We now know what those clues in Sherlock and John’s flooded flat really mean

SPOILERS: After watching The Lying Detective, we have a much better idea about the true meaning of the references contained in that enigmatic series four promo image

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Back in early December, we were presented with a portentous if enigmatic image heralding the return of Sherlock for series four. There were clearly clues hidden in the picture of Sherlock and John’s flooded Baker Street flat and we did our best to decipher them – with limited success…

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But now, having seen The Lying Detective, episode two of the new series, we have a much better idea of what those clues were referring to…

Miss Me?

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Look closely at the sheet music floating in the water in Sherlock’s flat and you’ll see that it’s a piece entitled Miss Me? The obvious conclusion at the time was that this was a reference to Moriarty’s posthumous catchphrase and that, dead or not, his influence would continue to loom large over the series. That may well still turn out to be true, but for now we know that it certainly refers to another blast from Sherlock’s past, Euros, the sister we never knew he had who finally made her presence known to him with her own “Miss Me?” written in UV ink on a sheet of paper Sherlock originally thought had belonged to villain Culverton Smith’s daughter.

Henry V

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The copy of Shakespeare’s history play did remind us of Tom Hiddleston playing that very role in The Hollow Crown, the BBC series in which Benedict Cumberbatch also starred as Richard III. So there was an outside chance it might have referred to the possibility of fan-casting for the much-anticipated third Holmes brother who never materialised. To be fair to ourselves, though, we also noted that Henry V features the passage containing Sherlock Holmes’s favourite Shakespeare quote, “the game’s afoot”, and that turned out to be much closer to the mark. During one of Sherlock’s wild drug-fuelled reveries in The Lying Detective, he bounces of the walls as he recites the entire soliloquy.

The flood itself

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We were always a bit confused about what the water lapping around Sherlock and John’s feet in the image really signified but we now have at least one possible explanation – could it be Euros herself? She is named after a Greek deity who was synonymous with the ill-fated east wind, which brought with it bad luck and, more specifically, rain…

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Sherlock series 4 episode 2 reviewed