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Episode 4.1 "The Six Thatchers"


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What did you think of "The Six Thatchers"?  

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    • 10/10 Excellent.
    • 9/10 Not quite the best, but not far off.
    • 8/10 Certainly worth watching again.
    • 7/10 Slightly above the norm.
    • 6/10 Average.
    • 5/10 Slightly sub-par.
    • 4/10 Decidedly below average.
    • 3/10 Pretty Poor.
      0
    • 2/10 Bad.
    • 1/10 Awful.


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I know little and less about guns, but knocking someone out of harm's way is probably one of those things that sounds a lot easier than it really is. For starters, Sherlock's probably heavier than Mary, so she'd have to pack some serious oomph into it, even more so because he'd probably reflexably tense and/or defend himself from a supposed attack. Also, it can't be easy to determine where exactly the bullet will travel - what if you tried to help and knocked the victim into harm's way instead? Try explaining that you were only meaning well after that, especially with Mary's backstory. :unsure: Jumping in front of someone to take the bullet for them is probably one of the more failsafe ways to keep them from harm (if a bit hard on yourself).

I would agree to that if it's not Mary.

With her experiences, a.g.r.a's reputation, skills, past job, and everything, it's hard to believe that there is no other way for her.

Being in danger, fire line is probably a very common situation in their line of work.

 

Just, just, make a little bit sudden, shorter and unpredictable shot would do it for me actually. she is going to shot was all I could think of and nobody did anything reasonable to their backgrounds, that was what bothers me. A lot.

 

  

But as one of my friends once said, (who loathes Benedict! D:) there's no arguing in the taste of men, because it differs so much.

That is a very reasonable logic....wait....wha..what... she loathes BC..?? XD

Cheers to that! :)

I used to not give a cr*p about any actors (especially hot ones according to others) until Sherlock ruins me.

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I think on balance, the reason that I expected more from this episode than I got, was that I expected it to owe more tonally to TAB, whereas it makes more sense as something that was written or at least plotted before TAB. I thought TAB was setting up a new sort of game-plan for Sherlock, and was arguing for the idea Mary, as a female character, deserved to be part of the action, and an equal, and that the Sherlock/ John friendship could develop and thrive in this new, contemporary world with her being part of it.

 

But it seems to me now like the writers knew they were giving Mary the axe and that it might seem a bit shoddy to sacrifice their most fleshed out female character just so the guys can really get the band back together- so in advance if that they were sure to let everyone know that they know all about the untapped potential of female characters in the show, to pre-empt any criticism of what was coming next.

 

- What disturbs me the most, why on earth noone shot that woman when she revealed her gun? There was time. I thought 'okay, it's safe now', when Mycroft and Lestrade appeared. But no, no one bother to take precaution and just stood there when a just-exposed-mastermind pointed a gun. It's..gah! Bothers me the most..idiots! 
Okay, let me continue a big more. Yah, as a trained assassin, agent or whatever, the only way to save someone is by jumping in front of him? Knock him out of bullet way! Something else..! This part just.. doesn't make sense to me. 

 

The sloppiness of it all does bother me- the things you outline above, the unlikeliness of the USB thing (I mean, seriously, at least make it a micro-SD card or something so its a bit easier to conceal/ even swallow if you need to).

 

- how Mary died is almost exactly how I predict Molly's death (based on nothing spoilery as I know none), that she dies to save Sherlock who indirectly causes her death), but in my prediction, Sherlock would grieve intensely and retract from everything 

 

 

This idea is chilling. Early on, when they introduced that new female police officer coming to Sherlock for help- that bothered me because I thought instantly, why are they upping the female quota on the cast, to me it already suggested they were getting rid of another actress and wanted a bit more balance in future. I hope they've had enough carnage with Mary.  Molly was so lovely and charming in this episode, such a breath of fresh air next to all that despair, and so scarcely there that I would have liked more of her, except that I'm afraid they will remember she's there only to have something bad happen to her.

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Theoretically, and in line with TAB, we're one down with Mary Dear (am I glad THAT anomaly is out of the way!) and two to go: next in line are Mycroft, Molly and/or Lestrade, on the working hypothesis that they will bring it back to S1 content level, forcing Sherlock to grow up once and for all.

So, the Lady in Red must be a client.

The whole Norbury thing was taken directly from The Yellow Face, while his Wigmore street deduction, the one that finally goaded the double agent to take out her gun, was straight from the Sign of the Four.

And, of course, Mary's Gabrielle Ashdown passport came directly from that mediocre Wilder film both creators so admire.

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"(...) In Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Yellow Face, Holmes rushes too quickly to a conclusion and misses the exact solution to the case, which lies in a cottage in the town of Norbury, south-west London. Afterwards, he tells Dr Watson, "if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little overconfident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper 'Norbury' in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you."

 

 

Yes. And I am kind of mad that they made him say those lines to Mrs Hudson, not John, where they originally belong.

 

There were some nice canon references, as usual. For example, the code names: "Porlock" is Holmes' source of information on Prf. Moriarty. The Napoleon bust ("she's like Napoleon now" - :D) really did contain the black pearl of the Borgias. Detective Hopkins is an original character (though originally male, of course).

 

Oh, yes, this really bothered me:

How comes that Sherlock, after decucting the „Maggie“ password in HOB suddenly doesn‘t know who she is. Has he deleted it?

 

YES! That bugged me so much! And what makes it worse is that Mark Gatiss wrote both those episodes! Is he suffering from amnesia, or what?

 

Sorry, but the sharks? My immediate response was: "Oh, a visual hint that the show is jumping the shark. Thanks a ton, boys."

 

*Sigh*... I've seen this episode a second time now, in good quality and on a lovely large TV screen (totally legal, thanks to Amazon streaming!) and I can't say I like it much better yet than the first time round. But I kind of disliked The Empty Hearse at first as well, so maybe my feelings will change.

 

It certainly helps that I want to like it. And I genuinely do like the first half. The humor, the case-work, that was lovely. That was just like it's supposed to be. Then came AJ and the memory stick reveal and it went downhill from there.

 

Speaking of AJ (whom I really didn't give two straws about, sorry): Why didn't he shoot Sherlock when he had the chance and grab the memory stick he had been working so hard to find? Why did he shoot the lights instead and run without it? It makes absolutely zero sense to me and is bugging me to no end. It's right up there with "suddenly Sherlock has forgotten who Margaret Thatcher is".

 

(And I still don't believe he can't remember Lestrade's first name. He used to steal his ID, for pete's sake. I do wish they would retire that joke).

 

Speaking of sense. Mary's death scene. Factually, it's a disaster. Sherlock talks to the woman pointing the gun at him for ever and neither his brother nor Lestrade nor any of the police force they brought with him do a thing to defuse the situation. Super assassin Mary can't think of anything better to do than throw herself into the bullet (after she also had the chance to act much sooner and more wisely). Nobody tries any kind of first aid once she's been shot. And so on and so forth...

 

But. Poetically, I think it's actually kind of right. I think Mary chose to die this way. I think she had come to realize that she was living on borrowed time, that she was indeed a dead woman walking. If AJ didn't get her, someone else would, and possibly her family as well. She'd had a good life as Mary Watson and she knew it wouldn't last. Maybe she even knew her marriage wouldn't last if they all survived long enough to witness its demise. So she decided to take this opportunity to "make her death count", as Sherlock said of Emilia in The Abominable Bride. It brought her all kinds of closure and provided a fitting atonement for shooting Sherlock.

 

John is 100% percent wrong. It's not Sherlock's fault at all that she was killed. It was her decision, her choice, and I didn't get the impression that she regretted it. But the boys were never really able to appreciate her. Certainly not John; his ideas about her are really as Victorian as Sherlock's mind portrays them in The Abominable Bride (that episode again, but I think it meant a lot after all). If she runs, her choice can't be right. She can't be trusted to make her own decisions and protect herself (and him!), she must be hunted down and brought back under his and Sherlock's protection. And if she dies, it's not possible, it doesn't even occur to him that she might have been in charge of her own death, no, it can only be a failure on Sherlock's part.

 

It's actually kind of beautiful that undermining Mary's decisions and "hanging off her gun arm" turned out to have fatal consequences.

 

As Sherlock would put it: "She was cleverer than you lot. And now she's dead."

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Oi! I did say above that it seemed to be a Mind Palace thing not functioning properly on the Thatcher question, especially since both HOB and TST were written by Mr Gatiss. Are we cross-posting or not even bothering to read others' answers before posting our penn'worth of viewpoint, or what?

And they botched the whole rescue scene thing on details, because Ms Abbington holds her high-calibrate rifle all wrong!

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Sorry, I'm new to this, anyone understand what's with the girl on the bus and John?

 

Mary is gone. New girlfriend for John?

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And I thought the editing was a complete muddle. There was no flow to the episode; it lurched from one scene to the next, I seldom had a sense of it being in a real place, etc. The shot of Vauxhall Bridge with those horrible cookie cutter buildings behind it ... that could have been anywhere. Ak. I'm not sure if the blame li

What the heck is ADC?

The initials for Arthur Conan Doyle. Most of us are too lazy to type out the whole name. :D

 

 

Thanks. I should have known. I down, umpteen more to go. Is there a list of all the abbreviations used by Sherlockians?

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Regarding the Margaret Thatcher issue, I sometimes think Sherlock just likes to yank people's chains, especially John.  I think it is likely not only does he remember perfectly well who Margaret Thatcher is, but that he might also very well actually know Greg Lestrade's name LOL.  

 

You know if you're playing hide & seek with a small child and you can easily spot them but pretend you can't so they can feel smart?  Something like that  :P

 

Okay maybe not, but it's a possibility! 

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Thanks. I should have known. I down, umpteen more to go. Is there a list of all the abbreviations used by Sherlockians?

Not that I know of, we only abbreviate the episodes titles and ACD and TJLC.

 

I LOVE your username btw.

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I'm just watching that episode again.

 

I was wondering, is it just me or does "the girl on the bus" has an accent? She doesn't sound quite english to me. But then again I'm not a native speaker myself, plus, if she does, it mightn't mean a thing...

 

Secondly: the scene where John and Mary are in bed, talking (666), and then the baby cries, and John get the text(s) - it only occurred to me now that it's got to be two different occasions. When Mary gets up to mind the baby she says something like "Coming, darling, Mummy's coming" the first time, and the second time (when we actually see the text messages) the "Mummy" bit is not in there.

 

Am I missing something here? I don't believe it would be an accident that they wouldn't have gotten Mary's lines right, right?

 

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I sure didn't expect Mary to be killed off quite that quick - my mouth fell open.

 

I don't like how John turned against Sherlock, even though I know about the promise he'd made, the vow to protect them.

 

Sherrinford - another brother, perhaps? The game's afoot..! :sherlock:

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Thanks. I should have known. I down, umpteen more to go. Is there a list of all the abbreviations used by Sherlockians?

Not that I know of, we only abbreviate the episodes titles and ACD and TJLC.

 

I LOVE your username btw.

Thank you. Ozgood is just a name I made up.
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I was quite annoyed by the pedestrian writing AND direction of this episode.  It isn't even close to the quality of prior seasons.  In fact, it felt like a typical procedural.  I am withholding ultimate judgment though because I suspect there are many things we are purposefully being 'tricked' about in this episode.

With that in mind, I have (at least) one question:

When Sherlock texts Mary to meet him at the Church after discovering the USB, where/what is that room exactly?  I don't recall that we've ever seen it before.  It seems like he has created a separate, secret lair for himself.  Why?  Secret from whom?  Why does he summon her there rather than to 221B? etc

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I wonder what Culverton Smith does in this version. For a living, I mean. I did notice that poster but I couldn't read it during the episode. It looks like an ad for a book, a movie or a television show. Is Smith a producer of some sort? A TV host? An author?

 

Oh, btw, I felt a visceral kind of pleasure in seeing Sherlock fight. The original Holmes did fight on occasion and he enjoyed it, too. He wasn't all brain - that's Mycroft. Sherlock Holmes did "leg work" as well as brain work and he had more than one violent encounter with a criminal. During that pool scene, I found myself excitedly grabbing my blanket and yelling: "yeah, go, Sherlock!" :lol:

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I didn't notice this poster of Culverton Smith when I watched.

 

I noticed it but had to go back to actually read it.  Seems like foreshadowing, as was done with the sign in TEH. 

 

"He's Back" (He's related to Moriarty's 'return').

"Murder" (It will involve murder - and business apparently, perhaps murder AS business)

"Coming" (Obvious)

 

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Oh, yes, this really bothered me:

How comes that Sherlock, after decucting the „Maggie“ password in HOB suddenly doesn‘t know who she is. Has he deleted it?

 

I believe we are meant to understand that he knows perfectly well who she is, he is just stalling for time by pretending not to. John even says something to that effect.

 

Speaking of sense. Mary's death scene. Factually, it's a disaster. Sherlock talks to the woman pointing the gun at him for ever and neither his brother nor Lestrade nor any of the police force they brought with him do a thing to defuse the situation. Super assassin Mary can't think of anything better to do than throw herself into the bullet (after she also had the chance to act much sooner and more wisely). Nobody tries any kind of first aid once she's been shot. And so on and so forth...

 

But. Poetically, I think it's actually kind of right. I think Mary chose to die this way. I think she had come to realize that she was living on borrowed time, that she was indeed a dead woman walking. If AJ didn't get her, someone else would, and possibly her family as well. She'd had a good life as Mary Watson and she knew it wouldn't last. Maybe she even knew her marriage wouldn't last if they all survived long enough to witness its demise. So she decided to take this opportunity to "make her death count", as Sherlock said of Emilia in The Abominable Bride. It brought her all kinds of closure and provided a fitting atonement for shooting Sherlock.

That's about the only way I can view it ... poetic justice. She felt she needed to make the gesture to square things with Sherlock. Also I think on some level she was prepared to die. I think she thought there was a good chance she was going to end up dead before long ... that's why she came equipped with the means to knock out Sherlock when she met with him. She was prepared for the news he gave her, probably half-expecting to hear it every day of her life.

 

John is 100% percent wrong. It's not Sherlock's fault at all that she was killed. It was her decision, her choice, and I didn't get the impression that she regretted it. But the boys were never really able to appreciate her. Certainly not John; his ideas about her are really as Victorian as Sherlock's mind portrays them in The Abominable Bride (that episode again, but I think it meant a lot after all). If she runs, her choice can't be right. She can't be trusted to make her own decisions and protect herself (and him!), she must be hunted down and brought back under his and Sherlock's protection. And if she dies, it's not possible, it doesn't even occur to him that she might have been in charge of her own death, no, it can only be a failure on Sherlock's part.

 

It's actually kind of beautiful that undermining Mary's decisions and "hanging off her gun arm" turned out to have fatal consequences.

 

As Sherlock would put it: "She was cleverer than you lot. And now she's dead."

 

I see Sherlock's taunting of Ms. Norbury somewhat different than most of you seem to. I don't think that was his ego at work; I think he was deliberately trying to get her anger focused on him instead of Mary, so in case Norbury did shoot, she'd shoot him. (Being all noble again, the big git.) Mary realized what he was doing, and tried to stop him before he got himself killed; but he was determined to try and take the bullet for her, and kept going. And Mary decided to not let him sacrifice himself for her again.

 

I'm just watching that episode again.

 

I was wondering, is it just me or does "the girl on the bus" has an accent? She doesn't sound quite english to me. But then again I'm not a native speaker myself, plus, if she does, it mightn't mean a thing...

 

Secondly: the scene where John and Mary are in bed, talking (666), and then the baby cries, and John get the text(s) - it only occurred to me now that it's got to be two different occasions. When Mary gets up to mind the baby she says something like "Coming, darling, Mummy's coming" the first time, and the second time (when we actually see the text messages) the "Mummy" bit is not in there.

 

Am I missing something here? I don't believe it would be an accident that they wouldn't have gotten Mary's lines right, right?

I'd have to see it again, but I'm pretty sure it's meant to be the same scene. I think they just focused on the sound of the text message instead of the sound of Mary's voice.

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BTW - another question:

If I recall correctly, this is the first time we've had Sherlock (apparently) speaking to the Audience and Narrating.  Just more bad writing?  Or is he actually talking to someone?  If the latter, who and in what (apparently ongoing) context?

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I see Sherlock's taunting of Ms. Norbury somewhat different than most of you seem to. I don't think that was his ego at work; I think he was deliberately trying to get her anger focused on him instead of Mary, so in case Norbury did shoot, she'd shoot him. (Being all noble again, the big git.) Mary realized what he was doing, and tried to stop him before he got himself killed; but he was determined to try and take the bullet for her, and kept going. And Mary decided to not let him sacrifice himself for her again.

 

 

I like that interpretation, though I am not entirely convinced, because of Sherlock saying to Mrs. Hudson that he should never get too arrogant again- which, I don't think he would see that behaviour as predominantly arrogant (but misguided, a failed attempt at trickery) if he'd intended to save Mary through it. I do like the aspect where they are confronting Sherlock's failings, though the method seems so cruel (and either way I still don't blame him). I think there might be a scenario where Mary was determined to have that woman shoot at her (she did start off as the antagonist), and Sherlock spoiled things so she had to step in.

 

 

Oh, btw, I felt a visceral kind of pleasure in seeing Sherlock fight. The original Holmes did fight on occasion and he enjoyed it, too. He wasn't all brain - that's Mycroft. Sherlock Holmes did "leg work" as well as brain work and he had more than one violent encounter with a criminal. During that pool scene, I found myself excitedly grabbing my blanket and yelling: "yeah, go, Sherlock!" :lol:

 

The bit at the pool was wonderful- from the creepy way he was lurking about the man's house onwards. Just at the beginning, I thought that they were going to play the whole thing with Sherlock half-high, half unhinged, and that it might be a rollercoaster, but a lot of fun too.

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I was quite annoyed by the pedestrian writing AND direction of this episode.  It isn't even close to the quality of prior seasons.  In fact, it felt like a typical procedural.  I am withholding ultimate judgment though because I suspect there are many things we are purposefully being 'tricked' about in this episode.

 

With that in mind, I have (at least) one question:

 

When Sherlock texts Mary to meet him at the Church after discovering the USB, where/what is that room exactly?  I don't recall that we've ever seen it before.  It seems like he has created a separate, secret lair for himself.  Why?  Secret from whom?  Why does he summon her there rather than to 221B? etc

I'm guessing it's a new bolt hole, since he must have realized all his old ones have been discovered after HLV. But why he had Mary come there, I can't say. Maybe to make sure their meeting wouldn't be noticed by anyone? Or maybe it just happened to be nearer to both of them than other meeting places.

 

BTW - another question:

 

If I recall correctly, this is the first time we've had Sherlock (apparently) speaking to the Audience and Narrating.  Just more bad writing?  Or is he actually talking to someone?  If the latter, who and in what (apparently ongoing) context?

I think that's anybody's guess at this point. It's entirely possible that we will see who he's talking to in a future episode; that's how I would do it, if I were the writers. But it's equally possible they just wanted a voiceover and Benedict's got the best voice for it. :smile:

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A few things I noticed that I've not seen mentioned here:

 

1 - At the end of the "you're off the hook" scene, Sherlock puts on his coat to leave but only puts it on halfway (right arm) and then talks for awhile. Basil Rathbone did this same thing in one of his movies (same arm). I doubt if this is a coincidence. (What do we say about coincidence?) Gatiss and Moffatt both like Basil Rathbone.

 

2 - There was an exterior shot outside the home where the first bust was smashed (don't remember the name) and there was a beautiful shot of the house reflected in a car. There was the same kind of thing in The Great Game outside Westy's flat. Which seems odd, because isn't this a different director?

 

3 - The red letters in the closing credits spell "Six Napoleons."

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I see Sherlock's taunting of Ms. Norbury somewhat different than most of you seem to. I don't think that was his ego at work; I think he was deliberately trying to get her anger focused on him instead of Mary, so in case Norbury did shoot, she'd shoot him. (Being all noble again, the big git.)

 

Maybe... I doubt that's what the writers were going for (I'm getting the feeling we're headed for another "pride comes before a fall" storyline) but it's possible.

 

Whatever his motive was, he is not responsible for Mary's death except maybe in a very indirect way, by persuading her and John (mostly John - I don't think she was ever really persuaded) that Mary would be safest near him instead of on her own.

 

Maybe that's why John is so angry (apart from a huge projection of his own personal guilt and unresolved conflict with Mary onto Sherlock): He believed in Sherlock Holmes, as usual. Sherlock promised and he didn't keep that promise. Never mind that it was a ridiculous promise to make, like promising a child sunshine on its birthday.

 

To me, when Sherlock said over and over again that he'd made a vow and he would keep Mary safe, it didn't sound so much like overconfidence as desperation.

 

Poor Sherlock. I feel quite sorry for him at this point.

 

 

About the next episode, I wonder:

 - Will the fake illness in this version be mental illness? I.e. will Sherlock pretend he's going mad instead of pretending to have a tropical flu?

 - Or will the twist be that he really is quite ill and John just doesn't believe him because he's played too many tricks in the past and just accuses him of putting on a show for attention and getting John to talk to him again? That would be kind of tragically funny.

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Oi! I did say above that it seemed to be a Mind Palace thing not functioning properly on the Thatcher question, especially since both HOB and TST were written by Mr Gatiss. Are we cross-posting or not even bothering to read others' answers before posting our penn'worth of viewpoint, or what?

To be quite honest, I sometimes do that and don't see any problem with it. I don't wish to offend, but occasionally I do vent without reading previous posts.

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