The link:

Oh, yes, that’s exactly what I was talking about!  Significantly more angry than I feel, but the author does an excellent job of calling out the many points in this season at which things fall apart when you question them. (Spoilers on down from here.)


Their point about Magnussen and how he could’ve used the scenario Mary left him and Sherlock in as material to frame and directly blackmail John is particularly excellent.

It made me realize that I left out one sub-category of WTF jump from my previous essay.  The text has, apparently, set up this situation with Mary shooting Sherlock that makes no logical sense, but presented it with textual support that implies we’re supposed to accept that it’s rational. 

This scene is necessary for the rest of the story to go forward as written.  If you pull it out, then you have to rewrite the whole second half of the episode, including how Sherlock executes his plan to con CAM into buying his morphine addiction and how John and Mary fall out.  (All of which I think would lead to a stronger episode, but that’s beside the point.)  Given that this scene as it’s presented does play such a significant role in influencing the rest of the episode’s narrative, and given that Sherlock’s explanation of what happened and why is allowed to stand without question and everyone’s (including his) decisions seem to take it into account from that point out, we’re forced into two possible scenarios.  Either:

1: Sherlock is telling the objective truth about why Mary shot him, or

2: Sherlock is lying as part of a long game that has not resolved itself this season.

Now given the nature of , we’ll have to wait and see.  But the fact that is even on the table means that we are forced to confront the corollary possibility that the show may have just handed us shoddy reasoning for a core element of the narrative, and that in the end our only options may turn out to be either suck it up and suspend our disbelief really really hard, or try to forget we ever saw it and maybe write fanfic that makes more sense.

For me, I’m mostly dealing with it by not caring all that much.  I see it as possible to pluck out the Mary storyline as its own thread, and leave the other threads intact.  Since she didn’t exist in their lives before this season, the first two seasons stay as they are.  Since I don’t believe her presence alters the love or relationship between Sherlock and John (it changes some details like where John is living, but it doesn’t change who they are to each other), I feel content to trust that their relationship will continue to evolve as it should whether with her or without her.

I do like her character (she’s a bit batshit, and her whole existence on the show/in their lives is a bit batshit, and I respect that kind of committed, over-the-top madhattery), and so I AM interested to see what happens with her next season: whether it’s or , whether she lives or dies, whether she’s on their side or has more lies yet to reveal.  (Or both; a particularly interesting plot twist is if she WAS working for Moriarty but she really IS actually in love with John.)

But yeah, like i said, the show’s definitely got holes.  In particular, I could wish that the shooting of Sherlock had never happened, and that’s got Moffat’s sticky drama-obsessed, protagonist-fixated fingerprints all over it.

Also I think the author of that rant is picking up on the stylistic changes of the show since we lost Paul McGuigan.  Man, that really hurt.  Rewatch the first two seasons and see how much he makes up for narrative unevenness and lack of characters (especially John, who isn’t a big talker when he’s not asking Sherlock questions) by turning the camera on them even when they don’t have lines.  Look again at that consistently steady, beautiful, intimate, lush cinematography and lighting compared to the glossy, empty cuts of TEH or the general unevenness of TSOT or the sheer drowning-in-Sherlock camerawork of HLV.  I really hope they manage to establish more steadiness with the directing in S4.  (Ideally I hope McGuigan finds time to work on next season, but he’s signed on to direct the latest Hollywood remake of Frankenstein, so we’ll see.)

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