Allow me to remind you that in the Empty Hearse, when John is placed in the fire, this is an attempt to get to Mary.
Sherlock knows this.
Mary shows him the text sent to her.

However, the show implies that John does not.

John later asks Sherlock why that happened to him, expecting Sherlock to know; and he also writes in his blog how now that Sherlock’s back, these things are happening to him again.
As if it’s Sherlock’s fault.

But wait- it’s not.
Uh, John, you were placed there because of your girlfriend.
Not because of Sherlock.
Why aren’t you asking her why there might be people who for some reason want to get to her, hm?
Why isn’t Sherlock questioning this?

Funny, considering it was to get to Mary that he was put in the fire, but it was Sherlock who pulled him out.
Yet Sherlock still gets thrown under the bus, for the whole ordeal.

Yeah. Funny.

So I honestly can’t believe I’ve never seen anyone talking about the art direction of this scene. If I’m repeating something, Ah,well. But I’ve honestly never seen it pointed out that this is the very first time we see Mary, and there are three important things here:

Mary reaches for John’s hand. John takes it, of course—he is used to being offered comfort for his loss, by now—but he is not reaching out to her for comfort in his sadness. She is inserting herself into his grief. Reflexively, he lets her.

We only see the back of her. It’s unusual to introduce a major protagonist any other way than by showing their face pretty much immediately. A major antagonist, however…a baddie…well, they often are introduced in a cloud of cigarette smoke, from a distance, in the shadows, as a mysterious voice on a phone, or in some other way that doesn’t tell us right away who they are. Our first glimpse of Mary gives us only the most vague information about her. Obviously a woman, obviously someone John is close to, as he holds her hand. Other than that…who is she? We don’t know.

Finally, it’s no mistake she is wearing a long, grey coat which flares slightly from the waist, and a blue scarf. But they are paler shades of those colours than Sherlock’s coat and scarf were, because Mary is but a pale imitation of the person we are used to seeing standing beside John Watson (even once, when they were handcuffed together, holding John Watson’s hand in a manner similar to what we see here). Her coat and scarf look cheap, “less than,” and her denim jeans are “less” than Sherlock Holmes’s designer trousers. Her dark hat is a visual echo of Sherlock’s dark hair. This whole shot is set up not only to remind us that Sherlock used to stand here at John Watson’s side, but also that This is some lesser, fake, replacement-Sherlock standing at John Watson’s side, and whether consciously or unconsciously, John has chosen a pale imitation indeed.


#this scene #this goddamn scene #first the way they look at each other #then how john’s checking sherlock out #then sherlock’s face #jesus #his face #his bright smile fades away a little #then he looks up #as if he’s reminding himself about— #we all know what #then how drastically his expression changes as he’s passing john #his lips tightened #he looks like he’s fighting with himself #but of course john can’t see that #john looks at him with pure joy #of having sherlock back #there isn’t this unsaid longing yet #there’s only one moment of hesitation #yeah if our hearts were never broken