Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I Am Sherlocked

So not too long ago, I was introduced to this fantastic show from the BBC called Sherlock.  In no time at all, I was enthralled….no, I’m sorry that isn’t the right word.  Devastatingly obsessed. That’s the term.  

The BBC show brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work to the modern age with an updated twist.  Benedict Cumberbatch (a.k.a. slice of heaven) plays the famous sleuth, while Martin Freeman (a.k.a. adorbs) plays Dr. John Watson, army doctor.  So two attractive men running around being quippy and solving crimes?  How did it take so long for me to discover this?

The episodes pull titles and varying bits and pieces from Holmes stories.  Moffat and Gatiss (who appears as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft) are the creators and writers.  So now we know why this show is so amazing.  Moffat eats souls of television watchers for breakfast.

After watching the series again, and again, and again, and...well this could keep going for a while (GIVE US SEASON 3!!!), I decided that I should actually familiarize myself with the canon and started reading the stories.  That way I could see which parts of episodes came from which stories.  But I want to post this moderately quickly after writing it and there are a lot of stories.  So I used wikipedia for some background about where the episodes bits came from.  The rest of this blog is my observations about the show.  Either things I found interesting, credit to the actors for their portrayal, or theories about the episodes is what now follows.  So if to this point you have not watched any Sherlock, go now.  Watch the show.  Because the rest of this is majorly spoilery.  But if you are already a fan of the show (go you for having good taste in tv), then read on and see what you think!


Season One

Study in Pink (Canon: name from Study in Scarlet, bits taken from several other stories)

Sgt. Donovan has a more playful relationship when Sherlock first arrives, but when he quickly deduces that she’s sleeping with Forensic Tech Anderson, her good mood for Sherlock evaporates.  I think this is the catalyst for her involvement in Sherlock’s downfall in the second season closer.  After this interaction, she only ever smiles at Sherlock when she’s mocking him.

Watson is constantly baffled by the things Sherlock sees, and he always compliments Sherlock’s ability, even though Sherlock often tells John that even he could change the way he sees things to be more like Sherlock.  “You see but you do not observe.” In the first episode, John says Sherlock’s ability is fantastic and then notices he’s saying it outloud and asks Sherlock if he should stop.  Sherlock says no.  Not because he’s an egoist (though he is), but because everyone else calls him a freak.  This is the first person who thinks that what Sherlock can do is interesting and amazing.  And Sherlock actually needs these compliments.

Sherlock’s brother Mycroft offers John money to spy on Sherlock, though at the moment we don’t know it is Sherlock’s brother.  John mentions the interaction and Sherlock states that this man is, “The most dangerous man you’ve ever met.”  This makes me wonder if working for the government (or obsession with umbrellas) is what kept Mycroft from becoming Sherlock or even Moriarty.  Or if Sherlock means he’s dangerous because of his power in the government.

“That’s the frailty of genius, John.  It needs an audience.”  Sherlock says this about the serial killer.  Many people say/think it’s ironic because Sherlock is also describing himself and his gift for observing things.  While Sherlock is egotistical, I don’t think he sees his gift for noticing things as a gift.  He sees it as part of himself, which is constantly mocked by others.  Sherlock needs an audience for himself, but I don’t think he truly realizes how much.  And this idea to me, is supported in other episodes.

John is shocked by Sherlock’s past with drugs because to him, John sees Sherlock’s solving crimes as his drug.  But at this point, I don’t think John realized how self-destructive Sherlock can be.  Especially since John doesn’t see how fragile Sherlock’s ego is yet.

Sherlock in solving the crime is trying to think and tells Anderson to turn around, “Your face is putting me off.”  Anderson is of course put off by the comment, but Lestrade tells Anderson to turn around.  Lestrade needs Sherlock, which he admits a few moments later, saying he’s desperate.  But at the same time, Lestrade actually thinks the world of Sherlock and Sherlock doesn’t see this.  “Sherlock Holmes is a great man.  And I think one day...if we’re very very lucky.  He might even be a good one.”  Lestrade has faith in Sherlock, which is how Lestrade ends up being key in the finale of season two.  Lestrade also says that the phone isn’t in the apartment because it is ringing which isn’t technically true because it could on silent.  So he’s special sometimes. Love him anyway.

The serial killer has two identical bottles with identical pills, one is poison and one is not.  John arrives to save Sherlock.  Two identical buildings.  Symbology! (anyone who gets that reference is my new friend).  Here is my theory.  We obviously discover that John picked the wrong building, but had his gun and was able to shoot the villain.  But Sherlock doesn’t have a gun.  He picks the pill in front of the cabbie.  The cabbie later says, “Are you clever enough to bet your life?”  I think the cabbie is a genius at reading people, whereas Sherlock is a genius at observing details, not people.  “I bet you get bored, don’t ya? [...] What’s the point of being clever if you can’t prove it.”  I think the cabbie knows Sherlock picked the wrong one and is egging him to take it so the cabbie thinks he is clever enough to beat Sherlock.  The cabbie’s eyes never leave Sherlock.  But the cabbie doesn’t realize the relationship already formed between Sherlock and John.  Sure John was with Sherlock when they chased the cab, but the cabbie can’t possible know that John would come looking for Sherlock.  No one else did.  So I think this underlies the importance of the relationship between Sherlock and John.  I think they both chose wrong, and that’s why they need each other.

The genius of Benedict Cumberbatch.  During the pill game, Sherlock is deducing information about the cabbie.  When he realizing the cabbie is dying, Benedict says, “Ahh.”  And with the gentlest movement his eyes pop open just a bit more.  It’s so subtle, but amazing.

The Blind Banker (Canon: bits taken from Sign of Four, Valley of Fear, Adventure of the Dancing Men)

John starts the episode having a row with the check out machine at the supermarket, which has later allusions to the series end of the second season.

Sherlock is entreated for help from his old schoolmate Sebastian, who then proceeds to mock Sherlock as soon as he arrives to help.  Really Sebastian?  You mock the gift you specifically asked for him to use to help you?  You’re a dick.

I love that the spray paint is Michigan brand. Named after my home state!

I think it is hilarious when the wall of ciphers gets painted over, and Sherlock is trying to get John to focus because John needs to remember the signs.  Because it doesn’t occur to Sherlock that John would take a picture. Cracks me up when Sherlock is spinning John around.  “Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear.” I know that quote is in the next episode, but it fits so well here.

There’s a part where Sherlock really pisses me off.  When Molly says the paperwork has gone through on the bodies and she can’t get them out.  Sherlock pauses and then compliments her change in hairstyle.  Molly is aghast that he notices and feels flattered, which is exactly what he wanted.  She then rolls the bodies out for him.  It irritates me how easily he’ll manipulate her because he knows she likes him.

I find it odd that Sherlock owns a Bible.  This is seems out of character for him.  Maybe that’s just me.

When John says “get off with Sarah.”  I wonder what he means by that.  Get along with her romantically or...well the other thing.

The Great Game (Canon: bits from stories including the Five Orange Pips)

Sherlock is annoyed that John called him “spectacularly ignorant.”  Which is unbelievably spot on in regards to how Sherlock perceives things.  And Sherlock does know this on some level because whenever he says something that seems out of place he checks with John to see if he said something bad.  He’s also so adorably childish because he has a tantrum and expects John to care that Sherlock is mad.  

Another quote from a different episode but that translates, “It’s amazing how fire exposes our priorities.”  As soon as John sees the explosion on Baker Street, he rushes home and the first thing he is checking on is Sherlock.

“Mycroft never texts when he can talk.”  While Sherlock never talks if he can text. The Fall clue Moffat gave that said Sherlock did something out of character….I think yes.

When Sherlock first meets Moriarty, you can tell the meeting was initiated by Molly.  John’s response to Moriarty’s goodbye instead of Sherlock is the moment Moriarty realizes that to take down Sherlock, he has to take down John too.  Molly, he has no regard for, which comes in at the end of season 2.  Because Molly is just a tool to Moriarty and he believes Sherlock views her the same way, which is why Moriarty does not consider her a target and why Sherlock goes to her for help, because she isn’t a tool to Sherlock at that point.

Sherlock’s analysis of “Jim” is trying to be helpful to Molly to save her the disappointment of finding out “Jim” is gay another way.  What Sherlock doesn’t realize is that his cold and calculating manner of deduction and deliverance of the information is not reassuring to Molly that he wants to help, only that he’s showing off in his own way.

Another nod to Benedict’s acting.  His shock at discovering the shoes belong to Carl Powers. He looks so haunted.

When the second victim calls, the first thing he is told to say is that it is ok Sherlock has gone to the police.  I think, based on the theory I’ve seen about Reichenbach Fall, that Moriarty had a mole in the police department and that is how Moriarty knew Sherlock had gone to the police.

The brilliance of Benedict’s acting again. When he talks to Mrs. Monkford, he is Benedict playing Sherlock who is playing someone who cares.  Brilliant job.

Janus Cars. God with two faces. Moriarty and Richard Brook? Hmm…

TV says Connie Price’s age at death is 48.  Lestrade reports her age at death of 54.  Oh Connie, you little liar.  Also, I saw that face Raoul as you walked back into the kitchen. You murderer, you.

I love how John thinks he figured out that the cat killed her.  And he’s so excited.  And Sherlock is just like, “Aww sweetie. No. It’s not the cat.”

Also, aren’t any of the criminals pissed at Moriarty for serving them up to Sherlock?  Because if I went and got some criminal advice and then got served up by that person as a fun game to someone else, I’d be pretty pissed.

The entire fight scene with the Golem just cracks me up every time.  Firstly, the guy is insanely tall.  So he towers over both Sherlock and John.  Secondly, when Sherlock tries to punch upward, the Golem is just like, “Bitch, no.” WHAM.  And judo chops the hell out of Sherlock.  Lastly, John jumps on the Golem’s back and swings around as the Golem tries to shake him off. Seriously, the whole scene puts me in stitches.

Sherlock can pick locks. Hot.  I mean, not that I’m looking for someone with that particular set of skills, but smooth dude.

There is so much elegance in the pool scene.  Firstly, Sherlock choosing to go back to the beginning of his and Moriarty’s careers in crime and crime solving.  Secondly, the quick look on Sherlock’s face when John comes out.  For a split second, Sherlock thinks it was John all along.  And that maybe he hadn’t been right about trusting him.  Thirdly, the brilliance of how Moriarty is played.  He is truly psychotic, whereas more often Moriarty is not as fleshed out.  Fourthly, back to the idea of fire exposing priorities.  The laser sight on the rifle settles on Sherlock’s head and John immediately drops Moriarty.  And again when they believe the thing is over, Sherlock rips the explosive vest off of John even though John keeps saying he’s fine, and once Sherlock can’t see he goes weak in the knees.  Fifthly, they both crack jokes as soon as they feel more comfortable.  Six and lastly, Sherlock looks to John as confirmation of what Sherlock wants to do and John knows what he is thinking (shooting the explosives at Moriarty’s feet) and all John does is nod gently.  This is the brilliance of their relationship.  John knows what Sherlock is thinking, but Sherlock needs John’s confirmation of what he wants to do.

Season Two

A Scandal in Belgravia (canon: title taken from A Scandal in Bohemia, and other bits from various stories)

I love that the episode continues the pool scene.  It’s a good refresher, but it also doesn’t just repeat the “Previously seen on Sherlock” idea.  The scene keeps going.  Also, Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees will never be the same.

I wish we could get the episode about the comic book stuff coming true.  Because that sounded awesome.

Their competition about their websites is so adorable.  Sherlock doesn’t relate well to people, so it’s not a mystery which website would be pulling in clients.  Because it’s unlikely people are going to care about identifying 243 different kinds of tobacco ash.  But Sherlock is still intrigued and likes the attention.  Just not when the attention is pictures of him in a deerstalker, a.k.a. death frisbee.

John’s look when he gets to Buckingham Palace is literally the equivalent of “Da fuq?”  And it’s adorable.  Also when they giggle like idiots because Sherlock isn’t dressed.  “Just once can you two behave like grown ups?” “We solve crimes.  I blog about it and he forgets his pants.  So I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.”

John’s face at Sherlock, “The queen reads my blog, hah.”

Then Mycroft stepped on his sheet and it didn’t fall and every fangirl began screaming at the injustice of the SHEET NOT FALLING.  DAMN YOU PEOPLE. Do they understand how many ovaries would have exploded if we could have just seen Benedict’s tush? *sigh*

Lara Pulver is gorgeous and I think she does so much justice to the character of Irene Adler.  I liked Rachel McAdams in the Holmes movie, but Lara to me just embraces the role of scandal.

Did anyone else wonder if the young lady close to the royal family called your highness by Irene was Kate Middleton?  Young, female person close to the queen?  I mean really, did anyone else think for a split second Kate liked it rough?

“I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking but it’s usually subtext.”  Oh, this show’s writing gets me.

The cinematography of the show is never more excellently exhibited in my opinion than Sherlock and Irene talking about the hiker’s death.  

“Amazing how fire exposes our priorities.”  This is the episode that actually features that quote and is immediately displayed by Irene looking to her safe when she hears the fire alarm.  And when the American agent holds the gun to John’s head.

“Really hope you don’t have a baby in here.”  One of the most underrated quotes of the show.  Oh, Sherlock taking the gun and flipping it about like a cowboy. *swoon* So hot.

Sherlock and John’s immediate reaction to Mycroft insulting Mrs. Hudson is so sweet.  She’s talking about the importance of family because she thinks of the boys as family and they get so upset with Mycroft because they think the same of her.

The Christmas scene is an amazing example of how great Molly is.  She cares to know about people and makes an effort to ask about them.  She asks Mrs. Hudson about her hip, Lestrade about his plans to go to Dorset with his wife, and John about him visiting his sister.  She cares and she shows it.  And then Sherlock mocks her, noting the pretty red present and how it matches her lipstick.  Which is a correlating symbol to Irene Adler who does the same.  The difference between the two is that Irene just likes to play games and Molly is straightforward instead.  In the end, who does Sherlock reach out to for help?  The one who cares and is always honest: Molly.

“We all do silly things.” “Yes, they do don’t they.”  This exchange between Molly and Sherlock is interesting because Molly is referring that all people do silly things when they like someone.  But Sherlock is specifically referring to women doing silly things.

“I make my way in the world. I misbehave.”  I like this quote.

“But initially he wanted to be a pirate.” OMG Benedict as a pirate. This needs to happen because sweet lord that would be amazing.

The Hounds of Baskerville (canon: title from the Hound of Baskerville, several bits from other stories)

If there was a place where something traumatic had happened to you as a child, why would you continue going back there?  The road where my mom and I had our serious car accident is something I had to pass repeatedly and it took me ages to be ok being on the road and then to be ok driving on the road.  And the only reason I had to was that it was a main road by my house.  But this spot is secluded, so why keep going back?  You can face your fears without having to return to the place your dad was murdered.

Why the hell did Sherlock need to harpoon a pig?  I need answers!

Sherlock says please, which is hilarious because he doesn’t really mean it.  He just wants a damn cigarettes.

“You’re just showing off.” “Of course, I am.  I’m a show off, that’s what we do.”  At least he is honest about his like of bragging about his skills.

Sherlock inhaling the cigarette smoke.  One of the most awkward human interactions ever.  But so damn funny.

“I’ve got Bluebell, John.  The case of the missing glow in the dark rabbit!”

The talk with the guy Fletcher is an amazing example of John and Sherlock’s relationship give and take.  Sherlock is making it up on the fly that he and John have a bet going about the “demon hound.”  John walks up in the middle of the comment and knows nothing about it but immediately plays along and says that the guys inside said Fletcher could verify the hound existed.  He just played into Sherlock’s plan immediately.

John’s sassy comment about breaking into the military base gets me every time.  Also, “Mycroft’s name literally opens doors.”  I want to know how important he really is to the government.  What position does he have?  I need answers!  John pulling rank is super sassy as well.  Lots of John sass in this episode.  I LOVE IT.  “Did we just break into a military base to investigate a rabbit?”

“I could tell you that, but then of course I’d have to kill you.” “That would be tremendously ambitious of you.”  Foreshadowing much? Also, it was tremendously ambitious of Moriarty and look where that got him?

If this is what Sherlock gets when he believes impossible things happen or reason cannot be had or experiences doubt, then John better hope this shit never happens again.  Because he gets even worse than his own normal self.  Dear god, if they ever foray into Sherlock’s written history of drug abuse, Watson is in for quite an experience.

And Watson gets cockblocked.  Poor sod.

You can tell for a split second that Lestrade is hurt that Sherlock never bothered to learn his first name.  Also, I’ve always found the name Greg really hot. Just an fyi for the readers. For a split second if you freeze frame on Lestrade’s hand, you can see a tan line where his wedding ring used to be.  In the last episode, he said he and the wife were back together and Sherlock then states that she’s sleeping with someone else.  The details in the show are so phenomenal.

Cup of coffee.  John thinks Sherlock is apologizing.  Sherlock is attempting to drug him.  So many laughs.  And Sherlock knows how to play it so John will have more of the coffee, and hopefully more of the drugs.

Tovey’s portrayal of Henry is so fantastic.  He captures the essence of what is it to be someone afraid of what is inside their own head as well as what is out in the world.  He handles being awake slightly better but the sleep deprivation and any time he closes his eyes, he is being constantly haunted.  Brilliant job.

When Sherlock says he has to go to his mind palace, you see a split second of a look on John’s face that is the equivalent of, “Oh god, this again.”

The cinematography of this show is fantastic and I could list so many moments.  But in this episode specifically, when Sherlock is researching HOUND.  The screen is black and white reflected on his face and his blue eyes are absolutely sparkling. So gorgeous.  And I’m not just talking about the cinematography ;)

Based on what Henry saw, I’m surprised his brain associated to dog and not alien.  Frankly, I think gas masks look more like aliens than dogs. “Are you my mummy?”  Oh wait, wrong show.

The Moriarty face swap is again, a brilliant moment of cinematography.

John has such a “Like a boss” moment killing the dog.  Lestrade looks panicked.  John just gets that shit done.

The Reichenbach Fall (canon: climatic scene taken from the Final Problem)
I’ve bragged about Benedict’s talent a lot, which can probably make people believe I don’t think as much about Martin.  The beginning of this episode portrays the brilliancy of his acting.  His emotional response to his therapist saying Sherlock, his best friend, is dead chokes me up every time I watch it.  You forget he’s an actor and think he’s just a guy in mourning.  Beautiful.

When Lestrade gives Sherlock the hat, Lestrade is seeing it as a playful gesture, but Anderson and Donovan are in the back snickering.  Notice neither of them says much about Sherlock find one of the most wanted criminals.  How were you guys doing before him? Yeah, I thought as much….

“Some sort of death frisbee.” This show has some great one-liners that are hidden.

John being upset about Sherlock’s role in the media.  Sherlock states that he doesn’t understand why John cares.  Because he cares about you, you idiot.  A lovely nod to the fact that Sherlock does not get people.

Moriarty responds “No rush.” when the cops get there.  Because he’s responding to his message he left about getting Sherlock.  Genius.  That entire scene is beautifully done by Andrew Scott.

Awesome use of the song Sinnerman by Nina Simone.

“Let’s give smartass a wide berth.” “I’ll just be myself.” “Are you listening to me?” Bahaha.

Sherlock with the journalist and court reminds me of Mean Girls.  Who has felt personally victimized by Sherlock Holmes?  And Moriarty thinks it’s adorably funny.

Mortal enemy is found not guilty of his crimes and goes free to get Sherlock.  Make tea for him.  How very British.

“Do you have anything you’d like to share with me?” “Haha, I’m moving.” Oh sassy John. I love you.

Mycroft really pisses me off in this episode.  He asks John to look after his brother, not because he can’t but because he won’t.  Mycroft claims he cares, but sometimes I wonder if he actually gives a damn about his brother.

I love Molly. Her speech to Sherlock gets me in the feels because Sherlock puts on a face for a John, but he doesn’t care enough about Molly to do it around her, which is why she notices when he looks sad when John isn’t watching.  She says she doesn’t count.  And at that moment to Sherlock, she doesn’t.  Because he’s always treated her that way.  He uses her to get what he wants or when it is convenient to him.  And she always does whatever he asks.  At first it seems like she only does it because she has a crush on him, but then we really see it is because she cares for him.  The three snipers put in place later on by Moriarty don’t target her because Moriarty saw the interaction between Molly and Sherlock in the Great Game.  He knows Sherlock didn’t pay her any attention.  Sherlock later says that she does count and that she’s always counted, but it is this interaction that forces him to realize how poorly he treats her and that fact that she always comes through for him.  That’s why he can trust her.  

“The professionals are finished if the amateurs want to go in and have their turn.”  Yeah ok Donovan, how did you find the kids?  Can someone smack her?  Please!? I can’t freaking stand her smug bullshit.  She knows Sherlock is better than her.  She should just admit it and move on.

So I’ve heard a theory about the fall.  I shall call it Doppelganger Theory.  When they go in to talk to the little girl, she starts screaming her head off.  The only reason she would do this is if one or both of them resembled someone she came into contact with when she was taken.  There is a moment where we see the kidnapper heading into the school.  He has light, short cropped hair, and his height and build resemble John.  Later, one of the snipers has dark, curly hair with pronounced cheekbones and seems tall, which resembles Sherlock.  Boom!  Another effort by Moriarty to ruin Sherlock.

Dear Donovan and Anderson, if you don’t like Sherlock solving your crimes, get smarter and do it yourself, you tosspots.  Love, the Sherlock fandom

As soon as Sherlock sees Lestrade, he knows the doubt is placed.  He asks, “The scream?” And the first thing after is that he bets it was Donovan.  Because he knows her dislike for him.  It’s easy to plant doubt when someone already has intense dislike for someone else.

Sherlock also immediately believes John has doubt too, which is so hurtful because John never for a moment believed Sherlock wasn’t real.  John knows evil, he went to war.  He knows Moriarty is the real thing.  

GODDAMN IT DONOVAN! YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH.  She’s all smug because she’s been “right all along” that Sherlock would do something like this.  EXCEPT YOU HAVE NO PROOF YOU IDIOT.  They have no proof that Sherlock actually did anything except a scream from a little girl who was in shock. If anyone can tell, I really fucking can’t stand her.  Which I guess proves what a great actress she is.

John punches the chief superintendent for saying Sherlock is a weirdo. And Sherlock smirks with pride when John joins him.  You can’t really call their relationship a bromance, because they don’t have that level of affection that you see in say JD and Terk’s relationship on Scrubs (which is literally the best bromance ever).  But that is a moment where you can see Sherlock actually proud of John. It’s adorable. And then Sherlock points a gun at John’s head. What are best friends for?

Second theory I’ve heard about Sherlock is that Richard Brook was really an actor hired by the real Moriarty to be Moriarty.  And I feel like this could have actually worked as plot.  Except one moment at Kitty’s flat when Moriarty smiles at Sherlock between his hands. I really hope Kitty is completed ruined once everything comes out.

Sherlock figures out that Moriarty will make Sherlock die to complete the lie.  And that’s why Sherlock immediately goes to Molly for help.

I love that John figures out that Mycroft is the one who gave up all this information about Sherlock.  And John is pissed as hell.  Because even if they have a troubled relationship, Mycroft gave his own brother up.  That’s douchy as hell.  It actually really pisses me off and I hope John wreaks havoc on Mycroft while Sherlock is “dead.”

“She’s dying, you machine.”  So it looks like John had another row with a machine.

Richard Brook.  In German is Reichenbach.

Also another theory that Sherlock was recording the interaction with Moriarty which is why he threw the phone on the roof and not having it fall with him because it might break.

“Your only three friends in the world will die.”  Because Moriarty doesn’t think of Molly.

Moffat was going on about how Sherlock did something uncharacteristic.  I think it’s that he talked on the phone with John versus texting him.  Sherlock also tells John not to take his eyes off him and then he loses eye contact when a biker hits him.  There was something at work here from Sherlock.  I just feel it…

Another, and so far my favorite theory of how Sherlock survived the fall: his cheekbones broke the sidewalk and the concrete is bleeding.

Sherlock says he’s not a hero.  But isn’t the definition of hero someone who sacrifices himself or herself to save others?

Now that I’ve gone through everything, I can’t wait to read the stories.  I know I’ll be writing another blog about which Sherlock stories I want to be included on the show.  But anyway, I’m in love.  With the show, with the actors, with the writing.  Pretty much everything.  Also I’ve found my future husband, Benedict Cumberbatch :)

No comments: