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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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sherlock: a scandal in belgravia redux
children of dune - leto 1
This may be my favorite episode so far.

In the beginning:

That was very not how I expected that to play out. I think my favorite thing about Moriarty is the ridiculousness adds to instead of detracts from the creepiness and ruthlessness. The first time, the phone ring irritated me right up until what came after; it's an interesting contrast that illustrates Moriarty's instability.

I worried how they'd handle Adler without disrespecting either character's brilliance: abruptly requiring Sherlock to be led by his cock or downplaying Adler's effect on him. I liked this balance very much. She had an obvious effect on him and, very interestingly like Moriarty, the intellectual seduction is paramount as she adapts to what makes him hot. Which makes a very interesting argument about Sherlock's attraction to intelligent criminals (his reaction to the pilot ep serial killer in this context is interesting as hell).

I liked Irene. The adaptation of her character was fascinating, and I like her cold ruthlessness and her intensely practical self-interest and her obvious enjoyment of her work, both in the bedroom and in manipulation games. I feel sympathy for those with pictures in her possession, but I'm a lot less sympathetic to idiots who brag about their top secret work, because come the fuck on, she has a reputation for doing this shit. Not like she tied them down--no, wait--not like they didn't go in asking to be tied down, so.

You know, what's really killing me is how this hooks back to The Great Game.

Mycroft's surprising volatility during this ep was utterly bewildering up until it was completely understandable. Mycroft handled Sherlock badly; he's made a profession of holding the higher, condescending ground, so letting Sherlock get to him, and so fast, and with such hilarious and painful results, and for really shitty reasons, was weird.

Am I right in suspecting Mycroft and Moriarty worked together and/or were friends at some point? This is circumstantial, but the sex remark from Mycroft early on--again, that was a shock, Mycroft doesn't taunt personally, but in that meeting, that was brutal--combined with Moriarty's Iceman and Virgin characterization, which again, that's personal--Moriarty gave her advice, Moriarty is familiar with them, and not just with Sherlock, it's personal.

Now I wonder what the hell was actually happening with Moriarty and Sherlock in The Great Game.

More later; I need to watch again. This was fantastic.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/921578.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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I have a few theories about Mycroft's volatility this episode, though I really need to go back and rewatch the episode a few times.

He has a tremendously complicated plan that he's been working on for a while, and

I think Mycroft is good at making complex, sophisticated, subtle plans. I think he's not good when those plans go pear-shaped. His plans are exceptionally well-crafted, with many layers of redundancy, taking on board everything he knows about the people involved, the systems he's working with, how to do everything so that it works-- and then when something happens outside of all of that planning that throws a spanner in the works, one he hasn't planned for? Then he's left off-balance and doesn't deal with it well. Sherlock, on the other hand, may dislike being wrong, but he reacts quickly to it.

And that also feeds into their relationship-- Sherlock feels trapped by Mycroft's plans, Mycroft hates that Sherlock won't fall into them, not least because it would be so much better if he did-- safer for him, more efficient, more useful, etc. So he makes even craftier plans and schemes to make it harder for Sherlock to break out of them, which just makes Sherlock do whatever he can to disrupt them even more, with even less care for the consequences.

I also think that part of it is that sibling thing where one moment you're both rational, grown-up people, and the next you're acting with each other the same way you did when you where, six or ten or sixteen or twenty six, because that's the pattern you have and even when you don't mean to, that's the one you fall back in to. Sherlock deliberately does things to wind Mycroft up. Mycroft makes a point of emphasizing their relative status and abilities.

And certainly not least, I think Mycroft is not good when Sherlock is hurt, and even worse when Mycroft knows he was unintentionally responsible-- Sherlock getting hurt through Mycroft's failure to plan properly. Complete speculation, but I think that aspect of their relationship was added to when Sherlock was using, because Mycroft couldn't stop him hurting himself that way. You can't get someone off an addiction unless they want to, and when Sherlock stopped (or at least, stopped using to the point where it was obviously damaging), it wasn't because of anything Mycroft did.

I did like this version of Irene, and I loved the scene with Irene and John at Battersea Power Station. John is so furious over her hurting Sherlock by letting her think she was dead, and Irene is unflinching in calling both of them out on their degree of involvement with Sherlock.

You know, I think it's kind of interesting that this episode showed three brilliant, better-than-everyone people with different, but overlapping areas of brilliance.

I also think that part of it is that sibling thing where one moment you're both rational, grown-up people, and the next you're acting with each other the same way you did when you where, six or ten or sixteen or twenty six, because that's the pattern you have and even when you don't mean to, that's the one you fall back in to. Sherlock deliberately does things to wind Mycroft up. Mycroft makes a point of emphasizing their relative status and abilities.

No, I agree, but Mycroft was surprisingly vicious and personal. The sex comment was beyond unexpected, and his constant state of off-balance with Sherlock was very new.

It did make me wonder if Mycroft was the one she got the email from, but she would have used that in the end, so probably no.

My other theory for the beginning interaction is that it was part of Mycroft manipulating Sherlock-- Mycroft reacting that much tells Sherlock that he's offbalance and Sherlock has the upperhand. Being opening vicious and attacking is actually him losing and means that Sherlock has more power and is then more likely to take the case, just to score one over Mycroft.

Especially because most of the time, Sherlock's the one reacting emotionally to Mycroft, which means he's the one losing in most of their interactions.

Incidentally, I think possibly the most interesting line in this episode is Mycroft's response to Sherlock's "Do you ever think there's something wrong with us?"

"All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage."

Which is kind of a fascinating statement because *all* hearts are broken is as inevitable and universal as death, even for them. And caring doesn't help or hinder that. I just-- "Caring is not an advantage."? Because it doesn't help you prepare for having your heart broken, or give you better tools to deal with it? Or because it's irrelevant to those two inevitabilities, because they happen whether you care or not?

Just.. what? I love that line, you can write novels of backstories to that line. Possibly referencing Mycroft's wedding ring.

Oh, and closely followed by "Are you sure tonight's a danger night?" "No, but then I never am."

I also love that he says that like it's a reminder to Sherlock. SO much backstory right there!

This episode, oh god, this episode. I knew it was going to pierce (IRENE ADLER) but it was terrifying to think of everything that could've gone wrong.

And then...nothing did.

I-I have so many feelings about this.

While we're at it: Mrs. Hudson. Just--bloody hell. Mrs. Hudson.

Oh HELL YES. The woman was married to a murderer; she knows how to play some silly CIA boys.

Sherlock's reaction was--well. Very reactiony. Hello anatomy lesson in death.

The bins will recover.

But, really, Mrs. Hudson was the final note on synching this for me: this is an episode about love. Ok, ok, I know. This is hardly a ground breaking statement and we were all braced for Irene, but but BUT, love. There's just so much of it there: family, surrogate family, best pals, the balance between sentiment and focus, loyalty. And, yes, sex. Though I do think penetration would be better word with Sherlock.

Oh, definitely, Mrs. Hudson. Because she was utterly sincere in her fear, but that doesn't mean she wasn't thinking inside of it. The fear isn't a lie, but that it made her weak was.

Basically, I <3 the 221B family.

(Deleted comment)
Totally jumping in here but:

the throwaway I'm gay line by Irene (has Sherlock now "converted" her?)

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: Sexuality is a fluid, impossible to graph thing. And very much defined by the person themselves. Irene calls herself gay (whatever that entails in her mind) so she is (excluding possibilities of course like she's lying but for the sake of this I'm assuming not) and even if she falls in love/gets turned on by a man she is still gay. She isn't suddenly just attracted to men because of her relationship with Sherlock.

And I hope this didn't come off as curt in any fashion, I've just been seeing this question/frowny attitude a lot and it's been bugging me.

Homg thank you for this. Because yes. SHE doesn't seem to see herself as "converted", so take it as yes she's gay (however she means that, and never-you-mind) and yes she's attracted to Sherlock in all his brilliant dysfunctional glory and so what?

Tumblr has been throwing around sapiosexual i.e. a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence in others which I like a lot but mainly, I just like the idea of Irene being gay and not caring about any social conventions to define it in any fashion.

It's just so nice to see it done right for once.

I appreciate your comments, but my point was that the line seemed to me to be a throwaway line - something that was unnecessary for the story that was being told, and thus leaving me wondering to what end was the line included. I am not arguing the fluidity of sexuality, nor even trying to pigeonhole the character, but there are certain connotations with identifying a character as gay and SM doesn't strike me as one who delves into the more subtle variations and meanings. She's says I'm gay, a large part of the latter half of the story empahsises an overt sexual as well as emotional connection between her and Sherlock. So, what was the point of the line in the first place? To be edgy? To set up Sherlock as the man who can overcome all people's professed sexual inclinations? Or some other reason. The lack of clear purpose bugged me.

I feel awkward hijacking someone else's journal for this discussion, willing to continue elsewhere if necessary.

Edited at 2012-01-02 08:56 am (UTC)

Ah, I could see how lack of clear motive would bug you there. I do have thoughts about that (although I'm scrambling to put them in order as it's 3am and I'm hyped up as all hell) would you prefer me to DM you (here/twitter/tumblr)? Or what would you have in mind?

Jumping in quick and hoping to say nothing offensive because sexuality can be very touchy. I thought it actually wasn't a throw away line at all, but intended to be part of this theme of sexuality at intersections/fluid sexuality within the ep. You have the self-identified lesbian who falls in love with a man, a virgin man who is asexual but is attracted to a woman, and a "not gay" man who protests he's not in love with another man yet his every action shows everyone else that he is and they constantly tell him that.

I'm not going to say they did it well or anything, nor am I going to suggest it was a good idea necessarily - I think we all view media through our own lens and whether this worked for any one person or not is a matter of individuality. Within the context of that theme as part of the storyline, though, Irene saying she's gay was necessary to create the sexual intersection represented by all three of them.

I loved this episode so fucking much. My eyeballs hurt with all the pics I've been staring at and screenshots wot I tried to download omg. I can NEVER BREATHE AGAIN.

*totters off*

One of the things I liked about this is we get to see how much Sherlock's friendship with John has changed him.

During the christmas party when Sherlock savages Molly over a carefully wrapped present before seeing it's addressed to him. He then gives her an unprompted and truly sincere apology. You could see how shocked everyone in the room was. Including John.

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