indybaggins: (Sherlock John)



This episode was a bombastic emotional charge. It runs like a freight train, leaving us to... what, exactly?

If the writers constantly up the stakes - and they do, bigger! better! more emotional! Then at one point, after doing that episode after episode, the definition of 'the stakes' fades. What does death matter in this series? What do mistakes? Where are the consequences that we've been told would appear?

As energetic and fast-paced and off the first episode was, this was the same thing but even more so. Wildly out of character, over the top, suffering as such you have never seen before!

No. In order to feel those consequences, to feel that gunshot that killed Mary reverberate on through this entire episode, instead of a manic overblown mess, imagine this instead: silence. The episode opens with that gunshot, yes, and then... nothing. We see John, in his flat, sitting and staring at nothing. We see Sherlock, in his flat, sitting on the sofa and just looking at the walls. The note John left him is folded and re-folded between Sherlock's hands. John does dishes. John gets up and goes to work. John functions, but it's clear that's all he's doing.

Imagine seeing the moment where Sherlock actually gives in and injects drugs. Hearing the tap of the injection needle. No flashes of light, no brilliant deductions, he falls back on the sofa and you can tell that it's the only option he had left.

Imagine that silence being replaced by a loud, screeching, painful cry, and the camera tilts as we see John holding Rosie, rocking her, rocking her, and she won't stop, she keeps on crying. John's eyes are dead.

The DVD Mary left Sherlock is replayed, again and again, as time passes, and there is no one else, nothing else, no other option, for Sherlock than to take her words as truth.

We see another scene of John, standing by Rosie's crib, as she wails and wails and he snaps and shouts, "I CAN'T! I CAN'T MAKE YOU STOP CRYING!" John kicks the crib in anger, then walks out off the room because he's sure he'll do it, hurt her. Rosie cries even harder.

Sherlock starts researching every file he can, trying to find the most dangerous adversary. He knows it's useless, but according to Mary it's all he can do. He obsesses. His arms are a patchwork of bruises.

John stands in front of Molly's door in the evening. It opens to Molly smiling, there is a glimpse of a nice-looking young man, a pizza and a Glee episode on the TV. John tells her, "Take her. Rosie." Molly says, "I'm sorry, John, I have a date, I can't..." John pushes Rosie in her hands anyway, and walks off.

Imagine Mrs. Hudson drawing that gun, yes, but then taking Sherlock on the bus, because do you know how much a cab costs in London?

Imagine the therapist actually being a therapist.

Imagine Culverton not being TheMostDangerousVillain ™. He's actually just a bloke, quietly doing terrifying things behind closed doors. He's the hospital janitor, and that is why he has that set of keys to every room. He's a security agent, and that is why he can erase evidence off the cameras. Let evil have an average face for once, it won't take anything away from it. Or if he needs to be the-most-powerful-man, then actually go there and let Sherlock catch him touching a child. Make Culverton turn around, and say, "No one will ever believe you." And people don't. Make that be the horror of this episode.

If Sherlock has to almost-die again, outclass everyone else again, then does it still matter that we know he would have been dead in weeks? Does it still matter at all, when we always knew he would prevail?

Show me a Sherlock who deals with consequences. Who actually remembers what he's done. Show me one who hallucinates being back in that torture chamber in Serbia when he's high. Show me one who can't stop seeing the fall. Who endlessly re-thinks what they could have done to save Mary. What does new conflict matter, what does any of it, when the old never mattered?

When John and Sherlock finally, finally sit in Baker Street together, show me a thirty-five minute scene with painful pauses. Show me Sherlock finally trying to take responsibility for faking his death and leaving John. Because no, of course Sherlock didn't cause Mary's death and John blaming him for that is ridiculous, it's conflict that doesn't radiate as conflict because we all know John is wrong, John knows he is wrong, too. Show me the pain that they never addressed instead.

Show me John breaking down and saying, "I can't do this. Rosie. I can't. I never wanted her, and now..." And Sherlock hugging him then, because there is no other option that to live with the choices they made.

And if Mary was really, truly that important, the love of John's life, the woman who showed him what man he wanted to be, then show us John's happiness with her. For his grief to read true now, we don't need to be told what she was to him, we need to have been shown it. Imagine John and Mary slow-dancing in their kitchen in their pyjamas, holding a very awake Rosie between them and giggling. Imagine John EVER telling Mary he loved her and looking like he meant it.

Imagine Mrs. Hudson's line of "You reptile." to Mycroft to actually have been based on a truly terrible thing he did, not something hardly ranking above anything else they've had. Imagine that line being given the breathless conflict it deserved, instead of being thrown in there because it would sound ominous in the trailer.

Imagine Lestrade actually coming to 221B to check up on Sherlock. The quiet horror in his eyes as he sees the mess, the needles. Lestrade sitting down with him and saying, "You need help, Sherlock. I'm here, I'll always be here."

Imagine Mycroft coming by and taking quiet vigils by Sherlock's side as he's high. Telling him he'll always care.

Imagine the next villain not being BIGGER BETTER BRIGHTER.

Imagine quiet instead.


Date: 2017-01-09 11:20 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] daasgrrl.livejournal.com
What does new conflict matter, what does any of it, when the old never mattered?

This, so much this. Such a lovely write-up, I just nodded along to everything you've written. It's like there's this feeling that since we only get X episodes every X years everything has to escalate further and further.

Since you've made your position clear, I will add that I originally signed up for two guys solving crimes and being friends, and everything that goes with that. The relationship stuff doesn't need to be front and centre - I remember the relationships from, say, Star Trek being rich and deep, even though 90% of the time they were just dealing with whatever situation had come up that week. This has become Sherlock as soap opera, a trend carrying over from S3. Which I would probably also quite enjoy if it were done with grace, but it's not about life as most of us know it, but rather soap opera on some full-blown Wagnerian scale.

Now, I'm still holding out a tiny bit of hope that next week will explain/reframe everything we've seen so brilliantly that I will be, 'okay, I'm sorry I ever doubted you', but I don't know whether that's possible unless most of it is entirely imaginary. Which is in itself a bit of a waste of a series.

So, withholding judgment for now, but if we were going to have a relationship-driven version, suffice to say I'd rather see yours!

Date: 2017-01-09 12:21 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I think last night was a turning point for me. I was talking on Skype about it and said, "You know that this is the show that was IT for me." Past tense. I used to believe that there was a master plan, that they knew these characters, that they had the emotional storylines all figured out. But since last night, I have lost my belief in the writers of this show. I'm still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and watch the next episode with an open mind, but I feel deeply, deeply disappointed in what they have done so far in this season and the disrespect for the characters they have shown. I'm sure I'll be in the fandom for years to come still, but there's something that got broken for me last night. I no longer believe that John and Sherlock actually will recover from all of this. How can they go back to being the two guys solving funny crimes and blogging about it? How will there ever not be this immense emotional weight between them? There's only so many times you can break a thing before it can't be re-made again.

soap opera on some full-blown Wagnerian scale That's a great description of what this show has become. It's flashy, I'll give it that, but it doesn't ring true at all. In the first two seasons when the episodes started and I heard that theme music, I used to feel joy. In the third season, mainly excitement as to where we were going to go. Now, it's some sort of resignation to being bowed over by whatever's next. Maybe I'm just not cut out for this level of bigger-better-more and over-the-top pain.

Date: 2017-01-09 11:16 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] daasgrrl.livejournal.com
I'm just so grateful you put this opinion out there so coherently, because I didn't have the will or the energy to try expressing my opinion any more eloquently than 'ugh', which doesn't really add much to any discussion. I'm afraid both this week and last week I actually ended up playing on my phone while watching the livestream(!), which shows just how disengaged I was.

I think the breaking point for me, surprisingly, was Mrs Hudson turning up in the sports car, flagrantly breaking a dozen road rules on the way. What happened to "you're more the sitting type" that she understands because "she's got a hip". Not to mention the random police officer who apparently knows or cares who Mycroft Holmes is and Sherlock having deduced everything 10 million years in advance. Unless... unless this is all being made up. But it really doesn't look as though it is. If they seriously expected us to believe that scene, then I feel that's a virtual insult to both the integrity of the characters and the viewing audience.

But it was fun and cool and reeeally impressive and bamf, right?. Yeah, no, I don't care.

Oh, and to address your point I saw elsewhere, yes, I literally felt the heterowashing. (And you may say you can't literally feel heterowashing, but I beg to differ *g*). Just because Moffat clearly has a hard-on for Irene Adler. And while I can't deny that I love Mycroft getting hit on, does Moffat really think that interrogating someone who hasn't done anything wrong is a form of flirting? Unless there really is something in Alicia vs Elizabeth - but it's never twins, and to be honest I haven't much remaining faith at this point...

Date: 2017-01-10 03:39 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
While I'm avidly commenting all over the place here, I also want to reply to a couple of your great points too, [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl (hi, [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl!)

First: "Sherlock as soap opera," yes. My complaints have tended to be in the vein of, why do they have to keep making this into an action movie/spy movie (everyone has to be a secret super-assassin, everyone has to be rappelling down from a ceiling...) but soap opera is true, too. Why does everything have to be a YET MORE COMPLICATED backstory twist?

Second: heterowashing, yes, thank you! That's the word I was reaching for when I used (made up?) "heteronormativizing" earlier today. Woman on bus hits on John, sure. Lady Smallwood hits on Mycroft, first of all LOL hilarious, but also what, but also, sure. Irene Adler being used as THE only possible person we can use if we want to show Sherlock reaching out for human contact in a maybe, slightly, tentatively romantic way...SIGH.
Edited Date: 2017-01-10 03:39 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-10 03:44 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
(Oh, just to be clear, I'm not anti-Irene in the least, in fact, it could actually be quite sweet/weird/fitting that she and Sherlock still keep in touch and she even knows when his birthday is. Just...Moffat seeing this "OBVIOUSLY Sherlock and Irene are totally into each other" chemistry there...I think he's one of the few people who sees that, and thus (to me) it really feels forced every time he insists we're all supposed to see it too. And this endless insistence that flirting must be between Sherlock and a woman, because what else could it possibly be, does make me mad...)

Date: 2017-01-10 09:36 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I like the Sherlock/Irene relationship in an 'we are equals' sort of way, I think they're mutually interested in the way the other person thinks. But I have always, always seen it as a power-play by Irene, using sex to startle Sherlock. Later she might have grown fond of him, but I see no huge love story there, actually in the episode itself Sherlock keeps on talking to John, so... I don't get what Moffat sees in that relationship that needs to be brought back, or what the point of it was.

Date: 2017-01-10 07:19 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] daasgrrl.livejournal.com
Hi! Lovely to 'meet' you, and I do agree about the action movie as well - personally, I don't mind general badassery from Sherlock/John, but yeah, when it becomes superspy/assassin stuff it all feeds into that 'bigger is better' mentality. Whereas some of ACD Holmes' cases were really quite small and whimsical and every bit as interesting.

I also quite like Irene Adler, but I just thought it was such a gratuitous mention. I said to someone else that it felt like I was watching Moffat's wet dream, and... I'm not prepared to take it back yet *g*

Date: 2017-01-10 04:40 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I agree, I love those smaller cases! I think they've sort of forgotten the joy and whimsy that used to be this show.

Date: 2017-01-10 09:05 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
Hi! Oh good, I'm glad it's not weird of me to jump in and start eagerly commenting on your comments, even though we've hardly met. :-) And yes, add me as another voice in favor of the pleasure that's also be had in the smaller cases, the ones that standalone and serve as a delightful showcase for Sherlock's wit and Sherlock and John's teamwork, but don't have to turn out to be part of unmasking some international conspiracy!

To what you said below:

My personal yardstick was always: could we see this story as part of ACD's canon?

Yes, that's a great way of defining it! The very reason I fell in love with this show from the start was because it was so clearly made by two people who loved the canon stories and knew them inside and out. All the little nods to canon, all the very clever ways of updating concepts to modern times while still retaining the heart of the thing from the original: John keeps a blog instead of publishing in a magazine; Sherlock uses nicotine patches instead of smoking a pipe. Brilliant. It was that interplay of the respect for the originals with the intelligence of the updates that made me feel I was in good hands. That...is not the case anymore.

Date: 2017-01-10 04:45 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I don't mind the special effects too much, it's all shiny and they have a big budget, let's make a room spin and people rappel from the ceiling, fine, it all looks nice, sure. But it's the people being secret super-spies that annoys me a lot, too. Why couldn't Mary just have been an interesting person? Why can't Mrs.Hudson? Why does everyone need THE BIGGEST back story, it's insane. I agree 100% on the soap opera twists too, I've had it with that, this is supposed to be about Sherlock being the extraordinary one.

Heterowashing, yeah. I cried after this episode. A lot. I have been looking for this story, the other story, the queer story, my entire life. I thought this was it. Turns out it was (I was) nothing but a joke, and of course men need women to make them whole! lol, apparently. /NOT OKAY

Date: 2017-01-10 09:22 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
Oh, I don't mean I have a problem with the special effects – make the room spin to reflect Sherlock's state of mind? Sure! I meant "people rappelling from the ceiling" as shorthand for "why is Sherlock an action movie now" (with a grumpy thinly disguised undertone of "if I wanted to watch an action movie, I'd watch an action movie (spoiler: I don't want to!)").

But the heterowashing. Yeah. I honestly don't understand. Sherlock's sexuality is an open question; I don't necessarily need him to come out and identify as any one specific thing (gay, asexual or anything else) on the show – awesome though that would be! BUT given that his sexuality is undefined, and that the show has made such a point all along of it being undefined, why is "flirt with a woman" the default? Why is it the default for every character? Including Mycroft, who – unlike Sherlock – is not presented as ambiguous at all? (Mycroft is pretty determinedly Not Interested In Anyone, Thank You Very Much.) Why this on a show written by one man who's openly gay and another who, for all his other and considerable faults, has always at least seemed pretty vocal about being an ally? It just doesn't make any sense. And it makes me mad, and I'm so sorry this show is hurting you this much. I don't know what else to say except that it doesn't make any sense. (And it's almost enough to tip a person into TJLC-ing, because what else but a massive conspiracy could explain this weirdness?? Except that I don't trust the writers enough for that anymore...)

Date: 2017-01-10 09:48 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
the show has made such a point all along of it being undefined Yes! That was their thing! From that first conversation at Angelo's they have left it open, and now, NOW love suddenly gets defined as 'man plus woman good', it feels so very wrong and out of nowhere.

why is "flirt with a woman" the default? Why is it the default for every character? Exactly, and also, why is it now all of a sudden? This is not the way this show has been set up before, and it's so jarring to suddenly see this here, I thought we knew better than that, that THEY knew better.

Mycroft having straight sex is SO out of nowhere, Mycroft has been called 'the queen', we've been told he doesn't know any women, that he doesn't feel lonely, that he's good the way he is, and now suddenly... he isn't? I'm going to need much more on this to find it at all believable, and also, WHY did they put those things before it in then? Why? It doesn't make sense at all. I am still hoping for TJLC in some corner of my mind, but then for Mycroft, too? It seems unlikely. They have built this queer/ace character up in such a loving way, and now blasted it aside for no reason I can see. It IS hurtful, to all of us who identified with any of them, and who are so desperately wishing for someone to go there, to represent us, someone who dares. I thought it was going to be this show, these writers. I believed in them.

Date: 2017-01-12 01:07 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
What was so frustrating to me about that scene was not John insisting on pigeonholing Sherlock into "you must be flirting with Irene, right?" (John's always done that; that's the view of the character, not necessarily of the writers) but that *Sherlock* seemed to be agreeing with John's assessment of the situation when he said that he does sometimes text back. Both of them agreeing in their assessment of the situation – now it's the writers talking. But a lot of viewers don't seem to have read the scene that way, they don't see Sherlock as having agreed there was anything romantic in merely interacting with Irene. So...I guess I'm holding onto hope? (Hope, to be clear, not necessarily that there's a big romantic reveal coming – though, yeah, I do want that! – but simply that the writers weren't actually randomly heterowashing the character for no reason.)

So easy to go down the road of thinking "this only makes sense if it's actually a set-up for a big reveal next week, next week Sherlock is going to say, John, why would you even think that, about Irene, or anyone else? It was never about anyone else. It was ALWAYS YOU, JOHN WATSON." ...But that's just setting myself up for disappointment.

And you're right, default heteronormativity is always hurtful, but establishing a character as (apparently) gay or asexual and then randomly revoking that is far worse.

To be somewhat fair – did Mycroft actually return the advances at all, or was it all one-sided? Guess I need to rewatch...!
Edited Date: 2017-01-12 01:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-12 12:23 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I agree, John is asking, fine, he's assuming loads, too, but there's still a question there. It's Sherlock who not only chooses not to answer to the romantic insinuations of him texting Irene, but who also says that sometimes he does, and then doesn't qualify that it's as friends or such, Sherlock has now basically confirmed to John that he DOES have a thing going with Irene. That is 100% how John will take it, in my opinion. And Tumblr is ignoring most of that, I think (sadly) people are seeing what they want to see.

I have the exact same hope as so many though, that it's a set-up to Sherlock getting into this again next time and not actually heterowashing, but I'm afraid that it is. *deep, deep sigh* We'll find out soon enough!

did Mycroft actually return the advances at all, or was it all one-sided? I think first of all that depends on your reading of the 'putting on coats' scene, I thought that that was post-sex, and then Lady Smallwood asks whether he's up for more. People seem to be split on that though, so feel free to interpret that as you wish! But Mycroft DOES go back for her number, so even if they didn't do it already, I'd say he's definitely thinking about agreeing to that drink and all it entails.

Date: 2017-01-12 02:55 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
Wow, okay, I clearly did not catch nearly enough detail out of the Mycroft/Lady Smallwood interaction - I remember her giving him her card, and him saying in perfect Mycroft fashion, "Drink what?", and that's about it - clearly I need to rewatch!

As baffling as a sudden Mycroft secret-relationship-out-of-nowhere would be, I have to tell you that I love the ship name someone on the Three Patch Podcast floated for it: Mywood. ;-)

Date: 2017-01-12 03:37 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Or Ladycroft? *g* Yes, I hate it, but I can't help but admire Lady Smallwood's sass, too. I don't blame her for trying! Although if she really has known Mycroft for as long as she says, then I'd think she'd have guessed he was gay if he really was.

Date: 2017-01-10 04:28 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I didn't have the will or the energy to try expressing my opinion any more eloquently than 'ugh Yeah, I get the feeling. They just overwhelm with SO MUCH it's hard to feel anything afterwards. I think the reason I have not been engaged emotionally on the same level is because of the endless rug-pulls, so instead of feeling sad that Mary's dying, or worried at Sherlock's state, all I'm thinking is 'is that real? is this?' It gets harder and harder to connect with this text when there doesn't seem to be any emotional repercussion for any action, too. Does it matter if I care, since they don't seem to?

Mrs Hudson turning up in the sports car - Yes, that's why I added the 'imagine if she'd taken the bus' bit, I'm so sick of everyone needing to be like, a super-spy in order to matter in this narrative. Why can't she just be an awesome person in her own right without stunts like this?

Unless... unless this is all being made up. Part of me is still clinging to that thought for dear life, too, but it's starting to seem more and more like we're actually supposed to take this as the truth. *deep sigh*

I literally felt the heterowashing. YES, THANK YOU. I felt so icky and disappointed and just raw after that. These characters have been coded as queer or ace from the start (imo), and it feels so wrong to suddenly hear that apparently life is about finding that one woman that completes them, whaaaat? Especially with Mycroft I NEVER thought they would go there, and I fail to see the point, too, it's just really out of character and weird to be pulling a 'no homo' with him. Just let him be the British Government in peace dammit!

Date: 2017-01-09 07:28 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] naye
naye: ahiru in her duck form getting a hug (hug - tutu)
This is so lovely and perfect and I'm so glad I have the imagery you shared here to quietly take to heart and make my own. Thank you. ♥

Date: 2017-01-09 07:43 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you! I think this episode messed with my heart too badly, I needed to have an idea down of how it could be repaired.

Date: 2017-01-09 08:28 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] gutterfl0wer.livejournal.com
ext_205427: (tv: spn: baby: sleeping in car)
Yep, definitely like your version better rather than the parade of ridiculousness we got last night. :'( I imagined you would take particular offence at what Mrs Hudson said to Mycroft, given that I did and I know you're a massive Mycroft fan. What a mess :(

Date: 2017-01-09 09:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Yes, absolutely. I could live just fine with that line if Mycroft deserved it, it's very weighty and poetic, I wanted there to be some tragic reason why Mrs.Hudson would use it. I am, however, not down at all with random Mycroft bashing. Calling him stupid, too, what the hell? That was very out of character I thought, and deeply unnecessary. I agree - what a mess!

Date: 2017-01-09 08:33 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] gentlespirit.livejournal.com
Your writing is gorgeous.

I'm so sad that it came out of you being so let down by this episode, but it is gorgeous nonetheless.

I'm too sleep-deprived to form full opinions on a lot of it now, but what I will say is that I imagine that a lot of these sorts of things happened, too. I do imagine that Lestrade checked on him, but that it hardly registered. And the bit with John and Rosie is actually my biggest fear for them.

I feel like part of the problem is that we DO have to imagine so much, like what is going on in John's head when he has to be pulled off, to stop hurting Sherlock.

Date: 2017-01-09 09:58 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Thank you. I said in my lj cut that it was a negative review because I wanted to avoid dampening anyone's positive feelings about this ep, if you loved it then all the better for you! (really, I understand that most people would disagree with me and that's great, that's what I love about fandom) But for me it feels as if a story-telling promise has been broken. I am willing to imagine all those moments and fill up the gaps in canon, we have been doing that for years, but I think we have gone beyond the point where canon is still even the faintest bit fun. Instead it's a wild abusive trip and I am having a very hard time with that.

Date: 2017-01-10 12:43 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] katemacetak.livejournal.com
I love your fix-its. <3 It really sums up some things that bothered me about the episode but I couldn't put my finger on. Constantly upping the stakes is the one thing I hate about Moffat's writing. He did it in Doctor Who too. I loved the earlier episodes he wrote but then he became obsessed with everything being flashier.

Date: 2017-01-10 09:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I have the same problem with Doctor Who, I used to love it but now I find I have no more emotional involvement in it because it's only bigger and better and nothing truly matters still, I think Clara's never-ending storyline was such a mistake. It must be SO hard to keep on writing for a show like that, I do get that, but it's sad that these mistakes keep on coming back.

Date: 2017-01-10 03:11 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
Well, I wrote you yet another enormous Email of Thoughts, Feels, and Analysis, but I have to respond here too, because this is so full of great thoughts!

It's funny; you hated this episode and I liked it fairly well (but "liked" for a value of "I hate everything about where they've taken this show, my expectations are at zero...oh, hey, this episode actually had some good parts, and made me laugh in places, had me on the edge of my seat in places, and got me to feel something for this damn show for the first time in quite a while – I'm pleasantly surprised!") but in essence I think we're having very much the same reactions overall...

Agree about the stupid endless upping the stakes; agree how much better an episode that takes time and quiet to let the grief and deeper emotions sink in would be... But that's never going to happen, now that they've decided that Sherlock is apparently a spy/action/adventure movie. :-P

Imagine the therapist actually being a therapist.

HA! Yes! The friends I watched the episode with are all therapists, and we were talking about how TV and movies almost never get it right, what therapy looks like from the inside. (Even aside from the fact that not all therapists are psychopath killers in disguise...)

Show me a Sherlock who deals with consequences.

THIS has been driving me crazy for years now! Does Sherlock EVER experience the consequences of his actions? For about a second at the end of HLV it looked like he might, but nope.

Show me Sherlock finally trying to take responsibility for faking his death and leaving John. Because no, of course Sherlock didn't cause Mary's death and John blaming him for that is ridiculous, it's conflict that doesn't radiate as conflict because we all know John is wrong, John knows he is wrong, too. Show me the pain that they never addressed instead.

YES. It really does feel like we're still waiting to get the proper continuation of the story that got put on pause when the show went into post-S2 hiatus, doesn't it? That's the watershed. It was one show before that point, and it came back from that hiatus as a weird distorted version of itself and it's never recovered. (In this one grumpy fan's view!)

And if Mary was really, truly that important, the love of John's life, the woman who showed him what man he wanted to be, then show us John's happiness with her. For his grief to read true now, we don't need to be told what she was to him, we need to have been shown it.

Truth! They only even touched like once in all of TST, right? It was a pretty odd episode – they seemed like quite competent co-parents, quite good friends, but not particularly like romantic partners. There was so much more connection and caring between them in TLD, and she was dead then!

[continues in a part two, because I am too wordy...]

Date: 2017-01-10 03:12 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] starfishstar
starfishstar: (Default)
[continuing...]

I used to believe that there was a master plan, that they knew these characters, that they had the emotional storylines all figured out. But since last night, I have lost my belief in the writers of this show.

I...can't find a way of saying this that doesn't sound like some weird version of "I told you so," and that's really, really, really not what I mean! But I'm going to say it anyway, because I think it explains a lot about where my head has been, and why I've done so much more grouching than squeeing in the lead-up to S4: This, that paragraph you wrote there, is precisely how I've felt about the show since I saw S3. I stopped trusting them, I stopped believing in this supposed "master plan" that was going to make it all make sense in the end, and it increasingly seemed like the writers had lost track of the story they themselves had come here to tell. And it was so disappointing and frustrating and sad, because I loved the story they started out telling. And I wish they were still telling that one, instead of this one.

In the first two seasons when the episodes started and I heard that theme music, I used to feel joy.

SAME. One time, when I was going on a trip to the UK, I deliberately listened to the Sherlock theme just before I went, so those stirring, beloved, so familiar strains would be in my head as the plane touched down. Sherlock was literally the soundtrack of the entire UK to me. (Though maybe that just says something about what a dork I am...) Now it's still familiar, of course, but it feels almost like a parody of itself.

Ugggggh. I haven't particularly added anything of value here, but I'm here for the commiseration! <3

Date: 2017-01-10 10:04 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
that paragraph you wrote there, is precisely how I've felt about the show since I saw S3 That makes a lot of sense. I very much understand where you're coming from now with all of this. I guess I'm grateful I managed to hang on for another season though, I loved it, and thought the gaps would be explained. Part of me is still hoping for this season to still rescue itself, too. I want to believe!

Sherlock was literally the soundtrack of the entire UK to me Aw! I know that feeling, I can never walk in London without thinking of Sherlock at one point or other, it's just everywhere, in my mind they are that city.

and thank you for the commiseration! It's much appreciated, I have so many feels and words in my mind about this, it's good to get to deal with it all. Especially because there is another episode coming, and I need to woman up for that one, and try to see some good in it, and hope for the best. I will!!

Date: 2017-01-10 07:30 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] daasgrrl.livejournal.com
It was one show before that point, and it came back from that hiatus as a weird distorted version of itself and it's never recovered. (In this one grumpy fan's view!)

I'm just going to jump in and say: this. My personal yardstick was always: could we see this story as part of ACD's canon? And the first two series were so faithful to the whole feel of the stories, but I just couldn't envisage ACD writing stories including "Holmes interrupts Watson's marriage proposal" and "Holmes solves a murder at the Watson wedding".

Obviously it's all fanfic (and at least they've finally admitted it) and they can do whatever they like, I'm not saying they can't. But there was a huge tonal shift between two and three, which left me feeling that this wasn't what I'd originally been drawn to. I definitely still quite enjoyed it) (particularly the Mycroft/Sherlock interaction in S3 *g*), but it wasn't the same show.

Date: 2017-01-10 10:15 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
particularly the Mycroft/Sherlock interaction in S3 YES! God, that was gold, I will never, ever dislike the season that gave us Mycroft watching Sherlock being tortured, the shaving scene, playing operation, the deduction game, 'of course I bloody well called him', Sherlock pushing Mycroft against the wall, the exercising, all of it was brilliant for the Mycroft fanatic in me :D

Date: 2017-01-10 10:00 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Does Sherlock EVER experience the consequences of his actions? I find it so odd that this is specifically what they promised for this season, and yet... there is none of that, none of what came before, it's just new hurts, bigger ones, and then there are no consequences to those, too. Just a hug and we're all good, never need to mention that again then. Never mind the fact that they're both entirely broken people by this point. No, they'll just fight the next villain! Onwards and upwards! *rolls eyes*

it really does feel like we're still waiting to get the proper continuation of the story that got put on pause when the show went into post-S2 hiatus, doesn't it? Yes! I was willing to suspend that for the time being then because I thought it would all backtrack, that we'd see John's pov, or what happened in the months before Christmas, that we'd finally get some resolution to those questions this season, and that that was what they meant. Guess I was wrong.

There was so much more connection and caring between them in TLD, and she was dead then! I think maybe that's how John saw her, then? But in reality they were barely a loving couple at all for as far as I can tell. But apparently Mary shared the delusion of it, judging by her death speech, so maybe these were two people completely unaware of what it means to be in love, or to be happy, just sort of trying to get through the days and call them good? That would have been an interesting point to make, if that's what they intended (I doubt it though, too subtle, right? No, Mary is the love of john's life! They were perfect! *sigh*)

Date: 2017-01-10 09:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] jie-jie.livejournal.com
Beautifully put...you really should put your writing into script form some time. The world would be better for it! :)

I would have loved to have seen John interact with his daughter at all in this episode. They told us he couldn't cope but seeing it would have been so much more powerful.

Culverton felt like a 'fix-it' for the Jimmy Saville scandal. The Yorkshire accent, the charity work, especially with the hospital, made it pretty explicit. Maybe the writers felt a bit odd having referenced him in series 1 ("Dear Jim, please will you fix it for me...") before the sex abuse scandal broke. The BBC itself drew a lot of criticism when the truth came out and were accused of covering up his crimes. Here he gets caught, in real life he never did. I think you're right that it would have been more poignant and truthful if no one had believed Sherlock but I think it was wish fulfilment on the writers (and probably the British public's) part.

You know one of my biggest gripes with this series when it first started was that Sherlock was clean, that he used nicotine patches, that they'd sanitised this great and troubled character. So I was really looking forward to seeing how they handled him using again. And it's left me cold. Because all we've seen is this manic, mostly put on for effect, persona. Like you said, we don't see the quiet moments. We don't get to witness the struggle, the temptation, that moment of surrender. Personally I'd have found that much more interesting and emotional that watching Benedict channelling his unstable Hamlet while quoting Henry V and walking on the walls.

I don't think we'll get much quiet from the third and final instalment of this series but we'll find out soon enough!

Date: 2017-01-10 10:12 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I have never written a script! It would be interesting to try :)

John NEEDED to interact with his daughter. I have no idea how they want us to feel the impact of his loss, and what his life will even be now, when they don't even show the infant that he's now solely responsible for. How was that not part of this? Seriously??? It makes no sense at all.

I think it was wish fulfilment on the writers (and probably the British public's) part. I can't really speak to that part of it, but I thought he was such a weak villain? He just admitted it outright, then creeped about a bit when people WERE STUPID ENOUGH to leave Sherlock in that hospital (seriously John? seriously???)

Sherlock using again, I agree, they made it look like kind of cool mind trip thing? No serious come down, no trembling and vomiting and crapping himself as he detoxes (exactly how and when did that happen, by the way?) NONE of the temptation, the terrible moments, it was just played for effect. Have they ever even seen a serious drug user?

And I doubt that there will be any quiet in the 'epic mind-blowing finale'! But hey, maybe I'm completely wrong, I'm willing to admit I have no idea what'll happen. Plus, part of me is still rooting for that love confession and kiss, you know it ;D

Date: 2017-01-13 06:17 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] stardust-made.livejournal.com
I enjoyed very much reading your version of the script. It was exactly the kind of low key, substantial material I would have expected Sherlock to offer if it had preserved the best of what made it so special in 2010. As I was reading through your post, I kept nodding, much like others did I imagine. Then I thought - we don't need to imagine. We just need to remember.

Date: 2017-01-13 07:35 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it! And yes, I think a more sobre episode would have made it like, proper bafta material. These were huge emotions, in order for them to work they needed to be given the space for it. But it seems that what they wanted was flash and plotholes instead! *sigh* Ah well, we did get new material, and I do believe in fandom's ability to make it all make sense and feel right :)

Date: 2017-01-13 07:21 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] frozen_delight
frozen_delight: (sherlock/mycroft)
Let evil have an average face for once, it won't take anything away from it.

What does new conflict matter, what does any of it, when the old never mattered?


Great points! I fully agree.

Date: 2017-01-13 07:36 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Yes! Thank you, good to know I'm not alone in this.

Date: 2017-01-16 04:00 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] marta-bee.livejournal.com
This brought a tear to my eyes. It's so very, very true. I want this show (or, barring that, fic).

Date: 2017-01-16 05:21 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
Thank you <3 After last night I stand by this even more. A moment to breathe and to let the damage that has been done settle would have added to the emotional weight endlessly. I feel so tired of the endless shock value.
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