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Undead Medic

Episode 2.1, "A Scandal In Belgravia"

What did you think of "A Scandal In Belgravia?"  

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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.
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    • 3/10 Pretty Poor.
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    • 1/10 Terrible.


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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

I am content to call BBC Irene mostly bad, which is why it perturbs me that Sherl is interested in her, in whatever  manner passes for his interest.  She's entirely self-serving, and needed no inducement to play Harlequin to Moriarty's Joker.  If al Queda got her and was going to cut her head off . . she was the agent of her own downfall.  I don't see any rehabilitation possible for that woman.  She'll go on her merry way wreaking more havoc since Sherlock rescued her....

Nicely put.

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7 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I suppose so, yeah, and she didn't know he was going to handle it that way till the deed was already done.  Even being in cahoots with Moriarty strikes me as being of questionable morality, though. She must have had a pretty good idea of his methods.

Ping.  Absolutely.  This Irene is the yang to Moriarty's yin.  They are like Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis in Kalifornia.  Adler doesn't have the brains or the drive to be 'the' criminal mastermind; she's happy to tag along as the criminal mastermind's moll and take direction from him.  And, probably provide sexual services on demand.  That is, after all, what she's best at.

Just for the record, the original Adler never met Moriarty nor had any tangential doings with his criminal enterprise.  Nor was she a professional sex worker.  She was an opera diva, which in the Victorian era amounted to the same thing, but her profession was entirely legit.

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 11:48 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I still consider stepping off of a four-story building in order to save one's friends pretty heroic. ...

I don't entirely disagree with that, in spite of my misgivings about what the "explanation" of the fall does to the story. I was just wondering if that was the hero moment you were thinking of.

I sort of agree with Toby's pick ... as much as I loathe the solution to the problem of CAM, I do think it was a moment of self-sacrifice on Sherlock's part. He gave in to savagery to protect his loved ones; in a twisted way, I can see that as heroic as well.

But I think I'd choose the moment when he tosses Faith's gun into the river in TLD, with that fantastic line about "Your life is not your own." He's acknowledging that life can be painful and hard, but you live it anyway ... not because you want to , but because other people need you to. I find that pretty selfless, and ... especially coming from someone like Sherlock Holmes ... I find selflessness pretty dang heroic. It's a quiet moment, but a big step forward for him.

ETA: I think the moment he chose to (literally!) embrace Eurus instead of rejecting her was pretty heroic too. He didn't have to be nice to her to get what he wanted from her at that point ... but he was. Good boy. I think I'll keep him.

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Hey, ya got your taxes mailed?

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Yup! God bless TurboTax. :D 

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I wonder what would he have done if Mary hadn't sent that (in my opinion stupid) DVD to tell him to save John, and if there was no chance whatsoever of John talking to him again. Would he have just carried on taking drugs until his bod gave up?

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I'm not sure he would have taken the drugs if they hadn't been part of his "plan" to "save" John. His words at the end (paraphrase: "my life has a value") indicate (to me) that he finally understands that what he does, affects others too, not just himself. Those words (and others) also indicate to me that he'd contemplated suicide during at least one point in his life. The whole episode, to me, is a refutation of the idea that suicide is an acceptable solution to one's problems.

But then again, he might have taken the drugs to ease his own pain. I think we were meant to believe it was some of both. I also think we're meant to believe Sherlock knows his body's limits ... or thinks he does ... and "knew" he'd survive the experience. He's rather an idiot in that regard.

At any rate, wasn't he already talking to Ella about how to help John before he got the message from Mary? I take her message to be more than "Sherlock, save John," it was more about how to do it. Because she figured she knew more about John than Sherlock does. Wives tend to think that way about their husbands, I hear. I agree that Sherlock probably would have come to the same conclusion himself, but after seeing Mary's message, he's also obligated to obey her dying wish.

Annnd .... we're in the wrong thread, aren't we? Rats. Um.... Irene also seemed to think she knew his body's limits. Which just proves to me that all drug users are idiots. There, back on track. :P And why does the spellcheck think that entire sentence is misspelled? And where did this white line below my text come from? What the hey?

 


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7 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

I'm not sure he would have taken the drugs if they hadn't been part of his "plan" to "save" John. His words at the end (paraphrase: "my life has a value") indicate (to me) that he finally understands that what he does, affects others too, not just himself. Those words (and others) also indicate to me that he'd contemplated suicide during at least one point in his life. The whole episode, to me, is a refutation of the idea that suicide is an acceptable solution to one's problems.

But then again, he might have taken the drugs to ease his own pain. I think we were meant to believe it was some of both. I also think we're meant to believe Sherlock knows his body's limits ... or thinks he does ... and "knew" he'd survive the experience. He's rather an idiot in that regard.

At any rate, wasn't he already talking to Ella about how to help John before he got the message from Mary? I take her message to be more than "Sherlock, save John," it was more about how to do it. Because she figured she knew more about John than Sherlock does. Wives tend to think that way about their husbands, I hear. I agree that Sherlock probably would have come to the same conclusion himself, but after seeing Mary's message, he's also obligated to obey her dying wish.

Annnd .... we're in the wrong thread, aren't we? Rats. Um.... Irene also seemed to think she knew his body's limits. Which just proves to me that all drug users are idiots. There, back on track. :P And why does the spellcheck think that entire sentence is misspelled? And where did this white line below my text come from? What the hey?

 


I agree with everything here.  Sherlock does everything with a purpose, even what appears to be recreational drug taking is part of a higher plan, even if it's only to calm his racing-engine mind from tearing itself to pieces.  'The Lying Detective' is a fairly tight homage to ACD's 'The Dying Detective', in which Holmes takes . .supplements . .to simulate a fatal and incurable tropical disease, also willfully abusing  his body by abstaining from food or drink for three days to exacerbate the symptoms.  Everything is done in carefully calibrated dosages to not exceed the limits of his body's tolerance (though as Watson often informs us, SH often pushes his physical apparatus to the point of a breakdown.)

Drug users can be cocky and stupid . .but SH is also a master-level chemist and that knowledge comes in handy when simulating drug overdoses. 

It's too bad that Mary wasn't able to stick around because she and Sherlock really go on well, considering that they had the same person in common and similar skill sets and ways of thinking.  Mary would have made a great investigative third for the agency.  She could have been the 'muscle' . .haha.  Alas, it was not to be.

ACD also broaches the anti-suicide line, "Your life is not your own, so keep your hands off it", in the late story The Veiled Lodger.  In that context it's a bit jarring because SH had never exhibited any sort of religious bent . . and I think you need at least a whiff of a belief in a power even higher than one's own intellect to treasure life above all else, even evolutionary directives.  Someone who is 100% Scientist would say, "when the organism no longer functions at top capacity and begins to degenerate, the most sensible course is to extinguish it, thus saving resources for more viable organisms to thrive.'  A humanitarian, pro-life Sherlock jars a bit in TLD as well, but not quite as much, because we see how caring for John and Mary and others has humanized him to value those lives.

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5 minutes ago, Hikari said:

I agree with everything here.  Sherlock does everything with a purpose, even what appears to be recreational drug taking is part of a higher plan, even if it's only to calm his racing-engine mind from tearing itself to pieces.  'The Lying Detective' is a fairly tight homage to ACD's 'The Dying Detective', in which Holmes takes . .supplements . .to simulate a fatal and incurable tropical disease, also willfully abusing  his body by abstaining from food or drink for three days to exacerbate the symptoms.  Everything is done in carefully calibrated dosages to not exceed the limits of his body's tolerance (though as Watson often informs us, SH often pushes his physical apparatus to the point of a breakdown.)

 

Ah. I knew it was based on "The Dying Detective" but since I only read that once, a long time ago, I didn't remember the specifics. That's cool, I should read it again, shouldn't I? :smile: My schedule's starting to get back to normal, I'll add it to my list.

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It's too bad that Mary wasn't able to stick around because she and Sherlock really go on well, considering that they had the same person in common and similar skill sets and ways of thinking.  Mary would have made a great investigative third for the agency.  She could have been the 'muscle' . .haha.  Alas, it was not to be.

Yep. I've stumbled into some "pro-Mary" and "what if Mary had lived" blogs and fics, and I have to admit, it makes me regret we weren't given the chance to get to know her better. I love the way she's usually portrayed; sassy, smart, level-headed and the perfect foil for Sherlock. Just like in the show. I also have to admit that much of the anti-Mary criticism smacks of misogyny. Why can't she be the seasoned professional to his free-wheeling amateur? Why is that so bad? It takes nothing away from him and is the foundation for half the cop shows on TV. Just because she's a woman? Hmmm.

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ACD also broaches the anti-suicide line, "Your life is not your own, so keep your hands off it", in the late story The Veiled Lodger.  In that context it's a bit jarring because SH had never exhibited any sort of religious bent . . and I think you need at least a whiff of a belief in a power even higher than one's own intellect to treasure life above all else, even evolutionary directives.  Someone who is 100% Scientist would say, "when the organism no longer functions at top capacity and begins to degenerate, the most sensible course is to extinguish it, thus saving resources for more viable organisms to thrive.'  A humanitarian, pro-life Sherlock jars a bit in TLD as well, but not quite as much, because we see how caring for John and Mary and others has humanized him to value those lives.

I haven't read the Veiled Lodger; I'd been wondering if that was an ACD line or something Moffat borrowed from elsewhere. Interesting. I love the way the line is used in TLD.

I have to disagree about belief in a higher power being a prerequisite for valuing life above all else, though. Many Buddhists have an exceptionally high regard for life without believing in a "creator", for instance. My own thinking falls somewhere in that vein as well, though not as codified. Plus I know plenty of "Christians" who find it perfectly acceptable to take a life, as long as the reasons meet their standards. (Forgiveness doesn't seem to be high on their list of standards any more. How convenient for them.)

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I would have hated Mary being involved as the third person, simply because my interest is in the friendship between Holmes and Watson. There were a few bits when Mary was first brought in that I thought I might like her, but then the moment she shot Sherlock that was it for me. 

I'm never quite sure what to think of the 'life is not your own' line. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. I don't read it as being related to belief in a higher power, I take it more as thinking what your suicide will do to those around you. The inherent problem with that statement, being read that way, is that suicidal people have often gotten to the point that they think their death will be doing the people around them, family and friends, a favour - taking away the burden. And there is also the element of 'how much more can I possibly be expected to endure' at which point the suicidal person might be beyond being capable of realistically seeing the damage it'll cause anyway. 

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True. I was watching a program about Senator John McCain last night, and they were relating excerpts from his biography and interviewing other men who had been prisoners of war (and tortured). They all agreed it would be better to commit suicide than to "betray" their country by breaking under torture. What a horrible, desperate situation to be in. It was hard to watch.

But taken in the context of the show (which, to me, is the only context that's relevant) I think that line is mostly about Sherlock realizing that how he behaves, what he does, etc., affects other people. He can't, in good conscience, continue to go through this world as if he's the only one in it who matters, and still claim the title of "best friend". Compare that to his attitude in TEH, when he seems utterly surprised that faking his death hurt John's feelings.

I don't know, I just think TLD is a beautiful episode. It reaches me on some level that I really appreciate; it's one of my all-time favorites. YMMV, naturally. :smile: 

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I get that Sherlock realising what he's saying is true works, I agree there. The problem is he's also saying it to 'Faith' for whom circumstances might be entirely different. But I'm not overly enamoured with TLD in general. 

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40 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Ah. I knew it was based on "The Dying Detective" but since I only read that once, a long time ago, I didn't remember the specifics. That's cool, I should read it again, shouldn't I?

I wouldn't boss you, but it is a pretty strong later entry of Conan Doyle's.  "Culverton Smith' is the villain.  Given that the majority of Canon stories are very brief, Mofftiss has a much larger canvas to allow the villains room to stretch and get really nasty and Toby Jones does not disappoint, in the footsteps of his predecessors Scott & Mikkelsen.  The Conan Doyle story takes place entirely in one room and interactions with the bad guy are limited.

43 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Yep. I've stumbled into some "pro-Mary" and "what if Mary had lived" blogs and fics, and I have to admit, it makes me regret we weren't given the chance to get to know her better. I love the way she's usually portrayed; sassy, smart, level-headed and the perfect foil for Sherlock. Just like in the show. I also have to admit that much of the anti-Mary criticism smacks of misogyny. Why can't she be the seasoned professional to his free-wheeling amateur? Why is that so bad? It takes nothing away from him and is the foundation for half the cop shows on TV. Just because she's a woman? Hmmm.

I wouldn't have called myself 'pro-Mary', in either Canon or here, for the simple reason that the partnership is never the same, and most would argue, somewhat lessened, once Mary Morstan arrives on the scene.  It's not her 'fault'--it's just the way things are.  Canon Mary is a lovely person and a perfect wife; an angel in this world, really.  It's hard to hate her.  I think ACD probably killed her off to expedite the return to the bachelor glory days at 221B, though they could never resume just the same.  A guy who is alone because he's been widowed is not the same footloose happy creature he was when he was merely waiting for Miss Right to appear. 

The direction that Moffat took Mary in in HLV scotched her likeability factor for many viewers, but that took Amanda as much by surprise as anybody.  Then it seemed like Moffat tried to have his cake and eat it too by making a new, softer Mary again and attempting to take her back to the '2 Guys and a Girl' camaraderie of TSo3  . .only, she was still Ruthless Assassin Mary, and that bell could not be unrung.  Kudos to Amanda Abbington who went gamely through her paces--from the sweet, winning, cool-chick Mary we first meet . . to the glowing bride, ruthless killer, exhausted new mum, supportive wife  . . heroic woman who threw herself in front of a bullet to save the man she had shot and nearly killed previously . . occasional bloodhound minder . .and all the bizarre shadings in between.  I guess you could call me more pro-Amanda than pro-Mary.  Once Mary had appeared on the scene, we had to deal with her and there was no point wishing her gone.  Do even the most anti-Mary contingent really believe that John & Rosie are better off now that she's dead?  John's daughter will never know her mum and Sherlock & John's relationship, though repaired, can never be restored to the happy-go-lucky bachelor pad of pre-Reichenbach.  There have been too many griefs and sorrows, and too much water under their respective bridges.

Sherlockians say that 1895 was Sherlock's banner year, and we should always strive to keep him there.  Not me.  If I had my way, Sherlock and John would always exist in those halcyon years 1881 - 1890.

1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

I have to disagree about belief in a higher power being a prerequisite for valuing life above all else, though. Many Buddhists have an exceptionally high regard for life without believing in a "creator", for instance. My own thinking falls somewhere in that vein as well, though not as codified. Plus I know plenty of "Christians" who find it perfectly acceptable to take a life, as long as the reasons meet their standards. (Forgiveness doesn't seem to be high on their list of standards any more. How convenient for them.)

I wouldn't say a 'higher power' has to be a creator in the vein of a monotheistic faith necessarily.  Buddhists do believe in a higher power than that which is strictly observable by the eyes.  ACD was a Catholic, so that's where I think that sentiment was coming from.  Many treatises have been written about Sherlock Holmes and faith, and though he obviously values human reason and the powers of observation very highly, and neither he nor Watson are 'church-goers' . . neither does SH out and out deny the existence of some force beyond human reason.  He rhapsodizes at length about the beauty of a rose in The Naval Treaty in a manner that any Buddhist would applaud.  Whatever his conception of Higher Power is, to be sure, it would not take a conventional institutional form, necessarily.

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Yeah, I get why "assassin" Mary isn't popular. I've said a few times that I like Mary's personality, but think her job (former job?) is ridiculous. Sort of the same way I feel about Irene, actually. (Look! Back on topic! :D ) But I still would have liked to have had her around longer, if only so I would have felt more when she was finally taken from us. As it is, I just found her death rather annoying. Not exactly the reaction the Moftisses were going for, one presumes.

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10 hours ago, Hikari said:

I think ACD probably killed her off to expedite the return to the bachelor glory days at 221B, though they could never resume just the same.

Considering how tersely and obliquely she was written out of stories:

... he had learned of my own sad bereavement, and his sympathy was shown in his manner rather than in his words. "Work is the best antidote to sorrow, my dear Watson," said he,....

... it's my opinion that "Continuity" Doyle had forgotten all about Watson's wife until his editor said hey, Watson can't just move right back in with Holmes -- he's a married man!  So yeah, in the end he killed her off for the reason you stated.  But I suspect "The Empty House" had already been written before he even realized that she needed to be dealt with.

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10 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Yeah, I get why "assassin" Mary isn't popular. I've said a few times that I like Mary's personality, but think her job (former job?) is ridiculous. Sort of the same way I feel about Irene, actually. (Look! Back on topic! :D ) But I still would have like to have had her around longer, if only so I would have felt more when she was finally taken from us. As it is, I just found her death rather annoying. Not exactly the reaction the Moftisses were going for, one presumes.

In my catalogue above, I forgot about 'Ghost Mary'.  How did I do that?

ACD was an avid spiritualist and I think Arthur personally would have wanted to believe that one could commune with the spirit of their loved ones who had passed on--but it's interesting that in the stories themselves, he always had Sherlock Holmes dismantling any supernatural elements to prove that they were all manmade, all the time, and no ghosts need apply.  Having Ghost Mary around did expand Amanda's role even if it was sort of a consolation prize. 

If Mary had died giving birth to Rosie, that would have been a far less ridiculous exit for her--but Sherlock is primarily an action show.  Giving Mary a more natural death would have skirted 'family drama' too much to suit Moffat.

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On 4/18/2018 at 11:13 AM, Pseudonym said:

I wonder what would he have done if Mary hadn't sent that (in my opinion stupid) DVD to tell him to save John, and if there was no chance whatsoever of John talking to him again. Would he have just carried on taking drugs until his bod gave up?

I think Sherlock is clever enough and knows John well enough that he would have come up with roughly the same plan without any intervention from Mary at all. 

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Regarding the anti-suicide line in The Lying Detective: At first I just saw that as a nice nod to the original line in the Doyle story, which in turn owes more to Doyle's own values and beliefs than Sherlock Holmes' (Doyle often used his creation to make a point). But just in the context of the show, I like it because it shows that Sherlock finally understands what he did to John with The Fall and that, for me, is necessary for me to believe that they are fully reconciled. 

(I would move a few posts to the proper thread if I wasn't on my phone, sorry). 

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 8:31 AM, Hikari said:

In my catalogue above, I forgot about 'Ghost Mary'.  How did I do that?

ACD was an avid spiritualist and I think Arthur personally would have wanted to believe that one could commune with the spirit of their loved ones who had passed on--but it's interesting that in the stories themselves, he always had Sherlock Holmes dismantling any supernatural elements to prove that they were all manmade, all the time, and no ghosts need apply.  Having Ghost Mary around did expand Amanda's role even if it was sort of a consolation prize. 

If Mary had died giving birth to Rosie, that would have been a far less ridiculous exit for her--but Sherlock is primarily an action show.  Giving Mary a more natural death would have skirted 'family drama' too much to suit Moffat.

And to suit a lot of the fans, I bet. We had some discussion around here about how, er, dreadful it would be if we had to watch the Watsons' happy home life. I personally would have liked a little more happy home life before all the drama descended, but if wishes were horses....

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 1:27 PM, T.o.b.y said:

I think Sherlock is clever enough and knows John well enough that he would have come up with roughly the same plan without any intervention from Mary at all. 

I agree. I think her DVD serves a number of purposes, though; not the least of which is tipping off the audience as to why Sherlock is apparently destroying himself. Even more importantly, it's used to tip off the ever-clueless John as to what's going on. Might have been another way to do that, but I love ghost-Mary's character, so I don't mind.

Interesting that through the entire run of the series, John never seems to quite grasp how much Sherlock cares about him. It's like he bought the "sociopath" pose right from the start, and never looked any deeper. Is that how he's portrayed by Doyle, too? Insensitive to Holme's deeper nature? I don't see how he could be, since he's the one telling the stories.

On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 1:34 PM, T.o.b.y said:

Regarding the anti-suicide line in The Lying Detective: At first I just saw that as a nice nod to the original line in the Doyle story, which in turn owes more to Doyle's own values and beliefs than Sherlock Holmes' (Doyle often used his creation to make a point). But just in the context of the show, I like it because it shows that Sherlock finally understands what he did to John with The Fall and that, for me, is necessary for me to believe that they are fully reconciled. 

Ooo, nice point. Agreed. I still believe that Reichenbach was a factor in John's sense of betrayal.

I'd consider moving this thread too, except the new forum still scares me; things disappear! I suppose I could quote it into the TLD thread, and direct folks there. Hmmm... Oh. No I can't, because only the replies will appear, and not the text they are quoting. Agh.

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18 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Interesting that through the entire run of the series, John never seems to quite grasp how much Sherlock cares about him. It's like he bought the "sociopath" pose right from the start, and never looked any deeper. Is that how he's portrayed by Doyle, too? Insensitive to Holme's deeper nature? I don't see how he could be, since he's the one telling the stories.

I think canon Watson is kind of that way, though.  There's the scene in Three Garridebs where the perp shoots Watson, who seems surprised by the intensity of Holmes's reaction -- both his ferocity toward the perp and then his solicitude toward the injured Watson.

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I'm one of the people who would hate having to watch the Watson's happy (dull) home life, but I agree it was actually needed in order to make Mary more relatable and likeable so her death actually mattered. When she died my only thought was 'what the hell was that noise John just made?' I didn't have even a tinge of sadness. Instead of showing any actual love between the two of them we see a couple who seem bored in their domestic life - both wanting to go on cases with Sherlock. Incapable of discussing and confronting their issues - Mary running off, John texting E. And John, at least, seems to have already started falling out of love with Mary - using a past tense when he says 'I did too' about 'liking Mary.' 

They really should have put more effort into making John and Mary's marriage strong and unshakeable - make the fact they've gone through so much (my opinion on the shooting aside) a strength. If Mary had been seen as being more relatable, if I could see how much John loved her, then her death would have had much more impact. One of the early scenes when I thought she might be okay is when we see John and Mary in their flat together, the two of them playfully bickering, Mary sitting on the bed in her pyjamas. We needed more of that, not a huge amount, since it would be dull, but enough to make her matter. And more of Mary with Rosie too, of her actually being a mother, so that Rosie being robbed of that would bring another element of sadness. That death could, and should, have been sad enough to make the audience well up, but I don't think I've read any accounts of anyone finding it particularly moving. The idea of her sacrificing herself for Sherlock feels like a last ditch 'look at how good and pure she is! Isn't this sad!' but it has no emotional clout and I don't think it even makes sense.  

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Exactly. :( 

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4 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I think canon Watson is kind of that way, though.  There's the scene in Three Garridebs where the perp shoots Watson, who seems surprised by the intensity of Holmes's reaction -- both his ferocity toward the perp and then his solicitude toward the injured Watson.

I agree. Canon Watson has that epiphany fairly late after they have already been friends for years. The way he describes Holmes, I am not surprised. He isn't sociopathic in the original by any means, but very cool and reserved. The great heart is pretty well hidden behind the great brain. 

I think Canon Watson is way more emotionally intelligent than our John though. He might have caught on sooner. 

I don't blame John for assuming Sherlock didn't care about him so very much. If someone put on a big show pretending to kill himself before my eyes and didn't tell me the truth until after two years, I would probably conclude that the person in question wasn't too concerned with my feelings or wellbeing. And I would consider them a sociopath too. 

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19 hours ago, Pseudonym said:

When she died my only thought was 'what the hell was that noise John just made?' I didn't have even a tinge of sadness. Instead of showing any actual love between the two of them we see a couple who seem bored in their domestic life - both wanting to go on cases with Sherlock. Incapable of discussing and confronting their issues - Mary running off, John texting E. And John, at least, seems to have already started falling out of love with Mary - using a past tense when he says 'I did too' about 'liking Mary.' 

They really should have put more effort into making John and Mary's marriage strong and unshakeable - make the fact they've gone through so much (my opinion on the shooting aside) a strength. If Mary had been seen as being more relatable, if I could see how much John loved her, then her death would have had much more impact. One of the early scenes when I thought she might be okay is when we see John and Mary in their flat together, the two of them playfully bickering, Mary sitting on the bed in her pyjamas. We needed more of that, not a huge amount, since it would be dull, but enough to make her matter. And more of Mary with Rosie too, of her actually being a mother, so that Rosie being robbed of that would bring another element of sadness. That death could, and should, have been sad enough to make the audience well up, but I don't think I've read any accounts of anyone finding it particularly moving. The idea of her sacrificing herself for Sherlock feels like a last ditch 'look at how good and pure she is! Isn't this sad!' but it has no emotional clout and I don't think it even makes sense.  

Mary has a starring role in 'The Sign of Four'--the second Holmes-Watson story, and after that, she is barely mentioned or referenced at all, since her presence was by definition a hindrance to the 'Lads Bashing About Having Adventures', which was the entire reason the stories existed.  Despite Mary's notable absence from the stories, coupled with vague references to Watson having at least one, possibly two, other wives besides her, a sort of Cult of Mary has sprung up amongst Sherlockians, who have filled in the very spotty, vague references to John's marriage to her into an epic love story for the ages.  In head-cannon, at least, Mary Morstan was the love of John Watson's life and no other woman he met, even the one he married after she died, could hold a candle to her.  Mary is a popular pastiche subject, as writers attempt to fill in some of what they imagine the Watsons' happy domestic life would have been like.  All that Conan Doyle really gives us is that they got married, some time later (undefined), she died, and 8 years after resuming Baker Street, Watson married again.  It is tradition to say that John lost Mary sometime during the period when he also thought Sherlock Holmes was dead, just to make him all the more pitiful.  The Watsons' marriage chronologically speaking could not have lasted more than 5 years and was probably somewhat less

For all Conan Doyle intended, the Watsons could have had the rather distant, perfunctory, estranged union depicted in T6T.  Even briefer that the one Conan Doyle gave us.  It is probably my romanticized notions of Canon Watson's Eternal Flame of Love for Mary that made the TV version feel so strained and loveless, but not altogether.  After crafting the touching scene of John's Christmas Forgiveness of Mary in HLV--''The problems of your past are your business; the problems of your future are my privilege"--John's actual forgiveness toward his wife at the top of the next episode seems quite non-existent.  The anger and estrangement are palpable, and not to be confused merely with the postpartum exhaustion of two new parents.  The energy of the final season was very bad from the get-go . . which makes John's subsequent, supposedly grief-fueled breakdown and vicious kicking of Sherlock over the next 2 episodes ring very hollow.  John's scripted lines and actions were saying one thing, but the subtext of his demeanor was saying something more like, 'I'm relieved that b**** is gone."  It felt so . . . wrong, and I was very uncomfortable with that entire season.

Of course, then we found out after the series had aired that whatever John and Mary were supposed to be going through or feeling toward each other, Martin and Amanda had severed their relationship of 16 years right before cameras rolled on the new season.  I think it put a bad ju-ju over the entire thing, really.  Now it's come to light that *he* was the one who ended it, and she cried every day for at least six months.  No wonder Mary looked so haggard and sad . . it worked for the character, but then came the irony of having to play consoling Ghost Mary to a grieving John . . when her real-life ex-partner wasn't feeling anything like grief where she was concerned.  So kudos to Amanda Abbington, but what a nasty way for both our couples, the real and the fictional to end what should have been a triumphant run on the show.

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I'm curious, where did you find out he was the one who ended it and she spent months crying? I thought they'd both been very private and tight-lipped about the whole affair? I don't really keep up with interviews so was it mentioned in one?

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