The Space-Time Continuum in BBC’s Sherlock Part II: Reflection and Reproduction
So, @tjlcisthenewsexy made some great comments on the original The Space-Time Continnum in BBC’s Sherlock meta and I started to reply, but then I had a big breakthrough and I feel it needs its own post.
The amount of parallels and direct homages to previous episodes in Series Four are more than numerous at this point. There are so many that its almost like they are re-doing entire episodes. Well, they are. The reason and method of which was confounding me for awhile, but I figured out the reason with my original Space-Time meta, and the method I just discovered this morning.
Here is a basic timeline of episodes in BBC’s Sherlock
Now, accounting for what we learned in The Space-Time Continuum Part I meta, here is some additional information:
The glass in TAB serves as a reflection or mirror between Series three and Series Four, which is why the Series MIRROR each other, as in literally mirror.EDIT TO ADD: @tjlcisthenewsexy pointed out the awesome phrasing that Molly gives us in HLV during Sherlock’s MP fall after being shot. She wonders if he should go forwards or backwards. This moment could easily be considered a second zero null vector because it is at this point Sherlock decides to start going backwards-towards TRF. Didn’t it seem odd how quickly he forgave Mary and how quickly The Watson’s marriage was back on track? That’s because he started rewinding the state of their relationship to the beginning of that episode!!!
(Interesting Side Note about Peppers Ghost, the parlor trick used in TAB. (Taken from Wikipedia)
The basic trick involves a stage that is specially arranged into two rooms, one that people can see into or the stage as a whole, and a second that is hidden to the side, the “blue room”. A plate of glass (or Plexiglas or plastic film) is placed somewhere in the main room at an angle that reflects the view of the blue room towards the audience. Generally this is arranged with the blue room to one side of the stage, and the plate on the stage rotated around its vertical axis at 45 degrees. Care must be taken to make the glass as invisible as possible, normally hiding the lower edge in patterning on the floor and ensuring lights do not reflect off it.
When the lights are bright in the main room and dark in the blue room, the reflected image cannot be seen. When the lighting in the blue room is increased, often with the main room lights dimming to make the effect more pronounced, the reflection becomes visible and the objects within the blue room seem to appear in thin air. A common variation uses two blue rooms, one behind the glass and one to the side, which can be switched visible or invisible by alternating the lighting. (x)
This would explain Blue light hell @skulls-and-tea!! Every time we see a blue light, what we are witnessing is a reflection of something else from the series!)
So, the three episodes of each series literally reflect each other like this:
So the episode breakdown would look like this:
Do you see how the series are literal reflections of each other? There is of course still parallels to each of the episodes outside of this flow chart (like illusions to Sumatra in TEH and TST), but that can be accounted for by the fact that time isn’t actually linear. While these series reflect eachother as a basic method of understanding, the space of each episode still exists all in one time, so there will still be homages to “other” space-times.
The reflection of the two series explains why The Six thatchers is so similar to His Last Vow, with the guns and the slo-mo gunshot and Mary’s secret assassin storyline and would help a lot of us EMPers who are so attached to HLV being the beginning of EMP realize why we thought this so vehemently after TST. TLD and TSoT are connected by their emotional focus and their progression of John and Sherlock’s relationship. They are also linked by the only two JohnLock hugs in existence. TEH and TFP are very similar in the countdown/bomb motifs, bond-esque baddie plots, A focus on Mycroft and Sherlock’s relationship, and the inclusion of The Holmes parents.
Now, if you notice, Series Three and Four also has A LOT of parallels to Series Two, but they don’t work as a mirror! Series 3 & 4 are not a reflection of Series 2, but a reproduction of it! If Sherlock is working is way through how to defeat Moriarty at point zero, then he will need to work through all the steps (Absolute Past) that led him to that point- (i.e Series 1 and more specifically, Series 2). So the entirety of Series 3 & 4 is a retelling of Series 2, folded in on itself. Why? Because TIME IS NOT LINEAR! For the visual learners (that’s me) this explanation would look something like this:
Its a circle, folded in on itself. Its literally the space-time continuum come to life!! If we want to break it down episode by episode I made table for that! (I’m really getting a lot of use out of Word today)
This is just a short list off the top of my head, so Im sure there is more- feel free to add on! Like John being kidnapped ASiB, TEH, and TFP!
As I stated before, there will definitely be parallels within every episode to every other episode because time has folded and twisted in on itself in Sherlock’s mind. Its all existing at once. So the parallels in ASiB to TST or in TRF to TFP, are purposeful and a reminder that time is not linear.
I hope these charts helped explain the theory a little more!
Tagging some people that I think might enjoy it based on their comments on the first part!