On Irene, Molly, And Mary...
Ah, these women! What more can I say? I love them and it’s the very reason why I feel like I needed to talk about them, especially in light of “recent events.”
Now, I would’ve included Mrs. Hudson, but everybody loves her (I’m pretty sure all of us have secret shrines dedicated to her) and in contrast to these three other women, I haven’t seen anyone talk sh*t about her. Maybe the reason why I’m writing this is that I feel like these special women also deserve the same recognition? Idk. As usual, I’m waffling. Haha.
Anyway, going back to my point, I’m just going to start this ramble:
For someone who was intended to be a side character (since she was not a part of the ACD canon), Molly stood out because even before anyone else (even Lestrade who thought that Sherlock was a great, but not good, man in S1) saw the detective’s capacity for good, she was already there, admiring him. I honestly don’t think it was just his brilliance or his amazing cheekbones (lol) that captivated her, but it was the belief that Sherlock is something more than he what he leads on. He had his eccentricities, but she was able to look past that.
And if there’s one thing that I found compelling about her, it’s her character development. She didn’t dwell on her unrequited love, she wasn’t a martyr, she dated other people (shoutout to Jim from IT), she called out Sherlock for being an arse during that Christmas (ASiB), and by season 3 and 4, she became an all around BAMF.
So I don’t understand why I’ve seen people calling her weak. Because I personally believe that loving someone does not prevent you from being a strong and independent person. Molly never changed her ways for Sherlock. Sure, she swiped lipstick that one time, or she dressed up that Christmas, but it was to boost her own confidence. She knows that Sherlock doesn’t notice these things in a ‘I want to impress him’ kind of level, so I personally believe she was doing those things because she wants to – not for him, but for herself.
And seeing her in TFP hurt me like hell. She looked like she was having a rough day, and then Sherlock just pops in a request like that – it was disheartening to watch. But Molly Hooper handled it like a boss. Even if it hurts, she was in control of herself. She was angry, she didn’t want to be treated like a toy – she wanted him to know that saying those words are not and should not be easy. Even in pain and distress, she was able to teach Sherlock Holmes a lesson.
So if that makes her weak, then they should change the definition of the word in the dictionary, because there’s a huge amount of courage in there.
P.S. To be fair, Sherlock did say ‘I love you’ twice. Now, I’m an Adlock shipper, but so far, Sherlolly shippers had that dramatic Anderson-imagination kiss and two ‘I love you’s so cheers to y’all! 😉
Queeeeeeeeeeeen! Okay, sorry! I just love this woman.
Personally, I fell in love with the idea of Adlock ever since I first read A Scandal In Bohemia. I never liked my ships to be ‘canon’ in a way that they’ll run off into the sunset and be all cheesy, and that’s why Sherlock and Irene’s dynamic resonated with me so much. I do blame them for developing my now logical and complicated approach on the subject of love, but I digress.
There has been a lot of criticism about the modern adaptations of Irene Adler, but I will simply focus on the BBC one for this post. Irene was, and still is, being reprimanded for being a dominatrix, but to me, it just made sense. Her initial role was to distract Sherlock and to lure him into unfamiliar territory, but sex isn’t the element that became the foundation of their relationship – it was their instant intellectual connection.
And this is also the very reason why we’re not dismissing Irene or Sherlock’s sexuality in shipping them, contrary to the common criticisms of these pairing. Even if Irene is a dominatrix, sex isn’t really what they are about. I know I’ve stressed this many times, but Sherlock admitted that he is captivated by Irene (”Craving the distraction of the game, I sympathise entirely…” his words, not mine) and Irene was also very much smitten with Sherlock, so it may not be romance (or whatever it is that normal people do), but they are indeed attracted to each other in a very complex level that I think even they don’t understand. To add to this, we already have an entire discourse regarding Irene being “gay” etc. etc. which I think makes her even more amazing because she’s like f*ck all your stereotypes, I’m going to swing all ways possible and be badass at it and I can’t… I just can’t deal with that point even anymore… She is more than that frickin’ label, for God’s sake.
Anyway, another commentary about Irene that pisses me off the most is the one about her being weak – again, similar to Molly’s. She didn’t ask for Sherlock to rescue her, and he absolutely didn’t beat her. In fact, he broke almost every single one of his personal rules when it came to her: flew thousands of miles to get to her, kept her Vertu (”If she’d left him, he would keep it. People do. Sentiment.”), thinks about her out of the blue, the TEXTING, and I could go on and on and on…. And she did make Sherlock “I haven’t begged in my life” Holmes beg twice in the most mundane, interesting, and sentimental way possible: “But I will have the camera phone.” “Please.”
This is a woman who can get by on her own, who has managed to stay alive despite the circumstance that she’s constantly on the run, and she is her own person, whether or not she has crossed paths with Sherlock Holmes.
So to put this in full-circle, I’ll just say it again: QUEEN!
I never really appreciated Mary’s character in the ACD canon because she was barely even there. It wasn’t even explicit if she died or not, but there was a line that expressed Watson’s bereavement, leading to that conclusion in the books.
Frankly, just like Irene, I’ve been waiting for her character to make an appearance, and was almost settled by the idea that she might have been replaced with Sarah (John’s girlfriend in S1), but I still had my hopes up. So when she arrived in Season 3, imagine my excitement.
But it wasn’t until that scene in TEH where she was obviously amused by Sherlock that made me love her. Now, just a quick segue, I’ve always hated Sally Donovan because she was cruel to Sherlock and she didn’t really seem to have a redemption arc unlike Anderson. She was a representation of the world that treats Sherlock Holmes as an outsider. And Mary wasn’t like that at all. She was accepting and understanding, and unlike the common cause of hatred towards her, she wasn’t keeping Sherlock and John apart. In fact, she was trying so hard to assure them that things are not going to change – that they would still be Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
Then we discover that she’s not as she seems, that she has secrets, and it explained why she cared for Sherlock– it’s because broken people try to fix other broken people through each other’s company. She was willing to compromise anything, she was greedy to not let John know, she was desperate which led to her shooting Sherlock – overall, her character has dimension. She’s not a bad or good, she has her own demons that she’s trying to overcome. When Sherlock told John that “you chose her”, it felt haunting because it resonates to our own horrors – we attract what we seek. And to me, it’s what made Mary – BBC’s Mary – a brilliant character.
These are just a few reasons why I can’t accept any hate towards these characters, their roles in relation to Sherlock and John, or even hate addressed to the people who adore them.
Overall, these three women were introduced to us in a sequence that also relates to Sherlock’s own development: Molly signified the value of trust, respect, and regard for his life; Irene embodied incredible wit, surrendering to the whims of sentiment, and finding a remarkable connection; and Mary provided the feeling of warmth, acceptance, and the balance between danger and redemption.
And again, dear haters, this is why they matter.