spock: logic is sexy

Sherlock 2x02 Reaction Post

I've gotta be honest about something: my interest in critiquing this show is virtually nil. I know that it contains -isms and storytelling issues, but for once, I would just like to enjoy something and write fanfic about the characters who are overlooked, slighted, and misjudged. Perhaps I am failing in my social justice obligations, but taking off the feminist goggles feels good now and again. (Although I do really, really want my Sally back.)

I liked it. It did not fill me with as much wild squee as episode one, but I suppose it would be hard to pack that much character-building and suspense into two episodes back to back. I don't feel that I learned very much about anyone's character in this one, but I think they wanted to lighten up before what is bound to be a dark third episode. If I had one real complaint, it would be Sherlock. Usually I find his antics entertaining, but this time I found him abrasive and annoying. I didn't totally buy the freak-out about the dog, although it was a good excuse for him to need to apologize to John, which was an endearing scene. (I'm not sure I understand John's standards for being pissed off though. Saying hurtful things is bad; experimenting on him is kind of amusing. Maybe because the latter was directly necessary for a case?)

Mostly, I am stuck on the final scene. Mycroft letting Moriarty go?! After he had scratched Sherlock's name all over his cell, presumably with his fingernails?! I am sure there are many potential explanations for that decision, but right now, all I can think is that Mycroft is disturbingly Machiavellian and would somehow find it useful for Moriarty and Sherlock to have another confrontation. On the other hand, if Sherlock were given the choice of whether to confront Moriarty, I think I know what he would pick. Perhaps Mycroft is not as evil as I think he is.

Also, a thing about Irene Adler: I am so not the person to talk anyone out of their feminist fury, but I am really okay with her sentiment for Sherlock being her undoing. To my mind, Sherlock still comes out worse. I don't think her feelings for him had nearly the same magnitude as his feelings for her; and while she might have chosen a poor password, he unraveled an entire anti-terrorism operation. Sherlock guessing her password feels like a shallow, last-minute victory after the amount of anguish he experienced, even if Irene ends up in a lot of trouble afterward. I would have liked for her to rescue herself though; I think she would have been capable. YMMV though, and I understand why some people don't like her role or her story line.
> my interest in critiquing this show is virtually nil.

I agree! For me, too much analysis ruins the fun. I know others enjoy it, so to each his own!

I wrote up my reactions to Hounds in my own journal. Agree it was slower paced, not as good, but still plenty of fun. Lightening up after the first episode, but mostly before the nail-biting climax, which will probably be a dark episode again. I'm for it!

I frankly didn't pay too much attention to the Moriarty bit at the end. I feel it will all be explained in ep 3. Yes, selective viewing!

And for me, I was completely happy with the Irene Adler plot. I like how it twisted and turned, how she proved herself his intellectual equal (people are not giving her credit for her own cunning or solving the lone hiker puzzle), and how their emotions affected and betrayed them. I thought it was only appropriate for Sherlock to try to make things right at the end, because he stole her protection data and therefore put her at risk. Yes, it was an emotional influence that had him come after her-- that was the point! So I was entirely happy with that.
I agree with you that Sherlock is a show with some very alarming flaws (see the Blind Banker). However, I also agree that there's nothing wrong with just purely enjoying a show for itself.

As for Sherlock... I thought his outburst at John was a side effect of being drugged. Later, when Sherlock 'rescues' John in the lab, the good Dr. Watson has an uncharacteristic outburst where he's yelling at Sherlock. What I don't understand is how Sherlock could drug John and then not apologize.

As for Irene... what I can't wrap my head around is how she ended up in Karachi...
Yeah, you're probably right that Sherlock was reacting under the influence. I actually thought he seemed like he was on something in that scene, which was part of what made it feel inauthentic to me...except that he actually was high. I can totally believe that Sherlock would drug John without apologizing, but I don't really understand why John wouldn't want an apology.

The Karachi bit bothered me too. If you pissed off a lot of terrorist cells, an unstable country where terrorist cells are known to operate seems like the wrong place to go. Maybe someone kidnapped her and took her there? Or she was on the run from someone else and ended up there?
It's hard to read that last scene, when John realizes that Sherlock drugged him. I agree with you; I was surprised that John didn't ask (or hint!) for a simple "experimenting on your friends is Not Good, and I am sorry I may have triggered your PTSD" kind of apology from Sherlock.

With her background, Irene would have to be incredibly desperate to end up in Karachi. I can see her being kidnapped and taken there, but it would be rather counterproductive for the terrorist cells (realistically speaking). Then again, I'm probably putting too much rational thought into this.

It's difficult for me to articulate why I like BBC!Irene, yet parts of her story bother me. On one hand, she is nothing like ACD Alder who beat Holmes fair and square. On the other, while she may be a woman subject to the whims of men (Mycroft, Jim, Sherlock), Irene still plays all of them against each other for her own ends.
While the scene was on I was totally waiting for John to go: SO, WHAT DRUG DID YOU TAKE NOW!!! (I mean, it maybe wasn't the typical situation, given that there were working a case, but drug use for Sherlock certainly isn't unprecedented and John is a doctor!) Only when nothing of the sort happened did I start finding Sherlock's reaction over the top. Given that Sherlock WAS drugged, by beef with that scene is now totally John's reaction. Because in my head John Watson is smart enough to tell when Sherlock is just in one of his moods and when he's tripping on something. And even without that conclusion, Sherlock's reactions were extreme enough to not leave him alone and maybe get in a "hey, what's going on with you here" type of thing.
You're right; Sherlock was drugged in that scene, which does make his behavior a bit more plausible now. Maybe John didn't notice that Sherlock was drugged because Sherlock is always a bit dramatic and erratic in his behavior.
I thought episode one did a good job of setting up a Sherlock who's become more obnoxious and more difficult to live with over the past few months, whether due to the the fact that he's relaxing now and not hiding so much of his character from John (because he would have tried for a good first impression, to try and prove he could keep a room-mate and then because it was John.) Or more likely because Moriarty is on his mind, stressing him out. Plus there's the fame thing which is going to start to impede how he works (if it hasn't already) and he hates that. So this all adds up to a more irritating Sherlock and a John who's getting really quite sick of putting up with him, which was the vibe I got in ep one and something I really wanted them to do more with. Here in ep two, you're right it was lighter, but I saw John's need for an apology as a result of that previous build up, rather than a self-contained thing.