In the series, “Sherlock,” created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, Moriarty, with a charismatic smile, declared to his arch-nemesis, Sherlock Holmes, that every good fairytale story needs an old-fashioned villain like him. And certainly, we were missing the presence of this villain in the “Enola Holmes” universe, but not anymore. In “Enola Holmes 2,” we saw British actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster playing the character of Mira Troy, a.k.a. Moriarty.
The character of Professor James Moriarty was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and though he was not a part of a lot of stories, he came to be known as the greatest adversary of detective Sherlock Holmes. There were many reasons why Moriarty became Sherlock’s biggest rival and was the only antagonist who got the better of him at times. Sherlock described him as the “Napoleon of Crime” and also called him a genius. Sherlock had confessed to Dr. Watson that Moriarty was his intellectual equal. Sherlock never got stuck on a case. Solving cases and finding criminals had become a cakewalk for him. It had become a mundane job for Sherlock. He would have never chosen the profession had it not been for the thrill of it. When Moriarty came on the scene, Sherlock knew that he had found his arch nemesis, somebody who was worthy of being called his opponent. Moriarty was a ruthless and conniving schemer who was capable of causing any catastrophe without even flinching an eye. Moriarty came from a very strong academic background. It was said that Moriarty was a prodigy and had written a treatise on the binomial theorem when he was in his early twenties. Sherlock liked competing with him because he was the only one who could put up a challenge. They both were alike in a lot of ways, though there was a stark contrast in their motivations. At times, it felt like Sherlock wanted Moriarty to be there. It felt like he derived a lot of pleasure from competing against his arch-nemesis.
Enola Holmes saw Mira Troy for the very first time when she was snooping around the match factory in search of some clue or evidence. She saw that Mira Troy was eager to contribute to the situation that the administration was facing. She told her boss, Lord Charles McIntyre, that she had some ideas regarding the problem of theft that they were facing. McIntyre ruthlessly scorned her. He told her in a very demeaning tone that nobody asked for her opinion and that she should speak only when told to. It was quite evident from Mira’s eyes that her ego was bruised. She stayed quiet at that moment, but given the opportunity, she would have slit the throat of her employer without even thinking twice. The second time Enola met Mira Troy was at the ball organized by Henry and Hilda Lyon. Mira told Enola something while standing on the balcony, the essence of which Enola didn’t understand at that time. Mira said that their life was nothing but a game and everybody has a part to play in it. She said that it is too much fun provided you know the rules well. Sherlock Holmes figured out in the end that Mira Troy, a.k.a. Moriarty, was the mastermind behind the crime. She had played the game perfectly well, but a slight misstep had allowed Sherlock to get the better of her. There was a devilish fervor that could be seen in Mira Troy’s eyes. She was disappointed, not because she was caught, but because her game had come to an end.
The motives of the criminal mastermind are diversified by the makers. Mira Troy was a genius, yet she never got what she deserved. Women didn’t enjoy equal status in society as compared to their male counterparts. Mira was quite good at what she did, yet she was belittled by Charles at every step. She questioned what his merit was, apart from the fact that he was a male in a misogynistic society. Mira Troy considered herself to be far more superior than any one of them—even Sherlock, for that matter. Though it was all a game for Mira Troy, she was also fighting for a position in society.
We saw that Enola sent a roommate for her brother because she knew that he needed company. She knew that Sherlock would benefit from the presence of another person in whom he could confide. The character of Dr. Watson, too, was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and he developed a very uncanny relationship with Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes was known to be impassive and to have a single-track mind that only focused on solving mysteries. But with the coming of Dr. Watson into his life, he would discover things about himself and get privy to another side of his personality. Dr. Watson eventually becomes Sherlock’s best friend, and it would be interesting to see them bond and investigate cases together.
Mira Troy’s way of thinking was exactly like Sherlock. Sometimes Sherlock needed a second opinion, a different viewpoint so that he could look through Moriarty’s motivations. Dr. Watson might prove to be handy in such circumstances when Sherlock is experiencing a mental block.
Towards the end of “Enola Holmes 2,” Sherlock reads in the newspaper that Mira Troy has escaped from the clutches of the authorities and is once again on the run. Knowing the character of Moriarty and the evil tendencies he has; it could be safely presumed that Mira Troy would pose a great threat and would become a force to reckon with in “Enola Holmes 3”. She is having fun while competing with Sherlock, as she too loves a good game where the opponent is equally skilled. But Mira has another motive, which makes her even more lethal. She felt that she had been wronged. She felt that she had been oppressed all her life. This aspect adds a tinge of nobility to her character. The makers have been able to create a dilemma in the minds of the audience, which they will surely want to capitalize on in the third installment. The character of Mira Troy has been given such shades that you sympathize with her situation, and you want her to crush the male egos and balance the scales. We wouldn’t be surprised if people rooted for her character in the third installment of Enola Holmes. Jack Thorne and Harry Bradbeer took the creative liberty to show Moriarty as a female character. It has benefited the screenplay greatly as it has added more layers to the character of Moriarty. Whenever we think of great antagonists and villains, our mind by default, takes us back to all those brilliantly written male characters. It amuses me how I cannot think of many female criminal masterminds who have left an impact, especially when pertaining to commercial cinema. Though the makers have been able to break the preconceived notions, it would be quite interesting to see where they take the character of Mira Troy in “Enola Holmes 3.”