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Knowledge is important.
It can be very helpful.
It can even save lives.
If Sherlock hadn't noticed the damp mud on the dead woman's ankle and hadn't known where it came from, it would have taken much longer to discover the crime scene, what would have meant that the second dead body would have been found much later, too (if at all). And even if the murderer would have been arrested eventually, the wine dealer and the target of the poisoning would in all likelihood have died.

Another example is Sherlock who depends on Joan knowing him inside out as it enables her to react and help him to cope when the detective gets into a dark state of mind.

But knowledge can also be very dangerous. It depends on how you use it.

Enter Odin Reichenbach.

I guess you all know the meaning of the surname, so I can concentrate on the first name: Odin.
Odin is an important god in Nordic mythology.
He has got two ravens called Hugin and Munin that tell him everything that is going on in the world.
Odin Reichenbach's ravens are the internet and algorithms.
He collects and analyzes personal user data, but what exactly his company "Odker" does and how the data is used remains in the dark.
The talk at the conference that Sherlock quite rightly calls "tommyrot" is symptomatic.
Superficially the company boss is talking about the services that his company offers but in reality he doesn't say anything about it. As Sherlock says, he tells a cocktail party anecdote that contains no useful information at all. You don't get to know anything about what the company does. The same is true about the commercials that are playing on the screens in the waiting area of the office.
In fact it is crucial for Odker that it remains that way.
There is a clue in the episode though to what Reichenbach does with all the data he is collecting.
You just have to pay attention to the last conversation.

"It wasn't your skills I was testing. It was the two of you.
I told you my niece was in danger, and you did everything in your power to help her.
Everything. Whether it was legal or not."
"You don't know what steps we took."
"I do.
You solicited an illegal search of my employee's bank records.
You broke into his home.
You broke more than a dozen laws.
Don't worry, you've nothing to fear from me."
"All I did was tell Patrick what I'd learned about Tim Bledsoe.
I had reason to believe that an army veteran with his psychological makeup would take steps to avoid a tragedy, and he did.
What happened next was also tragic, but (takes deep breath) I am a practical man, and 200 lives were saved.
I'd like to talk about that."

Odin Reichenbach uses the collected data to influence and manipulate people.
He chooses the person by looking at their profile and then feeds them with certain pieces of information to get them to do what he wants them to. The fact that he even succeeded with Joan Watson, if only for a short period, is scary.
He obviously knew that he couldn't manipulate Sherlock that way.
He didn't invite him to the first meeting to avoid personal contact, because Sherlock doesn't need an algorithm to assess people, looking them in the eye is often enough.

The Odker boss definitely is a worthy opponent for Sherlock.
I am looking forward to one last battle of brilliant minds.

What about you?

Comments (5)
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Jul 10, 2019
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Jun 29, 2019
Before you even got your review up I was spending a lot of time thinking about this episode and I may end up covering something you did but I like to get my thoughts down while I have them.

From the beginning of the episode I should of went with my first instinct, that the rich tech guy was part of the organization behind stopping the one terroristic action and leading to the Capt getitng shot. I dismissed it but it ended up leading right back to it. As a bit of a side note, this kind of reminded me of the novelist Dean Koontz, as he creates some very interesting worlds and among the things he brings up is how their are organizations working against evil hidden behind the scenes and one of the people who founded this movement was Bill Gates. Whether this new guy will turn out ally or foe is still to be seen but this leads to my one real thought that came to me at the end.

Sherlock speaks often about finding justice for people but his methods are definately not in line with a rightous person, as he breaks laws all the time or uses those who do. Now he is not one to kill someone but it is not impossible, under the right circumstances, for him to do so, especially if it is for someone he cares greatly about. What I was thinking about, as much as he claims he wants justice, what he really seeks is the truth and for the truth, there is very little he would not do to find it. What this guy does is maybe bring up the possibility that sherlock may need to question his own methods as this guy and those who work for him are essentially seeking to do the exact same thing, only using more force and not using the police, as Sherlock does. I think this could be something to consider and look forward to seieng how the episode play out.

As a side note, Joan has infinate patience when it comes to Sherlock waking her up i the morning. I am not a morning person, I would probably punch someone who did that to me but it is one of those quirks you see often and it something she has gotten used too.

Your reviews tend to make me think more about the show than I usually do any show, so thank you for that and I look forward to the next.
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