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Episode 3.1, "The Empty Hearse"


Undead Medic

What Did You Think Of "The Empty Hearse"?  

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    • 8/10 Certainly Worth Watching Again.
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... the paper cups morphing into John's eyes I felt was a bit too much on the clever/self-indulgent side; like they put it there just for the fun of it. Which is fine, when we're supposed to be dazzled by the brilliance of such effects, but not fitting for the sadness portrayed in John's face.

 

It didn't bother me horribly - it didn't ruin the scene for me - but I did notice that it felt out of place.

 

Right, the sadness overcomes the tacky transition pretty quickly.

 

Of course, as the camera pulls back, we also get the mustache.  The first time a dimly-lit setlock photo showed John with a mustache, I was all in favor of it -- but as we got some clearer shots of it, I kinda lost my initial enthusiasm.  I have seen Martin Freeman look very nice with (apparently homegrown) fur on his face, but this particular mustache (definitely not his) seems to have been intentionally designed to look scruffy.  I must admit he looks much better without it.

 

There's just no pleasing me today, is there?  :P

 

I read somewhere "on the internet" the other day, in an interview with Moffat, that he meant Shelock's emotion on the rooftop to be all fake and just part of the act to convince John. I could slap myself now for not having saved the link to that....

 

Darn!  That does indeed sound interesting.  Of course, that may be the same Moffat who swore up and down that Moriarty was dead, and is now saying Ha-ha, fooled you!

 

(I bet he's a barrel of laughs on April first.)

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I read somewhere "on the internet" the other day, in an interview with Moffat, that he meant Shelock's emotion on the rooftop to be all fake and just part of the act to convince John. I could slap myself now for not having saved the link to that, because now I can't find it any more. But I thought it was interesting, because it solves one of the biggest riddles of series 2 for me and I must say, I kind of suspected it.

Could this be the interview you're referring to?

 

http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/sherlock-finale-postmortem-steven-moffat-interview.html

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That could well be it, Arcadia.  It's just a parenthetical remark (which probably explains why T.o.b.y couldn't find it again) in a paragraph about Molly:

 

 

 

.... all of Sherlock’s emotion on the rooftop when he’s talking to John in “The Reichenbach Fall” is completely faked — he’s just trying to give his friend a bad time so he’ll be in an emotional state to believe what’s about to happen....

 

Note, however, that he says "when he's talking to John" -- so that would not necessarily apply to Sherlock's apparent shock when Moriarty shoots himself.

 

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Thanks, you two! Yup, that was what I meant. No, if the reaction to Moriarty's death (?) is fake, then I'll be very disappointed. I meant the phone call, the tears. I remember quite "spirited" discussions a while back about whether those were real or not, Initially, I was for all fake and then I watched that scene a few times too often, became all sappy and decided the emotion becomes real after a while - well, seems my first instinct was right. Don't know whether to be happy about that or no. But it makes the most sense that way for The Empty Hearse, because in that case, Sherlock really had no idea what he did to John until he saw his reaction in the restaurant. Although I would have thought that if he could hear every word spoken at his grave, the penny should have dropped there...

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Except when he does. Sometimes he's VERY perceptive. It's maddening. :-)

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Maddening is the right word! :) You never really know with Sherlock, so I think another one of Moffat's warnings apply: "Don't sentimentalise him." That was actually said when someone suggested to him that Sherlock's tears on the rooftop were real. I never really thought they were, but that didn't stop me from expecting that he knew something of what he had done to John. The penny should indeed have dropped when he saw - and apparently heard - John at his grave. In fact, the penny should have dropped when he was lying on the pavement, and John broke down in front of what he thought to be Sherlock's dead corpse.

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"Don't sentimentalize him" - you know, I wish the writers would follow their own advice there!

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Or at least be consistent about what they choose to sentimentalize..... altho would we have as much fun b**ching about it if they did? :-)

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We want Sherlock to be more consistent -- and more human.  At the same time.  I guess that means we're human too.  ;)

 

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... I think another one of Moffat's warnings apply: "Don't sentimentalise him."

 

OK folks, let's get real ... we're not supposed to sentimentalise him? Then why do they keep showing us stuff like this?

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And this?

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PUH-leeeezzzzee. I think I've been maneuvered into precisely where they want me to be!  ;)  :rolleyes::facepalm::D

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;)  I think you have a point there, though it is Lestrade hugging Sherlock - not the other way around :) That says something. But yes, there are examples of Sherlock being sentimental, even prior to Reichenbach. I sometimes feel that my emotions are being toyed with :P  but I don't know if Mofftiss do so on purpose... I kinda think they just make the show what they want it to be (which they should).

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Y'know, that post was really funny in my head when I composed it, but on re-reading I'm not so sure ... so I just want to assure everyone that it was MEANT to be funny! :wacko:  And a poke at Moffat.

 

It's not that Sherlock is being sentimental in those photos ... it's that Moffat purposefully hired an actor to play him who infuses so much warmth, vulnerability and humanity into his character that it would take the most insensate of clods NOT to feel something for him. Acting aside (and the directors are complicit in that too!), the dialogue and situations romanticize him constantly, as does the cinematography, the music (oh, the music!), the wardrobe .... If we aren't meant to sentimentalise Sherlock, Moffat is doing a really bad job! (And again, I intend to be sarcastically amusing....or amusingly sarcastic, or whatever...) :P

 

I guess I'm saying we shouldn't be second-guessing ourselves just because Moffat spouts stuff like that ... I think we're being pretty astute, and deciphering his intentions pretty darn well!
 

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Y'know, that post was really funny in my head when I composed it, but on re-reading I'm not so sure ... so I just want to assure everyone that it was MEANT to be funny! :wacko:  And a poke at Moffat.

 

It's not that Sherlock is being sentimental in those photos ... it's that Moffat purposefully hired an actor to play him who infuses so much warmth, vulnerability and humanity into his character that it would take the most insensate of clods NOT to feel something for him. Acting aside (and the directors are complicit in that too!), the dialogue and situations romanticize him constantly, as does the cinematography, the music (oh, the music!), the wardrobe .... If we aren't meant to sentimentalise Sherlock, Moffat is doing a really bad job! (And again, I intend to be sarcastically amusing....or amusingly sarcastic, or whatever...) :P

 

I guess I'm saying we shouldn't be second-guessing ourselves just because Moffat spouts stuff like that ... I think we're being pretty astute, and deciphering his intentions pretty darn well!

 

 

Whether intentional or no, this version of Sherlock Holmes is certainly very romanticized and it is more than easy to become emotionally invested in him - he's custom made to be fallen in love with, while the original Mr Holmes certainly had potential that way, but that was, I think, more accidental on Doyle's part. I love that. Sherlock is simply glorious. There is no other character in any film or series that I so thoroughly enjoy. And I also love how you can never be sure of him. He fools the audience into tearing up for him, just as he fools John, and the next moment he turns around and laughs in our faces for being so gullible. But not always. Sometimes, what we see is genuine and so I continue to try figuring him out with no end in sight (hopefully).

 

Sorry, needed to gush a bit - my day was sadly in need of some fannish enthusiasm...

 

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It does seem to be that kind of day. Maybe it's the weather.

 

I agree, the only other character I can think of that I enjoyed this much was Spike on Buffy. And maybe Spock, a bit. (The original. I like the new one too but he's not as funny.)

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I too find this series so cerebral. It's not your usual, run of the mill, spin off of something else. It's in a class all it's own. It's a class act and nothing is coming close to it.

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Yes! I've just been thinking the same today (well, I often do, but... anyway...). It's so original - especially the two first series; they are truly like nothing else I've seen. Series 3 brings on more drama, and of the really great kind, but I don't feel it's quite as unique.

 

By the way, I completely agree that Moffat and Co. are "guilty" of making us sentimentalise Sherlock. I'm sure they don't have any problem with twirling our emotions in ten different directions in the same episode - in fact, I think they are drama queens themselves ;) enjoying the ride thoroughly!

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Has it been discussed why the writers have Sherlock not tell John how he managed to fake his death? I'm a little disappointed about that. I really wish John had asked Sherlock about what he'd been up to for two years, as well. Ah, well. There's only so much you can squeeze into 90 minutes, I suppose. I thought it was great to focus on the emotional journey of John forgiving Sherlock, and there was a lot of fun stuff, too, that I adored, so I can't say I'd want to take anything out.

Does anyone know if Doyle's Holmes explained it to Watson?

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The thing S3 does that is so great, tho, is that it takes your expectation of what the show is like, and twirls it in another direction. I found it quite exhilarating. How many other shows dare to do that? Again, the only one I can think of is Buffy (to be fair, there's a world of shows I've never seen...)

 

Twirls ... for some reason I always think of S3 in terms of dancing ...

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Does anyone know if Doyle's Holmes explained it to Watson?

 

Yes, he did. The explanation takes up about half of the original story "The Empty House" and is pretty whacky. It involves, among other things, Japanese wrestling and falling rocks.

 

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It is funny, really, that we all think Sherlock treated John pretty badly by disappearing for years and then returning with a joke, but the original return wasn't much better. The bookseller disguise - so beautifully spoofed in TEH - and then the rather convoluted explanation of his escape from the waterfall, and his account of his travels which sounds rather like boasting.....Went to Tibet, met the head lama, pretended to be a Norwegian explorer named Sigerson, did some chemical research in France....

 

On the other hand, Holmes didn't make Watson watch him "die". And I still don't understand why Sherlock inflicted it on John. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

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It made sense to me at the time it happened, it's the explanation in TEH that makes it make no sense. I can't figure it out either.

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It is funny, really, that we all think Sherlock treated John pretty badly by disappearing for years and then returning with a joke, but the original return wasn't much better. The bookseller disguise - so beautifully spoofed in TEH - and then the rather convoluted explanation of his escape from the waterfall, and his account of his travels which sounds rather like boasting.....Went to Tibet, met the head lama, pretended to be a Norwegian explorer named Sigerson, did some chemical research in France....

 

On the other hand, Holmes didn't make Watson watch him "die". And I still don't understand why Sherlock inflicted it on John. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

 

 

It made sense to me at the time it happened, it's the explanation in TEH that makes it make no sense. I can't figure it out either.

 

Well, either its a plot hole, awful characterization or... they intend to go into it in season 4?

Discarding the first two options, because, really, it makes one feel rather gloomy when looking at the plot holes(?) in HLV.... - let's assume there's a deeper connection.

There actually are some things that don't add up. Which, as we know, isn't necessary. They didn't drive themselves against a wall. Dozens of fans fared remarkably well with the setting in their stories, and made something respectable of it. It's not a dead end by default.

 

Why, for example, did Sherlock jump? If Mycroft had only invited John's sniper to "reconsider" after Sherlock jumped, the sniper'd have seen Sherlock "fake it", and he'd have pulled the trigger instantly. No time to reconsider. So they must have already "negotiated" before Sherlock jumped. Sherlock simply could have walked down the stairs. Assuming he didn't jump because he always wanted to know what it feels like to fly - the "how" isn't the right question, I think. It's "why." And Sherlock beautifully evaded this question in TEH. He didn't need to jump. The witnesses were fake anyway. It wouldn't have mattered if they falsely claimed to have seen someone jump, or if they truly did.

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On the other hand, Holmes didn't make Watson watch him "die". And I still don't understand why Sherlock inflicted it on John. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

 

I always just thought Sherlock needed to stop John from coming in to the hospital. He could have told John to go away, I suppose, but John wouldn't have. Or he could have waited with everything until John had left... called him up and told him he was somewhere else... but maybe it was too late at that point, seeing as the snipers were all in place.

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