I’m increasingly in love with John Watson’s poor typing abilities. Not because it’s hilarious to think of Sherlock’s reaction to them and just on their own (though it is), but because of what they say about him and the SH tradition.
See, I’m a second-generation fan of Sherlock Holmes, or if you prefer a third-generation with a generation skipped. My grandmum loved putting on what I call “old school Holmes,” basically any radio and film adaptation from before Granada. I grew up spending a lot of times in her kitchen, baking or doing the dishes or when I got older playing away on my computer with those shows wafting in from the other room. And in some of them Watson comes off okay but in a lot of cases Watson is just the chronicler. There is the great detective with his feats of wit who solves the crime and saves the day, and then there’s his faithful companion who records it all but doesn’t bring much in the way of brains or help at all to the table. He’s often not particularly smart, and to be fair by the later Doyle canon one has to wonder at Watson. The deductions aren’t that hard to predict, especially if you’ve had decades of watching Holmes at work, and there he is pulling his best impression of Arthur Shappey in opening scene after opening scene.
Ritchie and Granada avoid this issue and definitely make Watson a full participant (*hearts Jude Law’s Watson 5ever*), but they also don’t really attack it straight-on that much. It’s just not something that come up.
Whereas the BBC’s John Watson… he’s a bad typist. His blog is painfully out-of-the-box. Seriously - when you find out the Queen reads your blog, maybe it’s time to switch to something other than the default WordPress skin, or even use the fifty pounds you won off Sherlock at Baskerville to get some kid to tweak the CSS file, maybe buy a slightly pithier URL. Maybe update your bio at some point in the last five years. Something. He’s a successful blogger, but I’d hardly call him a good one. And he seems to do this out of compulsion, first from Ella and then because it’s how they get their cases (and also because it gives him a bit of a community to grieve with, when Sherlock “dies.” He doesn’t really want to be writing about Sherlock, certainly not at first, nor is he particularly skilled at it.
Which is really quite brilliant, because it means John’s value isn’t in being a chronicler. He’s still hugely important to Sherlock, but it has almost nothing to do with his gift for recording Sherlock’s exploits. John Watson is good and important for reasons all his own, and it really turns that traditional way of dealing with his character on its head. It’s hard to imagine (say) Peter Cushing talking about the two of us against the rest of the world the way Benedict does, and it’s really quite a glorious change.
So the next time you think of John Watson pecking away at those keys, remind yourself that it’s more than just a gag: that this John Watson isn’t all that good at what a long succession of Watsons have been known for, and he’s still worth having around. (Then think of him deleting a sentence he spent five minutes typing out, hitting the backspace key thirty-seven separate times, and have your laugh anyway.)
I graduated high school four years ago and I still have a little nagging fear at the back of my head that I forgot to do something and one of my teachers is just sitting at the school, four years later, still deducting a full 7% letter grade every day my report on Old Man and the Sea is late. The best grade I could get on it now is a -10799%. If I ever turn it in, my high school GPA will plummet so quickly that I will be retroactively rejected from the college I go to.
Scorose in which Scorpius got dumped and Rose accidentally bumps into him and has to awkwardly help him.
There was a handbook written by Head Students that had passed down through each generation dealing with invasions of the school, quidditch, Hogsmeade weekends, point deductions, and forming clubs. Nowhere in there, not a single chapter, page, or paragraph was dedicated to how to handle your cousin’s best friend crying in the corridor. Which is what Rose Weasley really needed the most.
It was completely unnerving to see Scorpius bloody Malfoy, who walked with a head held higher than the damn Astronomy Tower, cowering the way he was. His normally perfectly styled hair was hanging limp to the sides, and his impeccable appearance was rumpled pathetically.
Rose supposed, maybe, she should say something instead of standing completely silently like a deer in headlights and watching this pillar of the student body crumble. Come on, Rose, you’re supposed to be his friend. Sort of.
“Scorpius,” She cleared her throat.
“Rosie,” His head snapped up. Oh great, his eyes were all red-rimmed and adorable. Rose winced, biting back the urge to wrap her arms around him.
“It’s almost curfew.” Now she sounded like a bitch. Great.
He laughed, though, completely throwing her off. It wasn’t a happy laugh. “I’ve been here for a while then.”
“Are you, uh, okay?” Rose asked.
“Ish,” Scorpius smiled brokenly. “Mira broke up with me.”
“Oh,” Rose’s heart gave a lurch. Scorpius and Mira had been dating since the end of Fifth Year. She was a delicate blonde with a light splattering of freckles across her face, and dark brown eyes. Very pretty, and fit very well with Scorpius aesthetically.
It was almost foreign enough, picturing them apart, for Rose to completely reject the idea. They were the power couple. Two Slytherins that were uncommonly nice, purposefully defying most stereotypes placed on their house. Mira and Rose had actually started getting closer in the last few months, too.
“What happened?” Rose sat next to the boy.
“Rose, please leave it.” Scorpius cringed.
“That’s not in my nature at all.” She clicked her tongue. “It’s like you don’t even know me.”
“C'mon,” She nudged him. “What happened?”
“I’ve no idea, truthfully,” Scorpius shrugged. “Things were going well, really well. We had been talking about getting an apartment in London after school, something we’d talked about before, and then she… stopped looking me in the eye. I asked her what was up; then she just… did it.”
“What’d she say?”
“That it wasn’t going to work out.”
Rose frowned, resting her head against the wall. It sounded so out of character. “I don’t believe that.”
“That’s what I said.” Scorpius said.
“And then what did she say?” Rose glanced at the blonde next to her.
“Nothing,” He shut his eyes. “She just left.”
Rose nodded, sitting silently. She grabbed his hand in hers, holding it tightly. People like Scorpius weren’t supposed to sound so empty when they spoke. They weren’t, it was wrong and strange. It was then that Rose swore to herself that she would never allow Scorpius to be hurt like this ever again. She would make him happy if it killed her. Because, honestly, it really broke something inside of her to see him in the state he was.
Whether by coincidence or that silent promise, there was never a time after when Scorpius wasn’t smiling when he was with Rose.