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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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A Thread for the discussion of Series 2 Episode 1 "A Scandal In Belgravia."

 

Please rate the episode using the poll, and discuss the episode below.

 

In episode one of this new series, compromising photographs and a case of blackmail threaten the very heart of the British establishment but, for Sherlock and John, the game is on in more ways than one as they find themselves battling international terrorism, rogue CIA agents and a secret conspiracy involving the British government. But this case will cast a darker shadow over their lives than they could ever imagine, as the great detective begins a long duel of wits with an antagonist as cold and ruthless and brilliant as himself: to Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler will always be THE woman.

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I just re-watched this one yesterday.....God--I love this episode; every time I watch it, I see more. It's utterly fantastic, from the intricate plotting to the depth of the character development. Just the opening alone: the paralleling of Adler and Holmes....Neither of them really interested in their clients, because the clients really are not all that interesting--just a job. Adler's flicking through the photos of Sherlock sent to her by Moriarity as Sherlock flicks through the photos of Adler given to him by Mycroft--and thereby setting up the idea that this epsiode is really about Moriarity and Mycroft acting as puppeteers in the background...and wholly miscalculating about their puppets. Sherlock's wrapped in the white sheet, while his pile of tailored clothing is solid black/Adler's tailored white dress, while she carries a black wrap. Sherlock's 'battle dress' is a vicar's collar; Adler's is her nudity--and neither is fazed by the other's battle dress; instead, they discover the commonality of their intellectualism....I believe Adler is the first person in the show whom Holmes has challenged to 'figure it out' on her own--and she does.

This episode is a stunning piece of work--on everyone's part.

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I absolutely love the episode. And I love the way, without trying, Irene manages to get Sherlock wrapped around her little finger to the extent that when she disappears and gets in trouble, Sherlock runs after her to the rescue. Sherlock, who prides himself on not caring and being detached because attachment does not help solve problems, suddenly finds himself very much attached to her. And she didn't even try!

 

Also, it has some of the best quotes in the whole series... "Get off my sheet", "I apologise for my little brother." - "A full time occupation, no doubt.", and "I also had tea at the palace" are up there in the best quotes ever list :rolleyes:

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"Are we here to see the Queen?'

"Apparently."

 

"I'll be mother."

"And there, in a nutshell, is a whole childhood."

 

On the more serious side, the undercurrent of Holmes' having suffered some loss in the past is intriguing: the motive for not caring--or, rather, trying not to...Because, as Holmes demonstrates over and over in this episode, he does care. Quite a bit. The order to "shoot Dr. Watson" elicits near panic from Holmes, because he does not know the code and has no idea. The CIA guy earns himself "falls" from the window for hurting Mrs. Hudson (that whole sequence, from Holmes' arrival to the scene in Mrs. H's kitchen, is brilliant). Holmes is appalled at his own crass behavior toward Molly and apologizes (I love Watson's expression in the background).......So, he does have a heart, and it feels rather deeply. So much so that Mycroft is on alert for a "danger night" and Sherlock's former addiction seems to be connected to a similar emotional blow to Adler's death--and so he must be protected from the knowledge of her death, at the end of the episode.

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Holmes is appalled at his own crass behavior toward Molly and apologizes (I love Watson's expression in the background).......

 

He looks a bit like... "Who are you and what have you done with Sherlock Holmes????" :lol:

  • Like 2

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8/10 - a surprising, and yet well paced opening, interwoven ulterior crimes, character development all round and an emotional ending.

 

-m0r

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A really strong episode. The character development is excellent, particularly the relationship between Sherlock and his older brother. Sherlock certainly seems to revert into childhood somewhat when Mycroft is involved, with childish behaviour designed to annoy and embarrass Mycroft. The scene outside the morgue, after (wrongly) identifying Irene's body is revealing of the Holmes Boys' characters. They both think they are abnormal in their psyche but it is also shown that they are on the side of the angels.

 

Also revealed is Moriarty's involvement in international terrorism and his expertise as a consulting criminal, the mirror image of Sherlock's consulting detective. Clearly Moriarty is not on the side of the angels. It is he who tells Irene " how to play the Holmes Boys" and has given them the nicknames "The Ice-man" and "The Virgin". Interestingly though he makes an error in his assessment of them because, if anything, it is Sherlock who is proven to be "The Ice-man" with his cold calculation of Irene and the weakness of love and sentiment in the world in which they are operating.

 

The chemistry between characters is excellently developed and I thought the use of lighting in this episode was brilliant - no pun intended!

 

The nod to ACD canon was interestingly handled with photos and a royal connection. Finally of course The Woman, as a clever adversary with Sherelock keeping her phone with text messages, as a memento- in the original he keeps a photograph of her.

 

I also thought it revealing that John miscalculated Sherrlock's feelings for Irene when he meets up with Mycroft in Speedy's. He thinks that Shelock despised her by the end but Mycroft knows him better than that. We also learn of Sherlock's "romantic", adventurous side through the revelation that, originally, he wanted to be a pirate. Why would this be revealed unless it is important? There is also the potential within Sherlock to be against the angels, like Moriarty.

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My favorite scene: Sherlock getting enraged because an American has attacked Mrs. Hudson. Afterwards, having successfully captured the bastard and tying him up, he said to John, "I was restoring balance to the Universe." Lol! The look of pure rage on his face as he stepped foot in 221B Baker street and assessed the scratch marks on the wall, indicating that Mrs. Hudson has been taken hostage, was so intense that I felt real dread over what he might do to the intruders (of course, I was cheering just as loudly when he chucked the American out the second floor window). That was the moment I first felt a genuine human connection to Sherlock. If I ever thought him incapable of empathy and love before, this moment made me realize I barely know him at all, and that with all I thought I knew, I've only just scratched the surface of all that is Sherlock Holmes.

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The only thing that I didn't like about the episode was that the previous episode was resolved in about 10 minutes. I would have expected maybe the resolution and ending when we see Irene hanging up her phone and closing the door. I don't know...

 

Aside from that.. I really enjoyed the episode. Call me a child and immature but I tend to get weird around nude scenes even if hidden away from the audience through sensorship. Just me and my weirdnes..... Sad story.. really.. but still like everyone said great insight of the characters.. and I would love to see Irene back in season 3.... or season 4? But yeah still a favorite. :3

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I just finished watching "A Scandal in Belgravia" on PBS (which carries Sherlock here in the US). Near as I can figure, they cut about eight minutes out of it, to allow time for their introductory blather, plus a preview of "The Hounds of Baskerville" and some ads (for the DVDs, etc.) at the end.

 

None of the cuts were horrendous, but nevertheless I did notice five of them, even without checking our Region 2 DVD (which means that my quotes below are approximate):

 

Right after John points out that almost 2,000 people have visited his blog in the past 8 hours (and says, "There's your living, Sherlock"), I believe there's a comparison to Sherlock's own blog with its discussion of the yay-many types of tobacco ash. That's gone.

The scene where Sherlock asks to borrow the Buckingham Palace fellow's cigarette lighter is missing (probably the second-longest cut).

Right after Irene says "I know a policeman," she adds "or at least I know what he likes." That's gone.

Mycroft's "danger night" phone call to John is missing, along with John's subsequent "I'll walk your dog" conversation with his girlfriend Jeanette -- probably the longest cut.

When Irene's pretty messenger calls out to John as he leaves 221B, and asks if he has plans for the evening, he is supposed to say something like "none that can't be cancelled" etc. That's gone.

I was assuming that they'd cut a bit, but was not expecting this much. So if you want to see the whole thing, my fellow Americans, you'll have to wait till the Region 1 DVD becomes available on May 22 -- or get the Region 2 DVD (which has been available since the end of January from Amazon UK) and play it on your region-free player (e.g., maybe the one on your laptop).

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Thanks for the details! I was wondering what would happen with this episode when it aired in the States... I know there are often cuts for ads (which we don't get on BBC here), but I was wondering what would be cut...

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Actually, most of the interruptions did not constitute "ads" of the sort found on network television. PBS prides itself on offering "commercial-free television." They claim to be "supported by viewers like you," implying that their annual membership drive provides a majority of their budget, though I believe that most of their funding actually comes from corporate "supporters" and from government grants.

     

Added:  I probably misspoke above.  The other two episodes in the series did indeed come equipped with several segments that would be called advertisements on any commercial network, regardless of how PBS chooses to think of them.  I must have been too distracted by the cuts to notice!

 

In any case, "commercial free" does not mean interruption-free. Sherlock is being run under the umbrella of Masterpiece Mysteries, so of course they had to run their own opening titles and theme music, followed by an introduction by their host. Then at the end they ran a "teaser" for "The Hounds of Baskerville" and their closing credits.

The only overt "ads" were for the Sherlock DVDs, but there were also some relatively brief appreciative mentions of those corporate "supporters" (who do, of course, hope that you'll buy their products).

But whatever these intervals are called, they do deprive American audiences of a certain percentage of Sherlock. Last night's cuts were skillfully done, as such things go (perhaps even done by the BBC itself), so that the plot of "Scandal" was not particularly disrupted. However, equal consideration was clearly not given to the overall series -- in particular, the "danger night" / "walk your dog" cut weakens the ongoing development of the Sherlock and John characters.

By the way, I have no idea how many cuts there actually were. I just happened to notice the five listed in Post #10. There were probably more, some of which may have been even more significant.

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It is one of my favorites! I love Irene's Adler apparition, it's great!

And I think it's a little bit difficult to follow, in fact I have to re-watched it because there are some things that I missed. But it keeps your attention a 100%!!!

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The only thing that I didn't like about the episode was that the previous episode was resolved in about 10 minutes....

 

I had not really thought of "The Great Game" as a cliff-hanger, since Sherlock clearly had the upper hand at the end (at least by normal standards, which we did not yet know did not apply to Jim Moriarty). Therefore, the ridiculously anti-climactic phone call (with its ridiculously appropriate ring-tone) struck me as hilarious -- a view clearly not shared by Sherlock, John, or Jim.

 

 

.... I tend to get weird around nude scenes even if hidden away from the audience... But yeah still a favorite.

 

I agree, at least as regards gratuitous nudity, and to me, this was just a cute gag. I tend to put screen nudity in a similar category to strong language -- to be used when dramatically appropriate, not just for cheap effect. (Though in this instance, I'd kind of like to believe that I'm just missing something.)

 

But otherwise, right, a good episode. I gave it a 9.

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Holmes is appalled at his own crass behavior toward Molly and apologizes (I love Watson's expression in the background).

 

He looks a bit like... "Who are you and what have you done with Sherlock Holmes????"

 

At the beginning of the shot, John has his head bowed slightly (moaning inwardly?), then in rapid succession

  • his head snaps back up,
  • he looks at Molly,
  • he looks at Sherlock, and
  • he cocks his head quizzically.
Martin Freeman delivers this sequence so smoothly that I had never noticed the complexity till we were watching the PBS broadcast last week.

 

Earlier in the same scene, when Greg Lestrade is telling Molly that he and his wife are back together ("all sorted"), his head shakes just the slightest bit "no" -- a nice touch by Rupert Graves.

 

I do believe that one reason Sherlock just gets better with repeated viewing is the richness of detail in all aspects of the production.

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I do believe that one reason Sherlock just gets better with repeated viewing is the richness of detail in all aspects of the production.

 

Yep, each time I re-watch an episode I end up taking something new away from it. The layering of the stories is incredible.

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Couple of minor points:

 

1. How does Irene manage to change clothes, do her hair, and still get to the airport at more or less the same time as Sherlock? When the car that he's in pulls away from the curb, she is still upstairs, wearing his dressing gown, with her hair down. On the plane, Sherlock and Mycroft have been talking for only a few minutes when she appears. All I can figure is that her assistant had Irene's car parked just around the corner, with her dress, hairbrush, etc., and Irene got ready in the car, on the way.

 

Am I overthinking this? :huh:

 

2. One of the dead people on the plane (the man with the long hair and mustache) looks to me a whole lot like the man who was sitting alone at the table behind Sherlock in "The Great Game" -- in the cafe scene, where John explained to Sherlock who Connie Prince was. Did Moriarty have him killed because he overheard their conversation?

 

Definitely overthinking that one. :D

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Couple of minor points:

 

1. How does Irene manage to change clothes, do her hair, and still get to the airport at more or less the same time as Sherlock? When the car that he's in pulls away from the curb, she is still upstairs, wearing his dressing gown, with her hair down. On the plane, Sherlock and Mycroft have been talking for only a few minutes when she appears. All I can figure is that her assistant had Irene's car parked just around the corner, with her dress, hairbrush, etc., and Irene got ready in the car, on the way.

 

Am I overthinking this? :huh:

Maybe she borrowed Batman's Bat-Pole fron the 60's TV series... :rofl:

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Getting ready in the car is entirely a possibility. I can get my air 'up' for work in less than a minute but more complicated stuff takes a bit longer.

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Getting ready in the car is entirely a possibility. I can get my air 'up' for work in less than a minute but more complicated stuff takes a bit longer.

 

I just hope she had a driver. :rofl:

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She had minions probably. Minions are good for that sort of thing. And I meant Hair. Obviously.

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I just hope she had a driver. :rofl:

 

Of course she has a driver. Someone like her wouldn't be bothered to park her own car in London...

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You can even see in the episode that she is not driving her car can't you?

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I was pretty sure this was the case, Just the idea of her driving whilst getting dressed and fixing her hair was too funny to resist! :tongue3:

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So she was SHERLOCKED? I think I'm PULVERIZED...

 

Nice signature line, Dexter!

 

 

... Just the idea of her driving whilst getting dressed and fixing her hair was too funny to resist!

 

Don't laugh -- I've seen people do it!

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