among other scenes

In Super Mario Bros. 3, letting a Super Mushroom follow Small Mario as he touches the level goal (possible in Level 2-5) will result in unintended behavior once the Super Mushroom touches Mario after the end-of-level scene. Among other irregularities, a sprite of Mario with his head missing will briefly appear on the left of the screen. (Footage recorded by me with a NES emulator.)

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ACTUAL MEAT AND PUDDING DISCUSSION THAT HAPPENED ON THE SHOW
Chief Inspector Japp getting back at Poirot for serving him pork feet earlier

Agatha Christie’s Poirot 6x02: ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’

Atomic Blonde (and why I’m a Sapphic who adored it)

Okay, first off…WOW! What a ride that film was! After having a full 24hrs  to really digest this film, I can honestly say that this film really blew my  expectations, in so many different ways. Since there seems to be so much  discourse over this film, I thought I would post a POSITIVE list of all the  reasons why this film is as important and special to me as it is, even with  That Scene. As Lorraine Broughton would say, “ Shall We?”

Okay first off, the obvious…

  • AESTHETIC MUCH!?
  • 80′s soundtrack with phenomenal remixes.
  • NEON FOR DAYS!!
  • Charlize Theron, playing a truly Bad-Ass Bisexual MI6 Agent while still looking sexy as Hell!
  • The action was some of the best I have ever witnessed!
  • The general setting of this film, Communist Berlin, gives a remarkable window into just what the Cold War in its later stages entailed. The Cold War was perhaps one of the most deceitful wars in history, and when you figure in just how sensitive the situation was, you realize that Every. Move. Counts.

Lorraine Broughton

  • She owns my ass.
  • Again, we have an Openly-Bisexual Female Lead, who’s only main love interest is another woman!
  • Charlize Theron not only did 98% of all her own stunts, but she sustained injuries because of it.
  • I loved her characterization, it was one of the highlights of this film. We often forget that movies like this are hardly ever realistic, but in this film the opening scene is of Lorraine, MI6′s Top Agent, wearily trying to attend to her beaten body. She is barely alive, and as the film goes on we see just how much of a toll her physical and emotional well-being takes due to the nature of her job. As the film progresses we see her grow more cold and disconnected to the point where she is practically numb to those around her (her interrogation, mostly).
  • She wins all her fights, but not without repercussions. Her body takes. A. Beating. And unlike most films her wounds don’t just magically disappear or just “get better”. No, they are there for weeks, in all their ugliness, to display just how vulnerable as a person she is, whilst also reminding those who see her how tough and strong she has to be just to merely survive.

Lorraine and Delphine

  • Okay, first off…OMG THESE TWO!
  • Sofia Boutella was adorable as Delphine, and the way her innocence and naive-ness abolutely melted Lorraine was so cute!
  • The way Lorraine looked at Delphine with such intrigue, and the way Delphine looked at Lorraine with such awe.
  • The whole “Harold, they’re Lesbians”-like scenario with the dude at the bar (even tho Lorraine is Bi).
  • Again, we get another glimpse into Lorraine’s characterization here, which is basically she gets distracted by pretty girls we see that, even though Lorraine is still skeptical of Delphine at first, she very easily falls for her, a softness that we up until that point had yet to see in her.
  • Delphine’s slight hesitance when she gives Lorraine that adorably soft kiss and Lorraine’s shyness in returning it!
  • The way we see Lorraine follow Delphine into a more private place and being so dazed and transfixed by this tiny French Girl is mesmerizing and makes my heart skip a beat!
  • OMG their wicked make-out session and the slamming against the wall and the WHOLE SCENE THAT FOLLOWS I COULD NOT BREATH!
  • “…So you made contact with the French Operative?” “Obviously”
  • Lorraine in nothing but a sweater looking over Delphine as she sleeps-watching, wondering, worrying about what will happen to her.
  • THEY GOT TOGETHER MORE THAN ONCE!
  • AFTER-SEX SNUGGLES!
  • Honestly, them snuggling was one of the most tender moments in the whole film. For once it feels as though Lorraine is being genuine with Delphine, which she picks up on.
  • Lorraine stroking Delphine’s hair while Delphine nudges her head in Lorraine’s neck is so precious. The way Lorraine is so gentle with her and laughs and smiles at her makes my heart melt so much! She cares so much for this one woman she just met and it is so beautiful!
  • Tiny Soft Nose Kisses!
  • The fact their relationship, no matter how brief, is actually a small subplot means so much because it really feels like this was for us Sapphics, despite what happens later.

That Scene among other things

  • Oh boy, here we go. In my opinion, I did not see this as partaking in the horrid “Kill Your Gays” trope.
  • We saw it coming in the trailer you guys, and I was fully prepared for this scenario.
  • She was a naive, inexperienced spy who got too close to Lorraine, and suffered the ultimate price for it. This happened to all of Lorraine’s lovers (although I honestly think she was just using her first one for information, where as she truly cared for Delphine).
  • Delphine Fought. Back. Hard! And she did a damn good job at keeping up. But unfortunately she did not have the skill nor the experience to win that battle. She is not Lorraine, who barely came out the mission alive!
  • This is a spy film about the Cold War, there were going to be many, many casualties. Lorraine (Another Queer) was the only one to make it out alive.
  • When Lorraine found Delphine, I truly felt for her then. This is the first time we see her fully shut down as she Empathetically mourns her girlfriend (which we hardly get to see in general, the LGBT Hero mourning the death of their lover).
  • At this point, after all that she has gone through (the beatings, the betrayals, the loss of intelligence, etc) this is the one thing that finally breaks her, and LORRAINE. IS. FUCKING. DONE.
  • She is done with everything around her, and we see this as she goes from on-the-ground vulnerable to STONE. COLD. NOTHING. And she goes out for blood, and Damn-It does she get it! She shows no mercy for Delphine’s killer, and it is obvious that this is revenge in its most raw form.
  • In the end this is a story about a spy in the Cold War, and in a genre like this things are going to be very brutal. We see this brutality play out on Lorraine, and how it affects her and all of those involved. She made it out with her life, and that was her reward. 
  • So Delphine’s death, to me, was the final Plot Point to move us into the final act, as it was portrayed as the one act of Evil that Crossed That Line, and to further the Characterization of Lorraine.
  • I could go one about the phenomenal action sequences, because I have never witnessed such raw and realistic fighting in an action movie, and to have a Female Bisexual as the lead taking as much as she dishes out was both horrifying yet empowering!

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if you think this film will seriously trigger you, then by all means please take care of your well-being, because that is ultimately the most important thing.

Was I sad that Delphine died? Yes, of course! Did I see it as strictly because she was gay? No, I did not. Do I see this as good representation? Ultimately, yes because I still felt incredibly valid as a Bisexual in more ways than one with this film, and the last time I felt this good about myself was when I first saw Carol (2015) dir. Todd Haynes in theaters (which nothing will ever top that film).

But for everyone else, please GO SEE THIS FILM. For the one negative we must also see all it’s Astonishing Positives this film has, and for it to get the attention and praise that it has is such a big deal for all of us, because if we show our support for this truly Rare Gem then they will make a sequel, and other films like it! Only then can we move forward!

UPDATE: So I just saw Atomic Blonde today for the second time in one week, and upon my second viewing I’ve come to realize just how much I love this film, and why it beat out my expectations originally! And it mainly falls back to what I discussed earlier, about Lorraine and Delphine’s romance and Lorraine herself, for instance:

  • Again, I love Lorraine’s characterization! Being more aware of the story my second time-round, I got to focus more on Lorraine herself, and I think I underestimated just how cold and numb and positively DONE she is by the “end” of her mission (again, in reference to her interrogation).
  • The physical and emotional toll on her and her body really is just as prominent as I remember, and my goodness I cannot recall another film where I actually left the theatre physically exhausted by what I just watched. Everything she’s endured sort of rubs off on you, and if that isn’t the most engrossing experience a character can portray, than I do not know what is.
  • Delphine and Lorraine, my god I love their relationship! It is the only relationship in the whole film solely built on attraction and Mutual Trust, so much so where they would rather protect each other over their mission.
  • In fact, going in this movie the first time all I was expecting between them was the “One Night Stand” that was so heavily portrayed in the trailers-which I would of been happy with-and, (just like in the trailers) I prepared myself for Delphine’s demise soon after-But we had an entire subplot dedicated to their relationship, right up to the very end!
  • Because of this Lorraine’s and Delphine’s romance felt genuine, filled with love and tenderness and worry and drive to protect each other-and that really is beautiful representation.
  • Which, I believe, is why Lorraine truly shuts down when it all goes south, and why we see the Lorraine we do in her interrogation. SHE IS COLD. SHE IS BEATEN. AND SHE IS TIRED.
  • In the end, I do think she cared more for Delphine than past lovers, which is why she seems so utterly broken when we first see her. She went back to Delphine even after her superiors threatened to end her, and she lied about Delphine to protect her from them, even though she was gone.

Anyway, as you can see this film really did a number on me, and I am absolutely fine with that! I apologize for making my crazy long post even longer, but there were things I still wanted to get off my chest, because this really is a Dream Film-a Queer, Female Lead 80′s Spy Film actually exists, and I think Atomic Blonde really hit it out of the park-and has ruined all other action films for me here-on out!

me: *wrote a meta about victor a few days ago*

me: *writes another meta about victor fucking immediately*  

me: ok 

I’ve been on a hell of a writing kick lately so here we are. I addressed this sort of in my last post about Victor, but I REALLY want to give it it’s own post so without further ado, let’s get into this.

The topic today is self-worth. Or, how Victor’s and Yuuri’s concept of themselves is the same yet drastically different. 

Yuuri is incredibly easy to address because his expression of anxiety and self doubt is incredibly stark. Also, we get to be privy to his thoughts more than any other character’s, so pretty much everything that directly bothers him we already know about. Yuuri is a perfectionist, he doubts his choices, his abilities, his worth (not just as a skater but as a person), I think he believes himself to be plain and not particularly attractive, but that’s more speculation on my part based on his chronic anxiety. It’s an Anxiety Thing™. 

(If you’d like to see more extensive thoughts and evidence about Yuuri’s anxiety, I wrote a thing here to backup my statements)

Yuuri is also rather expressive, while Victor just, isn’t really. 

Sure, he’s goofy and bubbly, but he hides behind walls of pleasantness and restraint. I’m sure it has to do with media training, considering how long Victor has been in the public eye. 

Anyway. 

What I mean to say here is that Yuuri and Victor experience two different facets of self doubt. Yuuri can’t recognize his abilities, doesn’t believe in his own potential, can’t accept his achievements, etc etc. But I think Victor can do all those things. Victor knows his skills, he knows he’s essentially the best around, he knows he’s attractive and sought after. Victor knows this and can accept it. Victor’s biggest issue is his belief that if he doesn’t keep up a mask, he’s unlovable. 

I think it’s been implied that Victor isn’t close to many people at all. When the video of Yuuri skating his routine went up, Victor seemed to easily jump on the next plane to Japan. He had no qualms and was clearly excited to leave. It’s been suggested in multiple fics (one off the top of my head being pt3 of Even Ice Gods Can Melt…what a fucking amazing little series, please go read it) that the only things in Russia Victor felt truly attached to were Yakov and Makkachin and Victor took Makkachin with him…

He interacts with several people in the skating community friendly enough (Stephane in ep12, those 3 girls in Russia Jackets in ep4), but the only person he seems to be friends with is Chris. They seem to know each other well and clearly get along wonderfully. 

We don’t really see Victor interact closely with others other than Yuuri, Yuri, and Yakov. Yakov seems to be a father figure while I think Victor views Yuri as sort of a younger brother. However, he still runs out of the country, essentially forgetting about Yuri, so there you go. 

Right, so. Victor isn’t close to many people. Humans are social animals, we need to have frequent, positive interaction with others to maintain mental–and, subsequently, physical–health. If you don’t get these interactions, it’s easy to form misconceptions about yourself. Such as, if I can’t get close to or speak to others, there must be something wrong with me, right? Or, no one knows what I’m actually like, and that’s probably for the better. 

Both Yuuri and Victor struggle with the idea of love and support. Yuuri, as he says in ep5, couldn’t feel the love and support around him for a very long time. Victor, as he says in ep12, felt that he had to work completely alone to advance himself. I think this implies that Victor deliberately pushed people away by keeping up this pleasant mask and never allowing them to see in any deeper. 

Yuuri’s distancing is incredibly physical (actually avoiding people, literal pushing, curling up, etc.) while Victor’s is more emotional (he doesn’t physically avoid but exclusively emotionally walls off).

I keep coming back to this mask of publicity pleasantness. It’s what got me thinking about this idea in the first place. In that Victor meta I linked to up there, I talked a bit about the beach scene, among other things. Victor names off a ton of options to gage what Yuuri wants him to be. It doesn’t occur to Victor to be himself until Yuuri asks him to. It doesn’t occur to Victor that he could be desired as himself. 

He has this media image that people are accustomed to: handsome, elegant, playboy, pleasant, a gentleman, etc. This is what Victor is liked for. He probably hasn’t dropped that persona–at least for an extensive amount of time–in front of others for a very long time. It occurs to Victor to be whatever Yuuri would like, and it doesn’t cross his mind that Yuuri just likes him

I love Victor and his character arc so damn much. Really looking forward to this movie–whenever it’s coming out–to see if they look further into this insecure side of Victor. 

(I feel like this post is just me rehashing stuff but like I really adore how Victor is written and idk how to shut up)

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But if you tell us to break up right now, it’ll be Romeo and Juliet all over again. I might go crazy. I might abandon my shootings and offers to run away with her …. So, Mom, please don’t try to break us up anymore.

Hi guys! It’s lovely to see the 13 Reasons Why fandom growing, but let’s keep in mind not to trivialize the themes the show portrays. Let’s not glorify the suicide and rape scenes in edits/gifs/icons and it would be better if trigger warnings were properly tagged when one of these scenes are present.

Frankly, posting edits of the suicide and rape scenes (among others) which are already very graphic in nature is very insensitive. Let’s not continue this practice and make our fandom a safe space for survivors and people who may be triggered by such content.

Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale
Love
Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale

Love - Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale (1967)

This song doesn’t get as much attention as other songs on Forever Changes, and maybe it doesn’t reach the heights of Alone Again Or, or You Set the Scene among others. Besides describing the LA scene in 1967,  I enjoy Arthur Lee’s playful lyrical idea - starting the next verse with the missing word from the last verse.

ASOIAF Minor Characters Meme - 2/9 Scenes

Lady Smallwood gave her breeches, belt, and tunic to wear, and a brown doeskin jerkin dotted with iron studs. “They were my son’s things,” she said. “He died when he was seven.”

“I’m sorry, my lady.” Arya suddenly felt bad for her, and ashamed.

So, yesterday, I was walking down the street when I was suddenly swallowed by some sort of wormhole thing.

I passed out immediately afterwards, but when I woke up, I was in this random person’s house. Apparently, they found me passed out on the sidewalk and decided to help me. They said they had just come back from seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which confused me, because, well, that movie’s not out yet.

They looked at me weirdly when I said it wasn’t out yet, and said I must’ve hit my head really hard or something, and said I probably shouldn’t be walking yet, so they put the Force Awakens on for me.

But it wasn’t the Force Awakens. It was a shittier version of it, which had like half of the Kylo Ren & Rey fighting cut out, and also shortened the torture scene, among other weird shit.

But it made me realize that Reylos were from an alternate dimension! AND I WAS STUCK IN IT!

Luckily, though, the Doctor showed up in their TARDIS and took me home.

Man, yesterday was a weird day.

And before any of you say this is obviously fake it’s a true story!!!! Just about as true as all those stories Reylos share all the time about them meeting antis in real life, anyways. Also as real as that story of that guy that went to a shittier universe where the Shitles Beatles never broke up and none of them died and be brought back a very obviously self-made remix totally real cassette tape of their totally real music with him (which I guess are still used in that universe in 2015).

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Many a tears were shed as that smile broke through the blurry veil of his lost identity, despite the pain he endured, despite the demons of his past that shall forever haunt him, despite the broken and bloody memories that make him loathe himself. May be he smiled for Steve, ‘cause he sensed how much Steve had wanted assurance. He wanted Steve to know that it was alright, that it was the right thing to do. Had he not assured him, Steve might have stopped him from going through it all again. So may be the smile was to convey the definitive decision in the form of a plea or an explanation: “It’s alright, Steve. I’ll be alright. Let me do this. So I am no more a burden to you. So I am no more a burden to me. Let me slip back to slumber so I do not see those haunting faces again. Please do not be hurt. I know that you have done all for me. And I could ask of you no more.”

This, of all the Stucky scenes before, had been the first peaceful moment between the two, where they are not rushing to a fight or running from someone. The emotions, of decades, finally settle in, and words left unsaid thrashes within their minds without an outlet. We then see Steve, who stands unmoving, looking at Bucky in an almost reverent manner, as though if he were to reach out and touch his fingers would slip through the vision. He recalls the innumerable moments he had spent, in war-damaged camps, hoping his Bucky would walk in through the battered tent’s entryway, hoping to see that dirt-smeared face and that lopsided smile again, hoping for his presence that gave Steve the strength to fight any force of greatness, hoping for his very life to return to him. And here in this moment, it felt like some unknown power had heard his silent prayers, and he was afraid that if he were to blink the image before him would disappear into nothingness again. He calmly listens to Bucky without the slightest interference, allowing Bucky his decision without a protest; he would do all and more for him. “You are here, that is enough for me. I waited for you, despite believing that you will never come back. So can I not wait another lifetime, when now, I know that you will return to me.”

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Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me - Film Review

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a 1992 psychological horror film, directed by the legendary David Lynch. It serves not only as a prequel to the events that take place in the cult show Twin Peaks, but also as a sequel, narrating the last seven days of Laura Palmer and giving insight in the murder of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley), as well as explaining the fate of Agent Cooper after he ends up trapped inside the Black Lodge. It stars Sheryl Lee, Moira Kelly, Chris Isaak, David Bowie, Ray Wise and Kyle MacLachlan. It didn’t do well, commercially speaking, and it wasn’t well-received by critics either, mainly because Twin Peaks had been cancelled a year before the movie came out and it had lost its momentum. People had lost interest in the world of Twin Peaks, and when the film was out they expected to see what they had seen for two years on the show, and they didn’t. The film didn’t have a lot to do with the series, basically because things were different before Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) died, and also because the plot is focused on her story, not on the stories of the surrounding characters in town. People missed the humour of the show, and don’t get me wrong, I kind of did too, but at the same time, I understood that most of it had to be cut out, because it wouldn’t have blended well with the terrible events surrounding Laura’s character.

I became a fan of the show last year, and I first watched the film this Spring. I think I’ve seen it three or four times now, and the more times I watch it, the more I enjoy and appreciate it. That is what happens with a David Lynch film, you have to watch it more than once. Because his films are complex. They make you think. He manages to fit a piece of art into a two-hour-long feature film. I like Fire Walk With Me. The reason why is because I love Laura, and Sheryl Lee’s brilliant performance.

For the first half an hour we see FBI agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) investigating the murder of Teresa Banks. His character was created for the movie (it was Cooper who was going to investigate the case, but MacLachlan initially refused to appear in the film, and ended up only shooting footage for five days) and so we knew nothing about him before the film came out, but I think his on-screen time was very enjoyable. We then see Cooper on the FBI headquarters in Philadelphia, predicting that Teresa’s killer will kill again, and it will be a ‘blonde, sexually active high-school girl’, and we also see him in the Black Lodge.

Oddly, David Bowie appears briefly on the movie as FBI agent Phillip Jeffries. I don’t understand why he appears as one of the main actors on the credits for publicity of the film when he only appears in one scene. He’s David freaking Bowie, but Dana Ashbrook for instance, who is not featured as one of the main actors, appears in more scenes that him and plays an important role on the film.

Then, we get to the town of Twin Peaks. Everybody in Twin Peaks knows Laura, the homecoming queen, but only on the surface: no one really knows what she is going through inside. On the outside she is a high-school student and helps Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) and Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) on Meals on Wheels. She also dates Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook). But what people don’t know is that she is a cocaine addict and a prostitute, and that she is cheating on Bobby with James Hurley. They also don’t know that she’s been a victim of incest since the age of twelve. Other actors that appear on film that we saw in the show are Heather Graham as Annie Blackburn, Catherine Coulson as the Log Lady, Peggy Lipton and Madchen Amick, among others.

There are two scenes on the film that blow my mind: one of them is the one in which Laura arrives at the Roadhouse to meet two clients, where singer Julie Cruise is performing ‘Questions In A World Of Blue’. At the door she runs into the Log Lady, who warns her of her fate, and Laura breaks down in tears seconds after. When she finds out that her best friend Donna Hayward (Moira Kelly) has chased her to the Roadhouse, it only makes things worse. Though strong, Laura is broken inside. Another one is the ending, in which Cooper comforts a depressed Laura in the Black Lodge, right after her death. All of a sudden, an angel appears and she weeps with joy, like Donna’s father had predicted in a deleted scene from the film. The music, the lightning, the colours, the look in Laura’s face and Sheryl Lee’s acting make it a memorable ending scene. But I would say that the most remarkable scene from the film is probably the one in which Donna asks Laura that if she were falling down in space, would she stop after a while or go faster and faster, to which Laura responds 'Faster and faster. And for a while you wouldn’t feel anything. And you’d burst into fire forever. And the angels wouldn’t help you, because they’ve all gone away.’

It is true that the success of the film was against all odds with Twin Peaks falling down and the plot containing incest and murder, but that doesn’t mean the film lacks quality. Sheryl Lee and Ray Wise’s performances are magnificent, and so is the soundtrack. I didn’t know what to expect the first time I watched it. A friend of mine, who was a fan of the show, had hated it, and told me that it was a waste of time. The friend I was gonna watch it with told me that it was really worth it because it was very cool to see how Laura was so ahead of the rest of the characters. And I knew the film had been a commercial and critical flop, but I was very interested in knowing how Laura really was. And I was not disappointed when I watched it. By the beginning of the second season of the show I had made my mind up that Twin Peaks had become scary. And the film could only be scarier. I was very focused on Laura’s story and so I didn’t feel like something was missing. Even though Sherilyn Fenn’s character Audrey and Lara Flynn Boyle did not appear on the film, Sheryl Lee alone made up for it. And I personally liked Moira Kelly’s portrayal of Donna. I think she encapsulated the innocence of the character before she lost her best friend. We see a very different Donna from the one on the show, she doesn’t smoke, she doesn’t wear Laura’s glasses and she doesn’t bite James’ finger.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a hard film to watch. It is disturbing, depressing and violent. But as everything Lynch does, it’s also beautiful. It’s a piece of art that has been created with a lot of care and detail. I think it was Naomi Watts that said in an interview that when you watch a David Lynch film, you take it with you when it ends, it remains in your head and it takes you to another place when you watch it. And I couldn’t agree more. Everytime I watch Fire Walk With Me, I keep on thinking of Laura after the movie finishes, or I feel like her. I feel tremendous empathy and simpathy for her character. And while I don’t snort cocaine nor do I sell my body to strangers, I feel identified with her to an extent because of some personal experiences and I think that is the main reason why I am a big fan of it. Because I can see a piece of myself in Laura.

I invite you to watch this work of art with an open mind.

Love and Breadcrumbs (John and Sherlock's relationship arc): His Last Vow

MASTER POST on John and Sherlock’s relationship beats in S03:03 His Last Vow.

WITH THANKS to mid0nz, ivyblossom, loudest-subtext-in-television and arcfanmom, among others.

A note about “Beats”: A beat is a moment in a story when something new happens to change the dynamic (or reinforce the dynamic). A screenplay typically has a rhythm of positive and negative beats. This creates tension (I love you/I hate you). My judgments of beats here is strictly related to the John/Sherlock relationship plotline. So, for instance, Sherlock dying and resurrecting himself for John is ‘positive’ because it shows how much Sherlock cares about John, even though the same scene might be a negative beat on the CAM mystery case plotline.

SCENE:    John dreams of Sherlock and goes off to look for the neighbor’s kid at a crack den

  • John is bored in his “safe” marriage and dreams of Sherlock and danger.
  • When talking to Isaac’s mother, John is role-playing Sherlock – the blue robe, the cruel questions, etc.  Source post: uberchunks.
  • John is irritable with Mary he goes to a crack den to rescue Isaac and resists her coming along. She does anyway. 
  • Positive beat (+)

Sub-text: John misses life with Sherlock. The safe suburban life is not for him. 

SCENE:    At the crack den, BAMF!John beats up a guy

  • Positive beat (+)

Sub-text: John craves the danger Sherlock provided, acts out to get his fix. 

SCENE:   John finds Sherlock at the crack den and takes him to the lab to have his blood tested. Molly confirms Sherlock is high.

  • They haven’t seen each other for a month, but it’s unclear who avoided whom. My bets on both–Sherlock because he’s defensively withdrawing; John because he’s not sure how to handle his renewed attraction from TSoT when Sherlock was being so nice. (with a nod to loudest-subtext-in-television)
  • John yells at Sherlock - “If you felt this (drugs) coming on, why didn’t you call me?”  Anti-social Sherlock says its for a case, dismissing everyone’s concern. 
  • Molly slaps Sherlock for “wasting his gifts”. Sherlock comments on her lack of engagement ring. Molly confirms that her relationship with Tom is off.  In S3 Molly/Tom mirror (and predict) John/Mary.  Both Molly and John tried to get over Sherlock by dating someone similar. Neither will find it satisfactory.  (Source: leandraholmes)
  • Wiggy deduces in the lab that John has been biking to work. Sherlock mentions it too. Sherlock mentions the attack on Wiggy was a fix for John. This is tying John’s biking and attacking Wiggy to Sherlock’s drugs–coping mechanisms.
  • Negative beat (-)

Sherlock subtext: I can’t deal with John getting married and eased the pain with drugs. I’m withdrawing from him and everyone else.

John subtext: See? Sherlock is self-destructive and can’t be trusted. 

SCENE:   At Baker Street, Mycroft is running a drugs bust

  • John called Mycroft about the drugs.

Subtext:  John is really worried and needs help dealing with this. He’s putting Sherlock in a child’s position here (not undeservedly).

  • Mycroft says Sherlock is “back on the sauce” and compares his drug use to “Uncle Rudy’s cross-dressing.”

Subtext:  Possible dig from Mycroft about Sherlock’s attraction to 'straight’ John.  (Source: nibsandink)

SCENE:   At Baker Street, John discovers Janine

gif by holmeswatsn

  • God!  The look on Martin’s face above with that fake smile and absolutely unhappy and confused eyes!
  • John discovers a nearly naked Janine in Sherlock’s bedroom. An astonished John confronts Sherlock about this and Sherlock plays it up, saying they’re in a relationship.  John displays strong jealousy and is fixated on Janine no matter how Sherlock tries to change the subject.

Subtext:  John is still in love with Sherlock.

Possible subtext:  Sherlock is enjoying making John jealous.

  • John tells Janine Sherlock is in the bath – “I’m sure he’ll be out in a minute.” And Janine says “Oh, like he ever is.” Possible reference to not “being out” as a gay man?  (Source: il0vedaydreaming)
  • ASiB callback– John keeps asking Sherlock about “dinner”.  In ASiB Irene keeps inviting Sherlock to 'dinner’, meaning sex. (Source: 221beemine/anon). 

Subtext:  Are you having sex with Janine?  I need to understand this. I need to know if you’re a) not asexual and b) heterosexual, because I NEED to know if I ever have a shot.

  • Also, at the flat, Sherlock has moved John’s chair out.  

Subtext: Sherlock can’t bear losing John and is trying to avoid all reminders.  Also, possibly, Sherlock couldn’t bear for Janine to sit in it.

  • Negative beat (-)

John thinks Janine is confirmation that, if Sherlock sleeps with anyone, it’s women (Janine, Irene).

SCENE:  Sherlock proposes to Janine in order to get her to let them into CAM’s private office

  • When John sees the ring, he is aghast.  He has just heard it is Janine up there, and in this moment he puts it together–that Sherlock has used Janine and that he’s now even proposing to her to manipulate her into letting them in.
  • John as they get in the elevator: “Sherlock, she loves you!” Sherlock: “As I said, human error.” The visual language here says it all.

Subtext (Sherlock): I loved you and got crushed so I’m going back to my cold, sociopathic facade.

Subtext (John):  I was right, you’re incapable of feeling for anyone. You crushed and discarded me just as you are doing to Janine (the fall).  Do I really even know you and what you’re capable of (the Moriarty mirror shot).

  • Negative beat. This is the MOST DESTRUCTIVE beat in this entire episode.  It reinforces the “Big Misunderstanding” that Sherlock doesn’t care for John.

SCENE:  Mary shoots Sherlock in Magnussen’s office

  • This is a crucial moment for the John/Sherlock arc because Mary is currently the obstacle between them.  At this moment, we know she’s a villain. Though she seems to recover in John’s eyes, and maybe even Sherlock’s in this episode, she will never recover in the eyes of the audience.  Nor, ultimately, can she prevail in any half-sane story.

Subtext:  Sooner or later Mary will pay dearly for this. She won’t ultimately win.

  • The above shot as Mary shoots Sherlock is likely foreshadowing. We see three Marys here. We’ve already seen two–the charming Mary of TEH and TSoT and now the blackmailed ex-assassin of HLV. Also, in TSoT John tries to interest Sherlock in a case– “My husband is three people.” Could there be yet another aspect of Mary still to come in S4?  (Source:  anybannannie)
  • Mary shoots Sherlock in the chest, a wound almost certain to kill but not instantly (see Pocket Owl’s comments on the wound). She calls for an ambulance – her way of giving Sherlock a slim chance and avoiding guilt? Good discussion here. (source: Mycroft Holmes Fan)  

  • We also have the obvious symbolism of Mary shooting Sherlock in the chest.  She’s the one who has broken his heart by marrying John. We even see her, for a moment, shoot him while wearing her wedding dress. This shot comes immediately before the Sherlock-Redbeard bit, tying them together. Mary is why Sherlock lost John.
  • Positive beat (Mary is doomed). 

SCENE: Sherlock dies and fights his way back from the dead for John’s sake.

  • Sherlock descends into his mind palace.  The stairways and hall look like the ones in ASiP (showing how deeply meeting John influenced him).

  • In order to 'calm himself’ and keep from going into shock, Sherlock remembers Redbeard, his dog. Mycroft warned Sherlock to not be too attached to John by comparing the situation to Redbeard.  Sherlock tells Redbeard “They’re putting me down too.  It’s no fun, is it?”

Subtext:  Sherlock is capable of deep attachment, but got his heart broken as a child when his beloved dog was put down. He probably determined not to care after that. Paralleling his loss of John.

Subtext:  I’m no longer needed, because John has moved on.

  • In the cell with chained Moriarty, Sherlock asks Moriarty how he manages to avoid feeling.  Moriarty says you have to feel, you just don’t have to fear it.  Even loss is 'good’.

Sub-text:  Part of Sherlock wants to eradicate his painful, frustrated feelings for John, but part of him knows that even pain and loss should be borne but not feared.

  • Sherlock literally dies, but pulls himself back FROM FLATLINE (by pounding the floor of the cell and restarting his own heart)  to ‘save John’ from Mary’s evil influence.

Subtext (Sherlock): I love you (John) in an extraordinarily powerful way.  

  • Very positive beat

SCENE:  John discovers Sherlock shot and calls an ambulance

  • We don’t see a lot of John during the shooting or at bedside in hospital. This episode keeps John remote. It’s more about Sherlock’s sacrifice and his POV.  Let’s just say John is very, very not happy here.  He sticks with Sherlock in the ambulance and keeps close tabs on him in hospital (though this is all kept off screen and veiled to the viewer).  This is really the minimum they could show of John’s reaction and keep him in character.

Sub-text:  John is incredibly upset about anyone daring to harm Sherlock, but we’re deliberately being kept away from much of his POV, probably because he’s still guarding his heart and the writers don’t intend that to shift until S4.

  • Neutral beat

SCENE:  Janine visits Sherlock in the hospital and discusses their sex life

  • First, let’s just contemplate the fact that they show both Mary and Janine bedside with Sherlock in hospital but never John.  John was there, we’re just not shown those moments with Sherlock. Why? John is being kept at a distance from us. We’re not sure what’s going through his mind. Showing him bedside would reveal too much, one way or the other.
  • Also in hospital, John tells Mary that Sherlock’s first word when he woke up was “Mary”. John looks a bit confused at that.

Sub text:  Wow, now he actually likes you more than me. Confirms John’s confusion over what Sherlock feels for him. (Source: thescienceofarticulation)

  • Janine has sold her story to the tabloids, making up wild sex stories about Sherlock. Alone, she tells him she wishes they had done it “at least once.”  Sherlock says he was waiting until after they were married.  Janine says ” I know what kind of man you are. We could have been friends.”
  • Positive beat

Subtext (and text): Blatant confirmation that Sherlock is gay (which we were told in TSoT). He never had sex with Janine or Irene.

(hmmm moment)  On the other hand, if John sees the stories and believes them, will he be more convinced Sherlock is straight? Or will he know they are false? 

SCENE:  Sherlock drags himself out of the hospital bed and confronts Mary at The Empty House.

  • Sherlock drags himself out of the hospital bed in order to confront Mary.

Subtext: Again, Sherlock is going through extraordinary, life-threatening measures, and physical pain, for John.

  • Sherlock sets up a scenario at the Empty House in which Mary confesses in front of John.  John now knows what Mary is and that she shot Sherlock. He’s PISSED.
  • Positive beat. 

Subtext:  Sherlock has beaten Mary. There’s no way John can go back to her now.

  • Sherlock is deducing here. He tests hypothesis #1 by getting Mary to shoot the coin. She’s a crack shot. He says he could have given him a kill shot if she’d wanted to. No, that shot was 'surgery’.  [we know Sherlock did die, and die quckly, so there are problems with this. But for now let’s accept that, yes, she could have shot him in the brain or heart.]
  • Mary tells Sherlock if John knew “It would break him. And I would lose him forever.  And I will never let that happen.”  She also seems about to shoot Sherlock again when he’s in the shadows, before he reminds her that her face is projected on the building.

Subtext:  Mary’s love is selfish. She wants to keep John for her own sake and is willing to kill Sherlock to achieve that.  This is set up to contrast with Sherlock, whose love is unselfish.  (Source: loudest-subtext-in-television)

Shot analysis:  The shot below shows that John (on the right) has a narrow path with no escape. His path will lead him to Sherlock, but first he has to get past Mary.  (Source:  madcapped)

SCENE:  At the flat, Sherlock talks John into listening to Mary (and ultimately returning to her).

  • Sherlock tells John that he choose Mary because he is “abnormally attracted to dangerous situations and people”.  John, devastated, replies “Yeah, but she wasn’t supposed to be like that.”  (ouch, the heartbreak)
  • Positive beat.  This is the biggest johnlock signpost this episode.  

Subtext:  John was 'abnormally attracted’ to Sherlock. Mary was unconsciously chosen as a Sherlock substitute. But John did not recognize this. He thought he’d chosen Mary because she was a safe place to put his heart whereas Sherlock broke it. So now John has a wife who is just as dangerous as Sherlock AND he doesn’t get to have Sherlock himself (which is what he wants) in exchange for that risk.  Question: does Sherlock realize what he’s implying about John? I don’t think he does. He was astonished John considered him his 'best friend’. He didn’t realize Molly was in love with him. He knows John is attracted to danger and thus life with him, but I believe he still thinks John is straight sexually.

Also:  John had trust issues from S1.E1. What is this further betrayal going to do to his ability to ever trust again?

  • John tells Mary to take a seat like a client and he and Sherlock will decide her fate.
  • Positive beat. 

Subtext:  Now it’s me and Sherlock against you (vs the wedding where Sherlock was the 3rd wheel). We’re a team who will figure out what’s to be done.

  • Mary asks Sherlock “What do you know already” and Sherlock says: “By your skill set, you are or were an intelligence agent. Your accent is currently English but I suspect you are not. You’re on the run from something. You’ve used your skills to disappear, Magnussen knows your secret, which is why you were going to kill him, and I assume you befriended Janine in order to get close to him.”  Note that none of these things are unforgivable by themselves.
  • Sherlock then tests hypothesis #2: he times how long it takes for an ambulance to get to his flat.  It takes 8 minutes and John didn’t find him for five = thirteen minutes. The ambulance got there well before that. He thus concludes that Mary called the ambulance immediately after shooting him. This seems to be the last bit that turns Sherlock’s attitude around.

Subtext: Mary was being blackmailed by Magnussen and she was trying to protect John. She behaved like a cornered rat. She didn’t give me an immediately lethal gunshot and sentiment made her call the ambulance. She does care about me.

Analysis: Mary did not, in fact, call the ambulance, which I suspect we’ll learn in S4. Others have posited it was Magnussen. A dead Sherlock means he’s lost his hold on Mycroft, and we saw Magnussen awake when John found Sherlock.  In addition, we know the shot she gave him was lethal as he began to die almost immediately. Sherlock wants to believe in Mary. Moffat said in an interview that Sherlock was told Redbeard “went to live in a big meadow” and he chose to believe it because he could not handle the emotion otherwise. We’re seeing this here. It’s he himself who is blinded by sentiment.

  • Mary neither confirms nor denies Sherlock’s excuses on her behalf. Sherlock is giving John a reason to forgive Mary. 
  • When Sherlock collapses after the paramedics arrive, his last words to John are these:  “John, Magnussen is all that matters now.  You can trust Mary. She saved my life.” He then collapses.  So his final words to John, while again at death’s door are– Trust Mary.
  • Negative beat.

Further Reference:  Did Mary mean to kill Sherlock? post  and The Problem with Mary.

  • Shot analysis:  In the scene where Mary is being 'judged’ by John and Sherlock she is all in neutral colors.  She is not the dominant one here; her future is unknown. Later, once she has won John back, she is in bright red.

TIME GAP

  • There is a the time gap of “several months” in which John is not speaking to Mary. Surely there would have been development on the John/Sherlock line in 2 months he’s not speaking to his wife. We can assume the gap was put there because a) they wanted Mary to be more pregnant when Moriarty shows up and b) they wanted the Magnussen denouement scene to happen at Christmas. So like the writers, we’ll ignore the gap.  
  • Alternative interpretation – there is something significant that happens here, perhaps 'plans put in place’ by Sherlock, Mycroft and/or John, that won’t be revealed until S4.

SCENE:  John forgives Mary and reconciles with her

  • Holmes parents mirror.  At the Christmas party, Sherlock’s dad (the ‘ordinary’ guy who dresses like John) tells Mary he always found Sherlock’s mom (the ‘genius’ who dresses like Sherlock) ‘unbelievably hot’.  Source: 221behavior.

Subtext:  John has always found Sherlock 'unbelievably hot’.  And yes, Martin always played it like that IMHO. Can we blame him?  

Also see this post on how the show sexualizes Sherock visually when he’s shown from John’s POV. (Source professorfangirl)

  • Positive beat (+).
  • Mycroft tells Sherlock that Magnussen is “not a dragon for you to slay”.  Setting up an analogy.
  • John forgives a very pregnant Mary and takes her back. He says he never looked at the USB that held all her secrets. He doesn’t want to know.

Sub-text: Sherlock broke my heart (in the fall) and is incapable of feeling genuinely for someone else (confirmed by Janine), so I’m throwing my lot in with you.  Maybe you really can be my Sherlock substitute since now I know you’re dangerous. And, you know, we actually have sex. And you’re carrying my child.  

I do believe John loves Mary, though I don’t think it will ever be the “soul bond” he has with Sherlock (and also, Mary is really much worse that he’s given her credit for). He’s still redirecting.

  • Very negative beat.
  • Shot analysis:  Note Mary in bright red.  She’s dominant in this scene. She’s getting her way.

CLIMATIC SCENE:  Sherlock sacrifices himself by shooting CAM in front of government agents to protect Mary (but really John).

  • Magnussen says here that Sherlock’s pressure point is John and John’s is Mary.  

Subtext:  Mary is John’s priority now. He’s still distancing himself from Sherlock over the broken heart/trust issue.

  • John tells Magnussen he 'doesn’t understand’ and Magnussen tells him to put it on a T-shirt–and then 'still don’t understand’ on the back. This is funny, however it serves another purpose…

Subtext:  John doesn’t understand what’s going on in this whole scene. He won’t understand why Sherlock kills Magnussen.

  • Magnussen calls John, while watching the bonfire footage, a “damel in distress.”  This ties with with Mycroft’s dragon metaphor.

Subtext:  We’re being told clearly who Sherlock kills Magnussen (the dragon) for. John is the 'damsel in distress’, not Mary. Sherlock slays the dragon for John. (and in the end, the damsel goes home with someone else, but we all know it’s not supposed to end like that).

ALT READ:  Mary is ultimately the 'dragon’ that Sherock will save John from. RE: Mycroft’s “Magnussen is not a dragon for you to slay”

  • Sherlock, realizing, Magnussen has the dirt on Mary only in his own head, shoots him in front of approaching government agents and Mycoft, stealing John’s gun to do so.  He tells John “Give Mary my love. Tell her she’s safe now”.  Indicating, again, that Sherlock has really forgiven Mary.
  • He does this to protect Mary and John, fulfilling the vow he made at their wedding.
  • IMHO, he also does it in sheer rage from watching Magnussen flick John’s face, humiliating John.  Don’t touch John Watson, MoFo!
  • Positive beat.

Subtext (Sherlock): I love you so much, I’m giving up my life and my work so you can be happy with Mary and safe from the people that would harm you and Mary and the baby.

Subtext (John):  John is pretty much in shock here, but when Sherlock says “Give Mary my love,” I think John processes Sherlock actions as a) sociopathic and dangerous (Sherlock being Sherlock) and b) for Mary. He doesn’t recognize that Sherlock did it out of love for him. This is underscored by Magnussen’s jokes about John not understanding and the T-shirt.  This is a call back to Mary telling John to put “I don’t shave for Sherlock Holmes” on a T-shirt. John was equally in denial about what was really going on there.

WRAP UP SCENE:  Sherlock is being sent into permanent exile (and to his death).  He says good-bye to John at the plane.

  • Sherlock is being sent into exile, never to see John again. As they say goodbye, Sherlock tells John his full name (William Sherlock Scott Holmes).

Subtext:  I’m giving you something no one else has of me. (source: mid0nz!)

Also a callback to ASiB, the episode where John realizes his feelings for Sherlock.

Analysis: Sherlock uses his one extraordinary name and hides the ordinary ones. He has a need to be seen as extraordinary. John is the opposite. He hides his odder name (Hamish) and goes by his plain names. He has a need to be seen as/and or disguises himself as ordinary. (Source: oldgrimalkin)

  • Sherlock says he has something to tell John he’s never said before and then tells a joke. 

Subtext option #1:  Sherlock is going to tell John he loves him but chickens out at the last minute.

Subtext option #2:  Sherlock is letting John go and he doesn’t want to burden him with guilt or remorse so he jokes like it’s not big deal. (self-sacrificing).  

Subtext option #3: Sherlock wants to see John smile one last time.

IMHO – 2 & 3

  • They shake hands and part.  John seems a bit moved but not overly unconcerned about losing Sherlock forever.

Subtext (John): I’ll miss you, but you’re really not capable of caring for me in any meaningful way (the Fall, confirmed by Janine), so maybe it’s for the best.  I have Mary and the baby to care for now.  This is John’s cracks showing and his serious trust issues.

  • In this scene, Mary is wearing red.  She tells Sherlock she’ll “keep John in trouble.”

Subtext (Mary):  You can leave him with me. I can keep him satisfied. Buh-bye.

  • Very negative beat

Shot Analysis:  Mary is glaringly wearing red in this shot. She is the dominant one. She is the one getting her way here.  She’s won. (Source: me and 221BeeMine)

  • After they find out Moriarty is still alive, Mary seems oddly upset “You said he was dead, Moriarty.”  

Tentative Subtext:  Moriarty’s return threatens Mary in some way (beyond the obvious that he’s a known master criminal)?

SUMMATION of HLV and Season 3: 

As I wrote in my post “Penance: Sherlock in S3”, the overwhelming theme of S3 is that Sherlock returns to a shattered John Watson and spends all of S3 trying to atone for what he’s done. Sherlock does not offer John a good reason why he faked his own death and disappeared. He’s flippant and even cruel in the subway in TEH. So while John tentatively ‘forgives him’, in reality, John has decided never to trust Sherlock with his heart again. He will give that to Mary.  There are moments in TSoT where Sherlock shows John he really does care. But in HLV, the situation with Janine reinforces to John that Sherlock is heartless to those who love him.  Finding out Mary has lied to him the entire time further breaks John down and undermines his ability to trust anyone. 

Sherlock, on the other hand, goes through tremendous growth in S3. He has a sexual awakening and comes to a conscious recognition that he is in love with John Watson, but he realizes this too late. He subsequently buries the pain by going back to drugs. But when John is in danger again, Sherlock sacrifices everything for John, showing that he has learned to love selflessly.  John, unfortunately, does not know how Sherlock feels.  This is the “big misunderstanding”.

At the end of S3, Mary has won John back, and Sherlock is left out in the cold.  The season ends on a negative beat in the John/Sherlock plotline (then again, S2 did as well).

Other Resources: 

Shots that parallel shots in “A Study in Pink” by the-sherlocked-avatar

Ivyblossom on John’s state of mind in S3 (hasn’t forgiven Sherlock)

Marsdaydream on how John substitutes Mary for Sherlock

Indy “T-Bone” Falcon on why John blames himself

acafanmom on the same

Speculation on the future of johnlock by loudest-subtext-in-television

Good medical discussion on the gunshot wound by Pocket Owl and kate221b. Thank God for smart fans.

Theory on Sherlock and Mycroft plotting to take Mary down later due to the baby by obscure affection.

A theory that Sherlock is placating Mary until the baby is born from wsswatson. (I don’t subscribe to this theory.  See my response here.  But it’s an interesting counter argument.)

I’ll update this post as I discover more, so please PM me if you have something to add.

XA

…why, Hojo, whomever could you be referring to?

This scene (among others) always makes me smirk because Hojo will disrespect Gast anytime he can.

On one hand, it’s like…come now, you were the cause of his demise. He’s dead. You can let it go.

But on the other, he just won’t die, will he? Because dead men don’t cast shadows.

And yet you just can’t get out of his, can you?

an essay about akayona ch 91 that got very out of hand

Honestly, the reason chapter 91 is so sad is because it showcases Hak’s biggest problem, which is that he’s made of conflicting emotions and repression, and that’s a seriously bad combo.

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youtube

THE BLACKLIST cast talk – among other – about their action scenes

#she has my eyes

—>  Actors!AU. “I can’t believe this—they weren’t even written to be each other’s love interests,” Kid sighed, running his fingers through his hair. He sat back in his chair, the corner of his lip quirking up despite himself. Soul and Maka, he decided, had a little bit too much chemistry on screen.

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