Because that’s where they sit. The people that come in here with their stories. The clients. That’s all you are now, Mary. You’re a client. This is where you sit and talk and this is where we sit and listen. Then we decide if we want you or not

This scene is what the whole season comes to.  This moment is the climax of the season.  Everything after this is just a chaser, a wrap-up on the loose ends—yes, even CAM.  You can tell because we weren’t left hanging.  Sherlock’s fate was not the dramatic end.  It was just a joke, an eye-wink, a funny little ‘gotcha’ between friends.

This scene starts out with John standing between Sherlock and Mary, pulled back and forth between them, moving toward one and then the other as they all argue and the camera angles keep changing.

And then this.  John puts Mary on the spot—the client’s chair, the outsider’s chair.  The defendant’s chair, here to lay her case before literature’s final and most objective court of appeal: the living room of 221b Baker Street.

And look at that final frame.  It’s perfectly balanced.  It’s completely stable, the camera centered perfectly on Mary with both sides of the frame weighted equally—Sherlock and John taking up an equal 1/3 of the shot in mirrored positions on either side.  Let me tell you, as an artist, that is never, ever done by accident.  You only ever use it when you want to generate a sense of stability and inertia, because if you use it accidentally, the stasis of a shot like this will suck the life out of your image.

But here, it IS the dramatic moment.  The penny has been spinning in the air up till now—it’s been up there all season—but at this moment, it drops.  We see them move in unison to take their places, no more words necessary between them.  We hear John verbalize it to Mary, because she is the outsider, she needs it explained—we, and you.

And then the movement stops, and we’re left with this: a final frame of perfect stability so intense that you can almost feel the penny hit the floor.  Sherlock and John, restored to their rightful place, framing the shot, dominating the scene as a pair.

This tells you all you need to know about where they stand with each other, and where the focus of this show will always lie.  

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