I’m not a fan of metas based on reading faces. I’ve seen other people do it well, but I’ve never liked actually basing conclusions off expressions alone. Everything exists in context, but especially facial expressions. They’re also the easiest thing to project onto– you can read a lot of things into a facial expression, and I’m very wary of that sort of thing in analysis. I am particularly wary when shippers do it and/or there’s an agenda involved (and usually there is an agenda involved, in fandom). My point: I don’t really do facial analysis if I can help it, and certainly not alone. But there’s definitely a point in TFP where the show kinda begs you to look at Sherlock’s face, and I can’t deny it’s interesting.
In a general sense, I’m also kinda going through the things that seem off or are interesting in Series 4 (in no particular order), and of course, I haven’t addressed this yet:
I remember being struck by this when I saw it in the trailer, and analyzing it a bit. It was obvious to me it wasn’t to John, because John is behind Sherlock. In thinking about it before I knew the context, I thought it was weird, because Sherlock looked so unhappy. His whole expression is… tense, disturbed at something. It’s not the kind of face (or set-up) one associates with an ‘I love you’, so I thought something rather dark must be going on.
Now, I agree with the analysis that this isn’t Sherlock’s ‘lying face’, or the over-the-top acting Sherlock was doing with Janine in HLV. This is definitely different. But the only two options aren’t ‘he’s lying’ vs ‘he’s just realized he means it’. The difference between TFP and HLV is context: in HLV, Sherlock went on to dismiss John’s horror at his callousness, and say love was ‘human error’. In TFP, Sherlock no longer thinks so. That is the point.
A lot of people (no matter what they ship) don’t understand this scene– they either seem to think it’s gratuitous emotional torture, bad Molly characterization (because she’s apparently not gotten over her feelings, though as I’ve said, there’s no reason to think she had), or– I suppose– there to show us that Sherlock just loves Molly back, all appearances to the contrary. Of course, many fans essentially believe there doesn’t really need to be a reason for that last option, particularly seeing as it’s about a heterosexual couple, so I’ll just say that no, there actually does need to be a reason, not to mention build-up. Besides, if Sherlock simply… meant it, that would kill the drama (and the intended darkness) of the scene. In general, no matter what Sherlock’s face says, the narrative has to support it or it makes no sense and constitutes bad writing. But for what it’s worth, his face doesn’t really say ‘I love you’. He looks sad and disturbed, but I do believe he also looks like he’s realizing something on some level. It’s a form of his serious deduction face, except we don’t get as much of an inward look as we did the last time this happened, during the wedding speech in TSoT (as I once wrote extensively about).
So what is Sherlock realizing, in context?
That question is closely tied to asking why that scene is there. I mean, I’ve seen plenty of Johnlock shippers sort of riff on the fact that the deduction of the person meant for the casket could have been about John– he too is short and practical, and he loves Sherlock! But I think bringing John into it is a derailment. It’s not about John, but it’s not about Molly, either, not directly. Like I said in my John analysis in TLD, it’s not about John ‘cause it’s about Sherlock. Obviously, this applies to this scene: we’re focused on Sherlock’s face here, full screen. That certainly suggests that we’re meant to be focusing on him (and his arc).
And yes, that’s what I think it’s about. I realize most people who’re not Johnlockers seem not to care that there’s an arc, but even though we’ve been wrong about various things, the one thing I’ve been right about is the importance of Sherlock’s arc. Moffat has explicitly referred to it and its relevance to TFP, too. This is Sherlock’s test, his final test (as administered by Eurus, the embodiment of the ‘high-functioning sociopath’ persona). The Final Problem is becoming human.
So what does that have to do with Molly? He’s already told Eurus that he realizes his life is not his own: “Your own death is something that happens to everybody else.” So he’s learned the lesson of Reichenbach. The ‘human error’ thing is about people like Janine and Molly though, in the show. He doesn’t really have a problem accepting his feelings about John (however you want to read them); as soon as he realized them, around TEH and TSoT, he accepted them. John is always the exception. It’s everyone else’s feelings– and feeling in general– that Sherlock hasn’t taken seriously or accepted as valid, as important, as worth empathizing with. So this is the final step: he’d already felt bad for Molly in TEH, but he didn’t take her feelings fully seriously, because then there was Janine. Love was still ‘human error’… but then Sherlock kept making that error. You don’t have to read this romantically, though it’s certainly not been about Molly. He’s made the error about John, about Mary, and even about Eurus (in TLD). That’s what he was telling Mrs Hudson with ‘Norbury’. He knows that ‘human error’ is something he has to take into account. Heartbreak is something Sherlock is now very familiar with. He has to feel it, but he doesn’t have to fear it (as Moriarty said).
Sherlock fake-smiled when he proposed to Janine because he was dissociating, essentially. Here, he wasn’t. But that doesn’t mean he was confessing his love. It means he was fully feeling the awfulness of what he was doing to Molly, and that he was aware he was using his real feelings– because he really does care about her as a friend– to hurt her, essentially. This is the realization he started to have at the end of TAB, about how many women he’d hurt. This is the consequence: it hurts. It burns. It aches, being human. But it allows him to reach his sister, in the end, so the point is not about avoiding the pain but embracing it.
But given I don’t think a lick of S4 EXCEPT for the first few minutes of T6T are real, and that TFP is John’s TAB, I think that in that episode, John was finally ready to take whatever Sherlock was going to offer him.
Why there HAS to be a 4th episode or A quick reminder of everything that is fucky
I know that
lately it has become difficult to keep believing in the existence of a fourth
episode, one the fandom has decided to call the Lost Special. So this post has
nothing but the goal to lay down the hard facts that prove not only the
existence of that episode but also the necessity of it.
This is a collection of reasons why we believe in a Lost Special, all at the same place. No Arg, no
speculations, no hard meta, just the irrefutable evidence we’ve gathered that
shows how something is terribly wrong at the moment within the show itself. If
someone starts doubting, this is supposed to remind them why we’re still in the
your belt, we’re going deep inside the show. It’s going to be long, and frankly not
everything will make sense but that’s the point: nothing make sense otherwise.
They love each other so much. They are both so soft.
What kills me is that Sherlock used drugs knowing that all his barriers would drop. But it was safe. It was okay, because he wasn’t going to see John again. He’d said goodbye, walked onto the plane, opened John’s blog and reread what John said about him when they first met.
But then, surprise! The mission gets called off, Sherlock retreats into his gay fever dream to try to figure out the Moriarty mystery, and the plane lands. And when Sherlock wakes, full of love and understanding that “there’s always two of us” and that he’s finally figured out the biggest mystery of all, that he can’t succeed without John by his side, he’s met with this look.
Sherlock wakes, is so soft and vulnerable, high and hurting, and glances to John. And this is the look he’s met with. Not anger. Not hurt. Love and understanding and a look that says no matter what, John is there.
To burn a heart out of Sherlock - the final problem...
With this post I’m probably walking on an very unpopular path within this fandom…on thin ice, so to speak. Especially among the “Johnlockers”, which I am myself… though
Straight forward then:
To burn the heart out of Sherlock was never about John Watson.
So there is that…
Why??? Let me explain…
While responding to comments on my other post about the Sherlock shooting Mycroft scene, it occured to me, that in this very moment, these (probably) last few moments of Mycrofts life, when he finally lets all the guards down and Sherlock can look straight through him, straight through his facade, Sherlock has to realise that Mycroft really truely deeply cares and therefor caring IS an advantage!!! At this very moment Sherlock reconnected with his feelings, only to have to kill them directly afterwards!!!
And THIS is the heart Moriarty wanted to burn out of Sherlock! This is where all the final problem was about!
And this is notabout Mycroft, but about Sherlock realising and reconnecting with his feelings, only to cause him the deepest pain directly afterwards. This is about Sherlock, who has to make this awful choice at exactly that moment, when it would hurt him most! And it would hurt him no matter wich choice he would make!! This is about make him dance, cause him pain, leave him behind as a total wreck…
All the time the whole game was not (only) about losing John Watson, but about to relight the sentiment/the feelings in Sherlock! Only to cause him the most awful pain the very same moment this would happen. John was probably a poppet in the game. Very useful that Sherlock was so attached to him. Very useful, that John stirred up feelings in Sherlock. Very useful that Sherlock was more and more vulnerable because of these feelings. John Watson was a useful part in the bigger plan! A big part - that’s true…. But to really realise and understand that all the “caring is not an advantage” was a farce - all the time, all his life - that he is meant to feel and to care… therefor he had to go to his roots, where it all started - he had to go deep!!! Only then, when he reactivated his feeling heart, only then it could have been burned out!
And his roots had nothing to do with John, but with Mycroft (and if you want with Eurus…but that is (for the moment) an other story to be told…).
Because what was first named and thereby initiated here:
is finished here:
So why does he get off here? Because he got all he wanted. His task is done, he reached his goal! This is what he had hoped for - Holmes killing Holmes!! This is what he predicted - so this is what he had planned all along! He even saved it for a special occasion! And what was this “final problem” if not special??
And why does he say “The end of a line”? Normally “the end of a line” is used, when the last memeber of a bloodline died. That’s the end of this bloodline, this is the end of that family - but this isn’t the case here. This "line" is meant as his "timeline" of his game, I guess. And “line” remembers me of something flat, something boring…. something like “staying alive”?!!?!!?
JIM: Ah. Here we are at last – you and me, Sherlock, and our problem – the final problem. (He holds the phone up higher.) JIM: Stayin’ alive! It’s so boring, isn’t it?
(Angrily he switches off the phone.) JIM: It’s just … (he holds his hand out flat with the palm down and skims it slowly through the air level to the roof) … staying.
So the staying has reached it’s end. Also the “staying alive” though…? Did he hope for Sherlock to kill himself afterwards? Did he hope for Sherlock returning to drugs and be killed by an overdose? Did he hope for Sherlock to actually being a walking dead because of all the pain he caused him, so that he never could be happy again?? I don’t know…luckily he didn’t reach his goal here! He did get off to early it seems - missed the target!!! Because in the end, Sherlock decided to quit the game, didn’t play anymore!! And this took all of Moriarty’s power away! Sherlock was no poppet anymore - finally he was more himself than ever before! Aknowledging his feelings, making his own choice! And this is where he finally found the key to his past/to his emotions to finally set himself free!
So in my opinion this is it. This was the final problem! Sherlock finding back to his feelings, to reconnect heart and brain! Moriarty thought and hoped this would destroy him…. but actually it made Sherlock stronger than ever before!!!
This is not the end (we were told between the lines).
We all know: TAB works as a mirror-episode for the events of following episodes. And how does TAB end?
With a remake of ACD’s TFP: Moriarty and Holmes face each other at the Reichenbach Falls to die together. But: TAB doesn’t follow ACD’s storyline here anymore, because the circumstances - times - have changed; other than in ACD’s TFP, John is there to save Sherlock from his demons, because he is the only one capable of doing so. The only uncontrollable variable.
But how does Moftiss’ TFP end?
John is reduced to a simple plot device; his absence wouldn’t have changed the events much either. He doesn’t save Sherlock, because he is utterly helpless. Again, Sherlock is the one to save John. But it’s not framed like any of that would really matter, anyway.
John is not there to save Sherlock from his demons; Sherlock has to face them all on his own. And - because John is not there this time - he gives in: Other than putting to rest what/who destroys him, moving on and living in happiness, he makes himself a humble, dependent slave to his demons.
That’s another reason for feeling rejection towards TFP: Because it wasn’t what we were told it would be, and it wasn’t at all what “love conquers all” feels like - it wasn’t a “happy end”, not for any of the characters at all. It was nothing new; it was subtly and slowly killing off the characters’ arcs which they painstakingly achieved throughout the first ten episodes:
“Does it really make a difference, killing the innocent instead of the guilty?”
It was no different than ACD’s TFP, because, in the end, Moriarty does win over Sherlock, does burn the heart out of him, for John is nothing more than a plot device - just for decoration and for the sake of character-set completeness, even his clothing merging with the background.
TAB’s foreshadowing may have gotten lost in people’s minds somewhere along the way - so remember:
the ILY is very insulting to Molly's character but right before that? When she's miserably cutting lemons or something just shuffling about in the kitchen looking as if she's suffering from acute melancholia? Good god that is worse. Because that is what her life has become. It's empty and she's miserable. They could have had her a party with a bunch of friends at home when Sherlock called. They could have had her doing something that made her happy. But no, they HAD to make her look miserable
Oh my god I KNOW. We know Molly has a life outside of her relationship with Sherlock and John, but the only time we see it, THIS is the glimpse we get. Molly is smart, accomplished, awkwardly funny and beautiful, but apparently she spends her free time moping around like a sad sack. And this is NOT meant as an insult to Molly, it’s infuriating what mofftiss reduced her to.
Whether or not you like Mary, at least she was given SOME SORT of personality and character arc beyond John’s wife. Yeah she was used as a damn man pain plot device too, but ffs we know more about her than “she loves John”.
When Sherlock calls, Molly says it’s not a good day. But why? We never get that answer, we have no idea why her day is bad, and we can really only assume it has to do with Sherlock not returning her affections. And why can we infer that? BECAUSE EVERYTHING WITH MOLLY HAS TO DO WITH SHERLOCK! She isn’t important and doesn’t matter beyond “unrequitedly in love with protagonist”. So it makes total sense that her melancholy is somehow related to Sherlock. Because this is Mofftiss. And they apparently think it’s normal and believable for a grown adult to act this way. It pisses me the fuck off.
Hi there! I stumbled across your John meta today and I really enjoyed it. I struggle so much with John so it was so helpful to read that as it validated a lot of my personal feelings and on going discussions. Here's a question for you and forgive me if you've already discussed it. Why do you think they had Sherlock put on the deerstalker? Also- why the fade shot and then show John's mood improved? I'm not hinting at sex as I am not in that camp but it is curious as it's a deliberate decision.
This was cute, wasn’t it? Though it’s a bit weird, yeah. On the one hand, this is a parallel to TAB, where John told Sherlock to ‘wear the damn hat’ and get himself together (’cause he’d just come off a bender). Since he calls it the ‘damn hat’, it’s a direct reference (and John seems to think it’s cute and is clearly pleased). The hat generally represents Sherlock’s public persona– being ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (as we saw in TRF, though more explicitly in TEH and TAB). Being Sherlock Holmes isn’t a bad thing, or even necessarily a false thing (if one believes Mary’s narration at the end of TFP). It’s just something to cover up the vulnerability and the naked, flawed awkwardness of Sherlock’s gooey center. And here, of course, Sherlock’s about to go with John to meet Molly for cake, of all things! Because it’s his birthday! Very awkward indeed.
Basically, Sherlock is not really ‘back to normal’, though as John says to Eurus the Therapist, “obviously ‘normal’ and ‘fine’ are both relative terms when it comes to Sherlock and Mycroft”. We had a fade to black after their intimate moment– probably to show time passing, though it’s unclear how much time. I definitely want to know what happened, what they’d talked about. In terms of implicit Johnlock (I am mostly in that camp, because that’s my happy place camp), I don’t think it happened yet by this scene. They’ve clearly gotten better, of course– look at John’s happy John smile!– but it’s not ‘back to normal’. More domestic, certainly. Warmer, clearly. But Sherlock needs armor just to get through an ordinary birthday gathering (not that it’s that ordinary– in the context of all their messed up lives recently, perhaps it’s rather extraordinary, after all). Though as John says, that really is such a relative thing for them all, isn’t it?
Still. I do think that we’re meant to think they’ve progressed. They’ve gotten closer, because they had nowhere else to go but up. They didn’t want to actually show the details of John and Sherlock rebuilding their normal relationship, so they sort of– pointed to it. Waved a hand and did a fade to the facade of Baker Street, which is nothing if not representative of John-and-Sherlock, the Baker Street Boys, back together at last.
Sherlock is sort of wobbly, though. His voice is kind of uncertain. He is uncertain. It hasn’t actually been very long, because his eye is still bloodshot, and the cut by his brow from John’s blows still looks pretty bad. He’s recovering, they’re recovering, but their conversation about Mary and Irene is fresh enough to still be on his mind. And it is on his mind, though I think John is happy to put things behind them. ‘Behave’, he gamely tells Sherlock after he snarks a bit about cakes and sugar and birthdays– he’s definitely trying to get back to normal in his own way, to wear the ‘hat’ of John Watson, Sherlock’s Minder (the one he wore in TRF, which that bit references). I suppose it’s just that John’s hat is invisible. They both need a bit of normalcy, but they’re not necessarily certain how to get there from here. It’s going to take time. And it’s probably going to take a case, or multiple cases, as well as therapy– and this does work, as we see by TFP, even if the therapist shot John with a tranquilizer. That is their life, so in the end that’s pretty normal too.
Still, as I said, their conversation is definitely on Sherlock’s mind. And what part of that conversation? Oh yeah, the bit where John told him he should text Irene Adler more. That part’s apparently haunting him, because he brings it up out of nowhere, right as they’re leaving the house to go have a party. “It’s not my place to say,” he says awkwardly. “But… it was just texting.”
He seems to view it as part of ‘human error’; that thing that he accepts in himself and others, and we see him integrate by TFP (as I described re: the Molly scene). It’s not a big deal though. He doesn’t think a relationship with Irene would be a good idea. Just wanting a bit of human connection, you know, ‘just texting’. Keeping up. Being human. John shouldn’t read into it. Sherlock wants to make sure of that, you know. No particular reason. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I was just wondering who you think the "what a lady" song in TSOT is about. Because on one hand "I didn't even know her name" fits Mary perfectly but Sherlock and John engage in some very loaded eyesex at "hypnotising, mesmerising me" and that line also doesn't really fit Mary's and John's relationship. The idea of the song being about both Sherlock and Mary seems a bit odd... I'm just curious about your opinion on the matter. And you're amazing!
It’s referencing Sherlock and John’s relationship, I think. It’s really really apparent that it’s about them when “Why’d it take so long to see the light?” plays as Sherlock sadly leaves the envelope for John on the stand. Actually, all the lyrics that play between “Hypnotizing mezmerizing me” till the end take place right after Sherlock and John share a sad look, John realizes what he has seen, can’t bear to look at it, and then Sherlock pines like hell for John after. To me it’s a summation of their relationship. Here are the lyrics:
“December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)”
Oh, what a night Late December, back in ‘63 What a very special time for me As I remember, what a night
Oh, what a night You know, I didn’t even know her name But I was never gonna be the same What a lady, what a night
Oh, I I got a funny feeling when she walked in the room Hey, my As I recall, it ended much too soon
Oh, what a night Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me She was everything I dreamed she’d be Sweet surrender, what a night
And I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder Spinning my head around and taking my body under Oh, what a night
Oh, I Got a funny feeling when she walked in the room Hey, my As I recall, it ended much too soon
Oh, what a night Why’d it take so long to see the light? Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right What a lady, what a night
Oh, I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder Spinning my head around and taking my body under Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do) (x7)
Whether or not it’s from John or Sherlock’s POV, I suppose that’s left to your interpretation. I think the first half up to the first “as I recall it ended much to soon” is John’s POV, remembering their first night together. The second half is Sherlock, remembering the feelings he had when he was with John. So yeah, it’s absolutely about them two and absolutely has NOTHING to do with Mary at all.
It is literally the worst song in existence now and I now cannot listen to it without having an eye twitch.
Hi, Steph! I’m sorry for sending a submission, but this is too long for a couple asks. I hope this is okay. I’m going to attempt to defend John’s cheating as being in-character, and if any of this has been said on this blog before, I apologize :P
So, today you said that it would be OOC for John to cheat with anyone but Sherlock, especially a rando on the bus, because of his heartbreak over Sherlock, Mary, his overall trust issues, and as your nonny mentioned, his loyalty. It’s for these reasons that I actually think it’s in character. I think John is so upset and frustrated with Sherlock being unavailable and being stuck with Mary, that his heart can’t take feeling alone anymore. In TST, I think John is struggling to live the life society wants him to live–doting, domestic husband and father. That’s what he feels like he’s supposed to do, and I think one of the only reasons he went back to Mary in the first place was because society would think leaving a pregnant woman is a no-no.
So John is trying to fit society’s mould, but he can’t. He can’t stand Mary, but he has an infant with her, so it would be wrong to file for a divorce at this point (I believe he would’ve eventually, though). He can’t go to Sherlock, though (and I’m functioning under the assumption John was actually texting E), because not only is Sherlock more aloof than ever (he ignores John a lot in TST), but cheating on the mother of your child with a man? Society would deeply frown upon John for that, and he’s struggled with his sexuality since day one. He wants Sherlock in the end, of course, but can’t have him. His heart is aching and he’s trapped in a marriage where his (murderer) spouse disrespects him. John would jump at any opportunity to feel wanted. Then, he sees a pretty woman on the bus who’s interested in him. John’s immensely unhappy by that point, and it’s due to his intense heartache over Sherlock and being stuck with Mary that makes him text E.
As for loyalty? With Mary, while he’s obviously guilty over the whole ordeal at the end of the episode and in TLD, he still wants more. He wants more than what Mary gives him, and cheating on her might be the only way he feels like he can really get back at her for lying so much to him. So maybe, for a brief moment, he felt like she didn’t deserve his loyalty. She betrayed his trust too many times. For Sherlock, again, Sherlock is kind of isolating himself and not paying attention to John in that episode with his constant tweets and cases, so John feels shut out by him, he’s hurting, and because he’s in such a bad place, he does something he would, normally, never do.
Regarding John’s trust issues, I think John kept enough distance from her that it wasn’t really an issue? Like, if he were meeting up with her in her shady apartment or something like that, then yeah, but if they were only texting, then I don’t think it exactly applies?
This got obnoxiously long but…..yeah :P I think John cheating goes to show how unhappy he really was, and he wanted love and attention so much, that he resorted to having an affair. But, and I think this is definitely in character, he just can’t go through with it, feels guilty, and cuts it off. I feel like this rambled a lot but I hope it makes sense lol
Hey, thank you so much for this interesting and respectful reading of John’s cheating! I never really thought of it this way, and I will concede that you make very good points here. I still am very much "meh" about John’s characterization in S4, but I can see the point you are making here.
As an aside, I actually prefer “long asks” sent as submissions so that parts don’t get missed :)
So I woke up early, with this on my mind: what if Mofftiss really weren’t writing Sherlock gay?
On the one hand: it makes no sense, still. What with everything being about John (even in ASiB) and people like Janine telling him they know ‘what kind of man’ Sherlock is, Mary’s teasing 'neither of us were the first’, etc.
But then, Moffat said sex is sublimated into 'thinking’ for Sherlock, so it’s *possible* he didn’t have sex with Janine, say, 'cause like, he’s not a typical straight dude (obviously) and he’s only tempted by an intellectual equal…. Even though that’s not what Moffat thinks Sherlock needs or wants, either. He 'doesn’t need another brain’. I think rejecting Moriarty textually proved that. So what then? Maybe it’s that Irene is the only one who (eventually) admitted she’s in love with him, after all, even though the idea that John (even platonically) is not enough seems… hard to imagine.
The thing that hit me all over again is that without explicitly canon Johnlock, all the little Irene things we’d think were metaphorical or meaning something else suddenly… don’t have anywhere else to point to. Like Irene showing up in Sherlock’s Mind Palace naked in TSoT, John fixating on Irene’s picture in TAB, and then that text in TLD and John’s whole rant about how he should seize the day… with Irene. Then there’s Eurus’s sex reference after Irene’s theme. What does all this *mean* without textual romance of any kind? It’s not like Sherlock’s embodiment arc bends towards Irene; John is still the catalyst. John is even the one pushing him and questioning him about Irene. I suppose Irene could *still* be meant to symbolically represent Sherlock’s sublimated sexuality, to make us *wonder* without outright suggesting any overt answer or interpretation… but what about the surface reading? There must be something beyond suggestiveness and ambiguity when everything else about Sherlock is an arc towards resolution, right? Except I’m starting to think that in fact, they specifically chose to keep the ambiguity of ASiB going in TLD and even (with Eurus’s comment) onwards onto eternity.
Basically, it still doesn’t *work* for me as a surface reading even if there was one. I can’t swallow straight Sherlock as plausible, but Irene is mentioned as a *possibility* sexually more overtly than anyone else as of TFP. Like, I still can’t see @hubblegleeflower’s Johnlock-friendly Irene reading, though it’s probably true he was flattered. But I mean, taking ASiB to mean Sherlock liked Irene enough to throw away everything he’d said and have casual sex (I guess?) makes no sense. In my saner moments, I still think most of what I wrote in my ASiB post applies, probably because I went out of my way to highlight the ambiguity, but I did say Sherlock was absolutely not attracted to Irene. Is there any actual evidence he was in ASiB? No. Were we *intended* to take Irene’s appearance in TSoT as a sudden clue? Well… it’s possible, except that’s the same episode Sherlock looks horrified and confused when Janine suggested they have sex after the wedding… though he also said he loved 'dancing’ and was waiting for the right opportunity. So. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I was thinking about an old post by @iwantthatbelstaffanditsoccupant that really fits and expands on the more believable, less trollish stuff Moffat has said. It said that Sherlock was not gay or straight, but 'nothing’, in that he’s “so utterly mentally focused that for him, all sexuality is a choice”, although he “does feel attraction” (to whom? I guess the point is to wonder, according to Gatiss’s comments on ASiB). The problem with this is that it suggests the show’s point would be to break down the walls, which… hasn’t happened. Sherlock was too 'busy’ during the TSoT deduction scene, and he texts Irene back… sometimes, as of TLD. I doubt this is sexting, or if he wasn’t busy, he’d do something with Irene’s naked body in his Mind Palace. That would go counter to everything else we know about him. And so… I can’t help but feel there’s nothing substantial beyond the tease, which is maddening. There’s nothing to pin down.
Essentially, Irene/Sherlock is neither an actual canon pairing nor especially plausible to ever become so, and John is the one Sherlock shares his life with in the end (and vice versa). However, women are constantly used as metaphors, stand-ins and conduits in the show, as @delurkingdetective wrote, to the point that it’s all muddled. It’s not really heterosexuality so much as a weird sort of transference, an ongoing metaphor that goes on and on, and in some ways this applies both to Sherlock and to John’s relationship to Mary (though of course, mostly Sherlock). The reason it feels like queerbaiting is because heterosexuality is actually only *gestured* to, ambiguously invoked without any follow-through, and so it’s limited to heteronormativity instead. Ironically, the show does take some pains to combat heteronormativity– Irene is actually gay, so is Harry– but Sherlock’s being unnameable, the 'kind of man’ who wants to dance but chooses not to, is just too much. Queer coding with the trappings of heterosexual romance would be understandable 20 or 50 years ago, but now it’s just confusing. It’s not about outing Sherlock 'for the sake of it’, if that’s indeed what Mark Gatiss thinks. I just want to understand. And I still don’t understand.
Hey Steph I just noticed that in Tsot john pulls out his own phone, unlocks it, and says "pick one.. your inbox is bursting." How does he have access to Sherlock's account from his phone? Do they have a joint account? Unless that was Sherlock's phone in which case he knows the password and uses it regularly to know the inbox is full? Either scenario is very couplish
*snorts* For the same reason he knows Sherlock’s PIN number for Sherlock’s bank account: BECAUSE THEY ARE A COUPLE, no matter how much John tries to bloody deny it.
Though to be fair, I think it’s also because Sherlock can’t be arsed to take care of his own blog affairs; he doesn’t seem interested in taking cases without John, and then in TSo3, he redirects all his energy to wedding planning, because he just wants to make John happy and needs it to be perfect (that and I like to think that he was pretending to plan his and John’s wedding :D, though I think in a petty way, he purposely made it look… “clashy”?)
The funny thing about John is that I don’t think he consciously REALIZES that what he’s doing is literally a really “he’s mine” sort of thing to do. I think he just easily went back into his PA role for Sherlock and didn’t give it a second thought.
I like to headcanon that ever since the Sherlock returned, he allowed John unhindered access to all his emails and blogs so that John wouldn’t worry that Sherlock was “planning something behind his back” (of course, Sherlock is able to anyway, but I think it’s Sherlock’s way of trying to rebuild John’s trust in him).
Either that or John has gotten better at cracking passwords, LOL.
But seriously though, yes, it is a really coupley thing to do. And I do think that it is on John’s own phone that he’s doing this… The fact that he picked a case with military appeal to it kind of screams to me that John KNOWS Sherlock has some sort of military kink :D JUST SAYING….
It seems that after Series 4, an increasing number of people think BBC Sherlock is TPLoSH come again. Sherlock is therefore in unrequited love with John (ala Molly, seen as Sherlock’s own mirror). Whether it’s because they cannot unsee the gay pining in TSoT or because a loving John wouldn’t have beat up Sherlock or blamed him for Mary’s death, it is what it is. And either that’s okay, or (more commonly) it’s the reason people leave fandom or simply reject BBC John as hateful and Johnlock more broadly, or at least shipping it in canon. The way I see it, however, BBC Sherlock only makes sense and works for Mofftiss’ stated purposes in showing how Sherlock became a ‘good man’ and John and Sherlock became the legendary Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in two ways.
Version One: it was always just really intense devotion, true platonic love at first sight. John is 'not gay’ as in he’s heterosexual, and Sherlock made the choice to be pure mind, as Moffat has said. So basically, he’s not gay or straight because he’s not anything, as I discussed in my post-S4 reading of ASiB and Sherlock’s sexuality. Sherlock genuinely angsted over losing his life with John in TSoT, as I’ve said post-S4, but it doesn’t mean that he’s in love. It certainly could be but doesn’t have to be read romantically to make sense. Given we’re interested in making the show work as a narrative, I think TSoT works best as a tribute, a high point before John and Sherlock’s slide into prolonged suffering, and a narrative demonstration of the parallels between John and Sherlock and John with Mary.
Basically, John explicitly compares and parallels his feelings for Sherlock with Mary in this episode, so if you’re reading Sherlock’s feelings romantically when he says both he and Mary love John during his speech, John logically has to be given the same courtesy. However, if you’re not reading their words romantically, then it’s all just there to set up a platonic threesome: Mary’s part of John-and-Sherlock now, at the end of TSoT. That’s what Moffat was talking about recently (though that’s not to say HLV and TST didn’t mess with this dynamic in its execution). Anyway, TSoT creates a parallel between the platonic bond between John and Sherlock and the romantic/matrimonial one between John and Mary. This is heightened by the fact that both John and Sherlock make a vow to Mary on John’s wedding day. Sherlock’s vow ties him into their family, which is reinforced by becoming Rosie’s godfather and finally simply calling John (and presumably Rosie) 'family’ in TFP. This is a real, functioning and balanced arc, and saying John doesn’t love Sherlock in this context breaks it.