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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Dinner scene?  Do you mean the succession of eateries that the threesome got kicked out of, or am I forgetting something?  In any case, would you care to elaborate on "jarring"?

Yep, that one. I do understand the rationale of Sherlock trying to make light of what he couldn't face head-on, but still, when I saw it I had a serious "wut" moment. It seemed like so much wasted potential. Compare and contrast, to, say, how Plaidder (you saw that one coming, I guess :lol:) handles the Return in Empty Houses. Sincere, yet in character, and in a private moment, without bringing bloody Mary into the mix (so not sorry for the pun :P).

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Hello, and thanks all lot for all your reactions to my lengthy comment. And sorry for not answering to your subsequent thoughts and contributions. I had subscribed this thread but for some reason I never received a feedback and was under the impression that this thread had remained inactive :(

I will go through all your nice answers and will try to respond. Let me just say that I'm very happy for fans like T.o.b.y, who liked the fourth season just fine. I just voiced my personal discontent, and tastes and preferences vary wildly after all. This per se doesn't merit my  lengthy comment and I probably won't go to another thread in order to rant about S4. No use to cry over spilled milk, lol - although it's interesting to speculate why the makers decided to take Sherlock into that particular direction and the possibility of an interplay between fandom and makers.

But I was really a bit shocked when I discovered that TJLC is a movement which continues to this day. It's probably too easy to dismiss this as just being delusional, because it indicates a real need for positive representation of certain communities. For them it was a real tragedy that Sherlock didn't deliver the desired endgame. But I think that the remedy can never be the chasing of an illusion...

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Caya, I like your thoughts re: what could Mofftiss have done better, and how could the Johnlock disaster have been averted. I agree that a higher level of respect and empathy clearly would've helped. They may have unleashed the Johnlock movement unwittingly during the first two seasons, but there was enough time later to contemplate the fallout.

I also used to belong to those who initially didn't really  see a gay subtext. I used to chalk up all those more or less subtle jokes about John and Sherlock being in a gay relationship just as that - jokes which were designed to lampoon rash and prejudiced judgements. But when I started to read the wealth of evidence gathered by Johnlockers (TAB is apparently choc-full of subtle queer allusions and clues - going into detail would result in another lengthy treatment, but I will try to find my main source again), I eventually had to admit that they had at least sometimes a point and that I simply could not read the subtext - well because I'm not gay and I don't know many openly gay people. But I couldn't dismiss out  of  hand a lot of the gathered evidence. And since Marc Gatiss is openly gay and happily married to another man, I have a hard time to believe that Mofftiss were totally oblivious of how certain groups could and eventually would react to Sherlock. My best guess atm is that Mofftiss simply had impish fun with creating a certain amount of ambiguity and misdirection. They did the same after all with clues pointing into all sorts of directions as far as the plot mechanics of the mystery are concerned. And this very common  technique of script writers  allowed them to keep things open for going into all sorts of directions in future installments. Again, that's totally normal for mapping out  and writing multi-season tv-show  scripts. And  while I believe Mofftiss'  assertions that they never truly  intended to make Johnlock canon, I have the suspicion that they loved flirting and teasing with this possibility, and that they may have thought, the LGBQ community would be satisfied with being gifted the possibility for developing their own head canon. 

But even with more empathy and awareness of the mindset of certain LGBQ factions it's hard to say if the TJLC disaster could've been totally avoided. This movement developed eventually an almost religious life of it's own, and  from a certain point onwards everything Mofftiss said or did was seen as confirmation of their specific theories.

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I truly wonder what kind of plans Mofftiss really had for a fifth season! Where did they intend to take the show? Whether we liked S4 or not - the overall arc of the story feels very complete. And yet, Mofftiss did say that they actually had mapped out a fifth season. This isn't just wishful thinking of those who still believe that Johnlock may become canon eventually. 

I'm not sure if I even want any more seasons. For my personal taste the fourth season has done too much  damage to the overall Sherlock brand since certain plot developments cannot be reversed. I'm talking specifically about the last minute introduction of a long lost sister with mental superpowers  who has been deleted from Sherlock's memory due to childhood trauma. While I could certainly ignore that I didn't like the overall concept of S4 and hope for better episodes, Eurus' character would still be very much present. A character with such a massive influence who is still very much alive, has to be dealt with and cannot be ignored in future installments. And  I totally resent the way Eurus' character has been introduced and designed. To introduce a long lost sibling isn't bad per se, and there were many hints and foreshadowing in previous episodes, but I totally resent the notion that she is an antagonist with mental superpowers and that Sherlock has deleted her from his brain because of childhood trauma. IMO, both ideas are totally unrealistic even for today's tv show standards. They are far more suitable for the fantasy and superhero genre but not for a show about a detective, which should be at least fleetingly grounded in physical reality, lol! But Eurus is what she is. She's there now for better or worse, and I cannot see how this can be dealt with in a good way in future installments. And since she hasn't been killed off in the final episode, I have to assume that Mofftiss definitely had further plans for her character. Short of declaring that S4 was just a product of Sherlock's mind palace, I cannot see how Eurus could be plausibly  integrated into future story arcs. Btw, I have nothing bad to say about Sian Brooke's acting. Like most of the other actors she was pretty brilliant. 

T.o.b.y, I can also understand your pov: you liked the fourth season and how it ended. And  a finished product could well suffer if continued. I could list many examples where exactly that happened because the powers that be couldn't leave wonderful stories alone. It's not even a recent phenomenon. I love Marc Twain's Tom Sayer and Huckleberry Finn novels. Thankfully hardly anyone knows anymore that Marc Twain has written a couple of pretty terrible sequels where he apparently just used the names of his most famous protagonists for selling more books! I refuse to acknowledge that they even exist, lol!  And while I'm not overly invested in the Star Wars saga, I can understand those, who refuse to acknowledge the plot developments of"The Last Jedi", although it's said to be actually a good movie If taken out of context. JK Rowling's "The Cursed Child" is another example. It's pretty awful not just in my opinion, and while she hasn't written it herself, JK Rowling participated in developing the story line and declared that the finished product is canon. Oh well...

Speaking of which: JK Rowling ist also engulfed in a noisy controversy re: Albus Dumbledore's character and how he is and will be presented in the "Fantastic Beasts" movie franchise. Will he eventually be clearly shown as a gay man? Or will the Powers That Be just dance around the subject and drop subtle hints because of the perceived sensibilities of certain market sections? The LGBQ community has vocally demanded that Dumbledore should be shown unequivocally as gay. And since JK Rowling herself has declared that she always saw his character as gay, I have a lot of sympathy for this demand. If Dumbledore's creator saw him as gay, then they should not dance around this subject indefinitely. However, I'm not sure if it really  helps the cause of the LGBQ community to explicitly show Dumbledore being in love with a psychopath and hitler-like sorcerer who is played by Johnny Depp! I cannot imagine that this is the kind of positive representation they have desired for so long...

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/8/2018 at 2:13 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

It's still my opinion that their sense of humor merely stopped developing somewhere around junior high -- which would account for just about everything.

Like me finding their show really funny. I think my sense of humor is developmentally challenged in a similar way... 

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6 hours ago, littlefoot said:

I truly wonder what kind of plans Mofftiss really had for a fifth season! Where did they intend to take the show? Whether we liked S4 or not - the overall arc of the story feels very complete. And yet, Mofftiss did say that they actually had mapped out a fifth season.

It's my personal suspicion, based on virtually no evidence whatsoever :P that they collapsed S4 and S5 into one season. Either they lost interest in writing it, or the actors lost interest in performing it, or something … but the S4 timeline feels sooooooooooo rushed to me. Sherlock suffers exactly zero consequences for murdering Magnussen. John and Mary were only married a few months, most of which time they weren't speaking, and then 'poof' she dies. Molly and Greg barely have any scenes. With zero foreshadowing, Sherlock's amnesia is revealed. A sister's introduced one minute, and they rush off to confront her the next, with no time for the idea to take hold.

It all says to me there was more story in the works, but for whatever reason, it was abandoned … and we just got what was left.

I could, however, be completely off the track. :D 

6 hours ago, littlefoot said:

For my personal taste the fourth season has done too much  damage to the overall Sherlock brand since certain plot developments cannot be reversed. I'm talking specifically about the last minute introduction of a long lost sister with mental superpowers  who has been deleted from Sherlock's memory due to childhood trauma.

I find I don't mind the concept of Eurus … just the abrupt way they established her existence. That's a reveal that needed a lot more time to cook, imo. But the character herself I found rather intriguing … and like you, I thought Sian Brooke did a terrific job with her. But I'm afraid that even if there is an S5, we'll never see or hear from her again. :( 

29 minutes ago, T.o.b.y said:

Like me finding their show really funny. I think my sense of humor is developmentally challenged in a similar way...

Me too!

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8 hours ago, littlefoot said:

My best guess atm is that Mofftiss simply had impish fun with creating a certain amount of ambiguity and misdirection. They did the same after all with clues pointing into all sorts of directions as far as the plot mechanics of the mystery are concerned. And this very common  technique of script writers  allowed them to keep things open for going into all sorts of directions in future installments. Again, that's totally normal for mapping out  and writing multi-season tv-show  scripts. And  while I believe Mofftiss'  assertions that they never truly  intended to make Johnlock canon, I have the suspicion that they loved flirting and teasing with this possibility

Well, there is a plenty of non-JL theories, like the wallpaper meanings or this one. I partially blame Arwel Wynn Jones, the set designer. He indeed placed so many hints do the canon, and there are some details on the set that really make you wonder about their meaning. But actually none of the theories turned out to be true. Actually, what we thought was playing hide and seek, was actually only having fun with the source material. There was no hidden pattern, no backstory revealing all the secrets, no answers. Probably the show seemed more clever than it was and that is what I was angry about. We just get The Sister From Another Story. It's not even a retroactive continuity - we get a retroactive destruction of what IMO the main character was based on.

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Arcadia, thanks for your thoughts! I agree with you that S4 felt totally rushed and nothing was developed properly. While I still would've resented the introduction of a character with mental superpowers and Sherlock's amnesia re: his own sister, it's also true that the the introduction of this idea wasn't very skillful and could not take hold properly. And there are soo many loose ends and unanswered questions in the fourth season...you could well be right and for some reason the fourth and the fifth season have been collapsed to a certain degree.

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9 hours ago, littlefoot said:

[1] ... when I started to read the wealth of evidence gathered by Johnlockers (TAB is apparently choc-full of subtle queer allusions and clues - going into detail would result in another lengthy treatment, but I will try to find my main source again), I eventually had to admit that they had at least sometimes a point and that I simply could not read the subtext - well because I'm not gay and I don't know many openly gay people. But I couldn't dismiss out  of  hand a lot of the gathered evidence.  [....]

[2]  My best guess atm is that Mofftiss simply had impish fun with creating a certain amount of ambiguity and misdirection. They did the same after all with clues pointing into all sorts of directions as far as the plot mechanics of the mystery are concerned. And this very common  technique of script writers  allowed them to keep things open for going into all sorts of directions in future installments. Again, that's totally normal for mapping out  and writing multi-season tv-show  scripts.  [....]

[3]  But even with more empathy and awareness of the mindset of certain LGBQ factions it's hard to say if the TJLC disaster could've been totally avoided. This movement developed eventually an almost religious life of it's own, and  from a certain point onwards everything Mofftiss said or did was seen as confirmation of their specific theories.

1.  I have read very little of the TJLC evidence.  However, from what little I have seen (or read synopses of), a good bit of the scholarly treatment relies on assuming that the show follows a particular formula -- that certain elements will always be present, in their proper place, and each in its proper relationship to the other elements.  But this doesn't happen reliably even with what you might call literary fiction, and the Moftisses seem to delight in breaking rules.  Therefore, even though such formulae might yield a pretty good guess as to what will happen next, they cannot be used as any kind of proof that it will, or even that it should.  Please do try to find that source, littlefoot -- I might well have been extrapolating from too few samples.

2.  I fully agree about the impish fun.  Plus they seem to enjoy setting themselves a tough challenge (e.g., completely estranging Sherlock and John, then getting them reconciled).

3.  I agree.  Unfortunately for the theorists, though, evidence is not necessarily proof.

8 hours ago, littlefoot said:

[1]  JK Rowling ist also engulfed in a noisy controversy re: Albus Dumbledore's character and how he is and will be presented in the "Fantastic Beasts" movie franchise. Will he eventually be clearly shown as a gay man? Or will the Powers That Be just dance around the subject and drop subtle hints because of the perceived sensibilities of certain market sections?  [....]

[2]  However, I'm not sure if it really  helps the cause of the LGBQ community to explicitly show Dumbledore being in love with a psychopath and hitler-like sorcerer who is played by Johnny Depp! I cannot imagine that this is the kind of positive representation they have desired for so long...

1.  I assume you're talking about the Religious Right, at least as far as the US is concerned.  I have no idea how it is in the rest of the world, but it's my understanding that a] the RR has no particular quarrel with people *being* gay, as long as they don't engage in gay sex, which would not be shown in this sort of franchise anyhow (though I'm not at all certain how a gay hug would be perceived), and that b] judging by some folks that I've known, the franchise is considered inherently evil anyhow, since it depicts witches and wizards.  So I doubt there's much point in worrying about that point.

2.  Sounds like a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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J.P. 

I totally agree that to those of us who wanted to solve puzzles (and who were promised by Moffat explicitly that it would be possible to solve certain mysteries like The Fall, by paying attention to all the little details), the show seemed to be cleverer than it actually was. And, yes, this made me angry, too :(

Our expectations were probably too high, considering how complicated it is to put a show together over multiple seasons and how many people are involved. You just pointed out  the set designer. Then there are the costume designers, the people behind the cameras, and many, many more. It's probably impossible to control all of them down to the t in order to make sure that all clues come together properly and add up to a complete picture. But my impression was that from some point onwards they haven't even tried anymore.

However, as far as TJLC is concerned, I Just read an article from four years ago which analyses the claim of the Johnlockers - and I have to say that the evidence ist pretty darn convincing that Mofftiss at least toyed deliberately with a not so subtle subtext. The article is not written by a religious Johnlocker btw:

https://reelrundown.com/movies/The-Johnlock-Conspiracy

It's lengthy but give it a read.  Fact is that most viewers who aren't gay, simply don't register many of the things, but gay people most certainly do.  And since one of the writers is gay, it isn't  believable that all of it  it happened totally subconsciously. And the set designer had apparently some fun, too. Who knows, maybe, he is gay, too.

There are some interesting comments, too. I mostly agree with the commenter named Liz, who says that the subtext is most likely deliberately there, but that the endgame never was Johnlock as canon, but that Mofftiss simply had fun to put this together in order to tease viewers and encourage certain headcanons. Turns out, she was right.

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53 minutes ago, J.P. said:

Well, there is a plenty of non-JL theories, like the wallpaper meanings or this one. I partially blame Arwel Wynn Jones, the set designer. 

As do I. Once I realized all those little hints were his doing, and Moftiss weren't even aware of it (they said) I decided to pretty much ignore that kind of thing.

14 minutes ago, littlefoot said:

J.P. 

I totally agree that to those of us who wanted to solve puzzles (and who were promised by Moffat explicitly that it would be possible to solve certain mysteries like The Fall, by paying attention to all the little details), the show seemed to be cleverer than it actually was. And, yes, this made me angry, too :(

Our expectations were probably too high.....

 

Well, from the perspective of one person who deliberately kept her expectations as low as she could (because my high ones have NEVER been met) … I can say that I enjoyed Sherlock thoroughly, and even though I was disappointed by much of S4, I wasn't angry or even particularly saddened … at least, not by anything in the plot. I was, and still am, highly puzzled about the plunge in production values in the first and third episodes, especially since I think TLD is one of the best things they've ever done.

At any rate, I learned that trick a long time ago … expect as little as you can, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Works for me.

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Arcadia,

You were much wiser than I was, lol!  I was certainly angry, but not saddened. No tv show can do this to me. But once I researched the subject, I was sad for all those Johnlockers who went into a depression after S4 was aired. To some degree they had set up themselves for a deep fall and developed something which had all the hallmarks of a cult - but I felt sad for them nevertheless.

I agree that the quality difference between the first and the third episode of S4 vs. the second episode (which I mostly liked - especially Sherlock's  drugged Henry IV's declamations ), was puzzling. Btw, since you mentioned the second episode: I found it extremely strange that they introduced this revolutionary drug, where you forget everything which has  just been told you - and then it's never mentioned again! This initial scene isn't even especially relevant for solving the case. Maybe, this is something they intended originally to use more and never got around to?

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J.P. and Arcadia, since you mentioned it and supplied a link: the theories you can still  read in the Finalproblem Tumblr, are a good example of ongoing theorizing, which IMO is as doomed as the Johnlock conspiracy.  Nothing will ever come of it and the makers had most likely just fun with ACD's canon. Nobody can put together a tv show of that level of control and  ingenious attention to every little detail. It's not just the Johnlockers who cannot let go...

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11 hours ago, littlefoot said:

Btw, since you mentioned the second episode: I found it extremely strange that they introduced this revolutionary drug, where you forget everything which has  just been told you - and then it's never mentioned again! This initial scene isn't even especially relevant for solving the case. 

It's not relevant for solving the case, but it's essential for setting up the case. Otherwise Faith wouldn't have written the note.

The part that didn't make sense to me was why Culverton didn't destroy the note after he took it away from her. Which leads me to wonder if any of it was real, or just a puzzle constructed by Eurus to lure Sherlock out of 221B. But then my mind sort of implodes and I can't ever work out the details. :D 

12 hours ago, Arcadia said:

At any rate, I learned that trick a long time ago … expect as little as you can, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Works for me.

@ Caya … why sad? That's a little trick I learned to help manage mood swings, it's been a blessing for me. 

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Arcadia,

I agree that the memory erasing drug was used as a case introduction and set up. But I found it strange nevertheless that story telling-wise something as powerful and useful as this drug was just used for the set up of a single episode. I'm sure there would've been other ways to introduce the bad guy and setting up the case than inventing a completely new drug. I would have expected that the introduction of such a powerful tool would have consequences for the Sherlock-verse. I like your idea that S4 was oddly rushed and that they compressed too much material in one season in order to wrap up the story arc. There were many more new threads and loose ends than usual which were introduced and then never mentioned again.

That's the reason why fans like the owner of the Finalproblem Tumblr can't stop speculating and continue to develop elaborate theories. She actually constructed a very elaborate but totally intriguing and logical theory that Mary isn't dead but faked her own death in order to escape her dangerous past and her pursuers because she didn't want to endanger her family any more. This would explain nicely all the posthumous DVDs sent by Mary 😉 And the Tumblr lady used amongst other things the mind erasing drug and the plot of an original ACD story where something like this did happen, for constructing her theory. Sounds crazy, but if you read it,  her idea totally makes sense. Of course I don't believe  that it will ever happen - who knows if there ever will be a fifth season anyway. But I think she discovered remnants of plot elements which might've really been considered but then have been dropped for various reasons. I discovered many more clues which hinted at Mary as far back as  in TRF (I actually spotted Mary in one scene of TRF in a crowd which was mingling in the vicinity of 221b - just after the presence of snipers was disclosed to John by Mycroft). All this   seemed to hint at earlier bigger plans with Mary which then haven't been followed through.  A lot can happen between 2012, when TRF was aired and then 2014 and S3 and  finally 2017. This is an awful long time for developing a coherent story arc. Most ordinary viewers cannot  remember in every detail  what they  have seen five years ago. But back to the theory of the Tumblr lady: reasons for dropping Mary permanently might've been that S4 was regarded as most likely being the last Sherlock season for a very long time and they needed to wrap up things as neatly as possible. Another practical reason for killing off Mary for good, could be the real life separation of Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington. Amanda Abbinngton may have wanted out. Or Mofftiss noticed the growing criticism that too many people in the show didn't actually die but faked their own death, and they didn't want to introduce another fake death. Many fans view the show as if every little plot detail was planned right from the beginning, when ASIP was produced. And this is most certainly totally unrealistic. Sherlock is not a classic criminal novel which has been carefully planned and constructed solely by one person - the author -  in every little detail. This is just not possible with a multi-season tv show where the creators don't even know how long the show will last and how the audience will react - or if the actors will remain available. They may have mapped out a grand story arc, but there has to be a lot of variables along the way.

What I'm trying to say is, that eagle eyed fans  who think that they have spotted important clues, aren't crazy. Many of these clues are probably there but haven't been used. It's like discoving earlier layers beneath a painting during a restauration. They are definitely there but the artist eventually abandoned the earlier concepts.

Anyway, you reminded  me that it might be nice to re-watch TLD. It's the only episode of S4 which I really enjoyed ☺. The acting is great, the villain is chilling, and as you said, the production value is high. 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

@ Caya … why sad? That's a little trick I learned to help manage mood swings, it's been a blessing for me. 

If it works for you, I'm happy for you. :smile: Guess we're really quite different, personality-wise, I'm more with John Green there.

XFhGxH3.jpg

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Ah, I see. Well, I love stuff, and I'm enthusiastic about stuff (see my mini-review of Green Book :smile: ) but I'm done with expecting stuff, because I couldn't handle the fallout. Does that make sense? So, I'm interested to hear LOTR's going to be a TV series, e.g., I'm happy that my favorite story is that popular, but I don't expect it to be any good (or at this rate, something I'll even be able to see, since it'll probably be on some exclusive streaming service or something. 😞 ) So if it's a dog, I'll still be fine. If it's fantastic, I guess I'll be spending a lot of extra money I can't really afford on a streaming service.

I take pains to explain this because I've had a couple other people who felt badly for me, but it's not needed, really. I'll jump up and down and squee like anyone else when the time is right (for me.) Honest! :smile: 

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4 hours ago, littlefoot said:

[1]  I agree that the memory erasing drug was used as a case introduction and set up. But I found it strange nevertheless that story telling-wise something as powerful and useful as this drug was just used for the set up of a single episode. I'm sure there would've been other ways to introduce the bad guy and setting up the case than inventing a completely new drug. I would have expected that the introduction of such a powerful tool would have consequences for the Sherlock-verse.

[2]  I discovered many more clues which hinted at Mary as far back as  in TRF (I actually spotted Mary in one scene of TRF in a crowd which was mingling in the vicinity of 221b - just after the presence of snipers was disclosed to John by Mycroft). All this   seemed to hint at earlier bigger plans with Mary which then haven't been followed through.

1.  Actually, it's not a completely new drug -- something very similar, which allows a person to be responsive while retaining no memory of the events, has been used since before Sherlock, during procedures such as colonoscopies, minor surgery, and certain dental work.  I have no idea whether a person could carry on a perfectly normal conversation while under the influence (because I don't remember!), but the general idea was not made up for the show.

2.  That's interesting -- could you share some of those clues? 

Even though it's possible that it wasn't actually Mary in TRF, just Amanda Abbington hanging out on set (as I believe she was known to do then) and being an extra -- from an in-universe perspective that's fascinating!

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You just reminded me Carol … I was given one of those drugs when I had gum surgery. They claimed I was awake and talking, but all I remember is the IV needle going in, then blinking my eyes open and it was all over. No sense of time passing whatsoever, it was bizarre. They could've confessed half a dozen murders to me, I wouldn't know.

Creepy to think how vulnerable you are in that situation...…. brrrr.

9 hours ago, littlefoot said:

I discovered many more clues which hinted at Mary as far back as  in TRF

I was wondering if they would tie Mary in to the snipers from TRF; it could have been a good way to retrofit her into the story. But if there were such plans, they were abandoned, for whatever reason.

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I was wondering if they would tie Mary in to the snipers from TRF; it could have been a good way to retrofit her into the story.

That would've had all sorts of possibilities, wouldn't it?  Could have been a better fit with the prior episodes, I think, than all the WTF that we did get in HLV.

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