So, who broke it? I'm not mad, I just want to know.
I did, I broke it -
No. No, you didn't. Sherlock?
Don't look at me. Look at Mycroft.
What? I didn't break it.
Hmm. That's weird. How did you even know it was broken?
Because it's sitting right in front of us, and it's broken.
No, it's not!
If it matters... probably not... but Irene was the last one to use it.
Liar! I don't even drink that crap.
Oh, really? Then what were you doing by the coffee table earlier?
I use the wooden stirrers to push back my cuticles. Everyone knows that, Mary!
Alright, let's not fight. I broke it, let me pay for it, Eurus.
No. Who broke it?
Well, John's been awfully quiet.
[Cut to Eurus in the room, the rest of them fighting in the background]
I broke it. It burned my hand so I punched it. I predict ten minutes from now, they'll be at each other's throats with warpaint on their faces and a pig head on a stick. Good. It was getting a little chummy around here.
of all, upfront: I believe Mary and John sincerely loved each other and were
genuinely trying to make their relationship work. But clearly, at least on some
levels, it was not working, and I want to play armchair marriage counsellor for
a bit and look at why.
obviously, the first major misstep in their marriage is Mary lying about her
history and identity, and then shooting John’s best friend to protect her
secret. Why didn’t she just tell him who
she was from the beginning?
MARY: John can’t ever know that I lied to him. It would break him and I would lose
was terrified that he wouldn’t love her if he found out about her past. What might have given her that idea? What messages was John sending her that his
love was conditional on her being ordinary, sweet, and safe?
some ways, John’s behavior after he finds out the truth proves her fears unjustified. Though he struggles for a while, he doesn’t
leave her, and he makes a renewed commitment to their relationship. So far so good. But look at what he says to her:
JOHN: The problems of
your past are your business. The problems of your future … are my
privilege. It’s all I have to say. It’s all I need to know.
It’s a very
romantic moment, and clearly well-intentioned.
And Mary is grateful for his forgiveness, and agrees to move forward
with him. But there’s a mixed message
hidden in John’s statement. In throwing
away the thumb drive unread, he’s confirming her suspicion that he can’t love
the person she was in the past, only the persona she has created.
MARY: You don’t
even know my name.
JOHN: Is ‘Mary Watson’ good enough for you?
Here again – it’s
a lovely and romantic sentiment, but even as Mary was thrilled to accept his
forgiveness, she must have gotten the message that Mary Watson is acceptable,
but her history as Rosamund is not. That
could only have heightened her sense of insecurity in the relationship. It would have been a much more generous
gesture on John’s part if he had simply asked her name at that moment, instead
of shoving it into the closet of things
we must never speak of.
In TST, John
acts surprised that Mary is still keeping secrets from him, but what choice did
he give her? He basically told her
there’s this whole part of her life that he doesn’t want to hear about.
And when he does catch her in her lies, John
tries to be understanding, but he makes another small mistake with big repercussions:
JOHN: Mary, I may
not be a very good man, but I think I’m a bit better than you give me
credit for, most of the time.
I think what he
means is that he’s not as judgmental as she thinks – she doesn’t need to hide
from him, because he would support her even in difficult times. But by phrasing it in terms of him being
“good”, he also unintentionally reminds her that she is not good. This is a difference between them in her
mind: he is good and she is bad.
always a good man, John. I’ve never doubted that. You never judge; you never
complain. I don’t deserve you.
She seems here to
be accepting his claim that he won’t judge her.
But in saying that she doesn’t deserve him, she’s highlighting the fact
that he makes her feel lesser, which makes her insecure and leads her to lie
and misrepresent herself in order to seem “good” enough for him.
Once they get
back home, she states this problem again, even more clearly:
MARY: You don’t
make it easy, do you?
JOHN: What d’you mean?
MARY: Well, being … being so perfect.
she is trying to tell him how hurt she is by the roles they’ve unwittingly assigned
each other: Perfect John and Bad Mary. And
at last, it seems like John gets it.
Before they’re interrupted, he starts to tell her about his affair in an
effort to reassure Mary that neither of them is perfect. It feels like the best chance they have for a
fresh start based on a better understanding of and respect for each other as
real, flawed people.
Then, sadly, Mary
dies before they are able to hash this out.
And one of the most tragic elements of her death scene is this:
MARY: Being Mary
Watson was the only life worth living.
Mary wants to
leave their relationship on the best note possible, but it breaks my heart that
even with her dying breaths, she feels the best way to do this is to deny the
“bad Rosamund” that John always seemed to be rejecting, and present
herself as the “good Mary” that she believed John wanted her to be.
And the thing is,
I don’t think John ever intended her to feel that way. He wears a conventional veneer, but Sherlock
is right – deep down, John wanted to be with someone as dangerous and morally
grey as he is. He initially thought he
wanted perfect Mary, but he really fell in love with the more complicated
And yet, even though he loved her, forgave her, and respected her for the most part, a part of him was still angry and resentful
over Mary’s betrayal, and I think he unconsciously picked on her for it in these
understandable, if not ideal. But what
*really* saddens me is what John says at the end of TLD:
JOHN: I’m not the
man you thought I was; I’m not that guy. I never could be. But that’s the
point. That’s the whole point. Who you thought I was… is the man who I want
no! He’s so close here, but then he gets
it so wrong. Mary doesn’t want you to be
that perfect man she thought you were!
Mary thought that dude was kind of a jerk! And she was right, honestly. What Mary was trying to tell you is, that man is sanctimonious, patronizing, and
judgmental. DON’T BE THAT GUY. No one likes that guy, least of all
Mary didn’t want
a “good man”, she wanted a partner in crime.
Someone who understood her and respected her – ALL of her, not just the
pretty and well-behaved bits. At your
best, John, you were that partner, but at
your worst, you were a superior, scolding, hypocritical prig.
I’m not sure, but
I think (I hope?) this is what Sherlock’s getting at during this exchange:
not a pleasant thought, John, but I have this terrible feeling, from time to
time, that we might all just be human.
JOHN: Even you?
SHERLOCK: No. Even you.
John needs to learn is not to be a better man for the perfect, imaginary version of Mary in
his head, but to be kinder and more accepting and empathetic to the real, flawed
person Mary actually was. And to honor her
memory, perhaps be kinder and more accepting and empathetic to people like
her – including himself.
@thebonnielassofyvie requested Molly reacting to Sherlock accidentally introducing her with his last name (could you add in some Warstan and Mythea?)
Molly’s face grew red, and she looked at her feet, then
glanced up swiftly to Sherlock. If he realized what he’d just said, he clearly
was putting on a good show of not noticing. He just went right on talking to
the press as if he had not just referred to her as ‘Molly Holmes’.
Which she wasn’t.
“Sorry, Mr. Holmes, so, just a moment,” one of the press
agents pushed forward, recorder in hand. “You’re saying Doctor Hooper is now
Sherlock looked at him as if the man had two heads.
“No, I never said such a thing!”
“That’s what I heard,” the man said.
“Me too,” a woman piped up beside him. “Said it twice, in
The others all nodded in agreement, then looked to Molly for
confirmation. Sherlock too, turned and faced her, surprised he had made such an
error. Molly caught the panic in his eyes, realizing he’d flubbed. Why he’d
said such a thing, she wouldn’t know, not yet any way.
“He misspoke, obviously,” Molly put in. “Our names are often
being mixed up-“
“Really.” One of the men snorted. “Okay.”
At this, Sherlock looked miffed, narrowing his gaze at him.
“Yes, really,” he
bit out. The more seasoned members of the press all leaned in, knowing when
someone was about to receive a dressing down from the World’s Only Consulting
Detective. There were still stories about how he’d ruined Kitty Riley. “Doctor
Hooper is well published in journals around the country and in foreign
countries. She speaks regularly at Oxford and if I misspoke, it is merely
because her brilliance is so on par with mine, naturally I would refer to her
as mine.” He held himself even straighter, squaring his shoulders. “As if anyone
else could match her…” he said that last under his breath.
The press all looked to Molly now.
“So…are you taking Doctor Watson’s place, helping solve
crimes now with Mr. Holmes, Doctor Hooper?”
“Oh! No! Hardly,” she gave a nervous laugh, still flying
quite high from Sherlock so fiercely defending her, and bragging about her to
about six of the most important papers in London. “My particular field is one that
Mr. Holmes is familiar with, given his cases, so our paths often cross. This
time, I just happened to have the week free, so we decided to give Doctor
Watson a holiday.”
The questions went on, and Molly fell silent again. In the
back of her mind, she did wish she’d been bold enough to snap at the agent and
say she was indeed Molly Holmes, just to see the looks on their faces. Clearly,
they didn’t think she was Sherlock’s equal. Well…buggar them, then.
Only Sherlock, as he spoke, reached between them, took her
hand and lacing his fingers in hers. He was warm, so she shifted slightly,
shoulder brushing against his. As he spoke, he commended Molly’s quick
thinking, her skill in the laboratories, and how she’d understood right away
what the cause of death was, linking the killer to three previous unsolved
deaths. In the end, Molly was flushing, smiling at her shoes as Sherlock quite
happily went on bragging to them all about how she’d helped solve the case.
The press finally dispersed, questions answered, and
Sherlock tugged Molly along to find a cab, still holding onto her hand.
At Baker Street, they found John and Mary were waiting for
them, as were Mycroft and Anthea.
“To what do I owe the pleasure, brother-mine?” Sherlock
asked as Molly accepted the mug of tea from John’s outstretched hand.
“Simply wondering how the meeting went.” His eyes twinkled
with some mischief, clearly, he’d heard Sherlock’s slip-up.
“As they usually do,” the younger Holmes shrugged.
“Really? One doesn’t usually refer to someone with the wrong
Anthea and Mary were grinning like Cheshire cats.
“I’m sure it was just a mistake,” Molly batted a hand,
trying to wave it off, clearly having trouble doing so.
“Well what if it wasn’t?” Sherlock snapped finally, looking
at her directly. “What if I rather like how your name fits rather nicely with
For a moment, Molly couldn’t speak. She stared open-mouthed
up at him, and she saw his gaze flick down to her lips, then back up at her
“Well…” she began falteringly, then her smile was suddenly
bold. “What if I’d rather have a hyphen?”
Mary grabbed John by the arm who grunted.
“Nails, nails, the nails,” he hissed, trying his hardest not
to spill hot tea on himself.
Sherlock, clearly ignoring them, shrugged, hands in his
pockets. “Well it makes no difference to me, would you prefer alphabetically?”
“Does that matter?”
“Well yes,” he said with a frown. “Hooper-Holmes-“
“Sounds much better than ‘Holmes-Hooper’,” Molly
interrupted. “Sounds like we’re a law-firm rather than a couple.”
“Hmm,” he nodded, pondering. “Very well. But you’ll be the
one to tell Mummy, not that she’ll care particularly.”
“Okay, wait, wait-“ John interrupted.
“Oh do catch up, John,” Sherlock sighed, rolling his eyes.
He took Molly’s hand, kissing it gently before stepping past her to collect his
violin. “If I misspoke, it is clearly because I have been considering proposing
to Molly, which I sort of have, just now. If you’d all leave, I’ll do it
Mary and Anthea immediately set their mugs down, collected
their bags and started shoving their men out of the door.
“But-“ Mycroft began
“But-he-“ John also spluttered.
“Shut up, we’ll talk about it in the car,” Mary said, waving
goodbye, kissing Molly’s cheek as they passed.
“Oh let’s take one car,” Anthea added, eyes quite merry as
she beamed at Sherlock and Molly. “We can talk on the way.”
“On the way where-“ Mycroft asked, not liking his being
physically hustled out the door.
“To lunch,” Anthea and Mary said at once.
“They won’t be long,”
“Oh yes we bloody will!” Sherlock called back, quite miffed
(for the second time that day). Mary threw him a teasing wink, shutting the
door after them, all crowded on the stairway, John and Mycroft both looking
“Now, you were saying,” Sherlock turned, suddenly quite
“Oh I believe you were,”
Molly said, and seated herself in his chair. “And I fully expect a proper
proposal, mind, my brilliance, after all, is only matched by the World’s Only
Sherlock smirked, and knelt down at her feet, all too happy