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Undead Medic

Episode 4.0: The Abominable Bride (alias The Special)

What did you think of "The Abominable Bride"?  

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Just quoting this here in case anyone missed seeing it above. :D

 

Here's a well-written blog breakdown of the episode:

 

http://nikkistafford.blogspot.ca/2016/01/sherlock-abominable-bride.html

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Here's a well-written blog breakdown of the episode:

 

http://nikkistafford.blogspot.ca/2016/01/sherlock-abominable-bride.html

 

I fully support this statement from the blog entry:  [i think Mark Gatiss as Mycroft is some of the most perfect casting on television.]

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Regarding the implication of the women's society being evocative of the KKK:  By about the 5th viewing, I finally clued in enough to remember that many, many secret societies were formed during the Victorian era.  My hubby pointed out that this was the era of the Golden Dawn, and I knew that many college and university Greek letter societies were also formed during that era.

 

Such societies still like to keep their rituals secret, but I can say that the attire of the women during their ritual is not dissimilar from attire still used in some secret society rituals today.  The fact that the pointed headgear evokes the KKK in our minds may have more to do with the way the Victorian secret societies influenced the Klan than it does any attempt to create a visual mnemonic of the Klan for the audience. 

 

In other words, I am now pretty firmly of the opinion that the purple-robed, pointed-headgear-wearing women's secret society was a deliberate attempt on the part of the creators to accurately reflect history and not an accidental case of "a bit not good" when it comes to optics.

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One of the responses to the blog entry mentions the robes and hoods worn by penitents in some Spanish religious festivals - during Holy Week, I believe - and that was what sprang to my mind on my first viewing of TAB.  In fact, I didn't connect it with the KKK until I saw the comments online.  Maybe I'm a bit dim, because the five orange pips is an obvious reference, but I think it was also the vivid colour of the robes which brought the penitents to mind.  They are much more flashy than the white robes of the KKK.

 

Re. fat Mycroft...As a fatty myself, I'm not keen on the ridicule of chubby people but it didn't bother me too much, as ACD's Mycroft was overweight, though maybe not as chronically obese as this portrayal.  Once it became evident that this was Sherlock's fantasy, it made more sense.  Weight is clearly an issue for Sherlock, and he uses it as a put-down - not only to Mycroft, but also to Molly and to John.  The man has a problem with food and, maybe, with body image.  So it isn't really surprising that, unlike his slender modern world brother, Sherlock's imaginary Mycroft is extremely obese, overeating almost to the point of killing himself.

 

Maybe there is even an element of envy there.  Sherlock goes through periods of deliberate starvation whilst on a case, and presumably has a horror of putting on weight if his comments to other people are anything to go by. Perhaps his imaginary fat and very greedy Mycroft represents the pleasure of consumption which Sherlock will not - or cannot - allow himself.

 

It's just a thought...

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I liked Victorian Sherlock, but he could have been Sherlock from Mars and I would have liked him.  It was just nice to see him again.  However, I was thoroughly delighted when the plane landed and we got our regular Sherlock back.  Oh I missed his snarkiness, his recalcitrance.  It was like a breath of fresh air blew in when the plane landed.  So, he was high.  We like Shezza too!

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Maybe there is even an element of envy there.  Sherlock goes through periods of deliberate starvation whilst on a case, and presumably has a horror of putting on weight if his comments to other people are anything to go by. Perhaps his imaginary fat and very greedy Mycroft represents the pleasure of consumption which Sherlock will not - or cannot - allow himself.

 

It's just a thought...

 

Oh, that's really interesting. Especially because, when it comes to most sensual pleasures, Sherlock seems to regard them as distractions he ought to avoid. He also may have an addictive personality (he says not, but recents events have left me in doubt) so perhaps he has a fear that if he did eat like that, much like Victorian Mycroft he wouldn't be able to stop, and it could end up killing him. Sometimes his relationship with Moriarty, especially the Moriarty of his Mind Palace, seems like a metaphor to his relationship to drugs to me in the sense that there is a danger but also a (platonic) attraction.

 

With the food as well, I sometimes think he likes to be fed by Mrs. Hudson, (or some restauranteur he's got off a murder charge) but doesn't like to feed himself. So it could also speak to how he has a greater need for connection to others than Mycroft, who is more than happy to gorge on his own company (and puddings apparently).

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I have to think that Sherlock craves companionship -- otherwise he would have found a way to do without a roommate, would have found a line of work where he could hole out in a private office, etc. Maybe it was just because "genius needs an audience" at first, but I agree that he simply needs other people more than Mycroft does.

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I would like to know how much of the Sherlock we see is Sherlock-made and how much is Mycroft's influence.  I'm assuming it's a combo of both.

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According to Sherlock, he made himself. But then he's not always a reliable narrator, is he? ;)

 

Somewhere, a long way back, one of the Moftisses said Mycroft is somehow the key to Sherlock.

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There is certainly a case to be made for the idea that the "real" Sherlock Holmes has always lived in the 19th century and the series is nothing but his speculations about the future.

 

Now there's a thought to mull over on a cold winter evening!  ("... and it's always 1895.")

 

It's really not such a great idea to imply once again that being fat is an acceptable reason to make fun of people.

 

It's roughly impossible to avoid offending everybody.  I know you're not saying this, but somehow it seems to be acceptable to poke fun at skinny people (or at least, not as bad as poking fun at fat people), but I don't think this is because skinny people are less likely to have their feelings hurt.  Apparently each era has its list of people that it's OK to make fun of and people that it's not.

 

I can see that some people might be concerned that TAB's portrayal of Mycroft was ridiculing fat people, but my first reaction upon seeing him was to laugh because they had surprised me by showing the canon character, not because "ha-ha, he's fat."  Also, they showed Sherlock childishly teasing his brother about his weight, which surely creates more sympathy for Mycroft than for Sherlock.

 

Regarding the implication of the women's society being evocative of the KKK:  By about the 5th viewing, I finally clued in enough to remember that many, many secret societies were formed during the Victorian era.  [....]  The fact that the pointed headgear evokes the KKK in our minds may have more to do with the way the Victorian secret societies influenced the Klan than it does any attempt to create a visual mnemonic of the Klan for the audience.

 

Did it even occur to Moftiss that people might take the resemblance so seriously?  Since both of them are relatively young and also British, they may not realize that the KKK is still active in the US, and fairly openly so (though their tactics are perforce more subtle these days).  Moftiss may think of the KKK as merely a bugbear from the quaint past and a clever tie-in with the orange pips.

 

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In the beginning I was worried I wouldn't like it, I thought it was too "meta". But after some time when the story got going I loved it!

 

 

And I'm glad to say that it still didn't convince me of Moriarty's death. After all, the two cases don't run as parallel als they'd like make us belief. Or do they? I'll definitely need to re-watch it several times as soon as it's available on DVD! It wasn't until Moriarty showed up that I realised how much I have really missed him and how worried I was that they'd eventually prove him dead!

 

 

It was a literal cliff-hanger. 

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According to Sherlock, he made himself. But then he's not always a reliable narrator, is he? ;)

 

Somewhere, a long way back, one of the Moftisses said Mycroft is somehow the key to Sherlock.

 

 

 

so due to Mycroft dying in the dream and only having so much time to live and making Sherlock promise to make a list I think that Mycroft is dying. I think it's happening this season...

 

 

 

I'm watching again in 9 minutes on 16 again (Think TV). 

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There is certainly a case to be made for the idea that the "real" Sherlock Holmes has always lived in the 19th century and the series is nothing but his speculations about the future.

 

Now there's a thought to mull over on a cold winter evening!  ("... and it's always 1895.")

 

It's really not such a great idea to imply once again that being fat is an acceptable reason to make fun of people.

 

It's roughly impossible to avoid offending everybody.  I know you're not saying this, but somehow it seems to be acceptable to poke fun at skinny people (or at least, not as bad as poking fun at fat people), but I don't think this is because skinny people are less likely to have their feelings hurt.  Apparently each era has its list of people that it's OK to make fun of and people that it's not.

 

I can see that some people might be concerned that TAB's portrayal of Mycroft was ridiculing fat people, but my first reaction upon seeing him was to laugh because they had surprised me by showing the canon character, not because "ha-ha, he's fat."  Also, they showed Sherlock childishly teasing his brother about his weight, which surely creates more sympathy for Mycroft than for Sherlock.

 

Regarding the implication of the women's society being evocative of the KKK:  By about the 5th viewing, I finally clued in enough to remember that many, many secret societies were formed during the Victorian era.  [....]  The fact that the pointed headgear evokes the KKK in our minds may have more to do with the way the Victorian secret societies influenced the Klan than it does any attempt to create a visual mnemonic of the Klan for the audience.

 

Did it even occur to Moftiss that people might take the resemblance so seriously?  Since both of them are relatively young and also British, they may not realize that the KKK is still active in the US, and fairly openly so (though their tactics are perforce more subtle these days).  Moftiss may think of the KKK as merely a bugbear from the quaint past and a clever tie-in with the orange pips.

 

 

 

I think that Mycroft is definitely one of the characters that will die. 

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Mycroft dying would be a huge loss.  

 

ETA:  His loss would break my heart.

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According to Sherlock, he made himself. But then he's not always a reliable narrator, is he? ;)

 

Somewhere, a long way back, one of the Moftisses said Mycroft is somehow the key to Sherlock.

 

I was thinking that when he said he made himself that perhaps he is taking full responsibility for his actions and behavior... no one to blame but himself for the predicament he's in.  

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I honestly haven't gotten around to thinking about what that meant yet ... but I like that take.

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It's roughly impossible to avoid offending everybody.  I know you're not saying this, but somehow it seems to be acceptable to poke fun at skinny people (or at least, not as bad as poking fun at fat people), but I don't think this is because skinny people are less likely to have their feelings hurt.  Apparently each era has its list of people that it's OK to make fun of and people that it's not.

 

I can see that some people might be concerned that TAB's portrayal of Mycroft was ridiculing fat people, but my first reaction upon seeing him was to laugh because they had surprised me by showing the canon character, not because "ha-ha, he's fat."  Also, they showed Sherlock childishly teasing his brother about his weight, which surely creates more sympathy for Mycroft than for Sherlock.

 

Mycroft rubbed me the wrong way as well. Being a fatty myself, I spend way too much of my time when in contact with strangers fighting against the fat equals stupid cliché; so when this version of Mycroft, since they couldn't well make him of all people stupid, was instead so incredibly dumb about his own health (another tired stereotype), I rolled my eyes, hard. On the other hand, I really admired the quality of the fatsuit. He looked genuinely obese and not just like a skinny person stuffed like a sausage, imho.

 

Sidenote: Carol, if it's seriously less acceptable to make fun of fat people where you live, I think I should contemplate moving.  -_- 

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Around here, I think fat people do face prejudice and ridicule, but it somehow seems to be even more accepted to openly joke about slender people. "Yes, but you do not eat", "Maybe you can shop at the children's department", and, recently, "I'll just take two pieces of pie since you never have any" - this from a chubby colleague to a colleague with a very low fat percentage who is exceptionally active in sports (and consequently eats enough to feed a small country ). If the sportswoman would have replied "maybe you really shouldn't eat that", that would have been considered incredibly offensive. But for someone to comment on a skinny person was totally acceptable even though my coleague was hurt.

 

Bottomline: if everyone would just keep their comments about someone's appearance to themselves, the world would be a much nicer place.

 

(To clarify: none of these comments were directed at me, I'm not skinny in any sense of the word )

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Amen to that one :D. Generally and, to come back on topic, wouldn't it have been nice if, when Sherlock and John went to visit Mycroft, they had kept talking about case-relevant stuff like they usually do instead of mostly repeating, "My, are you fat, you gonna die soon!" Nobody commented on Lestrade's sideburns either after all and personally I found those a lot more noteworthy ;).

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Well, somewhere in this thread, I speculated that the brothers' wager equals the number of seasons the calamitous script duo can get away without: three years maximum equals S4, the hopeful prediction of Junior would mean S4 & 5!

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According to Sherlock, he made himself. But then he's not always a reliable narrator, is he? ;)

 

Somewhere, a long way back, one of the Moftisses said Mycroft is somehow the key to Sherlock.

 

I was thinking that when he said he made himself that perhaps he is taking full responsibility for his actions and behavior... no one to blame but himself for the predicament he's in.  

 

 

I agree, and I took it more or less the same way.  There's a point in life at which you have to stop blaming your upbringing or your hurtful experiences or whatever for your less-attractive qualities and need to start taking responsibility.  One thing I think we can always say about Sherlock is that he's never been much of one to blame others for his quirks.  Sure, he said that he had a list of things his mother would be held responsible for in his upbringing, but mostly he's acted like he takes full responsibility for himself.  I like that. 

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My take on it wasn't that Mycroft was being stupid or unaware of this health and the ramifications of his current diet, but that those two idiot brothers are so into this whole rivalry thing that Mycroft would literally eat himself to death to prove he is right.  I think he knows full well what he is doing.

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Amen to that one :D. Generally and, to come back on topic, wouldn't it have been nice if, when Sherlock and John went to visit Mycroft, they had kept talking about case-relevant stuff like they usually do instead of mostly repeating, "My, are you fat, you gonna die soon!" Nobody commented on Lestrade's sideburns either after all and personally I found those a lot more noteworthy ;).

 

 

I think you guys are missing that that part is Incredibly relevant, which is why they were so focused on him dying within 2 1/2-5 years. They've been alluding to the idea that Mycroft has a disease that is slowly / quickly killing him. I think that maybe Sherlock's heroine addiction for increasing his thinking power is a sham... He's often sad because just like Redbead the death of his brother is imminent. 

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So now because of how that show ended and Moriarty's death is parallel to the death of Ricolleti's?, and it was important that Sherlock made it seem as if he hadn't solved the case for the sake of the Women's Suffrage movement... Are they saying that it's important that Sherlock doesn't stop Moriarty's crew because he's doing something for the good of humanity. Now I have to go back and watch every episode where Moriarty is a presence to completely understand what his purpose is.  

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Amen to that one :D. Generally and, to come back on topic, wouldn't it have been nice if, when Sherlock and John went to visit Mycroft, they had kept talking about case-relevant stuff like they usually do instead of mostly repeating, "My, are you fat, you gonna die soon!" Nobody commented on Lestrade's sideburns either after all and personally I found those a lot more noteworthy ;).

 

 

I think you guys are missing that that part is Incredibly relevant, which is why they were so focused on him dying within 2 1/2-5 years. They've been alluding to the idea that Mycroft has a disease that is slowly / quickly killing him. I think that maybe Sherlock's heroine addiction for increasing his thinking power is a sham... He's often sad because just like Redbead the death of his brother is imminent. 

 

 

I'm just not sure how much of that mind palace scene we can take as gospel.  In the mind palace, Mycroft is basically dying of gluttony.  Now, has Sherlock just made up this dying bet as some sort of rivalry?  Sherlock and Mycroft are certainly known to be competitive.  Is he imagining all of this because he's aware of a disease Mycroft has?  I dunno.  I think it could be foreshadowing, and I'm certainly concerned that it might be, but I'm not 100% sold on this meaning Mycroft is ill and dying.  I'm actually more concerned that Mycroft will be killed off in season 4, not from some illness, but by sacrificing himself for Sherlock.  Because I 100% believe he would do that for his little brother.  That means that everything in the special could still be foreshadowing Mycroft's death, including Mycroft asking John to look after Sherlock and his (erroneously) telling Sherlock he'll always be there, without it being exactly the same as the mind palace (illness).

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