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


T.o.b.y
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Some things I found interesting about Sherlock in TAB:

 

There's a good deal of praise for Watson, like Holmes' comment: "My Boswell is learning", or when Watson notices that Hooper is a woman (I personally don't think Holmes was aware of that and just hiding it), or when Watson comes to Holmes' aid at the falls, or when Sherlock says that he likes to see himself through John's eyes, because he's so much more clever.

 

This all takes place in Sherlock's mind, so this is definitely part of how he sees John. But more interestingly, he seems to lower his opinion of himself. He's not as clever as Mycroft (that was already established in TEH, of course), and he doesn't think he's as clever as John sees him.

 

It's nothing new, but it cements what was shown in series 3. Perhaps series 4 will continue along this line... Still, I hope Sherlock will have plenty of opportunity to show off :)

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Oh, I think he will. After all, as Mrs. Hudson pointed out, he likes that bit. :d

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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.

I think that is the right answer. Un-self aware is very real trait among the gifted, especially in regards to human relationship. Why, maybe because it's not measurable and inconsistent? Not sure. He is very human, or inhuman, depends how you look at it. I remember in SIP he couldn't understand why would Jennifer Wilson still thinking about her unborn daughter.

 

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.

Yes I really like that too. There are similar situations in other previous episodes when he is always ready to protect Sherlock or stand between Sherlock and danger. Good old John.

 

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....

I read it before this, and have to say I didn't know what to think of it. But hey, if that's the case he wouldn't complain the night being boring right? And he wouldn't question Sherlock's impulse. So nahhhhhhhhhh... no-P-pe.

 

 

This all takes place in Sherlock's mind, so this is definitely part of how he sees John. But more interestingly, he seems to lower his opinion of himself. He's not as clever as Mycroft (that was already established in TEH, of course), and he doesn't think he's as clever as John sees him.

 

It's nothing new, but it cements what was shown in series 3. Perhaps series 4 will continue along this line... Still, I hope Sherlock will have plenty of opportunity to show off :)

Amen to that.

About him thinking he is not very clever in TAB, could it because he was feeling insecure, not being able to find the answer about how Moriarty did it at that moment?

 

 

Oh, I think he will. After all, as Mrs. Hudson pointed out, he likes that bit. :D

Maybe it's stranger-touch-hating and introvert me. This scene kind of bother me, especially the first watch, Lestrade is standing too close to Mrs. Hudson. Face too close.. Whisper too close..! Yes, it's Lestrade, that helps, but still, move back..!
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Mike Stamford.

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The special confirms my suspicion that he is a sadistic man. When he is bored at work, he probably spends his lunch hour bringing stangers or old friends back to Bart to see how they interact with Sherlock as entertainment. :)

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This all takes place in Sherlock's mind, so this is definitely part of how he sees John. But more interestingly, he seems to lower his opinion of himself. He's not as clever as Mycroft (that was already established in TEH, of course), and he doesn't think he's as clever as John sees him.

 

It's nothing new, but it cements what was shown in series 3. Perhaps series 4 will continue along this line... Still, I hope Sherlock will have plenty of opportunity to show off :)

Amen to that.

About him thinking he is not very clever in TAB, could it because he was feeling insecure, not being able to find the answer about how Moriarty did it at that moment?

 

That makes sense, since Sherlock uses the "technique" (of seeing himself through John's eyes) with the specific purpose of getting closer to solving the case. So, yeah, it might be a moment of insecurity.

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Mike Stamford.

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The special confirms my suspicion that he is a sadistic man. When he is bored at work, he probably spends his lunch hour bringing stangers or old friends back to Bart to see how they interact with Sherlock as entertainment. :)

 

smilie_happy_251.gif

You are a genius in planting the most ridiculous ideas in my mind.

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I like that the inside of Sherlocks mind is so very humorous, the original Holmes was always laughing at everyone , this one in tab does too . I think all his opinions of the people in his mp are funny exaggerated takes on them.We can't really take it seriously , just enjoy it.

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Oh, I agree! What's even funnier to me is imagining Moftiss imagining this is how Sherlock Holmes must view the rest of the world. XD I'll bet they giggled like schoolboys when they were writing this.

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I think in some weird unconscious way Sherlock knew Hooper was not in fact a man.  The whole seeing but not observing thing.  To some extent I don't think it mattered to Sherlock one way or the other what Hooper was, other than a damn good pathologist.   He didn't really seem surprised to me at the reveal, which is why I think he knew deep down all along, even if he never really gave it much thought.

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I thought the surprise might be because Hooper turned out to be a woman but that she was among the "Brides".

 

Well, yes... her/him/Hooper being a woman wasn't the only surprise there.

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Grr...

I meant "I thought the surprise might NOT be Hooper turning out to be a woman"

 

This happens when you start writing a sentence and in the middle of it you decide to change it...

 

Gotcha.  :)  I was a bit confuzzled.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It just occurred to me that Holme's line at the beginning -- that he was an "unsavory companion of dubious morals" -- might be the Victorian equivalent of Sherlock's "high-functioning sociopath." And that's how he excuses his more "dubious" behaviors to himself; he's not a good man, so he is excused from trying to act like one; which proves he's not a good man, which further excuses him from trying to act like one ...
 
Nice try, Sherlock!  <_<

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Grr...

I meant "I thought the surprise might NOT be Hooper turning out to be a woman"

 

This happens when you start writing a sentence and in the middle of it you decide to change it...

Gotcha.   :)  I was a bit confuzzled.

 

I meant Sherlock might not be surprised because Hooper turned out to be a woman, but because she was with the "Furies".

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I can understand why he might have been, actually. Surprised to find her with the League of Abominable Voters, I mean. :smile: Hooper had already found a way to subvert society's expectations of her, she didn't need the "Furies."

 

 But seriously, the way the story was laid out, I really think her presence was meant to underscore Sherlock's own seeming indifference to women in general and Molly in particular. And by indifference, I don't mean just the lack of sexual attraction; I mean the way he appears to regard women in general as a distraction, simply because they are women. And to allow himself to be distracted is a weakness (he thinks). That's one of the things I like about the relationship between him and Mary ... he not only accepts her for whatever else she is, but he also accepts her "woman-ness". She's a non-threatening woman, to be sure (she's already chosen John, so he's safe from her :P ), but a woman nevertheless. Of course it's all because of what she means to John, but still, that's a big step for Sherlock.

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But seriously, the way the story was laid out, I really think her presence was meant to underscore Sherlock's own seeming indifference to women in general and Molly in particular. And by indifference, I don't mean just the lack of sexual attraction; I mean the way he appears to regard women in general as a distraction, simply because they are women.

 

Not really because they are women, though... Because as women, he could be attracted to them and that would be the distraction. He seems completely unconcerned about people like Mrs Hudson, for example.

 

I have never been under the impression that Sherlock or the original Holmes is misogynistic. Holmes was actually surprisingly respectful towards most women in the original stories, and he treated them like rational human beings capable of bravery and reasoning rather than delicate hothouse plants or children with breasts. He just didn't want to get too close to the more attractive ones "lest I bias my judgment".

 

And it is true that the times Sherlock f***ed up his cases, biased judgment due to sympathy for and / or attraction to somebody played a crucial part. He underestimated Irene, and he cracked the code to impress her instead of deducing it silently and keeping his mouth shut. He underestimated Mary and was sure she would not really be capable of putting a bullet in him. Then in the mind palace, he likes Lady Carmichael and fails to see the potential killer in her either, which is why Sir Eustace ends up dead and Moriarty appears to mock Sherlock.

 

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Yeah, I didn't mean misogynistic, exactly ... he doesn't hate or demean women, he just finds them ... distracting. A threat to his rationalism; i.e., a weakness. And god forbid he should show weakness!!! :smile: I don't think he blames women for this, but it does cause him to keep them at a distance just because they're women. Mrs. Hudson doesn't count; she's not a "woman" woman, she's a mother figure! :d
 
I like your point about his failures. I hadn't thought of it quite that way. No wonder he doesn't want to be distracted; he gets in trouble when he is. And also your explanation for why Moriarty appeared at that point ... that's been a puzzle for me, I still hadn't been able to work out why the whole Carmichael case sort of went 'phhht!' at that point. But that makes sense.
 
I guess I still have trouble seeing those as failures on Sherlock's part, because he manages to save the situation in the end even if he screws up along the way. Except for Carmichael, but he still solves the mystery there, and they made it clear that Holmes despised Sir Eustace, so who cares if he died? :D But I can see why Sherlock would regard them as failures, and beat himself up over it.
 
Another thing that puzzles me ... Moriarty is supposed to represent Sherlock's weakness/failures/whatever ... at least to Sherlock himself ... right? And yet it's Moriarty who keeps telling him what he needs to hear to set himself right.

 

For instance, in HLV, Sherlock seemed to be giving up, until Jim started mumbling about John being in danger ... then he fights his way to life.

 

And in TAB, it's Moriarty's goading that keeps prompting Sherlock to come back to the "real" world. These are the lines I mean:
 

Oh, so what? Does it matter? Stop it. Stop this. You don’t care about Sir Eustace,  or the Bride or any of it. There’s only one thing in this whole business that you find interesting.

Meaning, I think, that the answer to the Carmichael case doesn't matter; what matters is working out how Emelia/Jim could have survived shooting themselves ... and then the plane lands and Sherlock wakes up.
 

Is this silly enough for you yet? Gothic enough? Mad enough, even for you? It doesn’t make sense, Sherlock, because it’s not real. This is all in your mind.

A little trickier, since Sherlock only seems to wake up after this one; but still, it's an attempt to not get lost in his mind, I think.
 

Shall we go over together? It has to be together, doesn’t it? At the end, it’s always just you AND ME!

At which point John shows up, because Jim's just reminded Sherlock that he's NOT alone.

 

Although at that point it's left to John to wake Sherlock up for good, so maybe that blows my whole theory out of the water. :blink:

I'm not sure what to make of this, anyone care to enlighten me?

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Another thing that puzzles me ... Moriarty is supposed to represent Sherlock's weakness/failures/whatever ... at least to Sherlock himself ... right?

 

No, not exactly, I don't think. I know he says "I am your weakness", but he goes on to say: "every time you stumble, every time you fail, when you are weak, I am there." So the inner Moriarty not necessarily represents Sherlock's weaknesses, but he breaks loose from his prison cell and rises up to torment him when Sherlock messes up because of them.

 

What exactly this Mind Palace version of Moriarty is supposed to represent, let alone mean, don't ask me. I've been pondering that question ever since the Special aired. What puzzles me, for example, is that he is not only compared to Emilia Ricoletti in that he shot himself in the mouth and then reappeared, but also in being a "ghost" from Sherlock's past who comes back to haunt him. Even the 5 pips warning from The Great Game reappears in this context. So in a way, Sherlock and Moriarty are being compared to Sir Eustace and Emilia, and wait a minute, how on earth would that make sense? Sherlock never wronged Moriarty, it was the other way around. As far as we know.

 

I suppose one aspect of Moriarty in the Mind Palace is all the aspects of Sherlock's being that he has repressed and would rather not own. Moriarty is very sexual, for one thing, and we know Sherlock tries to not have anything to do with sex. He is also constantly urging Sherlock to give up and die, so there may also be a certain weariness and a death-wish that Sherlock has fought down in the past in order to function. And there's the sheer evilness of him. It would be absolutely no surprise to me if Sherlock had more than a little streak of evil in him. In that case, I am very touched that he sees it as an enemy rather than an ally. :lol:

 

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Another thing that puzzles me ... Moriarty is supposed to represent Sherlock's weakness/failures/whatever ... at least to Sherlock himself ... right?

 

No, not exactly, I don't think. I know he says "I am your weakness", but he goes on to say: "every time you stumble, every time you fail, when you are weak, I am there." So the inner Moriarty not necessarily represents Sherlock's weaknesses, but he breaks loose from his prison cell and rises up to torment him when Sherlock messes up because of them.

 

Which is odd, because Sherlock didn't fail when it came to Moriarty, he beat him. Eventually. Hmmm. Maybe it's got something to do with Sherlock telling Moriarty "I am you" (which is something else I struggle to understand) -- maybe it's Moriarty who's the failure, and when Sherlock thinks he's failed he thinks he becomes more like Moriarty? Gahh... I don't even really know what I'm saying here. 'Tis a puzzlement.

 

 

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What I gathered from The Special when in silly mood is, Sherlock friend-zoned Molly. Ouch!

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Which is odd, because Sherlock didn't fail when it came to Moriarty, he beat him.

 

Yes, but at what cost? And to what avail, really, if Moriarty is still alive and kicking inside his mind? (Yeah, yeah, he won't cause trouble for other people out in the real world any more, but does Sherlock really care for them all that much?)

 

This may be my very personal interpretation and have little to do with what the writers intended to convey, but:

 

In my mind, one of the biggest mistakes Sherlock ever made was using John as a witness to his fake suicide. And Sherlock seems to agree, because when he re-stages The Fall in his mind, things look pretty bleak for him right until John shows up, gets Moriarty to surrender and finally kicks him off the cliff. I take this to mean that Sherlock agrees with me: This is how it should have gone. John should have been there. They should have faced Moriarty together. Sherlock could still have jumped off the building and gone ahead with the rest of the plan, while John looks on calmly, in the know and assured that his friend is actually okay and will be back in time.

 

So in my opinion, Sherlock did fail in dealing with Moriarty. Big time.

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Toby,what you have said is very interesting.

Sherlock needs John, but he doesn't want to admit it neither to himself, so he tries to face Moriarty on his own. Maybe Sherlock is also reflecting on the fact that he's alone not because people leave him alone, but because he refuses to be helped and loved by the others. In this case, he refuses to be helped by John, his best friend and the person who loves him the most.

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Which is odd, because Sherlock didn't fail when it came to Moriarty, he beat him.

 

Yes, but at what cost? And to what avail, really, if Moriarty is still alive and kicking inside his mind? (Yeah, yeah, he won't cause trouble for other people out in the real world any more, but does Sherlock really care for them all that much?)

 

This may be my very personal interpretation and have little to do with what the writers intended to convey, but:

 

In my mind, one of the biggest mistakes Sherlock ever made was using John as a witness to his fake suicide. And Sherlock seems to agree, because when he re-stages The Fall in his mind, things look pretty bleak for him right until John shows up, gets Moriarty to surrender and finally kicks him off the cliff. I take this to mean that Sherlock agrees with me: This is how it should have gone. John should have been there. They should have faced Moriarty together. Sherlock could still have jumped off the building and gone ahead with the rest of the plan, while John looks on calmly, in the know and assured that his friend is actually okay and will be back in time.

 

So in my opinion, Sherlock did fail in dealing with Moriarty. Big time.

I can't decide about the Fall. Was he dreaming up a more satisfactory conclusion to the "real" one, as you say, or was he looking for a way to "wake up" and finally realized all he had to do was let John help? Both, maybe. Either way, he woke up happy. I love the little boy smile when he wakes up.

 

At any rate, I get what you're saying ... from our perspective, he screwed up; you don't DO things like that to your friends. So maybe this is him acknowledging that what he gained in defeating Moriarty wasn't worth the cost? Some things are more important that winning? Maybe ... but I'm more inclined to think he sees the, er, fallout from the Fall as more of a noble sacrifice than a screw-up. What it does to his relationships is regrettable but he can bear it, etc etc.

 

Or not. :d

 

Maybe Sherlock is also reflecting on the fact that he's alone not because people leave him alone, but because he refuses to be helped and loved by the others.

Yes, this. But will he decide to be different? I think he sees himself as sort of a protector figure, watching out for the welfare of the people and things he loves. Not sure he wants to give up that view of himself.

 

Rats, too sleepy right now to think it through.

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