Hell's Half Acre (hells_half_acre) wrote,
Hell's Half Acre

Rewatch: Sherlock - A Scandal in Belgravia (Part 1)

This entire thing clocks in at 22,000 words. But, keep in mind, a lot of that is dialogue so that you know what specific part of the episode I'm talking about.

If you want to view/download the entire thing: click here. I apologize in advance for the font. I used the same one from my blog, but apparently that looks quite cartoony when in a word document. I don't know why. Suggestions for better fonts are welcome.

This season, Gatiss and Moffat decided to tackle the big stories while also theme-ing the episodes. So, we get "Sherlock and Love", "Sherlock and Fear", and "Sherlock and Death."

I actually see these episodes as ALL "Sherlock and Love" or at least Love, Love-Fear and Sad-Love, because really, what's death besides the really really depressing part of love?

Standard Disclaimer: As usual, I talk a lot about love, and being "in love" etc....and, as usual, I don't necessarily mean romantic love. If you are a huge shipper though, you can feel free to pretend that I mean the sort of love that leads to sexy-times. Personally though, I'm a stickler for canon, so I actually just mean love without the addition of sex. I tend to side with Moffat on this one: “Fancying someone is about how you spend your night. Loving someone is about how you spend your life.”

Scandal in Belgravia!

In addition to being about Sherlock and how/who/why Sherlock loves - this episode is also very much about mirrors. It's about how we're reflected in the people we love and how we reflect them in turn. So, keep your eyes open for mirrors. I'll probably only point out the obvious ones.

When we last left our intrepid heroes...

"Staying alive..."

I love how Jim mouthes "sorry" to Sherlock, and Sherlock mouthes "It's okay!" all sarcastically... I just have such a huge thing for non-verbal communication. I also have a completely love for how Moriarty not only provides us with an unpredictable villain, but also an unpredictable SHOW. He completely turns narrative expectations on their head and subverts the entire genre.

Moriarty: "SAY THAT AGAIN! Say that again and know that if you are lying to me, I will find you, and I will ssskin you."
- I love the looks that Sherlock and John exchange here. They're such PARTNERS.
- Of course, I also love the delivery of these lines. I love how they deliberately use unpredictableness to make Moriarty terrifying... or rather, I love that this version of Moriarty is terrifying because he is unpredictable and that's emphasized with the very way he speaks - his sudden changes of mood, tone, posture and cadence.

Moriarty: "Sorry, wrong day to die."
Sherlock: "Oh, did you get a better offer?"

Moriarty: "You'll be hearing from me, Sherlock. *back on the phone* So if you have what you say you have, I will make you rich. If you don't, I'll make you into shoes."
- Again, wonderful Moriarty line.
- I also love Sherlock's line though, he's very much still in the part of the sarcastic hero, yet, I like the way Benedict shows us how thrown off Sherlock is - how nervous he is with the gun in his hand. There's a lot of subtle acting here that I really think shows that Sherlock is trying to decide whether he should just shoot Moriarty anyway.

John: "What happened there?"
Sherlock: "Someone changed his mind. Question is, who?"
- And here Irene rescues Sherlock and John with a telephone call - whether she realizes she is doing so or not.

Irene: "Well, now...have you been wicked, your highness?"
- I do love this introduction to Irene. Just, FYI though: I'm not going to talk about whether this episode of Sherlock is sexist/feminist/misogynistic or not. I've spoken about that elsewhere on my journal already (after the episode originally aired) and I think I've said all that I want to say on the matter. Although this is, once again, someone taking Irene in a different direction than the original canon, I do like this version (and I like it far better than what the Ritchie film did with the character.)

Sherlock: "What are you writing?"
John: "Blog"
Sherlock: "About?"
John: "Us."
Sherlock: "You mean me."
John: "Why?"
Sherlock: "Well, you're typing a lot."
- So, as I said at the beginning, this episode (and this series) is really about "Sherlock and Love" and of course, there's no greater love for Sherlock than John Watson, and I like that we're reminded that with the first scene. S1 was really about John and Sherlock meeting and getting to know each other, and becoming a partnership. Basically, S1 was them falling in love, and S2 is them IN love. There's an "us" now.
- I also want to point out that Sherlock knows John is writing about him, because he's "typing a lot" - everyone knows that John uses his blog to gush about Sherlock, even Sherlock. :P

I love the montage of cases and potential cases that bring us through the passage of time.

Sherlock: "Geek interpreter, what's that?"
John: "It's the title."

Sherlock: "What does it need a title for?"
- I love this. Mainly because Sherlock is taking an interest in John, rather than ignoring him. In S1, Sherlock only mentioned John's blog when he found it insulting... in these clips, we actually see Sherlock take a more avid interest. It's important that there are aspects of John that interest Sherlock on an intellectual level, because that's what drives Sherlock's infatuation - intelligence.

Sherlock: "Do people actually read your blog?"
John: "Where do you think our clients come from?"
Sherlock: "I have a website"

John: "In which you enumerate 240 different types of tobacco ash. Nobody's reading your website. Alright, then, dyed blonde hair, no obvious cause of death except for these speckles, whatever they are..."
- I love Sherlock's face when John tells him no one is reading his website. Hehehe.
- I also love this scene because in this scene *John* is Sherlock. He bluntly insults Sherlock's website and then ignores him in order to focus on the case... oh Sherlock, how does it taste? This is perhaps our first mirror - with John reflecting Sherlock.

Little Girl: "They wouldn't let us see granddad when he was dead. Is that because he's gone to heaven?"
Sherlock: "People don't really go to heaven when they die, they're taken to a special room and burned."
- I love you, Sherlock

The dead man in the trunk/boot. I love how it's only in retrospect that you realize that some of the "boring" clients cases were connected. The ash that wasn't the right ash, the grandfather, and then the dead man in the trunk/boot that Sherlock couldn't solve.

Sherlock: "No, no, no, don't mention the unsolved ones!"
John: "People want to know you're human"
Sherlock: "Why?"
John: "Because they're interested."

Sherlock: "No, they're not. Why are they?"
- Again, the popularity of John's blog has become a puzzle to Sherlock. It confuses and confounds him.
- I do wonder if maybe John was onto something. Part of me thinks that Reichenbach happened because of how "not human" Sherlock appears to others. It's easy to strike someone down when you see them as something other than human. It's harder to have compassion for non-human things, whether it's because you've elevated them to a deity or condemned them as a demon. John only ever saw Sherlock as human, and that's part of the reason why Sherlock loves him, and it's also part of the reason why John never believes Moriarty's lies.

John: "I reset that counter last night, this blog has had nearly 2000 hits in the past eight hours. This is your living, Sherlock, not 240 different types of tobacco ash."
Sherlock: "243"
- Hilarious...also, establishes the fact that John has now become part of Sherlock's "living." John is who attracts clients. He's basically Sherlock's PR/Marketing. A lot of fanfic has John still working at the surgery, but I actually think that by S2, John was able to quit his job and work only with Sherlock. Though, who knows really.
- I also love that Sherlock is walking around in goggles with a blow torch.

Sherlock: "John, cover your face. Walk fast."
Lestrade: "Still, it's good for the public image, big case like this!"

Sherlock: "I'm a private detective, the last thing I need is a public image."
- The deerstalker! I LOVE how they worked this in. It's just brilliant
- Sherlock has a point, and it's kind of tragic that while John is making him the most successful (and happiest) that he's ever been, he's also building the tower that Moriarty is going to push Sherlock off of. The road to Sherlock's fall starts the moment he meets John, no matter which way you think of it... and the specific road to Reichenbach begins with this episode, when Sherlock starts taking more high profile cases.

And we get the shot of the Cluedo board pinned with the jackknife to the wall. I love that that's explained in another episode... but I just love that we all KNEW what it meant - Sherlock Holmes had lost a game of Cluedo.

Mrs. Hudson: "Oh dear! Thumbs!"
- I love how Mrs. "not your housekeeper" Hudson is trying to clean their fridge. She's such a mother figure - but I'll talk more about that later.

Man: "The door...the door was..." *faints*
Mrs. Hudson: "Boys! You've got another one!"
- A lot of shippers noted the fact that Mrs. Hudson seemed to be yelling upstairs, yet addressing both boys... but, she actually tilts her head in such a fashion that her voice will carry both upstairs and down the hall behind her to Sherlock's room. Not to mention the fact that you can hear pretty much everything in that flat from anywhere (except that Sherlock's room is fairly cut off, all things considered.) Just listen when you watch the show for the sound of the front door opening and closing. When you listen for it, you realize how loud it is.

Sherlock: "Tell us from the start. Don't be boring."
- You don't actually see Sherlock in this shot, but in the next one, we see him coming groggily out of his room wrapped in a sheet. So, who wants to bet that Sherlock came out of his room at Mrs. Hudson's yell wrapped in a sheet...then listened to the man talk, sent John to travel out there and then went back to bed until John arrived at the crime scene. Oh Sherlock...

Lestrade: "Have you heard of Sherlock Holmes?"

Lestrade: "Well, you're about to meet him now. This is your case, it's entirely up to you, this is just friendly advice, but give Sherlock five minutes on your crime scene and listen to everything that he has to say, and as far as possible, try not to punch him."
- I love Lestrade's instructions, but they do bring up a question: How does Lestrade know to call? Did Sherlock call him? Did John?

And then it's actually John who arrives.

John: "You realize this is a tiny bit humiliating."
Sherlock: "It's alright, I'm fine. Now, show me to the stream."

John: "I don't really mean for you."
- Sherlock already had the camera on, and tea made... I wonder if he just turned on the camera and left it there for John to eventually connect to.
- I also love how Sherlock really doesn't consider how awkward the situation might be for John. Sherlock, personally, is not bothered by solving a case via webcam while wrapped in a sheet... and so he just assumes that no one else will be bothered by the situation either.

Sherlock: "Look, this is a six. There's no point in me leaving the flat for anything less than a seven, we agreed. Now go back, show me the grass."
John: "When did we agree that?"
Sherlock: "We agreed it yesterday. Stop. Closer."
John: "I wasn't even home yesterday. I was in Dublin."
Sherlock: "It's hardly my fault you weren't listening."
John: "Do you just carry on talking when I'm away?"

Sherlock: "I don't know. How often are you away? Now, show me the car..."
- Okay, there are multiple things I like about this exchange.
1)Sherlock and John are having a very domestic argument in the middle of a case.
2)Sherlock isn't telling John what HE'S decided about cases, he's saying "we agreed" - now, even though John wasn't actually there for the agreement, it still implies that Sherlock SOUGHT John's agreement in the matter, which really speaks to having a partnership rather than being someone who does whatever the hell he wants and John just has to go along with it.
3)Sherlock equates John not being home as John not listening to him. There's just...so much about that psychology that is fascinating. I also just have a picture in my mind of Sherlock talking to an empty flat as though John can hear him and is responding (most likely these conversations are easy to have, because Sherlock probably feels he can predict John's responses).

"You've got two more minutes. I want to know more about the driver."
Sherlock: "Oh forget him, he's an idiot. Why else would he think himself a suspect?"
"I think he's a suspect!"
Sherlock: "Pass me over."

John: "Alright, but there's a mute button and I will use it."
-See, this is what I like about John - John doesn't just let Sherlock steamroll him. It might appear that way, but it's not the case.

"Did you see him? [...] the right sleeve of an internet porn addict, and the breathing pattern of an untreated heart condition. Low self-esteem, tiny IQ, and low life expectancy - and you think he's a criminal mastermind?" *to driver, who is sitting behind Sherlock* "Don't worry, this is just stupid."
Driver: "What did you say? An untreated what?"
- Hahaha... oh, poor man. I just love the fact that he's been sitting there this whole time - watching Sherlock walk around in a sheet, listening to the whole conversation. I love that Sherlock feels the need to reassure him that he's not really a suspect, and not perhaps consider that the man doesn't even know he has an untreated heart condition and a low life expectancy.

And then the guys in suits arrive. I love Sherlock's "who the hell are you?" and I also love how adorable the constable is that tells John that the helicopter is for him. I also love how regal Sherlock can look in a bed sheet when they cut back to him.

I absolutely adore the silent conversation John and Sherlock have when John pauses in the doorway.

John: *Shrug*
Sherlock: *Eye roll+shrug*

John: *Accepting nod*
- I mean, seriously, PARTNERS.

John: "You wearing any pants?"
Sherlock: "No."
John: "Okay"
*look at each other*

*burst into giggles*
- I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Haha,  I love how John looks right, left, straight, then immediately to Sherlock's lap. I love the way Sherlock says "no" like "nö" and I love how John doesn't get angry, he's not scandalized, he just laughs, because he understands that sometimes Sherlock is ridiculous and impossible because it's hilarious to be so.

John: "Buckingham palace. Alright. I'm seriously fighting the impulse to steal an ashtray."
- And this is why Sherlock loves John, because John is devilish in his humour too.

John: "What are we doing here, Sherlock, seriously, what?"
Sherlock: "I don't know."
John: "Here to see the Queen?"
*Mycroft walks in*
Sherlock: "Oh, apparently yes."

*John and Sherlock burst into giggles*
- They are 12 year-olds, and it is wonderful. Poor Mycroft - he literally walked right into that one. It does make me wonder though, if Mycroft has ever seen Sherlock this happy before... Sherlock usually doesn't laugh around him.

Mycroft: "Just once, can you two behave like grown-ups."
John: "We solves crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants. I wouldn't hold out too much hope."
- John's a realist. ;) Also, it occurs to me that those suits probably didn't grab Sherlock a pair of pants (underwear) and so when he does eventually get dressed... well...

Sherlock: "I was in the middle of a case, Mycroft."
Mycroft: "What the hiker [...]? I glanced at the police report - bit obvious."

Sherlock: "Transparent."
- I like John's wide-eyed reaction.

Mycroft: "We are in Buckingham Palace the very heart of the British nation. Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on."
Sherlock: "What for?"
- I do like this scene, because both Holmes brothers revert to children. It happens sometimes with siblings, especially siblings who don't necessarily get along... they tend to revert to the same petty rivalry that they've always had. I knew a family of 5 sisters who all did this - it was slightly disturbing.

This episode is about Sherlock and Mycroft too. There is an odd sort of love between siblings, even siblings that don't necessarily get along - so it fits into the theme. Sherlock and Mycroft have a relationship that to me indicates that they've never really gotten along, that they don't actually understand each other on a fundamental level... they might think they do, but for all they see each other, I think their hearts are fundamentally estranged.

This is also the first time we see Mycroft interacting with someone other than Sherlock, John, and 'Anthea'... it's the first time we see him with a colleague and we find that he's quiet polite and genial. He's not at all as standoffish as Sherlock is, nor is he attempting to intimidate as in our first meeting with him. Who is the real Mycroft? Is he the cold, but worrying, older brother? The intimidating 'most dangerous man you'll ever meet'? or is he the polite and pleasant 'government' worker? Does he necessarily have to be only one? Probably not. He's probably all these things simultaneously.

Mycroft: "Harry, can I just apologize for the state of my little brother."
Harry: "A full time occupation, I'd imagine."
- I love Sherlock's face at these words. They're well chosen words on Mycroft's part. He's immediately putting Sherlock into a subordinate, lesser, position than himself. And then Harry compounds the problem by suggesting/assuming that Sherlock's behaviour is always something that needs an apology (from Mycroft, of course, because god forbid Sherlock actually be an adult who is responsible for his own actions.)

Harry: "My employer is a tremendous fan of your blog."
John: "Your employer?"
Harry: "I particularly enjoy the one about the aluminium crutch."

John: "Thank you" *looks at Sherlock and clears throat*
- I love the "See! People like the blog!" conversation in that one little look.

Harry: "And Mr. Holmes the younger. You look taller in your photographs."
Sherlock: "I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend."
-John's face! I love him.

Sherlock: "Mycroft, I don't do anonymous clients. I used to mystery at one end of my cases, both ends is too much work. Good morning."
- It is important to note that Mycroft's face falls here. He doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of Harry - after the spectacle of getting Sherlock and John to the palace. He's probably already told Harry that Sherlock would take the case without even consulting Sherlock first - and Sherlock is catching him out in the lie.

But, of course, his solution is to revert to being a teenager (even though he accused John and Sherlock of not acting like grown-ups not a minute earlier) and step on Sherlock's sheet as he walks away...

And Sherlock, you can tell, doesn't actually WANT to be naked, which I think is an important character point. He wore the sheet to make John laugh, to infuriate Mycroft, to annoy the suits that had come to so rudely collect him against his will - but he did not wear the sheet so that people could actually see his naked body.

Sherlock: "Get off my sheet!"
Mycroft: "Or what?"
Sherlock: "Or I'll just walk away."

Mycroft: "I'll let you."
- And like most childish arguments, it comes down to who's bluffing.

John: "Boys, please. Not here."
- And John steps in, I think, more for Sherlock's sake than Mycroft's. He knows it's gone too far now, that Sherlock is actually legitimately upset - and he is. You could call it anger, but I think it's just 'upset.'

Sherlock: "Who is my client?!"
Mycroft: "Take a look at where you're standing and make a deduction. You are to be engaged by the highest in the land. Now for god's sake! Put your clothes on!"
- I think Sherlock knows perfectly well who his client is (roughly), but it's the principal of the matter. Sherlock doesn't want to be treated like an idiot, he doesn't want to have to pretend that he doesn't know. Mycroft, although he doesn't answer, gives Sherlock permission to 'guess' and therefore know. The problem is of course, that there's also the underlying issue of Sherlock not having all the details of the case that he needs to actually understand it's importance and what's at stake... and that's something that comes back to bite Mycroft in the end. Mycroft SHOULD have told him the whole story, or not involved him at all. But we'll get to that...
- I also like the way Mark Gatiss delivers his line. How he starts off in a soothing voice, in response to the fact that John has reminded him that he's supposed to be a grown-up - but his temper still gets the better of him, and when it does, he glances back at his colleague to re-center himself, to remind himself of which part is the more important part to play in this situation. That being said, the look on his face when he tells Sherlock to put his clothes on tells us that Mycroft is just as uncomfortable, if not more so, with Sherlock being naked than Sherlock is. And I think this very much relates to the next pivotal Sherlock+Mycroft scene that we have in this episode, if not their entire relationship.

Mycroft: "I'll be mother."
Sherlock: "And there is a whole childhood in a nutshell."
- I guess I should have warned you ahead of time that I'm fascinated by the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft... but yeah, I am. So, let's look at this tidbit. We both know that "Mummy" was/is very important to both Mycroft and Sherlock, and perhaps a source of rivalry between the two? We know that Sherlock and Mycroft both love(d) their mother very much... so, I don't think that Sherlock is saying that Mycroft had to take on the role of mother in their lives because Sherlock didn't have one (like Dean Winchester). I think what Sherlock is saying is that Mycroft tried to take on a parental role by force and much against Sherlock's will. Not so much that Mycroft was trying to usurp their mother, but rather that he was attempting to have the same authority as her and Sherlock refused to bow to this false authority... and still does.

It makes sense to me, because I happen to think that Mycroft is rather obsessed with having authority over other people. His chosen job and the way he works all seem to support this. Sherlock, meanwhile, has a problem with authority. He constantly rebels against it - not because he sees himself as a better authority figure, but because he simply craves complete freedom. Mycroft wants to be king. Sherlock wants to be kingless.

Mycroft: "...and in this hour of need, dear brother, your name has arisen."
Sherlock: "Why? You have a police force of sorts, even a marginally secret service. Why come to me?"
Harry: "People do come to you for help, don't they Mr. Holmes?"
Sherlock: "Hm, not to date anyone with a navy"

*John smiles*
- Sherlock makes a very good point here, why come to him? I know Mycroft says it's a matter of trust, but I don't think that's true, though that may be the reason that he gives Sherlock's employer. This whole episode is actually a power play between Mycroft and Irene/Moriarty, Sherlock is really just a pawn used by both sides.
- I included the *John smiles* because I really like the very small reactions that show us how much John loves Sherlock. Compare his smile here, to his smile after Mycroft says the line about not trusting his secret service because "they all spy on people for money." They're completely different smiles, though John finds both lines amusing.

ETA: So I just saw a tumblr post that pointed this out. But Mycroft's line about not trusting his secret service because "they all spy on people for money".... when Mycroft first met John, he asked John to spy on Sherlock for money. Now you have to ask yourself, was it a sincere offer or just a test of trust? (Also, if John realizes this, that might go to explain WHY he finds Mycrofts answer amusing.) I can't be bothered to add this into the PDF (as I'd have to upload it anew) so this is a little treat for those of you who read this on LJ.

Enter Irene...

I do like how Sherlock hasn't heard of her. Mycroft says that he should be paying more attention and then cites political scandals...but really? Is that what Sherlock's into? No. Sherlock's into messy bloody murders. He's into well thought out deadly crimes. He doesn't care who's sleeping with who. He only cares who's killing who. Political scandals are Mycroft's game, which is just another clue that this case is actually Mycroft's and he's just putting Sherlock into play. Mycroft's the king, Sherlock's the pawn (or maybe a knight? perhaps the bishop?) - Irene is across the board in the queen position, and Moriarty's the other king.

Sherlock: "Dominatrix..."
Mycroft: "Don't be alarmed. It's to do with sex."
Sherlock: "Sex doesn't alarm me."

Mycroft: "How would you know? ..."
-Mycroft went too far there. You can see it in Sherlock's face, but you can also see it in Harry's. I wish they had put a camera on John for this scene, I really do. I could ask if we think that Sherlock really is a virgin, but at this point I don't think it actually matters... what Mycroft's done is to suggest that Sherlock is somehow deficient, either by choice, in which case the (cultural) implication is that he's broken, or not by choice, in which case the implication is that he's undesirable. Either way, it's too far. Sherlock could either defend himself by saying he isn't (which would come across as defensive and therefore would make the room believe that he was lying) or he could confirm he is and state that there's nothing wrong with that (which would be both too personal and not persuade anyone who thinks there is something wrong being a 31 year old virgin anyway.) So, yeah, Mycroft sucks.

As a side note, there's this great fic called The Whore of Babylon Was a Perfectly Nice Girl, and it's marvelous. It does away with the Virgin!Sherlock trope, and instead dives straight into Whore!Sherlock, while remaining entirely sex positive. :)

I do love how Mycroft calls it "recreational scolding." Oh man, so British.

I also like the cuts between Irene and Sherlock looking at photographs of each other. It's not one of Sherlock's typical cases, mainly because Irene knows he's coming - she did, in fact, WANT him to come. Irene needs Sherlock, just as much as Mycroft needs Irene's phone. The compromising photographs aren't actually the issue of course, they're just a means to an end.

Mycroft: "I can tell you it's a young person. A young female person."
- Oh Mycroft. There is really only one young female person in that household... and you know it.

Sherlock: "Do Miss Adler and this young female person appear in these photographs together?"
Mycroft: "Yes, they do."
Sherlock: "And I assume in a number of compromising scenarios."
Mycroft: "An imaginative range, we are assured."

Sherlock: "John, you might want to put that cup back in it's saucer now."
- I love John's face in all of that. You can just see that the "imaginative range" really is an imaginative range in his minds-eye. I also love that Sherlock is still aware of John, and knows exactly what this is doing to him.

Harry: "Will you take the case?"
Sherlock: "What case? Pay her. Now. In full. As Miss Adler remarks in her masthead, 'Know when you are beaten.'"
Mycroft: "She doesn't want anything. She got in touch. She informed us that the photographs existed. She indicated that she had no intention to use them to extort either money or favour."
Sherlock: "Oh, a power play. A power play with the most powerful family in Britain. Now that is a dominatrix. Oh, this is getting rather fun, isn't it?"
John: "Sherlock..."

Sherlock: "Where is she?"
- Sherlock's not your errand boy. Petty blackmail, even if it's royal blackmail, isn't really that interesting... but someone who has the confidence to start a power play with the most powerful family in Britain? That's someone he wants to meet. That's someone who thinks they're clever and might very well be. Sherlock likes to test himself against other intelligent people. Moriarty takes the game too far, too many lives are lost in the crossfire... but Irene, a black mailer - she could be an opponent where no one has to die.

Harry: "We have kept a lot of people successfully in the dark about this little fact, Mr. Holmes."
Sherlock: "I'm not the commonwealth."

John: "And that's as modest as he gets. Pleasure to meet you."
- I love this line, and let's keep it in mind while we consider:

Is Sherlock Holmes attracted to/in love with Irene Adler?

At this moment, Sherlock is attracted to her intelligence - which isn't the first time he's been attracted to intelligence. I believe John made a quip about Moriarty in TGG along the same lines. So, Sherlock Holmes is attracted to intelligence no matter what body it comes in... but when you think of it, Moriarty was set up as an inverted mirror of Sherlock. The Consulting Criminal. He's Sherlock's darkside. He's Sherlock's 'there but for the grace of god go I'. Irene, I argue, is no different. She's also just a mirror of Sherlock, albeit a slightly more straight-forward mirror, none of this inverted stuff as with Moriarty. We'll see more and more as the episode progresses, that Irene IS Sherlock. So, is Sherlock attracted to Irene? Yes - but it's not love and it's not really Irene - It's narcissism.

This is an episode about Sherlock and love. So we spend time with Sherlock and each person that Sherlock loves. John, Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft, even arguably Lestrade, and, of course, Sherlock himself... only Sherlock interacts with Sherlock in the form of Irene. It's her intelligence that he's infatuated with, because it mirrors his own - clever, but (seemingly) not malicious.

Sherlock: "Laterz!"
- I don't know why they decided to add this in, but I against my better judgement, I kind of love it. I think it's Sherlock's final dig at Mycroft as he walks out the door. 'I'll show you proper etiquette for Buckingham Palace!'

John: "Okay, the smoking - How did you know?"
Sherlock: "The evidence was right under your nose, John. As ever, you see, but you do not observe."
John: "Observe what?"
Sherlock: "Ashtray." *Sherlock pulls an ashtray out of his coat*
*John laughs*

*Sherlock giggles.*
- I love this little conversation, because Sherlock stole that ashtray FOR JOHN. He stole it with this very moment in mind, because he wanted to make John laugh. Sherlock and Love.

Again we get mirrored shots in these neat back-and-forth cuts as both Irene and Sherlock get ready for battle. The other thing segment gives us though is the fact that, like Sherlock, Irene has a same-sex companion who is not at her skill level, but is obviously devoted to her.

Sherlock: "Punch me in the face."
John: "Punch you?"
Sherlock: "Yes, punch me. In the face. Didn't you hear me?"

John: "I always hear punch me in the face when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext."
- Hehe, sassy John. That's not entirely true of course, John only hears it sometimes. I also like the way Benedict delivers the "Didn't you hear me?" line, like Sherlock's honestly concerned that something's gone wrong with John's hearing.

Sherlock just loses patience and slaps John. He knows John's reactions well, but...as we find out, not entirely well....
Sherlock: "Okay! I think we're done now, John!"
John: "You oughta remember, Sherlock - I was a soldier, I killed people."
Sherlock: "You were a doctor!"

- I love John. I love him BECAUSE he's this weird dichotomy where he's both a healer and a killer. I don't know what on earth John was in the army really - there's some great meta done on it by wellingtongoose - but from what can gather, John did see active combat, despite being a doctor. And here is actually the first time he confirms that yes, he did kill people (in the war, not just the cabbie). And I like how he just refers to it as "bad days" like maybe he was just in a mood and went out and shot a bunch of people...haha, I know that's not actually the case, but I have a soft spot for dark!John, I guess.
- I still maintain that one of the reasons Sherlock likes John is BECAUSE he's a killer. John is both a good man and, technically, a murderer, and I think Sherlock likes that combination.

Kate: "What are you going to wear?"
Irene: "My battle dress."

Kate: "Oh, lucky boy."
- I like that Irene's "battle dress", the thing that she feels most powerful in, is just her body.

This is the one bit of the Sherlock-Irene mirror that is opposites rather than similarities. Sherlock did not want to be naked, whereas for Irene, it's how she feels the most powerful. Again though, there IS a mirror here, we see both Sherlock (nearly) naked and Irene naked as an introduction to this case. And both are using their nakedness as a weapon against a foe (Sherlock against Mycroft and Irene against Sherlock). But, there's also an inverted mirror (or an opposite) because while Irene is naked, Sherlock is dressed as a vicar. This, I think, comes down to the different ways that Sherlock and Irene approach sexuality - Sherlock doesn't express it, Irene makes a business out of it. To Sherlock, sex is a distraction from the game, and to Irene, sex is a key part of the game.

Part 2

Tags: meta, sherlock-bbc

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