? Did she get reprimanded or punished for her part in the conspiracy? We need answers!)


2. I.O.U


In ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, Moriarty declares that he owes Sherlock a fall and leaves the message I.O.U carved into an apple. I.O.U. then pops up multiple times in the rest of the episode, presumably to remind Sherlock of Moriarty’s evil presence. But even after the big literal fall at the end of the episode, it’s still unclear what Moriarty really means. What does he mean, he owes him “a fall?” Is he just referring to the fact that Sherlock has foiled several of his nefarious schemes by now, and he owes him payback? That’s not exactly what he said, though, and the appearance of the code-like I.O.U. in building windows and wall graffiti just feels more….well, it feels like there’s more there in that message than we’ve gotten yet.


1. Redbeard


Redbeard is first mentioned by Mycroft in ‘The Sign of Three’ but in the very next episode we seemingly have this mystery cleared up – Redbeard is Sherlock’s childhood dog who it is implied was put down, suggesting that the memory of such is still an emotional trigger to a Sherlock who otherwise abhors “the fly in the ointment” that is emotion. Yet the name keeps coming up here and there after that reveal in ‘His Last Vow’ and, when we glimpse Mycroft’s notebook near the end of ‘The Abominable Bride’, there it is again – along with some other tidbits that we hope are explained later (including a numerical code, and the name Vernet).


Do you have another throwaway scene from Sherlock you think will be importance in future? Let us know in the comments!


9 thoughts on “5 Throwaway Scenes in Sherlock That May Yet Mean Something

  1. Am I the only person to think that the words ‘the other one’ referred to a previous agent sent on the suicide mission and not another Holmes? Neither did I see in the Holmes household a gap such as appears when someone, especially a son, dies.


  2. What about Kitty (the reporter from The Reichanbach Fall)? She was staunch supporter that Sherlock was a fraud, and Richard Brook (aka Moriarty) was true. She kind of disappeared after that episode.
    I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Moriarty’s followers.
    Just like Sherlock has a fan club, Moriarty would have a following too.


  3. Regarding Redbeard, in The Abominable Bride, when John and Sherlock are in the greenhouse, waiting for the “ghost” to appear, a dog barks, and doesn’t Sherlock say, “Redbeard!”


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