Monday, March 3, 2014

Why Did Sherlock Kill Charles Augustus Magnussen?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. What can we deduce about Holmes? He is pale, which means he spends most of his time indoors, either reading or doing scientific experiments. His lips are pale; since the mouth is the symbol of the appetites, we can deduce that Sherlock really doesn't have any appetites, either for food, money, sex, or power (drugs, you ask? Please see the photo below of him being tested for drugs); Sherlock's lack of appetites is accentuated by his gaunt appearance and high check bones. He tends to wear that Belstaff Milford coat nearly everywhere when he does go out; he wears it open as opposed to buttoned up, but he also wears a scarf with it (it appears black in this image from Season 3, but it's actually dark blue) and, as John Watson as noted, he keeps the collar up, as it is in this image. The dominant color of the coat is black which is the color of death, but there is good death and bad death. "Good death," in Sherlock's case, is when you are dead to the world so that loftier matters may be pursued and you are not burdened by the needs of the undisciplined flesh; "bad death" is when you pursue the enjoyments of the flesh, rather than the needs of the spirit, so the spirit is dead, but also, as the appetites are continuously catered to, one becomes dull to stimulus and requires new stimulants to stimulate (we know this happens to Sherlock every time he complains about being "bored," because his mind hasn't been stimulated, and we could easily see his perversity of treating his mind with crimes and mysteries the way addicts treat their bodies, so--in this way--Sherlock's pale lips and complexion can be taken as a sign of "bad death," that just like an "unhealthy" addict who goes with proper nutrition and exercise, Sherlock requires so much stimulation, he's unsustainable). The torso, which the coat mostly covers, contains all the vital organs, including the heart; what benefit does Sherlock derive from keeping his vital organs cloaked in black? Sherlock tells Molly at the start of Season 3 that Moriarty thought Molly mattered the least to Sherlock, but she actually mattered the most. Because Sherlock kept a secret how dear Molly is to him, Moriarty didn't bother to corrupt her in anyway. The dark coat, then, illustrates for us how Sherlock carries on his relationships with people, by keeping himself "dead" in them (which is why he didn't realize John Watson considers Sherlock his best friend and wanted him to make the best man speech at John's wedding). While the dominant color of the coat is dark, there are "light flecks" throughout the material, rather like the random kindnesses and acts of concern Sherlock performs without really meaning to, but get shuffled in the larger, "darker" picture of Sherlock's ego-maniacism (like the lighter "flecks" being lost in the darker color of the coat). An important detail, and you can just see it in this image, is the red button hole on Sherlock's left side, that is not part of the Bestaff Milford coat design, but was added by wardrobe for Sherlock. What on earth...? Well, we can again consult Molly and find the answer: Molly told Sherlock the story about her sick dad never looking sad around any of them because he didn't want to make them sad, too, and Molly then compares her dad to Sherlock hiding his sadness when he thinks John Watson isn't looking, but Molly sees it. Red is the color of love, because we are willing to spill "our red blood" for the ones we love, and the button hole at the top being uniquely red signals how Sherlock can "button it all up" and keep it inside without anyone seeing it. The neck symbolizes what leads us in life, like a leash around a dog's neck. As noted, the scarf worn by Sherlock is blue, which is both the color of wisdom and the color of sadness: wisdom is often born of experience and trouble, so the path of wisdom is often sad and lonely, hence, the reason for blue denoting both colors but this leads us to why Sherlock wears the collar of the coat turned up: to protect others from seeing his sadness he has to bear as a result of the decisions he has made, and to protect him from unnecessary sadness leading him astray from the path of wisdom (if you will note, at the start of the this episode, His Last Vow, Sherlock has been in a drug den, wearing a light jacket with no collar and no scarf, so this kind of "negative theology" if you will, demonstrates what happens to Sherlock when he doesn't protect himself, of which the collar and scarf are the tangible signs for the audience). Sherlock always ties his scarf (the European knot, I believe) as opposed to letting the scarf hang down or wrapping the scarf around his neck. Why the knot? Knots denote that something is either "tangled," or that something is "secured": is Sherlock secure because of the tangles he has created for himself or anyone else trying to get close to him, or is Sherlock tangled because he has tried to keep himself secured? Given all these details, we can now talk about the shoulders of the coat. Sherlock has commented that the long coat and John's shortness makes Sherlock appear taller than he is (and he probably likes that because it gives him "moral stature" where such moral stature is required, as when someone is tempted to call him a "hero," but Sherlock realizes he's really just a "high-functioning socio-path") but the shoulder pads of the coat act in a similar way as does the length of the coat: Sherlock's shoulders are not as broad as the coat tailoring makes them appear; the shoulders symbolize the burdens we carry, the distress life causes us and the disappointments we are bound to. The illusion of broad shoulders makes Sherlock appear more emotionally/spiritually adept at carrying his burdens than what he actually is (like his mental break-down upon seeing "the hound" in The Hounds Of Baskerville, the loneliness he felt leaving John's & Mary's wedding early because there was no one there for him to be with, the pain Sherlock feels for talking about Molly's "boyfriend" at the Christmas party only to realize it was he himself that Molly got dressed up for, the care he takes in protecting Irene Adler from death, or the retaliation he takes against the CIA for roughing up Mrs. Hudson all in A Scandal in Bohemia).   
My family is driving me crazy.
They are devastated that Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch) kills Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelssen) in Season 3, Episode 3 (His Last Vow) of Sherlock. They have a right to be upset: it's not an act of justice, but of lawlessness, so how can Sherlock be a defender of society if he doesn't uphold the laws? We could even say that, unlike Moriarty's attempt at debunking Sherlock as a hoax to the world (just before Sherlock "died"), this is even more serious because Sherlock discredits himself by his own hand and someone does actually die.
This is, in other words, a most serious issue.
What about Sherlock's hair? We know hair symbolizes thoughts, because it's so close to the head, where our thoughts take place, how a character's hair is described, reflects the kind of thoughts they have or their thinking processes. For example, Sherlock's hair is curly, but a better way to describe it would be "layered," at least 3 different layers, depending on how you count them; why? Isn't Sherlock's thought processes "layered?" He sees a woman dressed in pink, he sees how clean her jewelry is, he sees her wedding ring is not clean, he deduces she is unhappily married he deduces she is a serial adulteress. That's one way of understanding Sherlock's hair; the other is his behavior and speaking pattern. For example, we don't know what Sherlock will say, but we know the type of comment Sherlock would make. We aren't surprised when he gets engaged just to break into an office because no one else would do that, but he would. What Sherlock's hair is, then, is the opposite of combed down, the opposite of disciplined, the opposite of managed (think, if you will, of how Benedict Cumberbatch usually wears his hair: combed down and straight, the exact opposite of how Sherlock's hair is). Sherlock likes to "scruff" his hair up, like after he breaks through the window and kisses Molly, or after he's been wearing one of the tall, fuzzy hats of the Buckingham Palace guards; why? In the first instance, Sherlock had broken glass in his hair; windows, mirrors and glass symbolize our "reflection" and ability to meditate upon ourselves; Sherlock "breaking through" his reflection, then kissing Molly, suggests that Sherlock realized how much Molly meant to him, which he hadn't acknowledged until Moriarty's play against Sherlock, ("Molly matters to him the most"). Sherlock then, scruffing out the broken glass from his hair, either symbolizes that he has realized what he didn't realize before about Molly, he's broken through his own "wall" that he created to protect himself from others and to protect others from him, and shaking out the broken glass is him shaking off the "Old Sherlock" who has now been reborn through this "faked death" and "resurrection" (please recall, when asked, James Bond told Silva in Skyfall that his hobby was "Resurrection"). On the other hand, Sherlock scruffing out his hair of broken glass could mean that he was repressing feelings for Molly that he has now come to recognize and he's casting those feelings off (like the glass coming out of his hair) and, with a kiss, he won't care about her anymore. I rather go for the first reading, I think it more consistently fits with what we are seeing (Molly's broken engagement, for example). The point is, when Sherlock does that "scruffing" to his hair, it's like re-booting his computer, freeing himself from constraints or patterns (not letting his hair get "mashed down" but keeping it "fluffed"), so it's not a random gesture. What about, then, the Deerstalker hat? It's a part of the traditional Sherlock Holmes canon, but Sherlock (Cumberbatch) doesn't particularly like it. The hat represents Sherlock, however:  the ear flaps come up, so that, as the hunt for the criminal is on, the hat allows Sherlock to hear and listen to everything without being impeded, and hearing where your prey goes is tantamount to catching it. That it is a hunting hat underscores the necessary but dirty work Sherlock has to do, hunting down criminals, to keep society safe. Why doesn't Sherlock like it? Because to him, each crime is a puzzle, not a criminal threatening society and him not being a hero protecting society, which is why, as we shall explore below, Sherlock is always placing himself in the criminal category by describing himself as a "high-functioning socio-path."
There are a few important clues, as well as what we know of Sherlock himself, to assure us that this is not the case. For example, when Mycroft is on his way to Magnussen's compound, Magnussen flicks Watson's face repeatedly; behind them, Holmes watches, but Holmes also thinks, every possible scenario of what is going to happen and can happen (we know that about him). The second important detail is: it's John's gun Sherlock uses to kill Magnussen.  Earlier, at Mr. & Mrs. Holmes' house, John told Mary that her future was his "privilege" to be concerned with, and Magnussen tells John, while flicking John in the face, what their future is going to be. Sherlock, unable to bear seeing John abused, and unable to bear the life they will have to bear because of Magnussen takes John's privilege upon himself and "repays" Mary for not killing him when she had the chance (but of trusting him instead).
Before we discuss Magnussen's glasses, which are a point of contention, let's examine a bizarre statement Magnussen makes to Watson: they have gone outside Magnussen's house, and are waiting for the police; Watson says, "I still don't understand," to which Magnussen replies, "And there's the back of the T-shirt." What? What? Well, the only T-shirt we have heard referenced during this season was when John was getting ready to shave his moustache and Mary teased John about it, to which John replied, "I don't have to shave for Sherlock Holmes," and Mary says, you should have that put on a T-shirt. When Magnussen suggests the back of the T-shirt being a statement of John not understanding, it--sadly--deepens John's misunderstanding, that Magnussen was listening to their conversation when it was taking place (please recall, Magnussen was the one who had John buried under the burning mound on Guy Fawkes Day just shortly after the "T-shirt conversation" took place; now, there are people who think the front side of this disputed "T-shirt" says, "I don't understand," and the back says, "I still don't understand." They have a right to their interpretation, however, I don't think that conveys the sinister depths of Magnussen's character the way a reference back to a previous episode does; this is way creepier, in other words). Sherlock couldn't know to what this comment refers, but we the audience do, and it's a nugget of consolation the film makers want to provide to us as Sherlock decides to do that which Sherlock decides to do. Now, are Magnussen's glasses a computer or not? When we see people "through his eyes," information comes up about them, like on a computer screen, suggesting there is a memory-bank hard-wired within the lens/frames that is activated by face/voice id. Sherlock guesses this is the case and takes Magnussen's glasses and puts them on, not seeing anything unusual about them when he wears them. Of course, the argument could be made, they have special activations, just like what we see with the security features of his office, there is retinal recognition that only allows Magnussen to turn "on" the glasses and read the information,.... we could make that argument, however, I don't think that is the most fruitful argument because--knowing how cleverly Sherlock enters Magnussen's office--if the glasses were merely "locked," Sherlock would have been capable of figuring out how to unlock them (like Irene's SHER-locked phone). That's not what happens. What if, however, the glasses themselves were a source of information for us, the viewers, about this diabolical villain who wants to enslave Sherlock, John, Mary and Lady Smallville, along with all of the world? What if the glasses show us how Magnussen sees the world through his eyes, that people are nothing but bundles of "information" and he can manipulate them to his own will (as he tells John, "You are just an asset I have acquired," as opposed to a man who has served his country and is married and has a baby girl on the way). In still other words, what if, like the famed Appledorf vaults, Magnussen's "computer glasses" don't exist? This certainly strengthens the case of why Sherlock Holmes despises Magnessen so intently: heretofore, Magnussen is the villain most like Sherlock himself. Sure, Moriarty is a part of Sherlock, and in some way, so is every villain Sherlock overcomes, however, Magnussen's employment of information is particularly existential to Sherlock because of how he himself has used information in the past (even on Mary, recognizing her to be a liar when they first met; or on Molly at the Christmas party). Sherlock has to overcome his own tendency to limit people to being the information he can deduce from them, or he will become Charles Augustus Magnussen himself.
There is a regrettable rumor going around the internet that Sherlock kills Augustus Magnussen because Magnussen intellectually out-maneuvered Sherlock so that Sherlock couldn't possibly win, and that Sherlock's act of killing Magnussen was an act of revenge. WE KNOW THOUGH, as Sherlock tells the wedding guests during his best man's speech, that Sherlock knows not every case can be solved, and we know that Sherlock doesn't care about his reputation because of what happens to him at the hands of Moriarty when Moriarty ruins Sherlock's career, so this petty "intellectual out-maneuvering" isn't the motivation, and we know by the look that Sherlock gives to John right after John asks, "What are we going to do?" Sherlock knows there is only one way to free his friend, and Sherlock knows the price of freeing John, and he pays that price. We know from the title of the show, His Last Vow, that we should be thinking about Sherlock's last vow he made at Mary's and John's wedding to "protect all three of you" (including their baby). Armed with these two clues, we now know what really happened when Sherlock pulled the trigger on Magnussen.
Sherlock sacrificed himself.
Before Sherlock boards the plane for his 4-minute exile, Sherlock quotes Mycroft about the "east wind coming" to England, which was taken from Arthur Conan Doyle's work His Last Bow (a variation on the title of the episode, His Last Vow) from 1917 (quoted above). In His Last Vow, Sherlock says that Mycroft taught him that the East Wind seeks out all the unworthy and plucks them from the earth and then Sherlock informs John that the "unworthy" was Sherlock himself. So, this is yet another clue that Sherlock is not, as Mycroft describes Sherlock to Lady Smallville in the previous scene, a "murderer," because if Sherlock were, the East Wind would carry him East and let Sherlock Holmes die there; instead, the wind upon which the plane flies brings Sherlock back to London; why? Because Sherlock is the instrument of the East Wind. Sherlock yields to the conversions and changes that have to take place in him--that have to take place in us all--to become a "good man" that other characters hope Sherlock will become (and we should hope we ourselves become, too), and because Sherlock has been through the crucible and withstood the tests of pain and suffering, he is worthy to be the figure of justice against those who are unworthy; this is validated when, hearing that Moriarty is still alive, and John sees the plane landing, John tells Mary, Moriarty had better bundle up "because there's an east wind coming" indicating Sherlock. So, when John says to Sherlock, as they stand at the plane, "The game is over," and Sherlock immediately replies, "The game is never over, John. There might be different players," when we cut to see Lestrade, what is he doing? Watching a game, and Moriarty comes on; so, it's the same game, with the same players, but both of them have been strengthened now in their respective roles, because that's what death does to us.
It's not that Sherlock Holmes kills Augustus Magnussen--okay, Holmes would say, that's the effect, but that's just an unhappy effect of what I actually had to do in that moment, and Magnussen knew I had to do it, Holmes would say--it's that Magnussen's death is a result of Sherlock sacrificing himself for John, Mary and the baby (hence why Sherlock tells John at the plane ready for his exile that "Sherlock is a girl's name" because he wants them to remember that he gave up everything for them, and the reason why John can't think of anything to say: how do you say "Thank you" to the greatest person you ever knew when they have sacrificed their self for you?).
It's lonely at the top,... Just before Sherlock pulls the trigger to kill Magnussen, Magnussen chides Sherlock that "you won't be the hero this time, Mr. Holmes," to which Sherlock replies, "Do your research. I'm not a hero, I'm a high-functioning socio-path. Merry Christmas!" and then pulls the trigger on John's gun. Socio-paths are anti-social and usually have a complete disregard for the feelings of others (like Sherlock not understanding initially how angry and upset John was about Sherlock's fake death). Socio-paths have a tendency to be reckless, like shooting Magnussen, and they tend to not follow society's rules; examples can serve all the way from not wearing his trousers in Buckingham Palace, to getting engaged just so he can break into an office. "Socio-path," then, is well-recorded and can be understood, however, "high-functioning" is a rather murky; well, what does "high-functioning" socio-path mean? We could explore various takes, however, my best deduction is that Sherlock takes his symptoms of social-pathology and uses them towards a "higher function" than self-destruction or destruction of society (in one way or another). In other words, he tries to hold the "highest" ideals as the reins upon his anti-socialness so he serves some higher purpose. This, in an of itself, doesn't make Sherlock a bad person, it's arguable that we all have some dented psychology, some of us more apparent than others; what is frightening, however, is when Sherlock is shot by Mary and Sherlock struggles to stay alive; as he trips through his mind palace, he sees Moriarty, chained up, and realizes that a part of himself is just like Moriarty, and Sherlock has a choice: either he can die now, knowing he is died enslaved to the same criminal characteristics possessing Moriarty, or he can live and overcome them. The irony is, when Sherlock becomes "a criminal" by killing Magnussen, he has actually freed himself of being like the criminal Moriarity because Moriarty could never sacrifice himself for anyone, although he would sacrifice everyone for himself.
And, don't forget, it IS Christmas Day when Sherlock does this, a detail, but an important one, as these are the last words Magnussen hears when Sherlock says, "Merry Christmas!" to him while pulling the trigger of John's gun. After Sherlock has fired, John Watson says, "Oh, Christ, Sherlock!" and, then again, "Oh, Christ, Sherlock!" Why? We could take it as the taking of the Lord's Name in vain, but--it is Christmas--so we could say Sherlock puts "Christ" in Christmas by making this sacrifice of himself for John, Mary and the baby, and John immediately recognizes what Sherlock has done and, in exclaiming, "Christ! Christ!" acknowledges how great an act of love Sherlock has made for them.
Sherlock trapped with Moriarty. Sherlock's eyes are red here, just as they are when he's on the plane, 4 minutes into exile. Why does Moriarty appear at the end of this episode? Because it's safe for Sherlock now. Let's examine this situation from another angle entirely, that of Irene Adler. Sherlock truly did trip up in deciphering the "code" as the plane information that Mycroft had been working on when Sherlock gave Irene that decrypted "code." Sherlock didn't see her again, because--even though Sherlock won--Sherlock just barely won, and didn't risk seeing Irene again (until he saves her, but at that point, she might have reformed sufficiently to not be as dire of a threat to him, or so he thinks; men are rather vain creatures). The same formula is true of Sherlock and Moriarty. Had Moriarty "returned" (and we don't know that he has, absolutely) before Sherlock faced Magnussen, Sherlock could have,... "forgiven" Moriarty and seeing his own self in the criminal, failed in his pursuit of justice. Now, however, that Moriarty has been purged from Sherlock's soul (at least on this level) Sherlock is stronger now and wouldn't succumb to that psychological weakness as he might have prior to the events of this last episode. 
There is another issue: Janine.
While Magnussen flicks John's face, he says, Janine makes the funniest noises when he flicks her face, to put her on the level of an animal; hearing this, we feel sorry for her and how Magnussen must have treated her, but now, because of Holmes (and Janine feeding him to the media), she has a lovely cottage and doesn't have to work for Magnussen anymore, so we could say that Janine is saved as well (we could say this), but this only brings us to a greater mystery,...
Mycroft.
(Notice, if you will, that Mycroft wears just his suit, while Sherlock wears his full coat; Sherlock doesn't wear it because of the cold, [why isn't Mycroft wearing a coat then?] so there is a deeper reason for Sherlock to be wearing it, something that reveals something about his character, and his collar is definitely up in this scene). Why does Mycroft "hate Christmas?" We could say it's because it's a holiday of love, celebrating Christ's Love for us in taking on human flesh and sacrificing Himself for us; Mycroft isn't about that,... or is he? Recall, if you will, the opening of Season 3, when Mycroft is undercover and saves Sherlock from the prison he's in, that is about the extant of Mycroft's ability to sacrifice, but doing field work is a sacrifice for Mycroft, and he did it solely for his little brother. Telling Sherlock that losing him would break his heart is also, in Mycroft's way, sacrifice, and an act of love, because if Mycroft really believes he is the smarter of the two Holmes boys, then admitting his love for his less-than-smart brother could be interpreted by Mycroft as a sign of Mycroft's own weakness, which Mycroft would never reveal to anyone, except, perhaps, under the influence of some kind of drug, which we know is in the punch Mycroft mentions.
The first question is, did Mycroft know Sherlock's plan of trading his laptop to Magnussen? I think Mycroft did: if, as Mycroft tells his mother, that laptop holds the freedom of the western world upon it, why would he bring it to his parents' house for Christmas dinner? Mycroft might not have known the exact details of how Sherlock would do it, but you have to admit, he had the helicopter and location of the laptop fairly quickly after his "encounter" with the Christmas punch that could have kept him quietly knocked-out all of Christmas Day (and we know how quietly and quickly Sherlock and Mycroft put together their plans regarding Moriarty and Sherlock's "Lazarus" plan). When the police arrive, there is a particular word Mycroft uses which reveals that perhaps there was more to the plan than what we initially realize: "that."
Drug testing. The splotchy skin, the hair growth, the redness, all reveal the toxic substance Sherlock has taken in, and we know, regrettably, that this isn't the first time. Sherlock attempts to disprove everyone's concern at the start of this episode by demonstrating his keen powers of observation are still keen, including that Molly is no longer engaged because her ring is off (but he's not wearing the heavy coat, the Milford, he normally wears, he just wears--what we call in the States--a "windbreaker," lighter jacket with no collar to turn up to protect himself and no scarf). Supposedly, Sherlock is on a case, trying to bait Magnussen with Sherlock's drug addiction, but the level of genuine concern suggests that Sherlock is falling (back?) into an addiction and creating the excuse, rather than what Sherlock tells his friends. This is where, we can say, the real bite of being a socio-path plays out, because this is self-destruction. If Sherlock has "a nice murder" to work on (as Mrs. Hudson calls it) then he doesn't need another drug to take its place, like, say heroine. If, however, Sherlock doesn't have a stimulating case, Sherlock starts abusing himself with drugs, because our psychological disturbances are all of them--whatever form or shape--turning back on us to destroy us. This is the reason why Sherlock has to overcome Magnussen and Moriarty: not because they are necessary stimulants, but because they are Sherlock's own pathology within himself and, like all of us boring mortals, even Sherlock has to face and fight his demons before they destroy him; it's just that Sherlock's demons take the human forms of mastermind criminals. The drugs, then, are the "real" demons" while Magnussen and Moriarty are the manifestation of what those drugs do to Sherlock. I hopes that makes perfect sense,....? 
When Mycroft calls from the helicopter, he says, "Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, step away from that man," referring to Magnussen, who thinks the police are there to arrest Holmes and Watson, not him. But this is where names are so important: had Mycroft been worried about the safety of Magnussen, wouldn't he have warned Sherlock and Watson, "Step away from Magnussen, both of you," because employing pronouns instead of proper names demotes the importance of the subject. Mycroft then repeats the statement after Sherlock asks Magnussen to clarify that Appledore's vaults only exist in his mind, and Mycroft again uses John's and Sherlock's names, warning them to "Step away," for their safety? Magnussen waives to Mycroft that "They're harmless," but then we see police reporting, "Target not armed," and then, Mycroft warns John and Sherlock, by name, to stand away from "that man" a third time, suggesting that Mycroft is there to arrest/kill Magnussen, not, as Magnussen thinks, that Mycroft is there to arrest Sherlock and John.
I truly don't want to read more than what is in the films--what's the point of that?--but I do want to make a point. When Sherlock fakes suicide, the name of the plan is "Lazarus"; when John stands weeping at Sherlock's grave, John asks for "One more miracle," which is repeated after Mary has shot Sherlock; when Sherlock kills Magnussen, it's Christmas Day. These are "religious references" built into the show, but I would like to suggest that Magnussen's death follows another religious reference: Moses. No, not Sherlock leading England across the Straits of Dover or anything like that, rather, Exodus 2:11-14 when Moses kills the Egyptian. Metaphorically speaking, Moses couldn't lead Israel out of Egypt until Moses had purged himself of Egypt and it often happens in art that the villain the hero kills is very much like himself/herself. Moses killed the Egyptian because the Egyptian was doing to the Israelite what Moses himself might have done later in Moses' destiny to lead Egypt out of bondage (beating the Israelite), so Moses purges himself of the influence of Egypt by killing this Egyptian and burying him in the sand (because nothing can grow in sand so the Egyptian can't "come back" in Moses' heart; in The Ten Commandments, this is more cleverly illustrated by Anne Baxter's character of Nefertiti). In locking Moriarty up inside in his mind palace, Sherlock has done much the same thing that Moses did hiding the Egyptian's body in the sand. Just as Moses eventually faces his total Egyptian self in the guise of Pharaoh when Moses is the instrument of the Plagues God curses the land with, so Sherlock will have to face Moriarty again face-to-face to truly overcome him in totality.
Why would Mycroft do that?
Perhaps Mycroft has become jealous of baby brother and wants the glory for himself,.... perhaps Magnussen is just too big an adversary and Mycroft fears for Sherlock (I think this is likely given that, after Sherlock shoots Magnussen, Mycroft sees Sherlock as a little boy again, and is frightened for him). What we know for certain, is that Mycroft tells Sherlock, that losing Sherlock would break his heart, and so Sherlock should not go to Eastern Europe (like Irene Adler without her blackmailing camera phone, Sherlock will only last about six months before he's killed). So, it's my theory--but I am usually wrong about things like this--is that it's Mycroft who "engineers" the return of Moriarty because Mycroft can't bear to let Sherlock die in exile, and Mycroft knows that Moriarty is the one foe big enough that only Sherlock can take him on, and Sherlock will have to be recalled (so he'll be saved).
Serving justice is a good thing: the very foundation of society depends upon justice being enforced and members of society having faith in that justice. Had Sherlock merely given over Magnussen to the police, he would have been no greater than Lady Smallville (note the word "small" in her name, although she's a rather brave figure in the episode, she's small compared to Sherlock's stature), but in putting Sherlock up against Magnussen, it provides Sherlock with the chance to become more than just a figure of justice: as was mentioned in the series, "Sherlock Holmes is a great man. If we are lucky, someday he will be a good man," and this moment is one of those days when Sherlock is "good," with the immediate possibility (Moriarty's return signals) of becoming even better.  
Eat Your Art Out,
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