Chadwick Boseman and Sebastian Stan
attend the after party for the screening of Marvel’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ hosted by The Cinema Society with Audi & FIJI at North Cove Marina on May 4, 2016 in New York City.
There has been a ton of meta concerning the domestic in HLV, so I am very sorry if this meta already exists. In case you have written or know any meta that is basically the same as what follows, please leave me a PM and I’ll reblog it as well!
It’s not a secret that in His Last Vow some things were established in the very first minutes: John’s “addiction”, not being suited for domestic life, missing Sherlock and Sherlock’s drug usage fluctuating after not talking to John for one month. Consequently, we can assume that John is not very happy with his marriage. And after finding out that Mary has been lying to him from the very beginning, we get the ‘little domestic’ and the cinematography in this scene is brilliant - it tells us exactly who John truly forgives and sides with, whether consciously or subconsciously.
I was talking to my best friend about how this scene was shot and how Mary behaves throughout this scene (result of our discussion: cold, distant, very weird for someone who was lying to her husband the entire time and is not reacting to it in any sympathetic way, no apology).
Many have pointed out the same: there’s no reason for Sherlock to stand at the door. He can barely stand. He’s in pain. He should sit - but he’s purposefully placed there to make John the axis between Sherlock and Mary. This is enforced through over the shoulder shots exclusively to John - whenever he turns to Mary or Sherlock, it’s his little blur of him we are seeing. If we see John, it might be from Sherlock’s perspective but there’s nothing that’d server as a ‘shoulder’. This framing, the way our characters are placed, it’s basically implying this question: John - who do you side with? Mary or Sherlock? Of course, he sides with Sherlock: “Your way. Always your way.”
It’s not just what John says though. It’s also how this entire scene is constructed. What really caught my best friend’s attention was this:
At first, I was only looking at Mary’s face and I think that’s where a lot of people will look at first but my best friend pointed to the mirror. She said: “Look, John is turning away from her. Literally turning away from her.”
You could argue that the mirror has always been there - it’s hard to avoid it. So the mirroring could be a very subtle thing, coincidence maybe (we know what we say about that) BUT in the next moment, the camera literally only frames the mirror.
This is not a close-up. This is the entire screencap. The camera only has the mirror in focus - leaving Mary in a blur, barely visible and only then the camera slowly pivots to Mary, focus is on her now. You can still see MirrorJohn turning his back on her. And since my best friend and I are not native English speakers, we realized very late that the phrase “turning one’s back on someone” literally means leaving someone. It’s also funny how you don’t see John really facing Mary anymore while he is the axis between Sherlock and Mary - once John actually talks to her, after agreeing with Sherlock, we do see the mirror and Mary but John isn’t even in the frame anymore.
We can interpret this scene in many ways - a decision in this moment, to go along with what Sherlock says, to turn his back on Mary (conscious or subconsciously). But we can also interpret this to foreshadow what might really have happened throughout these months until Christmas, which are still a mystery to us, who he truly forgives and who he truly chooses in the future - and it is definitely not Mary. John chose Sherlock.