TST is so goddamn blue: a meta
TST is just all kinds of weird. Everything feels off, and even the first third, which is supposed to be light-hearted and funny, is unsettling in many ways (for instance, why was John, a doctor, driving the car when his wife, Mary, was going into labor instead of having Sherlock drive? We know Sherlock can drive very well from THoBV, so wtf? And why would Sherlock ever say that Mary is better than John when it clearly hurt John that he’d say that? And what was the narrative point of the dog being there, apart from the fact that Sherlock likes dogs? Anyway, I digress.)
One theory that I’ve seen going around is that Sherlock is narrating this episode, and therefore, we’re dealing with an unreliable narrator. If Sherlock is in fact telling this story to his therapist, Ella, at the end of the episode, and is lying about some parts of his story, then what is he lying about? Well, one option is that he’s lying about how Mary died in order to protect someone. But he’s Sherlock… who would he bother protecting?
“It’s always you, John Watson.” Of course. It probably has to do with John. With saving and protecting John, as is Sherlock’s MO.
One theory by @the-7-percent-solution that I’m extremely fond of at the moment is
that John killed Mary, and Sherlock is lying to his therapist in order to protect John (just
like Watson may have lied in the original ACD story Charles Augustus Milverton to protect Holmes after Holmes
presumably killed Milverton, which is what Mofftiss believe happened), and to give John an alias. Which would
mean that quite a lot of the episode is either a fabrication, or changed
slightly in order to make the story more convincing.
And, since I noticed that there is a LOT of blue in this episode, I decided to go through and examine the most blue-lit and blue-colored scenes, and see if I anything popped out at me. Something did. It might be nothing, but I’m gonna roll with it and see where it goes.
This is the scene where Sherlock discovers the A.G.R.A. memory stick in the Thatcher bust, and fights with Ajay. Everything in this scene is blue, or lit up with blue: the pool, the pool lights, the waves painted on the walls (real subtle with the Water Thing there, Mark), the police lights. It’s overwhelmingly blue. Which means that, if blue coloring or lighting means that Sherlock is lying (and I will explain why I think that might be the case in just a second) then Ajay’s story about why he’s actually hunting down Mary - or even the way/reason that Sherlock discovers the memory stick - might be either a lie, or a half-lie on Sherlock’s part (assuming he’s telling Ella all this after it’s happened.)
These screenshots are taken from the montage of Rosamund Mary’s escape trip. Again, there is quite a bit of blue, especially in the transitions and maps. And the dice. Again, just like the scene where Sherlock finds the A.G.R.A. memory stick, this part of the narrative has been twisted or is unreliable. We’re not seeing the full truth here. Maybe Rosamund Mary had a much more sinister reason to leave London than just escaping another assassin. (I’m not sure this part holds up as well as some of the other blue-colored scenes, but still. I thought it was very interesting how they stuck with this one-color scheme across so many scenes in this episode.)
This is the scene where Rosie begins crying, and John texts the girl from the bus stop. Again, everything in this scene is pretty damn blue; at least it stood out as being strangely blue to me. I mean, c’mon, even the bathroom tiling and towels are blue:
So maybe that means that this scene isn’t entirely true, either. The unreliable narrator - Sherlock, possibly - has embellished or left out something critical to understanding (in context) this scene. I’m not entirely sure what to make of this one, but maybe someone can help me out with figuring out how/why this scene might possibly have been a lie or a half-lie.
So I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. This whole scene is so strange and off, as many people who are much better at this whole meta thing than I am have already pointed out (I.E., John, an army doctor, not doing anything other than talk to his dying wife when he could clearly do so much more to help save her… jfc?)
Maybe Rosamund Mary didn’t really die in this sccene. Maybe, after finding out something about Mary’s past or present while confronting her about the A.G.R.A. memory stick or Morocco (again, assuming that both those scenes weren’t shown to the audience exactly how they happened) John killed her, and Sherlock’s protecting John by not telling the story how it really happened. Or maybe it’s something else… but there is an incredible amount of blue in this scene, which very clearly connects it (for me) to the previous scenes I’ve mentioned.
After Rosamund Mary’s death scene, the camera pans up and we get this shot:
A blue shark. And since sharks have repeatedly been associated with villains already on this show, that’s pretty damn suggestive. The shark is still swimming - it hasn’t stopped, and therefore it hasn’t died.
After the blue shark, we immediately get this shot a box (coffin? Ashes?) burning with blue flames:
Again, this is sticking to a common color scheme present in many other
scenes that could easily have been changed or fabricated to hide a much
more sinister side of Rosamund Mary, and a very different version of
that aquarium scene. So maybe Rosamund Mary isn’t actually dead, or the how/why of her death is a lie, or, or, or…
And that brings me to why I think that blue might be important. In one of the last scenes in the episode, we see that Sherlock is in therapy, and trying to figure out what to “do about John.”
Strangely, the therapist, Ella, has an office that’s painted blue: walls, ceiling, everything. (It is also shaped similarly to the tube in the aquarium, and lit in a very similar way to the room where Rosamund Mary died, but I’m not entirely sure that has any significance?) Oftentimes, when pressured to make something up or lie about something, people will look to what’s around them to help them come up with material for their lies. So if Sherlock is recounting this story from his memory, isn’t it possible that his surrounding are leaking into how he sees those memories, especially the ones that aren’t coming from his memory because they’re partially or fully falsehoods?
And then the episode ends on this shot:
More blue, with Sherlock framed in front of water, on his way to “save John Watson.” Real subtle, Mark.
((If anyone recognizes a reference to one of their metas in this post, please, please, please tell me and I’ll tag you and give credit! I really don’t want to seem like I’m stealing anyone’s theories, I just got excited by all the metas I was seeing and decided to make one, too!))