Sherlock goes from interest to obsession with the cliffhanger from hell

SPOILERY SPOILERS THAT WILL SPOIL EVERYTHING.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Since I could go on and on about Sherlock at this point, I’ve decided the best way to handle the newly-attained crushing obsession I have is to limit this discussion to season two as a whole, and when it airs in North America in the summer, I’ll recap each episode so we can hash over every tiny detail and electrically hug one another to get through what could be a very long wait for season 3. In the meantime, though, we have plenty to talk about. For instance, this:

Mycroft is such an asshole

In the lore of Sherlock Holmes, older brother Mycroft is even more brilliant than Sherlock but he doesn’t like “legwork” (which he acknowledged in “The Great Game” with the line, “It involves legwork”). Arthur Conan Doyle never goes in depth about the Holmes boys’ childhood and through the various iterations of Sherlock Holmes over the years, Mycroft, like Lestrade, is often re-imagined since his original character is merely sketched in. Personally, the television Mycroft is my favorite. Played by series co-creator Mark Gatiss, he’s dapper and posh and a huge snob and the most condescending bastard you’ll meet this side of Sherlock himself. I also like that they’ve made him a grey eminence in the British government—of course Mycroft would be a behind-the-scenes king maker. When he was first introduced, I thought yes, this is PRECISELY what a modern-day Mycroft would be doing.

But god, do we hate Mycroft! I’ve seen some people bitching about his shocking error in telling Moriarty Sherlock’s actual history, saying it was out of character, but if you think about it, it actually makes sense. Mycroft is kinda sorta likeable at times, such as when he conspires with Watson to take care of Sherlock after Irene Adler’s “death”, but on the whole, I don’t like him. Further, I don’t think we’re supposed to like him all that much. Sherlock is a grown man—in his THIRTIES—who is capable of taking care of himself (despite constantly making Watson and Mrs. Hudson do minor tasks for him—that’s just laziness). Yet Mycroft consistently talks down to Sherlock, condescends to him, belittles his efforts solving crimes, many of which are police cases, and tries to manage Sherlock’s life in a way that suggests Mycroft doesn’t think much of his brother’s decisions.

We get two prime examples of just how poorly Mycroft rates Sherlock in the season two opener, “A Scandal in Belgravia”. Yes, he and his palace flunkies call Sherlock to help with Irene Adler, but I got the feeling that Mycroft only did that because he didn’t want to involve any official personnel in the delicate matter of a royal family member caught in a sex scandal (who do you suppose they were alluding to?), or call the police for the same reason. Mycroft wanted to keep the Adler Situation in house, so to speak, but couldn’t actually use anyone from his house. So he calls Sherlock. But as the situation spirals out of control, he ends up apologizing to Sherlock for putting him in the way of Adler, having underestimated the effect a sexy dominatrix would have on his asexual brother.

And that’s the second point when we see Mycroft’s disparaging treatment of Sherlock. At the beginning of the episode Sherlock says, “Sex doesn’t intimidate me,” and Mycroft responds, “How would you know?” Next time you watch this episode, pause on Sherlock’s face. He isn’t mad at Mycroft for saying that, he’s HURT. It’s a split-second reaction from Benedict Cumberbatch (who, it cannot be said enough, is not only one of the best actors out there, but is PHENOMENAL as Sherlock) and it’s clearly a look of deep hurt and mortification, that Mycroft would make such a casual, mean-spirited remark about something so private to Sherlock. Although, it did solve the mystery of Sherlock’s sexuality. He’s a virgin! Which is kind of funny, admit it. The way Cumberbatch plays Sherlock, it easily could have gone the other way and he’d be a closet sex freak. But the virgin route allows for Sherlock to be a bit vulnerable. He can say it doesn’t intimidate him, but obviously something about sex scares him or he wouldn’t have blocked it out of his life entirely (readers of the ACD books probably have an inkling as to why Sherlock would choose not to have sex). Also, it gave us this:

Since Mycroft has already underestimated Sherlock and the kind of people that are drawn to him once with the Adler Situation, should it really be such a surprise that he’d underestimate Moriarty, too? Mycroft doesn’t take Sherlock seriously, so why should he take the obvious nutter who’s fixated on him seriously? He doesn’t, not really, which is why he spills his guts about Sherlock, giving Moriarty all the ammunition he’ll need to take him down. Watson’s disbelief at this betrayal is palpable (and beautifully acted by Martin Freeman) but there’s also an edge of frustrated anger, a subtext of, why don’t you understand how serious this all is. One thing I’m really looking forward to in season 3 is how Mycroft and Sherlock’s relationship changes in the wake of Mycroft’s staggering stupidity.

Moriarty’s plan is totally full of holes

“Unhinged” is not how Moriarty is usually described. But as written for the 21st century and as played by Andrew Scott, Moriarty is the Joker to Sherlock’s Batman. He’s the kind of person who just wants to watch the world burn. Color me shocked that there are people—and not an insignificant number of them—who don’t like the Moriarty in Sherlock. At first, I admit, I didn’t really understand the need for such a fey, loony take on Moriarty. But as “The Reichenbach Fall” played out, it became clear that Moriarty had to be nuts. Crazy like a fox, certainly, but also willing to blow his brains out in order to best Sherlock. He has to be willing to go to those lengths and only a crazy person could go there. Therefore, Moriarty + Batshit Insane = Perfectly Acceptable.

Obviously once the shock wore off from the ending of the final episode, “The Reichenbach Fall”, I began to think over how Sherlock’s life unraveled at the hands of Moriarty and I quickly realized that Moriarty’s entire plot was full of huge, gaping holes. I’m sure you did, too. There are big logic gaps, not the least of which is: If Richard Brook was a television presenter, why didn’t anyone recognize him at his trial? Further, since Sherlock’s motives are now in question, at some point Scotland Yard will have to review all the cases he worked on and as they clear the cases, surely someone would say, “Hey, maybe Sherlock wasn’t full of shit after all.” And let’s not forget about Moriarty’s body on the same rooftop from which Sherlock jumped. Eventually someone’s going to find it and wonder what the hell happened. In fact, the more you think over Moriarty’s plan, the more you realize it’s a house of cards. It doesn’t hold up at all.

But then, it doesn’t have to. Moriarty’s goal wasn’t just the destruction of Sherlock’s reputation; it was to get Sherlock to jump off that rooftop. By destroying his reputation, he makes the fact of Sherlock’s suicide believable. Character assassination was the means, not the end. But that’s what made Moriarty’s plan so brilliant. It didn’t have to hold together, it only had to work. And it did work, because Sherlock’s besetting sin is vanity and essentially Moriarty got to him by turning his vanity against him. It works really well in the short term but with even a minimal-effort second look it falls apart quickly. I’ve seen some people dismiss this as poor plotting but I think they’re missing the elegance of Moriarty’s thinking. How much worse will those who turned against Sherlock feel when they realize they fell for a really stupid story? Moriarty didn’t just succeed in getting rid of Sherlock—he left those who knew him with a nasty mix of guilt and grief as a bonus. And yes, I think Moriarty is dead for realsies. He dies in the ACD stories and Moffat and Gatiss are pretty loyal to that framework. Also, if you look, you can see a bit of brain matter in the blood pool. Gross, but effective.

How did he DO that

So who else was a crying mess at the end of “The Reichenbach Fall”? Having read the ACD stories, when I saw the title of the episode I knew something like that was coming, but I still wasn’t ready for the phone call between Sherlock and Watson, or Watson’s speech at Sherlock’s grave. And then that final shot of Sherlock—I literally gasped and said “what the fuck” out loud. And then I promptly began trawling the internets for theories and speculation on just how Sherlock faked his death. Theories range from the simple—he landed in the laundry truck—to the complex—there’s a clone! I’m afraid to speculate fully because we’ve been left with the challenge of trying to out-guess Sherlock Holmes and I mean, COME ON.

I do think that the solution to Sherlock’s riddle is both simpler and more complex than any theory I’ve heard so far. I definitely think that truck was involved, and the guy who knocked down Watson clearly did that on purpose, to delay him. Sherlock was adamant that Watson stay in a particular place to watch him jump, that’s going to matter. I don’t think Mycroft was in on it, though. No real reason, except he’s a giant asshole who sold out his brother. I think Molly is the only person who knows the truth about what Sherlock did. And no, I don’t think there was ever any kind of body switch. Sherlock jumped, Sherlock fell, Sherlock landed, Sherlock was on the stretcher. The only question is how did he not die?

The thing I can’t get over is why he told Watson he’d been faking all along on the phone at the end. What point did that serve? And he made sure to toss the phone on the roof before he jumped. To preserve it? THIS IS THE CLIFFHANGER FROM HELL. And what did Molly do? (OMG Molly. How much do we love her?! I wanted to punch Sherlock in the face in “Scandal” when he humiliated Molly at the Christmas party, but he made up for that and every other slight he’s dealt her when he turned to her for help.) The obvious answer is that she faked a death certificate for him and helped him out of the hospital, but she’s the only person he trusted to know what he was doing before he went to the roof to meet Moriarty. The secrets Molly must be keeping…

We never see Molly after that, which I put down to it being too revealing of Sherlock’s plan, but we also never saw Lestrade, except for a brief glimpse from the assassin’s point of view. His faith in Sherlock was badly shaken but ultimately, even though he had to turn him in, Lestrade still believed in Sherlock. And it was kind of sweet, in a backwards way, that Moriarty identified Lestrade as a friend of Sherlock’s. Their relationship definitely warmed up throughout season two, and Lestrade got one of the best lines in the series: “That fits with his…Asperger’s?” Makes me wonder how much Lestrade will have to do with restoring Sherlock’s reputation. Also makes me wonder if the phone wasn’t left more for Lestrade than for Watson. I can’t let the phone go—he threw it so deliberately. And WHY did he lie to Watson at the end? That bugs me more than thinking about how he survived the fall.

And now we wait

Ugh. Season three is at least a year away, the emphasis on “at least”. Cumberbatch and Freeman are both extremely busy and shooting season two was difficult enough, sandwiched in between filming periods for The Hobbit. They did film some scenes while working on “Reichenbach”, though, which was probably done for continuity’s sake (Sherlock’s reveal, perhaps?). So I suspect season three will open as two did, by picking immediately where we left off then skipping ahead in time. But the wait. Dear lord, THE WAIT. Nothing to do but stand around, speculating. And waiting.

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44 thoughts on “Sherlock goes from interest to obsession with the cliffhanger from hell

  1. Sarah

    Awesome post! Sherlock is just too much. I just love it so much and can’t stop fangirling all over it and telling everyone I know to watch it. I’m so glad that I’m not alone in my obsession.

    This is a little off topic, but it’s not really because it’s about the Cumberbatch and he is Sherlock. I was discussing with some friends the other day that there hasn’t been a really great chick flick in a very long time [I said since Love, Actually, others said since the first Bridget, some said Mean Girls]. I honestly think that the next great chick flick should star Benedict Cumberbatch [Modern retelling of a classic?]. Imagine how great he could be with his pompousness and his cheekbones and his perfect Britishness. It would be kind of like the first time you saw Colin Firth as Mr./Mark Darcy and just fell in love with him. I don’t know if Cumberbatch is interested in doing something light and romantic, but I sure hope so because I’m squeeing just thinking about it.

    Sorry for the bit of a rant, I’m just quite hung up on this idea.

  2. Mia

    My obsession with this show is reaching unhealthy levels. Downton series 2 let me down a bit (loved the Christmas special) but Sherlock has been stunning.

    Yeah, I have to say though I am not so sure he “died” a virgin…it’s a long trip out of Pakistan…I’m just saying.

    Those last minutes proved that these two actors are something special, apart or together. I cannot remember the last time a TV show drew legitimate, well-earned tears from me.

  3. …Just wanted to say thank you for the great post, and for taking an interest in Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch; to me you were the first blogger to talk about Cumberbatch’s awesomeness and I can’t thank you enough for it…and who was it that first started to use the term “Cumber*itches”, you or Lainey? well, I am one now and trying to convert everyone I know…

  4. Arianna McGregor

    That was amazing! I also screamed WHAT THE FUCK at the end of this episode.

    I’m also obsessed with why he told Watson he was a fraud. Was it so the shooters would completely and totally believe the situation enough to lower their rifles? Or is it something with a much longer, larger pay off? Something that in order for it to come to fruition, Watson must believe he is (was) a fraud or at least someone who was listening in to the conversation must believe completely that he is (was) a fraud?

    I also agree – Molly is the key to this. I just CAN’T see how he did it? And why wasn’t his face in the least bit damaged in that final shot? He looked totally ok? His head didn’t hit the pavement, he landed with his head on his arm.

    Oh man, I am going to have to go back and scrutinize this. Like, fine tooth comb styles.

    Damn British TV – doubled edged. Soooooo gooooood, and then we have to wait sooooooooo looooooooong. But the quality is there, and is such that we don’t forget about the show in the long wait, like other more disposable shows.

    YAASSS!!!

  5. josephine

    Thanks for the great post! I saw this post last week and forced myself to look away until I’d seen “The Reichenbach Fall.” I was actually a little mad that Molly kept crushing on Sherlock after he humiliated her at the Christmas party (that peck on the cheek did not make up for it!), but now I’m glad that she stayed friendly with him. And I totally agree about Cumberbatch. I love all the subtle things he does that communicate so much backstory. And it was great seeing the lady from IT Crowd as the sleazy journalist. She’s so talented. I hope we can see more of her.

  6. Nikki

    I am obsessed with season 2. All the episodes have been great, especially the finale. I have watched it twice already and both times, I have absolutely no idea of the HOW?????? Aside from Molly being involved, I have not a damn clue.

    Moriarty’s plan is brilliant but problematic. It really irks me that everyone was willing to believe the worst about Sherlock. I mean, even if you believe Moriarty’s ruse, that cannot account for all the cases he has solved. The sheer number of them would indicate that they couldn’t all be fraudulent. And also, the detectives have seen his brilliance at work, unless being able to read everything about someone’s life the mere instant you meet them is a cheap parlour trick that requires no talent for deduction.

    As to his fake confession to John, I don’t know why. I suspect that his phone call was being monitored by one of Moriarty’s men and he wanted to appear to be in compliance with Moriarty’s demands.

    What I am really dying to see is Sherlock’s next interaction with Mycroft. Did Mycroft help him? What does Mycroft know?????

    One final thought, BC is a man made to wear a well cut suit. I cannot picture him in jeans. To me, he is all British snobbery and excellent tailoring…

    1. At this point, my ultimate Cumberbatch fantasy is just for him to look down his nose at me and be like, “Please. No.” BECAUSE NONE OF US ARE GOOD ENOUGH.

      And yes, I am also dying to see his first interaction with Mycroft, too. And Lestrade. And WATSON. Just dying for season 3 in general.

    2. Eliana

      I must be ‘incredibly girly’ at this point and disagree to the statement that Benedict Cumberbatch only looks good in a suit. Though I confess him in jeans is a near unimaginable occurrence I believe he’s one of these rare men (even for televisions stars of today) who will un-doubtbly look good in anything, including nothing but a sheet! 😉

      1. Eliana

        @trishgrant – Thank you for that sounds ‘eyeCandy-lishes’ ok now I think that is the worst attempt to invent a word ever lol thanks for the tip

  7. jillian

    saw a “moriarty was real” post-it stuck to the wall at a skytrain station the other day in vancouver (skytrain, i’m sure, serving only to further your belief that canada is not a real country). recognizing it was the nerdiest i have ever felt taking public transit.

    i just sat on my sofa, staring at the screen when “the reichenbach fall” ended. i couldn’t even scream wtf. the wait between season 1 and season 2 was bad enough. this one is going to require a lot of heavy drinking to pass the time.

    1. I’m equally obsessed with the “I Believe” poster campaign that’s happening. It seems largely contained to the UK/Europe right now, but I wonder how it will spread after season 2 airs in North America in May.

      I kind of wonder if anyone from the production has been out in London shooting B roll, especially at places like that school those students plastered in Sherlock/Moriarty posters. It’d be interesting to see if any of this pops up in season 3.

    2. Eliana

      Addictive substances to get by? Mmm how Sherlock 🙂 I concede that’s a brilliant example of how tormented we all are in wait for the 3rd Series. It’s difficult to accept that the wait for it in my country is longer than that of the UK. We are still to receive Series 2. Perhaps this makes me ineligible to speculate on this site but from what I’ve read and seen in fragments it is apparent I am in for one tearful, shocking series to see and a decidedly painful wait for the third Series.

  8. MICHELE

    I do find it a little strange that people always seem to attack Mycroft about how he treats Sherlock, but no one seems to take issue with how Sherlock treats Mycroft. I have yet to see one instance of Sherlock having any true concern or for that matter, positive feelings towards his brother at all. OTOH, I have at least witnessed that Mycroft does care for his brother. I mean, you mention what Mycroft says to Sherlock, but you completely leave out the point that Sherlock shows up in nothing but a SHEET. Not caring if he embarrasses his brother. So who’s the one with the issues in this brotherly relationship, really? I’d say it’s both of them, but I’d also say Mycroft has put up with a lot more crap from Sherlock, than Sherlock has put up with from him. You make a lot of assumptions-assuming that Mycroft didn’t choose Sherlock to handle the case in ASiB, even though he says he needed someone he could trust. The events of the story play out as Mycroft is telling the truth. This explains why he IS so distraught later-because he did trust his brother, and his brother failed him. As far as Moriarty and what Mycroft knew and what he failed to do or was TOLD not to do by Sherlock(wait and see!), I think you are going to be in for a surprise or two. As for who I like better, I started watching the show for Sherlock. But Mycroft quickly became my favorite. And he can tell that old biddy Mrs.Hudson to shut it, any time he wants !

    1. MICHELE

      Let me correct that: some people DO take issue with how Sherlock treats Mycroft. So it’s not that no one notices it, just few people speak up about it.

    2. You bring up some really good points about Mycroft, and you’ve just given me a reason to go back an watch Scandal, AGAIN, so thanks for that.

      What I take from the relationship is that Sherlock is old enough to take care of himself yet Mycroft consistently tries to manage his life. Some of that might be older sibling-itis, but it comes across to me as a pretty obnoxious degree of condescension. So I take Sherlock in the sheet–and a lot of his behavior, in fact–as living *down* to Mycroft’s expectations. I actually thought at the end of Scandal they dealt with each other honestly and in a forthright way, which I doubt they’d really done before. They’d each seen the other make a major error in judgment, and they’d each worked to fix it.

      Also, the brothers’ backstory is fairly thin in the ACD stories but there’s enough to get that Mycroft blames Sherlock for what happened with their parents and that’s not really fair of him (we get a taste of that in Study in Pink). So that’s always in the back of my mind, too, that Mycroft is harboring a lot of resentment and bitterness.

      Now, off to watch Scandal…yet again…

      1. MICHELE

        Warning: long post ahead, I just have so much to say on the subject: What matters to me is that Sherlock eggs the situation with his brother on. The disrespect and condescension is mutual. i feel Sherlock is way more bitter towards Mycroft. I don’t think it’s ever mentioned in ACD canon at all, they got along in ACD universe. I do get the impression that Mycroft has tried to apologize and make it up to Sherlock, whatever he did or his part in it all. That is not to say he isn’t at least half at fault. He is, obviously. But I think Sherlock is the more immature of the two, and he is the one holding the biggest grudge. My impressions are that Mycroft has tried to hold out an olive branch and Sherlock has rejected him to the point where he doesn’t know what to do. I can’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Sherlock when Mycroft talks down to him or about him, when Sherlock is so falt out rude to Mycroft ALL THE TIME. Sherlock makes a remark about Mycroft being a “queen” (though I don’t think Mycroft heard it) and I’m supposed to care that Mycroft cuts down Sherlock? Uh, no. Not happening. They are both hurtful to each other. And therefore I can’t hate one of them for hurting the other, because I’d have to hate both of them. And I LOVE both of them (and I don’t think we are supposed to dislike Mycroft).
        Mycroft just doesn’t have the “John” buffer-but other than that, he and Sherlock are not that different. They are both rude, condescending jerks. Sherlock may be more lovalbe to some, but that’s because we get more of his POV and we understand his motivations because they are shown/explained to us. Mycroft is more a minor character, and we don’t get inside his mind or heart or life the way we do Sherlock’s. It is kind of an unfair comparison IMO. Basically what I see when I see Mycroft, I DO see the love, however dysfunctional it is, that he has for his brother. It doesn’t excuse his actions, but that’s what makes the characters and their relationshipo interesting. I am still waiting, however, for any hint that Sherlock regards his brother with anything other than contempt. Which is why, in a contest of who I feel the most sorry for in that relationship, it ain’t Sherlock.Regardless, I do still find the Sherlock and Mycroft dynamic to be the main reason I am invested in the show. It is not warm and fuzzzy, but for me it is the most interesting of Sherlock’s relationships, because it has somewhere to go. It can get better or worse. I vote for better. I’d like nothing more than to see them make amends-but to keep the snarky edge. I have no doubt they’ve BOTH hurt each other, as they continue to hurt EACH OTHER-and I’d like to see some measure of reconciliation before the series ends. I’d love to believe Sherlock gives a crap about his brother, but as it stands right now, I don’t believe it. At all.

    3. Eliana

      Oh yay a debatable discussion, I was enthralled to read your post. Its true many of us can cast stones before we know the depth of the water and our distaste for Mycroft can be without cause. I believe there is a back story there that we may never know that may give cause to Sherlock’s treatment of his brother. Weather this is in fact is justifiable simply remains a matter of opinion. Personally I have had firsthand account of sibling rivalry of such sorts and perhaps remain bias in my defence of Sherlock. Then again it can also be contributed to my lack of first-hand knowledge of the 2nd series as I am yet to see it in full but I love your gumption to step up and disagree with everyone else. It’s so often I see in fan-based debates the pandering many feel forced into, love for the hero of a show can sometimes overshadow. I confess I’m guilty of this. And yep I said it, I consider Sherlock a Hero. He might not consider himself one but don’t you all think his willingness to die to protect his friends is a notable cause to earn the rights of a Hero? Not to mention all the other things he has done for others even through his vain, arrogant self-assurance of his talents? And I most strongly disagree with the Mrs Hudson thing, no one deserves to be told to shut up so callously for simply chattin’ too much. That much Is unfair.

      1. Michele

        Except she wasn’t simply “chattin too much”. She has no idea who Mycroft is. She doesn’t know what he does, probably couldn’t even tell what he does for a living. And she certainly has no idea what Mycroft has done over the years to keep Sherlock safe when there was NO ONE else. So yeah, she needs to keep her old biddy mouth shut and talk about something she knows. There is a REASON, mind you, that while Sherlock gripes at Mycroft for yelling at her, (and no, he shouldn’t have raised his voice to her), Sherlock himself tells her the same thing: to SHUT it. In other words, speak about what you know. And what you don’t know about, KEEP QUIET.

    4. Eliana

      I agree the blatant disregard both Mycroft and Sherlock have for each other is a little disconcerting but who can say who was first at fault in this so obvious rift between them? That said too I think it’s more a case of character friction than actual past differences. Though Sherlock and Mycroft at times share an identical sense of abilities and character they are in many more ways than they are alike, they ARE different.

  9. Eliana

    What a wonderfully worded article. I love the dedicated love of the show that you express however I’m afraid I’m going to have to be the negative speaker on just one point.
    The photo you have attached of Sherlock’s gravestone with the photoshoped words ‘died a virgin’ I find to be irrelevant and insulting. What difference does it make? To either the story or his character.
    Conjoined to that POV is my instant opinion of Mycroft as a human being and as a brother. His callous and uncalled for insult to Sherlock I find far more inconceivable than I do his betrayal. As honestly it was inevitable really just look at the type man he is. His belittling of his brothers decidedly ‘psychotic fan-nuttier’ Moriarty is well within character in my opinion as to him nothing in his brother’s life could be more than the pathetic imaginings of an overactive childish mind. But to blatantly insult Sherlock on such a deeply personal matter was just below even someone like him. To be logical for a moment, honestly what the hell has it got to do with Mycroft in the first place?
    I apologies for my upset and annoyance but when I read that part I felt obliged to go to battle on Sherlock’s behalf. Seriously, what has it got to do with Mycroft on what Sherlock’s sexual status is any way? Things like that ought not be speculated upon by family members. Especially one’s as malfeasance and callous as the likes of Mycroft.
    That said, I was delighted to stumble upon your article it was really interesting to read and to find that I am not alone in my deeply thought-out theories on Sherlock’s Suicide. To be sure Series 3 will be a long agonizing wait indeed. Does anyone else agree that they should extend the amount of episodes in each series as this truly is a fantastic show. As ingenious and stunningly baffling as the character Sherlock himself.
    And as for a romantic movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, mmm what can I say to that other than….’hell yeah!’ what a brilliant idea.

    1. Cathy

      Yes, Mycroft’s comment to Sherlock was snide, but who fired the first shot?

      John: Are we here to see the Queen?
      (Mycroft enters)
      Sherlock: Oh, apparently yes.

      To use your own phrase, what has it got to do with Sherlock on what Mycroft’s sexuality is any way? I’ve found myself defending Mycroft left, right and centre recently, because I’ve encountered so much hatred for his character that I think is unjustified. He cares deeply for his brother, that much is obvious, but in return receives nothing but contempt and immaturity. If Sherlock insists on acting like a child then of course Mycroft is going to treat him like one.

      1. I don’t hate Mycroft, but everyone’s defense of him has definitely made me take a second look. I’m revising my opinion upwards, for sure. We’ll be getting into Mycroft closer to the North American premiere of Sherlock s.2.

  10. I think Moriarty died BUT its James Moriarty’s brother. The reason – Moffat and Gatiss take great delight in highlighting Conan Doyle’s mistakes. They mentioned that Doyle called James Moriarty’s brother James !! a mistake on his part but one that they like. I think the man that died on the roof and the one we saw in series 1 and 2 was the insane brother and not the criminal mastermind running everything. Think about it – someone that unhinged would not be able to be that successful a criminal.

    1. Michele

      There were actually, I believe, three brothers in the canon, all named James. I don’t think it was a mistake on ACD’s part. It seemed he purposely gave them all the same first name. I have witnessed that in my line of work, more times than I can count. Several children, all with the same first name. Very strange, but it happens.

    1. When the series airs in May in North America, I’ll recap each episode and we can get into the nitty-gritty. I love all the various POVs and ideas you’re all bringing up though–gives me stuff to consider when I re-watch!

    2. Eliana

      @ Trishgrant – Not sure if you were referring to me or not I’m just learning this site, just in case. ‘I’m afraid I don’t like this portrayal of Adler, I found her to be incredibly sickening to watch the actress who I know well did a brilliant job in acting however I think the character it’s self is simply not my style. I was happy when she ‘Died’ and was only saddened for Sherlock’s sake but then to discover she was alive and her betrayal sorry not my cup of tea. Explosive first ep in series two though it was brilliantly preformed and written. The end where Sherlock saves her, I guess one good turn deserves another, for her saving him and Watson in the beginning. Though dose anyone suspect as I do that in order to gain said info from Moriarty that she was having ‘dinner’ with him at the time? It just sounded like it or perhaps that’s again just me. let me know what you think if you like, I’d love to hear other’s thoughts.

  11. Arianna McGregor

    OK I just watched it again and I don’t know if anyone else has commented on this – too lazy to read through every comment now – but when they wheeled his body away on the stretcher, they didn’t put it into the back of an ambulance or anything. THEY WHEELED IT INTO WHAT LOOKS LIKE AN ALLEY.

    Around a corner and into an alley, while looking back at Watson.

    That has to mean something, be something deliberate. Maybe THAT’s when the body switch happens? When he gets away and is replaced by the corpse that will double for him at the morgue when he’s autopsied and Molly fakes a death pronouncement.

    I still don’t know how he survived the fall. But seriously, what’s with the alley?

    1. Emster

      The meeting place was a hospital, hence the quick appearance of a bunch of doctors and a stretcher. The ER or morgue was probably around back.

  12. Jennifer

    I’d love to read your analysis of A Scandal in Bohemia just for kicks! Also what did you think was the thing that Sherlock did that was very out of character??

  13. anitae1

    …I can not wait for your review of each episode; just watched last episode of season 2 last night(via BBC Entertainment; I live in Mexico) and OMG; it was just brilliant, everything, the writing, the acting, everything; I was very touched by the fact that the 3 people that matter the most to Sherlock are Watson, Mrs Hudson, and Lestrade; kind of hoping Molly made that list; I think Sherlock was setting his plan in motion when he let Molly see him as “sad”, it was deliberate…and how fiercely he has defended Mrs Hudson!; so much to comment on…

  14. Pingback: Sherlock 2.3: The most ambitious 30 minutes on television « CineSnark

  15. Karen

    I think he threw Moriarty’s body over.

    The face/head was all bloody and Moriarty did shoot himself in the head.

    1. Lee

      Boo hoo. Pooor Sherlock. He’s never rude or mean to Mycroft. Never, ever ever. And mean old Mycroft is just mean, mean mean to Saint Sherlock.

      What.Freaking.Ever.

  16. gemma

    Your theories are rather ordinary. And your take on character motivation is uninspired. I didn’t get through the whole thing, but what I did read prompts the following comments (taking into consideration I have no idea what the writers will actually do in the 3rd series, but basing theories on what I think was suggested throughout the first 2 seasons, and what I would do with the characters):

    1) Just betcause Mycroft SAYS he betrayed Sherlock, doesn’t necessarily mean he DID. In the books, Mycroft is even more clever than Sherlock, and I don’t see their rivalry as being fueled by jealousy or envy at all. I don’t know what fuels it – need more data – but I don’t think it’s actually spite. From the first episode, Mycroft has been “concerned” about his brother. He protects him. He’s got a bloody security detail on him at all times. He checks out the background of his new roommate. He makes Watson stay with Sherlock to make sure he won’t do drugs. He tries to keep the supposed death of Irene Adler a secret from Sherlock because he knew it would derail him. It would be annoying to Sherlock to be so over-protected, but he’s Sherlock! Eccentric, do anything for a high, junkie, self-destructive, without a friend in the world before Watson. He’s a clear suicide threat. In fact, without Watson, I think that would be the most likely end to Sherlock. Mycroft’s goal is to protect his little brother from himself. Sherlock basically is an extremely intelligent child. On the other hand, Mycroft clearly has high regard for Sherlock’s talents – he wants him to make a name for himself, help him be the best he can be, is my impression. He hopes Watson will be the making of his brother. He calls him in whenever he needs legwork done on a case that he wouldn’t trust to his own men. Sure, he hands out the cutting insults every once in a while, but so does Sherlock. Sherlock makes fun of him for being fat on at least two occasions (although he’s never actually looked overweight to me, but that’s just to bring in parts of the books). They’re brothers! Brothers taunt each other! Come on. My final suggestion being, I think Sherlock and his brother were conspiring together behind the scenes against Moriarty for some time, and for some reason had to hide it from Watson. Would Mycroft really just read about Sherlock’s suicide in the paper and be like, oh that’s too bad, I wish I hadn’t betrayed him. No! He spends half his time protecting Sherlock! I don’t believe he’d betray him. He’s too clever to be used by Moriarty, and Sherlock’s words about not bothering with a family reconciliation while he’s on the run from the police with Watson seem a little too dismissive. After all, he did turn to “brother, dear” when he wanted into the Baskerville complex. He is not that estranged. Now that I think about it, I think that probably is what the brothers’ bad blood is about. Mycroft is driven to protect his brother, and Sherlock resents it.

    2) Your comments regarding Sherlock’s virginity don’t take into consideration that Sherlock is an EXTREMELY unique individual. Deep down, he obviously did have feelings for Irene. But his life is about winning the game, solving the puzzle, rising above the petty human drives. He rarely eats when working, he’s annoyed at what (drug-induced) fear does to him. He is all about the mind. He distrusts all irrational desires, which includes sex. Sex is extremely irrational, and like he says, he views love as a chemical defect which will ultimately make you lose. He can’t have emotion entering into the picture. He needs control. Why should he bother with it? Frankly, if they make him overtly UN-asexual, I’ll lose interest in the show. He would become just like any other person. Boring.

    3) As for the conclusion of S2E3, I’m not at all sure what the writers will do with it. My current theory, open to revision, is that Sherlock knew what he was doing when he got Moriarty to meet him on the roof. Why else choose the roof of Bart’s? My favoured scenario right now is that he’d intended all along to put Moriarty in a position where he would have to shoot himself. I think he MIGHT have known all along that there’s no way there could be such a magic computer code, and only needed to figure out what it was that Moriarty wanted him to THINK was the code. When he found it, he was ready to meet Moriarty on the roof to bring it all to a show-down. He definitely knew Moriarty would want to make him “fall” both literally and figuratively, and would try to make him jump once Sherlock told him the place where they’d solve the final problem. After the meeting with “Rich Brook” Sherlock was pacing and thinking and realized what Moriarty’s next move would be – to make him commit suicide in humiliation. He said to Watson that Moriarty only needed to do one more thing to complete his game. So he knew what was going to happen when he went up there. He didn’t let Watson come because he had to tell Molly in private what was going to go down.

    After Moriarty killed himself, Sherlock dressed the body in his own clothes. Now, the conversation with Watson on his mobile is a bit of a muddler because it’s possible what we see as Sherlock jumping is actually what’s going on from Watson’s perspective, but it doesn’t all add up. I expect the writers won’t be able to explain some of shots, but then most people wouldn’t notice any discrepancy. Skipping ahead, SOMEHOW Sherlock pushes Moriarty over the roof in Sherlock’s clothes. Perhaps he needed Watson to stay in exactly the position he was in so that Watson wouldn’t be able to see Sherlock standing behind Moriarty propping him up? I admit that one seems a bit far-fetched. It’s more likely he needed him there so that the assassin who’d no doubt followed Watson to 221b and back again would be forced to take up position in a particular building in order to be under cover and still within shooting sight and distance of Watson. It’s possible that in that particular location the assassin would not be able to see that it was actually Moriarty who went over and not Sherlock. I also wonder if perhaps Sherlock’s phone was tapped and Moriarty’s men were listening, so he needed Watson to believe he really was admitting to being a fraud and committing suicide. If they were listening, he wouldn’t be able to tell Watson the game was still afoot. For some reason, he wanted Watson to tell Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson and everyone who’d listen that he’d invented Moriarty, but he must have known Watson wouldn’t do that, so I’m not sure what that was all for.

    Anyway, Moriarty’s body goes over the roof in Sherlock’s clothes and splats. Watson gets hit by the guy on the bike, who I take to be one of Sherlock’s Baker Street Irregulars, hired by him for this purpose. I’m assuming he not only gave him a head injury, he jabbed him with the liquid form of that gaseous drug from Baskerville, which made you fearful, and tended to make you see your worst fear, or what you were led to believe you would see. Sherlock needed to do that so Watson would identify the body as Sherlock, though it most certainly was not. Sherlock would have also chosen Bart’s for the face-off because the body would no doubt be taken there, as it was right outside of it, where it would be brought to Molly, who works in the morgue. She’d identify it as Sherlock by prior arrangement with him, give Sherlock back his clothes, and have the body cremated before anyone could notice anything strange.

    Ultimately, the answer to the riddle lies in how the writers think. All I know is that they’re BLOODY BRILLIANT! Best show I’ve ever seen. So much attention to detail, so many splendid nods to the books, amazingly talented actors – all of them! What are the chances of getting such perfect actors for Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, Lestrade, and Moriarty? I love them all. I love the intricacy of the plots, the strange relationships between Sherlock and Watson, Sherlock and Mycroft, Sherlock and Moriarty. No other shows makes people THINK so much!

  17. Curtis

    I was actually totally expecting to see Sherlock’s face. I knew that they would make a giant ass cliffhanger because the same thing happened at the end of Season 1. That one also included imminent death of Sherlock, at the time his only friend, (Watson) and his enemy Moriarty. Same thing happens at the end of season 3, except this time Moriarty is dead. I was saying to myself where is Sherlock going to show up. In the reflection of the grave? I was waiting for it, and it was a helluva lot more blatent than I was expecting. I was expecting a flash of the hat and the popped color, a flip of the tails of his coat as he walked away. Whatever. My point is I’m excited for the new season and needed somewhere to ramble on about random shit.

  18. irene irony

    What do you mean ” why did he lie to Watson?” He had to lie- that was the whole point. He is risking his life to save him! “Friends help people” etc Sherlock is not a neanderthal like you. MORIARTY shot himself. Sherlock had no choice DUH

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