The resolution of Sherlock’s second season is imminent and this article being written so close to the airing of the Season 3 premiere is an exercise in pointlessness. But similarly my Gandalf/Radagst speculation I just want to write down my thoughts before I watch the product.
Plus, I am super convinced that no matter what happens in the Season premiere THIS is the definitive answer to what happened in the second season of Sherlock).
WARNING!: There will be spoilers for Sherlock’s first two seasons and Star Trek Into Darkness.
Trust me… I have gone through all the episodes frame by frame and I have now discovered all the missing details. Writer Steven Moffat hinted during an interview that he was aware of all the fan speculation but that all the theories on the internet he had come across had missed one important detail that will explain everything about how Sherlock cheated death.
And I can now say that I am 99% sure of what detail he meant and that the answer is trickier than we thought. You see, Sherlock Holmes is not really Sherlock Holmes, it was just a smokescreen to conceal his true identity. His real name, is…
Now I can already see you rolling your eyes. Just another fan speculation because Benedict Khanberbatch (see, the clue is hidden within his name) is starring in both franchises. But what has happened with Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness is that both Moffat and Abrams (and to a lesser extent Gene Roddenberry) have delivered a breathtaking crossover with their reinterpretation of two classic stories.
So bear with me. This essay is not just some random Trekkie reducing everything to Khan, my research and the facts I have uncovered will sway even the biggest doubting Thomas.
When you have eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
As a Trekkie I of course associated this with Mr. Spock in Star Trek VI when actually it comes from a Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Now this was just one of many sentences Spock has said in his long career but the makers of Star Trek (2009) deliberately put in this Sherlock Holmes line as if they anticipated the eventual crossover. When Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness it looked as if it was a lucky coincidence… or the first hint of a bigger universe?
The interesting thing is that both Star Trek (2009) and Sherlock have taken big creative liberties with the source material. Sherlock Holmes is no longer a consulting detective in Victorian Era England but in modern day England. And when Star Trek Into Darkness gave us a new version of Khan his backstory was much more ambiguous than in the original Star Trek series where they knew a lot about Khan’s era. And this is because of the fact that they didn’t want to reveal that Sherlock is actually a prequel to Star Trek.
But let’s go through the questions:
How did Sherlock survive the fall?
Before we go into details why there can be no doubt that Khan and Sherlock are the same person I just want to quickly give you some examples why being Khan pretty much explains the entire ending of Sherlock’s second season. The answer is cleverly hidden in Star Trek Into Darkness’s script:
Sir, there’s no way anyone survived.
-Hikaru Sulu and Spock about Khan
This line near the end of the movie is an indication of how strong and indestructible Khan is. He can do more than a regular human being. Sustain more damage. But does that also mean he could survive a fall from a tall building?
Let’s once again consult the wisdom of Hikaru Sulu:
Whoa! He just jumped 30 meters!
Which pretty much makes the fall from the building at the end of The Reichenbach Fall a piece of cake. So Sherlock being Khan is resolving all our questions we have about the impossibility of the finale. But who is this man and why is he now called Sherlock?
Who is Sherlock? And what are the Eugenics Wars?
I am better than you!
-Khan and Kirk, Star Trek Into Darkness
In the BBC show we have no idea about Holmes’s origins. He just happens to live in London and works as a private consultant. He is hyper-intelligent to the point where people cannot believe he is actually that smart. He also has formidable fighting skill (S01E02 Sherlock is fighting in both his flat and in the museum) and his reflexes are sometimes fast to the point of being like a super power (S02E01 opening the vault and disarming the enemies).
It is hard to believe that a NORMAL human being would be capable of all this.
If we look closer at Khan’s monologue we see more details about Khan’s/Sherlock’s life:
A remnant of a time long past.
The crew of the Enterprise also finds out that the cryotubes in which Khan and his crew slept are over 300 years old, which would place Khan around the end of the 20th century / beginning of the 21st century – or modern day England judging from Khan’s accent.
Genetically engineered to be superior so as to lead others to peace in a world at war.
It can be easy to understand why Khan would describe our current situation as a world at war. Maybe not a single global war but the conflicts around the globe are not those of a peacefully united human race. The genetically engineered part also explains Sherlock’s superhuman ability and maybe Sherlock was just another cover-name similar to the name John Harrison he uses in Star Trek Into Darkness (keep that name in mind, it will be vital for conclusion of this thesis).
Sherlock Holmes as a cover identity as long as the superhuman program was not ready? The superhuman program that gave us Khan/Sherlock might have also given birth to Jim Moriarty. Remember, the time when Khan was active according to Trek-lore is known as the Eugenics Wars – a war where genetically engineered warriors fought for the power over the planet. So maybe, just maybe the face-off between Moriarty and Sherlock is the modernized interpretation of the Eugenics Wars?
In Star Trek Into Darkness there are at least 72 people on Khan’s side… could Sherlock’s “homeless network” be much more than a group of homeless people? Could Jim Moriarty’s spiderweb of power be also an entire army of superhumans?
Still this is too much speculation… let’s stay with the facts because boy there are still so many to cover:
But we were condemned as criminals, forced into exile.
Now this is a major revelation tying Khan and Sherlock very closely together. At the end of the second season (or the Eugenics Wars?) Sherlock is an outcast. Despised and ridiculed by the public the only escape he had was to fake his death and wait…
For years we slept…
So this is the general idea but as I said there is the tiny detail Moffat hinted at connecting all those dots and it has been in front of our nose the whole time:
Joe Harrison and the missile plans
In the final episode of Sherlock’s first season Dr. Watson is on a mission of his own. Aiding Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes to return a precious USB-drive that the government has lost. It turns out that the drive contains super secretive missile plans. And here is the crazy fact which can’t be a coincidence:
The person who stole the plans is named… Joe Harrison!
Almost identical to Khan’s fake identity John Harrison. So a certain Joe Harrison got hold of super secret missile plans but the audience has no idea about the nature of those missiles.. maybe the missiles were just engines for say… a spaceship?
Connect this with the fact that Sherlock needed an escape plan and you can easily see how the second Season ended:
Khan was disgraced in the eyes of the world so he had to go undercover. Assuming the identity Joseph/Joe/John Harrison he used the missile plans to manufacture a rocket ship that would shoot him and his fellow superior humans into space. But for the cryogenic procedure to work properly he needed a person with enough skills and medical knowledge – which neatly explains why Sherlock needed to talk to Molly before the final confrontation!
So there you have it!
Not only are Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes connected through the actors. They share the same story while simultaneously reimagining an event from Star Trek’s history. And you can bet everything that the crew that Khan is so desperately fighting for contains not only superhumans but a person named John Watson who Khan would do anything for…
I rest my case.
But what about the rubber ball?
Some readers now might state that I left out a crucial detail: what about the rubber ball Sherlock was playing with?
Many theories believe that this is used to stop the blood circulation in Sherlock’s arm so that Watson feels no pulse… but I think it is much simpler than that: the ball represents Khan’s desire to rule over the entire planet.