By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
The long anticipated premiere of Sherlock season 4, BBC's series about the self-proclaimed, high-functioning sociopath, returned last night after a three year hiatus.
The episode, "Six Thatchers" was the continuation of Sherlock's season 3 finale.
Spoiler Alert: The episode leaves one wondering how close Watson came to committing infidelity before his wife took a bullet for Sherlock at the London Aquarium. Key details of Watson's interactions with the woman-on-the-bus are deliberately blurred. Were other texts exchanged? Was there an off-screen rendezvous? Will she come back in a subsequent episode?
Questions linger like they do with an unresolved case. What happens to the lose ends and inconsistencies? It is often the missing digital information that determines the outcome. In other words, we wont know without more digital evidence -ie- a complete transcript of texts Watson exchanged with the woman-on-the-bus.
See also: Digital evidence 101 workshops for Denver attorneys and private investigators.
The show's signature cinematography --with its floating text message overlays, fade-in Skype chats and word clouds--- bring the data drenched world of a private detective's mind front and center, however, the picture we're being shown is still incomplete. A real life private investigator would need more evidence.
Text overlays aren't limited to Holmes and Watson’s tete-a-tetes. Holmes' episode adversary does an online background check after his altercation with Sherlock. He is able to connect the dots back to Mary through a Google search that points him to a photo of Holmes walking Watson's bride down the aisle. Text overlays move the story forward while giving the viewer a simultaneous peak of Holmes' assessment gears churning. It is important to know that any data in public domain can be used by the legal opposition.
Backstories and narrative unfold simultaneously. You must chose between skimming or honing in on the thread that you desperately hope is the more substantial. The assessment gears of a private detective's mind are, once again, churning away.
Information disseminated into femto blips, though dizzying, did not preclude fans from finding an error in Watson’s digital filing system and tweeting it out immediately. Why on earth would Watson file a blog post as a JPG? Or, as the UK metro put it, "he wasn’t typing on a website at all, but on a picture labeled JOHN BLOG PAGE.jpg"
Professional private investigators, like BBC staffers, are only human. In real life, as opposed to on Masterpiece, investigators can get dinged by their bosses for filing errors because the information is private and not available to the twittersphere.
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