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Carol the Dabbler

Continuity (?) in Sherlock

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[Split off from another thread.]

 

On 4/28/2021 at 9:36 AM, Arcadia said:

... lack of continuity is something that always bugged me about Sherlock.

 

22 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

... could you give me a few examples?

 

16 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Oi, let's see if I can remember anything. Umm....  Well, there's the obvious one of Sherlock suddenly being the victim of self-induced (and highly selective) amnesia, for example. Nothing in the previous three seasons even hinted at such a thing, for the obvious reason that they hadn't thought of it yet. But even the first two episodes of S4 didn't hint at it! It's just dropped on us out of the blue, and it doesn't make sense because nothing ... nothing ... has ever suggested such a situation existed. It's a problem, because it makes the world of Sherlock seem more arbitrary and therefore unreal. That's the whole point of story continuity; helping the viewer stay "in the story" by making the world in which it exists seem real.

Another minor example is John's S4 haircut. It was a radical enough departure from John's usual looks that quite a few people commented on it; it wouldn't have been that hard to insert a line of dialog along the lines of "Hi John, I see you got your hair done the way Mary likes." In other words, acknowledge the change and provide an in-universe explanation for it. It seems trivial, but it's little things like that that make viewers feel like the producers actually care about the show, and aren't just slapping together something to fulfill a contract.

I'm not saying Moftiss didn't care, exactly; and I realize they had limited time in which to tell their stories. But it was their decision to choose bombast (John & Sherlock being blown out of a window, e.g.) rather than take the time to set up the universe in which the story occurred. And the story suffered for it, imo.

I know there's some examples from earlier seasons, but I can't come up with them at the moment. But hopefully this will give you an idea of the kind of thing I meant.

 

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On 4/29/2021 at 4:36 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Oi, let's see if I can remember anything. Umm....  Well, there's the obvious one of Sherlock suddenly being the victim of self-induced (and highly selective) amnesia, for example.

I assume you mean his recalling his murdered young friend "Redbeard" as a euthanized dog, plus not remembering his sister Eurus at all.  Of course that wasn't a recent occurrence in-universe -- it had apparently begun right after "Redbeard" disappeared and (as far as Sherlock was aware) so did Eurus -- but when you say "sudden," you presumably mean from the audience's point of view.  However they did lay some groundwork for it earlier on, with Sherlock's recollections of Redbeard-the-dog, beginning with the prior season's Sign of Three (at least I don't recall any references before that).

To be fair, if Sherlock buried those memories as a child, long before John (and we) met him, there wasn't much Moftiss could have done to clue us in -- other than what they did with his "dog" memories.  I mean, Mycroft sure wasn't gonna talk about it unless forced, neither were Mum and Dad, and Uncle Rudy was dead.  But that's from an in-universe point of view.  From the audience's point of view -- or to be precise, from my point of view -- it did feel like a cheap trick, nearly on a par with Bobby Ewing walking out of the shower.  I suspect, though, that if I'd liked The Final Problem better, I wouldn't have minded the trickery as much.  Or maybe if they hadn't used the trickery, I'd have liked The Final Problem better?

On 4/29/2021 at 4:36 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Another minor example is John's S4 haircut. It was a radical enough departure from John's usual looks that quite a few people commented on it; it wouldn't have been that hard to insert a line of dialog along the lines of "Hi John, I see you got your hair done the way Mary likes." In other words, acknowledge the change and provide an in-universe explanation for it.

I agree!  It apparently occurred to Martin Freeman (but not till he was sitting in the makeup chair) that changing John's hair style could be "a horrible mistake."  Fixing it would have delayed filming, though, so The Swoop was kept.  Your suggestion would indeed have been a very nice nod to the fan reaction.  (But it's not too late!  If/when they film Series 5, I'd be very happy to see John's hair back to normal, with the explanation that the other style had been. as you say, Mary's idea, and she had helped him style it, but now that she's gone, it's just too much work -- in line with Sherlock's comment in Reichenbach that John merely "washes his hair.")

When Monk's theme music was changed in second season, they actually wrote an episode around fans of a (fictitious) TV show objecting to such a change (and used the old Monk theme over that episode's closing credits).  In other words, they acknowledged that they were aware that some of us were unhappy with the change.

If you (or other members) happen to recall any other examples, I'd be very interested in hearing them.

 

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The fanfic article that Herlock linked to (in the Favourite Fanfic thread) has an "advertisement" for one fan's list of Sherlock continuity errors.  What do y'all think of these?

 

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17 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

The fanfic article that Herlock linked to (in the Favourite Fanfic thread) has an "advertisement" for one fan's list of Sherlock continuity errors.  What do y'all think of these?

 

I actually had seen that somewhere before. I have to admit, those kind of errors don't usually bother me (if I even notice them!) I think of those more as production errors than continuity errors, anyway. Considering how little time they are given to  film these things, it's a wonder there aren't more of them.

I'll look for more later, in a crunch right now.

 

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... those kind of errors don't usually bother me (if I even notice them!) I think of those more as production errors than continuity errors, anyway. Considering how little time they are given to  film these things, it's a wonder there aren't more of them.

I agree -- so the pill's in the cabbie's left hand in one shot, then in his right hand a few seconds later, so what?  I suppose if you're the sort of person who actually notices such things, it could be distracting, and therefore a bit not good.  But it's not like they planned it that way.

However I just came across the following earlier post (while looking for something else):

On 8/27/2013 at 12:40 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

[Speedy's is] not actually on Baker Street, of course, it's on [the west side of] North Gower, just a short distance north of the Euston Square tube station.  [Which is fine.  The continuity error is in the next paragraph.]

That tube-station sign can occasionally be seen in episodes, by the way.  (Imagine that you're [....] standing in the street directly in front of [Speedy's], and facing it.  Now turn 90 degrees to your left so that you're facing down the street to the south.  See the round sign just slightly to your left?)  This could be considered a continuity error, since the only tube station that close to where they've imagined the real #221 to be is the Baker Street station, and it's north of that location, not south.

I admit that's pretty picky.  They were presumably doing the best they could with the options available, and I seriously doubt that they're allowed to cover up tube station signs while filming -- so I'm not actually complaining, just saying.

 

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I'm beginning to think the kind of thing that bothers me isn't considered a continuity error. But we'll see.

In the meantime, I found what turned out to be a kind of cool little site called Movie Mistakes. Here's their list of errors: Sherlock (2010) mistakes (moviemistakes.com)

While you're there, check out the "corrections" tab ... it lists moments people have thought were continuity errors, but on closer inspection, aren't.   

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The only kind-of continuity error I remember now, is when Sherlock walks out of his bedroom in a sheet and has the driver from the "Boomerang case" sitting in his living room. I think there was something else…

I don't really count the small continuity glitches made in the production as continuity errors.

BTW, if you want to see how many goofs fit into one movie you can have a look at Gladiator. :D

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9 hours ago, Arcadia said:

In the meantime, I found what turned out to be a kind of cool little site called Movie Mistakes. Here's their list of errors: Sherlock (2010) mistakes (moviemistakes.com)

While you're there, check out the "corrections" tab ... it lists moments people have thought were continuity errors, but on closer inspection, aren't.

OK, checking out that site.  I disagree with this "error":

Quote

After receiving the third pip. Dr. Watson turns on the television to the news. During the news segment, it states the age of Connie Price as 48. Then in the scene immediately following, DI Lestrade says she was 54

That's perfectly plausible with a celebrity -- the news report presumably got her age from her publicity bio, whereas Lestrade got it from her birth certificate.  I've always taken this as a bit of humor.  Maybe it'll be in their "corrections"?  Yes it is.  But they didn't bother removing it from the error section as they did with most of the other corrections.

And these two could actually be intentional clues to as-yet-unrevealed plot points:

Quote

The banker shoots himself with a Sig 226R. When you see it lying on the bed it has a screw missing from the grip. In the first episode, Watson has a gun in his desk drawer. It is a Sig 226R also with a screw missing from the grip. Obviously they only have one prop gun.

Quote

The helicopter that takes Sherlock and Watson to Magnussen's house is the same one Mycroft arrives in later. Tail number G-VGMG.

OMG -- Watson shot the banker -- he's secretly even more evil than Mary!!!  And Mycroft was in cahoots with Magnussen!!!  Sheesh -- we already knew that Mrs. Hudson is a (former?) drug lord, Mary was a gun for hire, and Irene was one of Moriarty's stooges.  What's next -- Molly is selling organs on the black market?

Quote

Sherlock manages to convince Janine to let him into Magnussen's quarters after deceiving her into thinking he is going to propose. Several days later, she is enjoying her "revenge with profits" on Sherlock for his duplicity. Problem: There is no way she could have found out. [....] Magnussen did not know and had no opportunity to tell Janine anyway.

Huh?  She was all too well aware that Sherlock did not actually propose.  Also, Magnussen was very well aware that Sherlock's came there for other reasons.  And how do they know he "had no opportunity" to tell her?

Quote

Continuity mistake: When Sherlock steps out of the taxi on Baker Street three extras walk by. [....] Fast forward to when the taxi pulls up to take Sherlock and Watson to the the crime scene. As Sherlock opens the taxi door, the same first lady with the curly hair and the blonde with the ponytail are now walking together....

So they're saying nobody ever walks down the same street twice?

Quote

In the opening scene, Sherlock makes a point to correct Barry's poor grammar. But later, when talking to Watson, Sherlock uses poor grammar by saying "who's sleeping with who." It should be "who's sleeping with whom."

I've always assumed that Sherlock, as a university graduate, is well aware of the "rules" taught in grammar class, but as a native English speaker is also well aware that people (including himself) don't normally talk exactly like that -- so he corrects Barry's "I'll be hung" to "hanged" just to be obnoxious, underlining his opinion of the jerk.

Quote

A jury in Hamburg is asked if Mr Troppoff is guilty. There are no juries at all in the German court system

They cover that by having the foreman describe this as a very unusual situation.  And it may not be a jury in our sense of the word.

Quote

When Sherlock is being rushed to the hospital, when the paramedic rips open his shirt the body has body hair, but all the topless scenes following show that Cumberbatch has a hairless chest

Don't they sometimes need to shave body hair in order for certain procedures to work properly?

Quote

For the supposed code that hacks into UK system, Sherlock deduces that the finger taps are counted as 1s in the binary code and the rest (while Moriarty's fingers are in the air) are taken as 0s. Sherlock can't know the rate at which the rests are counted in the binary code that he thinks Moriarty tapped out.

I assume that Sherlock is already well aware (as anyone who knows anything about computers would be) that the code is a fake.  He's just going along with Moriarty's story in order to get him to confess that he had framed Sherlock, which he is presumably recording on his cell phone (which he leaves on the roof before he steps off, presumably for Molly to retrieve), which was presumably a major item in his subsequent exoneration. ( I really do wish they had made this explicit in Empty Hearse!)

Please, anybody, let me know if you disagree with any of my corrections above (other than the pair that I was just kidding about).  I may decide to add them on that site.

 

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47 minutes ago, J.P. said:

The only kind-of continuity error I remember now, is when Sherlock walks out of his bedroom in a sheet and has the driver from the "Boomerang case" sitting in his living room.

Sorry, I'm not following you.  What is the error?

 

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This guy had to be at Sherlock's over night.
https://arianedevere.livejournal.com/26320.html

Quote

221B. Yawning, Sherlock wanders out from the hallway behind the kitchen and strolls into the kitchen wearing only a sheet wrapped around him.
JOHN (offscreen): You realise this is a tiny bit humiliating?
SHERLOCK (still yawning as he picks up a mug of tea from the side table): It’s okay, I’m fine.
(He walks over to an open laptop on the work surface, picks it up and looks into the screen as he carries the laptop into the living room.)
SHERLOCK: Now, show me to the stream.
JOHN (offscreen): I didn’t really mean for you.
SHERLOCK: Look, this is a six.
(He sits down at the table in the living room and puts the laptop onto the table. Just then the doorbell rings but he ignores it.)
SHERLOCK (adjusting the screen so that his face can be seen by the laptop’s camera): There’s no point in my leaving the flat for anything less than a seven. We agreed. Now, go back. Show me the grass.
(John is at the crime scene and has walked down to the stream while Skypeing with Sherlock. He points the camera on his own laptop towards the grass at the stream’s edge and squats down.)
(...)
CARTER: You’ve got two more minutes, then I want to know more about the driver.
SHERLOCK (waving his hand dismissively): Oh, forget him. He’s an idiot. Why else would he think himself a suspect?
(Carter catches up to John and leans over to look into the camera.)
CARTER: I think he’s a suspect!
(Sherlock leans forward angrily.)
SHERLOCK: Pass me over.
JOHN: All right, but there’s a Mute button and I will use it.
(He tilts the laptop at an angle that Sherlock’s not happy with.)
SHERLOCK (irritated): Up a bit! I’m not talking from down ’ere!
(John has had enough and offers the laptop to Carter.)
JOHN: Okay, just take it, take it.
(Carter takes the laptop as Sherlock starts talking at double the usual speed.)
SHERLOCK (quick fire): Having driven to an isolated location and successfully committed a crime without a single witness, why would he then call the police and consult a detective? Fair play?(!)
CARTER: He’s trying to be clever. It’s over-confidence.
SHERLOCK (sighing in exasperation): Did you see him? Morbidly obese, the undisguised halitosis of a single man living on his own, the right sleeve of an internet porn addict and the breathing pattern of an untreated heart condition. Low self-esteem, tiny IQ and a limited life expectancy – and you think he’s an audacious criminal mastermind?!
(He turns around to John’s chair where – unseen by us until now – Phil has been sitting all the time.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t worry – this is just stupid.
PHIL (anxiously): What did you say? Heart what?
(Ignoring him, Sherlock turns back to the camera.)

 

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On 5/3/2021 at 2:54 PM, J.P. said:

This guy had to be at Sherlock's over night.

Could be!  Let's have a closer look at the timeline:

1. Mrs. Hudson finds thumbs in the fridge, then Phil stumbles in and collapses.

2. Phil has recovered, tells Sherlock about the dead hiker.

3. Local police are at the scene.  John shows up with a laptop.

4. As above, Sherlock comes out of his bedroom yawning and wearing only a sheet.  Over wi-fi, he discusses the case with the police, then chats with Phil, who has been sitting in John's chair.

I haven't found any reference to the location of the hiker's death -- could be just about anywhere in the UK.  If it's fairly near to London, though, it would not have taken Phil long to reach Baker Street (possibly an hour or two).  Assuming that Phil recovers quickly and tells his tale succinctly, and that Sherlock immediately phones Lestrade, who immediately phones the local police, the whole sequence might not have taken more than, say, five or six hours.  Because Sherlock knew it'd take John a certain amount of time to reach the scene, and because he's a lousy host, he may well have decided to use the time for a nap, leaving Phil in the living room.  So even though it could have been overnight, it could quite plausibly all have happened in just one day.

In either case, it doesn't strike me as a continuity error, just Sherlock being Sherlock.

 

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11 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I assume that Sherlock is already well aware (as anyone who knows anything about computers would be) that the code is a fake.  He's just going along with Moriarty's story in order to get him to confess that he had framed Sherlock, which he is presumably recording on his cell phone (which he leaves on the roof before he steps off, presumably for Molly to retrieve), which was presumably a major item in his subsequent exoneration. ( I really do wish they had made this explicit in Empty Hearse!)

No quibble with any of your others, but THIS ... this is the kind of thing I was thinking about when I brought up this subject. Maybe it's not a continuity error, but their failure to come up with a plausible, coherent narrative for the events of "The Fall" has always been tough to overlook. "Assume", "presumably" ... those are not the kinds of words you want to see in the explanation of such a major event. And for Moftiss to pass off the lack of clarity as a sort of joke on the viewers is ... well, it doesn't really sit well. As I've mentioned before, it sort of spoiled TRF for me.

 

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I know what you mean.  TRF was my favorite episode until they failed to follow up on their promise to explain everything (including "the clue that nobody noticed").  Even though I'd been saying that TRF was "only half an episode," so we couldn't really judge it till the other half came along, and even though I realized that their explanation might not jibe with my impressions -- still, I was not prepared for basically NOTHING.

I have two theories of why they did that:

1.  They hadn't really thought the whole thing through, they just wrote TRF and intended to work out the rest of it later.

and/or

2.  They realized between series that there were an awful lot of very different fan theories, so no matter how they explained it, a lot of fans would be really upset (which was quite possibly true).

There does seem to be plenty of material in TRF to construct a perfectly sound explanation.  But they just let the pieces lie there.

 

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41 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Maybe it's not a continuity error....

More like a continuity shutdown.

 

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:22 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I know what you mean.  TRF was my favorite episode until they failed to follow up on their promise to explain everything (including "the clue that nobody noticed").  Even though I'd been saying that TRF was "only half an episode," so we couldn't really judge it till the other half came along, and even though I realized that their explanation might not jibe with my impressions -- still, I was not prepared for basically NOTHING.

I have two theories of why they did that:

1.  They hadn't really thought the whole thing through, they just wrote TRF and intended to work out the rest of it later.

and/or

2.  They realized between series that there were an awful lot of very different fan theories, so no matter how they explained it, a lot of fans would be really upset (which was quite possibly true).

There does seem to be plenty of material in TRF to construct a perfectly sound explanation.  But they just let the pieces lie there.

 

If I remember correctly some of the Moftiss interviews and such from back then, I'm inclined to think both your theories are applicable. It's almost like they panicked when they realized that a) many people had already figured out their intended explanation and b) they realized their explanation would be closely scrutinized. Whatever ...  I'm afraid I'm left with the impression that the fans took the whole thing a lot more seriously than the creators did, and rightly or wrongly, their reluctance to provide a solid explanation really rankled a lot of people.

I'm lucky, I think; since I didn't have a couple years of joining in the speculation about the resolution to TRF, I wasn't overly offended when no real resolution was forthcoming. (Also I think it took me awhile to realize there was no resolution! :smile: ) At any rate, I was free to enjoy S3; which I did, immensely. But I think for many fans it was spoiled from the first episode, and then the whole Johnlock frenzy erupted and spoiled it for a bunch more. I wonder if there's a connection?

On 5/4/2021 at 1:33 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

More like a continuity shutdown.

 

It's a discontinuity! :D 

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I think it took me awhile to realize there was no resolution!

Me too, I think.  Maybe TEH's change in tone and odd scene cuts were intended to distract us from noticing.  Plus presenting their so-called "explanation" scene in such an odd way.

All in all, it took me a while, but the more I think about TEH, the less satisfied I am.  Whereas with the previous episodes, the more I think about them, the more likely I am to find satisfactory explanations for what I first took as plot holes.  I'm surely not the first to say that TEH may be the point where Sherlock jumped the shark.

3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I'm left with the impression that the fans took the whole thing a lot more seriously than the creators did, and rightly or wrongly, their reluctance to provide a solid explanation really rankled a lot of people.

I think their apparent attempt to not offend anybody (an uncharacteristic tack for those two to take!) backfired.  It had apparently not occurred to them that most fans could have accepted a plausible explanation that differed from their own theories, but that what was basically a parody of an explanation would be a slap in the face to those who had just spent a couple of years taking the events very seriously.

3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

It's a discontinuity!

Thank you -- that's the very word I was groping for!

 

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On 5/5/2021 at 4:10 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I think their apparent attempt to not offend anybody (an uncharacteristic tack for those two to take!) backfired.  It had apparently not occurred to them that most fans could have accepted a plausible explanation that differed from their own theories, but that what was basically a parody of an explanation would be a slap in the face to those who had just spent a couple of years taking the events very seriously.

Maybe ... but I have another theory ... the fans came up with such well-thought out theories that they realized theirs wasn't very good, and decided to complicate things hoping no one would notice. :smile: 

On the whole, it doesn't ruin the show for me; more of a minor irritant. But it becomes so easy to start nitpicking at it..... urk.

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5 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... the fans came up with such well-thought out theories that they realized theirs wasn't very good, and decided to complicate things hoping no one would notice.

Who was it said "If you can't [something], then dazzle them with fancy footwork"?  Apparently that quote is too old for the internet but either too recent or insufficiently dignified for my edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.  Anyhow, yeah, that could well be what they did.  A lot of fan ideas are an amalgamation of input from several people, often borrowed from other sites, which would have made it next to impossible to get their permission to use the ideas, even if they'd wanted to.  So, assuming you're right, they would have been stuck with using their own original ideas -- which I still think would have been the best thing to do.  So what if some fans had more inventive ideas?  Those fans would've had some pretty impressive bragging rights, so they wouldn't have minded.  And most of us would have felt like "Aha! That's what I thought!" -- which is a good feeling,  And if they'd presented their explanation with their usual good humor, I think just about everyone would have been fine with it -- maybe slightly disappointed, but not feeling cheated.

I came across a thread on Reddit [here] entitled "when did Sherlock jump the shark for you," wherein the original poster said "For me, it was the start of the Empty Hearse, when they didn't know how to resolve a cliffhanger and instead, chose to mock fans for caring."  That's sort of a combination of the things that you and I said.

I'm also thinking they were getting bored.

 

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On 5/9/2021 at 1:01 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

they didn't know how to resolve a cliffhanger and instead, chose to mock fans for caring.

Sad if true. I've largely (I think?) defended Moftiss, esp. the Moff part, but this sounds all too plausible. And I admit at the time I found it rather funny. I mean, some people were pretty obsessive.... but in retrospect, it's not very kind.

On 5/9/2021 at 1:01 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm also thinking they were getting bored.

Also sad if true. But more understandable; we creative types tend to get restless doing the same thing over and over. :-)Although I think that applies to the actors more than to the writers.

I don't really detect boredom, though. Maybe by S4. But by then, elements of the fandom had become so toxic that it sort of overshadowed everything else, imo.

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By the way, here's another continuity thingy that's probably not really a continuity thingy ... alas, it's S4 again. But at the end of S3, Sherlock's being exiled for murdering Magnussen, then suddenly brought back because of Moriarty's broadcast. But the murder's still hanging over his head. However, in the Bride, Sherlock offers the perfect solution ... he should get a pardon. That meant, to me, that he would be found guilty, but forgiven. Story resolved.

Yet in TST, he just waltzes away from the murder as if it never happened. That probably turned me off just as much as other fans were turned off by the Reichenbach non-explanation, or by the Johnlock teasing. It trivialized something that I had been deeply affected by. My fault for caring, apparently. 😞 

But really, is it fair to expect Moftiss to understand how deeply some fans care about certain things? Perhaps not. Still, I wish they weren't so cavalier about glossing over certain story points, sometimes. Ah well. It is what it is.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

... in TST, he just waltzes away from the murder as if it never happened

That was carefully orchestrated by the government, though.  Apparently too much dirty laundry would have been exposed if the murder had come to light.  So instead they said that one of Mycroft's retinue had fired accidentally.

Or do you understand that, but think it was the wrong way to handle it?

 

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Looking back I think we might have put much too much meaning into something that was meant as a playful new adaptation of the old materials. This would explain Mofftiss sometimes strange reactions.

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3 hours ago, J.P. said:

I think we might have put much too much meaning into something that was meant as a playful new adaptation of the old materials.

I think you're probably right.  But their idea of "playful" isn't necessarily mine!  Plus there are times when I don't feel it's quite appropriate.

 

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Good comedy punches up, not down. Playfully making fun of themselves and their creation - okay, go for it. Mocking their fans and their dedication - a bit not good.

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On 5/3/2021 at 12:41 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Huh?  She was all too well aware that Sherlock did not actually propose.  Also, Magnussen was very well aware that Sherlock's came there for other reasons.  And how do they know he "had no opportunity" to tell her?

Re. Janine

Someone mentioned before, don't know which thread now, that before Sherlock cultivated Janine without her knowledge as a useful tool for access to Magnusson, *Mary* had pipped him to the post, and a long time prior, as a matter of fact.  J. was maid of honor at Mary's wedding, a role usually reserved for one's closest friend, if one isn't choosing (or doesn't have) a sister or other close female relative.  John admits when proposing to Mary that 'it hasn't been long', ie. that they've been dating.  Maybe they knew each other for a couple of years at the surgery before becoming a couple . . but just how long Mary has been cultivating Janine is a mystery.  How would those two ever have organically become friends, with their very disparate careers?  Janine seems quite a bit younger as well, so how many social circles would there be that overlapped between them?  Yet, here's J. in the premier supporting role in the female side of the bridal party.  There are some other bridesmaids too . . then all those wedding telegrams with well-wishes for 'Poppet'.  For an 'orphan' who's only posing as a nurse named Mary Morstan, she's collected a lot of pals.  There was the ex-boyfriend interrogated by Sherlock . . bit of low-hanging fruit for our Mary . . She was really going deep underground cultivating this younger and rather vapid set of social acquaintances.  So--she targeted Magnusson, because it surely was not sheer coincidence that her 'best friend' just happens to be CAM's PA.  Why?  Was she actually still a sleeper agent the whole time?  Did she actually fall in love with John or--a more blood-chilling explanation:  did she cultivate him too, as an asset?  Surely the person closest in proximity and feeling to Sherlock Holmes is a useful person to know.  A lesser bit of wonderment is--what exactly does she do at the surgery?  Is she a nurse or is she just a receptionist?  I don't suppose it'd be hard for a CIA operative (I don't necessarily say 'ex-operative', either . . ) to fake up a nursing credential, but working in a medical clinic it would become apparent pretty quick if she didn't actually know what she was doing.  So, all the more reason to suspect that Mary in fact chose to work at *that* particular NHS clinic because the (late) Sherlock Holmes's best mate/confidante/business manager/publicist worked there.  Her duties at the surgery would not otherwise seem to be a good fit for her considerable skill set.  Before we 'knew' Mary's proclivities, when we were intro'd to her at the engagement dinner, she seemed like a 'creative' type, not a nurse/receptionist in a government-run clinic.  That was Amanda's own style informing Mary.  So many other things they could have done with this character, wholesome things, like adding a sassy gal who knows a skip code and has a memory like a steel trap to the detective business as the Girl Friday/co-investigator.  Or they could have paid homage to the original Mary, John's lovely, traditional, yet surprisingly independent-minded wife by having her modern counterpart do something nurturing of her own like baking artisanal breads or running a nursery school.

Mary is unmasked in HLV, but so many threads are left dangling, because it doesn't seem like Mary had really given up the covert espionage business at all but had just gone a bit dormant.  We see she still had all the kit.  I still don't understand why Mofftiss felt compelled to make Mary a ninja assassin, especially if they were going to introduce 'Euros'.  How many sociopaths can one small doctor collect around himself?  For me Sherlock jumped the shark when Sherlock came face to face with John's wife in her assassin gear and took a bullet in the chest.  Subsequent events were both the writers and John Watson losing their minds, in my opinion.

In comparison with that, the rather anti-climactic 'reveal' of 'How Sherlock Did It' (the Fall) is the height of rationality.  Very funny how Mofftiss hewed strenuously to the laws of physics in that instance but threw caution to the winds in going all Arkham Asylum with the 'reveal' of Euros and Redbeard.  I did like the device of Sherlock explaining (or, condescending to) 'Phil', his former antagonist and audience stand-in, who, like many of the audience had wasted three years of his life heatedly divising, discussing and discarding 'theories' during the explanation portion.  I guess we can take Sherlock's dismissive, 'aren't you lot silly'? attitude as indicative of the writers' attitude toward their fans.  I don't believe it's a writer's responsibility to pander to his/her audience's expectations . . but I do expect well-written material that holds together and still lets the audience have their dignity.  I always understood the gay subtext in the episodes was just a tease for humor, not a promise that 'more' was on offer . . John Watson has always historically been a hetero character and Sherlock Holmes is not tuned to the carnal frequency.   But the issue of Mary and Euros and the toxification of the the Sherlock/John relationship . . those I did object to.   The whole last season and most of HLV felt like a two-fingered salute from Mofftiss to the viewers to me.

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