Illustration by Clara Juong

Enola Holmes 2: A Sequel for Mystery Lovers

“She likes causing trouble, doesn’t she? It’s as if she was molded that way.” A review of the Netflix film Enola Holmes 2, looking at the plot, its historical references, feminism and more. (Spoilers ahead!)

Nov 27, 2022

Enola Holmes 2, released Nov. 2022 on Netflix, is the long awaited sequel to the 2020 film,starring Millie Bobby Brown as Enola and Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes. The plot takes a different turn from the first movie since it is not a quest for Enola to find her mother; instead, it follows the first case she receives in her own close to failing detective agency. Enola Holmes 2 takes a self discovery narrative, showcasing Enola trying to prove her worth so as to not be overshadowed by her renowned brother's success as she immerses herself in her first case to find her client's lost sister.
As a feminist film, it delves into quite a few instances of women's struggles to secure rights and opportunities in late nineteenth century London, while following Sara's disappearance. We see sexist remarks aimed at Enola, and her brother receiving clients left and right while her agency rapidly loses steam. But there are instances of empowerment too, as Enola's case involved fighting for better and safer working conditions for female factory workers at the Lyon match factory.
The protest she led with Sara Chapman, the lost girl she finds near the film's end, is also a reference to the Matchgirls' strike in 1888. In reality, a woman named Sara Chapman led girls to protest against the replacement of red phosphorus with cheaper white phosphorus in the Bryant and May match factory as it was causing an ailment to workers who handled it. Many of Sara's details, disappearance, and accomplices are missing or exaggerated for the story's suspense and to perhaps reinterpret the story with Enola. Nonetheless, it is a little nod to a movement that strived for better conditions for working women.
Helena Bohnam Carter also reprised her vital role as Enola's mother. She was almost omniscient when she looked at her daughter succeeding from afar or coming to her rescue in prison with the climactic carriage chase in the woods. Her involvement also highlights the women's suffrage movement, which tried to assert its presence by using bombs in city locations. And seeing three strong women, Edith, Eudoria, and Enola, fight against the inspectors with comedic cuts made it feel like an old feel good blockbuster.
The film also explores our protagonist's character development and increase in trust for others, which in my opinion, also gave the other characters a chance to shine on screen. We see her breaking the fourth wall multiple times during the movie, with fun or witty expressions to keep the scenes light hearted while solving a mystery. Her independent nature stays strong, and she respectfully declines her brother's request for the Holmes I Holmes partnership, which is a consistent representation of her character.
Enola learns to depend on others for help, as seen by the development in the relationship with her brother, Sherlock Holmes, as they saw that their cases were connected and that they could come together against their enemies. In the beginning, the film shows Enola drifting apart from Tewkesbury, her love interest, as Enola has other priorities, but she soon understands that having a caring companion like him would not weaken either of them. Even though she ignored him at times as she was so absorbed in her case, watching their chemistry would make anyone believe they would go together quite well.
In my opinion, there were still a few things that did not go too well in the film. Since Sherlock and Enola had connected cases, there was a lot of suspense from both sides, but a lot of explaining to do as well, which made me lose track of the captivating mystery. The major combat scene where Sherlock, Enola, and Tewkesbury were battling against the police made me feel the movie was about to end soon.
Seeing another tragic event follow a successful one and dragging the plot felt unnecessary, but still fun to watch. And, of course, even though Enola ended up not rooming with her brother, we see an extra credits scene (which I love!) where Sherlock opens the door to find a man sent through Enola's arrangement to be his roommate. And who else would it be but Sherlock's soon to be partner in solving crimes, Dr. John Watson?
There are mixed reviews about the new movie, with many people who loved the first one finding the sequel even better, while the opinion of those who disliked Enola Holmes remained the same for the second film. The majority of the audience seems to disagree with the negative reviews as the movie reached Netflix's Top 10 and climbed to the top of the chart with 64.08 million hours viewed. If you'd like to give it a watch on a spare evening, I'm sure you'd have a great time.
Iman Lalani is Deputy Columns Editor. Email them at
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