Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sherlock Series 4 Ep. 1

Well after two years of anxiously waiting for the next series of Sherlock to be released, we got it on Sunday.

I've seen every episode of Sherlock, and while I am a fan of the intricacy and definitely the production quality of the series, as well as the acting and all the complex story lines, I wouldn't venture to say that I am a complete die-hard fan.  Certainly not the type that writes Benedict Cumberbatch fanfiction.

I was still super excited to see the next episode and gathered together with my friends to have a "Sherlock party" Sunday night.

Since this is the first time I'm reviewing anything Sherlock on my blog, let me first give you some idea of my experience with Sherlock by doing the 30 days of Sherlock in one shot.  Here goes!

DOING!:

  1. My favorite episode is Reichenbach Fall
  2. My favorite main character is Sherlock
  3. My favorite minor character is Molly
  4. My favorite quote is "You see but do not observe."
  5. I used to ship Sherlolly (Sherlock and Molly) but now I don't really have a ship going.
  6. I like the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books a lot.
      7. A Sherlock photo that makes me smile:
      Image result for sherlock in hat

      8. A Sherlock photo that makes me frown:
      Image result for sherlock dead

     9. A Sherlock photo that makes me laugh:
     Related image

     10. My favorite character:
     Image result for sherlock smiling

     11. My least favorite character:
     Image result for sergeant sherlock

    12. I appreciate how each of the titles kind of play off the original Sherlock Holmes stories, so even though this series is really different, it still pays homage to it's source material.
    13.  In this coming series, I would like to hear more about Sherlock and Mycroft's mysterious brother-- "the other one"
    14. I don't even know what a Livejournal is, so...
    15. Favorite Sherlock fanfiction?  Um, I don't venture into the Sherlock fanfiction arena.  Some fandoms have really quality fanfiction (I'm looking at you, Lord of the Rings) but other places are darker and stranger.  I'm not staying Sherlock is, but I've never gone to check.
    16. A fangirl moment: "The name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street.  Good day!"
    17. Parts that made me cry (or get as close to tears as I'm going to get): Sherlock's death!  John at his grave!  Sherlock at the therapist!
    18. I don't love the character of Irene, but I do love the scene in which Sherlock proves that she has sort of fallen for him.  The music, and Irene's expression as well as Sherlock's voice are just perfect.
    19. Molly is probably most like me.
    20. Favorite use of original canon: Reichenbach Falls, maybe.  I like how they kind of updated it.

    21.
   Image result for sherlock gif

   22. Favorite Sherlock site: John's blog.
   23. Sherlock on YouTube: Emergency Awesome does a good job recapping episodes and tying in canon references.
   24. My least favorite episode is the Hounds of Baskerville.
   25. Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite Sherlock actor--he's pretty funny.
   26. Hmm...Una Stubbs is my favorite Sherlock actress.
   27. Character I would want to be: This is a hard one.  No one in the show, really.  I guess Sherlock, but it'd be hard to lack emotion.
   28. Character I would not want to be: Mary.  When you're in too deep with that assassin life style, there ain't no digging yourself out.  (Did I just say "ain't"?  *Grammar panic sirens wail*)
   29. My favorite thing about Sherlock is the filmography.  Absolutely beautiful filming and editing.
   30. Shout to Adamson and Brynn for introducing me to Sherlock!


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BBC

Alright so now that you know a little about my Sherlock background and I've (hopefully) proved myself to be a fan worthy to criticize the latest episode, let's get into it. 

Fair warning: there will be spoilers aplenty for Sherlock Series 4, Episode 1, The Six Thatchers.

First off, going into this episode, I was excited but not crazy excited.  I feel that I am able to review this with a level head because since it's been awhile since I went through my Sherlock fangirl phase.  I still like it, but I'm not irrational about it.  Plus I decided to take a couple days after watching it to collect my thoughts.

This is going to sound really dumb, but sometimes when lots of people (particularly my age) like something, it kind of makes me not like it.  Not automatically, it just lessens my love for it a bit.  It's not really a controllable thing, it just happens.  It's a side effect of being an old lady at heart.

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I watched all the trailers before hand, but I couldn't bring myself to get super excited.  Every line and shot just looked like it was playing off the success of the first couple series.  I noticed throughout this entire episode there were lots of inside jokes and utterances of "the game is on" or something to that extent.  This almost seemed a bit cheesy, like the writers were trying really hard to get fangirls to squeal in excitement.

Sometimes I can be made of unimpressionable stone, and as I watched this, I was.  It just didn't impact me the way it did in the original series and I felt that it was kind of lack luster.

Just a few moments into the episode I was reminded of a few of my Sherlock qualms.  

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Tenor

Sherlock
is by no means a perfect series.  I dislike some of the story lines, and a lot of it is too gory, too profane, and too irreverent for my taste.  One moment that has sincerely bothered me was when John and Mary asked Sherlock to be the Godfather of their new baby.  Sherlock had some quick lines in typical "high-functioning" style in a rant against the existence of God, which I suppose may make some sense to his character, but still bothered me.  Are we really going to have one of the most stereotypically smart and knowledgeable character in literature be a complete atheist?  I am really tired of the stereotype that all smart people are atheists.  Basically, I understand that this Sherlock character believes that, and that's okay as far as it goes, I just hope that it doesn't influence viewers' minds into believing that all smart people think that's the case.  That's all.

The episode started off with the mysterious death of a man who was supposed to be far away hiking, but was found dead after weeks in his car.  I'm not going to waste too much time writing about what actually happened since I assume you've already seen the episode if you're reading this.

Personally, I really didn't like the solution to this mystery.  It had me completely baffled originally, but turned out to be really quite dumb.  Additionally, Sherlock had to jump to lots of conclusions to actually figure it out, and he had little to no evidence.  I mean really?  The boy just happened to have a little suit that he made so he could blend in perfectly with the car in order to surprise his father?  And he had a seizure at the exact moment he was meant to surprise him?  And how on earth did Sherlock guess it was a seizure?  It could be any number of things!

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The main episode progresses from there to covering the very confusingly told story of Mary's background.  I am not a huge fan of Mary's, so I wasn't particularly invested in this portion of the show.  

Mary and John experience a bit of discord as Mary withholds a lot of information from John, and John...has an affair?!?!?  What was with that?  I can't remember if that actually happened in the books, but either way it hit me kind right out of left field.  It was really out of step with John's character, but it was left ambiguous, so I don't know if he actually had an affair or not.  What are your thoughts on that?

Mary finally dies at the very ending after defending Sherlock from a bullet.  I knew Mary was going to die, because I did remember that from the books and assumed it would happen.  Again, I didn't really care that much about Mary's story line because I'm just not a huge fan of her character for some reason.  I honestly don't know why.  Maybe it's the whole assassin, shady backstory, and violent backstory.  I dunno.

Image result for mary sherlock
PBS
John goes pretty much balistic at Sherlock, blaming him for letting Mary die.  It was at this point in the episode that I was getting pretty disappointed.  I knew the episode was wrapping up, and it was not going well in my opinion.

John, what on earth???   YOU are the one that had an affair with Mary, breaking ACTUAL vows you made to her, while Sherlock just made a promise to do his best to protect them.  Plus, how on earth is Sherlock supposed to have prevented Mary from willingly jumping in front of him to protect him?  In no way was this Sherlock's fault, and towards the end it seemed like John was really overreacting.  I get that in the moment he would be distraught, but even days later Molly told Sherlock that John didn't want to see him.

This complete overreaction kind of makes me lose respect for John.  Additionally the whole ending felt very soap-operary.  And I had seen waaaaay too much soap opera just before I watched this episode (*cough cough* Downton Abbey marathon).

Image result for downton abbey drinking tea gif
This gif from a scene in Downton Abbey perfectly expresses how I feel when watching
Downton Abbey.

Jane Austen's World - WordPress.com

There were some good things in the episode, however.

I had no idea that the secretary was going to be the culprit, and it completely took me by surprise for which I commend the writing.  I don't know if it's just because there was pretty much only one completely circumstantial and ambiguous clue with which to come to that conclusion, or if I was just genuinely fooled, but it was surprising.

I liked how Mary revealed that Rosamund Mary was her actual name and that's why her acronym was an R. on the A.C.R.A. memory stick.  Pretty creative twist, in my opinion.

As my friend Adamson pointed out, this episode is just trying to get fans back into the groove of Sherlock-dom (which could be the reason for all the fangirl-service moments) and prepare them for the real drama to unfold in the coming episodes.

Image result for the lying detective sherlock
Flickering Myth

I for one am looking forward to discovering who this crazy laughing guy is and why Sherlock is so distraught towards the end of the series.

What is your experience with Sherlock?  What did you think of the most recent episode?  What are you looking forward to in Series 4?  Comment below, and y'all have an absolutely sensational day.


3 comments:

  1. I like Sherlock well enough- I love the original short stories and novels. The frequent homosexual reference bother me, but it seemed to calm down a bit after the first season. I filtered out what I didn't want to hear and concentrated on the story, which fortunately they gave more attention to anyway. From the trailers I've seen for season 4 it looks like they might be steering into dangerous ground again, so if they do I might just have to stop watching the show completely.

    Overall, I really enjoy the characters and the mysteries. The cinematography is good, and the way that they combing multiple plots from the original stories and put them in a modern setting is really cool. I do think sometimes the show delves a little to much into the drama genre, but that's okay if they want that to be their main point.

    It's odd that they made Sherlock an atheist, as in the books he was willing to admit that there was a higher power, if not specifically God. Holmes was reluctant to assume that any of the mysteries he faced were spiritual in nature, but freely told his clients and Watson that if they were indeed spiritual, he had no power to solve that sort of problem. Arthur Conan Doyle was a spiritualist and dabbled in the occult, so though he was definitely not following God's laws, he was likely aware of the reality of spiritual things.

    I have a theory about "The Other One", as Mycroft referred to him! I call it... "The Redbeard Theory".
    Why is it that the root of Sherlock's emotional problems almost always ends up coming to his dog, Redbeard? I understand how sad it can be to lose a beloved dog, especially at a young age. And perhaps, if Sherlock suffers from Asperger's Syndrome as seems plausible, this loss might have hit him a bit harder. But still, the loss of a dog hardly seems enough to completely alienate him from his entire family.
    When Mycroft mentions The Other One, presumably a third brother, he does so in the context that he is not sheltering Sherlock or trying to spare him from the consequences of his crime. He uses The Other One as proof that he will treat Sherlock the same as any other criminal.
    It is mentioned twice (I think) that Sherlock wanted to be a pirate when he was young, which is presumably why he named his dog Redbeard.
    UNLESS- Redbeard was not a dog, but a man. His brother.
    My guess is that The Other One was older than Sherlock and much closer to Mycroft's age. He, unlike Mycroft, used his considerable intellect to commit crimes, becoming a roguish pirate sort of fellow- a real dog, if you will. Sherlock probably idolized him, finding his brother's dangerous ways fascinating and exciting. He's possibly even the one who gave him his nickname.
    But 'Redbeard' was eventually caught and tried for his crimes, and Mycroft, wanting justice to be served, did not attempt to shelter his brother from the crimes he committed. He probably hoped that if Redbeard was incarcerated, he might rethink his criminal life and be safer in prison than amongst the other cutthroats. Unfortunately, Redbeard was not sentenced to prison but to death, and the Holmes family was unable to stop it.
    Thus, Redbeard was 'put down', like a dog in the pound, and young Sherlock was never able to get over it. In his mind, he rationalized the situation to lessen the sting and began to think of his brother as a pet, rather than a person. It was probably easier, and in his deep grief he would have been willing to cling to anything to ease his pain. That was probably when his drug addiction began, as he took cocaine and other drugs to numb the memory of his sorrow and take his mind off of the tragedy.

    So there you have it- the Redbeard Theory, thought up by yours truly. What do you think? Yay? Nay? Ridiculous? Plausible? Only time will tell....

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you!
      Your theory is very intriguing, I don't know if it will play out though. There have been several flash backs in recent episodes to images of actual dogs, so either Sherlock has conjured up a fake image of a fake dog, or it was an actual dog in his past. I don't know for sure though, and that's a really creative theory!

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    2. Thanks, hahah. :D I know it's not likely to be true... but it was certainly fun to think of.

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