RIP The Final Problem
It’s been a strange week. A week of “art imitate life; life imitates art” on a constant loop. As I dreaded the approaching Inauguration Day, the last thing I expected was the creators of Sherlock breaking the fourth wall to remind me “life is rarely pure and never simple.” Uh, thanks. I guess?
I have engaged with TFP in good faith and expressed my disappointment and constructed my theory. I have attempted rewatching in multiple occasions since in hope to gain insights but failed miserably. There have been many brilliant readings by so many of you, and honestly, you gave me the brightest and most lighthearted moments in an otherwise miserable week. You rule, truly; and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
TFP is an abnormality in bbc Sherlock canon – you don’t have to see or believe in the romance between Sherlock and John to recognize the fact. Many audiences did as well, and I hear the same conclusion from friends (most casual of all casuals) – the creators jumped the shark. There is likely a reason; everything about the episode screams inconsistencies, and they were made to be noticeable. But there’s the rub – without proper context (TPTB’s silence), every single explanation is plausible. We can speculate, endlessly, because anything is possible. The exact same could be said of the plot of TFP.
My feeling regarding the possibility of a fourth episode remains the same: there is no evidence supporting the claim, but I cannot ignore the abnormality that was TFP even if I wanted to. But I am done trying to justify an episode that defies logic: where the text and the subtext seemingly cancel each other out at every turn. TFP offers just enough for every reading possible under the sun yet providing an equal amount of plausible deniability; an episode that could mean anything, therefore nothing at all. The only thing left of TFP at this point for me is its potential for spectacular crack (and there’ll be plenty).
One thing is clear, however; the crisis of narrative is one manufactured deliberately by the creators of Sherlock; they may not have anticipated the severity of its impact on our corner of the fandom, but to say they are not aware of the queer reading of acd canon, and of Sherlock due to the queer codings they applied in their own show is utterly laughable. A fourth episode will not change this fact – no matter how much I still love the story of Sherlock and John, I will continue to hold Mofftiss and Co. responsible for employing the offensive tactics at the expense of the show’s most loyal fans. So good riddance, The Final Problem; I will not let the ill-intention or ignorance of a few in power denies us the beautiful story between Sherlock and John — one that we cherish with all our hearts and souls ever since the day they met (7 or 130 years ago, take your pick).