spock: logic is sexy

Sherlock 2x03

It's taken me until today to even begin forming a coherent reaction. I'm just so worried about everyone! John, obviously - how long is Sherlock going to have to pretend to be dead? How long will he wait before he lets John know? Is John going to go looking for him? So many questions! But also, I cannot stop worrying about Lestrade. Does he feel that he played a part in driving Sherlock to suicide? How does a person even deal with that? At least John knows he stood by Sherlock in the end; Lestrade tried to have him arrested, even if he did not personally agree with the charges. I don't blame Lestrade for what he did, but I wonder if he is blaming himself. Of course, it is impossible not to worry about Sherlock. However much he hates to admit it, he must be lonely on the run with (probably) only Molly for companionship. I think he must be feeling horribly vulnerable and betrayed too; for someone who had built such a fortress around himself, to have had his life story published would be horrifying -- and he would know supplied the information, obviously.

I do wonder why Sherlock is pretending to be dead though. Does he think Moriarty left standing orders with someone? But what possible incentive would there be for someone to actually shoot Moriarty's old targets? There's not exactly money in it now. Or does Sherlock think that John actually believes him to be a fake, so he doesn't think he has anything to return to? Or does he think that association with him is too dangerous and that John is better off without him?

And Mycroft. God. I can't remember the last time I felt so appalled by a character. What he did was unforgivable. To sell your bother's life story to his archnemesis - I'm chilled by the coldness of it. He had to know that was the worst possible thing he could have done to Sherlock. Maybe I feel some tiny inkling of compassion that he is secretly just as reckless as Sherlock is, but mostly, thinking about it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Mycroft is so much more fucked up than Sherlock is.

I think that Sherlock faces the same problem that most reboots do: they are recycling material from a period when women were terribly marginalized, and as a result, the women who are added to the new material are always peripheral at best. Unless someone is willing to change the gender of canonical characters like Battlestar Galactica did, the best any rebooted show will contain women, but it won't be about women. This is not a defense; it's an observation about the origin of a problem that will persist for a very long time, especially given the current fascination with rebooting material from past centuries and decades.

That said, the best lesson I learned from where_no_woman is that flawed source material still contains fabulous women, and you can still write fabulous stories about them. This is why I am ultimately at peace with the women in Sherlock. I do genuinely like the female characters, however marginalized they are, and I'd rather celebrate the ways that they are awesome than complain they've been shortchanged. (Obligatory disclaimer: this not me telling anyone else that they are wrong to complain - it's just my personal approach to an issue that could make me crazy if I let it.)

I liked Molly's role a lot in episode three. Actually, I've always liked Molly's character because she's real, and not all real women are dominatrices, power brokers, geniuses, black belts, sharp shooters...or liberated from their unwise crushes on unobtainable men. I mean, I applaud any woman who has never made an ass of herself for a man, but I'm not one of them. I admired Molly's speech to Sherlock; it was brave and also compassionate. I like to think that she's hung onto Sherlock for so long not because she's a senseless doormat but because she knows he needs compassion, and she can afford to give it.

I also enjoyed Sally's role in this episode, even though she was once again the antagonist. A good antagonist is someone who genuinely believes that she is doing the right thing, and I think Sally does. Certainly, her distaste for Sherlock informs her judgment, but she dislikes him for understandable reasons. My ultimate fantasy for Sally would be that she could rescue Sherlock or solve a crime with him, and Sherlock would be forced to admit to her awesomeness, but this works too. I like that she has power in the situation, and I like that it was her coming after him with Anderson providing support -- it could so easily have been the other way around.
Have you read the original stories?

I kind of love Mycroft; he's probably my favorite character, because he is just so royally fucked up. I feel like he's what Sherlock would have become had he not chosen to live on the fringes of society. Plus, he doesn't have a John figure to rein him in or even just serve as a foil, though there's some fic where Anthea serves that role for him, which I love.

I really like Sally, and I thought she was completely justified, given the information she had - and let's face it, the only facet of Sherlock she's seen is the one that laughs at grisly murders and thinks the most twisted cases are the most fun. It depresses me to see all the hate she's getting on tumblr.
> how long is Sherlock going to have to pretend to be dead?

5 minutes.

> How long will he wait before he lets John know?

5.1 minutes.

> Is John going to go looking for him?

He won't have time. There will be a tearful, happy reconciliation before he can even leave the cemetary. No worries; just happy to set your fears at rest!

I think you already know my theory about why the hiding; Sherlock feels his friends are still in danger from Moriarty's network. And let's not forget that Moriarty might not really be dead! It was probably a ratings issue, but his head should have been more mangled from that shot. If it wasn't, he could have been faking it-- blank, and then blood triggered from somewhere. (No, I don't believe that personally, but I've seen the idea bantered about.)

I think Mycroft is suffering a double indignity-- being outfoxed by a known criminal, and knowing his hubris led to Sherlock's death. Even assuming he's informed somewhat promptly (in canon, Sherlock contacts him for funds), there are going to be people in his biz who know that he's the guy who spilled his guts and got his brother killed. As status conscious as Mycroft is, that's going to hurt him-- as well it should. One of the things I like about this series is the "pride goeth before a fall" theme.

Re: gender, you did observe that they switched genders for Stapleton in Hound. She's a girl scientist instead of a boy naturalist. I thought it was a nice switch. I remember complaints that Lestrade should have been updated to a woman, but I'm loving Rupert Graves too much to be hard-nosed about this.

Well, writers write what they know, and if you have boy writers, you'll get more boy characters, or titillating women characters like dominatrixes that frankly just don't represent an average woman. That's one of my gripes; the huge number of sex workers we see as women heroes on screen. You know, we _can_ do other things. :)
What an episode, right?

My favorite parts were John and Molly, basically. Although, who am I kidding, Sherlock's mood, the entire way he carried himself was different--sad and a little desperate all just out of sight for John. KILLED ME DEAD. The mood of the whole ep. was so sinister--it was wonderful and terrible.

But, my god, John. What will he do? He'll never believe that Sherlock lied to him, and he'll never let that go, never allow anyone to vilify him. And it'll probably ruin him, until it's just he and Mrs. Hudson against the world.

I'm most curious about Molly. I thought she was fantastic in this. I've been in her shoes before, and I think her loyalty and compassion are admirable. She's not a doormat; she's his friend, and I think he only just realized that. I'm hoping there will be fantastic fic exploring their friendship--speculation about how exactly she helped him fake his death, how she keeps his secret, if/how they keep in touch, if she's his only contact now that he's 'dead.' There are so few male/female friendships; I'm really excited about this one.

I do wonder if Mycroft knows Sherlock is alive, if there was a Holmes brothers plot to bring Moriarty down, even though it meant bringing Sherlock down with him.

Though I almost kind of hope that Mycroft did fall for Moriarty's ploy, hook, line, and sinker. I'm not really a fan of the 'Surprise! We both knew all along! Sorry we didn't tell you, John!' plot twist. It's better story telling in my mind to figure out how to slog through the mess and pick up the pieces.

Sherlock's emotions at the end were real. There were no cameras to record his death; there was only John. Although, I suppose he did need to put on a performance for John, I...can't see all of that being faked. Sherlock wouldn't have grown at as a character if it were all fake, and at this point there has been evidence that he's grown, so.

Oh, and re. women in the episode. At first I was irritated that it was Sally and that journalist who were completely taken in/manipulated by Moriarty. Because there's nothing the internet loves more than to hate on a woman who 'hurts' their favorite man character. And both Sally and the journalist (can't remember her name!) badly hurt Sherlock because of Moriarty's machinations. So, I did experience a moment of, 'Really? Moffat, you're not doing these gals any favors right now. You're just setting them up for future humiliation for being manipulated.'

But then I took a deep breath, and saw that both Sally and Journalist were justified in their actions, so far as they knew. And also, Mycroft Holmes himself fucked up way worse than they did. (So far as we know.)

I was satisfied. Actually, I was more than satisfied; I was weeping and clutching my blanket.

Series 3, please?