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The Final Problem - how do we actually enjoy this episode? SPOILERS AHEAD :-)


T.o.b.y
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So... there were a few requests in the thread for The Final Problem to have more specific subthreads. Unfortunately, either my mod-powers are too weak or I do not know how to use them properly, so I couldn't make a thread inside a thread. The best I can do is this.

 

Since I didn't get any topic suggestions fast enough (i.e. withing two minutes :P), I chose to address something I would most like to talk about: How do we actually get some enjoyment out of the final episode? Because it seems to me as if many people were very dissatisfied with it. 

 

I wasn't and I would really appreciate a place to vent my happy feelings. So, here it is.

 

What bits did you like, why did you like them, what "reading" of the episode makes you feel most at peace with it as a (potential) final chapter for the entire Sherlock series?

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Well, I'm with you, Toby.  I really enjoyed TFP.

 

I had been fighting tooth and nail the idea that this episode might be "it" either forever or for a long while, but at the end, I looked at my husband and said, "That feels pretty final, and I'm fine with that."  I wanted Sherlock to be happy, whatever that means for him, and here is this loner who is now surrounded by a family, a best friend, an "honorary niece" (or whatever), and a lot of friends.  It was very satisfying.

 

I like the idea that this is what Holmes and Watson might really look like in 2017.  We usually picture two Victorian gentlemen in their 50s, and here are two modern men in their 40s, but they've suddenly become, for me, very much an accessible modern  version of the H and W I read in canon.

 

I liked that the ending was open ended.  I liked that the fans could take off into several different ships or AUs or proposed continuations in fan fiction without disturbing the show canon.  I find that I feel much more open to exploring different interpretations now that I have seen what I saw, it is what it is (sorry), and I can always go back there.

 

I wasn't upset by the episode at all.  I didn't think it had poor writing or unmanageable plot holes.  I enjoyed it in very much the same way I enjoyed the final Harry Potter book -- it's dark, but it ends in a good place and you can be at peace.

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Happy thoughts: (I liked some aspects of this a lot)

 

Molly's scene was an out and out winner, I thought it packed such a huge punch in such a short time.

 

Pretty much everything Mycroft did, had me enthralled- watching the movie at the start, his umbrella, and that wonderful disguise- though it reminded me of League of Gentlmen. I especially love the animosity he has ongiong with Mrs. Hudson, and how she gives as good as she gets.

 

My heart really went out to Mycroft in those home movies. He seemed like he was aching for a friend too. I really wonder about the way those kids grew up

 

Sherlock's character development was great.

 

 

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You know what my response to this episode was right from the start? Laughter. It began and what was the first thing I saw? An actual Flight of the Dead. And I broke out laughing and never stopped until the 90 minutes were over.

 

Seems so inappropriate! I mean, look at some of the content: Torture. Terror. Murder. Madness. And finally the reveal that a child had murdered another child.

 

Why was I laughing?

 

Because it wasn't about any of these things. The horrors didn't feel real, even though the show has always felt like a kind of reality for me. This episode was different. It was more... meta. It was like the writers were sitting down with me and having a good old fan chat. About the Doyle stories and their own series and all the Sherlock Holmes movies they love that I have never seen.

 

It seemed like an epilogue. One that I desperately needed to set a few things right and say goodbye to the boys with my peace of mind restored.

 

I loved every reference to an older episode that I caught on to. The Flight of the Dead. The music from The Fall. The remake of The Great Game, upped to eleven, with Moriarty's silly tick-tocks in between.

 

I loved all the fan service. Like, Mycroft's umbrella really has a sword inside - and in the sword, there's a gun! Mycroft really was fat once - as a kid.

 

I thought it was kind of cute how they crammed in all the Dolye references they could in case they'd never get the chance to use them otherwise.

 

But you know what I liked the most? Sherlock and John.

 

I am not "a shipper". I never wanted them to kiss or anything. But their relationship, which I still believe defies definition, is the single most important element of the show to me.

 

They have had a rocky ride. At first, Sherlock didn't want a friend - or he didn't want to want one. He treated John as badly as was humanly possible, faked suicide at him and disappeared. Now we can guess this was actually a result of friendship being linked to extreme childhood trauma for him, but how were we to know, and how was John to know.

 

John didn't really seem to want to be friends either. Even before The Fall, there was always a reluctance to his attachment, as if he were drawn towards this dangerous sociopath against his will and, given a choice, would rather not like him so much. And then afterwards, in spite of all he had done, I felt really sorry for Sherlock the way John responded to his clumsy attempts of restoring some kind of good-will.

 

Now, that was all very interesting and so on, but it wasn't exactly Holmes and Watson. These two often came across as more co-dependent than anything else.

 

The series could easily have ended with them going separate ways. Baker St was no more. John had Rosie to take care of. Sherlock could have decided to let The Work rest or continue consulting on his own. Or he could have retired to Janine's cottage and kept bees.

 

But they didn't. More than just settle back into their old places, they actively rebuilt their lair. They put the headphones back on the animal skull, they spray-painted the smiley back on the wall and they shot the holes back where they were. This is them actively choosing Baker St and their collaboration. It's no longer just the only option they have or a habit they can't break. It's a choice.

 

The junkie who solves cases to stay high and the doctor who never came home from the war - I do believe they're happy now and that makes me happy. It also makes me forgive an awful lot that I didn't like about the fourth series. This ending was worth it. And it couldn't really have come much sooner.

 

So, for me, it's all fine.

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Taken from the TFP thread:

 

I had to say I was quite captivated by the action, despite all the wrong!-s popping up one after another, all those sudden associations firing at me (one of them being as far as Aliens Resurrection!), because as long as you don't start to think, it seems to work.

 

What really got me was the stress under Sherlock had to work. My true nightmare - multitasking under pressure. Having to deal with the psycho playing deadly games with your pressure points, with a plane full of people about to crash on London.

 

I liked how the blues and water effects from TST, and the story about Carl Powers started to make sense, and that Sherlock had to safe his friend from the well again, how Mycroft tried to make Sherlock shoot him and how freaking awesome Sian was in it. I absoluely underestimated her, she seemed good in Hamlet, but not that good.

 

I loved how the ending links back to ACD showing what they tried to tell.

 

Loved how in the scenes with Sherlock and Eurus playing violines* the light changed from blue into yellow, making her hair look almost auburn.

 

* while not failing to notice that Sian was better than Ben in faking it

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I loved all the fan service. Like, Mycroft's umbrella really has a sword inside - and in the sword, there's a gun!

:D

But being my idiot self, I didn't fail to make a mental note that the damn thing needs an update. You shouldn't need any additional protection to remove the blade.

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God, Toby, you did it again. You lifesaver, you. :wub:

Who would could better sum it all up? With all the IMPORTANT things!

 

Now you've got me all teary again.

 

That's okay. I think even Mycroft cries occasionally - probably in the broom cupboard or somewhere like that (btw, I do not for a second believe he actually dated Lady Smallwood).

 

 

Ooh, you know what else I liked?

 

I knew the super-cheesy "choose to shoot Mycroft or John" scene was coming as soon as Euros' game began, but I liked how they handled it. I liked how there never was a conflict for Sherlock. Shoot John? Yeah, right. No way. We're not even considering that as an option. So it's going to have to be Mycroft and even Mycroft knows that and puts on that little act (which was very transparent as an act from the start), not so much for Sherlock but for John, because even Mycroft doesn't want Dr Watson to feel guilty about yet another death.

 

And then Sherlock finally, finally does what I wanted him to do all the time - refuses to play. It's pointless to go along with evil sadists, it doesn't matter what you do, they'll just kill people left and right no matter what they said before you were faced with the unsolvable "moral" choice, so where's the point? I refused to play along when other children tried to do this with me on a much more pedestrian level in school and I so wanted Sherlock to just give her the finger. Metaphorically speaking. Because I knew she wouldn't like it if he killed himself. If she wanted him dead, she could have killed him long ago. A dead victim is a boring victim and the dead are also beyond your control.

 

Clever Sherlock. You're not the idiot of the family at all.

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Coming at it from a different angle and taking the thread title quite literally ...

So far, I've enjoyed it by 1) watching it again (much, much better reaction the second time around!) and 2) discussing all the different bits, good and bad, with you lot.

It reminds me of that survey someone posted on here a few months ago ... one of the questions was something like "how has Sherlock affected your life?" And my answer was something like "The show hasn't affected me nearly as much as being on this forum and discussing it has." I guess I'm a little bit like Sherlock in that way; it really helps me to see something through someone else's eyes. Of course, then I will go and dismiss all of you as idiots and go ahead and draw my own conclusions, but hey. :P

KIDDING!!!!!!!!

I think I still need to see this episode a couple more times to figure out what's really working (and not working) for me. But a few things I'm pretty sure of already:

1. Sian's performance. I thought she was great in every aspect of Eurus she played.
2. John being John.
3. Sherlock smashing the coffin. Oh, I felt his pain on that one.
4. Mrs. Hudson telling Mycroft to make his own tea.
5. Ben's Scottish accent.
6. Sherlock and Eurus playing violin together. Sad, but hopeful.

And this:
 

Ooh, you know what else I liked?
 
I knew the super-cheesy "choose to shoot Mycroft or John" scene was coming as soon as Euros' game began, but I liked how they handled it. I liked how there never was a conflict for Sherlock. Shoot John? Yeah, right. No way. We're not even considering that as an option. So it's going to have to be Mycroft and even Mycroft knows that and puts on that little act (which was very transparent as an act from the start), not so much for Sherlock but for John, because even Mycroft doesn't want Dr Watson to feel guilty about yet another death.
 
And then Sherlock finally, finally does what I wanted him to do all the time - refuses to play. It's pointless to go along with evil sadists, it doesn't matter what you do, they'll just kill people left and right no matter what they said before you were faced with the unsolvable "moral" choice, so where's the point? I refused to play along when other children tried to do this with me on a much more pedestrian level in school and I so wanted Sherlock to just give her the finger. Metaphorically speaking. Because I knew she wouldn't like it if he killed himself. If she wanted him dead, she could have killed him long ago. A dead victim is a boring victim and the dead are also beyond your control.
 
Clever Sherlock. You're not the idiot of the family at all.


I was praying there wouldn't be a scene like that. I didn't want to see it, I didn't want it to be that kind of story. But when they got to it -- even though the obvious answer was for Sherlock to turn the gun on himself -- I thought it was the best play in the whole "game". I may hate myself for thinking so :smile: but I thought they pulled it off brilliantly. God, it was intense.

 

Good heavens, guess what's on the news at this very moment? The Russian leak of TFP. Oh goody, now they're showing spoilers. Hope no one is watching that doesn't want to be spoiled .... :rolleyes:

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And then Sherlock finally, finally does what I wanted him to do all the time - refuses to play.

Well, what I liked about this scene was that I have decucted it a while ago.

 

 

I've just had a horror vision of Sherlock saying I love you to Mycroft and John and then shooting himself.

Okay, almost :moriarty: :D

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On second viewing, with subtitles (because last night it was really hard to get everything), I liked it much, much better. Oh, yes. Someone on the other thread said something about not letting things like plot holes get in the way of enjoyment. I'm like that too. What are we, critics? That's no fun!

 

I'm definitely glad I have the ability to watch and enjoy something without automatically analyzing and tearing it apart.

 

Great thread! A breath of fresh air, actually, from the other one. It was beginning to get me down.

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Yeah, thanks for creating this thread, Tobe. It's still too soon for me to venture into the main episode thread, but I'm enjoying this one, getting other people's perspectives.

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Aw, don't take everything over there too seriously, folks. I think most people who genuinely hated it posted once and disappeared. The rest of us are just nutz. Not that that can't be depressing too. :d

 

And now that I've said that, I'm going to go over there now and probably find out that all hell has broken loose ... :blink:

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Quoting BLS from the other thread:

 

Yes, it is an ENORMOUS improvement for her.  She isn't jealous any more.  She isn't angry any more.  She isn't confused any more.  She isn't alone any more.  She now has what she always wanted: Eurus is LITERALLY playing with her brother Sherlock.

This!

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Hey found this thread. I have a lot of happy thoughts actually, will do it later. It seems more managable here, I tried to keep up in the main TFP thread (but had totally gave up for the first two episodes) by responding to posts because I think we need more ears there but it drives me nuts and I have RL to attend so it drives me even more nuts because I fail to respond to a lot of posts I want to respond.

 

So here but laterz.

Thanks for mods being busy outside to clear up possible spoilers for poor souls who haven't had chance to watch them. sucks to be you guys thank you thank you, I know they appreciate those because I certainly would. so work harder THANKS :p :)

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I would really appreciate a place to vent my happy feelings. So, here it is.

 

Yay! :bouncy:

 

 

But you know what I liked the most? Sherlock and John.

 

Yes! Always!

 

God, Toby, you did it again. You lifesaver, you. :wub:

Who would could better sum it all up? With all the IMPORTANT things!

 

Now you've got me all teary again.

 

Same here! Fantastic thread, and what a sum-up! I love you guys! And I can't stop using exclamation points!

 

 

I knew the super-cheesy "choose to shoot Mycroft or John" scene was coming as soon as Euros' game began, but I liked how they handled it. I liked how there never was a conflict for Sherlock. Shoot John? Yeah, right. No way. We're not even considering that as an option. So it's going to have to be Mycroft and even Mycroft knows that and puts on that little act (which was very transparent as an act from the start), not so much for Sherlock but for John, because even Mycroft doesn't want Dr Watson to feel guilty about yet another death.

 

I didn't even consider that it was for John's sake! But that makes sense, because Mycroft should know that Sherlock would see through it.

 

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A few things out of the many that I loved:

 

The scene with Sherlock choosing between Mycroft and John - not because it was a hard decision, or even because I was so moved that Sherlock chose to save John, because I knew that would happen, but because it was a poignant moment between the two brothers. Really loved that!

 

Sherlock going through so many emotions when he talks to Molly, and how he reacts afterwards. She really means a lot to him, after all. And Molly's love is so steadfast. Beautiful!

 

Moriarty's short, but sweet, entry :D Made me cheer!

 

John standing by Sherlock's side through it all. I really feels as though they are a team again, in a way it hasn't felt since Mary came into the picture. And no, I don't want John and Sherlock to be a couple - I just thought Mary was too big a character. But that's okay now - everything is okay, because of this ending! That's what I love the most.

 

Greg saying that Sherlock is better than a great man - he is a good one! This also made me cheer, and it was a nice nod to ASIP :)

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I thought the kids were great too, and normally I don't like when TV shows do those childhood flashbacks. I actually thought that wounded look from Mycroft, when Eurus said he looked funny, was terrifically telling of his character.

 

Also: another great thing is that we suddenly are seeing how far Sherlock's empathy has come. I love how he talks to all the people closest to him in their own language. He talks to Molly in terms of emotion. He talks to John in terms of being soldiers. He talks to Mycroft about his 'Lady Bracknell' (and that is what I mean about the above, great insight in how and why Mycroft still struggles for approval), and he communicates with Eurus through music. He has become so emotionally articulate, and so much more multi- faceted in his human understanding of others, compared to how he started off, that I actually feel really proud of him. He could read people before, but now he can actually meet them at their level too.

 

 

 

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Mmmmm… yes, but it was a bit too perfect for me. I would love if in the last sequence they shown Sherlock still having some problems. I would love seeing him awkwardly handling the baby instead of this competend daddy figure they shown. :D

 

And above all I would love a 5 second scene with him and Molly talking to each other. With tears in their eyes - both of them. And then Molly touching his hand and him covering her hand with his other one. This.

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One tidbit that I liked that I nearly forgot is that, in the end in the "happy" montage, Sherlock is texting something like, "You know where to find me -SH."  

 

That can be anything you want it to be, obviously.  I initially thought I wanted it to be texting a client.  But I think, in my world, he is letting Irene know he's up for dinner at their favorite Harvester.  :-)

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 I think he's texting us. The viewers. :D

The whole sequence with Mary once more changes the perspective. We are not IN the Sherlock's universe anymore but kind of above it. It's a voiceover used to close a fairytale: happily ever after. Which I think was done very nicely.

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I think he's texting us. The viewers. :D

Ooooh. Nice, I like that.

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Some of you might like to read this. I'm not fond of the title (it makes too many assumptions about fans, imo) but otherwise it makes some good points. Why Die Hard Fans Shouldn't Hate the Season Finale: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/01/sherlock-the-final-problem-benedict-cumberbatch-martin-freeman-mark-gatiss

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