Heh, on the subject of defining queerbaiting: in all this, I have actually encountered two related but not identical definitions.

One definition goes that queer-baiting is implications of queerness that are thrown in as a joke, where the ‘joke’ is how funny it is that anybody would actually think two characters are gay.

Another definition of queer-baiting is any implications of queerness inserted into the text where the creators have no intention of following through.

When I wrote my johnlock post, I used ‘queerbaiting’ in the first sense.  Because in the first two seasons (and, for that matter, the first episode of this season, with the near-kiss), queerness often seemed to be used as a punchline.  ”Oh, aren’t you a cute couple!”  ”I’m not gay!”  Haha, no, of course you’re not, how silly that anyone would think otherwise.

But in this episode, you’re right, the joke is distinctively absent.

But I got in hot water with somebody who goes by the other definition, and called me out on apparently dismissing queerbaiting: http://rivai-lution.tumblr.com/post/72535925804/johnlock-its-not-just-for-fans-anymore-sherlock

When I said ‘queerbaiting becomes a ludicrous concept,’ I meant it going by the first definition of the word, where the writers have inserted far too much material for the gag to work anymore because they’ve brought it into the realm where anybody might reasonably ask themselves the question.

But if you’re working from the second definition of the term, that poster was absolutely correct.

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