WARNING: MAHOOSIVE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. STEP AWAY NOW IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ‘THE LYING DETECTIVE.’
OK, have the slow-pokes gone?
Right then, as you well know, we finally found out the identity of the fabled third Holmes sibling in recent episode ‘The Lying Detective.’ Previously, some misleading dialogue lead us to believe that they were a brother. In the shocking denouement to episode two, however, we found out that wasn’t the case. John’s flirty bus woman, his new therapist and Culverton Smith’s fake daughter were all alter egos of Euros Holmes – Sherlock and Mycroft’s apparently evil sister.
We have a lot of questions about this new character. So let’s get try and come up with some answers…
Whoah! Hang on, Sherlock’s got a sister? Since when?
Yeah, it is news to us too! In the original canon by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock and Mycroft are the only Holmes siblings mentioned. However, stories by other writers feature a Holmes sister. The Enola Holmes Mysteries YA book series from Nancy Springer, for example, star Sherlock’s teenage sister who wants to follow in her big brother’s footsteps. Also, the Young Sherlock Holmes novels by Andrew Lane make mention of a Charlotte Holmes, Sherlock and Mycroft’s sickly sister.
However, these examples are few and far between, which helped Moffat and Gatiss put people on the wrong track. Usually, Sherlock’s other sibling is Sherrinford (you can read more about him here).
So why is she evil?
This one’s harder to answer. We have known that something is up with “the other one” for a while, since Mycroft mentioned them in off-handed, ominous tones in ‘His Last Vow.’ In ‘The Lying Detective’, Mycroft lets slip to John that he has another sibling who went rogue. Looks like we will have to wait for next week to find out what turned Euros away from the side of the angels.
Still, there is some precedent for Sherlock having an evil sibling. Young Sherlock Holmes‘s Andrew Lane also wrote a Doctor Who novel that crosses over with Sherlock Holmes. In that, Sherrinford is in league with an ancient alien evil called Azathoth and aids it in its invasion of Earth. 2010’s straight-to-DVD movie Sherlock Holmes similarly features Sherlock’s older brother as the villain. This time, he’s called Thorpe Holmes and has been creating robot dinosaurs to terrorise old London town. Yeah, it’s a weird film.
Who’s playing her?
Euros Holmes is played by Sian Brooke. Much like Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott were before Sherlock made stars of them, she’s been a jobbing actress for years – appearing in British TV shows like A Touch of Frost, Hotel Babylon, Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders – but had yet to be catapulted into stardom. Notably, she played Ophelia opposite Cumberbatch as Hamlet in his recent stage run of the Shakespeare play.
The actress’ lesser-known status, some clever (mis)direction and some good make-up and wigs hid the fact that Brooke played three separate characters over the last two episodes, before being revealed as Euros.
What kind of name is Euros anyway?
A very fitting one for a villain, that’s what. Euros is the name of a Greek God who was said to bring bad luck and rain. Sherlock has had a premonition of his death for the last two episodes, so Euros being the harbinger of bad luck is surely significant. Likewise, her connection to rain is presumably the reason that Baker Street was flooded in that enigmatic promo for the fourth season.
It is also a Welsh name. Moffat and Gatiss may have been inspired to use it by Euros Lyn, a prolific television director who has worked on Doctor Who, Daredevil and, yes, Sherlock. He worked on the show back in Series One’s ‘The Blind Banker.’
As Euros herself says, Euros can also mean ‘The East Wind’…