“Do you remember Redbeard?”
The moment: In “The Sign of Three”, Sherlock rings Mycroft to see if he can make him come to John and Mary’s wedding. At the end of the phone call, Mycroft mysteriously asks Sherlock: “Do you remember Redbeard?” Sherlock becomes angry and says “I’m not a child anymore, Mycroft!”
The significance: In “The Final Problem”, Mycroft explained that he would occasionally prod at Sherlock’s memory to see what he remembered about his childhood. This is clearly one of those occasions – Mycroft’s inquisitive expression in this scene says it all. It’s a bit mean of Mycroft to bring up the subject of his best friend’s murder on his new best friend’s wedding day, though!
“They’re putting me down too, now”
The moment: “His Last Vow” sees Sherlock shot by Mary. To keep himself from going into shock, Sherlock retreats into his Mind Palace to find something to calm him down – Redbeard. When reuniting with the dog, he says “they’re putting me down too now.”
The significance: This scene is interesting now as it appears that Sherlock’s memory of Redbeard is a rare purely happy one that can calm him down – so he still presumably retains the memories of all the times he spent playing pirates with Victor. Yet the mention of putting Redbeard down does suggest that he also recalls that he died – though he doesn’t remember the correct details.
It’s also notable that Mind Palace Mycroft in this scene says “The east wind is coming, Sherlock. It’s coming to get you.” Could it be that Sherlock’s mind is starting to connect the dots between “Redbeard” and “the east wind” here?
“What made you like this?”
The moment: While waiting for Emilia Ricoletti’s ghost to attack Sir Eustace Carmichael in “The Abominable Bride”, Holmes and Watson have a quiet moment to chat. Watson asks Holmes some personal questions, culminating in “what made you like this?” Holmes retorts: “Oh, Watson, nothing made me. I made me.”
The significance: Considering that this Victorian mystery is later revealed to take place in Sherlock’s Mind Palace, Watson’s questions could represent Sherlock’s subconscious trying to get him to remember the truth of what really made him “like this.”
In this same scene, Sherlock also hears the sound of a dog and murmurs “Redbeard?” Put this with Watson’s words and it seems Sherlock is very close to remembering the truth at this moment.
“I will always be there for you”
The moment: Later in “The Abominable Bride”, back in the real world, Mycroft speaks to Sherlock about his drug usage. In an unusually candid moment, Mycroft says: “I was there for you before, I’ll be there for you again.”
The significance: Before “The Final Problem”, Mycroft’s words seemed to call back to a previous period where Sherlock was heavily using. Now, we can guess that he might have actually been referring to Victor’s death. We also see a page headed ‘Redbeard’ in Mycroft’s mysterious notebook. This shows that Mycroft was keeping tabs on how much Sherlock remembered the incident.
Are there any other moments of foreshadowing that we have missed? Let us know in the comments!