Sherlock: The Final Problem

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  • #55280
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor – ahhh I’d missed that little detail – lovely.

    The layers and layers of work which have gone into this narrative.

     

    #55281
    Anonymous @

    Did you know some fans went and laid red roses at the statue of requited love, Anteros, in Picadilly in London today for the anniversary (a shot of which statue appeared in the original, un-aired, pilot for A Study in Pink, which is on the first dvd as a bonus)?

    That’s lovely! What a wonderful idea!

    #55282
    Anonymous @

    I’ve just been informed via tumblr that the lost special could air on March 8th because of a billboard in The Lying Detective. A complete coincidence that I was just writing about the 1895 one.

    #55290
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor

    Ah yes, I saw that too – and what’s more 8th March is the day that Arthur Conan Doyle sat down to write the first Holmes/ Watson novel – A Study in Scarlet. I’m quite hopeful there will be an announcement of some sort on that date.

    Furthermore I’ve just seen this tweet by Neville Kid – one of the cinematographers on Sherlock:

    That looks exactly like someone getting shot in the head!

    The game’s afoot…

    #55397
    Anonymous @

    Here’s an amazing meta I just found if anyone wants to read it:

    https://shawleyleres.tumblr.com/post/156766100266/bond-air-is-go-a-tiny-meta

    The wheel turns; nothing is ever new.

    #55411
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor

    Mmmn – all the evidence points to The Final Problem as – well – a problem – a puzzle – a connundrum – a fake-out. But here we are…. waiting.

    Mark Gatiss is on Peston on Sunday tomorrow morning (not sure which country you’re based in – it’s a UK television Sunday politics show). Gatss is fairly politically outspoken and he’s on there with a bunch of politicians, so the focus is not Sherlock. Still – I will watch to see if there are any hints that something is coming….

    He and his husband were interviewed just recently and he claimed that he and Moffat thought about calling The Final Problem episode “Backlash” in advance, which suggests they predicted fully the response to it (which rather does suggest a plan). The interview is here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/feb/01/mark-gatiss-and-ian-hallard-sherlock-we-met-online-back-when-that-was-odd?

     

    #55413
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @TheConsultingDoctor and anyone else still on the trail of Moffat and Gatiss’ recreation of Conan Doyle’s Reichenbach-ing in a modern setting:

    Have you seen this?

    http://thelostspecial.com/solveme/

    There’s dancing man code on the page (as there was in the last scenes in Baker Street in The Final Problem) which someone smarter than me has translated as reading:

    “I see you stand like greyhounds upon the slips, straining at the start” – the line in Henry V before “the game’s afoot” (the speech Sherlock was declaiming in The Lying Detective).

    Could be a fan-created trolling puzzle – but – I sense the game is, in fact, afoot….

    Moriarty is not dead (or at least – his plan to burn the heart out of Sherlock is still go) – judging from the picture on the site – which recalls the tea Moriarty and Sherlock shared in The Reichenbach Fall when Moriarty carved IOU into an apple.

    More evidence for The Lost Special…

    #55416
    Anonymous @

    I just figured out the dancing men puzzle myself. This is so exciting!

    I love the coffee=wrong way page (drink code) and the elephant=murderous Mary page.

    The game’s afoot!

    #55418
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    It’s almost like with the sonnets (57, 59, etc.) and now this, Shakespeare is the code to Sherlock. (The Shakespeare Code)

    #55424
    ichabod @ichabod

    @juniperfish  “The Lost Special” — amazing, how Moffat and Gatiss keep creating fannish myths (some of which come true — !)  I love it.

    #55429
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @ichabod – well there is a Conan Doyle story called The Lost Special so Moffat and Gatiss are the ultimate fannish Conan Doyle audience.

    The “Great Game” or the “Sherlockian Game” of trying to resolve anomalies in the ACD canon – was begun by scholars in 1902:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlockian_game

    Essentially – bonkers theorising about Sherlock Holmes has been going on for over a century. Moffat and Gatiss are simply inviting people to the latest round (assuming thelostspecial.com website is affiliated with them in some way, which it may well not be).

    @TheConsultingDoctor – re Sherlock and Shakespeare and the No 40. Well, there’s a double reading here – sonnet 40 is one of the “fair youth” sonnets again, and it’s about being head-over-heels in love:

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/50426

    Incidentally, however if you put thelostspecial.com/johnlock into that website, you get a picture with “404 error” written on it – so there’s still a denial – whether fan-created or secret show-associated created – of the romantic subtext.

    40 may also refer to the 40th story in the ACD Sherlock Holmes canon which, by order of publication (including the novels) would be The Adventure of the Abbey Grange. That is the story used as the basis for The Abominable Bride.

    So, that could be a hint that we are still in Sherlock’s mind palace, which would mean that my first (rather tragic) theory, that the whole of S4 takes place in Sherlock’s drugged mind-palace and that he hasn’t left his overdose on the plane after saying goodbye to John on the tarmac at the end of His Last Vow, is correct.

    Or, it could be a more general hint to understand S4 as mind-palace related – leading to The Final Problem as John’s mind palace theory (but as that doesn’t explain all the S4 anomalies on its own, I think we have to add in that John and Sherlock have been drugged, perhaps by a villainous Mary working for Moriarty, with TD-12 the memory -altering drug that Culverton tells us about).

    Gatiss didn’t say anything about Sherlock on Peston On Sunday btw except that he doesn’t give a monkeys about reviews and he doesn’t read them – which we blatantly know to be untrue, as he bothered to write a refutational poem in the style of Conan Doyle to The Guardian in response to a S4 review – titled “To An Undiscerning Critic”:

    To an undiscerning critic… from Mark Gatiss

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jan/04/to-an-undiscerning-critic-from-mark-gatiss

    He did enthuse about the possibility of a woman incarnation of the Doctor however! But that’s for another thread…

    #55430
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    I’ll have to study the meaning of Sonnet 40 to see if I find anything interesting.

    I read that the 40th post on John’s blog is The Empty Hearse which points back towards The Lost Special being the real life Empty House.

    I hadn’t seen what was bringing up the 404 picture. I wonder what it means for Johnlock. Maybe it’s saying that the lack of it was the error with Series 4, or it was saying that no hints can be given about it because that would break the glass and spoil “softly, softly”. It is very telling that is was one of the words included on the site though.

    The TD-12 definitely seems like a Chekhov’s gun to me. Even though it was used on Faith, it’s on opportunity for corrupted memories. Why would Moffat pass that up for later (more important) use?

    Also, speaking of guns, someone pointed out that the three times there is a gun fired directly at the screen, the person’s sleeve is visible, but Eurus is wearing short sleeves. (I might be getting that mixed up.) But this goes back to the mystery of John’s alibi. There are many things in the show taken from the story Thor Bridge where a person is framed for the murder of their spouse after cheating on them. This is honestly one of the directions I thought they were going to go with after The Six Thatchers. If this is true, Mary really is a villain.

    I saw this great video yesterday comparing everything Mary does to everything Moriarty does just by putting the clips from the show together. I’m on my phone so I can’t link it, but I think it’s called “Mary’s Posthumous Revenge”. If you can’t find it, I can post a link later.

    If you watch His Last Vow again, Mary is clearly set up as a Moran character. She goes into the empty houses and almost shoots John because his shadow is made to look like Sherlock. In The Empty House, Moran is tricked into thinking a dummy is actually Sherlock’s shadow in the window of 221b.

    Oh, Gatiss. Don’t be too obvious. Not saying a word in defense about the show he was so proud of? For his sake, we have better be right.

    #55431
    Anonymous @

    I’m taking a break from theorizing for a minute to comment on this episode as if it is canon.

    I’ve been listening to the wonderful Three Patch Podcast recently, and they have done an incredible job of keeping a positive attitude through all of this, highlighting the good parts, and analyzing what this episode could mean if it is canon.

    On speaker on the podcast brought up a beautiful point that really ties the show together (even with a few plot holes left over). She pointed out when Sherlock calls Lestrade “Greg” at the end of TFP. When I first saw this episode, I took that as more evidence that this episode is fake. Sherlock never remembers Greg’s name. What the speaker said was that this whole episode was about Sherlock remembering his past, and as soon as he was able to do that, he didn’t have a problem remembering other details in the present, like Lestrade’s name.

    I highly recommend to everyone to listen to The Three Patch Podcast, especially the four episodes from this month.

    #55433
    ichabod @ichabod

    @juniperfish  Yes, I’ve been more or less aware of the carryings-on you speak of — one of my husband’s law partners was a longstanding member of a chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars in Santa Fe (a smart, charming fellow I can’t speak with any more, because of political differences, or I’d be chatting with him about this).

    #55434
    Anonymous @

    Here is the link to the video about Mary I mentioned earlier:

    @juniperfish

    I checked out Sonnet 40, and it sounds like a poem from Mofftiss to the fans because it is about betrayal and asking for forgiveness. Just my take on it.

    #55435
    Anonymous @

    “I believe in Sherlock Holmes” has never been more relevant.

    #55436
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @ichabod – ah –  it’s certainly a time for choosing sides – I can’t help (in a time-travelley way) thinking about the historians of the future, and how this period (of Brexit, resurgent nationalisms, and Trump) will be viewed from their place in the space/time continuum.

    @TheConsultingDoctor – that’s a nice take on Sonnet 40 – it’s also about a love triangle (so the scholars say) which suggests the “fair youth” has seduced the poet’s lady love.

    That perhaps ties into the Mary as a villain theory – there was certainly a love-triangle vibe coming off The Six Thatchers (Sherlock-John-Mary). That some of those late-night texts of John’s might have been to Sherlock and not Eurus is certainly a space left in the narrative.

    I still wonder if we are going to find out that Eurus does not physically exist but is a mental construct of John or Sherlock or both (drugged on TD-12).

    I think the Mary as secret villain theory is highly convincing given that she was coded as a villain in so many ways in S3, from the horns framing in The Sign of Three, to the fact that, as it turns out, she was still lying to John and Sherlock even when supposedly fessing up in His Last Vow  – i.e. AGRA was not in fact, her initials, to the turn-ups on her jeans (also in that scene) as a call-back to Sherlock deducing in The Great Game that someone was not the parent of a child (because the turn-ups on their jeans indicated they were gay) – i.e. that perhaps baby Rosie was not John’s.

    Mary as Moriarty’s plan to burn the heart out of Sherlock would be much more narratively satisfying than the current state of affairs.

    #55437
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    Agreed. Much more satisfying.

     

    Does anyone own the original pilot episode? The lost special website says go back to the source so I thought it would be a good idea to check what happens 40 minutes into the episode.

    I don’t really think it will get us anywhere, but whoever made the website is waiting for us to solve the number 40 puzzle.

    #55438
    ichabod @ichabod

    @juniperfish   The historians of the future, if there is a future and it contains actual historians, often come to mind, and my first thought is, how in the hell are they ever going to disentangle the immense amounts of lying, “disinformation”, lying advertising, trolling and fake news fabrications, puffed-up “biographies” written by paid ghosts to flatter the vile, etc etc etc etc etc — from real-world reports of real world events from enough viewpoints to reveal something of value as history?

    Poor bastards!  Even with a Tardis, you’d have a tough time finding reality.  History itself, and not just in the US, might not survive this relentless onslaught of BS we live under.

    #55439
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod

    That’s a scary thought.

    #55442

    @TheConsultingDoctor

    as if it is canon.

    If it was on screen, it is canon (whether it means what we think it means is another issue – the retcon is still canon).

    how in the hell are they ever going to disentangle the immense amounts of lying,

    That is what historians do. It is not, in principle, any harder now than trying to discern the extent to which Caesar was bigging himself up, or Tacitus et al were sucking up to the boss (see threads elsewhere).

    #55443
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    aqua @ichabod – solidarity from this side of the pond.

    I was very impressed by the Women’s March, and the Science March on DC planned for Earth Day (April 22nd) is an excellent way to oppose the global impact of Trump’s pro-oil climate change irresponsibility. There are sister marches in a number of other countries planned already. I will try and make it to the London one:

    https://www.marchforscience.com

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/european-researchers-spin-sister-marches-science-least-eight-countries

    The Doctor would approve, I’ve no doubt.

    @TheConsultingDoctor – good idea to check what’s happening at minute 40 in the original Study In Pink pilot (it’s an extra on the second DVD of S1 of Sherlock). I’ve checked and in that version (unlike in the eventually broadcast finished version of Study in Pink) the taxi driver serial killer drugs Sherlock and abducts him – and he drugs him (we see the needle sticking out of his neck) at 40 mins in!

    So – that brings the TD-12 theory to the fore re S4 – the idea that S4 is “corrupted” (as Culverton says) because our POV (perhaps a mixture of Sherlock and John’s POVs) has been drugged.  Of course it also leaves the Sherlock is still drugged on the plane at the end of His Last Vow and the whole of S4 takes place in his drugged mind theory very much in play too.

    Either way, I firmly believe that the “reality” we see in S4 is corrupted one way or another – whether the entirety is in Sherlock’s drugged Mind Palace (as perhaps this minute 40 clue suggests) or whether it’s a combo of John and Sherlock’s drugged POV’s and John’s injured Mind Palace in The Final Problem.

    #55444
    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  It is not, in principle, any harder now than trying to discern the extent to which Caesar was bigging himself up, or Tacitus et al were sucking up to the boss (see threads elsewhere).

    Agreed; I wasn’t thinking of principle, though, but in terms of sheer *volume* to sort through, check, and counter-check.

    #55445
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @ichabod

    I wasn’t thinking of principle, though, but in terms of sheer *volume* to sort through, check, and counter-check.

    Assuming there is a future, there will almost certainly be an algorithm for that 🙂  The multiplicity of data to be sifted is not the greatest problem, so long as the primary sources are available. After that, as @pedant says, it is just a question of who is the source, who is telling the story and – cui bono?

    #55446
    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark   Thanks for that — as an old-ish person with pretty patchy internet-nous, I only remember what an algorithm is (a sorting tool for picking out/imposing patterns in data?) when somebody else remember (for me) that the word exists.

    #55447
    Anonymous @

    The parallels between Sherlock and Apple Tree Yard are unbelievable.

    #55450
    Anonymous @

    There has been an update on thelostspecial.com.  /27kra has a static video, but the only thing I can make out is John’s right eye (supporting the theory of him getting shot in the left eye).

    The 27th story is The Empty House, Kra is referencing The Geek Interpreter blog post, and apparently 27kra is also a type of antenna which is related to all of the static TV screens. Also, sonnet 27 is about dreams.

    The game is on!

    #55451
    Anonymous @

    Update: The eye is actually Moriarty’s from the mind palace scene in HLV.

    #55515
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Did you miss me? 😉

    Firstly, a question to all the writers on the forum (of which we have an embarrassment of riches). If we consider the intertextuality of Sherlock and Doctor Who (the deliberate and pointed exchange of ideas between the two) does the fact that they are written in parallel preclude them being considered hypertexts? Is there a better word for what they are? Of course, Sherlock uses its relationship to ACD as its hypertext, and I think drawing a line between ACD towards both BG and AG Who may be the point of Sherlock anyway, so the question may be redundant.

    Secondly, apologies for absence. Life (and, unfortunately, a death) rather ruined my 2016 from the start. Let’s just say that the depression of Brexit and Trump suited my mood perfectly. Hopefully, circumstances will be better when Doctor Who returns.

    As such, I’ve only recently been able to catch up with the latest offerings from both Doctor Who and Sherlock. Astonishing they are, and if this is the audacious end for Sherlock I applaud it (While hoping for more, obviously).

    From the Abominable Bride thread I congratulate the deductive powers of those that unraveled the plot and pointed out the gender neutrality of the sibling (forum cap goes to @blenkinsopthebrave for that I think) and the astonishing knowledge of ACDs canon from @jimthefish , @bluesqueakpip and others. It was an important episode for me for another reason, as the Bride herself unlocked another aspect of this remarkable series. Unfortunately, I’d spent some time whining about this particular aspect, so the blame is mine for not spotting it earlier. I don’t have the depth of knowledge of the Holmes canon that others do, but I do know a good deal of obscure pop culture.

    For if we look at what, at the beginning of Sherlock, Gatiss and Moffat promised to do, they’ve done something stunning. They promised to have fun with the canon and be less reverential than other adaptations. Liberties would be taken, other adaptations referenced and paid tribute to, and the wider cultural impact of ACDs legacy celebrated. And the last one’s the killer.

    @juniperfish

    Reading The Final Problem as taking place in the hitherto established “real world” of BBC Sherlock makes absolutely no sense. As @mudlark says there are too many ridiculous and improbable fictions. Eurus has been able to enslave people with her mind since she was five? Then why did she stay locked up on Sherrinford for so long, if she can escape any time she likes?!?!?

    I think considering the world of Sherlock to be the, or a “real world” is a mistake, and one which is possibly the cause of much recent criticism. You see, we are actually forewarned about the nature of this world in A Study in Pink with the play on Mycroft’s identity during their first encounter.

    Watson: His enemy?
    Mycroft: In his mind certainly. If you were to ask him he’d probably say his archenemy. He does love to be dramatic.
    Watson: Well thank god you’re above all that.

    It’s a misdirection, obviously – the audience is supposed to think that Mycroft is Moriarty. We then get:

    Watson: People don’t have archenemies.
    Holmes: What?
    Watson: In real life. People don’t have archenemies.
    Holmes: That sounds a bit dull. So what do people have in their real lives?
    Watson: Friends, people they like, people they don’t like, boyfriends, girlfriends.
    Holmes: Like I said, dull.

    Ultimately, Moffat is a fair writer. We know that we aren’t in the real world or real life. We know that Sherlock does have an archenemy. The world of Sherlock is filled with archenemies, supervillains (“See Sherlock battle the monstrous …. Gollum!”), secret government installations conducting genetic experiments, fiends, femme fatales, super spies and, ultimately, Nemesis.

    As series 4 starts we are wrapping up our adventures in Spy world (let’s call it for now) after the confrontation with the Bondiest Bond villain imaginable. The tone starts to change and become disturbing and hallucinogenic (as @blenkinsopthebrave notes). The world of Sherlock is being invaded by a disturbing force representing the final inheritor of a mini tour of cultural inheritance. Do we not now see who Eurus represents?

    MISS ME? But who is me?
    MISS Eurus
    MISS E

    Because Sherlock is being invaded by Doctor Who and Eurus is the Master. Introduced by Terrance Dicks to be (in his own words) the Moriarty to the most Holmes inspired Doctor ever. The Master of disguise. The Master of hypnotism who, when UNIT captured him and locked him up in a prison, takes it over and makes it a convenient headquarters with enslaved servants and all the Clangers he wanted. The Master, whose most recent incarnation came back female when people expected him to be a man. One of the Doctors own people (in Sherlock terms, she’s a Holmes). Someone who knows his secrets and challenges him to see things from his/her point of view.

    It’s a brilliant conceit, this Great Game of cultural intertextuality that has overlain Sherlock. Culverton Smith, for example, is one Monster (a serial killer) who represents another. How often do monsters in Who act as a metaphor for the worst of humanity? And through this Great Game we can examine another legacy of ACD – the one that everyone forgets in discussing the great Sherlock Holmes. John Watson.

    Season three, for example, sees Sherlock enter the world of Bond. Bond is an indirect inheritor of ACD. Fleming described Bond as Bulldog Drummond from the waist up and Mickey Spillane from the waist down. A blunt instrument. Bulldog Drummond, a replacement (and reaction to) Holmes in The Strand Magazine. Not the ‘effete intellectual’ but a man’s man. Led with his fists with no follow up. An easy patriot and right wing bigot. Mickey Spillane, whose tails of Private Dicks being led by theirs as they followed the femme fatale figure through mundane intrigues. With Fleming boasting a literary inheritance like that no wonder Bond is the man he is.

    What Fleming took from ACD directly is the archenemy and ran with it. Every time you see a Bond Villain, with their networks of agents and strange plans you see a shadow of Moriarty. So when we meet Charles Augustus Magnussen he’s clearly a Bond Villain. Hear him say his name in that carefully controlled voice in His Last Vow. When you have the voice in your head imagine him saying Ernst Stavro Blofeld. He’s even played by an actor whose brother recently played a Bond Villain! It’s brilliant!

    And so is the series metatext. We’ve already been informed by Mycroft that Sherlock is not the “blunt instrument” of Bond in text. What is Sherlock? He’s “a finely honed surgical instrument wielded with precision”. After the setup establishing Spy World in the Empty Hearse, we get the marriage in the Sign of Three. We are introduced to the Mayfly Man and, let’s be clear here, he’s James Bond. Or rather the Mayfly Man is an assassin who uses women to gain information and access to his target. Pretty much the historic M.O. of Bond. His plan thwarted and his methods treated with contempt by Sherlock, he delivers his verdict. “You should have remained in the shadows”.

    In the next episode something strange has happened. Sherlock uses Janine to gain access to his target. We soon discover why, because we have undergone an exchange of power. Sherlock has traded John Watson to a Spy, Mary, in an episode that revels in revealing to us the astonishing human being John is (a magnificent piece of writing).

    The man who can redeem ridiculous men like Sherlock has been traded to a Spy, and he seems to have lost his moral superiority. It’s also dulled his senses because he’s treating Magnussen as a Bond villain, forgetting that all Bond villains are shadows of Moriarty. He assumes that Magnussen’s power comes from his glasses, a gadget (Bond and his enemies are obsessed with technology) or to be found in his Supervillain HQ of Appledore. Magnussen, however, is just a renamed Holmes villain and a distorted reflection of Sherlock. He’s equipped with a Mind Palace.

    Faced with a threat to John and Mary, Sherlock has a choice. Lose Watson forever and face a life of Bond, or become the blunt instrument temporarily and hope for redemption later. He chooses the latter and shoots Magnussen. Mycroft looks down at his Brother and sees a lost little boy. In the light of the finale, we fully comprehend and have context for all this. Magnussen may have had access to a file marked Redbeard, but he couldn’t have comprehended the psychology he was dealing with. He’s threatened to take away the best friend of Sherlock Holmes.

    The final act of this story becomes apparent in Series 4, Watson shows that he can redeem ridiculous spies to the point they can make a sacrifice themselves. Bond can never be redeemed because the authors Fleming used to formulate Bond didn’t understand the power of Sherlock Holmes. They underestimated the requirement for a Watson. A Watson can redeem a Spy to the point that they will sacrifice themselves for friendship. Bond is not Sherlock Holmes because he has no real friends.

    I ask you. Imagine going to the trouble of putting all that together, underlying the obvious narrative, and being presented with a Guardian article saying Sherlock is becoming Bond and this must not stand! Were they taking the piss, do you think? Gatiss wrote a poem. Presumably after screaming in frustration for three continuous hours.

    I won’t bore you with the meta for Series 2, just point out that we explore the idea of Sherlock through the eyes of one of his earlier cultural successors. Gotham’s Dark Detective, Batman. Remember the ‘Hat Man and Robin’ headlines in Scandal? The feline quality of Irene Adler, seeing her through a filter of Selina Kyle, Catwoman (The Whip Hand, indeed). With Lestrade as Jim Gordon trying to work out which side of the law Sherlock stands. All a cunning trap weaved by a Moriarty seen through the filter of Batman’s own archenemy, The Joker. This last part, some may remember, was my whinge. “Why him, again!”, I despaired. Then is saw the Bride. Well yes, she is the bloody Joker with her white face and smeared lipstick. Lestrade’s description as he calms his nerves with a drink is straight from the comics. She’s the avatar for Sherlock to work out how Moriarty survived. Nuff said.

    It’s just another layer of intertextuality weaved in the mix. The cultural inheritance of ACD. Another part of The Great Game. Did you spot the Alan Moore references, future followers of the game may ask? What could they mean? Did he write for Sherlock Holmes!? (He did, as it happens, in a work that made these points by imposing modern ideas from pop culture on their earlier counterparts). There are others and the game can lead you to many interesting destinations. I’m still being rewarded with other references.

    Yep – they did it. They delivered. All of their promises with wit, style, grace, adventurous direction and writing that befit something based on the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

    When the initial overreactions have calmed down and the increasingly vitriolic internet takes a collective deep breath I think these episodes will be re-evaluated and increasingly celebrated. The message will sink in and the ramifications considered. Just how much popular culture has ACD influenced? The mind boggles. He deserves the tribute, and the fact that fans of caped crusaders, super spies and wandering travellers in time and space and huffily saying that it’s a bit comic book/Bond like/Doctor Who-ish just means that they haven’t got the message. ACD started all this.

    Remarkable TV.

    #55518
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @phaseshift Welcome back! Sorry to hear about your problematic 2016, but it is great to read your, as ever, excellent reflections again.

    And thank you for your praise, although I confess that I had forgotten all about my catching the gender-neutral references to the sibling in The Abominable Bride. So much so that I had to go back and re-watch the last third, but, sure enough there it was. And on re-viewing it, it is rather leading. And apologies to @theconsultingdoctor, for you had (back on TAB thread) asked me where the reference to the sibling was in the episode, and I failed to reply. Well, after just re-watching, it was in the ruined abbey, where Sherlock, John and Mary meet up. Mary reveals that she is working on behalf of Mycroft. John asks her: “You’re working for Mycroft now?” and Mary replies:

    “He likes to keep an eye on his mad sibling.”

    Well, in light of The Final Problem, that statement is really quite interesting. Is it Sherlock who is mad? Then why not say: “his mad brother”? Or is there a reason why Mycroft stays in the Diogenes Club rather than go on adventures to solve crimes and sends Mary instead? Could it be that:

    “He likes to keep an eye on his mad sibling”?

     

     

     

    #55519
    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    I never noticed that line! Very interesting. I’m going to assume that it was foreshadowing Eurus, but does this mean that Mary somehow knew about her? Was she being controlled by Eurus too?

    #55520
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @theconsultingdoctor Well, if we read The Final Problem as it was presented to us (and I understand your hesitancy on that score) then we know that Sherlock has repressed the memory of Eurus, and that when Mycroft confronts him with the reality of Eurus he slowly starts to remember again. So, Eurus was there in his mind all along, but deeply repressed.

    Now, given that TAB was a dream of Sherlock’s, where elements of Sherlock’s life (eg, Moriarty) kept intruding on the dream, then I would say that it can be read that it was Sherlock who (deep down) knew that Mycroft kept an eye on his mad sibling. It is Sherlock’s dream and he puts the words in Mary’s mouth in the dream.

    Of course, that reading does assume that The Final Problem was intended to be read the way it was presented.

    #55521
    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Very true.

    #55522
    Anonymous @

    I was just doing some research on the name Eurus, specifically about the Greek god Euros, and there are four Anemoi (four wind gods). Maybe there really is a fourth sibling, each of them being one of the four winds. It’s probably too late to introduce a fourth sibling because Mycroft would have said something about him or her in TFP, but if there is a fourth sibling, I think that Sherlock could be Zephyrus and Mycroft could be Boreas. That leaves Notos.

    #55525
    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift

    It’s really good to see you back. I only read a  part of your post because I  haven’t seen Sherlock (4) just yet. But it’s on order.

    I watched TAB again yesterday and then read some of the great posts by @blenkinsopthebrave @bluesqueakpip and @juniperfish (& many others) to help me understand it better. I was 13 when I saw  it  in the cinema -and was very confused. 18 months later or more and I’m stunned at its brilliance. @ichabod – my philosophy teacher was using TAB in  class and it was SO interesting to look at POVs in the concept of ‘now’ or ‘not now.’ Intertextuality, Mr Phase isn’t really something I understood: but from what I read of your post (I had to scan it to avoid spoilers and I managed that by reading the parts referring to  TAB and the early seasons of Sherlock), I’m beginning to get it.

    @phaseshift. I just wanted to add my condolences regarding the loss of a loved one. I hope 2017 is better for you and your family. Hope you’re able to stick around.

    Regards,

    Thane15 and my mum, Puro.

    #55526
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    @phaseshift Glad to see you back. And what a way to come back! Fantastic post, as always. You’ve been missed. Sorry for your loss, and that 2016 was a horrible year. I’d give you a hug if I could (unless you wouldn’t like that) 🙂

    #55531
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift

    Did you miss me

    Yes, obviously…

    Delighted to have you back… glad things feel a bit less grim, despite the new world order of “alternative facts”.

    Interesting re Moffat’s Sherlock and Who as written in parallel and their inter-textual relationship with one another.

    Hypertext is specifically a word from a digital text context, so I’m not sure I’d call them hypertexts of each other, although that’s a perfectly reasonable slippage.

    They are somewhat written in conversation with one another, in the same way that some of Shakespeare’s sonnets clearly “speak to each other”. 29 and 30 are often considered a particular pair, but the whole sequence of “dark lady” and “fair youth” sonnets are also linked. However, they are “same universe”, whereas Moffat’s Who and Sherlock are not. As in, these Moffat texts do not canonically cross-over  (yet!) although – on poor Anderson’s wall of theories in The Empty Hearse there is a drawing of a TARDIS for the eagle-eyed!

    Now that you come to mention this intertextuality, I think this year’s Who Christmas Special, The Return of Doctor Mysterio, very deliberately referenced the Sherlock subtext upcomng in S4, which, as we look back after the three S4 episodes (still holding out for a fourth Lost Special) is very apparent.

    Two people who live together, Lucy and Grant, one of them has a baby (the other parent is absent) and the other has extraordinary powers. Well, hello John and Sherlock at the end of The Final Problem (whether that ending is in-show “real world” or John’s injured brain fantasy).

    Lucy and Grant are secretly in love with each other, but neither has admitted it to the other until the Doctor plays match-maker (and Lucy has not admitted it to herself yet either). Again, for subtext readers of Sherlock, hello John and Sherlock.  Grant’s sexuality (in his persona as The Ghost) is the subject of public speculation because he flies around town with a big “G” on his chest (heh). Hello Sherlock, whose sexuality has been the subtext of much in-show speculation (just to give one example -remember Kitty the reporter in The Reichenbach Fall cornering Sherlock in the loos to ask “You and John Watson – just platonic?”).

    I won’t even go into all the ways in which ghosts in literature have historically stood in for sexual “deviance” of some kind (then perceived as such).

    Plus – for really Inception-level inter-textuality – Nardole is seen holding a toy stuffed elephant at one point in The Return of Doctor Mysterio. Elephants have been a big feature of Sherlock’s set-dressing narrative since The Sign of Three when Sherlock mentioned the case “The Elephant in the Room” during his wedding speech. In subtext, that elephant is of course, Sherlock and John’s romantic feelings for one another. In particular, in The Abominable Bride, an elephant ornament falls from the mantel-piece in Baker Street as Victorian Sherlock makes the final transition to modern day Sherlock (suggesting, to subtext readers, that perhaps the constraints of 1895 can be thrown off in the present).

    Then there’s the question of whether Sherlock S4 messes with time significantly. Culverton hints that some of our (viewer) memories “may also be corrupted” with his little fourth wall break. Is time squiffy, nay timey-wimey, in S4? I suspect it is (one possibility being that John is shot in the head and lying in a coma throughout) and thus not only does The Return of Doctor Mysterio reference the subtext of Sherlock, but the subtext of Sherlock S4 references all the timey-wimeyness of Moffat’s tenure on Who.

    Yes, I think Moffat was having more than a little inter-textual fun with Who/ Sherlock this year.

    Re the question of established “real world” and Sherlock S4. I certainly do not mean to suggest that BBC Sherlock’s world is equivalent to our “real world”. And your point about Sherlock’s fantasy life (perhaps in keeping with his romantic attachment to being a pirate) as peopled by arch-nemeses etc, perhaps in a rather Bond-esque fashion, is well made.

    However, what I mean is that several key established elements of BBC Sherlock are broken so spectacularly in The Final Problem that I see them as part of the fabric of hints that we should read that episode as “mind palace” (perhaps Sherlock’s but likely John’s).

    For example, we know from His Last Vow that John Watson can break every bone in a man’s body while naming them (he threatens Billy at the smack-den with this). Yet, down the well in The Final Problem he cannot distinguish between dog and human bones (initially).

    To give another example, John whispers “Vatican Cameos” to Sherlock via ear-piece (whilst Sherlock is visiting Eurus alone in her cell). We know that’s their mutual code-word for “someone’s going to die” (ergo take immediate action) as established in A Scandal in Belgravia and explicitly in The Sign of Three. Yet Sherlock ignores this signal from John and takes his earpiece out in The Final Problem.

    It’s because I think the show is breaking its own codes of “reality” so flagrantly in The Final Problem that I see a reading of it as “mind palace” rather than in-show “real world” as likely, in particular given the precedent for such mind-palace incursions set by The Abominable Bride.

    I enjoyed your meditations on Bond and Sherlock S4 a lot.

    But, I don’t think they stand in opposition to a reading of S4 as wholly or partly taking place in an altered state (some combination of TD-12 drugging of John and Sherlock, or injured John/ drugged Sherlock mind-palace). And in fact, in the Sherlock official para-text, John Watson’s Blog, which was kept by Joe Lidster officially for the BBC throughout S1-3 (part of the mystery of S4 being the blog header saying “John Watson is no longer updating this blog”) has John specifically mentioning James Bond and promising Sherlock a “Bond night” as Sherlock (in keeping with his habit of deleting “useless” information from his “hard drive”) was clueless about the character:

    http://www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk/blog/23march

    More evidence I think that the Bond-esque flavour to S4 may indicate a John Watson mind-palace POV rather than in-show “real world”.

    And on that note I will cease my musings on the Who/ Sherlock space/time continuum for the night!

    Welcome back 🙂

    @TheConsultingDoctor <waves>  just to note your point about Eurus as one of four Greek Gods of the winds, the Anemoi, yes indeed – more evidence pointing to a fourth episode perhaps, rather than a fourth Holmes sibiling necessarily.

    #55532
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish

    Those are some really interesting connections between the last DW episode and Sherlock. This is the first time in years that I’m having to wait for an episode to be prime on Amazon because I don’t have BBC America anymore so I still haven’t seen the Doctor Mysterio episode, but I had read about the scene with the elephant.

    There was so much fourth wall breaking in Series 4 of Sherlock. There were multiple times when Ben, Martin, and Andrew looked directly into the camera, and there was some literal wall breaking as well. There was the 221b explosion, the glass disappearing, and there was the room Sherlock was in with 4 fake walls.

    #55586
    Anonymous @

    WOW. Head flip.

    Loved it. I haven’t read most of the pages on these episodes but I do wonder these things:

    1. Why was Moriarty acting so ‘oddly’? He threw up in the ‘jail’ cell and was scared of a clown and a masked girl. He seemed -just not right (for want of a better word!).

    2. Who gave Euros the violin the first time? Whoever gave it to her was possibly affected & manipulated. We see Sherlock coming back to play a duet -her way -and his way of expressing affection-  but is there manipulation there too?

    3. I don’t think John was shot with a ‘dart’ as it looked like a gun to me! Which then cycles back to the whole Moriarty thing seeming ‘odd’ -because John doesn’t interact in this story like other adventures.

    4. Sherlock himself seems very emotional, angry, sentimental and patient. So this is how John sees him? Because in TAB John is saying “you’re a man of flesh and blood with impulses” and yet Holmes denies this. This ‘new way’ of looking at Sherlock (someone with impulses) tells me again that John’s been shot by an actual gun -not a tranquiliser, which, when you think about it, sounds like something Euros would do (after all: Victor is a child not a dog and look what happened to him!)

    5. The drone explosion didn’t cause Sherlock or John to have injuries. No burn marks? No broken anything? So, it didn’t happen? And also, why wasn’t it explained later. It seemed an ‘event’ from which they had to escape. But nothing more!

    6. Why was Lady Smallwood and Mycroft having a (sort of) affair? This isn’t Mycroft’s ‘way’ -but there’s no reason for that not to change. He’s not a robot.

    7. At the end Molly Hooper happily bounces in and we don’t see any scarring from the phone call to her from Sherlock! John in TAB said he “saw things which Sherlock was blind to” -such as Molly being a woman. He could then believe that Sherlock should and could end up with Molly. It would mean that his friend, Sherlock could live on without John and having Molly as the new friend and partner?

    8. Why did Culverton use the barbie doll? A reminder of young Faith/Euros?

    Problem is, if John’s shot, then how can he know about Redbeard being Victor? This leads me to believe that Sherlock hasn’t gone anywhere since the end of TAB!  So John’s alive and Sherlock’s high as anything! But that could be bad -for the show – I’ve seen a lot of films with “oh it was all a dream”.

    But then again….it seemed like that to me in TFP because like dreams, all the characters kept moving fast from one scene to another (like a dream -like Part 2 of Silence in the Library!) from one “room” on Sherrinford to another. With 3 garridebs hanging just as Mycroft, Sherlock and John are asked to work it out that’s when the 3 guys fall into view. Also, Euros is a pretty good shot! And guns are part of the world of the soldier -which is John’s world, not Sherlock’s world.

    Anyway, I apologise for rambling.

    Hmmm. I will now read the posts above.

    Thank you for reading,

    Thane.

    #55589
    Anonymous @

    @thane15

    1. Yes, I agree that Mycroft was very out of character in this episode.

    2. Many people think that John was shot in his left eye with a real gun. It does seem like something Eurus might do.

    3. I think that the scene with Mycroft and Lady Smallwood could be mirroring a very similar scene with Sherlock and John.

    4. I think that when Steven Moffat wrote the phone call scene with Molly, he unrealistically believed that there would be no consequences, but even Eurus immediately starts talking about “complicated emotions” afterwards so I don’t really know what Moffat and Gatiss were thinking.

    5. I really love an idea I saw on tumblr about this series all continuing from when Sherlock jumped off the waterfall in TAB. He was still falling into deep waters, and he doesn’t know how to land.

    6. I love that connection to Silence in the Library Part 2. Many of the scenes, especially in TST, jumped around very quickly and did not make much narrative sense. (And in that Doctor Who episode, Donna had fake children…just putting that out there.)

    I really wouldn’t mind them saying “It was all a dream…” As long as they clean up all of the problems they created with this series, and write a really good explanation episode.

    #55591
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @blenkinsopthebrave @thane15 @craig @juniperfish

    Many thanks for the kind welcome and best wishes. Much appreciated. I hope you’ll forgive me when I have to drop out of conversation though. Things are still difficult and I’m really hoping that they’ll be better by the time the good Doctor returns in April. And hugs are always welcome Craig.

    #55592
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @juniperfish

    Yes, I think Moffat was having more than a little inter-textual fun with Who/ Sherlock this year.

    Thanks for responding to the hypertext query. Probably my faulty understanding of the Wikipedia entry:

    Hypotext is an earlier text which serves as the source of a subsequent piece of literature, or hypertext. For example, Homer’s Odyssey could be regarded as the hypotext for James Joyce’s Ulysses.

    So I suppose from that example ACD stories are the Hypotext to Sherlock’s Hypertext?

    I think the ‘game’ has been going on from the start though, although it’s very Timey Wimey. Concepts like Clara being addicted to danger in Series 9 mirrors Johns from series 1. The Mind Palace makes a transition from Sherlock to Doctor Who in Heaven Sent. In return, in this series of Sherlock we have a theme of confession and characters forced to make confessions in a seabound fortress (the confession Dial).

    Moffat was once asked how he kept writing Sherlock and Doctor Who apart in his head and he suggested:

    “I just remember that Doctor Who is about a God who wants to be more human, and Sherlock is about a human who wants to be God”

    But both are, apparently “Great men who may well turn out to be Good ones”

    It’s an interesting puzzle and if you consider this from that God analogy, that Sherlock often waxes lyrical about the “icy cold reason he holds above all else.” He also makes the point in the first episode that if he enough data he could foresee every possibility. He would, in effect, by omnipotent. The trail of prediction he makes in The lying Detective would seem to suggest this.

    From this perspective and knowing that Eurus is much, much better at this than him, then when he walks into that cell, he’s not meeting his sister, he’s daring to approach a God (she is well named). In a meaningful way, she is the God who created the person that Sherlock is now. She’s Nemesis (in the Goddess meaning of the word). I’m not surprised he forgot the code word!

    I think the concern about John not recognising bones has to be taken in context with the situation he was in. In a well, poor lighting, under stress. Also, I’m sure he could name all the bones in a body as he breaks them because they are neatly arranged in a body. During murder investigations it can take an expert to identify random bits of one mammal from another. From this, I think you can safely deduce that I’ve watched far too much of the series ‘Bones’, Doctor Temperance Brennen being another direct inheritor of the ACD legacy.

    The big question for me regarding the thematic climax of this and Doctor Who is that if this is a man who wishes to become a god, meets one and finds that result to be something terrible what does that mean for the God who wants to be more human?

    If Eurus represents Missy, will she also act as Nemesis and give the Doctor what he deserves? After all, from The Magician’s Apprentice.

    Doctor: Davros is my archenemy. Why would I want to talk to him?
    Missy: No, wait. Hang on a minute, Davros is your archenemy now?
    The Doctor: Hush.
    Missy: I’ll scratch his eye out.

    I think the unspoken question here is if Davros is the archenemy, then what is Missy?

    I think Moffat deliberately avoids confusing Nemesis and archenemy because he thinks of them as separate things, even though common usage has blurred them. I’ll touch on that and other bits and pieces you’ve mentioned in Who when I get to The return of Doctor Mysterio. Because in that story the Doctor is Grants Nemesis.

    I will say that in mapping characters across I think John would represent every companion, but because we deal with a mortal hero he is the constant companion. (This observation doesn’t exclude a sexual relationship between John and Sherlock – the game may use similar characters, events and concepts with different or opposite consequences)

    If Irene Adler represents the introduction of the femme fatale to adventure literature then her equivalent in Who is River Song. Both Sherlock and the Doctor are excited by the intellectual challenge as well as being frustrated by them. To them, they are ‘the Woman’.

    #55593
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @juniperfish @theconsultingdoctor @thane15

    Just on your mediations on memory in Series 4, can I suggest when you rewatch from the start of series 1 you listen out for references to memory. They are many and varied, and when Moffat repeats something in a long game it is usually relevant.

    As well as memory, you’ll find references to traumatic childhood in many episodes or, when absent, you may see a child undergoing a traumatic experience (such as the focus on the little girl who sees John trapped in the Bonfire). The Holy Grail of references though – Chekhov’s Dog, if you will, takes place in Series 2 and is reinforced in His Last Vow with Magnussen’s ‘scan’ of Sherlock.

    @theconsultingdoctor posted a meta thingy which almost had it on the Abominable Bride thread (congratulations to the author).

    The text reads in the Red Pressure points

    Redbeard (see file)
    Hound of the Baskervilles

    So, in that episode, Henry Knight sees his father killed by what he thinks is a monstrous dog. He’s so wrong.

    Sherlock: Someone needed to keep you quiet. Needed to keep you as a child to reassert the dream that you both clung on to. Because you had started to remember. Remember now, Henry. You’ve got to remember. What happened here when you were a little boy?
    Henry: I thought it had got my dad. The hound. Oh Jesus, I don’t— I don’t know anymore! I don’t …
    Sherlock: Henry, remember. “Liberty in”. Two words. Two words a frightened little boy saw here twenty years ago. You started to piece things together, remember what really happened here that night. It wasn’t an animal, was it, Henry? Not a monster. A man.
    Sherlock: You couldn’t cope. You were just a child. So you rationalized it into something very different. Then you started to remember so you had to be stopped. Driven out of your mind so no one would believe a word you said.

    Now that is great isn’t it? A traumatised child rationalises a human being into a dog. You can understand why, even as a child he subsequently tried to get the police to investigate the Carl Powers Murder (from the last episode of series 1). His first case and Moriarty’s first victim perhaps. One child killing another by ensuring he drowned. Something disturbed the Deep waters of his subconscious.

    This was expertly put together.

    #55594
    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift

    I know! As I was watching, I was thinking, “I can’t believe this was the theory that I actually got right.” I even guessed that the kid was Victor Trevor seconds before Sherlock revealed it.

    I’m actually a little disappointed that I did get it right because of the way that it took up an entire episode that seemed to have been written very quickly. I think they could have done better if they were going to take the show in that direction. I mean, going back to THoB, Sherlock even says that Henry’s case is boring before taking it. He was more interested in a glow in the dark rabbit.

    Sorry for the negativity. I just felt that even with foreshadowing, the episode seemed very last minute.

    #55595
    Anonymous @

    @theconsultingdoctor @phaseshift @juniperfish

    WOW! I loved all those ideas. I must confess I’ve read about half the posts now and yes, phaseshift, that’s incredible about the comparison with The Hounds oB story. The issues with memory are profound.  I must watch it all again. Including the xtra Miss Fish talked about on the Study in Pink episode.

    I’m still thinking this was in some altered memory state in Sherlock’s mind. I wonder a lot about the corrupted nature of evidence we see in TLD.

    I just can’t get ‘into’  a shipping thing with Sherlock and John -I can see hints of real affection but not a sexual relationship -not because I can’t handle it- but because of the role of Mary in John’s post-being shot stage.

    Hmmm, now, in the middle of this, I’m wondering where John and even Sherlock are. Could John be babbling away in a hospital and Sherlock’s beside him and Sherlock is the one saying “Come on John, stay with me. Let’s solve this case of the ……and then this case of the…..(Eurus being made up).

    John is pretty damaged either way. It’s very clear in TAB when he meets Stanford -almost more damaged than what we see In the Study in Pink.

    I really don’t want to wander into areas like other webs pages in case they write: “it’s all lazy and he keeps stealing from Doctor Who.”.

    I’m not sure I could stay calm!  After all in  TAB there’s SO many hints “nothing new under the sun” and “I write all the stories, Sherlock and the people love them” and Sherl says “People are stupid.”

    If that’s not a shot to the jugular I don’t know what is 😀

    PS :@theconsultingdoctor Thank you for going thru some of those points so patiently. I appreciate this. I  feel shot in the head myself! All these ideas are spinning around above me and I can’t get them to stay still. They seem to be just out of reach. The moment I steady them, more go flying away!

    #55598
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish @theconsultingdoctor

    apologies for post splurges (mum calls them post vomits: how apropos =not sure if that’s the right word!).

    I HAD NO IDEA about the pilot Study in Pink: I mean it’s different!

    This is amazing. I just assumed it was the whole thing, done again, for, erm, no other reason.

    Which is really thick of me.

    So, based on @phaseshift‘s ideas I can see the concept of ‘memory’ everywhere and also (probably also in the original Ep 1 SiP) the name “Clara” on the phone -connecting your Doc Who/Dr Watson worlds there.

    Also the minute 40 from Miss Fish and @theconsultingdoctor. AND to the person who pointed out how when the cases are solved:  Sherlock puts them on the mantle and stabs a dagger/knife thru them.

    “What it must be like in your funny little brains, it must be so boring.”  -loved that reminder.

    Now, John has become quite the man of imagination! Loved your theories @juniperfish. I’ve read them all now  and so everything I write isn’t original -I’ve kind of used your ideas and others and wondered about whether the whole final episode of S4 is both in John’s mind and Sherlock’s but I really am considering the idea of it being only John’s mind thanks to Miss Fish. Again in SiP the DVD extra John looks up (25th minute) and sees Sherlock on the top of a building -an old building (TAB architecture) and ‘wonders’ at him. So what is John really connecting with? Danger or Love? This isn’t in the broadcast SiP I don’t think. Hmm

    #55619
    Anonymous @

    So, we’ve been watching the 4th series again. It’s better the second and third time around -even better.

    So, as Puro says “putting this out there into chaos”:

    Dear Mr Moffat and Mr Gattis,  Sherlock, Season 4 has been amazing. It’s just the right side of clever. It never talks down to me (and I’m 15 and so there are loads of things I don’t know but I will try and learn or find out). It’s funny and very sad. I could say this season was dark and bleak. Maybe that’s right. But it’s OK because life is like that: funny and dark in different ways. I also loved the directing of Rachel Talalay in the first episode and in The Lying Detective the incredible 4 mins editing ‘piece’ which helped Sherlock to understand the word ‘anyone.’ The Final Problem took us all the way back to Season 2 where Sherlock and Moriarty have tea: “have you worked it out yet? I told you but you weren’t listening” but the biggest surprise was the existence of a sister -one which had to be put in a place of safety. There is SO much to think about there. In class we read a story, The Deaths in the Rue Morgue by  Edgar A. Poe – I could see a connection in The Lying Detective with that particular story. But beyond the surprises I think what I realised most of all was that this isn’t just about a great detective who solves Big Crime, it’s a story about the way people care for each other, despite the crises they experience. It’s about the characters -the people, most of all. In that way, it was really wonderful. I hope, one day, you might read this short letter and know that our family loved this terrific show. I think you’ll find that many other people did too.

    Thank you for reading!

    Thane

    #55638
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish @phaseshift.

    I think it’s worth putting it out there that (and this from another friend of mine and friend of Sherlock) that Moffat and Gattis write things economically. If we over analyse it (something I’m guilty of doing) we are in danger of seeing things which aren’t there. Which were never there!  I don’t think there was a ‘masterplan’ and to use Puro’s idea (coincidentally also another person’s) Sherlock is variations on a theme rather than something epic, like an opera.

    Whilst you can see Bond or Batman in the after-shock, the only thing you actually KNOW, is what’s on screen: that loneliness is bad and can cause you to do things which are injurious to the body (overdoing drugs for example) and that terrible things happen to good people. In the end it’s a story about friendship which goes above and beyond the idea of Mary as a ‘baddie’ and whether or not E. actually exists.

    In re-watching it, the three episodes are perfect standalones which don’t really need an overarching villain (E.) or the scary presence of Moriarty pulling the strings in visiting E.

    The friendship stands between people -Mrs H; Molly; Lestrade; John and Sherlock. In the end they finish where they started in Season 1: two damaged people with Mycroft saying, in Ep 2 of this season: “people always die. Why are we so surprised when it happens?”

    We can do metatext all we like but the relationships between friends is the key idea. It’s economical and  we want to see things that maybe aren’t there? And that’s the BIG problem. Because if we want what’s NOT there we’re saying: “relationships between people aren’t enough on screen” and yet they are every thing.

    Anyway, I’ve said a lot on this thread so I should stop now.  🙂  But I’ve loved everyone’s analysis.

    Thane

    #55814
    Missy @missy

    I haven’t got much time today, so as I want to read ALL your comments, I shall keep this short.

    Not being any good at analysis, i waited until I’d seen this twice (all of them twice actually) before having a say.

    In a nutshell, all three were superb. The writing and acting was exemplary.

    In the second – The Lying Detective – it took me until Sherlock tells John that it’s a plan, for me to get it.

    The camera work was also clever, all the threads came together smoothly and I hope and pray that there is a 5th

    series!  The door was left open.

    My husband didn’t understand any of it! *sigh* In his opinion, it’s the worst Sherlock SM and MG have written.

    As his attention span doesn’t go beyond 5 minutes, (yes I told him that) I wan’t surprised. *smiles and rolls eyes*

    But, the most exciting part of all three, is that I got IT ALL WRONG, and I’ve never been more delighted.

    Written in haste, so forgive bad grammar.

    Missy

    #55815
    Anonymous @

    @missy Before your views of the new series are spoiled, I just want to say that I was upset and disappointed by the series when I was last on here, but my opinions of the show have changed slightly for the better since then. There are some very good things that happened this series that I very much enjoy thinking about, and some negative comments I made previously, I do not necessarily think are still true. A few places where I had pointed out plot holes or other things that didn’t make sense to me were details that disappointed fans including myself found when trying to explain why the show did not seem as good as it was in the past. I think we were looking for even more problems than there really were to drive the anger that we had for the show, but I’m starting to see the good in it and see why some things I didn’t understand before make more sense now.

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