Journal of Post-Modern Film 42.1(2013):80-107.
Love In The Labyrinth: A Deconstruction Of The Baker Street Incident
Author(s): James Moriarty, Ph.D
Department of Philosophy, University of Durham, Durham, North East England
In which I, the author, endeavor to make sense of celebrated documentary filmmaker Sherlock Holmes' greatest work, that most insidious of cult hits—The Baker Street Incident. With his film Holmes transformed how we think about cinematography, and indeed, the definition of truth itself. In this paper I explore the themes and subtext contained within, culling research from journalists and noted Holmes scholars to encourage viewers to draw their own interpretations as to the film's meaning.
The authorless viral video Five-And-A-Half Inches circulated online for three years before The Baker Street Incident was released to the public, ending debate over the identity of its originator, who we now know to be avant-garde documentary filmmaker Sherlock Holmes. Whether or not he intended for the film to be distributed remains unresolved, but this does not alter the fact that, with its release, The Incident changed everything.
When it first erupted onto the scene, the media was abuzz. Was this Holmes—whose proud, stiffened member stood in prominence before a world audience in The Incident—of the same name as the artistic visionary who, after his exhibition in Brussels was so poorly received by critics, took a sudden hiatus from the world of film?1 Was The Baker Street Incident real, as the chilling rawness of the video seemed to suggest, or an elaborate fake? And if so, for what purpose?
The world has yet to end its obsession with the film and its subjects, many of whom are either dead or missing, or the unassuming house that became their nightmare. In the eight years since it originally surfaced, The Incident has cemented its place in our culture, grossing nearly two billion in DVD sales and related merchandise and taking home numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and a Nobel Prize for Excellence In Pornography2, a title its judges devised just so they could have the privilege of decorating the film. Holmes did not accept the awards in person or by correspondence, leaving Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. to inherit the honors on his behalf after obtaining publishing rights to the film by convincing a federal judge that Holmes was likely deceased.
There is much lore surrounding the film’s discovery. A graduate student at the British Film Institute stumbled across the tape inside a box of miscellany labeled “To Be Sorted,” kindling discussion of who put it there.3 Once dusted off, The Incident made the rounds in academic and cinemaphile circles, where it was frequently screened in boutique theatres to wide-eyed audiences. The gossip that followed attracted interest from the media, contributing to The Incident’s global wildfire spread. It blew up on the front pages of newspapers, the insides of magazines—one could not look up without seeing a reference to the psychological horror-thriller-porn of Holmes’ creation. It seduced us with its fantastical imagery, tortured us with its never-ending suspense, and has us spellbound by its epic tale of love and acceptance. We surrendered to it the way one might surrender their virginity to their handsome football-player boyfriend. It was that good.
So inspiring was The Incident that London’s National Film and Television School built The Holmes Institute in 2012 to honor his contribution to the field, though according to staff he has never once paid it visit.5 In fact, no one has seen Holmes or “his” Watson—the man on whom the story hinges—since late 2003, more than three years before The Incident’s explosion onto the public scene in 2006, leading many to question whether they even survived the film’s events. For those who cling to a more optimistic outlook, it’s rumored the pair moved to a rural fishing village along the coast of Cape Breton, though neither men are registered Canadian citizens, nor do their names show up in any real estate records there.
Before The Incident, Holmes was most notorious for his critically panned exhibition The Sign of The Whore, filmed in Amsterdam and screened in Brussels. The provocative nature of the movie—which included graphic footage of male prostitutes at work in the country’s red light district—made headlines at the time, drawing mostly negative attention. His previous works, notably The Second Stain and The Dancing Men, achieved critical acclaim but never any popular appeal. We can assume The Incident was Holmes’ effort to re-launch his career following his unfortunate episode in Brussels, but how could he have known his film would leave such an imprint on what we call cinema?6 His sudden vanishment has produced a lacuna of talent few will be able to fill.
His story begins innocently enough. After a year-long sabbatical from film Holmes wastes no time familiarizing himself with his audience. In the introductory shot of The Baker Street Incident, we see his face framed by the light coming through the doorway, lit from the side. One half of his face—what some have suggested is his “better half,” appearance-wise7—has been shadowed, the other highlighted, an easy metaphor for the duality of pneuma that exists within all of us. The camera seesaws unsteadily, conveying man’s undying struggle to make sense of his surroundings8, or possibly Holmes’ lack of access to a tripod.
Our subject smiles into the camera. “Are you ready?” he asks coyly, as if aware of our own questions. The irony of this statement is not lost on viewers. The truth is that none of us can prepare ourselves for the unknown, least of all Holmes himself.
Some detractors have questioned the intent of this opening sequence, calling it “a flagrant gamble for attention by a has-been better-suited for skin flicks”9, or, in the words of one critic, “I’m not sure Mr. Holmes actually knows how cameras work.”10 The arguments of such naysayers are, of course, faulty. To them I reply that this scene lays the groundwork for Holmes’ masterful use of disorientation as a visual motif present throughout the entirety of The Incident. I cannot defend Holmes’ preamble in my own words any better than has been written by acclaimed nature cinematographer Leslie Clayton in her essay "Sheer Brilliance: An Analysis of Composition Within The Baker Street Incident":
It is ridiculous for critics to assume a premise of incompetence from The Incident’s opener; to do so is tantamount to rejecting the allure of mystery present throughout the film. We could defend Holmes’ intro sequence by pointing out the artful composition found in the latter portions of The Incident, or indeed point to any of Holmes’ earlier exemplar works, but to do so would defeat the ultimate purpose: that we must, by nature of the film’s subject matter, operate within the assumption that there is more to the story than is apparent at surface level. 11
Indeed, if we took all evidence at face value, we might as well conclude—as professional idiot Matthew Davidson does in his much reviled 2010 Guardian piece "Guys, They Weren’t Doing It"12 —that Holmes and the good doctor John Watson were in fact heterosexual, a hypothesis rejected by the majority of Holmes’ scholars. The latest survey, published in the spring of 2013 by the Center For Diversity In Film And Television, found that 445 out of 550 major film critics, directors, and professors of cinema agree that Holmes and Watson were engaged in a homosexual relationship at the time of The Incident.13
Holmes lures us into his orbit as he openly records life at 221B Baker Street, his place of residence he shares with Watson, a former army doctor Holmes holds dear.The camera is our constant companion, capturing facets of Holmes’ day-to-day activities, transforming the mundane into a treatise on the richness of life. Through time-lapse footage we watch hours spent in his production studio condensed to mere seconds. Was this intentional in its own right, meant to show us the hectic pace of an artist’s life?14 Is this how he feels every day? Or, as some have argued, did he elect to compress his daily responsibilities to make space to tell the story that by now all of us have seen?15 16
Perhaps ten minutes into the film the audience learns that something sinister is afoot at the Baker Street property. When Holmes measures his erect penis against a ruler, it marks a dramatic departure in the story’s tone. As the soft fluorescent lighting casts a glow over the bathroom, Holmes films himself in front the mirror, as though entreating the viewer (or perhaps, as celebrity relationship counselor Roselyn Allen posits, an unknown intended recipient of this video) to join him.17 Slowly, almost teasingly, he unzips his pants.
The camera is aimed at Holmes’ erection when he makes his discovery, so we cannot see his face to gauge the veracity of his reaction. Instead we must interpret this through the concern in his voice and the frantic nature of his movements as he scrambles to re-measure his length.
“This isn’t right,” he says anxiously. “No, that’s definitely wrong.”
Throughout the ordeal, his stalwart turgidity never falters, which some18 19 have taken as evidence of staging with the use of pharmacological enhancements. Regardless, one thing is certain: Holmes’ penis measures five-and-a-half inches, and he is very clearly displeased by this.
We know from Holmes’ oeuvre that his penis is a full eight inches in length when measured from base to tip in its fully engorged state. That his appendage should shrink by nearly three inches since he last assessed its size is unsettling, and an omen for what’s to come. The studied audience member will recognize this footage from Five-And-A-Half Inches, which received over five million hits on YouTube the day it was published by a user operating under the name ‘PhapFarm.’20 The video was pulled from the website within twenty-four hours for violating YouTube’s terms of service, namely, its rules regarding obscenity. The true identity of ‘PhapFarm’ remains obscured; Five-And-A-Half Inches was the only video published under that name. We still don’t know how this person was able to procure Holmes’ footage, or whether ‘PhapFarm’ was actually Holmes’ himself posting from a remote location. The puzzle only deepens.
After multiple attempts at re-measurement, Holmes does something that will set the stage not only for the remainder of The Baker Street Incident, but for future scholarly work on the subject of gay representation in cinema: he calls out for Watson.
While this would seem to indicate a pre-existing homosexual relationship between the two men21, certain voices22 23 have dredged up arguments to the contrary that I shall, over the course of this paper, attempt to dispel.
The first, and most easily dismissed substantiation often recounted is Watson’s immediate reaction when he opens the bathroom door. His eyes dart to the camera first, then to Holmes, who stands nude against the counter holding a ruler to his erection. Watson recoils and exits the room muttering, “God dammit, Sherlock, stop trying to show me your prick.”
While the aforementioned minority has interpreted Watson’s reaction on its face, it is far from the only reading of this scene. Cambridge University Cinemas Studies program director Kirsten Merrill has pointed out that Watson’s reaction is, in fact, unreasonably over the top for such an imagined slight.24 Indeed, it’s hard to envision Watson being so disgusted by the mere sight of a lustfully engorged phallus that he would leave his closest friend in a state of visible distress.
Everything about Watson—his demeanor, the posters of women in his room, and his constant string of girlfriends, one-night stands25, and prostitutes26 —screams heterosexual. It screams this so loudly, in fact, that such an assertion becomes suspect on its own. Carolyn Waterman, an associate professor with the University of Oxford Department of Sociology, writes:
What man secure in his own sexuality would roll his eyes and storm petulantly out of the room when confronted with the glistening penis of his handsome roomate? Could a heterosexual man not admire it for a moment, or at the very least ask what assistance was required of him? Hearing Holmes’ cries for help, Watson would have known his friend was in trouble, and based on his response it’s apparent that the sight of Holmes’ erection was nothing new to him. His reaction can only then be explained once we acknowledge Watson’s repression of homosexual desire.27
That Watson’s first look is to the camera tells us he is ill at ease with the prospect of being filmed. With the knowledge that Holmes was recording, he has no choice but to feign repulsion with dramatic flair. This internalized homophobia will come to shape the entire narrative of The Baker Street Incident so far as to bring it into being.
After Watson has left him alone in the bathroom with his significantly smaller erection, Holmes re-dresses and hears a woman’s scream. He pushes aside phallogenic concerns and races down the stairs from the apartment’s first floor, camera in hand. When he reaches the basement Watson is already there, holding open a door that shouldn’t exist to a room that shouldn't be.
Mrs. Hudson, their landlady and a motherly figure to Holmes, stands behind Watson. A pile of laundered clothes lie at her feet, presumably where she dropped them in shock.
The room is approximately eight by sixteen meters in area in a location where their cable box should have been. Within the room pumps a device that no one dares to name aloud, although the audience recognizes it to be some kind of sex machine. A motor whirrs rhythmically in the darkness, driving an assemblage of belts and pulleys that thrusts forth a steel shaft, terminating in a grotesquely large phallus made up of what strongly resembles human skin. There is no obvious source of power, but the machine hums and thrums as it inexorably penetrates the air in front of it.
Watson rounds on Holmes immediately. “Is this more of your gay performance art?”
This statement is interesting, not only for Watson’s pejorative use of the word ‘gay’—ironic, coming from a man who is so obviously not gay that he clearly is28—but also for his reference to Holmes’ performance art. While we all know Holmes for his documentary shorts, his performance art pieces had been mostly contained to the underground theatre scene.
“Shut up,” Holmes replies, though he doesn’t sound terribly offended. “Where did that door come from?”
Watson has no answer. Frightened, he slowly backs away from the room. Holmes is more inquisitive, and readies his camera as he enters the enclosure. We cannot see his face, though it is reasonable to extrapolate his expression is one of unbridled arousal, as some scholars have suggested.29 He approaches the device, kneeling in front of it.
“What the fuck,” we hear Watson whisper in the background, perturbed.
“John,” he says in fascination. “What is this?”
As Holmes and Watson discuss the room that has materialized in their basement, Mrs. Hudson vanishes, not to be seen again for several days. Due to the restricted field of view, we are unable to see her departure. Mrs. Hudson’s disappearance will serve a crucial purpose down the line, but for now the audience is unaware.
The men begin to argue. Watson claims the room and its machine are Holmes’ doing; Holmes denies responsibility. As they bicker he remains captivated by the rhythmic thrusts of the penile automaton, filming several close-up shots with his camera.
Watson eventually accepts that Holmes has nothing to do with machine’s appearance— and indeed, how could he have? The room and its contents were suddenly, inexplicably there. The pair examine the machine for several more minutes in an effort to understand its construction. In truth, we do not know how long they stood there mesmerized by the hypnotic spell of the foreign pleasure device, as The Baker Street Incident cuts abruptly to the next scene. Perhaps they had gotten into another argument and Holmes chose to avoid airing more of their personal squabbles; a few have suggested the two were there until sun-up, but that Holmes’ camera battery had died. A less common theory put forth in Deus Sex Machina by Princeton human sexuality scholar Jennifer Hull, is that when confronted with the machine Holmes and Watson could not resist the temptation to avail themselves to its lascivious pulsations.30 The truth probably exists somewhere in between.
There is more than a passing similarity between this scene and the opening sequence of Sperminator II: Judgement Gay, wherein the protagonists discover the sex-droid sent back in time by Gaynet.32 It’s difficult to believe this is mere coincidence, as both films heavily feature ‘fuck’ machines and penises. Could Holmes have been influenced by this timeless classic when constructing his documentary? Based on the evidence available, I’m leaning toward yes.
During what is likely the following day, the film quick-cuts between scenes, each one more unsettling than the last. Holmes films himself and Watson at breakfast, where they sit in silence save for the crunching of cereal, which manages to be haunting on its own. We see Holmes in the living room as he attempts to paint a bowl of fruit, but his trembling brush is only able to form a basket overflowing with penises. Frustrated, he snaps his paintbrush in half and throws it at the camera, not unlike his 2002 meltdown in Brussels.33
It is inevitable that they would return to the machine.
When they do, we see them pause at the room’s threshold.
“Are you sure you want to go in?” Watson asks. He seems to be speaking to Holmes, but his eyes are fixed on the camera. He may be addressing the viewer, as by now he has to know this story will reach the outside world. It’s also been suggested he is talking to Holmes but that his sexual repression prevents him from addressing the man he cares for in the way he would normally when under the all seeing eye of the camera.34
Holmes reaches for the knob. Neither of them are prepared for what they see when he opens the door.
When Holmes and Watson first encountered the room, it was obscured from view. We saw the machine; we saw their faces; we saw the outline of Holmes’ pert derriere as he crouched on the floor. Now the room is all we can see. There is no machine now—only a rectangular enclosure of writhing cocks set in darkness. The room crawls with them, its dimensions easily five times the size they were the day before. Holmes’ camera captures his awe as he pans over the fleshy, teeming walls. He points his lens at Watson, whose face is slack with astonishment, or perhaps with disappointment that the machine is no longer there.
On the far end of the room is a doorway carved from the wriggling cockflesh. Holmes steps into the chamber and walks in a circle, camera at eye level. The room’s far recesses are cloaked in shadow. There are no windows in this strange land.
He zooms in on a nearby wall. The cocks that make up the structure squirm in time with each other. The whole thing is equal parts stomach-wrenching and sexually titillating.
“Come back,” we hear Watson say off camera. “I don’t like the looks of this.” The curious viewer will no doubt wonder how much of this is Watson’s understandable trepidation toward dealing with a protean room unlike any known to civilization, and how much is due to his internalized fear of the male form. Indeed, we have to wonder: is Watson so overcome by lust for the uncountable number of penises dancing before him that he is both paralyzed by dread and apprehensive longing?35 If only Holmes had pointed the camera at Watson’s groin would we perhaps have some insight into this conundrum.
Convinced of the dangers, Holmes exits the room and they hurry from the basement. It’s clear they’ve decided to come back for further exploration, though, this time with supplies, as the next screen we see is a title card that says:
As a world-class film-maker36, Holmes clearly had the resources available to create a title card using post-production editing software, but instead chose to make one with flimsy printer paper and black marker. Was this a subtle commentary on the crude nature of the film’s subject matter, or perhaps an attempt to tap into the romanticization of the working-class man?37
Following the title card, we watch as Watson opens the door to the room with no small amount of unease. The room is still vibrating with the forest of penises we saw moments earlier, but when the pair shines their flashlights on the wall it is clear the room is even bigger than before.
Watson blanches. “Dear god, it’s growing.”
They stand in the doorway, nervous to leave the safe embrace of the light for a dark unknown. Holmes is naturally the first to step into the void, as it is no surprise that Watson would experience some trepidation.38 Both have come equipped with flashlights, and Watson has brought with him a large cinder block with which to wedge open the door. Holmes records him doing this in a moment highlighting Watson’s subconscious angst over remaining trapped in the proverbial closet.39 Whether Holmes filmed this symbolism intentionally, I have no doubt.
Our subjects penetrate the depths of this cyclopean world slowly, and with caution. Holmes reaches out a hand to touch the nearest wall, brushing against a penis.
“It feels so real,” he says breathlessly. We see his hand pet the phallus in earnest, and it becomes erect.
“Nngh,” Watson replies off camera. “Why’d you have to touch it?” There’s a brief pause and we hear him shuffling. “Wait. I feel something moving under my feet.”
Holmes points the camera at the floor beneath Watson and we see that it too is carpeted with side-swept cocks, pliable under the weight of their legs. Watson stumbles backward, but there’s nowhere to go—every surface bristles with the fleshy rods of his nightmares. For some viewers, this moment causes acute claustrophobia; for others, intense arousal. You can likely surmise which category the author of this essay falls into.
“Come on,” goads Holmes, walking to the second doorway on the far end of the chamber. “Let’s explore.”
“I don’t know.” We hear the tremor in Watson’s voice. While it would be perfectly rational to ascribe Watson’s misgivings to man’s very natural fear of the unknown, in his case, it’s because he’s afraid of cocks.
Holmes is impatient, pushing forward. “I need to know what’s in here.”
They drift through the darkness, Holmes taking the front. The door leads into a long hallway of the same dick-form construction. Before heading down that path Holmes turns around, and we are treated to a final parting shot of the doorway they’ve just come through, the light casting down from the basement creating a halo effect around the frame. The viewer wonders if this will perhaps be the last time the pair ever sees “home” again. But we are not given much time to wonder, as seconds later Holmes faces the hallway, the light vanishing like a solar eclipse.
Scholars have frequently speculated that this shots represents the gates of heaven, and that the inky flesh-pit into which they are exploring would then be its antithesis: the underworld; hell.40 41 Whilst the symbolism is quite fetching, I feel that it casts some unfortunate aspirations on the nature of Holmes and Watson’s relationship. Namely, if hell is comprised of penises, what then does that say about the homosexual bond between two men who have entered hell’s lair?
Could it then follow that the reversal of this, the never-mentioned vagina, could be our salvation? Or could speaking of it spell disaster in this cock-strewn land? I may be closer to one than I care to admit, but this is not the time. No, we must not.
No, this is purely and simply grasping at straws.42 We reject this conclusion
because our subconscious tells us that hole is real not because of a societal condemnation of homosexuality, for Holmes is a documentarian known for the shock value of his pieces and would therefore not shy away from including such an allegory; it’s that his adoration for Watson is both so plain and so pure it’s impossible he would sully it, even in the name of art.
The hallway ends about two-hundred meters away. Along the corridor we see more doorways, these ones spaced at irregular intervals. The duo investigates the first room, finding it to be small and square, though blanketed in dick-forms. The second room is similar, but the ceiling continues for several meters above theirs heads until disappearing into the gloom.
“How is this possible?” Watson asks, staring up. “We’re in a basement. The room can’t go up that high. There’s no space for it.”
“I don’t think we’re in a basement anymore,” Holmes responds. This line is often quoted out-of-context in media for humorous effect, something Holmes likely didn’t foresee when he made this comment.
The third doorway opens into a branching hallway, which soon forks again. Holmes and Watson huddle in discussion before turning back the way they came to explore the original corridor. They go through another door into what is a massive chamber perhaps five-hundred meters in length.
“Christ,” we hear Watson murmur.
The room is vast, it’s walls stretching beyond the beams of their flashlights in all directions. It isn’t long before their lights lose contact with the doorway they entered from.
“I don’t like this,” Watson says worriedly. “We could get lost in here.”
We must now consider a curious facet of the geometry of this world. Analysis of the tape seems to indicate that our subjects could not have walked more than twenty meters from the doorway to this point—a distance their flashlights should have been more than able to penetrate. Light itself obeys different laws in this realm. The cocks give off some light, as we saw in the initial investigation. Watson and Holmes were able to see the walls in front of them, but the glow came from no discernible source and faded in a way that is not consistent with normal luminary physics.43
If the penis is the source of light, then we must ask: what is its opposite? Could the maternal hole exist in tandem, forming the hidden firmament that bonds this plane together, swallowing all light we would use to find it? It creeps in the bowels of our hearts in wait. It cannot be there. We must
When they come upon the sphincter, they do not immediately notice its presence for they are standing on it. Watson sees it first, his phallic neurosis making him jerk around in a panic as something grazes his ankle. He shines the light on the ground and yelps, springing back. This startles Holmes, and the camera spins to face the source of Watson’s fright.
A retracted anus covers the floor—no, is the floor—it’s surface rough with tiny pink folds running into a central location.The camera hovers over the ground as Holmes locates its meaty center, a depression that sinks into itself.44 Holmes tickles the core with his foot but Watson grabs him by the arm to stop him. I cannot help but think this isn’t the first time Watson has restrained Holmes from exploring an asshole. Whether he would have succeeded we shall never know, though I suspect Holmes would have plunged ahead with reckless abandon with nary a care for his partner’s concerns.46
A low moan, terrifying in its alien tenor, echoes throughout the chamber. The ground shudders beneath them.
“What was that?” Watson asks frantically.
Holmes searches with his viewfinder for the origin of the sound. “Shit. Can you see anything?”
“Not with the light so low.” Watson tugs once more on Holmes’ arm, jiggling the camera. “Hey. We need to leave, like, right now.”
You can hear the squishing of the floor as their feet trod upon row after row of leaking cocks. They walk around for a minute or so in confusion, then come to a halt.
“John,” Holmes’ voice strains. “Don’t panic, but . . . I think I’ve gotten turned around.”
Watson’s eyes widen as he too realizes he is unable to recognize which direction they came from. “Oh no. Sherlock, no, I ca—”
“Wait.” We see Holmes’ index finger come into view as he points to the west. “I’m getting my bearings. We came in on that side of the sphincter, so to get back we just need to retrace our steps.”
They move with a new-found urgency, gripped by terror at the prospect of entombment. When they reach the far end of the chamber they spread out, feeling each wall for the doorway to salvation.
“It isn’t here!” Watson cries out, his voice cracking under pressure. “It was a mistake to come back. We should have stayed at the apartment and called the police.”
We hear Holmes breathe shallowly into the camera’s microphone. “We must have come the other way.” He searches for Watson with his flashlight. “Can you find the butthole again?” The camera centers on Watson and we see him nod mutely, face pale.
It’s telling that amidst their flight to find the exit Watson cannot find it within himself to answer Holmes’ question verbally. Some would argue that their predicament would overtax the mind of even the most intrepid explorer47, but I feel that special attention must be paid to the circumstances surrounding the labyrinth's materialization. In her 2011 Pulitzer-Prize winning story “Prison of a thousand dicks,” BBC News reporter Carrie Lukeson posits that this world was formed around Watson’s subconscious, influenced by the torrid love affair in the apartment above it and shaped by Watson’s resulting self-loathing.48 If this is the case, as I believe it is, then it would be folly to ignore the nuances contained in Watson’s selective silence.
They find their way back to the sphincter just as Watson’s flashlight begins sputtering. He curses and smacks it against the spongy floor in frustration.
Holmes grasps Watson by the shoulders, dragging him away. “Hurry. We don’t have time.”
Watson’s light dies completely. Holmes tosses him his working one, likely aware that Watson needs it more than he does, and cleverly uses a cell phone as a substitute to illuminate their path. With the loss of Watson’s flashlight the picture devolves into graininess, only contributing to the dark’s eery effect.
When they finally find the door to the hall, Watson practically sobs in relief.
“Oh, thank god,” he says, breathless. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Unfortunately poor Watson has spoken too soon. The corridor is far more expansive than it was when they first set foot there hours earlier.
Holmes zooms in on the end of the passage, now obscured by shadow. "This isn't right. The hallway was shorter before."
Off-screen we hear Watson heave what was likely his breakfast onto the floor. "Have we gone the wrong way?" he asks meekly. Holmes pats him on the back, a sympathetic gesture that will undoubtedly lead to comfort sex later.
As Watson recovers Holmes points his lens at a particularly large penis sticking out above the door-frame. "I remember that dick being there when we first came through,” he says. “This whole place must be changing its shape.”
The number of new passages leading away from the hallway is intimidating, each one a life-or-death gamble should it divert them into another maze.
"I don't know where to go,” Holmes confesses. "All of these doors look the same."
In a surprising modicum of calm, Watson places a hand on his mouth as though to think.
"I hear something,” he says slowly. “It’s some sort of thumping.” He listens again. “I think it's the machine." The audio here is fuzzy, making it impossible for the audience to pick up on the noise, though we have no reason to doubt its existence.
Holmes is quiet for a moment. "You’re right. It’s coming from over here.” Committing to a decision, the men venture through a door and wind their way through halls of dicks, stopping now and then to listen for the throbbing of the machine, hoping it will somehow lead them home.
It does. When they finally reach the door to the basement, the light from the outside washes out the screen, now adjusted to the darkness. We are robbed of seeing their triumphant return to our world, but from their joyous reverie there can be question they have made it home safely. I'm also pretty sure they make out.50
After undergoing such a harrowing experience, Holmes and Watson likely concluded the labyrinth was too sprawling for them to wrangle on their own and decided to bring in help, as we are promptly introduced to Holmes’ friends. We don’t know how much time has gone by since he and Watson escaped the labyrinth, nor what soothing blowjobs passed between them in that interim, but it’s safe to say they had intercourse at least once because the top of Watson’s shirt is unbuttoned when we next see him onscreen.51 Of course, this prematurely into the film he would have viciously denied it, as he isn’t yet ready to admit what he is. Irregardless, the pair has now assembled a team.
University College Hospital neuropsychologist Tera Wilkins asserts that Watson instigated this plan, as Holmes would have easily braved the Stygian dickmaze a second time alone for the sake of his work—a claim supported by Holmes’ prior displays of arrogance when defending his exhibits and the self-focused nature of his documentary.52 Were Wilkins correct, it would only bolster the available evidence that Holmes holds a soft spot for Watson, that he might forfeit the potential for fame by sharing their discovery with outsiders in order to assuage his partner’s anxiety. Also, I suppose they are worried about Mrs. Hudson’s safety, as when exploring the labyrinth they frequently bring up the mystery of her whereabouts. But she is old, and a woman, so scholars rarely find this point worth mentioning.
The first of Holmes’ friends we meet is his brother. Mycroft Holmes is the director of curation at the London National Gallery, and almost certainly the first person Holmes calls on for assistance. We get the inkling that Mycroft disapproves of Holmes’ chosen career, or at least the subject matter of his creations; he sniffs at the framed portrait of Glory Hole #11 (taken at Wembley Stadium) hanging in his brother’s living room. When Holmes—who has yielded control of the camera to a fixed tripod for this segment—first describes the labyrinth, Mycroft is at once suspicious of his brother’s tale. Later on he will prove his loyalty to Holmes’ in other, more permanent ways.
Beside Mycroft and our love birds, there are three other faces present in the room, all of them officers from New Scotland Yard. The first belongs to Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade, a grey-haired man who seems to wear a permanent scowl. His relationship to Holmes isn’t clear, but in a police interview conducted after-the-fact Lestrade says the two knew each other “in another life,” confirming they shared a connection at one point (see Appendix II). Could Lestrade have been a former lover? While the meaning of his comment is controversial, no one can deny it implies a level of deep familiarity.53 Lestrade displays none of Mycroft’s skepticism and is among the first to volunteer himself for a second expedition, again suggesting he and Holmes had been romantically involved prior to Holmes’ living arrangement with Watson.54
The second face is that of Anderson, a forensic scientist with the Metropolitan Police Service. The audience never learns his full name, but from the way he puts his feet on the coffee table we get the impression he’s somewhat of a dick, which is ironic given the phallic nature of The Incident. Still, we must respect the sacrifice he makes on behalf of our Holmes. The Anderson National Memorial still sees over two thousand visitors a day according to a fall 2013 report from The Holmes Institute.55 This is no small number for someone so universally disliked.56
Finally, Sergeant Sally Donovan is also there.
Holmes recounts their adventure with little embellishment, though that doesn’t stop Mycroft from scoffing at his story. Holmes is clearly expecting this, and leans into the camera dramatically before retrieving it from the tripod.
“I know it’s hard to believe,” he says, his face briefly filling the screen. “So I’ll show you instead.”
Watson is the one who opens the chamber door, as Holmes wants to capture his guests’ reactions when they see what it is that’s behind it. The machine, which has returned to its abode, can be heard in the background as it throbs to the rhythm of phantom fornication. When Watson does finally open the door Mycroft’s jaw drops in shock. Lestrade’s eyes narrow down to slits.
“I need to call someone,” is all he says. The group returns upstairs for further deliberation.
At some point before their second exploration, Mrs. Hudson reappears. We witness this encounter while Holmes sits on his bed, playing with the settings on his camera. He’s fully absorbed in his tinkering he hears someone say, “I made you a cup of tea.”
He looks up in surprise, his camera capturing the view from below. We are greeted by a very much alive Mrs. Hudson, who stands just a few feet away. She is, in fact, holding a cup of tea.57
“Where have you been?” Holmes asks, powering through his nervousness in order to discern the well-being of his landlady.
Mrs. Hudson offers Holmes a biscuit. A plate of them sits on his dresser. A review of the frames show they weren’t there before.
“Such things offer precarious words,” she responds. “Rare in these interminable nights.”
Holmes takes the biscuit and keeps the camera rolling.
In response to this scene the media frequently characterizes Holmes as having loved biscuits, though this trait is by no means unique to him: everyone loves biscuits. What is far more interesting is his avoidance of ice cream and other dairy products during filming, suggesting that he is actually lactose-intolerant. Whether this dietary restriction has any effect on the events of The Incident remains unsettled.59
Mrs. Hudson continues to spurt forth nonsensical phrases. “Gone south to ordinary realms. In epiphanies sounded, they hear angels trumpet.” Her eyes have glazed over; she is not herself. “Time ravages immortal vice. Innumerable ages lay irrevocably sundered. Entirely reasonable, a purpose exterminated.”
There is silence as Holmes thinks on that for a moment.
“Oh,” he finally replies. We see his left hand grip the biscuit not unlike one might a male companion’s rippling buttocks while mounting him from behind. He wordlessly accepts Mrs. Hudson’s tea. She glides out of view and Holmes follows her, but when he reaches the second-floor landing it appears she has vaporized into thin air.
Perhaps nothing in The Incident contains as much symbolism as that which is packed into this one innocuous frame. The acceptance of tea symbolizes both his openness to communicate with Mrs. Hudson and also that he really likes tea. Likewise, the rejection of tea constitutes nothing less than a rejection of life itself.60
Adrift in confusion, Holmes is rudderless, lost at the proverbial sea. The cryptic words of Mrs. Hudson linger with him for some time, plunging him into a deep ennui until he reaches some unspoken revelation about that dark pit of chthonic penii so terrible that he sets his tea aside. Or else, the tea wasn’t very good. It could have been that.
This scene also masterfully sets the stage for the film’s resolution in that most grand of literary devices—repetition. Yes, this scene tells us what will happen by foreshadowing the ending through recurring use of the same motifs. If the rejection of tea is the subliminal quintessence of despair, what then does it mean when tea becomes nothing less than Holmes’ deliverance?
And what is the fate of the enigma known as Mrs. Hudson?61 Has she succumbed to the lure of the dick lair, crushed deep within its eldritch walls? Perhaps she is a phantom, an intruder from another dimension gone back from whence she came.
What we do know is that she sends Holmes several letters (see Appendix I). Judging by their timeline the notes appear to be out of sync with the events of the film, hinting that they were penned from a parallel universe conjured by the labyrinth’s invisible witchcraft. These dispatches from the ether are often used to support the argument that from The Incident’s onset Holmes and Watson are lovers, as when Mrs. Hudson first encounters the machine her immediate inclination is to assume that the pair built it to enhance their bedroom activities.62
When The Incident resumes, we have returned to the living room, but what a different living room it is; Holmes has since assembled two light kits and affixed the camera to the ceiling, providing a wide-angle overhead shot of the proceedings below, an interesting choice that says much about Holmes’ propensity for theatrics.
Around the coffee table sit Holmes, Watson, Mycroft, Lestrade, Anderson, Donovan, and a new arrival named Molly Hooper. We learn from context that Hooper is a lab assistant at St. Bartholomew's Hospital and presumably the person Lestrade mentioned wanting to call in an earlier scene. How he thought she could aid in the investigation is unclear. With her she has brought a chemical testing kit and a case of high-calorie protein bars.
The others fidget uncertainly while Mycroft sips on a cup of tea. Mrs. Hudson is, of course, nowhere to be found, but might still be loitering about the premises as where would the tea have come from?63 We know from later footage that Watson’s tea-making abilities are mediocre at best, and no one has ever recorded Holmes touching a kettle, though such a feat is possible.
After everyone is settled Holmes outlines the group’s game plan: Watson and Hooper will stay behind and provide reconnaissance from above, while Holmes, Mycroft, Lestrade, Anderson, and Donovan will venture down below to gather physical samples. Watson is still recuperating from his last foray into the nightmare world, and therefore elects to remain with Hooper in the relative safety of the apartment. Holmes, likely concerned with his lover’s well-being, encourages this decision.
Several critics led by known feminist Miranda Stern64 have argued that Hooper is primarily responsible for the plan’s architecture owing mainly to the rather circumstantial evidence that she does most of the talking, strategizing, and provisioning during their conference, but such a contribution seems unlikely.65
We see another title card labeled in the same fashion as the first. It reads:
When the exploration party opens the door, we see the chamber’s foyer is unchanged. The machine fucks untiringly away at the air as though it never stopped. Compared to what we have seen of this place, the machine is now almost pedestrian, unworthy of our attention. The group advances into the hallway, which appears to extend infinitely in either direction.
Anderson stops to collect samples as prompted by Hooper over a two-way radio. He pulls out a scalpel and scrapes an unassuming brown penis, depositing the dirty tool in a sealed tube. He does the same to several other penises whose shades range in color across all ethnicities. No one could accuse this labyrinth of discrimination.
“Cut into one,” Hooper commands from the living room.
We hear Watson’s voice over the radio. “Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” While Watson obviously suffers from phallophobia, he questions Hooper’s decision to damage the wall, adding credence to the claim that the labyrinth was inspired by his furtive homosexual yearnings.66 While this subterranean cavern of homoerotic desires made flesh seems to reflect Watson’s quelled fantasies, it also echoes his neurosis: Holmes’ penis, losing two-and-a-half inches, may be the first casualty of this effect.
“That place,” continues John, in an attempt at deflection. “What if it’s alive?”
“Those dicks are near the entrance,” Mycroft interjects. “Surely it would be safest to slice one open here rather than do so farther in.”
Hooper agrees, and through a grimace Anderson runs a sterile lancet along the length of a phallus. The incision is clean and swift, but no blood flows; the flesh parts neatly like warm plastic.
Lestrade raises an eyebrow. “Fascinating,” he says without emotion. Holmes lurks behind, for once more of an observer than an active participant.
The group continues through the corridor, laying down measured lengths of rope and wedging glow sticks into nooks and crannies to light their way. According to plan they retrace the steps from Holmes and Watson’s earlier exploration until they reach what the media has now dubbed the “butt-room.” A detailed frame-by-frame analysis of this scene will reveal the dimensions of the majestic anal vestibule have not grown since when we first came across it.67
When the party reaches the center of the room, however, something has changed: the sphincter is open. A yawning black chasm now gapes before them. Lestrade pitches a glow stick down the hole and Holmes cranes the camera over the edge to track its long fall into oblivion.
“Do we go back, or do we go down?” asks Anderson. Donovan says a thing, sparking a lengthy discussion about what they should do. How long this discussion goes on we are not privy to know, as Holmes cuts it from the video entirely. Was Donovan’s dissension made out of worry that descending into what was clearly a male rectum would violate the societal expectations beholden of her gender?68
While some researchers have dismissed this excluded scene as irrelevant, I believe it bears further investigation. Donovan is visibly agitated by this display of masculine envelopment. Who among us cannot empathize with her to some degree, though we hide behind our screens and papers, too concerned with our reputations to speak the truth. Wherein lies the Venus flytrap in this web of unending cocks? And what need is there for one in this perfect world . . . ?
In the end, they descend. Using rock climbing equipment the team anchors ropes to the floor and rappels into the abyss. It is agreed that Mycroft will stay behind as someone needs to man the rope. Holmes is the last one down, filming the others from above as they fade away from view. When he does descend he maintains a running commentary with base camp.
“It’s dicks all the way down,” he says.
“What were you expecting?” Hooper responds over the radio.
Holmes slides down the rope. “I don’t know. Smooth muscle perhaps, like one would encounter on the intestinal walls at the rectosigmoid junction of the colon.”69
It takes Holmes ten minutes to fully abseil and the party regroups. They have entered another cavern, this one more of a cylindrical shape than a circular hall.
“Do you … the ceiling … size … the other rooms we found . . . do you … how many anuses does this thing . . .” Hooper’s voice is spotty, obscured by static.
“You’re breaking up,” Holmes says into the radio. “Please repeat that.”
“Sherlock, I … too … penises … come,” we hear Hooper reply just as the radio cuts out.
I will now take a moment to delve into the physical conventions employed by the labyrinth. As audiences will note, the lair does not conform to the laws of our world, but is still subject to physical limitations in one form or another. An analysis of the flashlights used in Penetration 1 reveals that the falloff distance of the beams is drastically smaller than one would expect.70 Likewise, it would seem that the radio they are using (a Midland LXT114) is subject to diminishing returns long before anticipated.71 Though scant few studies have been published concerning the transmission of radio signals through a penile medium72, the distance involved, when calculated using the inverse square law, is surprisingly short.73 Thus it seems natural to question the presumption that their radio’s failure is a function of distance or interference and instead consider the possibility that this is the labyrinth’s reaction to Hooper’s insistent hounding for details about its appearance. After all, in a place composed of flawlessly constructed penises, is it so hard to imagine that the collective force of whatever phallic mind might control prevails here would resent such a feminine intrusion?
When we next see the group, it is from below. Holmes has set the camera on the floor. We watch him distribute energy bars to the exploration team while Lestrade goes over the map he has been sketching. The distance they have covered is immense—nearly ten kilometers. A woman with no face watches me from the window. I will die soon.
They are debating what to do next when Anderson points at the wall and yells, “Look!”
A low moan sweeps through the cavern once again, shaking the foundations enough to tilt the camera on its side. What is perhaps more fascinating, however, is Anderson’s observation: just before the moan began, every penis had grown hard at once.
This is the second moan we have heard, provoking questions as to their meaning. A somewhat elaborate hypothesis is offered by New York Times film critic Cece Waller:
For all the conjecture regarding Holmes and Watson’s relationship, none have dared to ask the most important question: Are they happy? As much as popular culture still treats their union as sacred, we must look to the evidence for the answer. During production Watson is still deeply closeted and unwilling to publicly acknowledge their coupling, putting Holmes under pressure as he must now too participate in manufacturing this lie. We also know that Holmes’ pre-Incident work has taken him to truck stops, seedy gay bars, and underground sex clubs, inviting jealousy from his lover. What proof do we have that Watson is not threatened by Holmes’ art? As the the satisfaction between them deteriorates, Holmes becomes increasingly preoccupied with his own penis, neglecting his partner’s. If Watson did wish this place into being as a manifestation of his sexual frustration, then the moan is the monster inside the maze: the spectre of fulfillment he cannot experience in his current relationship.74
Putting aside the significance of the moans, we will now return to the film.
“We should go back—we’ve gone far enough,” Lestrade insists, indicating to a juncture on his map. Why they didn’t head back the moment their radio cut out in the first place is never mentioned. Some critics have argued that, being a law enforcement officer, Lestrade should have had the sense to terminate their mission the moment their signal died, but that his desire to please Holmes, who likely requested they delve further into the labyrinth, corrupted his ability to reason.75
Holmes wants to tread further but is overruled by Anderson and Donovan, now spooked by the labyrinth's tantalizing moans. The group backtracks several hundred meters to a crossroads leading in four directions. Lestrade pulls out his map, his voice laden with doubt.
“It’s changed,” he says quietly. “This section . . . there should be a door over there.” Holmes’ breath hitches in his throat.
Somehow she's gotten inside.
“Oh no,” we hear Anderson say suddenly. The camera flails as Holmes searches for him in the dark. When he does focus on Anderson, he’s holding up a frayed length of rope. “The trail is gone.”
Donovan snatches it from his hands.
“What did you do?” she demands. Her volume escalates as she becomes gripped by hysteria, always a problem with women. “What did you do with the rope?” She seizes him by the collar as though possessed.
The camera drops to the floor as Holmes and Lestrade work in tandem to pull her off of Anderson, whose hands are now trembling. Lestrade holds Donovan at bay.
“I didn’t do anything,” Anderson stammers. “The rope was like this when I found it. It just snapped. It’s like it was stretched or something.”
Picking up the camera Holmes positions it toward where they had convened when the second moan struck. The fractured rope continues down the corridor like a sinuous ribbon.
“It’s expanding on us,” he says. The group turns to face him. “The moaning, that’s it growing.”
“We need to find the room with the hole before it changes again,” Lestrade replied, brow furrowed. Another moan rips through the area, this one louder than before. Driven into a frenzy, Donovan twists about in Lestrade’s arms, scratching at his face with her nails.
“I’m not dying in here,” she bellows.
Holmes attempts to intervene and receives a blow to the face for his efforts, causing the camera to rock upward. We hear Lestrade yell something but above Donovan’s hollering we can’t parse together what it is. The camera is jostled in the ensuing scuffle; all we can see are the thrashing of limbs as the men try to constrain a maddened Donovan. Holmes grunts in exertion, and a half-second later we hear him say, “No, no, Greg, she’s got a—”
A shot rings out, then another. When Holmes regains control of the camera, Lestrade is crumpled on the ground, chest heaving. There’s a bloody hole in his leg. Donovan stands above him holding a smoking pistol. She looks as though she’s seen a ghost. Holmes lurches toward her to grab the gun, but she yanks it away, though does not fire. After a moment she seems to “come to” and looks down at the maimed inspector. Likely aghast at her own behavior, she flees into the darkness.
It has been angered, and we are all its prey. Holmes tosses the camera to the floor once again and rushes to Lestrade’s side. With Anderson’s help, the two do their best to stop the flow of blood and bandage the wound. Lestrade looks ill, but not deathly so. The audience wonders whether he will live.
Academia frequently seeks to explain Lestrade’s leg injury, for it has the potential to shed light on the labyrinth's ties to Watson’s inner ego. Assuming that, one, Holmes had engaged in a sexual relationship with Lestrade prior to his involvement with Watson, and two, the labyrinth was constructed from Watson’s subconscious, we can surmise that Watson was punishing Lestrade out of jealousy for stepping in on his territory.76
We watch the proceeding portion of the tape in fragments. Here it cannot be argued that Holmes has made a deliberate stylistic choice as he is instead now consumed with ensuring the group’s survival.77 In one shot we see meters and meters of penis-studded hallways flash by; in another, we see Lestrade limping at Holmes’ side, the blood from his leg soaking through strips of white cloth ripped from his own shirt.
At one point, Holmes turns the camera on himself.
“I’m not sure we’re gonna make it,” he says, subdued. It could just be the lighting playing tricks on us, but his eyes appear to be moist. “John . . .”
He’s on the verge of saying more—perhaps he planned to leave a final tearful note for Watson?78—when the moan vibrates through the halls once again, breaking his concentration.
They keep moving. We see shapes flicker by; patterns emerge in the the floor, forming symbols far beyond our understanding. Holmes labors to continue as he and Anderson carry a weakened Lestrade into nowhere. They stop to rest, but time is of the essence so only for a moment. We can hear the raggedness in Homes’ breath when they start up again.
Fortuitously, their luck changes. Holmes is energized as Anderson breaks into laughter; they’ve walked right into the other end of the severed rope they’d been using to mark their passage.
Re-invigorated, they track it through unfamiliar territory. Though this area isn’t on their map, what choice do they have? As they come upon a corner, Holmes’ radio begins crackling.
“. . . lock . . . come on, Sherlock . . . nswer. Please . . . lock. Answer . . . are you?” It’s his brother.
Holmes fumbles for his radio, jolting the camera every which way.
“Mycroft, it’s Sherlock. We’re lost and need help. Greg is injured. He’s been shot. We’re following the rope but we don’t know where it’s taking us. We think it will lead us to you, but we’re not sure. Please be ready to pull us up when we get there.”
“. . . lock! We . . . Molly . . . here . . . wait . . . rescue,” comes the static-y answer.
The team hustles on, anxious to escape.
When they arrive at the great hall the radio frequency is coming in smoothly and Mycroft has done as Holmes has asked; he and Hooper are waiting for them at the asshole with a medical kit. Watson does not accompany them, unable to overcome the trauma of his previous encounter with the labyrinth due to his phallophobia. Holmes yells up through the tunnel for more rope and Mycroft tosses another line down.
Due to his injury, Lestrade is prioritized. He smiles feebly, skin white from blood loss as they tie the rope around his waist in a crude harness. Holmes slaps him on the back in friendship and hands him the camera. “Take it,” he whispers.79
What follows next is hard to follow due to the jarring nature of the video. While the camcorder was no doubt intentionally left on, Lestrade is not the professional that Holmes is, and holding it steady is the least of his priorities. Nonetheless the prudent eye can discern a shape in the background that detaches itself from the wall and moves ever so slightly through the rectal caverns toward our subjects.
The camera swaps bodies and is now in the hands of Hooper. We watch through her perspective as she points the lens down into the gaping portal. Below Holmes finishes tying the rope to Anderson and gives the men above a thumbs up. Mycroft and Lestrade have pulled the explorer only halfway the tunnel’s total length when a gunshot echoes through the cavern.
Anderson slams forwards as the shot catches him directly in the head, blowing bits of brain matter out the other side. Mycroft and Lestrade try their best to lug Anderson the remaining distance, but their efforts come to nothing when the muscular sphincter clamps shut, trapping Holmes and Anderson’s dangling body below.
Much has been written on the subject of Anderson’s death, and whether he brought it on himself when he cut into the penis at the beginning of Penetration 2. Philosophers commonly theorize that the labyrinth is a unified living organism, and was only defending itself against what it perceived to be hostile trespassers.80 As Anderson was the only one to puncture the labyrinth’s hull, it makes sense that he should be the first to die.
What is a labyrinth of flesh that houses a penis save for that hole? She is an instrument of its revenge.
Hooper drops the camera to the ground, but it continues to roll. We watch as Mycroft beats on the meaty floor, yelling his brother’s name, but his cries are interrupted by another moan. The asshole vibrates, but does not yield.
“We have to go,” Lestrade says hoarsely amidst the chaos. His face is wet with what are later confirmed to be tears.81 From the wavering in his voice the audience registers that this the probably hardest decision Lestrade has ever had to make.82
“No!” Mycroft is tense. “Sherlock’s still down there.”
Lestrade hauls himself to his feet with considerable effort. “You don’t understand. Those moans—it means it’s changing on us. We’ve got to leave, now. I’m sorry.”
Hooper nods. “He’s right. We can’t help Sherlock if-” Her words are cut off as the firmament begins to actively change for the first time on camera. The dicks underfoot almost seem to bloom as they glow with a strange energy. A curved penis reaches up from the floor like a tendril and wraps itself around Hooper’s leg.
She shrieks and kicks the penis away. Several critics have interpreted this as evidence of Hooper’s lesbianism.83 84 While some may find this line of inquiry enlightening, to the majority of audiences it seems pedantic and irrelevant.
Hooper, perhaps realizing the importance of continuing Holmes’ work, picks up the camera again. The group is running now, the camera bobbing wildly as they make their escape from the labyrinth. Mycroft supports Lestrade while the two of them dodge the ever more protuberant penis tendrils grappling at them from the walls. In some places the ceiling has swung low, forcing them to crawl on all fours as if braving the crushing jaws of a great dick-beast.85 Some of their glow stick markers are missing and several are shattered, most likely forcibly fucked to destruction, but fortunately the configuration of this section seems to have stayed relatively stable.
When they throw themselves into the cool white light of the doorway their relief is palpable. Lestrade is pushing the cinder block away with his good leg when Mycroft voices his objection.
“Wait,” he begs. “I can’t let Sherlock die in there.”
“We’ll come back for him later,” Hooper yells with callous disregard for Holmes’ well-being, thus offering further evidence of her sexual preferences, if one was inclined to care about that sort of thing.86
No one has any time to react, as they’re hit with another moan, this one so loud it shakes the entire building, cracking it at the seams.
Mycroft turns back, and crosses the threshold into the labyrinth just as two mammoth penises rise from the ground. For a moment, he stands transfixed. The towers undulate slightly, as though palm trees swaying in a tropical storm. Their meaty purple heads lean toward Mycroft, gazing upon their quarry. Mycroft steps forward to confront them, determined to rescue his brother at all costs.
The penises collide, crushing Mycroft’s body in a grotesque act of murderous frottage. They rub themselves together, smearing each other with blood and human detritus before showering themselves in an explosion of semen. Hooper screams womanishly. The audience is appalled.
Looking on in horror, Lestrade manages to close the door to the chamber. He and Hooper move the washing machine in front of the door and wordlessly head upstairs.
What were those great penile sentinels that so tragically took Mycroft’s life, and what role do they play in this phallic ecosystem? It’s been theorized that they emerged to prevent the explorers’ return into the chamber, as they do not attack until Mycroft steps forward, making clear his intention to enter the labyrinth once more.87
Careful frame-by-frame analysis and extrapolation reveals that the colossal members are between 3.2 and 3.5 meters, making them longer than almost any known mammalian penis.88 While these phalluses seem to move and attack independently, we cannot see their base, and thus it has been inferred that these guardians of the threshold may operate much like the forked hemipenes found in the reptile kingdom.89 The potential implications of this are staggering: the phallic plane possesses the intelligence necessary to mimic multiple dick forms.
Back in the kitchen where Watson, Hooper, and Lestrade have convened, there is only grief. Watson is devastated by the news that Holmes is still trapped within the abyss—so devastated in fact he can barely spare the energy to look up from his crossword puzzle.
“Mm,” he says, too shocked to form words.
The survivors sit around the dining room table, the camcorder inexpertly propped up to one side. The redness has faded from Lestrade’s wound, and he does not appear to be in any physical pain, though emotional is another story. It was later revealed in a police report that Lestrade’s injury healed on its own, provoking us to wonder whether the labyrinth, taking sympathy on the inspector, blessed him with some curative charm.
He and Hooper alternate between telling the story while Watson bears the ill news of Holmes’ capture with stoic silence. Watson’s stone facade falls away, however, when he learns of Mycroft’s death.
“Woah woah woah, go back a second,” he says incredulously. “Just how big of dicks are we talking?”
When he hears their measurements, it breaks him. Before he was numb, unable to process that he had just lost the man that had taught him to love. But when he learns of the vicious hell-beasts Holmes must be facing down there in the plunderous pit of dicks, he is finally woken from his torpor.
“Huh,” he says, with emotional feelings. “I hope Sherlock’s okay.”
The three of them sit in mourning for several more moments.
“Anyone want some tea?” Watson asks finally, looking up.
“What would it matter if we did?” responds Lestrade, placing his head in his hands. “Your landlady is gone. She’s the only one who knew how to make tea.”
“I’m pretty sure we-” she begins, but Watson cuts her off.
“I’ll find a way,” he says, bringing his fist emphatically down on the table. “So help me god, there will be tea.”
Watson stands up and exits the frame. The film is cut here, so we have no way of knowing how long he was in the kitchen attempting to make the steaming beverage. In the next shot we see the kitchen in utter disarray, various loose leaf and bagged teas scattered about the counter with utter abandon, thus implying it may have been some time.90
When Watson yells out in surprise, we hear footsteps as Lestrade and Hooper dash into the kitchen from another room. Hooper again has the foresight (are women psychic?) to grab the camera in the dizzying shuffle. They burst in to find the room strewn with tea and the various instruments involved in its creation, but that is not what captures our attention.
It’s in this moment that we witness the film’s climax. Sitting on the floor in the center of the room Watson cradles a disoriented Holmes in his arms, overwhelmed with love and concern. Tears of joy roll down his cheeks.
“I was being chased,” says Holmes in a daze. “I ran and ran from that crazy woman who shot Anderson, until I tripped over a penis and fell into a dark void where cocks twinkled like distant stars.”
Hooper zooms in and we see Holmes’ face in close. There is pain there. He has the look of a man who’s just returned home from war. It’s clear he’s seen things—terrible things. Sex things. Without having been there the audience can only imagine what they might be.
“John, I didn’t think I would make it.” His voice chokes, caught halfway between a gasp and a sob. Hooper pulls back, perhaps aware that her current field of view feels too exploitative for this kind of raw emotional reveal.
We see Holmes swallow. “I was so afraid without you,” he whispers, looking up into Watson’s face. His companion hugs him close, tenderly stroking his head. These actions are maternal, suggesting that Watson is re-enacting a scene from his childhood.91
“Ssh,” Watson says soothingly, petting Holmes’ hair. “Everything’s okay. You’re safe now. Nothing can hurt you.” Is Watson so foolish as to believe that he can really protect Holmes from the monstrosity in their basement when it has already proven lethal? The power of love is blinding.
Holmes nods. “As I was floating, all I could think of was how much I wanted a warm cup of tea.” He pauses. “I think it was the tea that brought me here. To you.”
Watson leans down and kisses Holmes on the forehead.
“The house wanted us to be together,” he says. “The tea was the link between us. That’s why I’m gay now.” Watson’s statement is one that needs addressing, and I will take care to analyze it in greater detail momentarily. But for now, let us conclude the film.
The room shakes as Hooper repositions the camera to include more of the kitchen in the frame.
“I’m glad,” Holmes responds, nuzzling his head into the crook of Watson’s neck in an amorous display of affection. “Being with you feels right. Let’s touch our dicks together.”
Right before Hooper powers off the camera, we see Watson smile.
“Yes,” he says softly. “I’m no longer afraid.” 92
The ending of The Baker Street Incident has taken much flack for its finale, sometimes called “bizarrely unrealistic” or “blatantly out of character” by critics.93 94 Such judgements represent a shallow and incomplete understanding of both the nature of Holmes and Watson’s pre-existing relationship and of the underlying homoerotic themes present throughout The Incident.
Watson’s declaration is often taken to mean that, prior to The Incident, he was not a gay man, though this is at odds with the moments of visible sexual tension between him and his roommate. His statement can instead be interpreted as a broader announcement to the world at large; an act of defiance against the labyrinth and its wriggling inhabitants. He is proudly proclaiming: We are in love, and you have not defeated us.
Director Peter Jackson has spoken extensively on the subject of Watson’s closeted homosexuality and his eventual self-acceptance. During a May 2008 interview on Late Show with host David Letterman, he discussed the topic candidly:
John is totally gay throughout the film. Come on, it’s obvious. I mean, he owns an Elton John C.D. for god’s sake. That’s definitive evidence right there.95
I’ll quote the words of University of St. Christmas Film Fellow Victoria Hilton, who offered a poignant analysis of Watson’s confession in her essay "Cry Havoc! Let Slip the Dongs of War":
. . . As the group escapes what is essentially a sex prison, Watson must escape a prison of his own making, one that chains him to wearing the trappings of the heterosexual in order to fit in, despite his secret relationship with his roommate. The construct beneath their house tested this lie by taking from him the one person who challenged his false identity—Holmes. Watson’s despair over the loss of his companion is what finally frees him from the closet he has built around himself. The tea is simply a catalyst, its warm, spicy tannins stirring memories of tender moments shared in front of their fireplace, a deliciously caffeinated reminder that love has no boundaries.96
And therein the mystery is revealed. Watson’s repression of his sexuality brought the labyrinth into being through whatever mystical binding tied his tortured soul to its malevolent, fleshy plane. Unwilling to face the labyrinth on his own, Holmes does it for him, and in turn almost pays with his life. But Holmes’ act of selflessness in the name of discovering the secrets contained within gives Watson the strength needed to confront whatever demons prevent him from fully experiencing life’s greatest gift: the love of another man.97
That resolves the film. It’s aftermath has its own dramas to contend with.
The Baker Street house went up for sale less than one month after the events of The Incident are believed to have taken place. The bodies of Mrs. Hudson and Sally Donovan were never found. As for Holmes and Watson, they left no forwarding address.
Hooper experienced a nervous breakdown in 2007 and was hospitalized for six weeks before being released with a clean bill of health. She now lives out her days in Cambodia as an HIV/AIDS educator. Other details of her day-to-day existence remain shrouded in secrecy, as there have been no ‘approved’ published interviews with Hooper in over six years. She refuses contact from journalists and in 2005 filed a lawsuit against BBC News for ‘harassment, stalking, and failing to respect [her] privacy in a time of great sorrow.’98 The lawsuit was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Lestrade’s tale is by the far the most tragic. We can not even begin to imagine what hell became the inspector’s life post-Incident, though in his memory we must try. Under pressure from his supervisors to retire early, Lestrade resigned from the force in 2004 to much media scrutiny99, particularly following the mysterious death of Mycroft Holmes, a figurehead in London’s art scene. He quietly took his own life one year later by carbon monoxide poisoning; the official cause of death listed on the toxicology report was suicide by asphyxiation.100 His body was discovered in his garage by a neighbor the next morning when the man came to return a saw he had borrowed from Lestrade a week before.
From interviews with family members and his then-grief counselor, it’s clear Lestrade never forgave himself for the deaths of his colleagues or for that of Holmes’ brother.101 102 However, a look into his medical history shows he was taking antidepressant medication in 2002, a full year before The Incident took place, indicating that his mental health struggles began much earlier.103 He left behind no note, but found clasped in his palm was a ring with the engraving “For you. SH.” The ring was a gift Holmes had purchased for Lestrade in 2000, more than three years before to The Incident’s filming. We do not know the gift’s significance in the context of their relationship, but some have speculated that without Holmes, Lestrade had nothing left to live for, his final moments spent steeped in regret over what might have been.104
While there are no happy endings, we can find comfort in ambiguity. The Baker Street property changed hands four times before the entire block was bought up and demolished to construct The Hard Cock Cafe, a male-oriented gentlemen’s club. In my time spent there I have never once spied any signs that something phallic might be lurking beneath the property.105 With Watson’s embrace of his gay identity there was no longer a reason for the labyrinth to exist. Hence, it vanished, much like Holmes and Watson themselves.
The couple’s disappearance leaves several questions unanswered. While much effort has been made to track the pair down107, I am of the opinion that their story has reached its conclusion. Holmes was a known attention-seeker, and that he has not come forward to take credit for The Incident, arguably one of the greatest cinematic tales of our generation, implies that he and Watson do not want to be found. We witnessed on screen their narrow escape from the clutches of death, and saw them emerge stronger and gayer than before. After such a thrilling climax, what purpose could there be to watch these men further?
There are none. Established relationships are boring.
APPENDIX I: The Hudson Letters
My Dear Sherlock,
I hope you are well. That machine gave me a terrible fright, but I’m not one to judge what you boys get up to. It’s quite alright—I shall recover. But I would like a little warning the next time you decide to change up the layout of the house. As the owner this is something I should know about.
I’ve made you some biscuits. They’re on the countertop.
Sherlock (and John),
I apologize for my rude behaviour the other day. What the two of you do together is between consenting adults. It isn’t my place to say what is or isn’t right between two grown men. Nonetheless, I must ask that you refrain from making any further structural modifications to the house to accommodate your proclivities.
I put your clothes through the wash this morning. You will find them dried and folded in the living room.
Sherlock, you must tell me: how did you even do it? I looked up the property plan on file with the city. There isn’t a space there to fit a new room. This could damage the property value, in which case I won’t be able to sell the house should I need to do so in the future.
I need to know what you did.
I peeked inside the room again. I could not help it.
I saw the walls.
Dear lord, what have you boys done?
Last night I returned to the room. Something—I do not know what—compelled me to come back.
The things were still there. Feeling brave, I touched one and it stiffened. Five hours later, I had touched all of them. I am so sorry. Please forgive me.
God help us.
Tea time has arrived, so I will make tea. You’ve been invited. Bring your friends. We’ll have a party. When all is forsaken, the tea will answer to that which calls it. You and I know this.
Please. You must tell John.
The kettle calls me.
Nothing is right. The thing rumbles our bellies with lustful demands. Doomed and damned. No room is sacred. We seek to appease the machine, if not for ourselves, then for him.
What hastens your despair? Oh yes, other understandings have attracted the entities we often miss. Every night, such unwanted crafts have taken hold and that yields other unwholesomeness. Perchance unmitigated rage galvanizes every thought he ever made from rage. Oh mercy tell him, end what otherworldly realm leads down said odorous fear. You or us, run, flee and never take a second investigation; else such terrible hate eats into ravenous anger. Beware such enticements: none can endure beyond ethereal talismans, reliquaries and your salvation. Your only unsurpassed requiem: time heals our unending gaping hearts. Too soon.
Never you mind my letters, love. I’m feeling much better now. I hope I haven’t worried you and poor John. My absence had him in quite a fright.
Please know that I’ve recovered from my little episode. I just needed to rest. A little leisure is good for an old woman’s heart.
The tea John made was very soothing. You’ll have to tell me what he did. His was the best I’ve had in ages.
I’ve made you some more biscuits. Check the kitchen counter. You’ll find a warm plate waiting.
APPENDIX II: The Interviews
1 Womack, Solomon. “Sherlock Holmes announces plans to ‘take a break’ from documentary work following release from jail.” The Observer. 15 March 2002. C6. Print.
2 Dillard, Janet. “‘Magnificent,’ says Academy Award judge of Holmes’ film.” The Sunday Times. 5 February 2008. A1. Print.
3 While the prevailing opinion espoused by such film critics as Alexander Giles and Philip French is that Holmes distributed the tape himself4, this is very much at odds with the ending of The Baker Street Incident. Their conjecture seems weaker with every passing year that Holmes does not return to bask in the fame The Incident has brought him.
4 French, Philip. “Holmes did it.” The Observer. 2 February 2007. A3. Print.
5 Forman, Gayle. “Still no sign of Sherlock Holmes eight years later.” BBC News. 10 June 2013. Web.
6 Milton, Troy. From Obscurity to Ubiquity: How The Incident Made Sherlock Holmes A Cultural Demigod. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2010. Print.
7 Holmes, Sherlock. Interview with Peter O’Day. Inside The Film-Maker’s Studio. Film4, March 4, 1999.
8 Madison, Margaret. “In Utero: Holmes’ Descent From The Womb Of Light.” London Journal Of Film 54.3 (2013): 15-27. Print.
9 Barlow, Jay. “On Incompetence: Bungling In 221B.” Framework: The Journal Of Cinema And Media 6.2 (2009): 12-16. Print.
10 Woodward, Raymond. Cameras: How Do They Work? Burr Ridge:McGraw-Hill Education, 2012. Print.
11 Clayton, Leslie. “Sheer Brilliance: An Analysis Of Composition Within The Baker Street Incident.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 89.4 (2008): 46-72. Print.
12 Davidson, Matthew. “Guys, they weren’t doing it: Holmes and Watson re-imagined as straight men.” The Guardian. 7 April, 2011. Web.
13 “Industry attitudes toward homosexuality in The Baker Street Incident.” Center For Diversity In Film And Television. 19 March 2013.
14 Clifton, Dawn. The Frantic World Of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Thomson Reuters, 2009. Print.
15 Appleby, Dena. “When Life Needs Must Yield To The Mystery of Dicks.” Millennium Film Journal 33.1 (2008): 19-25. Print.
16 Auttenberg, Shawnee. On Authenticity: How Unforeseeable Were The Events of 221B? Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.
17Allen, Roselyn. “Sherlock Holmes’ Secret Beau.” Journal of Film Culture 78.2 (2007): 45-55. Print.
18 Styles, Sarah. On Girth. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Print.
19 Alvin, Joseph. “221V: Evidence For Sherlock Holmes’ Use Of Viagra.” American Journal of Medicine 110.4 (2011): 113-119. Print.
20 PhapFarm. Five-And-A-Half-Inches. YouTube. YouTube, 18 October 2003. Web.
21 Emerson, Kim. John Watson: Portrait Of A Definitively Gay Man. London: Pearson, 2012. Print.
22 Masters, Devon. “Turmoil In 221B: On Watson’s Love Of Women.” Wide Angle 55.3 (2008): 32-36. Print.
23 Spalding, Leonard K. “An Analysis Of How Holmes And Watson Never Do Anything Sexual Ever And Barely Even Engage In Casual Contact.” Film Skeptics Journal 22.2 (2010): 9-16. Print.
24 Merrill, Kirsten. “Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much: Trapped In The Closet at 221B.” London Journal of Fit Homosexuals 6.1 (2012): 5-8.
25 Adler, Irene. I Fucked The Prime Minister: Memoirs Of An English Man-Eater. London: HarperCollins, 2004. Print.
26 London Metropolitan Police Service crime log. June 9, 2002. January 22, 2003.
27 Waterman, Carolyn. “In Praise Of Sherlock Holmes’ Erection.” Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford 78.2 (2011): 76-82. Print.
28 Howard, Jenny. Yup. John Watson Is Totally Gay. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Print.
29 Harden, Rochelle. “Confronting The Machine: A Comparison Of Sherlock Holmes’ Gallery Works With Various Pleasure Devices.” British Journal of Sexual Medicine 45.4 (2007): 23-30. Print.
31 References works from: Isabella Pond’s 1998 novel I Have But Two Fucks To Give, and Eleanor Anthony’s 1668 manuscript Greate Compendium of Sexe Machines.
32Sperminator II: Judgment Gay. Dir. Cameron, James. Paramount, 2001. Film.
33 Thorpe, Roger. “Filmmaker arrested in Brussels for assaulting journalist with camera.” The New York Times. 14 February 2002. E5. Print.
34 Bush, Linette. “In The Eye Of The Beholder: What John Watson Can’t Say In Public.” American Journal of Sociology 89.2 (2010): 12-23. Print.
35 Randall, Allison. “On Phallic-Induced Paralysis.” Journal of Clinical Phallology 14.2 (2009): 10-14. Print.
36 Holmes, Sherlock. “Sherlock Holmes: The Best Filmmaker Of All Time Or Just The Greatest?” Legitimate Art Magazine. 17 September 2002: 54-56. Print.
37 Henderson, Dennis. “True Grit: Holmes’ Affinity For Realism.” Sight & Sound 43.2 (2008): 54-65. Print.
38 Garnet, Kimberly H. “Out Of The Closet, Into The Closet: Watson’s Fear.” European Sociological Review 67.3 (2010): 34-48. Print.
39 Johnson, Brandy. “The Closeted Homosexual In Popular Film.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 82.2 (2009): 67-95. Print.
40 Bourges, William. Kingdom Come. New York: Macmillan, 2013. Print.
41 Macy, H. S. A Heaven Without Dicks. Berkeley:University of California Press, 2012. Print.
42 Iwantthatcoat. “They’re Gay. Deal With It”. The Baker Street Incident Fan Corner. Livejournal. 31 July 2012. Web.
43 Zampanò. “On Light And Darkness Within 221B’s Treacherous Pit.” Journal of Visual Culture 53.1 (2008): 44-72. Print.
44 Analysis45 of the asshole from the film seems to indicate it possesses a diameter of 14-to-15 meters, though the fractious nature of light and measurement in this place makes this but a crude guess, even with the most high-tech of calculation methods.
45 Richter, M. D. “Triangulation Of The Great Hole.” Royal Irish Academy Mathematical Proceedings 75.2 (2009): 38-52. Print.
47 Burton, Mark. Labyrinth of Absurdity: A Rejection Of The Validity Of The Baker Street Incident. London: Penguin Books. 2012.
48 Lukeson, Carrie. “Prison of a thousand dicks.” BBC News. 5 March 2011. Web.
In its lair the vagina weeps, forsaken and spurned by its own hand.
50 Moriarty, James. “They Definitely Make Out.” British Journal of Homosexual Pornography 10.4 (2012): 4-15. Print.
51Núnez, Guadalupe. “Ways In Which Holmes And Watson Had Sex: An Exhaustive List.” Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 43.1 (2010): 15-20. Print.
52 Tera, Wilkins. “What Love Made Them Do.” Journal of Epic Romance 57.4 (2013): 86-99. Print.
53 Arnold, Myron. Before There Was Watson: The Untold Romance Between Artist And Inspector. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 2013. Print.
54 Peterson-Bowers, Judith. The Man Who Loved Sherlock Holmes. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2010. Print.
55 “Fall 2013 Visitors Report.” The Holmes Institute. 1 December, 2013.
57 It is unknown exactly what type of tea is proffered here as the tag is occluded by her left hand. Several attempts58 have been made to determine its flavor, but no definitive answer has been forthcoming.
58 Mary Ellensworth and Cameron Brooke. Cracking The Tea Code. London:Bantam Press, 2012. Print.
59 Kay, Glenn. “What’s Milk Got To Do With It?” International Journal of Gastronomy 46.2 (2012): 61-80. Print.
60 Nixon, Margaret. “221-Tea Baker Street.” Journal of Culinary Science and Technology 14.4 (2008): 59-77. Print.
61 Dowlin, Hunter. “Does Mrs. Hudson Have A Name?” Global Review of Serious Questions to Ponder 400.2 (2012): 79-91. Print.
62 Fowler, Gabriel. What Mrs. Hudson Knew. New York: Hyperion Books, 2010. Print.
63 Kershing, Brandon. Where Does Tea Come From? London: Faber and Faber, 2013. Print.
64 Stern, Miranda. “Hooper v. Holmes: Who Is The Real Genius?” International Feminist Journal of Politics 67.3 (2012): 20-30. Print.
65 It just does.
66 Coburn, Regan. “Phallic Fear, Phallic Worship: John Watson’s Respect For Cock.” Harvard Journal of Human Sexuality 56.3 (2009): 41-76. Print.
67 “Journey to the Center of the Asshole.” Nova. PBS. 5 June 2010. Television.
68 Truman, Dana. “Fold Analysis And Gender Identity Within The Great Asshole.” Feminist Theology 68.1 (2011): 36-52. Print.
69 Holmes was well versed in the physical properties of butts.
70 Nimoy, Leonard. “The Physics Of Light In John Watson’s Underworld.” Science Journal of Science Things 40.2 (2010): 64-90. Print.
71 The Midland LXT-114 has a high-end range of approximately 28,968 meters.
72 Joanne Lilibet, Thomas Stewark, and Jonathan Lenois. “Transmission Of Radio Signals Through A Penile Medium.” British Journal of Applied Physics 88.2 (2013): 50-90. Print.
73 Signal intensity is inversely proportional to one over the distance squared.
74 Waller, Cece. “When Love Hurts: Evidence Of Strife At 221B.” New York Times. 22 November 2010. Web.
75 Brandt, James. The Inspector's Fatal Decision. Gretna:Pelican Publishing Company, 2008. Print.
76 Spencer, Charles. “Lestrade Loved Him First: What Watson Can’t Accept.” British Journal of Psychology 79.1 (2011): 31-67. Print.
77 Miller, John K. “Sherlock Holmes And His Deliberate Stylistic Choice.” Journal of Vague Arguments 17.4 (2009): 7-19. Print.
79 Many suspect Lestrade had ‘taken it’ from Holmes in the past.
80 Alger, Christine. “Musings On Cock-Based Life Forms.” Journal of Biology 99.2 (2012): 87-110. Print.
81 Barnum, Max. “Hooper implores media: ‘Please, no more interviews.’” BBC News. 6 November 2006. Web.
82 Harper, Florence. “‘You Left Him To Die’: Lestrade’s Deepest Regret.” The Spectator. 14 September 2008. Web.
83 Cook, Maybelle. Molly Hooper’s Sapphic Leanings. Bancyfelin: Crown House Publishing, 2009. Print.
84 Sherlocksgayboner. “That Bitch Better Not Touch Sherlock.” Sherlock’s Gay Boner: Yeah, I Ship Sherlock/John. Tumblr. 20 August 2013. Web.
85 There is more than a passing resemblance to the Dick-Beasts of Epsilon V from the 1998 film Voyage To the Brown Star by director Christopher Nolan.
86 Sorkin, Daniel. The Touch Of A Woman: A Molly Hooper/Sally Donovan Romance Novel. New York: Random House, 2011. Print.
87 Christianson, Mary, 2009. “Speculation On The Baker Street Sentinels.” The Review of Metaphysics 27.4 (2008): 82-99. Print.
88 A blue whale’s penis is, on average, 3 meters in length. The largest recorded specimen, a portion of what is thought to be a 5-meter penis, is on display in the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
90 Arkwright, Tammi. “Making Tea On My Own: A Cautionary Tale.” British Lifestyles Magazine. May 2013: 14-15. Print.
91 Howerton, Luke. The Unofficial Biography Of John Watson. London: HarperCollins, 2012. Print.
92 Of dicks.
93 Roscoe, Cyril. Baker Street Insanity: An Unlikely Metamorphosis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.
94 Wayne, Bruce. Seriously Guys, What The Hell. Gotham City: Penguin Books, 2010. Print.
95 Jackson, Peter. Interview with David Letterman. Late Show. CBS, May 17, 2008.
96 Hilton, Victoria. “Cry Havoc! Let Slip The Dongs of War.” University of St. Christmas Journal of Feelings 23.1 (2012): 7-18. Print.
97 Parker, Rita. “Man To Man And Dick To Dick.” Scottish Journal of Human Sexual Behavior 13.3 (2011): 42-57. Print.
98Hooper v. BBC News, 2005.
99 Littleton, Richard. “Disgraced former inspector Greg Lestrade resigns from Yard with tail between his legs.” BBC News. 11 March 2004. Web.
100 London Metropolitan Police Service. April 10, 2005. Autopsy report (Case No. 06-456726). London, England.
101 Banner, Felecia. “He Suffered In Silence: Remembering The Inspector.” Newsweek. April 2009: 23-25. Print.
102 Phoenix, Terrance. The Day The Yard Stood Still. New York: Perseus Book Group, 2012. Print.
103 Gervais, Franklin. “Lestrade family sues city following illegal release of inspector’s medical records to BBC News.” The Sun. 3 August 2009: A4.
104 Sexwagon, Buttsnax. “Wow, This Story Just Got Really Sad. Fuck.” Journal Of Depressing Things 956.8 (2013): 56-72. Print.
107 Fenton, Lewis. “Queen Elizabeth II announces award of £500,000 for the location of Sherlock Holmes.” The Daily Mirror. 22 December 2008: A1.