Something evil has come to London in Netflix and Tom Bidwell‘s crime drama The Irregulars. Based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, the series follows a band of misfits as they investigate supernatural crimes. In the previous episode, Bea (Thaddea Graham) and the gang investigate a murder in the country and uncover Doctor Watson’s (Royce Pierreson) and Sherlock Holmes’ (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) connection to the occult. In episode four, “Chapter Four: The Needle and the Knife”, Jessie (Darci Shaw) comes face to face with Inspector Lestrade (Aidan McArdle) while Bea and Watson play a game of cat and mouse.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for The Irregulars. If you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest checking out the series here!
“Chapter Four: The Needle and the Knife” opens with a gruesome murder. As the workers are heading home after work, two guys who look to be chums fall behind the pack. Once the coast is clear, one of them stabs the other before dragging them away and choking them. But that isn’t the worst part. The man then carves the face off of the other. Just as he finishes, a policeman comes on the scene sending the man scurrying away. When the policeman realizes what happened, he investigates where the man hid but instead finds a lady cowering in the corner.
The next morning Bea, Jessie and Leopold (Harrison Osterfield) are visiting Alice’s grave. Bea is complaining that every time she comes, there is trash all over the place and Jessie is questioning if the woman in the picture is, in fact, their mother. Leopold has a theory that Sherlock and Watson were using Alice, who, like Jessie, was gifted. He read within the grimoire that she didn’t want to participate in the experiments, but Sherlock knew they had to happen. Jessie believes that Sherlock and Watson are responsible for their mother’s death and wants answers. Bea reminds her that they are meeting with Watson later about a job, but the real person they need to talk to is Sherlock.
Back at the Duck and Quiver, Leopold tells Bea that she isn’t alone in all of this. That he is here to help. He also tells her she has a quality about her that he likes though he isn’t sure exactly what it is. She jokes that it must be her smell, but he swears that isn’t it. He does, however, make the joke that it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a certain smell about her and the two share a moment and their first kiss. However, things end badly when Leopold tells her he needs to leave to attend an event. He swears he isn’t dabbling and that he will be back tonight.
Down in the cellar, Jessie has fallen asleep and into a nightmare. She quickly grabs her wrist and transports herself into the Linen Man’s (Clarke Peters) safe space. She tells him about the people from the Golden Dawn calling her an Ipsissimus and for the first time, he lets her know that he is exactly like her. He shares that this is a lonely path and even those friends and family who are closest to you can see you as a freak. Jessie understands this all too well. He asks her to dive deeper into the minds of those affected by the Rip, but Jessie is terrified after the events with the Tooth Fairy.
Later that day, Bea and Jessie head to 221B Baker Street to meet with Watson. Bea tells Jessie not to mention anything about what they know. Watson updates them on the murder we saw from the beginning of the episode. Plenty of witnesses have claimed it was a man named David Oliver, but that man died ten days before this one and had his face flayed off as well. Watson also shares that the case hasn’t been fully turned over to him but that Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard has requested their help in case he needs Jessie’s special skills.
Bea decides that now is a good time to ask to meet Sherlock Holmes. Watson tells them he is too busy working in his room to meet with them and they shouldn’t worry. Bea rushes off upstairs to try and find him while Watson chases after her. She finally gains entry into Sherlock’s room only to find it empty. Bea claims that Watson lied because he doesn’t know where Sherlock is and that she will find him and get all of the answers Watson won’t give them. Watson threatens her and her friend’s lives if she goes anywhere near Sherlock.
“Chapter Four: Both the Needle and the Knife” jumps back to Jessie, Billy (Jojo Macari) and Spike (McKell David) who visit the crime scene and meet Inspector Lestrade. Jessie tries to speak with him regarding the case and it becomes apparent that he only wants her around because someone told her she had a power that might be useful. However, he doesn’t like her or people like her that are touched by dark magic and when this is all done, he will deal with her and storms away. Jessie overhears the owner of the pub nearby, telling the police to leave. As she heads in that direction, she bumps hands with a man and gets sent into his mind.
However, this isn’t a man’s memories but a young girl’s (Eleanor Worthington-Cox). In them, she is sitting alone in the pub when three men (two of which look exactly like the guys from earlier in the episode and one was the guy Jessie just touched) sit down with her. After a few drinks, they take her upstairs to a private room. It then flashes to her sitting with another girl and tells her that she thinks she is pregnant. Before Jessie can see anything else, the girl forces her out of her memories. Jessie realizes that the killer they are looking for is that man she just touched, who is really a woman.
Jessie heads inside with Billy, Spike and Lestrade and explains that she thinks the woman is killing these guys, taking their faces and becoming them. They speak with the pub’s owner (Simon Ludders), who swears that this is a fine establishment and doesn’t allow things like that to happen. However, Jessie knows that the men paid him off. He accuses the girl of being a whore, but Jessie thinks otherwise. In the memory, she saw needle marks in her hand and thinks she might be a seamstress. The owner says that a girl like that does come into the pub, but she works at the local taxidermy shop.
Bea heads off searching for information on Sherlock and starts with a visit to their landlord Mrs. Hudson (Denise Black). She pays off the rent the gang has owed on the cellar and asks Mrs. Hudson if she knows anything about Sherlock. Her response? He is a drug addict and a bum. Bea asks if she recognizes Alice from the picture and she does. She remembers the complaints from the other tenants about the screaming, crying and carrying on. Mrs. Hudson was always worried about what Watson and Sherlock were doing to her. She tells Bea that she can find Sherlock but warns her to stay away from it.
At the palace, Leopold arrives late and misses breakfast with his mother. Daimler (Edward Hogg) knows that he has been sneaking away from the palace and that his mother suspects the same. However, Daimler has been able to convince her otherwise for now. Leopold overhears chatter coming from the ballroom and Daimler tells him that the group is the children of the Lord and Lady of Yorke. Even though Leopold is too young to attend the party, Daimler pulled some strings and got him permission to go.
Back at the crime scene, Jessie, Lestrade and the gang visit the taxidermy shop looking for the girl. The shop owner (Henry Miller) tells them that Clara lives downstairs, but he doesn’t really associate with her. In fact that they even go down in there anymore. They find different taxidermy projects in the cellar, which Jessie realizes are all set up like little families. She then finds a cabinet that has the faces of the three men from the pub.
Leopold attends his sister Louise’s (Nell Hudson) birthday party and, while trying to make a run for it, is stopped by Eleanor Margot (Imogen Waterhouse), the daughter of Lord and Lady Yorke. She shares that everyone was told he was too frail and sickly to attend festivities, but she is happy to be proven wrong. She decides that she is going to show him how to have a good time and leads him off further into the party.
Bea arrives at Sherlock’s preferred opium den and starts asking around for him. She then spots Watson arguing with one of the workers and she screams out that he is the police. This sends the place into a panic and Watson runs and hides. Bea thinks she is safe until another user points out that she is asking a lot of questions too. This sends her running to hide in the same closet as Watson. Watson accuses Bea of thinking she is better than him, but he knows that he is smarter, has more money and that any quality she thinks she has, he has more and is better.
At the taxidermist, Lestrade continues to investigate Clara, who was taken in when she was younger and had no family. They tried to train her in the trade, but she obviously wasn’t well. Jessie hears something downstairs and heads down to find Clara rummaging through her cabinet. Clara threatens to hurt Jessie if she gets in the way. Jessie doesn’t think Clara will do it and that she understands why she wanted to murder them. When Spike overhears Jessie talking downstairs, he goes to investigate and Clara runs away. Lestrade accuses Jessie of helping the girl getaway because they are both monsters.
Back at the palace, Leopold is talking it up with Eleanor and her friends. He realizes what time it is and moves to make his escape. Outside on the balcony, Eleanor finds him and tells him he looks like he is on edge. She has something that will help him relax and offers him drugs. She promises to look after him and takes him back to the party. On the other side of town, Bea finally leaves the closet she was hiding in and runs into a man who claims to know where Sherlock is. He helps her get out of the den unnoticed and sends her off to Nook’s Keep.
“Chapter Four: Both the Needle and the Knife” jumps back to Jessie and Spike talking about how this power has changed her. Spike tries to make light of it, but Jessie tells him she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. Lestrade shows up and tells her that he left a note at 221B explaining how she let a monster escape onto London’s streets. Jessie rips into him telling him how he only sees and black and white and this is his fault for not understanding Clara enough to realize what might be happening.
Then it dawns on her, Clara has always been looking for the family she never had. She was so excited that she might be pregnant, but then Jessie remembers from the vision that Clara wasn’t pregnant. Those men gave her syphilis. Jessie knows who Clara is trying to steal one of their families. But Lestrade says that none of them have families, but Jessie remembers that the pub’s owner did and that Clara must blame him as well. Lestrade tells them to stay put and that he will deal with this on her own.
At the pub, Clara uses John’s face to lure the pub owner into a false sense of security. The two sit down for a drink and discuss the Clara situation. That she must be going after them since they gave her syphilis. Clara finally reveals who she truly is and that she blames him too. He lets men take women upstairs every night even though he claims to be a good guy. He is just as responsible for her situation as the rest of them. She tells him that now she will take over his life and become an even better person than he ever could.
Bea finally arrives at the Nook’s Keep to find a letter from Watson. It turns out that drug addicts can be paid very little to lie. He reminds her that in the end, he is far greater than she ever will be. He informs her that their agreement is not terminated and that she is no longer allowed into 221B or anywhere near Sherlock Holmes.
Back at the pub, we learn that Carla successfully killed the pub owner and took his face. She heads upstairs and says goodbye to her true self for the final time before placing his face onto her own. She enters into the family home and it becomes pretty clear by her interactions that he wasn’t the best of husbands.
“Chapter Four: Both the Needle and the Knife” jumps to Leopold who is on quite the journey after taking the drugs Eleanor offers him. Eleanor makes a move and shares a kiss with Leopold while Bea is back at the Duck and Quiver waiting as the clock stricks ten. Leopold seems to have snapped out of his drug-induced haze as he hears another girl vomiting behind them. He mentions helping the girl and Eleanor says not to bother. She looks after herself, so obviously, this other girl can. Leopold realizes that Eleanor clearly doesn’t have what Bea does and isn’t interested in her. He quickly leaves and Eleanor returns to the party where Daimler realizes Leopold isn’t with her.
We get a quick glimpse of someone breaking into the pub after Clara, in the pub owner’s skin, settles in for the night before the scene flashes back to the palace. Leopold has headed back out onto the balcony, ready to make his escape when Daimler arrives. He is angry that Leopold is running away again, that he is the only reason Leopold has led a semi-normal life up until now. He also reminds him that he would be dead if he weren’t born into the royal family. It’s his privilege that has kept him alive. Leopold doesn’t want the life he has been given and jumps down from the balcony and is able to get away before the guards arrive.
Back at the pub, Jessie, Spike and Billy arrive to find Lestrade an utter mess. He found the pub owner’s body and says that Clara killed him and ran out the back into the park. The group chase after Clara and Jessie tells Spike and Billy to run ahead while she tries to slow Lestrade down. Jessie realizes that something seems off about Lestrade, yes he seems scared, but something else is wrong. She asks why he didn’t chase Clara into the woods and he responds that he went to check on the wife, who was clearly upset. Jessie pretends to trip and grabs Lestrade’s gun. She realizes that Clara has become Lestrade at this point.
When Clara asks how Jessie was able to figure her out, Jessie shares that Lestrade was too nice to her. She tells Clara to transform back into herself. Jessie watches as Clara pulls Lestrade’s face off and transforms back. Jessie asks if she ever planned on going back to her normal self and Clara shares that she hates herself. What is one supposed to do when the real you doesn’t fit and is a freak? Jessie tells her she isn’t sure, but maybe you just need to keep going until you find a way to be friends with yourself. Clara tells her that she never meant to kill Lestrade, that he was going to hurt her and she needed to protect herself.
Jessie understands and asks Clara if she plans to kill again, but Clara doesn’t have anyone else to kill. Jessie tells her that she will let her get away, but she needs to know how she got her powers. She enters into her mind and watches as Clara prays for the power to get revenge on those who hurt her. In her hand, a ball of blue light forms the same we have seen throughout the last few episodes. But this time, Jessie also sees the same plague doctors that she has been seeing in her nightmares. She leaves the memory and tells Clara to overpower her and run away before Spike and Billy can find them.
The group returns to the cellar and Billy is worried that they let Clara getaway. With Lestrade dead and them having been at the crime scene, they will need to get their stories straight. Jessie stands by her story that Clara overpowered her, took the gun and ran away. Just as Billy is pouring himself a pint, Spike realizes that Leopold is lying on the floor. It is pretty clear he is hurt. He seems a bit out of it and just goes on about Bea’s quality being compassion.
Bea runs into Mrs. Hudson again, who tells her that she is better off not finding him. He is a druggie and all druggies are liars, cheaters and scum. Bea doesn’t believe that, though. They are people just like them who are just trying to block out the pain. Bea asks her how long it was after Alice disappeared that Sherlock went off the rails. Mrs. Hudson claims not to remember exactly, but it must have been around the same time. Bea realizes that Alice is wearing a ring in the picture and that she and Sherlock must have been together.
Back in the cellar, Jessie has fallen asleep again and meets with the Linen Man. She tells him that she entered into another person’s mind and saw the thing from her nightmares. She thinks that they are connected and maybe her nightmare is the key to where the Rip is. The Linen Man shares that he is actually on a boat sailing across the Atlantic to London. Jessie is overjoyed to learn that he is on his way to help her deal with her gift.
Bea, who had run off from Mrs. Hudson, arrives at her mother’s cemetery. She finds a man facedown in the mud just in front of Alice’s headstone. After spending the entire day searching for him, Bea has finally found Sherlock Holmes. And this is where “Chapter Four: Both the Needle and the Knife” ends.
Pardon my language, but this was one hell of an episode. Up until this point, Bea has been the main focus of the series. But with her search for Sherlock being the background of this episode, we finally got the chance to see Jessie and how she is doing. We have heard from numerous people at this point that the path she is going down can be lonely and that others don’t understand her. This is also the first time that someone outside of the world of the paranormal knows about her powers. And Lestrade, from the very beginning, makes it clear that he hates her. It makes me worried about how she would be treated if more people knew.
Thankfully, Jessie seems to be surrounded by people who care for her. Spike is constantly looking out for her and staying by her side and we have seen how Bea and the others are with her. But I am worried that she is seeing them as too overprotective because of how she is. As if they are only treating her this way because she is special and useful to solving cases. It is also interesting that the Linen Man is on his way to London to help her. I am hopeful that he is doing things for the right reason, but so far, this show has shown us that everyone pretty much wants to use her. Let’s hope for the best with this one!
This is also the first time that we finally get to see Sherlock Holmes, aside from his feet and vomit, of course. We have learned quite a bit about him from the side characters, but now it looks like we are going to get the chance to figure out what is actually going on in his head. I’ve got so many questions I need to be answered, like what was going on with him and Alice, why didn’t Watson want Bea to find him and what does he know about the Rip and everything that has been going on. Hopefully, he can pull himself out of this rut and either help them or at least provide them with some useful information.