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What does "Abominable Bride" tell us about the characters?


T.o.b.y
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So, I've been thinking a lot about the Sherlock characters and what the special might tell us about them. I thought I'd make a new thread to discuss this, even though we've already been talking about it in some of the other threads.

 

I think I'll try to go over the characters one by one:

 

Mary:

I remember how after series 3, several people speculated that Mary could be an agent of Mycroft's, originally sent out to keep an eye on John. Now in The Abominable Bride, Sherlock imagines her as just that - although the person Mycroft really wants Mary to look after there is Sherlock himself. On the plane, Mycroft and Mary chat freely about MI5 security and he doesn't seem a bit surprised by her hacking skills.

If Mary has really worked for Mycroft for a while, that would explain why he seemed so little interested in her in series 3 and why he didn't bother to check her background - he would have known about it anyway. However, if she had Mycroft's support, why did Mary get into such trouble with Magnussen? That bit doesn't make sense to me. Did Magnussen know more about her past than Mycroft and his people? Did Mary, when Mycroft hired her, lie about her criminal record, omit to mention her "rogue" missions and keep silent about whoever she was on a run from? And Mycroft did no background checks on his agent, didn't notice anything strange about her CV? I find that hard to believe.

My favored theory right now is this: Mycroft didn't learn about Mary's background until after Magnussen was dead. I am pretty sure he made Sherlock tell him why he shot the man, and that's hard to explain without mentioning Mary's story. Mycroft might have expressed an interest in Mary's skills. Be that as it may, in the mind palace, Mary is working for Mycroft not because she did so in real life, but because Sherlock last spoke to Mycroft about her. Also, he is trying to fit the people he knows into the 19th century, and of course Mary wouldn't be "just" a nurse and John's wife. She'd be leading a secret life as an agent all the same, because she's Mary, that's a much too essential part of her identity to leave out. Sherlock sees her as "on the side of the angels", like himself, so she's working for the British Government rather than a criminal organization.

 

I'll be back later to discuss more characters, have to go for now. Laters!

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Next character:

 

John:

I really liked how the Special addressed John's role as Sherlock's biographer of sorts and how that plays into their relationship. Sherlock reading the blog on the plane because it helps him to see himself through John's eyes, then inside the Victorian world Watson complaining that Holmes was quoting himself from The Strand and trying to hide behind the character he writes for the public. The episode really illustrates in what way Sherlock thinks John can "keep him right" - he has created a role for him, the great detective Sherlock Holmes, and by trying to fill that role, Sherlock has an ideal to aspire to. See also John yelling at him: "You will hold yourself to a higher standard!"

It's interesting that in general, Sherlock does not exactly see his best friend through rose colored lenses. Mind Palace John is not only a pretty bad husband, he's also mildly paranoid, chauvinistic, often clueless and a bit of a brute. He is an excellent friend and companion, though. There were two scenes I found particularly touching: One, where Mycroft reminds Sherlock how in real life, he was "always there for him" when he was on drugs and we see a short flashback of the brothers, then Sherlock drifts back into his Victorian fantasy, where it is Watson who finds him on the floor with his needle and throws a fit about it. It reminded me of the "not you - you!" scene from The Sign of Three. I really do think Sherlock wishes John were his brother instead of the one he's got. The other scene that got to me was the waterfall. John showing up with his gun and pushing Moriarty over the edge, the "there are always two of us" line - oh, poor Sherlock. It's a bit late for regrets and wishful thinking now - Moriarty is gone, John wasn't in fact involved that time, there weren't always two of you and you have nobody but yourself to blame for that, my boy.

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Good idea, I'll play!

 

The other thing about Mary is they show how independent she is, almost to the point of being ... well, bossy. But not necessarily in a bad way, she just seems to be very no-nonsense; good ballast for the "frankly ridiculous" boys. :d  And Sherlock seems to really like and respect her in spite of that. (Because of that?)

 

I hope she's not working for Mycroft, though. I mean, if she was working for him before, that's one thing, but I hope she's not working for him now ... again, it's just too convenient, having an agent with a license to kill following the boys around and protecting them from harm. Dang it, I want Sherlock to learn to take care of himself, not rely on others to do it for him. It diminishes him, imo, if he's surrounded by caretakers. John's steadfast friendship should be enough. Oh well, we'll see.

 

I actually sort of like the idea that she was working for Mycroft before, though, as John's protector. And then she fell for John ... aw, isn't that romantic? :p At any rate, maybe Mycroft did know about her past ... but he didn't know that Magnussen knew, so he didn't realize the danger she was in. It's possible that Mary herself didn't know the danger she was in until the telegram from CAM at the wedding. Still, shooting her boss's brother ... if Mycroft really cares as much as he says he does about Sherlock, you'd think he'd have a pretty hard time getting past that!

 

I get the feeling he's sort of like Sherlock when it comes to Mary ... he thinks he should have seen the danger she represented, but he missed it for some reason, but now that he knows, he thinks she's valuable enough to overlook her past actions ... whatever they may be. Aside from shooting Sherlock, we still don't really know what she's been up to.

 

Oh, and one other thing ... representing Mary as a skilled hacker just put her higher on my list of who is behind the Moriarty gif, as a means to save Sherlock from his "exile." Actually, Mycroft and Mary working together is on that same list. Hmmmm.... they could have made a deal, maybe? Mary saves Sherlock in return for amnesty from Mycroft?

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I'm curious to see what we'll discover about Mary and Mycroft, if there is any connection, in series 4.

 

Toby, that makes me a bit sad... Sherlock wishing that John was his brother rather than Mycroft.  Especially after all of the emotion we see from Mycroft in TAB with respect to Sherlock.

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Oops, cross-posted. Oh well...

 

John ... I think my favorite scene for him is the one you mention, Toby ... not just the "you will hold yourself to a higher standard" bit, but before that, when he sort of defines his friendship; he is willing to run after Holmes, play the fool, etc., because he loves Holmes, and believes in him and the good he is capable of doing. John accepts that he is the giving one in their relationship, and he's willing to play that role because he thinks Sherlock is worth it. And then he defines his limit ... in return, Sherlock must show himself worthy of such devotion. I really liked that scene.

 

I'm not sure it's that Sherlock wishes John were his brother instead of Mycroft; I see it more as slowly pulling away from Mycroft's "the intellect is all" influence, and more towards valuing John's "caring" approach to others. Whatever John's faults may be (and those faults are from Sherlock's perspective, I'm not sure they're really there) he is still a doctor -- committed to the welfare of other people, not to using them for his own ends. Sherlock still struggles with that but I think he's improving ... ? At least he now appears to recognize why it's a bit not good of him to disregard other people's right to be treated with respect.

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Sorry . I still dont think Mary hacking was real , the first time she did it the scene seconds before was Sherlock in the drugs den , and the second time in a hospital room . Both link up , one to find the crime and the next to find the grave and then dig it up.So , all in the mp. Sherlock says at TRF still not awake then , so Sherlock didn't wake at all until John said time to wake up , and Sherlock decided the way to do it was jump off TRF.Mr.Moff said on 5live yesterday , it was all in his head . So . :-# I think none of it was real.

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I think everything that occurred on the plane the first time was real.  I thought the drug den scene was just a flashback for the viewer's benefit.   I didn't think that the drug den scene was taking place as part of Sherlock's drug addled mind palace thing.

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You should all know that I'll be sitting here waiting for the Mycroft and Molly discussions to begin.   :D

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Mycroft:

I do not think "real" Mycroft has much of a problem with food (although he does seem to be constantly dieting, but then, who isn't in our part of the world). But for some reason Sherlock's mind found it funny to project his own (drug-related and otherwise) gamble with his own health and life onto his infallible big brother. I suppose eating is the only bodily pleasure he knows Mycroft indulges in, so he just made the most of it.

My impression is that a lot of what happens in the Victorian story is based on Sherlock's wishful thinking of some kind. And it's totally understandable that he wishes Mycroft was more flawed and not quite so superior.

We already knew of course that Mycroft worries about Sherlock a lot and that he's the one who has probably seen the worst of his drug history (although I wonder if Lestrade couldn't also tell a few tales there). I can't say the Special changed how I feel about the character. I've read a lot here and elsewhere on how people were touched by his concern and I am happy he is so popular for the show's sake (and Mark Gatiss' brilliant acting), but I really don't like Mycroft. I still think he's a creepy, overbearing gass-bag who does and did Sherlock more harm than good.

 

Molly:

Bit of headcanon: I don't think Molly was originally supposed to be there. Sherlock wasn't thinking of her at all until they were in the morgue and Anderson was so infuriatingly stupid. Then his brain went: "This is insufferable! I want a competent person! I need Molly! Now!" Of course he knew that while there were in fact a few female doctors around in the late 1800s, they were few and far between, especially in forensic pathology, and it would be highly unlikely that Molly could be there. So he just stuck her in men's clothes and summoned her to his side.

We learn very little about Molly herself here, but a lot about how Sherlock sees her:

 - Not like we do. That's for sure. I hardly recognized Molly, and not because of the outfit or the fake mustache. Her manner! Inside Sherlock's mind, nothing remains of the awkward, shy, downtrodden, adorably dorky little woman desperately in love with him that we've been seeing. His Molly is tough as nails and rocket smart. If she had been born in Victorian times, she would have studied medicine just the same, dressed as a man if need be. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone, and faced with injustice, she'd fight just like Sherlock does, resorting to murder if need be to restore balance to the universe. Is this the real Molly? Could be. Appearances deceive, and shy people can be as tough and as bad-ass as anybody. Maybe Sherlock is just imagining her as he'd like her to be, though. She has been accused of loving him not as he is but as she wishes he were, maybe he's guilty of the same delusion.

- It really doesn't matter to him whether she is male or female. He's not attracted to her the way he is / was to Irene Adler, he values her skills, her knowledge and her personality. He knows that she'd like it to be otherwise, though - mind palace Molly seems pretty hurt that the great Sherlock Holmes never seemed to take the trouble to deduce her true identity. This is Sherlock claiming he really doesn't "know where to look", but John does, and John inside the mind palace is a part of Sherlock's consciousness, so of course he knows, and he notices, Molly and other women, he just doesn't want to, because for some reason he is convinced that he must never, ever fall in love and sex is not for him either.

- He is sorry that it "has" to be this way. He feels guilty for having hurt her and for having pretended to be ignorant of her attraction to him while actually exploiting it. I have no idea whether this means he'll actually behave better in the future, but since there was already a big improvement in series 3, I believe that in this particular area, his regrets will actually have some positive effect.

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Mycroft:

...I can't say the Special changed how I feel about the character. I've read a lot here and elsewhere on how people were touched by his concern and I am happy he is so popular for the show's sake (and Mark Gatiss' brilliant acting), but I really don't like Mycroft. I still think he's a creepy, overbearing gass-bag who does and did Sherlock more harm than good.

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Molly:

Bit of headcanon: I don't think Molly was originally supposed to be there. Sherlock wasn't thinking of her at all until they were in the morgue and Anderson was so infuriatingly stupid. Then his brain went: "This is insufferable! I want a competent person! I need Molly! Now!" Of course he knew that while there were in fact a few female doctors around in the late 1800s, they were few and far between, especially in forensic pathology, and it would be highly unlikely that Molly could be there. So he just stuck her in men's clothes and summoned her to his side.

We learn very little about Molly herself here, but a lot about how Sherlock sees her:

 - Not like we do. That's for sure. I hardly recognized Molly, and not because of the outfit or the fake mustache. Her manner! Inside Sherlock's mind, nothing remains of the awkward, shy, downtrodden, adorably dorky little woman desperately in love with him that we've been seeing. His Molly is tough as nails and rocket smart. If she had been born in Victorian times, she would have studied medicine just the same, dressed as a man if need be. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone, and faced with injustice, she'd fight just like Sherlock does, resorting to murder if need be to restore balance to the universe. Is this the real Molly? Could be. Appearances deceive, and shy people can be as tough and as bad-ass as anybody. Maybe Sherlock is just imagining her as he'd like her to be, though. She has been accused of loving him not as he is but as she wishes he were, maybe he's guilty of the same delusion.

- It really doesn't matter to him whether she is male or female. He's not attracted to her the way he is / was to Irene Adler, he values her skills, her knowledge and her personality. He knows that she'd like it to be otherwise, though - mind palace Molly seems pretty hurt that the great Sherlock Holmes never seemed to take the trouble to deduce her true identity. This is Sherlock claiming he really doesn't "know where to look", but John does, and John inside the mind palace is a part of Sherlock's consciousness, so of course he knows, and he notices, Molly and other women, he just doesn't want to, because for some reason he is convinced that he must never, ever fall in love and sex is not for him either.

- He is sorry that it "has" to be this way. He feels guilty for having hurt her and for having pretended to be ignorant of her attraction to him while actually exploiting it. I have no idea whether this means he'll actually behave better in the future, but since there was already a big improvement in series 3, I believe that in this particular area, his regrets will actually have some positive effect.

I've gotten nowhere near thinking through Molly's character yet, but ... yeah, I'll go with what you said. Also the startled recognition when she appears in the chamber ... I like to think that's Sherlock going "Dang, I've underestimated her."

 

Man, this episode has really brought out the feminist side of me....

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Maybe I attempt brief ones.

Posting really takes up a lot of time for me. Someday somewhere someone should make a device where we could just stick our heads in and the ideas present themselves. I have been wishing for this for my work too. :)

 

Mycroft:

While he is overbearing, he loves Sherlock the most. The problem is, showing love is not Holmes brother's expertise. From their conversations so far, it seems to me that their parents don't have good understanding about them. Therefore Mycroft feels responsible for Sherlock, but he doesn't really have a good grasp about how and what to do, and ends up doing some of them wrong and blames himself constantly. Sherlock is aware of this and aware of the efforts that his brother puts (soft and regretful "it has nothing to do with you" plane scene after Mycroft blames himself) although something else makes him despises Mycroft and pulls himself away from Mycroft. What is that something?

(I believe many of you have 'warm' sibling relationships, maybe Sherlock and Mycroft's relationship seems odd for you. In my family, all of us don't really know how to express feelings. We never hug, we never say I love you. We don't pay compliments or capable of offering kind words when the others are sad, but we are there for each other. It may sound sad and depressing but it's not, we are just not used to that.  It doesn't mean we don't love each other at all. We would be really to kill for the safety of the others.)

I believe Mycroft is cold by nature (with soft spot for Sherlock because of something) and Sherlock is cold by nurture. (because of something)

 

I want to do more but my brain is disagreeing with me too much now. 

Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppp.

 

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Good idea, I'll play!

 

The other thing about Mary is they show how independent she is, almost to the point of being ... well, bossy. But not necessarily in a bad way, she just seems to be very no-nonsense; good ballast for the "frankly ridiculous" boys. :D  And Sherlock seems to really like and respect her in spite of that. (Because of that?)

 

I hope she's not working for Mycroft, though. I mean, if she was working for him before, that's one thing, but I hope she's not working for him now ... again, it's just too convenient, having an agent with a license to kill following the boys around and protecting them from harm. Dang it, I want Sherlock to learn to take care of himself, not rely on others to do it for him. 

 

 

 

I wonder about Mary and Mycroft too. Then again, if she was working/ had worked for Mycroft, it would make shooting Sherlock extremely risky. Also, about people protecting Sherlock (and almost all the non-villainous characters have played that role to some extent), I wonder if in a way, he fantasised Mycroft was so overweight as to be immobile, because it meant Mycroft could no longer come after him and save him when he needs it (like the overdose), and part of Sherlock knows he has an unhealthy reliance on his brother.

 

Then again, it's not long after that real life (I think) Sherlock is demanding pardons from Mycroft.

 

 

 

I've gotten nowhere near thinking through Molly's character yet, but ... yeah, I'll go with what you said. Also the startled recognition when she appears in the chamber ... I like to think that's Sherlock going "Dang, I've underestimated her."

 

Man, this episode has really brought out the feminist side of me....

 

 

 

I like this interpretation. I also think the episode highlighted the extent to which Sherlock has underestimated most of the women in his life. They don't dwell on Irene, but she was another example, and Molly of course. It's so weird when his mother seems to have been such a strong and intelligent character.  I would have expected her to be the parent the boys identified most. It makes me wonder even more about their relationship to her whilst growing up. I do hope we get a little glimpse more of the parents and their home life and past next time.

 

 

Mycroft:

I do not think "real" Mycroft has much of a problem with food (although he does seem to be constantly dieting, but then, who isn't in our part of the world). But for some reason Sherlock's mind found it funny to project his own (drug-related and otherwise) gamble with his own health and life onto his infallible big brother. I suppose eating is the only bodily pleasure he knows Mycroft indulges in, so he just made the most of it.

My impression is that a lot of what happens in the Victorian story is based on Sherlock's wishful thinking of some kind. And it's totally understandable that he wishes Mycroft was more flawed and not quite so superior.

We already knew of course that Mycroft worries about Sherlock a lot and that he's the one who has probably seen the worst of his drug history (although I wonder if Lestrade couldn't also tell a few tales there). I can't say the Special changed how I feel about the character. I've read a lot here and elsewhere on how people were touched by his concern and I am happy he is so popular for the show's sake (and Mark Gatiss' brilliant acting), but I really don't like Mycroft. I still think he's a creepy, overbearing gass-bag who does and did Sherlock more harm than good.

 

The more I think about Mycroft in TAB, it strikes me how much of a virtue the Holmes brothers have made of holding themselves back from sensual pleasures. Even Sherlock's drug taking, in a way is just yet a further escape from his own true physical experience of the world. And then overweight Mycroft is like this giant warning beacon of what would happen if either of them let go.

 

I do agree Mycroft is creepy too, but I think that's why I like him!

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Mycroft -  What does the special tell us about Mycroft?  It validated my belief that Mycroft cares for Sherlock a great deal!!!  I didn't really feel like Sherlock's mind palace Mycroft told us much about actual Mycroft, as much is it did Sherlock.  Clearly, for all of his expressed disdain of Mycroft, Sherlock still looks to Mycroft.  Mycroft seems to represent logic and reason in Sherlock's mind palace.  I do wonder if Mycroft was heavier as a child in our Sherlock?  Could that be the source of the fat jokes?  Why Mycroft does seem to be a tad concerned with this appearance?  Or is it because Mycroft has always been more concerned with appearances, not just physical but what others think of you, than Sherlock?  Or did Sherlock just make Mycroft so large in his mind palace to, for once, have a Mycroft lacking his usual icy control and discipline?  A Mycroft that gives in to his wants and desires.   I will concede that Mycroft is overbearing, but I still think that Sherlock has really put Mycroft through the wringer in the past with his drug use.  I wonder what one occurrence brought about the list thing?  Did Sherlock nearly die?  Also, at the cemetery... Sherlock seems to recognize in his mind palace that Mycroft will help him and will be there (as Mycroft said he would), Lestrade too,  even if Mycroft's assistance isn't necessarily direct or hands-on and well, frankly a bit laughable.

 

Molly - How does Sherlock see Molly?  Clearly he feels like he's ignored and disparaged her!  Now that I've gone for that low hanging fruit... He clearly really does respect her skills as a pathologist and must consider her very dedicated to her work, so much so that if it was 1890-whatever she'd dress as a man for it.  I find it kind of touching that he doesn't see her the way she was portrayed to us the first couple seasons.   She's not silly.  She's not her crush.  Hooper, and Molly, are a bit fierce.  Now that I'm writing, I also wonder if Hooper's reveal to him as a woman isn't a bit like her reveal to him in TRF.  I don't know that Sherlock really saw her well, really saw who she was, before she made that little speech in the lab about looking sad.  Just like Sherlock probably realized deep down that Hooper wasn't in fact a man, he never really focused on it before.  He saw, but he did not observe.  As the Sherlolly trash I am, I refuse to believe he made Molly a man in his mind palace because he has 0% interest in her.   ;)  And now I'm going to go off on a little tangent about Molly, because I really love talking about Molly.  I think the Special exemplifies why I find Molly to be such a compelling character.  She's a person full of contradictions and I'm really never sure what we're going to get from her from moment to moment.  And I like that.  It makes her feel very real, very human.  Because human beings are walking contradictions.  On one hand she's sweet and can be what people call her... mousy... probably in her attempts to be nice and polite.  And yet she's the woman who pulls no punches, seemingly out of the blue.  "You always say such horrible things. Every time.  Always.  Always."   And of course, the ever infamous slapping scene.  The things that cracks me up before the slapping scene is Sherlock KNOWS it's coming before they even get there.  The look Sherlock pulls when he's told they're taking him to see Molly because he needs to pee in a cup.  He KNOWS he's about to face her wrath, so this clearly is not a new side to Molly.  So yeah, I love that Sherlock's mind palace Molly is always a force, whether she's advising him how to survive or giving him grief dressed as a man.  

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I wonder what one occurrence brought about the list thing?  Did Sherlock nearly die? 

 

I think the list is kind of silly and very Mycroft. What does he think he's going to do with it, use it as blackmail material in case Sherlock refuses to do something he wants? I bet he has a file on his brother, full of lists and reports from his various spies and agents. He can sit in front of his fireplace and brood over that file and worry all he likes, but that's not actually going to change anything. It might help him feel more superior himself, that is all.

 

I wonder how Mycroft would like it if one day Sherlock suddenly grew up into a fully functional adult, clean for good and able to take care of himself by himself. I think he'd hate it. (So would I, to be honest, but I hope for different reasons. He'd be boring, but that's okay from my perspective, since he's a fictional character whose purpose is to amuse us, but in a brother, that's a completely different story).

 

You know what else about Mycroft really makes me angry? When John is about to leave the plane, and he practically begs him to take care of Sherlock. If I had been John, I'd have said "oh-h-h-h, you need me now, do you?" I mean, wasn't it Mycroft's brilliant idea to use John as the main witness to Sherlock's fake suicide, just so the public would believe in it? Even if Mary was Mycroft's agent and he did send her out to look after John (maybe already with an idea about what kind of consolation she could provide), that's still way beyond what I consider acceptable. "I exploited your love for my brother to sell the other goldfish a clever little lie, but hey, now I kinda need you to to be there for him, so um, just do it and I may rip your feelings apart again in the future if it suits my plans."

 

Btw, I am becoming more and more afraid that we will learn Mary was Mycroft's agent all along. I don't want that and I don't see how that would fit with the Magnussen disaster, but on the other hand, how else did Mycroft know about John's dinner reservation and all the other stuff he had in the file on him? Sure, it could have been other nameless agents spying on John and Mary, but the "no background checks on her" thing sort of leaves me with only one conclusion. Plus the "when did you figure it out?" line from Mary to Sherlock in the Special. Damn. Why do I keep seeing things I don't even want to?

 

 

As the Sherlolly trash I am, I refuse to believe he made Molly a man in his mind palace because he has 0% interest in her.   ;)

 

If it's any consolation to you, the only real romancy romance I believe to be within the realm of the possible on the series for Sherlock would be with Molly. Another one of those "I don't even want to see it but I do" things. I think it's a bad idea (sorry!), but it could happen. I really have not seen any scene yet where I thought they suggested he was attracted to her, but he clearly likes her very much, and there's a certain softness (Mycroft would probably say sentimentality) in the way he talks to and looks at her sometimes.

 

(Why do I think it's a bad idea? For one thing, Sherlock Holmes just doesn't have girlfriends and love affairs. It's too OOC for me to tolerate well. Plus it detracts from Irene Adler - she is The Woman, and nobody else. Plus it detracts from the romance I am mainly interested in. The whole point of the game is the Holmes + Watson dynamic. I don't want them to kiss, but I do love their bond, and it's by nature somewhat exclusive. I am a canon person at heart, I guess. I want things to be the way they were "when I was little" :P )

 

 The look Sherlock pulls when he's told they're taking him to see Molly because he needs to pee in a cup.  He KNOWS he's about to face her wrath, so this clearly is not a new side to Molly.  So yeah, I love that Sherlock's mind palace Molly is always a force, whether she's advising him how to survive or giving him grief dressed as a man.

 

Sherlock doesn't seem to mind his friends' wrath. In fact, I think he likes it, and he provokes it, sometimes on purpose. He craves affection and attention like any other person, because he's frightfully human at heart, but if you were to say to him, "Sherlock, I really like you and I worry about you, darling", he'd probably spit in your face or vomit on your shoes. People yelling at him and slapping him however, that's acceptable. Mycroft hasn't forbidden that or declared that beneath the Holmes boys, in fact, he does it himself, in more refined and indirect ways (the slapping is outsourced to Serbian terrorists in the form of physical torture and the yelling is replaced by snide comments). It's all very f***ed up and abusive the way I look at it, I know, but hey, that's my mind for you. :P :P :P

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I saw the list as a kind of life insurance. If you know what a person has taken it is easier (or possible at all) to help in a case of OD. It's like: if you really have to take the risk of taking substances, at least help me to help you if needed.

 

When you are on a hike in the mountains, it's better someone knows where you are. The same thing.

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Maybe I attempt brief ones.

Posting really takes up a lot of time for me. Someday somewhere someone should make a device where we could just stick our heads in and the ideas present themselves. I have been wishing for this for my work too. :)

No! Oh nononooo. Too Matrix-y. Eww!

 

Mycroft:

While he is overbearing, he loves Sherlock the most. The problem is, showing love is not Holmes brother's expertise. From their conversations so far, it seems to me that their parents don't have good understanding about them. Therefore Mycroft feels responsible for Sherlock, but he doesn't really have a good grasp about how and what to do, and ends up doing some of them wrong and blames himself constantly. Sherlock is aware of this and aware of the efforts that his brother puts (soft and regretful "it has nothing to do with you" plane scene after Mycroft blames himself) although something else makes him despises Mycroft and pulls himself away from Mycroft. What is that something?

 

I've gotten nowhere near thinking through Molly's character yet, but ... yeah, I'll go with what you said. Also the startled recognition when she appears in the chamber ... I like to think that's Sherlock going "Dang, I've underestimated her."

  

I like this interpretation. I also think the episode highlighted the extent to which Sherlock has underestimated most of the women in his life. They don't dwell on Irene, but she was another example, and Molly of course. It's so weird when his mother seems to have been such a strong and intelligent character.  I would have expected her to be the parent the boys identified most. It makes me wonder even more about their relationship to her whilst growing up. I do hope we get a little glimpse more of the parents and their home life and past next time.

 

I think they do identify with her more, judging by their conversation in ASiP. Maybe Mummy Holmes is like her boys; finds it difficult to deal with sentiment and social interaction. Daddy Holmes struck me as the cuddly one. My parents were like that; my Mom wasn't very empathetic, but she showed her love in many other ways. My Dad was the one who addressed our emotional needs, usually. It worked, we all grew up pretty stable. (Even me, all appearances to the contrary! :D )

 

Also Mummy strikes me as someone who could be pretty overbearing if she chose. Mycroft might have picked that up from her ... or it could be something else entirely. This episode does seem to hint at something specific happening to form the boys relationship, doesn't it? Hmmm, wonder what it could be.....

 

I do agree Mycroft is creepy too, but I think that's why I like him!

I should probably clarify; I don't dislike Mycroft. I think he genuinely loves Sherlock as far as he is able to love anyone; and I think he's probably an excellent and very loyal civil servant (and that is meant as praise; I tend to think very highly of civil servants.) But I think he is ... well, VBS said it already, he's overbearing, and his omnipotence diminishes Sherlock's own otherwise considerable abilities. That's why I want to see Sherlock deduce the crap out of Mycroft someday ... it would provide some balance between them.

 

Also I adore Mark Gatiss, so I definitely want Mycroft to stick around....

 

Mycroft seems to represent logic and reason in Sherlock's mind palace.  I do wonder if Mycroft was heavier as a child in our Sherlock?

Given the frequent references to Mycroft's diet, I would say yes. Also I suspect it's just hard for him to stay lean, and easy for Sherlock, so Sherlock flaunts his superiority in that area whenever he can.

 

Molly - How does Sherlock see Molly?  Clearly he feels like he's ignored and disparaged her!  Now that I've gone for that low hanging fruit... He clearly really does respect her skills as a pathologist and must consider her very dedicated to her work, so much so that if it was 1890-whatever she'd dress as a man for it.  I find it kind of touching that he doesn't see her the way she was portrayed to us the first couple seasons.   She's not silly.  She's not her crush.  Hooper, and Molly, are a bit fierce.  Now that I'm writing, I also wonder if Hooper's reveal to him as a woman isn't a bit like her reveal to him in TRF.  I don't know that Sherlock really saw her well, really saw who she was, before she made that little speech in the lab about looking sad.

Ooooh, good observation, I like that. There is hope for our boy yet! :D

 

The things that cracks me up before the slapping scene is Sherlock KNOWS it's coming before they even get there.  The look Sherlock pulls when he's told they're taking him to see Molly because he needs to pee in a cup.  He KNOWS he's about to face her wrath, so this clearly is not a new side to Molly.  So yeah, I love that Sherlock's mind palace Molly is always a force, whether she's advising him how to survive or giving him grief dressed as a man.

Ah, I never thought that he was dismayed at seeing Molly; I think he was annoyed that John wouldn't just let it drop. Sherlock knew he wouldn't pass the test and didn't want to deal with all the resulting "over-reactions", imo. I'm surprised he didn't find a way to escape before reaching the hospital, frankly. But based on his reaction in TAB, I guess he realizes the drug thing is a Bit Not Good and maybe he sort of wants intervention???

 

Annnd, I've hit my quote limit again ... I've got to start catching up with you all earlier in the day!

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To continue.... (because I know you're all just riveted to know what I'm going to come up with next... :P )
 

Btw, I am becoming more and more afraid that we will learn Mary was Mycroft's agent all along. I don't want that and I don't see how that would fit with the Magnussen disaster, but on the other hand, how else did Mycroft know about John's dinner reservation and all the other stuff he had in the file on him? Sure, it could have been other nameless agents spying on John and Mary, but the "no background checks on her" thing sort of leaves me with only one conclusion. Plus the "when did you figure it out?" line from Mary to Sherlock in the Special. Damn. Why do I keep seeing things I don't even want to?

Boy, I am really the slow one these days. What did the "when did you figure it out" line suggest to you, Toby? I just took it at face value and toddled on...
 

I saw the list as a kind of life insurance. If you know what a person has taken it is easier (or possible at all) to help in a case of OD. It's like: if you really have to take the risk of taking substances, at least help me to help you if needed.

When you are on a hike in the mountains, it's better someone knows where you are. The same thing.


Didn't Mycroft say something about the list coming into being after "the first time?" (The first time Sherlock overdosed, I presume, since they showed him writhing in pain in a drug den at that point.) At any rate, I agree ... the list is a safety mechanism in case Sherlock miscalculates, and gets into serious trouble with drugs. And also perhaps a tactic to make him think about it a little longer before he injects the stuff; give himself a chance to change his mind. The fact that Sherlock is still willing to comply holds out some hope that he hasn't completely succumbed to the lure of drugs, I suppose.

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Now that I'm writing, I also wonder if Hooper's reveal to him as a woman isn't a bit like her reveal to him in TRF.  I don't know that Sherlock really saw her well, really saw who she was, before she made that little speech in the lab about looking sad.  Just like Sherlock probably realized deep down that Hooper wasn't in fact a man, he never really focused on it before.  He saw, but he did not observe.  As the Sherlolly trash I am, I refuse to believe he made Molly a man in his mind palace because he has 0% interest in her.   ;)

Sherlock doesn't know Molly is not a man.

Yes, I think that is interesting too. Originally I thought it was just because it's not his area (with John making hilarious peek here at Molly's behind), but maybe it's not that simple.

 

Sherlock should know human anatomy, vocal, voice. He should be observant. I also don't really buy that Sherlock is not looking because he is not interested. He is looking at everyone, everything. Maybe in his mind, he realises that he doesn't understand Molly. Like mentioned before, he doesn't understand why she likes him while he is a sociopath (or so he thinks). She is able to read him very well, his hidden sadness, she is smart.

 

Why doesn't she see that it's fruitless and she will only be disappointed again and again for dwelling on him? Maybe smart people don't always do the right thing for their own benefit? Or this 'feelings' thing is actually not a bad idea because smart people fall for that eventhough they know the disadvantages. Ot maybe they are powerless against that because feeling is more powerful than common sense?

In all, what's the deal with Molly?

Maybe that's what Sherlock is thinking, he doesn't understand why she seems to have undying love for him (when he thinks she should know better).

 

 

You know what else about Mycroft really makes me angry? When John is about to leave the plane, and he practically begs him to take care of Sherlock. If I had been John, I'd have said "oh-h-h-h, you need me now, do you?" I mean, wasn't it Mycroft's brilliant idea to use John as the main witness to Sherlock's fake suicide, just so the public would believe in it? Even if Mary was Mycroft's agent and he did send her out to look after John (maybe already with an idea about what kind of consolation she could provide), that's still way beyond what I consider acceptable. "I exploited your love for my brother to sell the other goldfish a clever little lie, but hey, now I kinda need you to to be there for him, so um, just do it and I may rip your feelings apart again in the future if it suits my plans."

I know you don't mind me disagreeing.

To me, the scene here makes me feel for Mycroft actually. He realises he is helpless, there are things he can't control, he can't always be there for Sherlock even if he wants too because Sherlock doesn't allow it.

I think it's sad. It's like estranged relationship. Maybe he made mistake in the past, but it's still sad.

 

And I think he is not trying to manipulate John here, not to that degree at least. I think he recognises that John is someone he is not, someone that Sherlock needs and trusts, someone who makes his brother vulnerable (hence his dislike for John's involvement in the beginning) but someone who also makes him happier and more human. (in which he is incapable of providing).

 

And Sherlock mentions 'proper big brother', which I suspect he tried to do and failed.

So, I really feel sad for Mycroft here. The tone is resignation and disappointment to himself.

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Btw, I am becoming more and more afraid that we will learn Mary was Mycroft's agent all along. I don't want that and I don't see how that would fit with the Magnussen disaster, but on the other hand, how else did Mycroft know about John's dinner reservation and all the other stuff he had in the file on him? Sure, it could have been other nameless agents spying on John and Mary, but the "no background checks on her" thing sort of leaves me with only one conclusion. Plus the "when did you figure it out?" line from Mary to Sherlock in the Special. Damn. Why do I keep seeing things I don't even want to?

I don't think Mary is Mycroft's. But I don't have proves or theory beside that it's too heavy on the protagonist's side.

 

 

Regardless how I hate her for shooting Sherlock and surgery BS, I think she is genuinely turns over new leaf for John.

However, she has a dark past that is going to haunt her.

She might be forced to make a choice in return of John's safety. She has a lot of things to sell, her expertise, Sherlock, and Mycroft in some degree. And she said she would do anything not to lose John.

 

 

So, no. I don't believe she is on Sherlock and Mycroft's side, whether she wants to or forced to, she is on the other side.

Blind prediction of course.

 

 

Boy, I am really the slow one these days. What did the "when did you figure it out" line suggest to you, Toby? I just took it at face value and toddled on...

I guess it's when they were about to confront the ladies and Sherlock commented that Mary is too skilled for a common nurse.

 

I saw the list as a kind of life insurance.

Didn't Mycroft say something about the list coming into being after "the first time?" (The first time Sherlock overdosed, I presume, since they showed him writhing in pain in a drug den at that point.) At any rate, I agree ... the list is a safety mechanism in case Sherlock miscalculates, and gets into serious trouble with drugs. And also perhaps a tactic to make him think about it a little longer before he injects the stuff; give himself a chance to change his mind. The fact that Sherlock is still willing to comply holds out some hope that he hasn't completely succumbed to the lure of drugs, I suppose.

I have the impression that the list is written in the middle of the use, not in the beginning.

I can imagine Mycroft cracks his head trying to figure out what it means, and my own belief is, it means almost nothing.

 

 

It's probably some kind of forced method to keep Sherlock from OD, like what you have said, but on unconscious level. It's like subconscious method to control a bad dream. Although the writing itself shouldn't be as clear as Sherlock's, but maybe he had been going through a lot of that.

 

 

The only thing (I think) that worth something is Redbeard. I believe the rest is gibberish from a genius mind (therefore it means something eventhough he just blabbering :P)

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Now that I'm writing, I also wonder if Hooper's reveal to him as a woman isn't a bit like her reveal to him in TRF.  I don't know that Sherlock really saw her well, really saw who she was, before she made that little speech in the lab about looking sad.  Just like Sherlock probably realized deep down that Hooper wasn't in fact a man, he never really focused on it before.  He saw, but he did not observe.  As the Sherlolly trash I am, I refuse to believe he made Molly a man in his mind palace because he has 0% interest in her.   ;)

 

......Why doesn't she see that it's fruitless and she will only be disappointed again and again for dwelling on him? Maybe smart people don't always do the right thing for their own benefit? Or this 'feelings' thing is actually not a bad idea because smart people fall for that eventhough they know the disadvantages. Ot maybe they are powerless against that because feeling is more powerful than common sense?

In all, what's the deal with Molly?

Maybe that's what Sherlock is thinking, he doesn't understand why she seems to have undying love for him (when he thinks she should know better).

 

 

I thought the way Molly is portrayed makes her seem more of interest rather than less, because her character in TAB is a puzzle in her own right.

 

About the reasons why Sherlock is confused about what her deal is... I think it's worth remembering too that Sherlock sees himself as totally lacking emotion and heartless, perhaps unlovable (no matter how wrong he is), and so of course it would seem strange to him for Molly to be so enamoured with him. I also think in TRF she confused him even more, because she had no hope of ever having a relationship with him, and it that sense nothing to gain, yet she risked a lot for him. Mycroft loves Sherlock, of course, but he is also often looking for things from him, too, there are exchanges of favours going on, and I think to the extent Sherlock understands caring in season 2, he sees it as transactional, and finds what she does for him quite baffling, something he hasn't experienced much before. 

 

 

 

To me, the scene here makes me feel for Mycroft actually. He realises he is helpless, there are things he can't control, he can't always be there for Sherlock even if he wants too because Sherlock doesn't allow it.

I think it's sad. It's like estranged relationship. Maybe he made mistake in the past, but it's still sad.

 

And I think he is not trying to manipulate John here, not to that degree at least. I think he recognises that John is someone he is not, someone that Sherlock needs and trusts, someone who makes his brother vulnerable (hence his dislike for John's involvement in the beginning) but someone who also makes him happier and more human. (in which he is incapable of providing).

 

And Sherlock mentions 'proper big brother', which I suspect he tried to do and failed.

So, I really feel sad for Mycroft here. The tone is resignation and disappointment to himself.

 

 

That's how I felt about Mycroft too. I think he wishes he could be the friend to Sherlock that John is, but instead he's the designated (even if it is self-designated) caretaker. I also think that to a degree, that the way John humanises Sherlock, can also be said of Sherlock with Mycroft- Sherlock makes his brother more human too.

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Oooo, good stuff here, want to get into it but have to go teach a class. But quickly, I had a thought earlier regarding Mary and her hacker skills ... maybe the reason Mycroft hasn't gone after her is that, now that he knows about her, he's made a deal with her to come up with the Moriarty gif. I.e., she comes up with a way to save Sherlock in return for Mycroft not killing her for harming his little brother. Something like that.

 

Sounds stupid when I write it down (this is why I'm not a writer -- too critical of my own ideas!) but I thought I'd toss it out there.

 

Laterz!

 

(You know you're obsessed when you're here instead of getting ready for work............)

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Sherlock doesn't know Molly is not a man.

Yes, I think that is interesting too. Originally I thought it was just because it's not his area (with John making hilarious peek here at Molly's behind), but maybe it's not that simple.

 

Sherlock should know human anatomy, vocal, voice. He should be observant. I also don't really buy that Sherlock is not looking because he is not interested. He is looking at everyone, everything. Maybe in his mind, he realises that he doesn't understand Molly. Like mentioned before, he doesn't understand why she likes him while he is a sociopath (or so he thinks). She is able to read him very well, his hidden sadness, she is smart.

 

Why doesn't she see that it's fruitless and she will only be disappointed again and again for dwelling on him? Maybe smart people don't always do the right thing for their own benefit? Or this 'feelings' thing is actually not a bad idea because smart people fall for that eventhough they know the disadvantages. Ot maybe they are powerless against that because feeling is more powerful than common sense?

In all, what's the deal with Molly?

Maybe that's what Sherlock is thinking, he doesn't understand why she seems to have undying love for him (when he thinks she should know better).

I'm still not sure what to make of Sherlock casting Molly as a man. Maybe, as Toby said, he needed her presence in his mind palace, and that was the only way he could logically place her there. Then he casts himself as someone who doesn't even notice she's a woman. Him, Sherlock Holmes, the most observant man in the world....

 

I like your take on it, VB; it shows how he just doesn't understand her. Now that I think on it, Sherlock is never shown as understanding Molly, is he? In ASiP he fails to notice her interest in him; in Scandal, the same, until it's too late; in TRF he's surprised by her insight; in TEH he fails to recognize that she hasn't really moved on; and she's got him stumbling all over himself in TSo3. Only in Blind Banker does he seem to observe her well enough to figure out how to manipulate her. Or maybe he just thinks that tactic(complimenting her) works with all women.

 

Maybe Sherlock's observation skills simply don't work when his own self is somewhere there in the equation? Which makes him sound very un-self aware, which doesn't seem quite right either. 'Tis a puzzlement -- but also makes him seem very human, in spite of himself.

 

 

Boy, I am really the slow one these days. What did the "when did you figure it out" line suggest to you, Toby? I just took it at face value and toddled on...

I guess it's when they were about to confront the ladies and Sherlock commented that Mary is too skilled for a common nurse.

 

Yes, that is the scene I am referring to. But Toby said that Mary's line to Sherlock, "When did you figure it out?" suggested something to her, and I was wondering what; because it doesn't suggest anything to me! And I know Toby frequently notices things I miss, so I'm curious.

 

Some more notes:

John: One of my favorite bits with John was in Carmichael's study, when Holmes insults Sir Eustace, who surges forward as if he's going to punch him; and Watson starts to step into his path, protecting Holmes. I thought that was a lovely, subtle way to show their relationship; in spite of all the aggravation, John's first instinct is to protect his friend. I loved him for that.

 

I said earlier I thought they might be trying to tamp down the "Johnlock" references, but I'll have to retract that; for instance, the scene mentioned  above, when John said (to Mary) "I thought I was losing you," and Sherlock answers "You were the one who moved out." Good grief, that's not even subtle! :smile:

 

But if you do want a Johnlock innuendo, there's this. Warning: what is seen cannot be unseen! I would have never made the connection myself, but now that it's been made for me, it's all I can see! I admit, it's so stupidly clever, I have to laugh.... anyway, here it is, but don't say I didn't warn you....

 

From Ariane DeVere's transcript: (Note: this is shortly before Watson starts asking Holmes about his past "experiences";) Italics mine.

 

 NIGHT TIME. In a greenhouse in the grounds of the Carmichael house, Watson grunts and stands up from some lower position.

[Transcriber's note: At this point, one of my betas made some positively filthy suggestions about what Watson had been doing in that lower position. I’m so proud of her. ;-) ]

 

 

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I agree that makes more sense. But when she reveals herself near the end, they don't play it as if Sherlock knew all along; they play it as if he's suddenly realizing that he's as culpable as all the other men when it comes to underappreciating women. So I think Sherlock is making a comment on himself by having the Victorian version not recognize she is a woman, even though it doesn't make literal sense.

 

And now for a complete non-sequitur.....

Question: some of the reviews of this, and of Season 3 (especially TEH) complain that the show has become too "self-referential." Why is this considered a "bad" thing? (Because I quite enjoy it and I'd hate to be accused of bad taste... :P )

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Question: some of the reviews of this, and of Season 3 (especially TEH) complain that the show has become too "self-referential." Why is this considered a "bad" thing? (Because I quite enjoy it and I'd hate to be accused of bad taste... :P )

 

In TAB I loved it, because it's not so much self-referential as it is an alternative universe/part of Sherlock's Mind Palace. It only makes sense to be self-referential from this perspective - or that's how I feel.

 

I mostly find it exciting when I see a connection between the past and the present of Sherlock, and I enjoy the inside-jokes and comments. Makes me feel more part of the Sherlock-universe.

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