E.B. Black is a published author who writes fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels.
I’m now ashamed to admit it, but it took me a long time to watch the first Enola Holmes movie. I was intrigued by it and it was on my watch list, but I didn’t get around to viewing it until after I saw the second movie had been released and that it was one of the most popular movies being viewed on Netflix.
I was glued to the story as I watched it unfold. Enola is an amazing and admirable character. You can’t help but feel compelled by everything she does. I was on the edge of my seat, rooting for her, every second of the film.
It‘s well written and the plot line is interesting.
Enola only has one main ”fault“ through out the movie, but this “fault” is hard to blame her for. She absolutely adores her mother. This would be fine, but her Mom is a truly despicable human being and it’s hard not to feel sorry for Enola who bases every decision she makes on such a terrible person and mother.
So I decided to make a list of all the reasons why Enola Holmes’ Mom is a terrible mother since the movie seems to gloss over it and treat her as if she is exemplary instead.
Warning! There Are Spoilers In This Article
Do not read this list if you haven’t seen the first Enola Holmes movie, unless you are okay with parts of the movie being spoiled for you.
1. She Abandons Her Daughter On Her Sixteenth Birthday
She gives no warning to Enola that she’s about to do this. She doesn’t prepare her in any way or wait until Enola has already established a life of her own.
She just abandons her daughter before she is an adult and leaves her some money and hopes for the best.
Enola continues to love her and make excuses for her through all of this, but I felt disturbed by it. It‘s literal child neglect.
And she did all of this to Enola on her birthday of all days. Its the kind of thing that can traumatize a child enough for them to hate their birthdays forever.
2. She Steals Money From One Of Her Sons
I know Mycroft, Enola’s brother, is supposed to be seen as sort of a villain because he wants to send Enola to a finishing school with an abusive headmistress, but he’s been providing for their family for years and the Mom has been tricking him out of money, so she could save it all and vanish.
3. Her Mom Forces Her To Live In Horrible Conditions
That money Mycroft was sending Enola’s Mom was supposed to be used for Enola’s benefit. She was a supposed to have a governess and tutors. She was supposed to repair the house with it.
Instead, Enola’s Mom decides to teach her daughter herself and let the house fall apart. It became overgrown with leaves and plants. They were playing tennis in the house and not caring if they destroyed furniture or decorations.
She didn’t even use the money to buy school supplies for Enola. There were a few things here and there, like science equipment that her Mom was already buying to fund her future “projects” with anyway, but mostly she taught her daughter by tearing the house apart and forcing her to read the entire library of books they already had.
4. Her Mom Makes All Her Children Hate Each Other
It’s very clear, if you think about it, that Enola Holmes’ Mom is a narcissist. She has three children and she makes all of them hate each other by treating them differently.
Enola is obviously the golden child. Their Mom spends all her time with Enola and makes herself Enola’s whole world. The two of them become obsessed with each other and neither can do any wrong in each other’s eyes.
Sherlock is the lost child. He doesn’t come home to his Mom for visits because his Mom ignores him. She’s so obsessed with Enola that she barely notices that Sherlock is there ever. Sherlock has no reason to come home to a family that makes him feel like the third wheel.
And Mycroft is her scapegoat. She says he is inferior and not as special as either Sherlock or Enola. Things, like stealing from him and using him, are justified in the mother’s eyes and considered perfectly okay.
Because of the way, Enola’s Mom has treated the three kids differently, none of them get along. After she abandons the three of them, they are so dysfunctional, that they still can’t rely on each other or become close to one another in her absence.
5. Her Mom Is A Terrorist
This isn't a figure of speech. Her Mom is literally a terrorist.
She shares her love of blowing things up by teaching her daughter how to blow things up as well.
She abandons her daughter in this movie because she loves to blow things up so much that she wants to do it full time, in order to supposedly enact change in the government and give women their rights.
6. She Brings Dangerous People Around Her Daughter
Even though she supposedly abandons her daughter, in order to protect her from terrorists and terrorism, this is actually a lie. She had already been making her terrorist plans long before she abandoned her daughter and bringing dangerous people to have meetings with her about it inside her house.
7. She Refuses To Stop Being A Terrorist
Even though her mother’s terrorism plots fail to enact change and the real change comes from Enola helping someone instead, the mom refuses to stop being a terrorist. She even admits to Enola that her way of doing things got better results, but she doesn’t care. She’s decided she’s going to be a terrorist now and she wants to stick with this plan.
8. She Teaches Enola To Be Cruel
Enola talks about how, in her childhood, she got hurt helping an animal. It’s the one time in the story when her Mom actually gets mad at her because she says that she should learn not to rescue helpless things because it can hurt her to do so.
Because of it, Enola sees her big heart and desire to rescue others as a fault that makes her weak, instead of a kindness and a strength.
9. She Names Her Daughter “Alone”
I knew some people who named their cats “broke” and “no hope,” when they were in a dark and depressed stage of their life. One of them got run over by a car and the other ran away.
While a lot of it is me being superstitious, it seems like names sometimes lead to people’s destinies, so naming them something cruel can lead to them having strange ideas about themselves.
Enola’s name is the word “alone” backwards. It’s something she laments when her mother abandons her because now she is destined to be alone because her mother was the only person she truly cared about.
It‘s really sad for someone to name their daughter “alone” and to push that same daughter to be by herself her entire life. This is exactly what her daughter does.
10. She Makes Her Daughter Afraid To Be Close To Other People
While it’s awesome to be independent, Enola usually takes this too far. Between being named “alone” backwards by her Mom and being taught she doesn’t need anyone other than her Mom, Enola has learned that she should never trust anyone other than herself.
Even though people eventually enter her life who care about her and want to be there for her, like the Marquess Tewkesbery and Sherlock Holmes, she is terrified of being close to any of them and promptly abandons all of them like her mother abandoned her. She clearly needs them but refuses to admit this need, to either herself or them.
© 2022 EB Black