Written by Prof. Jenn
Okay, let’s be clear, there are WAY more than six Easter eggs in this episode, people. I had to narrow it down or I’d be writing more than you could possibly scroll through. Normally we do a Top 5, but since it is “The Six Thatchers”… Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments. Oh, and: SPOILERS BELOW. Natch.
Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments. Oh, and: SPOILERS BELOW. Natch.
1. Many Canon Cases Mentioned In Passing
This episode begins similarly to “A Scandal in Belgravia” and “The Sign of Three”, with a string of case titles and brief glimpses of cases from the original canon. Some are ones Conan Doyle actually wrote, some are merely titles or brief descriptions that Watson mentions within other canon stories. Here’s a list. For a fun game, see if you can pinpoint where they show up in the episode. Oh, and please mention any that you noticed but I didn’t in comments:
- The Adventure of the Reigate Squire
- The Mystery of the Canary Trainer
- The Red-Headed League
- The Sign of Four
- The Empty House
- A Scandal in Bohemia
- The Engineer’s Thumb
- The Lion’s Mane
- The Retired Colourman
- The Giant Rat of Sumatra
- The Valley of Fear
2. The Six Napoleons
Of course, the moment we Sherlockians heard the title of this episode, we knew the reference. In the episode, though, there are a few nods to the original Conan Doyle story beyond just the title. Besides plaster busts being smashed, that is. Of course, Craig the Hacker (can we call him Craig the Hacker? I like him and I want to see more of him) mentions glibly that Thatcher was rather a Napoleon in her political legacy etc. (really, Mofftiss? Facepalm…) But even more fun was the subplot of the Black Pearl of the Borgias. When that last plaster bust was smashed and Sherlock declared, “The Black Pearl of the Borgias!” all of us no doubt shouted it with him, as that’s what was hidden in the last bust in the original story.
But did you notice the secret code hidden in the credits? Yeah, me neither. Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair, though, did: she saw that there were red letters dispersed throughout the end credits. All the red letters together spell out “Six Napoleons.” Neat.
3. “Save John Watson”
This is an Easter egg, not from the canon, but from the series so far. In Mary’s final farewell recording, she says: “Save John Watson.”
This is a verbatim request from her debut appearance ‘The Empty Hearse.’ It was part of the skip code which marks the first time she is involved with the boys’ investigation. What does she mean? Is she quoting Magnussen (this is where the code came from), or is she reminding Sherlock of his primary function, and the quote is a coincidence? And what was said between that and “Go to Hell, Sherlock?” So many questions…