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Netflix’s Enola Holmes had a bit of an uphill battle. Not only did Millie Bobby Brown need to get out of Sherlock Holmes’ shadow, but she also had to convince viewers that Enola was worthy successor to her brother’s legacy. Though Enola Holmes has its flaws, I think it succeeded in both regards. Millie Bobby Brown gave a charming performance, carried the movie and made the story her own.
Since she’s conquered that and set her own course, it would be great to give Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes a bigger role in Enola Holmes 2. His character mostly had a supporting role in the new Netflix movie, but the next movie needs to spotlight him more. Here’s why, and be warned, there are SPOILERS AHEAD!
The End Teased That He’d Play A Larger Role
Perhaps the most obvious reason Henry Cavill should have a bigger role in Enola Holmes 2 is the simple fact that Enola Holmes is only sixteen and needs a guardian. At the beginning of the first movie, Mycroft Holmes takes Enola on as his ward and looks to raise Enola very differently than her mother, wanting her to conform to society as a lady. This doesn’t go over well with Enola.
By the end of the movie, Enola Holmes finds her mother, but her mother is busy with other matters. So Sherlock Holmes decides to take over guardianship of Enola, causing Mycroft to relinquish control.
With that in mind, it would be pretty strange if Henry Cavill didn’t play a bigger role in his sister’s life in a sequel. It would also be a missed opportunity to develop their relationship further, something I think Sherlock Holmes fans would like to see.
They Should Build Sherlock And Enola’s Relationship
At the beginning of Enola Holmes, Sherlock has been away and is mostly emotionally removed from his sister. They only have a few moments together, and while these moments are small, you could see that both share admiration for each other.
As the story progresses, Sherlock Holmes sees Enola's potential as a talented sleuth, especially when she beats him to the punch. This arc has real promise and shouldn’t be left to the wayside.
Enola Holmes 2 should build their relationship further rather than ignore it. This could play out in a number of different ways, but whatever avenue the filmmakers went down, Sherlock’s increasing involvement would make subsequent movies far more interesting.
The fear might be that if they give Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes a bigger role, he would overshadow Enola. But I don’t think that would be the case. Enola’s character is far more charismatic and interesting in this story, so she'd still be the focal point.
Sherlock Holmes Is A Prominent Antagonist In The Books
In Enola Holmes, Mycroft Holmes largely plays the antagonistic brother who demands Enola Holmes to conform to society. Sherlock, on the other hand, is aloof and hands off responsibility to his brother. However, in the original books, Sherlock is also one of Enola Holmes’ primary antagonists.
He is often portrayed as a sexist and doesn’t have a high opinion of his sister. She frequently tries to flee from him as he wants to find her and send her away to boarding school where she can learn to be a lady.
In the movie, Henry Cavill’s Sherlock seemed more open-minded and compassionate, but since there’s precedence from the books that he plays a formidable role as an antagonist, shouldn’t that play out in the movies as well? He doesn’t have to be an antagonist like Mycroft, but he could still be an adversary to Enola Holmes (more on that later).
Henry Cavill’s Humble Sherlock Makes Him Likable
Perhaps one of the best parts about Henry Cavill’s Sherlock is his character arc and humility. This is in direct contrast to Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch’s respective versions of Sherlock. They delivered arrogant and eccentric takes on the character that, while entertaining, were also oftentimes off-putting, disagreeable and annoying.
Despite having little screen time, Henry Cavill’s Sherlock Holmes still has his own character arc. In the beginning, he is mostly aloof, too busy with his own matters. But by the end of the story, he learns a thing or two about how he was wrong to ignore his sister and decides to take care of her instead.
It’s his humility that highlights this Sherlock's likability. This is shown primarily when he discovers that Enola solved the mystery before he did. Rather than let his pride get the better of him and become angry with her, he let out a delighted laugh. This small gesture revealed a likable part of his character; Henry Cavill's Sherlock is humble enough to admit he was bested by his own little sister and be totally okay with it. If that’s not likable, I don’t know what is.
Pitting Enola Against Sherlock Would Make The Sequel More Exciting
The Enola Holmes filmmakers missed an opportunity to highlight a competition between Enola and Sherlock. It was there, but they buried the lede. It felt like an afterthought rather than a present, active conflict between the two characters.
In Enola Holmes 2, they absolutely should pit Enola and Sherlock up against each other as they try to solve a mystery. This could be as easy as the two disagreeing on where the clues lead, how to solve them and who the list of suspects could be. It could go as far as having Sherlock Holmes disagreeing with Enola so much that he tries to stop her from pursuing her leads.
This kind of conflict would also provide two awesome storytelling opportunities. First, the conflict could create an iron-sharpens-iron situation where Sherlock and Enola’s relationship grows through conflict. Second, the conflict would stretch Enola’s character and push her detective skills, something I think we all can agree would be fun to watch.
I'll admit, we don’t know if we’re getting Enola Holmes 2. Still, considering its success on Netflix, there’s always a good chance it could happen. The director seems interested in pursuing it and admitted there have been sequel discussions. For now though, nothing has been confirmed yet, but if Netflix decides to move forward with a sequel, I think it behooves the streaming service to give its audience more Sherlock. But what do you think? Should Sherlock Holmes have a larger role in another Enola Holmes movie? Let us know in the poll and comments below!