10

– Do you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes? However hard you try, it’s always a self-portrait.
– You think I’m a vicar with a bleeding face?
– No, I think you’re damaged, delusional and believe in a higher power. In your case it’s yourself.

So. Is it normal that 4 major characters in this show were presumed dead and then later returned? Sherlock, Irene, and Amelia all have purposefully similar appearances while Moriarty tells Sherlock of their matched/equal brains. But that’s not the only thing that ties these two women.

–We are introduced by white dress, red lipstick, same hair, same…. face!

–The first seconds with these women, they are making huge attention-grabbing calculated moves: Emelia shoots at the town, trying to make a witnessed suicide, while Irene introduces herself nude, a power play to confuse Sherlock.

Before they appear on screen, Lestrade tells Emelia’s story of ..exiting her marriage, and Mycroft tells Irene’s recent headlines in which she ended the marriage of a powerful couple. Because Emelia was newly widowed, her act speaks to her solitude despite being part of a greater (suffragist) movement of many women. Irene is very textually alone. In contrast with the suffragist narrative, it is important to note that she is referred to as “The Woman”. Is that a nod to her professional title? A note about her being an exception to one of Sherlock’s rules? Or is it in pairing with the idea of something like the suffragist movement, as representing women as one cohesive thing? Is she the woman or one of them?

Everyone fighting over who Sherlock should fall in love with in Season 4. But I am just over in my own corner just hoping Sherlock will have enough emotional growth to love himself, get help for his drugs addiction, and finally be able to give his big brother a hug. It’s all I am asking for. Just let my smol son be happy. Give him hugs not drugs.

  • Irene:"Have dinner with me tonight."
  • Sherlock:"Can't, I'm having dinner with John."
  • Irene:"Text me back."
  • Sherlock:"Can't, I'm already too busy texting John."
  • Irene:"Tell me the Coventry story."
  • Sherlock:"I'd rather tell John. Where's John?"
  • Irene:"Look at those cheekbones. I could cut myself slapping that face. Would you like me to try?"
  • Sherlock:"I literally had John do that, like, not even 4 minutes ago, no joke."
Dutch Angles in BBC Sherlock

Dutch Angles are a type of camera effect used in filming, where the camera is tilted at an angle. You’ve probably seen it before, especially if you’ve watched older movies where the effect was used a lot more than it is today. And in BBC Sherlock it is used sparingly, to effectively suggest disorientation, confusion, unease, and loss. 

Here this use of the Dutch Angle makes a lot of sense. Sherlock has just been shot, he’s in the process of dying, he’s slowly falling apart. This mood is conveyed effectively by tilting the screen and focusing in on Sherlock going into shock.

We’ve also got the whole bit with Redbeard filmed this way. This is followed by Dutch Angles during the padded cell with Moriarty, before the camera finally rights itself again upon Sherlock gaining consciousness. HLV contains more of these types of angles than any other episode. It’s mean to represent in visual terms the consequences of wrong choices that have led to this painful mess.

Another scene where Dutch Angles are used is, rather unsurprisingly, the Fall.

It starts once Sherlock falls. Once John hits the pavement, the camera continues to stay titled while focusing on John. 

Again, for the context of this scene, the use of Dutch Angles makes a lot of sense, and works well paired with the shift between in-focus and out-of-focus. John’s view of the world has literally been thrown off balance, and while the rest of his grieving scenes are more stable, similar colour schemes bleed out of the Fall and onto the rest of his life.

Given some examples of where the Dutch Angle has been used, I now want to focus on a moment that drew my interest to this technique:

This shot doesn’t make sense. It is during Sherlock’s Bond Air deduction, but for a brief moment the camera looks at John and tilts, dramatically so. Based on all the other uses for this angle we have seen, a Dutch Angle shows a character who is at in that moment under great stress, loss, and/or confusion. No body is dying in this scene, by all accounts Sherlock is the only one who should be mildly disoriented, not John. So there must be a reason for this usage that goes beyond John being a bit perplexed at Sherlock’s deductions.

In context:

Ah, yes, that’s makes more sense.

Sherlock is trying to deduce the numbers and Irene is trying to flirt with Sherlock to get what she wants. Sherlock generally looks annoyed at her kissing him but John actually slams his mug down. You can see a very brief blink-and-you-miss-it shot of his face. He looks hurt. Angry. His jaw is set and brows furrowed. 

This seemingly simply scene of good old bumbling John being confused as usual looks a whole lot different if you consider what John has been through by this point. This isn’t like earlier when they first confront Irene and he is generally annoyed but otherwise neutral towards her. Now he has seen her drug and beat Sherlock without consent, he’s seen Sherlock affected by her supposed death, then watch her come back to life and learn that she flirted at him via text. And then he realises Sherlock overheard him say that he wasn’t gay, but that issue was not resolved.

To say John is confused and annoyed by this point is an understatement. He’s worried for Sherlock, angry at Irene, and from his viewpoint it looks like against all better judgment those two are ready to have sex right there in front of him as if all those wounds were never dealt. 

As if he isn’t there and doesn’t matter.

That’s why we get this seemingly incongruous Dutch Angle, one that conveys extreme confusion and loss. The cinematography in this show isn’t taken lightly, we’ve seen all kinds of creative uses for crazy shots. It then makes sense that we are meant to realise John’s point of view in this scene. We shouldn’t be rooting for Sherlock to be with Irene or any other female for that matter, because John, our narrator of this story, sees this and the story world loses balance. It is equated with Sherlock throwing himself off a building or Sherlock getting shot and having to raise himself from the dead, because this is one of several moments where we are supposed to share John’s anger and confusion.

Thankfully, of course, the camera does right itself again, and it is eventually revealed Irene only flirted with Sherlock to get what she wanted, and that he found her annoying and pathetic. John doesn’t know this, but we do as the audience. All is right again, until of course Moriarty ruins everything and Sherlock jumps off a building and then John goes off and marries an assassin. This culminates in the finale episode featuring a ton of Dutch Angles screaming at us that none of this is right, that Mary is the cause of a lot of these problems, and that the world won’t be right until Sherlock and John are actually back together again.

You have to admit, the filmmakers know what they’re doing and they’re great at it. They’ve also instilled in me a lifelong love for the awkward, rare Dutch Angle.


@inevitably-johnlocked, @irrelevantbl0g, @deducingbbcsherlock, @mrsmusicaddict, @isitandwonder, @monikakrasnorada , @sussexbound

Feel free to tag others!

Did you know the first Baker Street scenes of THOB happen before Sherlock meets Irene Adler?

So there’s a big discrepancy between the timelines of THOB and ASIB.  I’ve always assumed all of episode 5 occurs after episode 4, but that is not the case.  Sherlock arriving at Baker Street covered in blood, begging for cigarettes, begging for a case to distract him - all of this happens before Irene Adler comes into the picture.  How can I prove that?  Through Mrs. Hudson’s new dress:  

Sherlock points out that it’s new while he’s deducing her love life.  

But she’s worn that dress before…. in A Scandal in Belgravia

So if it’s new in THOB, then that scene where they meet Irene happens AFTER the deduction of her dress.  

Not to mention John in THOB is reading a news article about Sherlock that’s the SAME article Irene Adler reads in ASIB, not merely the same photo.  

So what does all this mean? 

It means Sherlock was worked up, looking for cigarettes, yearning for something 7% stronger than tea because of what happened in episode 3.  More specifically, the pool scene.  He gave up smoking, tried hiding cigarettes in his shoe only to have them confiscated and unattainable. Sherlock told John there’s only two choices to end his torment: Find Bluebell or play Cluedo.  John didn’t want to play Cluedo because Sherlock clearly didn’t understand the rules.  But because this happened before Irene Adler’s case, seeing the Cluedo board stabbed into the wall above the mantle means because Sherlock didn’t immediately care to investigate a rabbit (obviously), they ended up playing Cluedo… and Sherlock stabbed the board.  This time discrepancy also explains why John says - seemingly the same day in THOB - “Mrs Hudson FINALLY got to the wife in Doncaster” even though they found out about it earlier that morning.  It’s because it’s not the same day at all.  It’s completely different months for all we know.  

So Henry Knight wasn’t the client who we heard ring the doorbell that afternoon in THOB.  He appears months later on a random morning.  

Funny, isn’t it?

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(Tagging those who may be interested - sorry if everyone knows this and I just caught on)

@stillgosherlocked @monikakrasnorada @yorkiepug @mr-brightside24 @propergenius @waitingforgarridebs @heimish1881 @calliopecookiejar @sherlock-little-weed @laughing-at-the-darkness @beejohnlocked @weeesi @just-sort-of-happened @thebisonwitheadphones @vanetti