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Enola Holmes 2 Gives Its Moriarty a Righteous Sense of Purpose

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The following contains spoilers for Enola Holmes 2, now available on Netflix.

In Enola Holmes 2, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) and her brother, Sherlock (Henry Cavill), have intertwined fates in their detective careers. Enola’s trying to solve the case of the missing Sarah Chapman, while Sherlock’s tracking a financial conspiracy in England, not realizing they are both being played by the same villain. That ends up being none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic Sherlock rival, Moriarty. Moriarty’s covering up a conspiracy, hoping a blackmailing scheme doesn’t get busted by the Holmes siblings. However, upon taking stock of how this villain has been reimagined, Moriarty’s sense of purpose and righteousness could create the scariest version of the character yet for sequels down the line.

How Enola Holmes 2’s Moriarty Differs From Previous Versions


In most adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes canon, Moriarty has been depicted as a white man with privilege and incredible intelligence. It’s been seen on the big screen with the likes of Jared Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Richard Roxburgh over the years. These criminal masterminds usually came off as bored and eager to feud with Sherlock as he’s the only person considered equal in intellect. However, Enola Holmes 2 bucks tradition by introducing a female Moriarty. Sure, TV’s had the female equivalent, thanks to Natalie Dormer on Elementary and Yuki Saito on Miss Sherlock, but the films usually stick to the typical guy.

RELATED: Enola Holmes 2’s Biggest Plot Holes & Unanswered Questions

That changes, though, when it’s confirmed Mira Troy, the secretary to the Treasury Minister, McIntyre, is the one running the scheme. Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays the character, and what makes this a watershed moment is it’s also the first time a Black female takes on the mantle. In time, Enola and Sherlock learn Mira’s an anagram for Moriarty — someone who, after taking note of his political shadiness involving the matchstick factory run by Mr. Lyon, has been secretly extorting money from the gents. That is why girls are being snatched and murdered — to cover up tracks and keep the cash flowing, which brings Enola and Sherlock into play.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster’s Moriarty Could Be the Most Dangerous Yet


Now, what’s intriguing about Duncan-Brewster’s iteration is how she’s seeking financial agency and is willing to do anything to keep it, even if it means killing other women using crooked cops. It makes Moriarty’s scheme the polar opposite of Eudoria’s (Enola’s mom) suffragette movement, but it’s sympathetic given the role Moriarty plays in society. Simply put, this Moriarty is a poorer version who has to run her game out of necessity and survival rather than being some entitled playboy with time on his hands.

RELATED: Why Enola Holmes 2 Didn’t Bring Back Sam Claflin’s Mycroft

It stems from the patriarchy, which makes it hard for Moriarty to climb the chauvinistic corporate ladder. And being Black adds an extra layer of complexity and oppression on top of a misogynistic white ecosystem. That makes her more cutthroat, infiltrating deeper levels in England, such as the police force, to add brawn to her brain. It speaks to how frustrated a woman like Moriarty can get because no matter how smart she is, she won’t ever be allowed to advance to the top in a colonial society that profited heavily off slavery and capitalism.

As a result, she’s got a more understandable motive than some of her predecessors, shaping a nuanced tale of a feisty woman of color in Victorian times taking action. In the process, she doesn’t believe in community and kinship or morals and ethics. That inevitably shapes her as a villain with no boundaries. And ultimately, after escaping in the finale, the bloodthirsty puppet master will doggedly pursue revenge on Sherlock, Enola and the newly-arrived Watson to stop them from ruining the empire she’s building.

See the new Moriarty in Enola Holmes 2, now streaming on Netflix.

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