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Immediate thoughts

Bear in mind that I'm faintly hysterical, since the moment I got online to rant about the show I fell over this bizarre news story about the sinking of the Titanic, and I can no longer tell what's real and what is highly contrived clickbait-esque bollocks. In the context of seeing a new Sherlock episode, this is most unfortunate.

Okay. So I'm assuming the boys are going to fuck, based on the fact that I've been given to understand that this is what generally happens in fanfiction when a woman who has had the temerity to come between two men is fridged.


Stepping back a bit: I've never been in the Sherlock fandom, both because I'm bad at being active in multiple fandoms (or even one - I have a heap of posts and notifications on [community profile] vc_media that I need to devote some quality time to tomorrow) and because everything I hear suggests it is a writhing tentacular mass of wank. I just like hearing friends' reactions when there's a new episode, and talking it out a bit. So I haven't been following the clues that someone mentioned on Facebook - apparently there's been a blog, maybe made by the production team but maybe just a fan fake?

My overall impression of the show and the fandom - and please correct me if I'm wrong - is that, as often happens, the fandom generally thinks the writers do stuff to fuck with their reactions, and there's been years of debate as to whether they would ever actually put John and Sherlock together. I've heard of something called the Johnlock Conspiracy which is people who think they will and apparently the BNFs in that area of the fandom are very wanky indeed.

It's always tricky and weird when fans try to read into what showrunners and writers are up to. Believe me, I know. I come from Anne Rice fandom, baby. Sometimes it's a reach to imagine that the fandom segment of a show (in the LJ/Tumblr/A03 sense of fandom; OUR culture of fandom) will figure much in the creators' calculations, because we're a drop in the ocean compared to the overall audience size. But sometimes, to judge from what I've been told about Supernatural, they absolutely are and they can be merciless in skewering fandom. And when a canon is, in itself, professional fanfic, which Sherlock is, things get even weirder.

Two things bothered me about this episode.

One: Previously, I've always cared about their adventures. Here, I wasn't really invested in the story except for the little nugget (which grew into a time bomb) about John and his woman-on-the-bus. (John, you bastard. Really. Come on. You don't go through all that you've been through with Mary and then even entertain throwing it all away for a little bit of tantalisation, a little bit of mystery that says even you're an old dad now, you've still got it. That's so boring and sad, in both senses of the word.) It felt a little bit like they were going through the motions: here's some choppy editing techniques, a bit with Mrs. Hudson being dotty, a handful of twists, Sherlock being an insensitive twat, etc. etc., and it was all just there to set into motion the emotional story that they crammed into the last ten(?) minutes.

Two: How stupid are we supposed to find Mary and John? Firstly, that they even entertain both going when Sherlock calls is ludicrous. It's far too risky re: Rosie, and that's even implicit in the dialogue, and still, they both go. What if they'd both been hit? How does Mary go on a callout like this without a flak jacket? I realise we're not dealing with guns on the streets on the level of the USA, but still: Sherlock's cases are dangerous, Mary is a top agent whose past has just come back to bite her, and she takes a risk like that? It's absurd and I don't buy it, but not in that "it's all a big fakeout and she's really alive" way. I mean that I'm not convinced by the character the writers are trying to sell us. And why in hell's name does she jump in front of Sherlock like that at all? You're a mother, not his mother. Let Sherlock take responsibility for himself. Maybe he could even buy a flak jacket himself.

I don't follow behind the scenes stuff much, but I understand that Amanda Abingdon and Martin Freeman have split up. Maybe she wanted to leave the show, so Mary had to be written out permanently. That's understandable. But why not have John reject Mary after her past life came back to haunt them and she was prepared to leave instead of staying and them all solving the problem together? They're obviously okay with making John the bad guy, given the woman-on-the-bus thing, and I don't think it's impossible that he would leave after that happened. So make it joint custody, make it that we never actually see her. It's cobbled together, yeah, but it's mildly more believable than what we got. Or why not just keep Mary on the run (from AJ) indefinitely, not seen on screen but alluded to?

It just seems an awful shame, regardless of the writers' future intentions for the show, that they've gone down this route of "make characters act like total fools to shoehorn necessary events in"...


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2017 11:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about the Freemans splitting up in real life, but it makes sense to write her out. I never could see why he married her after finding out her background. Love is blind?

But, her taking the bullet was a bit odd.

Jan. 4th, 2017 12:54 am (UTC)
I feel like John married her at least in part because he wanted to see himself as the kind of noble guy who could just fling that USB stick in the fire and Not Care About Her Past - but of course, in practice, life's more complicated than that...
Jan. 2nd, 2017 02:07 am (UTC)
The theory isn't new but I think the question is - and it will likely remain a question - whether the fire weakened the hull or whether the ship was going too fast through an iceberg field as a result of the attempts to control the fire.
Jan. 4th, 2017 12:55 am (UTC)
It's fascinating because these are angles to it that wouldn't have occurred to me - even if it were possible to judge from what's left on the ocean floor (hard to imagine), presumably people would still be arguing back and forth about it forever.
Jan. 4th, 2017 01:03 am (UTC)
It's fair to say that coal was at fault either way. It was such a dangerous fuel for ships. By 1914, that era was over.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )