Generally seen in cold, arctic regions, light
pillars are an optical phenomenon where columns of light can be seen
emanating from below or above a light source. Light pillars occur when
natural or artificial light reflects off flat ice crystals in the air
close to the Earth’s surface.
Light pillars caused by the Sun are called Solar or Sun pillars, while those caused by the Moon’s light are called Lunar or Moon pillars.
When the light source is the Sun, light pillars are usually seen when
the Sun is near the horizon. While Sun and Moon pillars are more common,
light pillars can also occur due to the presence of artificial lights.
the ice crystals in the atmosphere reflect the source light, light
pillars tend to take on the color of the light source.
Okay, we learned a lot about Lapis in Same Old World, but two things really stand out.
First off, Lapis was attacked on the battlefield despite being a non-combatant. This is obviously a war crime but it’s pretty clear from what we see that the war zone is NOT an active settlement. So what the hell was Lapis doing there?
Second, Lapis had an extensive knowledge of gem history, and she has the ability to project images on flat, reflective surfaces like her mirror or still water.
In other words, Lapis was on the battlefield because she was supposed to record it. Lapis was a war reporter
This also has implications for Bismuth’s attack on Lapis: Although it’s a war crime, a classic guerrilla war tactic is to target reporters specifically. In the Vietnam war, the People’s Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam (PLAF) did just that as a meta-tactic to scare american and european civilians and damage public support for the war.
In the 5 AM sky, there are blues and blacks swirling and separating. A flat reflection is what you always thought accurate of this body, but now you see the color seeping into the clarity, dyeing slowly. The moon becomes an animated, shaking spotlight on what you never wanted to realize was black and blue.
The truth was distant, pretending to orbit another planet; its darkest linens woven in between molecules stitching itself into a nonplussed segment you can’t tell is there without feeling. You are floating on matters thinner than the membrane your mask and armor comprise of. There’s a sinking feeling you’ve floated here before, but even rejecting its identity as water, it looks clearer than the daylights do.
221b, John and Sherlock. Janine just left, and John is speechless. Sherlock is all business: CAM is the Napoleon of blackmail, Appledore is the Alexandrian Library of secrets and scandals. “…the personal freedom of anyone you’ve ever met is a fantasy.” Pretty scary stuff. But John keeps interrupting to catch up on the whole “Sherlock has a girlfriend” thing.
As they flip between topics, we get several shots where the fireplace mirror is over Sherlock’s shoulder. It should reflect the mind-work wallpaper opposite, and it does… EXCEPT when Sherlock’s talking about Appledore. Then it reflects flat green. Why? I have a theory that the mind-work wallpaper represents Mycroft’s looming presence in Sherlock’s life, which would make the green mirror a clue for the viewers: Sherlock’s subconscious refuses to associate Mycroft with Appledore.
In the opening sequence, CAM is being questioned, and he sees Lady Smallwood’s details on his personal Appledore screen. It lists her name as “Alicia”. Lady Alicia Smallwood.
Later, when CAM pays a visit to 221b, Sherlock tells him he has been asked to represent Lady Elizabeth Smallwood. CAM hesitates, and Sherlock even invites him: “Something I said?” But CAM is busy reading Sherlock’s file, and he repeats Lady Elizabeth’s name twice before he leaves the flat. We’ve seen how people jump to fix others’ mistakes, Sherlock showed us in TGG; it’s a handy way to collect info from a reluctant suspect. In this case, the absence of a correction is just as illuminating. CAM didn’t remember/ didn’t have access to Lady Smallwood’s first name.
The Cupboard is Bare
With John and Sherlock at Appledore, CAM puts on a little show: how he accesses the Appledore vaults. He mimes opening a file drawer, taking out a folder, flipping through pages. Sherlock is frozen still, staring in disbelief.
I’ve done just a bit of Internet research, and as nearly as I can tell, file cabinets are NOT the way to organize a mind palace. Our minds are very good at retaining visual images, particularly unusual ones; so the best mind palaces look kinda crazy, because the information is stored in weird and impossible ways in every room. Sherlock would know this intimately, and would immediately suspect CAM was faking the Appledore vaults.
A moment later, CAM says “Sometimes I send for something if I really need it”. He glances at his watch (A receiver? His glasses and watch also figured prominently in the opening scenes of HLV. Tools of the trade?). Then the giveaway: “Mostly I just remember it all.” (We’ve seen that he doesn’t). And this is when Sherlock looks really sick. Earlier, Mycroft made it clear that CAM is under his protection; I think it’s here that Sherlock finally, reluctantly deduces that Mycroft is Appledore.
My Brother is Lost
At Appledore, Sherlock’s face is stricken, his eyes fall shut in dismay. His brother is the source of blackmail material on the entire Western World; balance of probability, he IS the disgusting creature that turns Sherlock’s stomach. Mycroft had a similar moment of despair earlier, in 221b. He tried to warn Sherlock away from CAM, but Sherlock dismissed him. Mycroft gazed blankly, calculating the endgame; then closed his eyes, knowing he’d be helpless to protect Sherlock from the truth. By the end of HLV, the Holmes brothers are lost to each other.
1). Mycroft is Appledore.
2). Sherlock has deduced it.
3). Both are devastated.
Which leads us straight to The Abominable Bride. Yes, it’s about Sherlock, Sherlock and John, Mary, Mary and John, and of course it’s about Jim. But I think Sherlock is working on Mycroft’s case, too. What happened to Mycroft, and how did he come to this unholy alliance with the abominable Charles Augustus Magnussen?
Thanks to Ariane DeVere for her magnificent transcripts.
Light Pillars over Alaska : What’s happening behind those houses? Pictured here are not auroras but nearby light pillars, a nearby phenomenon that can appear as a distant one. In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground lights in columns not unlike a Sun-pillar. The featured image was taken in Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks in central Alaska. via NASA
Summary: Tea, blankets and James is the best way to end the day.
“I still can’t believe we lost the bloody power here in the flat.”
Q heard James hum softly under his breath before the agent tightened his grip around Q’s naked waist, curling around Q slightly before settling down again. “’M not complaining,” James said after a moment, words muffled against Q’s skin as he pressed another sucking kiss to the back of Q’s neck. The two were curled up on the sofa, buried under several layers of throw blankets, two duvets, a comforter that Q had found in a box in the hall closet, and two cats. Candles lined the flat, reflecting merrily off of the darkened colored lights that lined the windows. The landlord had sent an email around earlier about a blown fuse box, and Q had gone home to check on the cats and partner only to be ambushed by James the moment he walked into the door.