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On ‎6‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:41 PM, T.o.b.y said:

think that one of the problems with Mary is that she's a side character whose main purpose, like all side characters', is to help tell the protagonist's story, but she would work much better as the heroine (or anti-heroine) of her own. To do her justice, you would need more time to explore her personality and her background, her choices and conflicts, etc. In that setting, she would have been a truly interesting and feminist character. But as Mary Morstan in the Sherlock Holmes story, she just becomes obnoxious because she out-Sherlock's Sherlock and out-John's John and I watch Sherlock for those two and not somebody else. 

 

On ‎6‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 10:21 AM, Arcadia said:

My objection is … why introduce Mary in the first place if you're just going to kill her off 3 episodes later?

Mary Morstan pretty well had to be introduced, since her arrival upon the scene influenced the partnership indelibly (in the stories, I mean)--at least until she died, that is.  Conan Doyle invented a beautiful, sweet, angelic basically perfect Victorian love interest/wife for his doctor hero . . and then killed her off when he got bored with her.  ACD was good at doing this.   I have many issues with the way BBC Sherlock utilized the character of Mary, at least subsequent to the events of her wedding day in TSo3.  Up until then, Amanda's Mary was a pretty good 21st century stand-in for the perfect girlfriend/wife for John.  Of course, they needed to invent more for her to do than pine around the flat for her husband to come home from bashing around with Sherlock Holmes, which is basically how Conan Doyle handled it.  One could argue  (which I do) that Moffiss erred too much the other way . . it wasn't enough for Mary to be a sassy successful career woman in one of the caring professions and the basically cool boho chick we meet at the top of S3 . . shortly to add 'bride' and 'mother' to her resume . .Nooo, they had to go all outlandish and turn her into 'G.I. Jane/Viper Assassination Squad'.  Unbeknownst to us, Mary's version of being the Bride was just like Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill.  Or . . not just a 'Mary' but a 'Mary-Sue'.  To the 10th power.

Her demise was sad, or would have been if that death scene hadn't been so stupid, fake and poorly handled.  But at least Gatiss gave her a death scene.  Conan Doyle never did.  He couldn't be arzed to, despite her death being somewhat important to his second lead character.  MG also went Conan Doyle one better in giving John and Mary a child.  AA was not around long, but her tenure though briefer than book-Mrs. Watson was certainly more prolific.

Which is not to say that anything subsequent to the very beginning of HLV featuring Mary was 'good' in regards to her.  In my opinion.

That being said, I'll still take this Mary over Mary Russell.  Russell is an even bigger Mary-Sue.

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23 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

Yeah, from the little we did see of her past, "special agent" seemed to be a more accurate description of her job than "assassin". 

I can accept the lax attitude towards killing on the show because it's not a super realistic fictional universe and veers into superhero territory where violence clearly has a very different meaning than in real life. In the original stories, killing seemed OK too at times as long as the victims were evil (Milverton comes to mind). It's a "slay the dragons" thing, imo.

I get that … but did Doyle make killing laudable, as the Moftisses seem to do? That's the part that bothers me. Killing someone to save someone else is something I can accept and understand in the context of a story; it's the "oh wow, that's so badass! Cool!" aspect of it in Sherlock that repels me.

One of my favorite novels is Shane (and the movie's pretty good too.) Shane is a hired gun, trying to get away from his past, but in the end has to revert back to gunslinging in order to save a man who has befriended him. The man's young son, Joey, idolizes Shane, and there's a scene near the end where he witnesses Shane in action … the perfection of his technique, the pureness of his intent. The boy is left with his idealized image of the perfect hero, unscathed. 

But the reader sees the real truth … in saving Joey's father, Shane has lost himself. As he tells Joey: "There's no living with a killing. There's no going back from it. Right or wrong, it's a brand, a brand that sticks." He has lost his chance at redemption, and rides off alone, no longer allowed into the world of decent men.

And that's the part that I see missing from Sherlock. They've kept the "gee whiz" idealization of the man (or woman) of action, but fluffed past the consequences to one's humanity brought about by the act of killing. And yet the whole show is supposed to be about Sherlock finding his humanity. It doesn't fit.

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Unlike you, I hate Mary's ghostly presence in The Lying Detective and her DVD messages, too. Finally she's dead yet she's still overshadowing the main characters - what was the point of killing her then? The only way I can enjoy that episode is by reminding myself that it isn't so much Mary I am looking at as an inner voice of John's, a rare look inside his mind for a change and that's actually pretty interesting.

And that's exactly what I love about Mary's role in TLD; it's used to reveal John. Interestingly enough, it's John who ends up in the same purgatory that Shane finds himself in, only John's sin is infidelity. What an imaginative way to explore that. I love it.

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Oh, gee, how imaginitive... infidelity.Except he didn't even cheat on her, just texted with sigh... Eurus who somehow went in and out of that fortress. Also another spouse still seing the other after they are dead is one of the most used, cheesy tricks there is out there. 

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3 hours ago, bronzeblues said:

Oh, gee, how imaginitive... infidelity.Except he didn't even cheat on her, just texted with sigh... Eurus who domehow went in and out of that fortress. Also another spouse still seing the other after they are dead is one of the most used, cheesy tricks there is out there. 

Really? I never came across that before. Just goes to show how little TV I watch usually. 

I think they had to walk a really fine line with John's offense against Mary because it had to be serious enough to make him feel bad but not so serious that Sherlock would be wrong to try to absolve him from guilt in Mary's absence. I think that's why they stopped at "just texting". 

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13 hours ago, Arcadia said:

And that's exactly what I love about Mary's role in TLD; it's used to reveal John. Interestingly enough, it's John who ends up in the same purgatory that Shane finds himself in, only John's sin is infidelity. What an imaginative way to explore that. I love it.

Ghost Mary allowed Amanda Abbington more of a role, after possibly the lamest death scene I have ever seen enacted in film (not the actress's fault, per se--it was situational/script failure for me rather than hers alone).  But Ghost Mary isn't really Mary, is she--she's John's conscience/memories speaking through this manifestation of his dead wife . . so you're right--it's JW in another framework.

John does have a highly developed conscience, to confess to an infidelity that never went beyond texting.  Not even sexting at that.  Just chatting in a virtual medium.  Yes, John was attracted to this woman he met on the bus who, unbeknownst to him was a vicious psychopath playing a role expressly to snare him.  She was a very skillful predator--does he get any slack cut for falling prey to such a creature when everything she did was calibrated to snare him?  Even Sherlock was fooled--by his own sister, playing yet another carefully calibrated fiction.  (Hoist by his own petard, methinks--how many times did he completely fool John in Canon when in disguise?)

It was very honest for John to clear the air about the 'just texting'. If all of us deserved to be taken out back and shot or to lose our relationships over fleeting attraction (unacted upon) to an appealing stranger, I don't think any of us could sustain a relationship at all.  Do you think we are morally obligated to inform our partners every single time we notice another person and wonder what it would be like to be with them instead?  It's human nature; looking happens.  It's the actions that follow the looking or the thoughts they inspire that count for or against our fidelity or lack thereof.

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Euros lured John like some expert famme fatale even though she is later presented as someone who doesn't understand human processes or attraction. Yeah... that just describes later part of this show perfectly. 

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33 minutes ago, bronzeblues said:

Euros lured John like some expert famme fatale even though she is later presented as someone who doesn't understand human processes or attraction.

Eurus is presented as a psychopath.  I've never met one of those, thank heaven, but I have known a few people I'd definitely categorize as sociopaths (psychopaths without the "psycho"), and they are expert manipulators.

Eurus may not feel normal human emotions, but she doesn't really need to,  any more than an animal behaviorist needs  to think or feel  like, say, a cat in  order to predict and manipulate  their behavior  She's highly intelligent and she has a whole staff of normal humans to experiment on -- and a lot of time on her hands.

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To expertly manipulate people and understand what makes them tick you have to have some practical experience with  them. The most expert manipulators of people's feelings have years of practising behind them. They observe how other people behave in all sorts of situations. Eurus or Euros(whatever, I don't care enough) was locked up in a cell like Hannibal(they even compare her to him when mentioning "it's like silence of the lambs down there") when she was 7. By Mycroft. Who I guess was "the British Goverment" at 15 years old and yet their grown up parents didn't know anything about Eurus. So basically, she had little to no contact with people a.k.a she could not possibly have  manipulated them that expertly. But anyway, it's not like the writer thought any of that through... "Happiness is a pop song" what the hell is that? LSD bullshit, my god, my head hurts just remembering all that. 

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5 hours ago, bronzeblues said:

Oh, gee, how imaginitive... infidelity.Except he didn't even cheat on her, just texted with sigh... Eurus who somehow went in and out of that fortress. Also another spouse still seing the other after they are dead is one of the most used, cheesy tricks there is out there. 

Well, John feels he cheated on her, and that's what counts, imo. That's what that scene is about, John's guilt, deserved or not.

That's a cheesy, overused trick? I didn't realize, it's the only time I've seen it done. But I admit I don't watch a huge amount of television. Lucky me, then, as I found it very effective.

ETA: Ooops, I see now that I basically parroted Toby. Sorry, Tobs. I've got to find an easier way to multiquote…..

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48 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Eurus is presented as a psychopath.  I've never met one of those, thank heaven, but I have known a few people I'd definitely categorize as sociopaths (psychopaths without the "psycho"), and they are expert manipulators.

Eurus may not feel normal human emotions, but she doesn't really need to,  any more than an animal behaviorist needs  to think or feel  like, say, a cat in  order to predict and manipulate  their behavior  She's highly intelligent and she has a whole staff of normal humans to experiment on -- and a lot of time on her hands.

That's what I got from it too. She's observationally astute enough that she can anticipate how people will react, even if she doesn't feel the same way they do about the situation. Sherlock was portrayed even from the beginning as being similar … he couldn't understand (or pretended not to) why the pink lady would still be grieving her stillborn daughter, for instance, but he observed human nature well enough to figure out that it meant "Rachel" would be the password. I'm willing to bet most people can do that to some extent or another; observe how emotions determine actions, even when they don't feel the emotion themselves.

I thought they made it quite clear in the episode that Eurus was observing the observers and learning more about them than they did about her. That's why Mycroft tried to forbid interaction with her; he knew what she could do with even a little knowledge about someone.

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If only Moffat listened to himself when he said they shouldn't explore Sherlock's childhood or family or any of that. The problem is the writers completely misinterpreted what made this show successful in the first place. 

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3 hours ago, bronzeblues said:

... the writers completely misinterpreted what made this show successful in the first place. 

I'm not so sure they we're aiming for "successful" so much as for "fun to write."  In their shoes I'd be likely to do the same thing (though of course my idea of "fun" might differ from theirs).

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On 6/10/2018 at 4:52 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm not so sure they we're aiming for "successful" so much as for "fun to write."  In their shoes I'd be likely to do the same thing (though of course my idea of "fun" might differ from theirs).

I could understand the possibility that they had fun writing Eurus-since they only could have done so if they were high as kites. But all that dreadful Mary stuff was so... smug. You could just feel how smug Moffat felt while writing that storyline. How brilliant he thought it was.

Edited by Carol the Dabbler
to remove overly personal remarks

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Oh, I don't think you have to be high to write a character like Eurus, you just need some imagination and maybe a little research. Probably helps if you've read a lot of science fiction, too. I think she's a fascinating character; she just was introduced into the story too abruptly, imo. Viewers didn't have time to get used to the idea of her. I especially liked her alternate personalities, that's always interesting to watch.

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Alternate personalities who make no sense whatsoever. One second she is a female Hannibal Lecter the other "the girl on the plane" is a metaphor for her loneliness? For f sakes. Spare me the bullshit writers and make up your mind. The fact that Eurus came out of nowhere is one of the lesser problems here. 

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