Enola Holmes, the Feminist


Anna Stiffler (they/them), Staff Writer

If you’re a fan of mystery and comedy, grab your popcorn and make yourself comfortable—Enola Holmes 2 just came out.


Released on Nov. 4, 2022. The movie follows Enola Holmes as she works to solve the mystery of a disappeared girl. Its opening scene begins with Enola Holmes, played by Millie Bobby Brown, running from the police, foreshadowing the adventure to come. This adventure includes falsely accused murder, ballroom dances, and, of course, jiu-jitsu. 


In the second movie, Enola Holmes is accompanied by new and old characters alike, including her brother Sherlock Holmes, mother Eudoria Holmes, Edith and Lord Viscount Tewkesbury, all seen in the first movie. 


Similar to its precursor, the movie combines serious topics with comedy, making them “easier to digest.” Also, just as it did in the first movie, Enola Holmes 2 provides a good representation of strong, smart and independent female characters. However, the representation seems to stop there. The movie is largely white-casted, and apart from Edith, played by Susan Wokoma, there weren’t many protagonists played by people of color. While the villain of the movie is a black woman, she is depicted as incredibly smart and witty outsmarting Sherlock Holmes. 


Edith, Eudoria Holmes’ friend, is always there for the Holmes family, offering knowledge, bravery, and comfort. Eudoria can also be credited with her children’s logic, independence, and fast-paced mystery-solving brains. Her educational presence is easily seen in both movies, driving the plot line and eventually leading to the resolution of the mystery. Considered a “radicalist” for the time, she wants to change the world. This is shown in both big and small actions including the “improper” content she teaches Enola, including jiu-jitsu, botany, science, reading, and much more as she prepares her for her adventures.  


In both the first and second movies, Enola Holmes wants to be known for her own accomplishments. She doesn’t want to live in the shadow of her brother, or another man. While this stays true in the second movie, Enola Holmes also sees that she can still be a strong and independent woman; she realizes it’s okay to ask for help. She also realizes it’s okay to fall in love and be vulnerable, creating many cute scenes between Enola and her love interest, Tewkesbury.


The second movie is also based on true events. “The Match Girls strike, led by Sarah Chapman was the first ever industrial action taken by women for women,” the movie ends with. “It improved their working conditions forever.” Doing so credited the work of some of the first female activists, differentiating the fiction and non-fiction aspects of the plot line. With all of the strong female characters built into the movie, it only makes sense to base it on a powerful, yet often unheard of, woman in history.


The movie got mixed reviews, but overall the majority were very positive. Some would call the movie a major success; with many saying they preferred it to the first. Enola Holmes 2 is a great movie to watch if you want a witty mystery filled with comedy and powerful female characters. While Enola Holmes solved the mystery, fans are left with one last question, is a third to follow?