Okay, so I understand why people think S4 sucks, and why TFP sucks in particular. I understand how people perceive John and Sherlock and Mary, and the issues people have with their characterization, ‘cause there’s plenty of posts about that. I suppose these are more analytical subjects. I understand why people are disappointed with the plot twists, or with Mary’s narration. I get there are many things that Sherlock fans wish would have happened differently, or just… not happened (say, the beating or Mary’s being rehabilitated by the narrative, etc).
What I’m not clear on, even all this time later, is what’s so *emotionally* painful specifically about TFP in particular (for TJLCers). It seems to go beyond a lack of explicitly canon Johnlock, though maybe I’m wrong. It seems people think TFP is somehow uniquely destructive of the queer reading in general (as well as plot continuity? I guess) in a way I’m not grasping intuitively, and that trumps the extensive levels of angst we’ve had in TST and TLD (not to mention Series 3). That’s what I’d like to have someone help me understand.
Like… TST was painful for me 'cause Mary was there with them all the time and Sherlock seemed so oblivious to John’s discomfort, and Sherlock joked about how she’s a better partner than John, and then at the end, John told Sherlock to get lost. That’s not to mention Mary’s death scene and John’s growls and wails, which were painful to watch on several levels. John’s sudden rejection of Sherlock afterwards was naturally super painful, not to mention bewildering. Then TLD has John beat up a vulnerable and unresisting Sherlock, only to reject him yet *again* and return the cane as a symbol of how much he means it. TLD also had Sherlock POV angst big-time, with that awful scene where he remembers ASiP!John; then at the Thames with Eurus, he screams when she says 'anyone’ and he remembers John’s rejection, and later where he says he doesn’t want to die. Then there’s that awful moment John tells Sherlock he only rescued him because of his inner Mary, and he pushes him at Irene with all sincerity, after bemoaning his own lost chances with Mary. Like… I’m traumatized even thinking of these things. The only happy or even private John and Sherlock moment in these two eps was the hug.
In terms of contrast, John and Sherlock get along for all of TFP, Sherlock calls John family and he smiles, they make plans together and basically act like a well-oiled machine. Yes, Sherlock still acts a bit 'not good’, but again: this is normal for Sherlock, as opposed to walking on eggshells and *still* being brutally rejected, like in TLD. The worst thing I’ve seen people accuse Sherlock of is perhaps ignoring John’s 'Vatican Cameos’ and/or prioritizing the case in a dangerous situation with Eurus, but that’s Sherlock being efficient and focused on the big picture or the plan, and he’s *always* been like that. Then we have an open ending where they solve cases and raise Rosie together, forever and ever. As opposed to the weirdness and unending emotional torture ever since TEH, it’s TFP that’s traumatized people the most? Why? Any insight appreciated.