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Themes, Arcs and Patterns in Series 4


Arcadia
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Wow, Tobe, that is a great analogy you pointed out! I have nothing to add at the moment, but simply hitting the Like button hardly seemed adequate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For example, I particularly like how The Final Problem seems to tie back to The Hounds of Baskerville, but I am almost convinced that when Baskerville was written, Redbeard and Euros were vague ideas at best. No matter. It's still lovely how Sherlock's words to Henry ("you were just a child, you couldn't cope") and the substitution of a dog for a human being in a child's memory turn out to be about himself in the end.

 

I was just coming here to say this, lol.

 

Aside from what you already said, we have Sherlock using John as a "lab rat" in HOB.  I read somewhere that part of juxtaposing Sherlock and Eurus in TFP was to demonstrate what Sherlock could have been without "sentiment" and emotional maturation.  (Not entirely sure I like or agree with that idea, if that indeed was the purpose, but in any case...)  I don't know if the human experiment parallel was intentional, but it struck me as being vaguely reminiscent.

 

Something I found ironic in HOB upon a rewatch was when Sherlock said, "Childhood trauma masked by an invented memory. Boring!"  I wonder if the writers remember they had him say that, lol.

 

 

I really wonder, if they had Redbeard the Dog or Eurus in their heads from the very beginning, or the water theme. Or the skull-friend. Because I think it's possible, that they were drawing inspirations from what was already there, like things they saw on set -

I am actually pretty sure that's the case - and I think it's perfectly fine as long as the finished product tells a decently coherent story.

 

Same.  I definitely don't think they had it planned out from the beginning.  I don't think they even started until series 3, and then drew from past material to make it fit together.

 

I tend to like it better it when it is planned, partly because I just think it's harder because you have to be smarter, so I appreciate the brilliance of it more; partly because I feel more satisfied seeing a long-unfolding arc come to fruition; but mainly because it seems more cohesive.  Some of series 4 lacked cohesion for me, it actually felt like they were trying too hard to make it seem like it all connected.  Some things seemed forced, or precipitous, and I didn't really buy it.  (By comparison, I thought the Moriarty arc which began in episode 1 and carried through the end of series 2 was much more cohesive and climactic.  After series 2 is when I got the feeling they weren't exactly sure where they were going with it anymore, especially in light of where it actually ended up going in series 4.)

 

I'm not bothered that they didn't have it planned, though.  And speaking as a writer, it's not always possible.  Sometimes it's difficult to maintain ideas you've had from the beginning, because plot and characters take on a life of their own and evolve in ways you didn't expect.  One minor example of this in "Sherlock" is that Molly was never meant to be a regular character.  We were never supposed to see her again after the opening scene of ASiP, but something clicked, and she became a representative for besotted Sherlock swooners everywhere, lol.  And then she became a little more.  And suddenly she was making the main character's survival possible. And now it wouldn't be quite the same show without her.

 

 

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Wow -- Final Problem really is Hounds on steroids, isn't it?

 

Trying to think of other parallels (please excuse me if someone has already posted some of these). In Hounds, Henry calls the villain "Uncle Bob" (even though he's not actually related). In TFP, the villain really *is* the Holmes brothers' sister. So in each case it's basically a family member.

 

Both episodes revisit the scene of an earlier death, but manage to prevent the baddies from offing their victim this time.

 

Both episodes take place partly inside a high-security government facility (where Sherlock and John have of course snuck in).

 

Both plots rely on the baddies making their victims have an inaccurate perception of themselves.

 

Each episode involves a little girl who asks for Sherlock's help in finding something (Kirstie Stapleton looking for her pet rabbit and Eurus's inner child looking for a safe landing).

 

That's all I can think of for now.

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