a satire of pathologising intelligence in TFP as a criticism of pathologising gayness
Ok, so the Holmes parents know that Eurus is like a neon, nuclear-powered genius and they don’t have like say a library for her? Where she can see books? And can learn about anatomy and physiology? So, she has to dissect her own arm to see how it works? Dude…
If Eurus isn’t 100% symbolism and not meant to be taken seriously as a human for a single second then I can understand this. Because it’s not supposed to make sense. but if it is then, yikes.
like mummy holmes is a math genius who’s like not aware that her child geniuses need outlets for the intelligence? Sounds fake but okay.
And like Molly before me, I know it’s not. It’s not. It’s not supposed to make sense literally but like it’s so hard for me sometimes just not to come crashing into the rocks of the surface narrative with just a million questions regarding the basic common sense of like anyone in TFP.
How can I think that we’re meant to take this narrative seriously, at face value? Like, ‘kid was so smart she was a killer?’. Dude, if that’s not about Sherlock’s feeling alienated because he was a gifted child, I don’t know what is.
Maybe Sherlock, as a child, had some of these thoughts and maybe shared them with others and those others weren’t cool but flipped out and jumped to some extreme labels for him like, ‘sociopath’, etc.
So, I can either believe that the writers really think that being super smart is intrinsically and mysteriously dangerous or maybe they’re trying to tell us something that’s actually off about that idea. Like, to the extent that everything about Eurus as a dangerous person seems fake: she can control your mind with her clichés, etc., we can see that this is a satire on the very idea that someone’s, ‘too smart’, for their own good.
The whole of Sherlock is basically an ode to the importance of thinking for yourself, of using your brain, and lately, your heart, too. I really don’t believe that, ‘incandescent’, and poorly parented Eurus is supposed to be a real child that the Holmeses had. She’s symbolic of how the Holmes parented their children as being, ‘different’. But, in light of the fact that we know that Mrs Holmes is a, ‘genius’, as of HLV, then even this theory falls apart. Why would a genius not know how to handle her genius children?
Because here, ‘intelligent’, is code for gay. Since it doesn’t make sense that Mrs Holmes doesn’t know what to do about her smart children, it makes more sense that she doesn’t know what to do about her gay children. (I legitimately forgot my own theory that, ‘sociopath is code for gay’, so yeah, Eurus is a sociopath and therefore gay. She’s the gay secret of the Holmes children).
Now, who seems more incandescently gay: Sherlock or Mycroft? I’d say it’s a tie, personally. Since, ‘this is family’, according to Mycroft, himself, let’s speculate that this, ‘Eurus’, phenomenon is about both of them. The Holmes parents found them to be incandescently gay, some might say, ‘flaming’, as children and they internalised the message that that was somehow a pathology.
I think the parents didn’t intend this but they didn’t realise the influence that Uncle Rudy’s struggles and their own ignorance would have on them. The message they received is that their true feelings were dangerous and needed to be locked away in a very secure part of themselves. Lest something terrible happen if their feelings were released.
So, yeah, as facile as it is that Eurus psychopathy is suddenly cured by Sherlock’s hug, it makes actual sense to think that facing family secrets actually can heal a family. Finally having the Holmes family discuss that Eurus is still alive, means finally talking about the fact that their kids are you know, ‘still’, gay, despite having hidden it all these years. The parents never wanted that, but they didn’t realise that it had happened, either. It makes way more sense to think that the Holmes parents didn’t know how to raise two gay boys than to think that they didn’t know how to raise to geniuses considering that Mrs Holmes, herself, is one, too.
Looking back on Eurus’ ludicrous mind-control powers we can see that this is actually a satire of how ridiculous homophobia is. Like, people fear that hanging out with a gay person will make you gay. Somehow, through their gay magic they will make you gay, too. This is equally as absurd as what Eurus does with her incandescent intellect.
Seriously, think about the word, ‘incandescent’. Why that word? Mycroft is not prone to poetic liberties, why here? Because it’s code for, ‘flaming’. To be a, ‘flaming homosexual’, means that you’re very obviously gay; everyone can tell. Eurus isn’t just symbolic of the Holmes siblings’ queerness, she’s symbolic of how easily others could see it. This is why they internalised that it must be hidden, because it was very obvious to others, even when they were children.
Back to Eurus’ powers: homophobia often includes a fear of seduction by a queer person. Dracula doesn’t just drink your blood, he makes you want him, first. He puts you under a spell. We get tons of Dracula coding for Sherlock in series 1. (Part 1, Part 2, Mary, Molly, Sally).
In a way, then, TFP is a satire of horror movies because it’s a satire of homophobia. It’s satirises the fear of intelligence and that intelligence is code for, ‘the other’, ‘woman’, ‘gay’.
If you’ve read @heimishtheidealhusband‘s meta about victorian ghosts you will know that Gothic Horror expressed the anxiety of that time about same sex romance. So, it’s possible that the reason that TFP appears to be both an homage and a satire of horror movies, is that it’s really about the destruction of this homophobia. It’s about throwing out all of these fears and stereotypes that are deeply embedded in our horror movies because they’re deeply embedded in our psyches.