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Who do you think is the worst of the villains?


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#21 Carol the Dabbler

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 08:05 PM

At the time of His Last Vow, I thought the show really couldn't dip much lower/more outrageous as when they turned Mary Morstan Watson into a CIA-trained rogue assassin.

 

But that was prior to Season 4.  I had yet to find out that, indeed, it could get a lot worse.

 

Interesting that Moftiss chose to make Mary an assassin, because in my view, that's what they've done to the character of the woman whom ACD depicted as John Watson's guiding star and the love of his life (if that spot wasn't already taken up by Sherlock Holmes.  Who knows if Moftiss is guilty of gay-baiting or not in their intentions for their screen pair, but I am speaking of Holmes and Watson as platonic best friends/halves of the whole/frères du guerre.)

 

Moftiss's Mary was essentially a smear job on Watson's beloved wife.  No offence meant to Amanda Abbington, who was as much in the dark as we were until the Unmasking of Mary in that 3rd epi of S3.  She was blindsided, same as we were, and admits that she would have played Mary significantly differently had she known the Secret.  Which is probably why Moftiss didn't tell her. They wanted their actors and their audience on the back foot.  'Cause, you know, S. Moffat is a megalomaniac that way.  Anyway, j'accuse him of being such.  Uber-controlling, that one. I thought it was a shoddy way to treat his actors AND his viewership . . .but he'd just proceed to continue blithely on doing so in TAB and the whole of S4.

 

Essentially, having blown it with Sebastian Moran in TEH, the third episode of that season reintroduces elements of Moran with the 'empty house' motif--only *Mary* is standing in for Moran.  Moran is the cold-blooded paramilitary assassin with the air rifle who makes it his mission to shoot Holmes.  What a can of worms they opened up with this variation, though.  Because in 'The Six Thatchers', they have to explain Mary's background as a G.I. Jane/ninja assassin.  Her death at the end of that episode is gutting for John, but it's fitting, really--Mary lived as a soldier and she died a soldier's death.  Mary had to die, because we know from Canon that this Mrs. Watson is doomed . . . but what a convoluted way round the houses to get there.   To add that extra layer of verisimilitude,  (unbeknownst to us at the time), Martin and Amanda were already estranged by the time they came to enact the Watsons' final, permanent separation.  Talk about Art imitating life!

 

Makes me wonder if they were already having problems during the filming of 'The Sign of Three' when they had to enact a joyously married couple.  Amanda looked so beautiful as a bride; it had to be a source of no small irony, as they spent what must have amounted to several days' worth of filming the wedding/Best Man Speech scenes, that this couple had never actually put a ring on it in 15+ years of togetherness.

 

Tough breaks for Amanda A., who I liked as Mary.  I did not like what Moftiss did with Mary, though.  They made her go through her paces like a stunt pony until they disposed of her in the story.  Perhaps *she* could have been the long-lost Holmes sister (non-psychotic variant) . . .and I would have felt gobs better about the final two seasons generally.

 


I can tolerate TEH, am generally fond of TSo3, but could seriously do without HLV.  I love TAB (one of my top four favorites, I think).  In general I like T6T far better than TEH, and like TLD well enough (except for John kicking Sherlock), but I largely dislike TFP even worse than HLV (those two are in my bottom three, right below TBB).

 

So I agree with a good bit of what you say, just not all of it.


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-- Carol

 


#22 Arcadia

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:15 PM

I meant worst as in "baddest". Most villainous, most despicable, etc.

I know it should be Moriarty but my gut still says Magnussen.

I understand. Somehow Moriarty elicits sympathy from the audience; he seems so damaged. Magnussen, on the other hand, you just want to see brought down, as quickly and as ruthlessly as possible. Which he was, but as you know I have real issues with that ..... :smile:

Smith squicks me out but somehow I still hate CAM more, and I think you've identified the reason ... he's so "sane." The other big bads gave you the impression they weren't entirely in control of their destructive impulses, but CAM ... he's the Mycroft of the criminals, going about his business with cold, ruthless logic.

I guess I would say I find CAM the most contemptible, Smith the creepiest, and Moriarty the most harmful. Eurus I don't even classify as a villain, tbh; just deranged.
 
 

 

If you mean the lamest villain :smile: I'd have to go with Dr. Frankland, because I don't think his plan was very well thought out.

 
In his defense (as it were), he didn't start out to be a villain.  He'd accidentally killed a man, and there was a witness who needed to be neutralized.  I'm sure he could have figured out a way to kill young Henry (or later when he started to remember what had happened, the adult Henry), but to his credit, he did not.  True, he chose to mess with Henry's head, which is pretty bad in its own way.
 
As for his villainy skills, again, he was sort of an accidental villain, so he didn't have the opportunity to design his own methods, he had to improvise as he went along.  Plus he was apparently not a bad man at heart (he just had a strong survival instinct), so it probably never even occurred to him to use some of the far more effective (and truly nasty) methods that Moriarty or Magnussen would have employed without a second thought.

 

 

​Exactly; that's what makes him so lame as a villain! :D
 

 

If you mean the lamest villain :smile: I'd have to go with Dr. Frankland, because I don't think his plan was very well thought out.


Tsk.. how could you forget General Shan??

 

 

I try to forget her as much as I can. :P But I did consider her, but Dr. Frankland seemed more pathetic to me. So there.


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#23 Arcadia

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:51 PM

I vote for mass murder being worse than blackmail, no matter what Sherlock says.
 
Both Moriarty & Culverton Smith murdered innocents.  Moriarty wins 'worst' in terms of numbers--he was a terrorist and the death of scores of innocent people via his bombs and etc. did not trouble him in the least.  They were nothing more than collateral damage, even when he personally didn't dirty his hands.  Smith was a different type of sociopath:  he targeted his victims for entirely personal reasons and was very hands-on his killing.

Yeah, I think that's where I was coming from ... who did the most harm?

 

Then, of course, there is Euros . . .I kind of put her to the side because, although her actress did a fine job with a challenging role, Euros is completely out of left field.  She has no place in the Canon and frankly, no recognizable humanity at all.  She's a cartoon--a Bond megalomaniac who wondered over into the wrong universe.  Inserting her into the storyline was Moftiss issuing a gigantic F U to the Sherlock fandom, both the ones devoted to this show and those who honor the creation of Arthur Conan Doyle.  I totally lost respect for both of them with that episode, and they lost their credibility as bona fide Sherlockians with me.  Euros makes all the former villains, including Moriarty and Ernst Blofeld look like boy scouts.  It was way more than a step too far bringing her into the picture, in such a manner.

 
Aha! I said all along that I didn't want Sherlock to become James Bond! I feel so vindicated! :D Srsly, I don't think I'd thought of it specifically like that, but that is indeed what feels wrong to me about TFP; right characters, wrong universe. In a million years it would never have occurred to me to conflate Holmes and Bond, I've never understood why some people are so fascinated by the idea. Ah well. I have no quarrel with Moftiss, though, it's their show and I've derived hours and hours of pleasure from it. They can do with it what they like; just as I'm free to criticize their choices. ;)
 
I have to admit, though, if given the choice between having S4 and the golden gift (to me) that is TLD, or having no S4 at all and thus avoiding all it's flaws .... I'd choose the former.
 

Like I sad, I don't really have a good rational argument for choosing Magnussen, except maybe that he seems the most sane. At least Sherlock agrees with me that he is hate-worthy. Maybe I just despise him because my hero / fictional crush does. :lol:

 
​Agreed. Just like I accept Mary simply because Sherlock does. We are his mind-slaves. :D
 

Tough breaks for Amanda A., who I liked as Mary.  I did not like what Moftiss did with Mary, though.  They made her go through her paces like a stunt pony until they disposed of her in the story.  Perhaps *she* could have been the long-lost Holmes sister (non-psychotic variant) . . .and I would have felt gobs better about the final two seasons generally.


Yes, that bothered me too ... whether you liked Mary or not (and I did, very much), T6T made me feel she was introduced ONLY so Moffat could fulfill his childhood dream of writing Sherlock's best man speech. Then they used her to introduce a female bad ass into the story ... for ONE episode. After that they had no more use of her and disposed of her asap. 

 

I think that's another reason I loved TLD ... Mary has (to my mind) her proper function in that story. Too bad she was dead already, but also that made it more poignant, so hey. Like I said, it's their show, I'm grateful for the good bits and am trying to leave the rest in peace. :smile:


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#24 T.o.b.y

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 01:25 PM

I don't feel sympathy for Moriarty at all. And I think he is scary. But he's also fun to watch and Magnussen certainly isn't. At least not for me.
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#25 Carol the Dabbler

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 01:31 PM

Yup, it's their show. But you know that magic Steven Moffat was talking about recently? As he said, that's a joint effort between the writers, the actors, a whole bunch of other creative people, and the audience. I hope there will be more episodes, but if there are, I hope that the writers bear their original fans in mind, rather than continuing to reinvent the show.

-- Carol

 


#26 Boton

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 01:44 PM

 

Yes, that bothered me too ... whether you liked Mary or not (and I did, very much), T6T made me feel she was introduced ONLY so Moffat could fulfill his childhood dream of writing Sherlock's best man speech. Then they used her to introduce a female bad ass into the story ... for ONE episode. After that they had no more use of her and disposed of her asap. 

 

I think that's another reason I loved TLD ... Mary has (to my mind) her proper function in that story. Too bad she was dead already, but also that made it more poignant, so hey. Like I said, it's their show, I'm grateful for the good bits and am trying to leave the rest in peace. :smile:

 

 

Totally agree; and I think they only made her pregnant so they could do the "giving birth in a car" joke. 

 

I also liked the way they used Mary in TLD.  That was actually a fairly clever thing to do with her, so I was glad of that.  


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#27 T.o.b.y

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:56 PM

Ugh, tastes differ... I hated what they did with Mary in The Lying Detective and it spoils the otherwise wonderful episode for me a bit.

Btw, speaking of villains, I am still a bit disappointed that they didn't go anywhere with Mary's sinister potential. She seemed more cut out for a grey character à la Irene than the Guardian Angel of Baker Street she finally became.
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#28 Carol the Dabbler

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:58 PM

Yeah, I kept expecting to find out that she'd been sent by Moriarty to observe John in case he .did anything that might indicate Sherlock was still alive (or whatever), and ended up genuinely falling in love with him.  It would have been interesting to see how she managed that juggling act.


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