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Carol the Dabbler

How would you fix "His Last Vow"?

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Toby, you have such a great way of putting things and I agree with so many points you raise here.

 

Just another thing I want to add as to why His Last Vow is (in my opinion) a great episode: I think Magnussen may be the most interesting villain we've seen in Sherlock so far. Sure, also the most disgusting and most disturbing, but there's a realism and connection to current world events that some other villains lack.

 

Moriarty is just plain crazy and impossible - I love him, but he feels like someone who could only exist in the Sherlock universe. The same goes for the scientist in Hounds, the Black Lotus gang, and Irene Adler. They're otherwordly and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that (I love the Sherlock universe) but they don't quite hit home like Magnussen does.

 

He's the embodiment of what goes wrong in the media at the moment, of how the media influence public opinion and encourage the comman man to go on witch hunts through Facebook and discussion forums without ever involving the legal system. It doesn't matter if you're guilty or not; if someone puts on Facebook that you're a peadophile or cat killer or whatever, you are no longer safe in your own house. And the same goes for news papers: if they print that a politician has a seedy past, it does not matter how many rectifications they place afterwards, the image will stick. And even if the allegations are true, many of them are hardly relevant - none of our slates are clean but many people are so keen to read up on other people's dirt.

 

I just completely understand Sherlock's sentiment when Mycroft asks why he hates Magnussen (from Ariane DeVere's transcripts):

"Because he attacks people who are different and preys on their secrets. Why don't you?"

 

Magnussen is dangerous in ways that go beyond bombs and sniper rifles - he has influence in ways that are much bigger than that and hurt and destroy the lives of so many people. He scares me to death and for that, I love him as a villain.

 

Also, I'm still suprised so many are so shocked by Sherlock killing. We never hated John for killing the cabbie. The one thing I can never forgive Sherlock for is pretending to jump to his death in front of his best friend's eyes. This is something I'm still strugling with to accept. I think that was the most cruel and disturbing thing we have ever seen him do, all good intentions aside. It could very well have sent John over the edge. When it comes to Sherlock's villainous actions, I think that was an absolute rock bottom. Shooting the worst villain in Sherlock history (in my eyes) was shocking but also oddly satisifying.

 

Oh my, lengthy post. I wish I could be as concise and coherent as some of you!

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Sometimes there is no negotiation, both in fiction and real life.

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Sherlock has killed before - if we believe the final scene from Scandal was not a fantasy. He surely got his hands dirty while hunting for Moriarty's people. He killed the agent at Irene's, because he knew what was in the safe.

 

 

It's their story, they can turn him into Count Dracula or Dr Lecter, or even Freddie Kruger if they like

 

I have no doubt they won't. I doubt any of those three had ever spent a thought about the consequences or had a moral dillema.

I don't see the killing as a cheap trick in the script. IMO this is the most important thing that happens.

 

Isn't it just like in the book? - they BOTH fall.

 

 

 

It all might be worth it for Sherlock, but still - it's not a happy end.
 
... until the last twist of the screenplay. :)


I'm still trying to decide whether you're referring to the plane turning around, or Moriarty showing up on television. Frankly, I suspect that Sherlock was happier about the latter than the former: "Oh goody, my playmate is back!"

 

Both, actually. The plane returns because of Moriarty (What it all means - this will be told in the next series, hopefully.)

Anyway, Sherlock can come back. Not dead in six months.

Of course it can turn out that Sherlock will wish he wouldn never return; who knows what waits for him. But the "happy" in this end means that John will be happy, Mary will be happy, and Mrs Huston, Lestrade, Molly, even Mycroft... And we are at least relieved.

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Addressing the morality of HLV, I think a lot of good points have been made, and I'm not trying to throw fuel on the fire.  But regarding the "morally defensible" nature of CAM's killing, I'm simply saying (and agreeing with Toby, I think) that, if CAM had to go, it's more moral for Sherlock to kill him himself than to leave the job to Lady Smallwood (which would be the Milverton parallel) or to Mary.  If he has decided that the only way to solve this problem is to clear the Appledore vaults permanently, then he should be the one to do the job.  

 

I understand that HLV provokes a lot of visceral reactions in people.  I do think that most of the "plot holes" lend themselves to being closed up with fairly easy-to-generate head canon, so I think the episode looks like Moftiss thought everything through very clearly, but they had the constraints of the episode time, as sfmpco points out.  

 

For example, how did Sherlock know Janine worked for Magnussen?  Well, they were standing side-by-side at the wedding for an entire day, plus honor attendants at a wedding tend to wind up meeting up at least once after the wedding while the couple is on honeymoon to do some tasks or other.  (I've conjectured in fiction that Sherlock agreed to keep any wedding presents at 221B, but Janine wound up horsing them over there the next day after Sherlock left the reception early.)  In any event, they had multiple excuses to talk, and all it would take is her referring to her boss as "Mr. Magnussen" at some point to make his ears perk up.

 

For me, I don't find all killing to be indefensible.  I don't find this particular killing to be indefensible.  CAM's power had grown to where he was harming and orchestrating the deaths of not just individuals but potentially of whole countries.  He could not be stopped in a legal fashion, because he was careful to stay inside the law and to keep his own hands clean.  Literally the only way to remove a CAM from being able to harm others is to kill him.  So I don't have a problem with that, either in or out of universe.  I don't take death lightly, and I hope I'm never in a circumstance where I feel I have to kill to protect my loved ones, but I have zero problem with Sherlock Holmes killing to protect his, and I don't respect him less.  I understand and respect those who feel differently.

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Dear Boton, the whole problem is not only the morality of the particular action, it is its gratuitousness. Sherlock should never have had to resort to such an act, which brings him down to the ordinary, as Moriarty taunted him.

There is absolutely no way I can come to terms with HLV from the moment he breaks into the inner sanctum and Mary shoots him. Everything which follows is done through poetic licence, he is their main character, they can do anything they like with him or to him, even turn him into a vigilante killer, or a more American type of private eye, like Mickey Spillane and Marlowe, but they should not hope for one second that the viewers will docilely go along with any crackpot idea they come up with, just because it is noisy, elaborately choreographed and has nice music. They even had to finish the episode in a highly improbable way because of all the havoc they had created before. It is their baby, let them deal with the mess, but from the end of SoT onwards I do not trust them to captivate their audience, as they managed to do in S1 and 2. Shock and alienate, perhaps.

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I don't think it's a virtue at all. I just think this way, it's more honest storytelling.

 

*Sigh*... how to make myself more clear on this within the ten minutes I have left until I need to leave the house and do some work in the real world?

 

Okay, the story, the original story, relies on Milverton having to die. No dead Milverton - no solved problem, no happy ending. A lot of stories are that way. If there's a villain, he has to go (all right, if you want to make a lot of sequels, and the villain was popular, he just vanishes and it is revealed later that he wasn't really dead). Holmes was trapped in Milverton's room, and he could only destroy the contents of the safe because an anonymous woman conveniently marched in and shot Milverton in the face (then ground her heel in it for good measure). How convenient, you know - the great detective saves the day and never had to get his hands dirty. A bit too convenient, for my taste. And if he really thought murder was bad, and killing Milverton not justified, he'd have stepped in, which he didn't, he actually prevented his friend from doing anything (not that Watson needed much convincing...). We never know what happened to the poor woman, but I guess the logic is her life was ruined anyway, so what does it matter.

 

This Sherlock could have just let who he thought was Lady Smallwood kill Magnussen and sneak away, glad that the shark had been taken care of by someone else. But he didn't. This version steps in to prevent the desperate lady from taking a step he thinks she will regret (how was he supposed to know it was Mary and one more victim really didn't matter that much in her case). That's a pretty good deed, for which he paid dearly. Then, since the story still requires that Magnussen has to die, in the end Sherlock sees himself forced to do it himself, and while I don't think he has any real regrets about it, he does acknowledge that there must be consequences, and he faces those without hesitation. I call that better storytelling than the original, and more honest. Because if the author decides the villain must die, he might at least have the guts to kill him outright, instead of inventing an improbable freak occurrence to finish him off while nobody has to soil their precious reputation.

 

Again: I would prefer an episode without a villain, and without killing. But if you have to have that, then in my opinion, do it like His Last Vow.

 

If I remember correctly, Arcadia, you are a Lord of the Rings fan. What would you think of Aragorn if he got crowned king but hadn't slain a single orc himself, because killing is bad, you know?

"Honest storytelling," I can buy. I really do understand what you are getting at. (Honest! :smile: ) I even, to a large extent, agree with you. I think I myself have argued for a greater dose of realism from time to time. (!) I think it's just come down to a matter of taste; you like raspberry, I like blueberry, but we both like jam. And sometimes I will twit you for having "poor taste," because I like to tease people I like. Feel free to twit me right back, I thrive on such things.

 

As to Aragorn ... depends on how the story is told. As a rule, generals stand well behind the lines, I believe, but some of them are still portrayed as believably heroic. But I think you mean what if he had remained passive while everyone around him was slicing and dicing, yes? I don't know, I sort of see that as how Frodo behaved, but I don't think less of his courage for it. (And may I note that he's the only one who became a pacifist due to his experiences, and the others had to take action in spite of him ... but he's still no less the hero for it.) But obviously Aragorn is a far different case than Frodo, with a far different role and a far different fate. So I'm afraid I have to stick with my first (cop out!) answer ... depends on how the story is told. If he ran and hid behind a bush everytime an orc raised it's ugly head, no, I wouldn't think much of him. Although he still might have made an excellent king; maybe his real strength would have been healing the sick, not beating away bad guys. :P

 

Oh no that episode is absolutely brilliant DESPITE whatever plot holes you think there are.  Also remember that lots of extra stuff gets written and filmed but doesn't make it into the final cut (for example CAM's visit to Sherlock in hospital).  They are on a time schedule.  Trust me, if it goes over 90 minutes, all the actors are on a different pay schedule PLUS a different residual schedule.

 

What they need to do is release a director's cut of that episode, and we should be encouraging them to do so on ALL the episodes, because I don't think the pay schedule varies for the actors with the video release even if it's longer.  They just get a residual cut of the sales.

 

So what I am saying is that I don't think Moffat and Gatiss are such terrible writers that they would leave such gaping holes or plot line issues.  No, they are both brilliant writers contrained by a 90-minute show.

I feel compelled to point out that a really brilliant writer would learn to compose within his/her constraints! :P I have no idea how to compare Moftiss to other screenwriters, I've read maybe four scripts in my life. (Transcripts don't count! :smile: ) I've been pretty happy with what they've done so far, but I don't think they're perfect. Nor do I require them to be. In spite of my reservations, I still love HLV.

 

I'm interested to learn about the pay scale; shoot, there go all my hopes for a 2-hour long Christmas special!

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Ak! All sorts of interesting responses appeared while I was busy composing mine! Alas, like Toby, I must hie me to work. Guess I know where I'll be after I get back... :D Laterz!! 

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My main problem is that I want that particular episode erased, deleted, removed, expunged from the Holmes universe.

 

Okay, why not try to delete it from your mental hard drive, then. Call it a day after whatever episode you think was the last good one and ignore the rest. That's how I usually deal with TV series, because in my experience, they all go bad sooner or later, save very, very, very few exceptions that I really love. For me, the vote is still open on Sherlock. I'll see what they do with the special and series 4.

 

There is a lot I want erased, removed, deleted and expunged from the Sherlock Holmes universe, by the way. The story "His last Bow", for example, and the bee-keeping, and the Guy Ritchie films, and the pompous patriotism Doyle burdened Holmes with in some of the later stories. Any version where he gets married and / or dies, and about 90% of the fan fiction on AO3. But you know what? Other people would feel impoverished. So I'll just continue to be very selective in what I let into my mind cottage and let whoever wants have fun with the rest - without me.

 

So what I am saying is that I don't think Moffat and Gatiss are such terrible writers that they would leave such gaping holes or plot line issues.  No, they are both brilliant writers contrained by a 90-minute show.  

 

And I suspect they are brilliant writers who deal just fine with 90 minutes per episode and are admirably unconstrained by overthinking every little detail. I get the impression that they are really fond of their stories and had fun writing them and seeing them acted out. I wish I could write like that, just imagine what I want and make it happen, and not worry and fuss so much about but and why and because and what if and have you considered and must not go overboard and make a fool of myself.

 

 

Just another thing I want to add as to why His Last Vow is (in my opinion) a great episode: I think Magnussen may be the most interesting villain we've seen in Sherlock so far. Sure, also the most disgusting and most disturbing, but there's a realism and connection to current world events that some other villains lack.

 

Moriarty is just plain crazy and impossible - I love him, but he feels like someone who could only exist in the Sherlock universe. The same goes for the scientist in Hounds, the Black Lotus gang, and Irene Adler. They're otherwordly and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that (I love the Sherlock universe) but they don't quite hit home like Magnussen does.

 

...

 

Oh my, lengthy post. I wish I could be as concise and coherent as some of you!

 

I like your lengthy post very much and I think it's plenty coherent.

 

I think what you see in Magnussen is what they were hoping to achieve with him. For me, he's just as much of an unrealistic monster as Moriarty though, just of a different kind. Perhaps that's why I have so little trouble with him being shot - he seems hardly human to me.

 

I felt a lot more squeamish about the cabbie in A Study in Pink, actually. I mean, that was a real person! He had a soul and all. My only consolation is that if John hadn't killed him, then Moriarty would have later, and he would've been a lot nastier about it.

 

And I absolutely agree with you that what Sherlock did to John was his very worst deed ever.

 

There is absolutely no way I can come to terms with HLV from the moment he breaks into the inner sanctum and Mary shoots him. Everything which follows is done through poetic licence, he is their main character, they can do anything they like with him or to him, even turn him into a vigilante killer, or a more American type of private eye, like Mickey Spillane and Marlowe, but they should not hope for one second that the viewers will docilely go along with any crackpot idea they come up with, just because it is noisy, elaborately choreographed and has nice music. They even had to finish the episode in a highly improbable way because of all the havoc they had created before. It is their baby, let them deal with the mess, but from the end of SoT onwards I do not trust them to captivate their audience, as they managed to do in S1 and 2. Shock and alienate, perhaps.

 

Well, they still captivate little me... Maybe that's because I'm a big Marlowe fan? :lol:

 

 

"Honest storytelling," I can buy. I really do understand what you are getting at. (Honest! :smile: ) I even, to a large extent, agree with you. I think I myself have argued for a greater dose of realism from time to time. (!) I think it's just come down to a matter of taste; you like raspberry, I like blueberry, but we both like jam. And sometimes I will twit you for having "poor taste," because I like to tease people I like. Feel free to twit me right back, I thrive on such things.

 

As to Aragorn ... depends on how the story is told. As a rule, generals stand well behind the lines, I believe, but some of them are still portrayed as believably heroic. But I think you mean what if he had remained passive while everyone around him was slicing and dicing, yes? I don't know, I sort of see that as how Frodo behaved, but I don't think less of his courage for it. (And may I note that he's the only one who became a pacifist due to his experiences, and the others had to take action in spite of him ... but he's still no less the hero for it.) But obviously Aragorn is a far different case than Frodo, with a far different role and a far different fate. So I'm afraid I have to stick with my first (cop out!) answer ... depends on how the story is told. If he ran and hid behind a bush everytime an orc raised it's ugly head, no, I wouldn't think much of him. Although he still might have made an excellent king; maybe his real strength would have been healing the sick, not beating away bad guys. :P

 

You know what is really funny? I don't care two straws about Aragorn, and I adore Frodo. And it was me who, back when the Lord of the Rings films came out, felt really guilty for liking a story that glorified war and violence and killing sentient beings who were conveniently ugly and monstrous and evil. I was mad as hell that they wrote out the healing hands as the sign of the true king, and I always loved Eowyn for laying down her sword and becoming a healer. That wasn't sexist at in my eyes - it was more like "at least the woman gets her priorities right..."

 

I used to be the big pacifist as a reader (and I fancy I still am in real life. I don't even kill spiders - it's not their fault they gross me out, is it). It's a mystery why I rejoice so in Sherlock's act of murder. Probably because Magnussen is the most vile thing I have seen on TV in a long time, and also because I accepted from the very beginning that Sherlock is not really a good guy. He's not evil, either, of course, but dangerous. I still think he's best compared to a tiger. When he said in The Great Game to not make a hero out of him, I tried to take that seriously. Glorify him at your own risk, I guess. I love doing that, of course - but I can't complain I haven't been warned when my pretty fancies about him are disappointed.

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You have a point! I should stop on the relatively upbeat note at the end of TEH, but my mindset never works that way, I always have to see something to the end, from my favourite series to really important projects at work. Does that make me a bit like Moriarty, who complained about the unfinished Bach sonata and then proceeded to complete his fiendish plan?

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Like U.S. Grant asked at the Appomattox courthouse: "Do you give up?", I am forced to reply like General Lee that I do give up on HLV! During the commentary in the Great Game, way back when, BC actually says: "His obsession that is going to destroy him possibly and people around him is his work, it's the game, it's he is winning, and that is the most dangerous drug", so the whole shambles of what HLV becomes after their infiltration of Magnussen's sanctum can be based on Sherlock's skewed perception, blinding him to some things and enforcing other traits of his character, like his supreme self-confidence, which takes such a blow at the end of their confrontation of Magnussen!

What price morality and honour? His overriding passion is to win.

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Oh my, lengthy post. I wish I could be as concise and coherent as some of you!

 

I LOVED your lengthy post! More, please!

 

We have been talking moral values and mentality, brains over brawn and all the rest, but there is another elemental concept which was trampled underfoot in HLV, namely honour, your personal perception of it and how others view you on account of it. And his act is distinctly dishonourable by any standards, for an English gentleman.

 

You know, my first instinct is to agree with you ... shooting a man who is not shooting at you is dishonorable. But hang on; let's consider for a minute why this episode is called "His Last Vow". Sherlock had taken a vow at the wedding to "always be there" for John and Mary. Meaning "whatever I can do for you, I will do."

 

So I can imagine, when Sherlock realized Mary was in trouble, that maybe he felt his honor required him to do something, anything, to help her. Failure to act -- failure to save Mary, and by extension, John -- would have been the greatest dishonor he could take onto himself.

 

Do I agree with his solution? No. Would I have preferred a story in which he showed more sense and less hubris, and had worked out a brilliant, non-lethal solution with his "massive intellect?" Yes. But that's not how it happened; instead he made one mistake after the other, never realized what he was dealing with until too late, and in a moment of desperation (or so I prefer to think), he took whatever action he could to fulfill his vow and preserve his honor. And that story I actually rather love, in spite of how it ended.

 

So, nope, not fond of his solution. But do I understand why he did it? Hell, yeah. He broke my heart in the process but this was never about me, was it? :D

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But it is about you, and me and inge and Boton and Toby and Zain, and smpfco, and our ever patient moderator, Carol, and all those members who have issues with the particular episode. We are the ******* audience, and it has split us down the middle. Not cricket!

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Sherlock has killed before - if we believe the final scene from Scandal was not a fantasy. He surely got his hands dirty while hunting for Moriarty's people. He killed the agent at Irene's, because he knew what was in the safe.

I know a lot of people believe this, but I never have ... and much to my eternal gratitude, neither does Mark Gatiss. At the convention in India, he said he believed CAM was Sherlock's first killing. Of course, no one, apparently, has thought to ask Moffat the same question, we might get a different answer from him. (At which point I will simply cling to Gatiss' reply with all the strength I have. :D )

 

And I absolutely agree with you that what Sherlock did to John was his very worst deed ever.

Me too! It was needlessly cruel, and a heartless betrayal of John's trust. Thank goodness John is more forgiving than the average human.

 

I wonder if that's why Sherlock made his Vow? As penance for what he did to John?

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But it is about you, and me and inge and Boton and Toby and Zain, and smpfco, and our ever patient moderator, Carol, and all those members who have issues with the particular episode. We are the ******* audience, and it has split us down the middle. Not cricket!

Mmmm, no, sorry, the only ones who can split us down the middle is ourselves, imo. Our reactions are under our own control, Moftiss can't make us think or feel or behave any particular way. They can provide the fuel for the fire, but we're the ones who light it ... or choose not too. Even if they purposely try to rile us up (which I don't believe) -- that doesn't mean we have to let them do it. Hang onto your convictions, by all means; just don't let your convictions isolate you. Find other issues that connect you instead.

 

Having said that ... what do you like about the show Sherlock? Or what made you start watching it to begin with? Do you have a favorite episode, and why/why not? Do you like any other versions? Explore a little, I think you'll find there's a lot of reasons for the ******* audience to hang together and ride out the rough parts! :hugz:

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Well here's the thing that seems to be an undertone or assumption in a lot of this argument:  It's that the thoughts regarding any plot holes or character development issues NEVER occurred to the writers.  Like they are raging idiots.  That somehow they were sloppy and overlooked stuff.  The opposite is true.  They don't write these scripts in a cave away from any feedback.  Even the cast has questions... the same questions that you have.  Sue and Beryl Vertue have questions.  The director has questions, the DP has questions, the set designer has questions, the editor has loads of questions - and btw, it is the editor who has the final say in story telling.  Not that I'm blaming the editor, but that Moffat and Gatiss, even as executive producers, cannot just have their way in how it's done and say things like, "I don't care if it doesn't make sense, put it in!"  And that's not really how filmmaking works unless you are dealing with some truly arrogant bastard.  The script is being worked until the very last day of shooting. How do I know?  I was in the film business for many years.  MANY years.  I have a bloody MFA in film.  I've been in agents offices with A-list stars and pitched ideas at all the major studios. I sold a screenplay to the Disney Channel and they made into a film, and I worked in post production for 11 years.  

 

So what I would say is, it is FICTION.  It is not the OLD canon.  It is extremely LOOSELY based on the original canon.  You don't have to agree with it.  You don't have to like it.  But it's not your baby (and I say YOUR broadly).  It's their baby, and they're doing just fine with it.  Characters in a highly stylized fictional world do not necessarily adhere to the morals and conventions of the real world.  Stop trying to make them.  They know what they are doing with THEIR characters, and they know how they will resolve any character arcing.  

 

Understand that script decisions and what ends up on screen are not made in a Moffat/Gatiss vacuum, and that's how this thread is running. 

 

Meanwhile, HLV has picked up more awards than any other episode, including 7 Emmys this last awards show - including one for Moffat and one for Cumberbatch.  It won more Emmys than any other show.  So maybe we can just lower the level of vitriol concerning fictional characters and their highly stylized fictional world and the decisions those fictional characters make.

 

 

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Arrgggh!  Still a page of posts to go!  Think I'll deal with what I've already got piled up in Multi-Quote, then continue.
 

He has gone down to the depths so much that the three series could easily be compared to Star Wars Episodes 1,2,3, where Anakin is forced by circumstances to turn into Darth Vader.

 
Do you really think this episode is that bad?  I find "Last Vow" far more memorable than Star Wars 1, 2, & 3 put together (mercifully, I recall very little of them).  Still not sure how much I like it, but that may be more a matter of personal taste than of quality.
 

I was certainly surprised when I found they had Sherlock kill Magnussen, and why. It had never occurred to me to read the original story that way. My expectation was that it would play out like the book, only the lady victim walking in with the gun would be Mary. Maybe that was considered too predictable by the script writers [emphasis added].

 
Duh!  Yeah, I kinda expected that too.  (Which in a manner of speaking makes it our fault that they didn't write it that way.)
 

How come the emergency service did not provide the police with the information that there were two different callers? (two different phones!)


I would imagine that happens a lot in big cities -- there's an accident or whatever, and several people witness it, and they all have cell phones these days. Maybe that detail was indeed in their report to the police, but no one considered it noteworthy. So that's one hole down and how many left to go?
 

I totally agree, Sherlock's reasoning, logic and acuity are called into question here. But could that be the point? Those things are not all there is to him; they are not what will make him a "good man." Strip those away, and we get to see what else he's made of. We're free to like or dislike what we learn, but I have to balk at the term character assasination, as if his intellect is the only thing about him that's of any worth.


I agree on that point, because it seems fairly obvious to me that Sherlock would never have found himself painted into such a tight corner if the writers had not intended to do exactly that. Now they presumably did that simply because they had always interpreted "Milverton" as Watson covering up what really happened. But a revisionist could say that they wanted to examine the character by taking him out of his comfort zone -- by forcing him to deal with a situation where his precious logic was no help.
 

I don't think it's a virtue at all. I just think this way, it's more honest storytelling.
 
[in the original story] ... an anonymous woman conveniently marched in and shot Milverton in the face .... How convenient, you know - the great detective saves the day and never had to get his hands dirty. A bit too convenient, for my taste. And if he really thought murder was bad, and killing Milverton not justified, he'd have stepped in, which he didn't, he actually prevented his friend from doing anything....
 
This Sherlock could have just let who he thought was Lady Smallwood kill Magnussen and sneak away, glad that the shark had been taken care of by someone else. But he didn't. This version steps in to prevent the desperate lady from taking a step he thinks she will regret.... That's a pretty good deed, for which he paid dearly. Then, since the story still requires that Magnussen has to die, in the end Sherlock sees himself forced to do it himself, and while I don't think he has any real regrets about it, he does acknowledge that there must be consequences, and he faces those without hesitation. I call that better storytelling than the original, and more honest.


That's basically what Moftiss were trying to say, I think -- or at least, what they should have said, if only they had your insight.
 

... in HLV, John is suddenly an adrenaline junkie....


I doubt that this will ease your pain in the slightest, but they've been calling John an adrenaline junkie ever since Episode 1. Not that he necessarily is one, mind you, just that Mycroft, Sherlock, and Mary (you know, all the normal people) keep saying he is -- at least, when they're written by Steven Moffat.

 

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You know what is really funny? I don't care two straws about Aragorn, and I adore Frodo. And it was me who, back when the Lord of the Rings films came out, felt really guilty for liking a story that glorified war and violence and killing sentient beings who were conveniently ugly and monstrous and evil.....

Well, since you (sort of) asked :P -- a few points on this issue:

In Middle Earth, the rules were a little different. Orcs aren't just ugly and monstrous and evil; they are (according to Prof. Tolkien) ugly and monstrous because they are evil. :blink:

 

I could never characterize LOTR as glorifying war and violence. On the contrary, I think it's a brilliant condemnation of both. But it's also a portrait of simple, common folk confronted with war and violence, where they find themselves doing things they never wanted to do, or thought they could. And in war, the rules of conduct are different than when strolling through the Shire. Different things are asked of us. Killing isn't more virtuous in a war, but it is a necessary component. It's not a necessary component of "ordinary" life. At least, I hope not, not yet. Sometimes I wonder. But the last I looked it was still considered an aberration, and an illegal one at that.

 

Does the movie version glorify violence? Hmmm. It's hard for me to say, because I'm soooooo steeped in the novels ... but when the Riders of Rohan make that charge at Minas Tirith, for example, I don't see that as glorifying war; I see it as a testament to courage in the face of certain doom. But that's because I know what Tolkien was up to. If I'd never read the books ... to be honest, I might not even have watched the movies. PJ's more fond of oozing scars and flatulence jokes than I am. But I can't be sure. I do like fantasy, a lot. Or, at least, I like the kind that shows how we could be better than we are, if we willed it that way.

 

I never got the sense that Aragorn or any of the other "good guys" enjoyed being warriors. Pride in their prowess, maybe, but that's something different, imo. And Frodo, the true hero of the piece -- he hated it with every fiber of his being. I guess some of the characters saw the whole thing as something of an adventure, but the representatives of the True Men -- Aragorn and Faramir -- quietly did what they had to do, and moved on. Rather like Sherlock.

 

 And now I can hear John telling me to shut up, everyone's got the point by now!

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Meanwhile, HLV has picked up more awards than any other episode, including 7 Emmys this last awards show - including one for Moffat and one for Cumberbatch.  It won more Emmys than any other show.  So maybe we can just lower the level of vitriol concerning fictional characters and their highly stylized fictional world and the decisions those fictional characters make.

 

That's why I called it award bait about three pages ago...

Nothing wrong with wanting recognition for your work, and if that is your priority..

 

 

 

Okay, why not try to delete it from your mental hard drive, then. Call it a day after whatever episode you think was the last good one and ignore the rest. 

 

 

I know your advice was directed at joanneta, but actually, I think I should heed it. Because you showed me that I fell out of love with the show when you asked what inge particularly liked. Most of what I stayed for is not there anymore.

Thank you for that. It's rare to suddenly realize how blind one has been to their own feelings. It's quite a baffling revelation to me - and yet somehow... as if I had known already.

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Meanwhile, HLV has picked up more awards than any other episode, including 7 Emmys this last awards show - including one for Moffat and one for Cumberbatch.  It won more Emmys than any other show.  So maybe we can just lower the level of vitriol concerning fictional characters and their highly stylized fictional world and the decisions those fictional characters make.

 

That's why I called it award bait about three pages ago...

Nothing wrong with wanting recognition for your work, and if that is your priority..

 

No one ever knows if they're going to win an award.  I'm quite certain Moffat didn't sit down to write it with the thought..."Oooh, I think my priority is to write award bait."

 

Let's get real here.

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Well here's the thing that seems to be an undertone or assumption in a lot of this argument:  It's that the thoughts regarding any plot holes or character development issues NEVER occurred to the writers.  Like they are raging idiots.

Aha, this explains a lot! I wondered how you were so in conversant with what goes on in cinema land! Very cool.

 

I, on the other hand, have no way of knowing if Moftiss are idiots or not, but common sense tells me idiots don't usually get handed the reins of something as complex and expensive as a major TV production. So MY assumption is they have something in mind; perhaps even something not based on whether I, personally, will like it or not? :P

 

Arrgggh!  Still a page of posts to go!  Think I'll deal with what I've already got piled up in Multi-Quote, then continue.

I know! Are we having fun yet? :D

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I know your advice was directed at joanneta, but actually, I think I should heed it. Because you showed me that I fell out of love with the show when you asked what inge particularly liked. Most of what I stayed for is not there anymore.

:( Would a flower help? :tulip:
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No one ever knows if they're going to win an award.  I'm quite certain Moffat didn't sit down to write it with the thought..."Oooh, I think my priority is to write award bait."

 

 

 

Let's get real here.

 

 

I cannot make a definite statement about Moffat, that is true. However, I have to shatter your belief in one regard. Of course there are writers who write award bait. Why do you think there are agencies especially designed to analyze the success stories of previous winners and nominees to understand how much and what kind of promotion is needed for specific themes, plot, setting? And there are well-known studies on which themes/settings do BETTER than others.

 

Just like in the book sector, there is a very powerful machinery behind what you see in the top 10 lists. That's not myth or rumour or badmouthing. It's a fact. That does not mean that only bad movies and books come from these deliberate decision-makings. However, the industry is not a business which works solely chance, on hit-and-miss.

 

And Arcadia, thank you :) but I fear that will not make me fall in love with Sherlock again. It's curious, I feel... almost liberated now. Because I do not feel like I should defend HLV as a fan. In a way, I am not even sad about realizing that.

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If it was so sure about itself, it missed the mark with The Imitation Game, didn't it?  Fine at the festivals, failure at the actual awards.  No one can guarantee a hit. No one.  The studios have colossal failures all the time.  If a film costs $100 million to make, the film must generate at least $300 million or more just to break even.  My belief is not shattered in any regard.  I do understand how the business works.

 

And Moffat and Gatiss had S3 planned out well in advance of ever having written it, just as they have S4 planned out fully and probably have a pretty good outline for S5.  Beyond that I actually doubt there will be further episodes.  Call it a hunch.

 

So enjoy it while you can.

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I know your advice was directed at joanneta, but actually, I think I should heed it. Because you showed me that I fell out of love with the show when you asked what inge particularly liked. Most of what I stayed for is not there anymore.

Thank you for that. It's rare to suddenly realize how blind one has been to their own feelings. It's quite a baffling revelation to me - and yet somehow... as if I had known already.

 

 

Zain, what was it that you loved about the show that you feel is gone now?  This makes me sad to see this.  :(

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Zain, what was it that you loved about the show that you feel is gone now?  This makes me sad to see this.  :(

 

 

 

 

I am sorry to have made you sad.

 

Well, it's not exactly a revelation, as I stated before. It was one of the first changes that we talked about in the HLV thread. I always loved about the show that while Sherlock and John were very different people (John = popular, easy to talk to; Sherlock = difficult), from the very beginning they had been on equal standing. And this was only deepened when they became mutually dependent of one another. To me, that is no longer the case. I should have known that I had fallen out of love with Sherlock when I became enarmoured with the idea of Victor Trevor as the 'one' character to restore the inequality in John and Sherlock's friendship.

I also quite liked how Sherlock made derisive comments about life and people in general, but when it came down to it, he had compassion for Henry Knight, for Mrs Hudson, and even for Irene, a criminal. That conformed with my view that life is to be valued, and I respected that they had Irene saved. But I suppose I interpreted too much into this as a statement that nobody deserved death. To me, that was something I appreciated very much. 

 

Mostly, though, it's the first point that is gone and put me off. Funny, in a way, because lately, I was more concerned with the moral issues.

I guess I'll just have to look for something else that appeals to me.

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