gatiss in brazil

Mofftiss and the Problem of Long-Range Planning, Literary Integrity, and Unresolved Plot Points

One of Mofftiss’ problems is that they don’t plan ahead. Remember when everyone was theorising like crazy after series 1 about what the fall-out of the pool scene was going to be and everyone had all these complex and interesting ideas of what they had in mind? And then remember on the dvd commentary where they were laughing about how they then had “figure out what to do about that” and how the joke of Moriarty getting a phone call and walking out was what they came up with? It worked in the end, but my point is that they didn’t have it planned at the time that they wrote, shot, and aired it. Not a clue. I believe firmly that they did the same thing with the Reichenbach Fall and never had any plan to fully flesh it out and tell people what really happened (cue Moffat saying something stupid like “wouldn’t you rather not know?”), and then they did the same thing with the baby and the whole fall-out of Mary in general. They write like fanfic writers who start posting WIPs without having any clear idea of where the story is going and ultimately never finish them, leaving their readers hanging, or resolving it with a patchy semi-explanation that resolves nothing and makes no sense. 

Because what we have now is a really bad situation: Sherlock and John have now aligned themselves with an internationally-wanted criminal who says herself that the information Magnussen had on her would have sent her to prison for the rest of her life. Sherlock killed someone and was willing to take punishment on Mary’s behalf (though punishment for one kill vs what Mary would have faced for her many, many kills/acts of international terrorism etc) isn’t the same. He did this for John, obviously, but it’s interesting that the person who benefited the most from it (Mary) doesn’t even bother to say thank you or indeed acknowledge what he’s done for her in any way, including the fact that he’s being punished for it. That says psychopath, loud and clear. And Sherlock and John have chosen to destroy evidence about her past and cover for her, putting them both at significant legal risk. Mofftiss have “dealt” with this with a shitty semi-forgiveness/taking-back scene and I don’t believe they plan to deal any further with the consequences of Mary’s having shot and tried to kill Sherlock on her marriage to John at all. “Haha, Mary cried and they made a silly joke about who gets to name the baby and it’s all good now!” As for the baby, Gatiss himself said in Brazil that they were going to have to figure out what to do about the baby now, making it sound strongly as though there was no clear plan at the time of having written it in. 

I’ve said many times now (usually in response to fic comments!) that I firmly believe the baby to be an absolutely terrible writing decision. I very much think that they only did it to amp up the drama of His Last Vow without any real forethought as to the future. The only options regarding the baby are all bad ones, in my opinion. Either the baby is stillborn, dies in birth, is kidnapped, killed, or otherwise used for a spectacularly cheap bit of melodrama that could have been achieved just as easily without killing a baby - seriously,  this is just lazy writing if they’re wanting to do something bad to the baby - or else nothing bad happens and we get to watch a new series (in about 10 years) about Mary and John fighting over John wanting to go work on cases with Sherlock and who takes care of the baby, domestic drama blah blah blah that I, at least, have absolutely zero interest in. I want to see a show that’s primarily about Sherlock and John, in that order, but very much the two of them together. I don’t want Sherlock having primary scenes by himself while John is relegated to household drama with Mary in separate scenes, occasionally fused together for wacky threesome adventures. I want the two of them and only the two of them, and honestly, I think that Mofftiss want that, too, but now they’ve written themselves into what would be a corner for most writers to get themselves out of.

That is, if they go for literary integrity and actually address these issues, which has clearly not been their strong suit either on Sherlock or Doctor Who so far. I imagine they’ll take some cheap short cut like with the pool, the fall, and the forgiveness, and it makes me so angry. Finish what you’ve started and see it through. I don’t think they have a long-range Plan that will finally explain everything and fill in all of the holes. I think they just believe that plot holes are perfectly acceptable and it drives me crazy. Sorry to rant but I had to get that off my chest.