BBC Sherlock Fan Forum - Serving Sherlockians since February 2012.

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

April 30, 2015 4:54 pm  #1

Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

Someone on tumblr made an interesting discovery. As I could not find anything about it in here I made some screenshots of my own. Have a look at this:

We get a sort of Janus-faced Sherlock. I checked pics of the living-room. There is a bookcase behind Sherlock and the mirror over the mantlepiece is on his left. Therefore it cannot be a reflection as there is no reflective surface and, more important, a reflection would show his profile looking in the same direction, not mirrored. 

But this is not everything. When his talk with Irene gets more intimate, there is this:

Again we get a two-faced Sherlock, this time framing Irene's face. And again this is a not a natural reflection. 

We know that the creators of the show know to use reflections brilliantly so this is something else, a definite stylistic means. What does it tell us? Maybe that he is observing and checking himself in his dealings with Irene. That he is talking to her while still thinking of John. That he never trusts her, that he acts emotionally accessible while still keeping control. 

"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)


April 30, 2015 6:26 pm  #2

Re: Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

Having a double face = a) being in a transition state from one form to another or b) being manipulative, literally double-faced.

Theoretically, both things are fitting here. Sherlock learns about love and he is in a transition from a cold, self-collected man to a more emotional, yet more vulnerable person.

At the same time, he does not really love Irene and he plays her in the same manner she plays him. It´s a game for both of them.


I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

April 30, 2015 7:15 pm  #3

Re: Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

Very well spotted!  It looks like the "reflection" is on the camera side (I don't know how these things work), rather than being visible in real life - presumably deliberate if it's there twice.  A nice touch. 

I suppose it could be interpreted in any number of ways (it could even mean that there's two interpretations!).  It seems to me that he's hiding something there, putting on a front for Irene's benefit (and it does turn out later that he was hiding his true feelings for her).   She, on the other hand, isn't (as her face isn't reflected in the same way).   She isn't just playing the game at this point. 

I also wonder if it could possibly a reference to Irene mirroring Sherlock.  There is so much of that - her hair, the riding crop, wearing his clothes, etc.  In the second picture with two semi-Sherlock's framing Irene, it's almost like one of those three-way dressing table mirrors in reverse, with Sherlock now reflecting Irene.  Matching cheekbones!

I kind of like the transition idea too, especially as in the first picture the reflection is looking backward, while in the second it's looking forward (although we're behind it).

Last edited by Liberty (April 30, 2015 8:53 pm)


May 1, 2015 1:31 am  #4

Re: Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

you all have very detailed elaboration and explanation.

IMOH , I just assum he is not in a "good" function moment. he is dealing a feeling that strange and new to him and he also try to resist this. Or in brief he is dizzy....


May 8, 2015 5:13 pm  #5

Re: Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

Interesting find. Like you said, the show has done great things with using reflections to enhance emotions and direct the audience to draw certain conclusions. I think in this case the reflections could be a lot of things. They could be being used to strengthen Sherlock's own self-reflection and self-confusion throughout the entire episode. Thanks for sharing this!

"I'm in shock...look I've got a blanket." - Sherlock Holmes

May 8, 2015 6:49 pm  #6

Re: Double Sherlock - the fireplace scene with Irene

Yeah, that's what I think it is.  I don't know how that affect is achieved, but it's pretty cool.  Possibly some in-camera effect, but I don't know how it would work.

Last edited by Yitzock (May 8, 2015 6:52 pm)
Clueing for looks.

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum