Hello! I was just thinking about HLV and John's speech thing to Mary about the problems of her future are his privilege etc and was wondering what it really meant? I've always thought that it is part of a plan but I'm not sure, wondering what your opinions were?? We know he never forgives her so I'm hoping they are literally prepared words as they are part of a plan which Sherlock and Mycroft are in on too!
The tone of the speech, in my opinion, is very ominous. I have seen it discussed quite a bit before, but here’s my take on it:
JOHN: I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say to you.
(He draws in a long breath through his nose as she raises her eyes to him.)
JOHN: These are prepared words, Mary.
(He lowers his head for a moment, grimacing slightly and pulling in another slightly shaky breath before glancing up at her.)
JOHN: I’ve chosen these words with care.
MARY (a little nervously): Okay.
(John clears his throat, and he can be heard rolling the pen drive round in his fingers again. Finally he looks up to meet her eyes.)
JOHN (still speaking quietly): The problems of your past are your business. The problems of your future … are my privilege.
(Mary’s face starts to crumple a little and tears begin to form in her eyes.)
JOHN: It’s all I have to say. It’s all I need to know.
The bolded words are very important. Reading them, they look very innocent and they look like they are words of forgiveness. What we cannot see is the minuscule nuances of Martin’s acting choices here.
John, this entire speech, has his head down and he is side-eyeing Mary. If you’re someone like John, who has a difficult time lying, or hiding your tells when you lie, you’re not going to look someone head on. Mary constantly underestimates John, possibly thinks him slow. She takes advantage of his good nature. So in this instance, she has no reason to believe John would lie to her – after all, she thinks she is the BEST thing to happen to John, and if John would forgive Sherlock for his deceit, OF COURSE he’ll forgive her!
But John just doesn’t work like that, Mary, sorry.
So, rewatch the scene and pay close attention to how Martin is acting in the scene AND how he says each of the bolded lines. The fact that he feels he needs to reiterate that he has practiced and chosen his words tells me that he possibly had been rehearsing with Sherlock, learning how to hide his tells; these are the two lines that have me suspicious that John has an ongoing behind the scenes plan in regards to Mary – pretend to forgive her and find out what she is planning. It’s the first line that John uses to trick Mary into thinking that this was all his own doing, and that he is being sincere.
Now, let’s look at the next line:
- The problems of your past are your business. Indeed they are: If her past comes after her, John wants nothing to do with it… in fact I actually take that sentence rather ominously: if her past comes back to bite her in the ass, John ain’t planning to help her at all.
- The problems of your future… are my privilege. This screams “I’m going to fuck you up once I figure out what’s happening here” to me. I’m sorry if everyone else takes that line differently, but even on first watch, I was like “OH NO HE DIDN’T”. John intends to be her problem. In fact, problems – plural – not just him. He and Sherlock. And possibly Mycroft. John intends on getting this shit solved once and for all. Sorry, but it’s NOT in John’s nature to just sit back and take it. He is a captain. He’s going to fuck shit up.
And finally, the last line is just an affirmation: a promise to Mary that “yes, I am keeping that promise” (in fact I THINK he looks back up at her properly when he says this line, but I can’t tell because the camera is focused on Mary, who… bought his lies hook, line and sinker).
I truly believe that this is the first stage of John’s “I’m Captain Watson” plan for S4. I think he will be taking the reigns on this one. He’s made a mistake and he intends to make rights.