The Irregulars Premiere: Grade Netflix's Sherlock Holmes-Adjacent Drama


What? You thought Sherlock Holmes solved all those cases himself?

The Irregulars, which dropped its eight-episode first season on Netflix Friday, takes viewers behind the closed doors of 221B Baker Street. Or at least across the street, where the young heroes who assist Holmes (played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Killing Eve) and Dr. John Watson (Royce Pierreson, The Witcher) solve some of London’s most dangerous and baffling cases live in poverty and squalor. Led by the cunning Bea (Thaddea Graham, The Letter for the King), the group includes the smooth-talking Spike (McKell David, Black Mirror), hot-headed Billy (Jojo Macari, Sex Education) and Bea’s younger sister Jessie (Darcy Shaw, The Bay), who suffers from horrific and hellish nightmares.

However, Jessie’s night terrors are quite elementary compared to the dangers London has in store for these unsuspecting teenagers. Read on for a recap of the premiere.

THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING NEWBORNS | We meet the group before they start working for Holmes and Watson. Struggling to get by, Billy tries to earn some money in the fighting pits. Meanwhile, Jessie’s dreams are getting worse, leading her to semi-sleepwalk across town. She is nearly hit by a carriage carrying the rich and privileged Leopold, who is intrigued with the ragtag group of friends.

Bea visits her mother’s grave, where she is met by Dr. Watson, who is looking for someone who can help him with the crimes that take place in the less “reputable” parts of the city. The case at hand is four missing newborns, the latest of which was taken from a locked room while its sister slept right beside the crib. Watson promises to compensate Bea, who accepts the case.

ON THE CASE | Bea, Spike and Billy are able to track down the baby’s sister, Susan, who reveals that she lied to the police. In reality, she was out with her boyfriend the night of the disappearance. By the time she returned, her younger sister was already missing. However, before the group can get more information out of her, they are attacked by an unkindness of ravens straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Bea, Spike and Billy are able to escape, but Susan gets her eyes pecked out and is killed.

Bea pays a visit to 221B Baker Street and notices a man passed out on a lounge chair. However, before she can get a closer look, Watson arrives with new information on the three other missing babies. Meanwhile, Leopold develops a crush on Bea, but remains trapped in his villa due to his hemophilia. Tired of being cooped up, he sneaks out and finds Bea, but does not tell her his true identity, going by Leo instead. Based on the records from Watson, Leo is able to determine that the babies were all born on the same day at the same hospital and that there is one final baby with the same attributes that has yet to be kidnapped.

BIRD MEN | The group arrives at the home of the fifth infant, but Bea sends an angry Jessie home, believing her to be too unstable for the mission. However, that does little good, as Jessie has another nightmare where she is attacked by dark figure in a bird mask. The figure starts strangling Jessie, who feels the pain in the real world. Just as all seems lost, Jessie is transferred to Louisiana and meets Linen Man (The Wire’s Clarke Peters), who reveals that Jessie is not crazy and that she has the ability to see into people’s memories. He tasks her with finding out who is behind the kidnappings, believing a more sinister power is at play.

Meanwhile, back in London, Bea, Billy and Leo encounter the kidnapper (Game of Thrones’ Rory McCann) while trying to save the child and realize he is somehow controlling the birds via supernatural abilities. They track him to the London Zoo, where he unleashes his flocks upon them. Jessie arrives and uses her new abilities to enter the memories of the Bird Master, revealing that his wife and newborn daughter died during labor on the same day in the same hospital as the kidnapped children, and his refusal to accept his child’s death drove him to madness. At one point, he even tried to contact his dead wife with an Ouija, which is what granted him his powers. Realizing his own delusions, the Bird Master sends the birds away and returns the children to their families, unharmed.

Bea ultimately realizes that Watson knew about Jessie’s abilities and confronts him about it. However, she gets no answers, only a warning that more horrors are on the horizon.

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