Sherlock Meta: An analysis of the machinations and motivations of Mycroft, Magnussen, Sherlock and Lady Smallwood during His Last Vow.
“Coincidence, the universe is rarely so lazy.”
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The line seems jarring at first, the notion that a scientist and logical creature like Sherlock would subscribe to this idea. When humans naturally look for patterns, and correlation does not equate to causation; mathematically there must be coincidences. Then comes the realisation, this isn’t the ordinary world with ordinary people they’re speaking of. They’re talking about Mycroft’s world, where nothing is a coincidence, people are highly powerful players and everything happens because someone has machinated it to be so. (This is also somewhat true of Sherlock’s world, where dealing with murderers, every detail/action must be suspect).
First a list of apparent ‘coincidences’ during the episode:
· Sherlock and Mary both attempt to get to Magnussen through Janine and then end up breaking in on the same night
· Magnussen was going after Sherlock (to go after Mycroft) and Sherlock simultaneously got a case involving going after Magnussen
· Lady Smallwood was heading the Magnussen inquiry and hired Sherlock to deal with him and after Sherlock ends up shooting Magnussen she’s the one who has to give the go ahead for what happens to him
So, accepting the premise that none of the happenings in His Last Vow were by coincidence, whose machinations were they? There’s no way of knowing for sure but to get a clearer idea the motivations and machinations of each character need to be considered separately.