We had the pleasure of visiting Bill Condon at The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 edit bay back in June, and we can now release our comprehensive Q&A with the director!

This is part one of the Q&A – part two will be released later today. We spoke with Condon after watching new footage that was to be screened at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

Bill: Do you want to talk first or then see another one or what should we do next?

Jack Pan: Do you want to see the second clip?

(Laughter, Everyone starts shaking their head yes)

Laura (Lex): Or you could just play the whole movie, we’d be down with the whole movie going, you know (everyone laughs)

(They then roll a second clip of Emmett and Bella arm wrestling)

Bill: There you go, probably days from our goal. That rock is going to look like a rock on the inside. (everyone laughs)… Yeah, so you are seeing all the flaws. (He’s commenting on so of the CGI still being in the rough stages. We saw the wrestling scene between Bella and Emmett. In it they rest their arms on what is supposed to be a large rock which looked a lot more like foam because it was still in process.  In our viewing Kristen also tackled what looked like a carton cougar.)

Jack Pan: So do you guys, maybe quickly just want to run down your sites and we can start the Q&A?

(Everyone agrees, some say sure)

Kaleb: I’m Kaleb Nation, I’m from TwilightGuy.com

Heidi: I’m Heidi, from Twilight Facebook

Lee: Lee from Twilight Moms

Kimmy: I’m Kimmy from HisGoldenEyes.com

Michelle: I’m Michelle from BellaandEdward.com

Laura: Laura from Twilight Lexicon

Kallie: Kallie from TwilightSeriesTheories.com

Sheila: Sheila from Team-Twilight.com

Elena: Elena from Twilightish

Becca: Nikki and Becca from Letters to Twilight

Erin: Erin from Twilightish

Andrew: Andrew from Twilight Source

Bill: (Hand Gestures to Jack Morrissey) Jack from Team Jack

(Everyone Laughs)

Jack: (Looks at Bill) Team Bill Condon

Bill: (Looks at people sitting to his left) Ian Slater, Ginny Katz. We edited the movie together. (Looks at back of the room) And Greg Yolan… in charge of everything else

Jack M: Greg Yolan from Team Jack

(Everyone laughs)

Greg (waves): I’m Greg

Jack Pan: So who wants to start? (No one says anything)… They were all so blown away.

(Everyone laughs)

Jack: I couldn’t follow it

(Everyone laughs again)

Laura (Lexicon): I don’t know, I guess I’ll dive in. The teaser (the first one) came out today and I think we all probably played that like 3 million times, not that there is anything wrong with that. And one of the things I really liked is you saw glimpses of alternative points of view…

Bill: Right

Laura (Lexicon): Can you talk a little bit about how you did those; maybe that’s a collaboration between you, Melissa Rosenberg, and Stephenie Meyer, to decide which are the alternative points of view, and how much fun was that to film something that is not in the book, other than saying we traveled some place and came back. Like how much fun was that, to go to that space?

Bill: Ya, I know, exactly like, for example; The Denali’s right? In the book they come, and it just felt like,  to get our lead characters on the road together, in 3 different areas, was like an important thing just for the scope of the movie. I think you’ll see. You get a glimpse of it from the size of the main title. With this movie, it’s all about scope in a weird way, and it’s all about like, canvasing the world for all these vampires. So, that actually was, in very early days we made that decision to do that, It’s a challenge because, we introduce, I think it’s 23 new vampires, right? And, we do it in the second act, and by the 3rd act they’re on the battlefield and you have to get to know them very quickly. Actually it was great fun for the actors. Cause they all realized that they only had a moment or two, where they had to land what it was that they did. So it was part of what drew me to it. That it is a completely new part of Twilight that is getting introduced in this movie.

Laura (Lexicon): Any one of those alternate point of view your favorite or is that like picking between your kids?

Bill: Yeah, it is. Definitely.

(Everyone Laughs)

Kallie: Well, I’ll go next. You mention the 23 new characters. I mean, that is profound to me. We were talking about it at breakfast, that that’s just a huge number of people to be working with on one set. We saw a glimpse of it in the trailer. Of all of them lined up together.

Bill: Yeah, Yeah

Kallie: How was that as a director? I mean it’s kind of a feat to tackle that many characters.

Bill: It was like, putting on a play. You know, we did something that you never do in movies. As you know from the book its 100 pages of the book. Its 25 pages in the script. Taking precious time with the crew standing around. We took a day and I staged it like a play, and we did the entire 25 pages. And we just like, beat by beat by beat we had the actors. So that it was just  like staging a musical number almost. You know, cause you’ll see it. In order to make that feel like it has life. It doesn’t get monotonous to be there.  I don’t think it does you know, it’s part of like really making sure that you are doing very different things through all that, section of the movie. But it was good.

Andrew: And do they equal amount of screen time? Like how was that balanced out?

Bill: No. Um, you know some of them have more. The Denali’s are more prominent, I would say. Garrett is more prominent. The Irish people are more, you know, jolly Irish people.

(Everyone Laughs)

Bill: Some of them, you know, I think that you couldn’t do that honestly. Some of them were there to kind of fill out the sense of being across the world. But I have to say each of the actors again, even they, had their moments. They had little things that made them kind of pop.

Kaleb: How close is what we just saw here to the finished version without adding CGI and things like that?

Bill: Right, it’s the cut. So, the cut is done. [Note: the footage in the first clip was identical to what was shown at Comic Con]But the big thing is, it’s all Bella, you know, whatever little Spider Monkey thing is there, won’t be there yet. All those things, when she gets on the rock for example, she, the whole point of it is that she just finds a…she creates her own hold by basically, pushing through the rock[referencing the scene where Kristen Stewart scales the rock to get at the climber and was reacting to non-existent falling debris]. So that’s going have a lot of debris, a lot of stuff as she’s going, going down. She’s creating all this stuff so that all these elements aren’t in there yet. But the cut is the cut.

Jack M: Laura was nervous over dinner last night that it was going to be like last year’s edit bay visit where you got the opening Volturi scene, and …

Bill: Oh, and then it goes away

Greg: You guys were responsible for that (jokes)

Bill: That’s right

Laura: We jinxed it [At last year’s visit the websites saw an entire scene that was originally slated to start the movie. It was set in Volterra and it was the Volturi being informed that Bella and Edward were getting married. The scene heavily featured Marcus, Aro, Caius, Felix, and Demitri and a receptionist that was given to Felix and Demetri for lunch. It was cut from the final print because it was felt that it was more important to get to the Bella and Edward connection right away.]

Laura: You talk about the 23 which, that’s got to be an amazing job just to cast 23 people and you’ve got all sorts of people. Of those 23 vampires, which was the easiest one to find and which was the hardest one to find?

Bill: Ooh that’s a good question. Umm, you know like Lee Pace was like an obvious Garrett. So that just happened. There’s some of them, you see them, and that’s it you know. The hardest, you know, the Denali sisters, just getting them all to feel like they are from the same family, but having those different qualities, that was sort of a mix and match. Took a little time.

Lee: Do you prefer to shoot so tight that there is very little room for variation or based on the collaborative nature of putting together final cut, how much is collaboration and how much is deliberate in terms of choice? Or is that just situational?

Bill: Well, it’s all collaboration here and obviously these movies get created by large part in this room with the three of us[referring himself, Ian Slater, Ginny Katz . So I have to say at this movie it’s really new for me. We have 2,000 effects shots. I think that’s as many as Avatar. So, it’s like an animated movie. The last, that thing on the field, I don’t really want to promote this cause I feel like it takes away from the magic of it, but that was, as you know, all on green screen stage. So we’re, between that and you know the powers and every part of it feels like its still being created. We’re still, we have these sessions every day where we look at shots, maybe the 20th version of a shot, so it feels as though we’re still in production too you know. (Looks over at Ginny Katz) Ginny you want to say anything more about that?

Ginny: No. (Everyone laughs) You said it. I mean there are multi cameras all the time so there are a lot of choices.

Kallie: Well based on that,  having filmed both the movies at the same time, I kind of already feel like I know your answer and what it’s going to be, but was it good or bad, I mean what was it, what was the good, what was the bad, of having them spaced out so far, being released.

Bill: It’s funny I was with, I shouldn’t say. I was with Eric Feig the other night and he was saying they are thinking of doing the last Hunger Games as two movies, and what advice would you give the director and I was like don’t do it (Everyone Laughs). I think that’s going to take even longer to shoot but ,yeah I would say, having to do it, distance and going through the experience of movie one was helpful, then in putting movie two together. At the same time it’s …we’re cutting stuff that we shot a year and a half ago, we’re recently cutting, so it does feel like God it’s a long time. I’m eager. When we originally started, the original idea was going to come out in July, if you remember, then it got pushed. So I am kind of at that point where I’m just so excited to show it to you. I want people to see it now. I don’t want to wait anymore then you do. But we needed the extra time though; it was bigger than we thought.

Becca: Did you touch part two at all, while you were editing part one?

Bill: Ginny always cuts right up to the camera. And Ian too.

Jack M: You want to explain to them that term, cutting up to the camera?

Bill: Like would go home on Friday and see everything that we had shot up to a few days before. So we had a cut of both movies before we started BD1.

Jack M: One long movie.

Ginny: We set part two aside, concentrated on what we needed to do first and then when that was done we were all ready.

Andrew: This question may be like really direct, but what does happen at the end of this movie. Cause like in the trailer, there’s this build up.

Greg: Jack’s sitting close enough to reach over and go like that (makes motion like picking him up) to you.

(Everyone Laughs)

Jack Pan: You have an idea of what happens.

Bill: Have you seen Prometheus? (Everyone laughs)

Laura (Lexicon): You talk a little about the CGI, and all that going on. These vampires all have different powers. We saw a little bit of it in the trailer. We could see what they were doing with Benjamin, with the water, and if you could pause it just exactly right you kind of caught what was going on with Alec. That was a real tough pause. Thank you very much four times, to get that.  So how did you discuss with the actors like this is what. I mean obviously they read and this is what their power is. Did you discuss with them, this is kind of how we thought this was going to be approached? How did you go about that?

Bill: No, with each one of them, Rami Malek for example, he was really, he came with all these variations on where that power comes from. Is it from here, is it from here? [points to his forearm, then wrists, then finger tips] You know how his physical movements would cause these huge, you know, control the elements basically. How he could do that. He does it. He has like three big scenes, three different big things that he does. He was wonderful, the way he internalized it. He sort of, you can’t see much there, cause that’s him showing off in the first scene, but in the other ones he takes incredible pleasure in what he can do. So um, yeah, I think um, Cameron [Cameron Bright who plays Alec] had been waiting a long time to show what he can do. So he was totally into it. He’s like a “gangsta” vampire. (Everyone laughs).

Nikki: The first one has a definite look and feel to it. This one feels very new and clean and contemporary. And just from what we saw, a little bit different. What’s the thinking behind that?

Bill: You know it’s funny, cause we even, like very early until it became to unreal and I thought probably a mistake, but when I first got involved, I thought this movie should be in 3d. Because we are crossing over into Bella. We always heard what they do when they hunt and what they do when they come home and what it’s like to see at night, to be able to see so clearly, but we never experienced it. Now we get to. So even though we didn’t do that, you can see like, even that shot going over her shoulder, that’s shot with hi-def camera [a scene of Bella running through the forest at break-neck speeds during her first hunt]. So it’s the first thing that’s not on film. Just to get that super clarity that happens from her point of view. So yeah it does, I have to say, you know, ultimately they are going to be one movie. And that’s going to be an interesting thing, I haven’t even actually looked at it that way yet. In fact, we’re just starting to put that together.

(frantic gesturing starts among the executives in the room. Someone mumbles to Bill, “I don’t think that info is out there yet.” More chatter, Someone “well we could have guessed someone would do that at some point.”)

Laura: We heard nothing

(Laughter)

Bill: But um, this one is really, it does have a different feel, no question.

Sheila: Do you feel you changed kind of your vision from the first one to the second one, because it does feel very different.

Bill: No. I think it was because obviously, we shot them at the same time. It was always meant to have a different feel. You know it’s all informed by Bella, you know it’s always Bella. First movie, its Bella’s intimate experiences, you know with all these incredibly important moments in her life. And then in this movie, it’s one big idea, vampire mother. And I guess who turns into a warrior. But it is about following her journey. And that kind of informed everything.

‘The Space Between Us’ set report: What if a human was born on Mars?

Hypable visited the set and spoke to the film's stars.

12:00 pm EST, January 17, 2017

Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

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Could a human be born on a distant planet and later survive on earth?

It’s not only a premise that the upcoming science fiction tale The Space Between Us asks, but a real question and concern that people at NASA have considered as well.

Inspired by his son’s obsession with Mars, and the kernel of an idea from another writer he works with, film producer Richard Lewis picked up the phone and posed the question to members of NASA.

He never would’ve guessed what was going to happen when he spoke to them.

“I called a group of NASA scientists and said, ‘So what would happen if an astronaut turned out to be pregnant on a flight to Mars?’ and there was just silence on the other end of the call. And they said, ‘Are you listening to our phone calls?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve never spoken to you in my life.’ And they said, ‘It’s going to happen, and we don’t know what to do.'”

That was when he teamed up with screenwriter Allan Loeb and started fleshing out an answer. “I thought, wow, that’s the beginning of an interesting story.” Lewis even worked with his father, a heart specialist, to examine how that muscle would develop differently on Mars, and aspects of this research became a big part of the story.

The Space Between Us is an interplanetary adventure following a human boy named Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) born on the distant red planet. His mother, an astronaut, only realized she was pregnant with Gardner after leaving on her mission to colonize Mars.

Once Gardner reaches his teenage years he becomes interested in leaving East Texas (yep, on Mars) and returning to the home of his species. Not only is he curious about Earth, but Gardner has also fallen for a girl named Tulsa who’s literally tens of millions of miles away in the state of Colorado. The two met online and can relate over their outsider perspectives.

There’s just one problem: Tulsa doesn’t realize that Gardner is literally living on Mars.

Hypable visited the Albuquerque, New Mexico set of The Space Between Us starring Butterfield, Robertson, and Gary Oldman in late October 2015. On the day we visited, Asa, Britt, and crew were at the tail end of their 37-day shooting schedule which took them through New Mexico, Las Vegas, and Malibu.

It was Day 31, and indoor and outdoor shoots were taking place at Highland High School located in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque. Since it was a weekday, real classes were in session as Asa and Britt shot outdoor scenes.

The real students who walked by the production had mixed reactions. Some watched and Snapchatted the excitement, while others passed by as if a Hollywood production wasn’t filming right before their eyes. Later in the day, after the real students went home, production moved inside the school to shoot a scene where Gardner and Tulsa meet in person for the first time. It’s one of the more touching moments in the movie.

Earlier, Asa walked into our press tent carrying a drone in tow. He had recently purchased it to try and capture aerial footage for fun, and was learning how to operate it in between filming his scenes.

Both the aerial device and Gardner struggle to deal with Earth’s gravity.

When asked how he handles playing a character who has never been on Earth before, Asa describes it as a very unique experience. “It’s hard to put yourself in that kind of position because we [as humans] are so experienced in the world, and to completely strip all that back and be absolutely in awe at everything you see — a tree, a doorman — everything’s interesting,” he says.

space-between-us-asa-britt

Tulsa (Britt Robertson) experiences zero gravity with Gardner (Asa Butterfield).

Living on Mars your whole life doesn’t mean you’re missing hormones, so girls are also of interest in Gardner. On the relationship between his character and Tulsa, Asa tells us, “They both have this longing desire for being somewhere. Belonging somewhere. Tulsa’s been jumping around through various foster homes, she’s never really settled anywhere. Gardner spends his life on Mars. No one knows he exists. They’re kind of united by this experience.”

“He’s an alien, and she’s an alien, and this is the journey of the story,” Lewis tells us. “Watching these two characters connect, and the disconnects, the misunderstandings, and then ultimately they have a connection.”

Those good and bad connections were present in the scene we observed, which finds Gardner surprising Tulsa in her school hallway. As someone who is tough and reserved, Tulsa is understandably frustrated by Gardner’s sudden appearance. The two still haven’t communicated well with one another — Adorably, Tulsa is unaware that when he says he’s from “East Texas” he means the establishment on Mars.

With Gardner now on earth, the two begin to form a close bond as the Mars-born boy tries to discover his roots.

Co-starring in the movie is Gary Oldman, whose character originally organized the trip to Mars. He wasn’t on set the day we visited, but the actor has a very important role in the movie.

The Space Between Us opens in theaters February 3, 2017.

‘Rogue One’s’ best scene doesn’t involve the heroes

It's a nameless character who saves the day.

8:15 am EST, January 17, 2017

Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

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Among the many exceptional scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the most poignant ones doesn’t even involve any of the main heroes.

Rogue One  is full of memorable moments, some breathtaking, some endearing in the way we’ve come to expect from Star Wars, and all full of an epic sense of the lengths people will go to in the name of hope. It also stands out because of its representation, with a female main character and a diverse cast of supporting characters. But it’s the scene almost at the very end that makes its story truly unique.

It takes place after Jyn Erso and her band of rebels have already completed their mission, and the Death Star plans that they have given their lives to procure are being physically carried through the Profundity by a single individual, while the ship is under attack. Close at his heels is Darth Vader, finally revealed in all his lightsaber-wielding, terrifying glory, killing rebel soldiers left and right. The door jams in front of the man holding the plans, with only a slight gap left open – just enough for him to fit an arm through and frantically get the device to one of the fleeing rebels on the other side, knowing fully that this is the last action he’ll ever carry out.

This character has no name, and we know nothing about him beyond this scene. But faced by the most fearsome threat and terrible odds, he abandons fighting and uses his dying moments to get the plans across the doomed ship, and to Princess Leia.

It’s not common to see a scene like this one – scenes that convey the power of the collective action of many people across different areas – done so skillfully, especially in movies that are so character-driven.

In Star Wars, we’ve always focused on Luke and Leia and Han, and more recently on Rey, Finn and Poe. Although we knew that the Rebellion was the fruit of the efforts of many, we never had such a clear look into just how many lives were involved.

Rogue One the Rebellion

This final scene brings it all together, tying together the various storylines we know in an epic finale, and finally connecting them to Episode IV in a perfect mix of excitement and nostalgia. Without this character, driven by desperate hope rather than fear of his imminent death, Rogue One’s mission would not have ended successfully, Leia would have never received the plans… and none of the story we already know would have taken place.

For once, it was a character whose face we didn’t even see properly, dressed just like everyone else, fulfilling his own small role in a much bigger mission, who saved the day.

This ending, maybe even more meaningfully than the stories of the heroes we know and love, shows us the very essence of the Rebellion: a movement of dedication and sacrifice, full of people like the ones that died on Scarif, that put themselves between the plans and Vader, that drove the mission to success in their dying moments – and that stopped the race to save their own lives in favor of securing the mission’s objective.

We, as the audience, can find ourselves in the nameless rebel soldier and his sacrifice – a realistic and emotional portrayal of what makes any movement for change possible: the sacrifices of a vast number of people whose names and faces we may never know, whose stories may never be recorded, but whose lives were spent in search of a better future for the generations that follow.

What scene in ‘Rogue One’ impacted you the most?

Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

The final problem

The greatest flaw of Sherlock is when it gets stuck in its own heightened story telling. “The Final Problem” is the perfect example of retelling the past and not giving the audience any new information. It’s not hard to deduce. The episode does not suffer for this. Because it is not about the game at all.

Eurus’ game is well-crafted, brutal, and unforgiving. She is a master. The episode goes above and beyond to prove that over and over. Eurus wants to understand the complexity of human empathy. The only way she can do that is to cut the people open and see what makes their muscles move.

watson

The maze she crafts tests the resolve of Sherlock, Mycroft, and John. One great example of this is the use of Molly Hooper. It should be noted that Molly Hooper deserves so much better.

Using her love for Sherlock as a weapon, Molly Hooper’s life shatters with three words. Unfortunately, all of this is in service to unravel Sherlock with no resolution on her end.

As he smashes the coffin with his bare hands, John and Mycroft are there to reel him back in. They lend a hand to rebuild the walls that are falling down around him. That is until they literally fall at the doorstep of his childhood home.

The final problem is how do you deliver human connection to someone who does not know how to receive it? That desire to feel that her brothers appreciate her for more than her brain. If Eurus’ favorite person, Sherlock, could just take a moment to play her game, everything can end.

The test, it turns out, is for Sherlock to lean heavily on his capacity for emotional connection throwing logic out of the equation. He makes room for John, Mary, Molly, even Greg in his life. Can he find a way to make room for Eurus in spite of everything he just found out?

“You were always the grown up,” says Mrs. Holmes near the end of the episode. Sherlock takes the family into the next chapter of their life. One where music bridges the gap between them and the entire Holmes family can sit together without words getting in the way.

‘I’m a pirate’

The biggest twist, if you didn’t already work it out for yourself, comes when John discovers the bones of “Redbeard” in the well. They are not dog bones, but the bones of Sherlock’s best childhood friend, Victor.

But the best appearance is by far the inclusion of Mycroft’s Christmas gift — Jim Moriarty.

sherlock season 4 moriarty

Moriarty’s obsession with Holmes begins well before Eurus calls him in for a meeting. But did he succumb to being one of her agents? Probably. But Jim likely steered his own course to Sherlock. But the game… well, the game now reeks of Eurus.

Mycroft Holmes

The Holmes brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, have the most fascinating relationship on Sherlock. “The Final Problem” highlights the complexity of their past and the trajectory of their future.

The most moving scene in the entire episode arrives when Mycroft, John and Sherlock are contemplating the reality of what may be their final moments alive. Hearing that Sherlock appreciated a talent of his, one that is not based on their familial intellect, moves him to a smile. Well before Mycroft sacrifices himself for Sherlock’s partnership with John, he gets the validation that their relationship is full of mutual appreciation.

mycroft sherlock

The minds of the Holmes siblings may be capable of great feats, but no fortress is entirely secure.

Mycroft’s home at the start of the episode is infiltrated by the combination of Holmes and Watson. Later on, his mind’s security system fails. He is a strong, put together person. After years of arranging Sherlock’s safety behind the scenes, it’s time for Sherlock to step up and do the same.

Is there room for more?

Perhaps we will all meet again at Anemoi. In the credits letters it is typical for the editors to highlight certain letters. The final sequence produces just a single word — Anemoi, the meeting place of the four winds.

While the finale ties up loose ends, recreates the scars that affect the duo the most, it does feel more like a beginning than an ending.

Sherlock may or may not return.

Tags: bbc sherlock