Hi, everyone! Hi! I'm back! My studies are over as of a few days ago; Sherlock is back on the TV; and I am just giddy with joy at the moment °˖✧◝(´∀｀)◜✧˖°
I'm hoping to have a summary of my Christmas up tomorrow. But today? Today I have to talk about Sherlock. Loads.
Click read more for spoilers. (And sorry if it's rather image heavy. I got excited.)
The Empty Hearse! (aka Sherlock Kisses Everyone Except for John Watson; or I'm Sure I've Seen Some of This in a Fanfiction or Several.)
So, what did I think overall? This episode had a lot of fun moments. (I was actually shrieking at my TV. I feel so sorry for my neighbours.) But, but, those aside it felt a little lacklustre.
Do you remember, all those years ago, watching A Study in Pink for the first time? It was fast and funny and clever and pretty. It sparkled. The Empty Hearse? It didn't sparkle. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't awful. But it wasn't anywhere near what we know this show can do.
I'm wondering, actually, if a large part of it is because we didn't have Paul McGuigan directing. Come back, Paul, we miss you! The Reichenbach Fall looked stunning. The Empty Hearse looked run-of-the-mill. And stop showing jittery closeups of Sherlock "thinking"; it doesn't do anyone any favours.
Ok. Let's have a list of contents so we can get into the meat and potatoes of this thing, shall we?
1. The plot
2. The reunion
8. Sherlock's parents
10. And finally
1. The plot
First things first. I love that they had a story set on the tube. I've been waiting for ages to see the Underground featured in this show. (I've been longing for it. I've even had long debates with myself in the past over whether or not Sherlock has an Oyster card. Please let them go on the tube. Please.)
Because the great thing about Sherlock (and I've heard Mark Gatiss say this in interviews) is that they try to fetishise modern London, just like so many other adaptations fetishise Victorian London. It works wonders. At least for me. It simultaneously makes London more exciting and Sherlock more feasible. There's nothing better than walking through the streets of London and thinking that Sherlock and John might be just around the next corner.
And really. If you're going to fetishise modern London you can't leave out the tube. It's such a big part of everyone's lives. I know it's easier to film in taxis, but it was so great to see the tube featured in this episode. Needless to say, my morning commute on the tube these past two days has been far more exciting than it normally is.
Here's a shout-out to Westminster station (pictured above). What better station to pick for the show? It's so modern and sexy. (We'll not ask why they decided to take a taxi to Westminster tube station when they could have just jumped on the Jubilee line from Baker Street. Does Sherlock really hate travelling on the tube that much?) I wish I knew what other stations they filmed at. One of them looked really familiar but I can't place it and it's niggling at me.
(Oh yeah, and if I was being really pedantic, I'd wonder why they kept showing footage of the Jubilee line and trying to pass it off as the District line. I mean, seriously! Can you get two tube lines that look any more different? Thank God they were actually in a District line carriage at the end there. Good job I'm not pedantic about it, then. Good job.)
So. Right. Tube excitement aside. This plot was rather dire. Trying to blow up parliament on 5 November? Oh come on. And you could tell there wasn't much to it. I remember watching and thinking, 'Why are you spending five minutes showing them walking down a staircase? How much longer are you trying to pad this show out for?'
Don't even get me started on John's bonfire rescue. The only good thing about that was the nod to Martin Freeman being a hedgehog. While I liked Sherlock and Mary working together, I didn't like the motorbike chase at all. It just seemed kind of action-film lazy. Sherlock is clever. He solves mysteries by being clever. Not by running around. Sigh.
Still. Writing mysteries and cases must be super hard. I'm pretty sure that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote some duff stories in his time. And it wasn't even that bad. It just wasn't up to the standard set by some of the previous episodes.
So the plot I can let slide. It wasn't the focus of the episode, which had to somehow tie up all the loose ends from the previous series at the same time. It's fine. What really left me disappointed is what I'll come to next.
2. The reunion
I have been waiting so long for this. Not to find out how Sherlock did it (which I never really cared that much about; although I did like the way we weren't given any set answer, while also slyly mentioning some of the fan theories). No. What I've been waiting for is the reunion between Sherlock and John.
Two years ago, what I thought might happen is this:
There may be tears and there may be hugs and I'm pretty sure John is going to punch Sherlock
Punch? Yes. We got plenty of fighting and it was fun. But hugs? No. None. Zero. I was waiting for the hug all episode. And, you know, since Sherlock kissed everyone else in this episode, at one crazy point while they were facing a bomb in a tube carriage, I thought he might end up kissing John too. (Reminiscent of A Study in Pink there, because surely everyone felt pretty certain that they were going to kiss in that episode too, right?) But we got nothing.
Now, I'm not really sad that there wasn't a hug or a kiss or some sort of physical affection (as nice as that would be). The thing that disappoints me is that there was no closure. Where was the 'I missed you' or the 'I'm sorry' or the 'I'm glad to see you again'?
John tried of course, in that tube carriage. But the problem there is that John thought he was having a heart to heart, when he was in actual fact having a heart to arsehole.
Jesus, Sherlock was such an arsehole in this episode. A big massive anus. It's fun at first, but by the end of the episode I wanted to have him be a bit more serious. To have him say sorry. To have him and John admit that it's been hard but that they're glad to see each other again. We didn't get that. At all.
I know some people have said that Sherlock's trick in the tube carriage was his way of clearing the air, and maybe it was. But if the majority of the audience still feels like they haven't gotten closure by the end of the episode then something is missing. Their mini chat in the Baker Street hallway wasn't very satisfying either.
Just give me closure, ok? Give me a heart to heart without Sherlock being a dick. Please. You've got two more episodes. Don't let me down, show. Don't let me down.
It's all the more striking because Sherlock's reunions with the other characters are so much better. We know he can act like a human! (He even hugged Anderson goddammit!)
Here, let me go through some of my favourites:
Lestrade's reunion was the best by far. There's a hug! And Lestrade's 'Oh, you bastard' is wonderfully understated. (As an aside: did anyone else think there's a lot more swearing this episode than normal? Not that I mind, I was just wondering if there was a change with ratings or something.)
Mycroft, meanwhile, gets sweaty BDSM funtime!
His later chat with Sherlock is rather sweet. It's the first hint we really get as to just how close the two brothers are, and how much Sherlock seems to care about Mycroft. Although what Sherlock's up to, what with trying to get Mycroft a friend, I don't know. I want to think that Sherlock's trying to matchmake Mycroft with Lestrade, purely because half of this episode seems to be wandering into fanfiction territory anyway. But at the same time, I'm determined that Lestrade and Molly should get together instead. Sorry Mycroft.
Wait. Did I mention Molly? Because you can't mention Molly without mentioning the snog. The snog! I was screaming on my sofa. My poor brain didn't have a clue what was going on until they explained. What a great start to the episode.
Later on we get a much less surprising kiss from Sherlock to Molly. And Sherlock is actually really kind! (He's only a dick to her once in the episode!) Why could we not have had this sort of heart to heart between Sherlock and John?
Oh, and Molly's boyfriend. Where are these be-cheekboned, fabulous-coat-wearing gentlemen to be found in London? Where? For years I've kept an eye out (I even used to walk down Baker Street twice per day!) but did I see one fabulous Belstaff coat? Hah! Gentlemen of London, buck your ideas up! Your coat-buying choices are far from ideal!
Not technically a reunion but I don't care! And here I thought I'd screamed loudly at the Molly kiss! Oh my God. I spent the whole of the next day in a bit of a daze.
Well done, show. They'd been flirting like crazy for years. The kiss was needed.
Oh, go on then. Because there were a lot of fun bits in amongst the disappointing plot, here are some of the other parts I enjoyed:
I am an instant Mary fan. She's a very likeable character and her chemistry with John is great. I'm hoping she's going to stick around for the long haul.
Oh, and her chemistry with Sherlock is pretty great too. They're going to live happily ever after in a crime-solving polyamorous relationship right? Right?
8. Sherlock's parents
What a great reveal Sherlock's parents were! Suddenly Mycroft's line, 'You can imagine the Christmas dinners,' takes on a whole new tone. Worlds of fun have just been opened up.
Not to mention that when looking at a screencap of them afterwards I suddenly realised that 'hold on, they look a bit like...' Well done for using Benedict Cumberbatch's actual parents, show. A+ would watch again.
And then there's this. Either he looks slightly different to how he looked in the second series or it's just been so long since I saw him in the get-up and fancy lighting, but Sherlock was looking fabulous in this episode. Ugh. Very pretty, Mr Cumberbatch. Good work.
10. And finally
It's Troels! It's Troels! It's Troels! (aka everyone's favourite politician from The Killing)
Is he going to kiss Sherlock too?
Other than that, what do I want from the next episode?
1. Can the beautiful cinematography come back again, please?
2. Also, a less ridiculous plot.
Comment from: Member
Thank you! I’d love to know what you think of the episode when you watch it.
I don’t actually know what happens to Mary. I’m about halfway through reading all the Sherlock Holmes canon at the moment. (It’s on my ‘I’m currently reading this!’ pile, along with five other books, some of which I haven’t actually picked up for about two years.) I really need to read some more. But no matter what happens with Mary, I’m pretty sure it’ll be done well, regardless.
Everyone loves Lestrade, right? Right? Or is that just us? It can’t be just us.
And of course. Once I find the stash of perfectly tailored gents, I’ll send one your way. They must be here somewhere, I just haven’t looked everywhere yet. Wimbledon maybe? I’ve never been there.
Right. Only seven and a half hours until episode 2. I need to go prepare. (By actually getting out of my pyjamas for a start.)
Wow, great recap! I’m waiting until Sherlock actually airs in the US to watch it (I KNOW RIGHT) because my “To Watch” folder has 35 things in it, but for me it’s never about the plot with Sherlock Holmes, so I’m happy I got a formal introduction.
…Doesn’t Mary die, in the Conan Doyle stories? I’ve read all of them dozens of times (mostly when I was eleven, but who’s counting) and I can’t really remember. I was pretty sure she died of something or other, and then later Watson and Holmes lived together again. Maybe that’s just too many fanfictions talking? Amanda Abbington seems like a very cute & charming actor, though, and I’m glad they didn’t give Watson a vapid, demanding wife with rubber lips, as would’ve probably happened on an American show. (Because of course romantic attachment is destructive to one’s independence, and is also the Enemy of literally every other aspect of life. We have so many terrible shows.)
B.Cumb is looking fantastic in the screencaps.
I’m feeling like Lestrade is quickly becoming my favorite character here. I need a t-shirt.
Maybe the Sherlock management is just baiting Anon with the Fawkes references, because they tried to derail The Fifth Estate? They do seem pretty glued to the meta. I don’t know, stop looking at me.
Oh, and if you find one extra of those dapper be-coated gents, could you please postmark him for overseas shipment :]
EXCELLENT RECAPPING JOB 10/10 A+++ WOULD BUY AGAIN