the deeper i think the deeper i seem to sink

It was said these woods were haunted by an enchantress. They said that nobody who entered ever left the same, if at all. The local lore was not just words passed down from generation to generation, they were etched into the eyes which echoed a fear from deep within their souls. The legend had it that a spirit enchanted a woman in each generation. Always a buxom, intoxicatingly beautiful woman who would be the embodiment of its powerful enchantments creating an erotic force of nature none could resist.

The whole thing sounded like fiction but I could see where it would lured others in. Still, was here for a purpose. If there was a chance this was real, the possibilities were as endless as they were invigorating. After preparing, I ventured into the woods. The woods were just beginning to awaken from their winter slumber. The occasional chirping for a while was the only sound beside the sound of my foot steps on leaves and branches that littered the ground.

There was still a bit of a chill in the air but as the sun rose the morning was warming me up. The path, as best as I could track, was a long and winding one, almost like a walking path warm like that of a river. I had been walking for hours when I came to a fork in the path, one way leading towards a high ridge and the other sinking deep down toward the river. I had begun to walk up towards the ridge when I felt strange and light headed. The breeze rustling with almost a hint of a voice. I thought better of walking up the ridge with my sudden slight feeling of dizziness. I opted for the path that lead down, further and further down toward the river.

The path sloped deeper and deeper down until it led me right to the river. I knew I was in the right place having gone steadily down for River, the word… yes River not river. I looked and saw how the River led deeper into the woods. The River leading me further, deeper. I followed River and felt tingles down my spine. Despite being in good shape, the longer I followed River, listening to the enchanting sound of the hint of a voice in the wind, the more lethargic I felt. I was just following now, following River.

Reaching a meadow ringed with trees along the River my eyes rose and were met with the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen. Her face aglow almost as if by some divine will. Her breasts … her breasts…they were so big and soft and full.

I could hear the voice in what sounded like a lusty whisper that carried to me. “Very good pet. You found me. I know you looked so hard. I know why you think you’ve come to me. Feel yourself so tired from this burden dropping to your knees”.

I was kneeling then, looking up into those magnificent breasts and the sparkling pendant. “You’re so good at going deeper, sinking deeper for River. So good at following River. So easy to go down, down deep for River. Sinking deeper into River, into River’s deep, soft cleavage. Follow River. Sink for River… deeper and deeper… eyes closing. Only my voice and in your mind you see my breasts and pendant….”

Three words echoed in my mind as time seemed to cease to exist “Belong to River. Belong to River. Belong to River. Belong to River.” @rivernixie

The Six Thatcher’s: There be redemption.

I might be in the minority here, but I liked BBC Sherlock, season four debut, The Six Thatchers. Honestly, the past three years felt like a century where the return of episodic Sherlock was concerned, so I confess my expectations were open to just about anything. Three years of chilling out & time spent in reflection, along with a whole lot of distance regarding ‘what’s next’ on Sherlock can do wonders for one’s perspective.

I was never a big fan of Mary, especially after the whole shooting Sherlock thang, but I grew to respect her and even began to appreciate qualities she brought out in other characters. She also precipitated growth & intimacy that might not have otherwise happen, or gone a very, very slow route. More on that later.

I came to accept that Mary and Sherlock have a special bond. They are kindred spirits - both fully understanding who the other is with an appreciation that few might be able to truly 'get.’ Mary’s death, without question, has devastated Sherlock beyond his normal ability to reason & process and, knowing this, Mary has given him a case. A task to help him focus his mind - give his brain something to do, because without it his “brain rots.”

Mary did not make a posthumous video on a whim. As others have pointed out, she made this after Moriarty’s dramatic 'Miss Me?’ announcement and I suspect just before she left on her pilgrimage regarding the resurfacing of AGRA. The opening and prevailing theme to The Six Thatchers was An Appointment In Summara…all signs pointed to 'someone is gonna die.’ Is it that surprising that Mary, given everything that’s been shown, would ever truly feel free & comfortable living a 'normal’ life? Yes, she wanted it and while it lasted they were the best years of her life, but she also knew and accepted the shadows that lurk in her background. You simply cannot live the life Mary has and be oblivious to its on-going dangers. What we wanted for her, and the momentum gained from the life she led, might be diametrically opposed, but her death was not a plot device. It was the consequence of living; the life she lived. Just like her conical character from the books, the modernized Mary is dead. There’s no playing opossum here. But, BBC Sherlock is never without surprises and it wouldn’t be out of place to see her show up in flashbacks.

We see what we want to see in these characters, in spite of how layered and flawed, & sometimes even deviant they are. We become attached, cheer them on, wanting them to prevail no matter the circumstances. But, I’ve come to trust that these characters know themselves better than I do and, as in real life, I must allow others to make their own choices…good, bad, indifferent & downright tragic. I don’t believe Mary wanted to die - at all - but understood that her meeting in Summara was always a prevailing possibility and, should the time come, would accept her fate. Mary made a selfless move by placing herself before Sherlock and taking a bullet. For her, that split second decision was a redemptive act, regardless that she ignored the consequences: “Did I ever say I’m sorry for shooting you that time…I’m really sorry. I think we’re even now, okay?” Even in her dying moments Mary wanted Sherlock to know her previous act of betrayal, no matter how she justified her actions, never strayed far from her thoughts. In her mind - she owed him.

Since season 3, episode 2 - The Sign of Three - the audience has been led to focus on Sherlock’s vow to always protect John, Mary and their baby. Until The Six Thatchers we didn’t notice that Mary had made a quiet, albeit private, vow to herself to do the same for Sherlock, John and Rosie. She said this much in her parting letter to move danger away from the three of them: “I’m not running, my darling. I will return. I just don’t want you and Sherlock hanging on my gun arm.” She was not going to stand by and watch Sherlock get shot twice - not on her watch. Either way, the end result sucked for everyone. This event, Mary’s death, in my opinion, is the catalyst for Sherlock and John to become the more mature characters known from canon.

Whether it’s obvious or not, Mary made this band of high functioning, danger seeking misfits a family. She brought them together not just out of circumstantial need; Sherlock did that well enough on his own. Mary brought them together emotionally & sentimentally, along with giving them purpose to forge a bond that would not ever be easily broken. Yes, the 'family’ is currently experiencing a 'fall out’ - but it’s temporary. They’re grieving and blaming (John and possibly even Sherlock blaming himself) and it’ll all get sorted out. They each have a key role to play in the others healing process. Space and distance, while not always desired or comfortable, does have its rewards.

Mary chose Molly and Mrs. Hudson as godmothers. Effectively making them surrogate aunt and grandmother. Now, in Mary’s passing, those roles will take on even greater importance and need, possibly leaving Molly to fulfill a 'mother-like’ role. Mary also knew John would choose Sherlock as godfather - a role he would not refuse or take lightly. They are forever bound by baby Rosamund - a commitment that none of them will shirk. Side note: As a fleeting HC, I’ve wondered if Molly won’t end up raising Rosie? I can think of numerous scenarios on why and how this might come about, although the details are best saved for another discussion.

As with all Sherlock episodes, new questions rise faster than snark regarding the U.S. presidential election. Still, The Six Thatchers provided loads of answers. James Moriarty is dead. His posthumous recording was made before he took his life on Bart’s rooftop. Oh yeah, there’s a game in play but we get to bide our time right along with Sherlock.

Sherlock’s off the hook regarding Magnussen! No need for any official pardon. That detail was neatly managed. I’m probably one of the few people who think he never should have been charged in the first place, but that’s a different meta.

Sherlock likes dogs. And babies - even if they do see the world as a mystery. And he’s calling baby Rosie, 'Watson.’ How freaking cute is that?!? I’ve rewound that scene a few times it’s. so. darn. adorbs.

Knowing and understanding their personalities and propensity toward boredom, along with a heightened need for danger (and assassination), Sherlock also kept Mr. and Mrs. Watson busy.

Now, this might seem surprising but, to me, it’s clear as day that both Sherlock and Mary knew John was teetering on the brink of an affair. They may have reached this conclusion from different perspectives, but both were giving him space to figure it out, process what he was going through, and choose. John was not happy, no matter what we wanted to see and is catching hell-fire and damnation for this, which is too bad. From my perspective, that is. I’m not his moral arbiter and I really can’t imagine what it’s like standing in his shoes; especially having gone through three years of tragic & intense experiences…most of which he had no say or control over. There’s really no need to make a case for all of that is there? Other than to say life with Mary would never be normal, no matter what it looks like on the outside.

Nevertheless, after the birth of their baby, things are beginning to stabilize. But. Not. Really. It doesn’t take long before John is back on cases with Sherlock, sometimes usurped by Mary and even one jaunt with little Rosamund. Aspects of John’s life that were inherently his, prior to meeting and marrying Mary, are now shared experiences. By temperament and savvy, Sherlock and Mary are well suited for each other when it comes to cases, at times leaving John holding the short end of the stick, along with the rest of us trying to catch up. This isn’t to rail against Sherlock or Mary - just presenting what’s been shown. John definitely feels sidelined, which was obvious from the balloon head in his chair, even if it did provide comic relief. Of course this isn’t the first time John’s absence has gone unnoticed by Sherlock…although things are very different now. I think the weight of John’s life is sinking in deeper and deeper. Nothing’s wrong with that, except the inner conflict he’s feeling. Choices made from conflict, or lack of awareness, can sometimes be dubious, as seems to be the case here.

So, along comes a sweet, young Irish Scottish redhead, flirting with John on the bus. I bet the attention felt good. And, why shouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t like being noticed, especially when you’re not feeling very noticeable. John was flattered, but didn’t think much of it - although he should have! At least that’s what I thought in my mind. Unlike many people, I wasn’t concerned with the moral implications. I was thinking - “You’re John Watson, you hang out with Sherlock Holmes and married to a former assassin. What the hell are you doing?! Almost nothing in your world is what it appears to be. Do not be taken in by flattery, John! You should seriously find this chick suspicious. Omg, you’re not listening! No wonder Sherlock gets frustrated. Join a soccer league, or watch porno, if you feel unmanly, but don’t trust the redhead. Ugh, look at that - she’s sitting next to a picture of Culvertson (Toby Jones), next week’s baddie. You should know from His Last Vow that this will bite you on the ass if you follow through. You will regret this. Trust me, you will. And, aren’t you forgetting that your bff and wife will immediately know about this flirtatious dalliance? That’s. what. they. do. They know things. Oh, for Christ’s sake. Whatever, John.”

Yeah, that’s what I said to no avail. So, while everyone else is upset that John is acting like an asshat and betraying Mary, I’m wondering about the chick on the bus and who she really is. Mary is the least of my worries at this point. Since she’s fully aware of what’s going on, as is Sherlock, either one of them can stop that crap before it truly takes off. If they want. And don’t think for a moment they’re not capable.

Then there’s Molly and Sherlock. They’re officially a married couple. Okay, okay, only in my mind palace are they married…even though they sure act like it. I mean, just look at Molly - she owns Sherlock Holmes. The ease between them is delicious, even in their banter and with one word he’ll obey her command. Mostly. Where Sherlock is concerned, that says a lot.

Molly redeems herself with John. This might seem like an odd thing, because we get very little Molly and even less about what goes on in her world. But, we can infer, can’t we? For two years Molly lied to John about Sherlock’s death. Not only did she lie, she participated with the plan and actively, if not fraudulently, carried out her part. She watched John grieve. She saw his pain and devastation. Molly, however, kept her word with Sherlock - knowing full well the difficulty and consequences. I see Molly as strong, capable and courageous, but she is not without heart or sympathy. I cannot imagine it was easy for her to watch John grieve, believing Sherlock dead. Whether or not redemption is necessary, I can further imagine there’s a part of Molly that believe she’s owes John - even if it’s from an unconscious connection. And here lies the parallels between Molly and Mary. Mary believed she owed Sherlock and I don’t believe it’s a stretch to think the same about Molly toward John. Two women, totally different actions, but in the end they have to live with their conscience. There was absolute pain in Molly’s face giving Sherlock the news that John would rather have anyone but him around. Anyone. But, she stood by John and bravely gave Sherlock the painful pronouncement, just as she once allowed John to believe the pain he felt was real. She will support John in his time of need. None of that means she’s abandoned Sherlock, or cut him out of her life, but I bet she’s treading very carefully in the early days of Mary’s passing.

By golly, we got Sherrinford and know that the #13 is the code to be in touch! Who knows if it / he / she is a person, place, thing, or code name. We’ll soon find out.

Mycroft knew all along that AGRA was a private, militarized contract team, specializing in extractions and assassinations.

Sherlock was present when baby Rosamund was born! I would love to have been a fly on the wall when all of that was taking place. Fic writers where are you?????

Redbeard and two little boys playing on a beach. One in a pirate hat. Sherlock’s memories….

We got to see another one of Sherlock’s boltholes. Kinda a cozy place, if you don’t mind tree roots or Underworld Chic.

That’s my initial thoughts, although there’s so much more to glean from this episode, like tons of symbolism. What say all of you?