Oh my god, I loved all the women this episode.  We got to see so much more of them all, so much more of who they are as people.  That’s spectacular.  I feel like the writers WERE listening when we said the women weren’t getting their fair shake.  The main characters in this story are, inescapably, men, but THIS is how you can give women their fair due even when they’re secondary characters.  Just give them a few minutes to be themselves.

Mary, though.  I can’t decide what I hope Mary is.  

I fucking love Mary.  Is she a good guy?  Is she a bad guy?  Is she a victim, or an enemy?  WE DON’T KNOW.  THAT’S HER SECRET.  And that’s so cool, that she’s got a secret like that.  That’s a powerful thing for a character.  She’s effective in a way that frankly Irene Adler never was.  

Oh, and speaking of Irene.  What’s SHE doing in this episode?  She turns up in Sherlock’s visualization, which means she represents something his mind is trying to make him think about.  With those women he’s talking to, he’s contemplating seduction and romance and deceit.  But she has to have a point in the episode as a whole, or the writers are just wasting space.  Is she there because on a deeper level Sherlock is contemplating the differences between seduction and real love, the kind Mary and John have found?  Or is she there because on a deeper level Sherlock is drawing the parallels? 

Because if Mary is an antagonist, she has kicked ass at seduction on a level Irene never accomplished.  

I’ve seen people accusing anybody who thinks Mary is a bad guy of being a misogynist, but honestly: HOW COOL WOULD IT BE if Mary turned out to be a bad guy?  

(I think she probably isn’t, because Sherlock would have tanned her hide and hung it as a wall decoration if she were, given how protective he’s been of John this series so far.)

She could be, though!  She’s so…perfect.  Suspiciously perfect!  She’s so easy to like!  She does all the things that make fans happy.  She’s spunky, and smart, and a Johnlock shipper. She’s enchanting, but not so enchanting that she steals the limelight from our boys.  She MANAGES them, sending them out on their date—I mean, case. No I don’t. 

I know some people would be let down if Mary turns out to be an antagonist.  I know some people would read that as misogynist.  But look: 

If Mary is all above-board, then she’s an absolutely lovely woman who is perfect with John and probably pregnant with their child.  That’s pretty awesome.  They’re shown as having an equal partnership. She looks out for him and his as much as he looks out for her.  We see that she’s got her own story and pain and secrets—and that’s important.  If you figure that Mary is all above-board and you take a step into her character and look around, you can see her story winding forward and back from her, and she is the main character of her own tale.

If Mary is a villain, perhaps working with CAM, perhaps having insinuated herself into John’s life in order to gain influence over Sherlock—she’s a TOTAL BADASS.  She has successfully lied to Sherlock’s face.  She has successfully seen through Sherlock’s lies.  She has accomplished something where Irene Adler and Jim frigging Moriarty failed:  she has Sherlock’s heart wrapped around her finger.  And we see it.  Sherlock will do anything for her, because he would do anything for John.

If Mary is a pawn, perhaps an unwilling antagonist blackmailed into doing this by CAM, then she is still a TOTAL BADASS.  See above re: successfully outmaneuvering Sherlock.  AND see re: her being the main character of her own tale.  In this case, my heart goes out to her, because good god, what pain.  What tragedy.  What a core of steel she has to have survived this long in such an untenable situation.  And her love for John isn’t necessarily feigned.

Will she die?  Will she live?  Will she survive but lose her child?  Is there a child at all?  Will she pull a gun on John, or on CAM, or on herself?  Will she triumph or fail?  I recognize that there are problems with some of these outcomes from a feminist perspective—but that was inevitable from the moment they introduced her with the show’s dynamic laying as it did.  Since it is what it is, hot damn am I excited to find out what happens, and that’s more than I ever expected at the end of last season.

(I won’t pretend I don’t hope it results in John-whump, though.  God, I love John-whump.  Secondary Sherlock-whump is also good, but I’m way past being over him being dead/nearly dead/about to die for a while.)

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