Elementary: Joan and Sherlock

Some thoughts on Elementary

I'm not pleased.

Am I the only person who thinks it's super inappropriate to date your best friend's brother? Maybe not in every situation -- I'm sure some people have nice, tidy family relationships and would love to have their BFF become a sister-in-law. That's not Sherlock's situation though, and he's been a good enough friend to Joan that his feelings deserve to be considered. I also question the logic of risking a solid friendship for a relationship that may not work out. It might be worth the risk if you were sure this person was The One, but I don't think the writers established in any way that Mycroft is that special for Joan. I thought the one-night stand was funny. Let's face it -- who hasn't had an ill-considered shag or two? But beyond that, the writers never did anything to develop their connection to the point that it merited questionable friendship ethics, nor do I think the Big Reveal about Mycroft's involvement in MI6 merited Joan's instant forgiveness for being kidnapped by murderous gangsters. Actually, I don't understand why Mycroft is attractive to Joan at all. Is it just because he understands her life with Sherlock? Because there are some attractive single guys on the police force *cough*Bell*cough* who could do that too.
I think I have the inverse objection you do? Like, I found the one-night-stand completely inexplicable for Joan and ethically dubious besides -- she knew it was a thing that was going to seriously upset her ostensible best friend, so simple sexual chemistry (which I didn't think Lucy Lius & Rhys Ifans displayed, but whatever) didn't seem like reason enough. (Unless she was pissed that Sherlock informed her that she *would* be sleeping with Mycroft, and as a surrogate for him besides -- sleeping with Mycroft expressly *to* piss off Sherlock made sense to me. But the show definitely didn't say that was what happened, and if that had been her motive I think she would've let Mycroft down easy when he came to New York.)

But after the episode where they introduced Mycroft, I was actually vaguely shipping them -- but only if they formed a friendship first, where they started to text/email about Sherlock's vagaries, then branched out into talking about their lives in general, then bonded over some other things that they had in common, and just generally did the super-slow-build friends-to-lovers thing. And where, concurrently, Sherlock and Mycroft were continuing to take small steps towards reconciliation, partly but not entirely mediated by Joan. And Joan and Mycroft both did question whether falling in love with each other would hurt Sherlock, and had maybe a little angsty about it, and tried to back away a little, but ultimately decided that Sherlock was an adult and they couldn't make every decision based on what might upset him.

In other words, exactly the *opposite* of what the second half of season 2 showed us, which was. . . I don't even know. Joan being so drawn to Mycroft that she simply couldn't stay away, and forgave him pretty much instantly for any harm he did to her or her ostensible best friend? Ugh.

All that said, I have been shipping Joan/Marcus since season 1 and always would have preferred it to Joan/Mycroft as a canon relationship. I just kind of wanted to read Joan/Mycroft *fic,* as a slight dynamic change from reading Joan/Marcus fic, but the writers ruined even that possibility for me.

(long comment is long, sorry!)
Yes! I could understand a slow-burn Joan/Mycroft where they meet through Sherlock, expand their friendship, and then realize that they have something more. At that point, it might be worth it to risk Sherlock's feelings because they were both certain they had something real. As written, I just don't buy it -- not the least because I think Joan is pretty cautious about her relationships. We know her one canonical ex was an addict, and that would give a girl some trust issues. Someone who lies for a living doesn't sound like the ideal match, or at least, not someone she would get involved with quickly. This feels like something the writers cooked up to create tension between Joan and Sherlock, but I don't think they had to go this far to do it -- Joan moving out would have been enough, and they could have used any male character to explore how a romantic relationship might affect her friendship with Sherlock.
Absolutely. Really, this entire season felt like things were happening by authorial fiat, rather than because they were the natural outgrowths of the characters as previously established. Which is so tragically different from season 1, where the show's greatest strength was its consistency of characterization. :(
Yeah, I think Joan/Mycroft was written so poorly, it really REALLY put me off to the whole end of the season. Like I really think Joan is a better friend than that. She values Sherlock more than that. And even beyond that, she and Mycroft have zero chemistry and no good reasons to want to be together. It all seems like a shoddy effort to up the tension between Sherlock and Joan--but it makes Joan pretty unsympathetic and sets Sherlock up to pitch a fit to get back at her for leaving him (after his actually wonderful confession to her about change--that was moving, I thought). I think Joan's concerns about being swallowed up by Sherlock's life are totally legit, but the writers did not find a good way to express them so that the audience still likes her. I hope S3 clears this up a little better. Hopefully with no Mycroft.
I agree -- Joan's reasons for wanting to move out make total sense to me. Sherlock *is* his work, but Joan can't work happily or effectively if work is her whole life. I do wish they had built that up a little more -- as it was, it came out of the blue -- but I completely understand her reasoning, and wanting to move out would have been a big enough conflict for the show. And if they wanted a relationship conflict? Fine, I think that would have made sense too. They could have chosen Bell, a random guy Joan met at a bar, or even Gregson if they had to. I think Sherlock would have struggled, and Joan would have had legit reasons to be upset about it. But dating your best friend's brother? Um, no. That's not cool. If they had wanted to explore the possibility that Joan is an imperfect friend who sometimes needs forgiveness, that MIGHT have made it okay...but the way it is, we're clearly supposed to side with Joan, and I don't think that makes sense.
I guess I see this differently. For one thing, I don't think Sherlock is Joan's BFF, at least I hope not. They have an unusually intimate working relationship, which is a bit odd, but that fits with book canon. Joan has respect for Sherlock's abilities and even for him as a person, in a way. But she disagrees with him about many things, including how he treats her. Let's face it, he's very controlling and manipulative. He has major problems with boundaries. He doesn't like change. If it was up to Sherlock, Joan would never have any kind of life of her own.

I get that Sherlock doesn't like his brother, and that's a shame, given that Mycroft and Joan have feelings for each other. But as far as I'm concerned, who Joan decides to be in a relationship with is really none of Sherlock's business. I don't think friends have the right to make that kind of demand. And I'm glad she's moving out of the brownstone. I hope the writers stick with this plan.