Just want to start off with I listened to the Wedding episode of Three Patch while I was at physical therapy, and I laughed so hard when Dixiebell said she didn’t see the Johnlock I almost fell off the treadmill. Here you go, Dixiebell. Let me polish those Johnlock goggles right up.
I’ll get to the other drunk scenes later, if there’s anything I want to say about them. This is the big one for me though.
I don’t want to make these meta posts all about me, but I think I want to preface this by saying: I analyze, and create, body language for a living. I have years of experience posing people to look natural, happy, relaxed, in love. Quite often this is done on a micro level, by little tweaks, bending an elbow, relaxing a shoulder, leaning a head in. These are things I do. Try to get a very uncomfortable bride and groom to look relaxed and in love when they’re nervous out of their minds and just want to get to the drinking part of the day, that is something I do a lot. Create frames that make people look closer together when they’re not, I do that constantly.
I lost it in this scene because I finally, finally got the sense that the writers were going to actually go for it. Actually go for the gay. Not in a queerbaiting way. Not this season, maybe not even next season (whenever the hell that is going to be), but at some point. This scene is a hell of a commitment to make if they’re sitting on the fence. I got that on the first viewing, and then even I was still amazed at how blatant it is when I sat down to analyze it.
Getting drunk doesn’t make you gay (duh). It does, however, lower your inhibitions. John purposefully got more drunk than Sherlock wanted him to be–two shots at the bar (“one more, he mustn’t see,” and then maybe that third one he loses track of, but as far as I can tell that extra shot goes to Sherlock because John picks up that glass with his left hand and then hands that drink to Sherlock). When they move upstairs after Hudders wakes them up, they are both still drinking (I missed that the first time). John, at least, and probably Sherlock too, wanted to lose some of his constant control. And what happens?
Close-up shots of Sherlock and Jawn.
There is a basic rule of framing in visual art (I came to this rule from my experience in graphic design, but it applies to photography and cinematography too). You generally put the larger amount of negative space in front of the subject, towards where they are looking. So, basically, these two frames are framed “wrong.” The effect: their faces look closer together. (This was done in ASIB too, but I’m not going to go back and look for it.)
Now we have a little dance where they keep leaning towards each other. ALL I’M DOING HERE IS DESCRIBING THE ACTION.
When John leans back, Sherlock leans forward. (This is seen easier on video, I ALMOST figured out how to trim in QuickPlayer):
(How’s about John’s legs being all wide-open too…) More close faces via reverse shots.
Just in case you missed it the first time (this is easier to see on video too, sorry), Sherlock leans back,
and John, well,
John basically falls in between Sherlock’s legs (and there’s a little musical twinkle there):
John:“I don’t mind. Am I a woman?”
“Am I pretty?” conversation.
Faces closer in close-ups, right on the edge of the frame, literally as close as they can get in this type of shot:
Just to make that really clear
They’re so close now they’re sharing the frame in the over the shoulder shot (OSS). They weren’t before. Look at that tiny sliver of negative space between them. Look at allllll that room Sherlock could be sitting in on the right.
Now they are both sitting up, mirroring each other’s poses, in the middle of the screen.
Both literally on the edges of their chairs.
John invades Sherlock’s shots.
John falls back. Sherlock falls back (we don’t see him do it, but the next shot after a couple close-ups he is already back in his chair, mirroring John’s pose)
but this is too far away for John, who immediately puts his feet up
“I’m you, aren’t I.” They’re practically horizontal and overlapping.
Ding dong. Client time. DAMMIT. Hello near-kiss with Moriarty moment…
It’s a dance.