The return of Sherlock on Sunday was a major television event, and the episode contained some pretty shocking surprises for fans of the show. If you haven't yet watched "The Six Thatchers", then beware, as there are massive SPOILERS ahead. While it was satisfying to see Holmes and Watson reunited to work on a case, the episode headed in an extremely dark direction very quickly. Revolving around Mary Watson's past life as a spy, it was clear from the outset that John's wife, and the mother of his child, was in grave danger. But is Mary Watson really dead on Sherlock? Some fan theories believe that the character will be back.
Sherlock is a show that's continually breaking its own rules, and isn't afraid to play with the audience. As Sherlock Holmes himself is renowned for faking his own death and not explaining how he did it, fans have pointed out that Mary could've quite easily done the same. After all, in "The Six Thatchers" Sherlock even described Mary as a "super agent with a terrifying skill set," meaning that she'd know exactly how to play dead, or construct a ridiculously smart plan to disappear completely. Luckily for fans of the character and the actress, theories and hints about Mary Watson's fate provide a good explanation of what happened to her.
1. Mary Faked Her Own Death To Protect Her Family
A very intriguing photo shared by Sherlock actor Amanda Abbington on Tuesday gave fans a shock. Not only did the actor that plays Mary use some extremely suspicious hashtags, but she seems to hint that her character might be back after all, albeit in disguise. Did Mary fake her own death, and will she return to the show at a later date in a wig?
2. There's Too Much Uncertainty
As with any death in Sherlock, there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding Mary Watson's death. Many fans are questioning how certain anyone is that Mary is actually dead, and, in asking the question, they're allowing doubt to creep into everyone's minds.
3. Mary Watson Is Getting Her Own Spin-Off
In Oct. 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch told GQ that Season 4 "feels like the end of an era," adding that, "we all have things that we want to crack on with, and we’ve made something very complete as it is." While the Sherlock star made it sound as though he was ready to take a break from the series, there's no reason that a Sherlock spin-off couldn't happen. Mary has arguably become one of the most interesting regular characters on the show, with an extensive past life to explore, and a spin-off about her life as a spy could work well.
4. The Show's Writers Have Written One Too Many Plot Twists
Some Sherlock viewers have become so used to the show's penchant for killing and resurrecting characters that they're convinced Mary's fate is merely another plot device. Could they be right?
5. Mary Wanted To Shed Her Identity As John Watson's Wife
As a secret agent, Mary must've had a plethora of identities throughout her lifetime. Mary Watson was just one of them, and some fans believe that she needed to move on from one persona to another.
6. She's Living In Hell, Norway
At the end of the video that Mary sent to Sherlock, in which she told him to save her husband John Watson, she said the words, "Go to hell, Sherlock." Many fans have taken this to be a direction to the location of Hell in Norway. Could that be where Mary is hiding?
7. Abbington Spoke About Filming With Toby Jones, Who Doesn't Appear Until Episode 2
In Dec. 2016, Abbington spoke to the Radio Times about working with Toby Jones, who plays forthcoming Sherlock villain Culverton Smith. She said, “I made the mistake of asking him for a coffee... he kind of likes to stay in character, and it’s great because you stay well away from him, because he is truly terrifying.” Clearly, the pair have some scenes together, which suggests that Abbington will appear in future episodes. Does that mean that Mary is alive, or that her character will appear in flashbacks?
8. And She Appeared On Set Looking Glam
Photos of Abbington on the Sherlock set have prompted fans to claim that the character isn't dead. Dressed in a white suit, with perfect blonde hair and the best sunglasses, she looks just as glamorous as you'd expect of a character that's risen from the dead.
9. The Woman Watson Meets On The Bus Is Somehow Connected To Mary
Everyone was pretty shocked when it was revealed that Watson had been texting a rando he'd met on the bus, implying that John was cheating on Mary. But what if the lady on the bus was a plant and was hired by Mary or Sherlock? Fans are extremely suspicious about what's going on here.
Even more clues are bound to come to light when Season 4 of Sherlock continues. For now, we'll all just have to pretend that we think Mary is really dead.