Mycroft and Sherlock’s moral philosophies, and Sherlock’s immediate attraction to John
Since I might be a bit late posting the Moriarty meta (currently 78k, 20 minutes left in HLV) I thought I’d post this teaser that can stand on its own. This is from the section on A Study in Pink, and I will probably update the S&S meta on ASiP with this later. Hilariously, this teaser does not give away anything about the premise of the Moriarty meta itself, so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait to see why this is relevant.
BTW: if you guys were worried the Moriarty meta wouldn’t be heavy on Johnlock, you should know that it is: Johnlock is inseparable from it. If you like the S&S series you’ll probably like the Moriarty meta even more. But you’ll see.
So here you go: Mycroft and Sherlock’s moral philosophies, and Sherlock’s immediate attraction to John
And just a quick note for everyone who might be interested — loudest-subtext-in-television is absolutely right about the Moriarty meta she’s working on being completely inseparable from her Johnlock metas (I’m telling you this as she’s been amazing, letting me help out by proofing it for her. I seriously now know how John feels watching Sherlock deduce).
In truth, there were several times early on when I started to wonder if she wasn’t accidentally sliding into Johnlock meta, but it always tied back in with the Metiarty theme of the essay. Always. The indisputable truth is that the Johnlock and Metiarty plots cannot be pulled apart because, as she will show you, the whole damned show is basically just the cleverest love story every written.
It took me about 9 hours in total to read it all, but I cannot emphasize this enough; if you are a fan of Sherlock in general (Johnlock or not), if you’ve ever written or read a meta and find analyzing Sherlock and its characters to be an enjoyable pastime, you absolutely CANNOT not read it. It’s VITAL to understanding the series and what’s going on. In case the sheer size alone doesn’t convince you, it’s all as well documented as her Subversion and Sherlock series —as in it’s not projection or conjecture, it’s really just straight-froward analyses of what’s being shown (and omitted). I cannot believe how many plot holes this meta has filled. Seriously.
So don’t skip it because it’s not marketed as Johnlock. I can assure you, it is a delicious, high-calorie Johnlock snack, the likes of which Mycroft would abandon all his workouts for in a heartbeat. It’s also valuable for those who aren’t Johnlock fans because, seriously, she’s examining the very backbone of the entire series. No matter what, you won’t be let down.
Sherlock writing on his blog about different types of tobacco ash for fun
what a fucking nerd
Just in case you ever think you’re "reading too much into things" when watching Sherlock…
"john is not acting jealous in this scene he just wanted to check up on sherlock to see if he wasn’t feeling lonely or that janine was good for him"
john didn’t actually care much about sherlock for the entire day except for the best man’s speech (it’s his wedding day after all, can’t blame him) and sherlock was having a good time with janine she was fun and didn’t make him feel like a freak
don’t forget how john didn’t hesitate to insult sherlock’s intelligence while trying to save sholto so his behaviour doesn’t sound right especially after this scene. he passes by, sees sherlock with janine and even though he didn’t give it much thought during the day (sherlock was talking with janine for the entire day and danced with her), takes a step back, still looks at them and then goes to sherlock and act all bloke-y and nice. while touching sherlock and staring at janine
this bevahiour is not logical with the previous scene except if you see john’s bevahiour as possessive and jealous. because yeah, even after getting married john is still convinced that sherlock only belongs to him.
add to this scene his reaction to janine half-naked at 221b and you get the picture
John definitely doesn’t want Sherlock talking to/befriending anyone but him. He’s crazy jealous, which is a bit Not Good/unfair considering John’s the one getting fucking married but sure, yeah. He even says “Glad you pulled,” somewhat sarcastically. But is he being sarcastic about being glad about it, or being sarcastic because he’s not sure if he believes Sherlock’s actually “pulled”?
This makes me think so much of John’s discovery that there actually was something to be jealous of with Sherlock & Janine. He was so dismissive of Sherlock the entire wedding day, except during Sherlock’s speech, then doesn’t see him for a month or more, then suddenly explodes into jealous rage upon being confronted with Sherlock potentially still sleeping with the woman he “pulled” at John’s wedding.
No but I am so confused by this promo photo. Is John cosplaying as Sherlock? Did they get dressed in a hurry in the dark, and he accidentally pulled Sherlock’s clothes off the floor?
And Sherlock looks so small fkaejejajfk
Are they trying to tell us something here
"Her wedding ring…rest of her jewellery’s been regularly cleaned, but not her wedding ring, state of her marriage right there." (ASiP - bottom photo)
Where did John get Mary’s engagement ring? (TEH - top photo) Was the ring in John’s family? The diamonds don’t have the sparkle of gems fresh cleaned from the jeweller and the faceting indicates that they aren’t diamonds at all.
Why have we been given this close-up? Are we supposed to notice that? What are we supposed to make of it? Just a slip up with the props or a clue?
A longer version of these questions is on AO3 here.
I find this totally fascinating. Check out the whole version on AO3!
Mary Morstan and the Case of the Uneven Characterization
NOTE: This is not a meta about whether or not I like Mary or whether or not you like Mary. (Full-disclosure, I don’t like her at all. I think she’s a baddie and I don’t like her any more than I like Charles Augustus Magnussen.) I will, however, concede readily that Mary is certainly a complex and interesting character. There, now that’s settled, let’s talk about Mary.
In Sherlock series three, it seems that we are presented with two Marys. In The Empty Hearse and His Last Vow we see Mary the Nurse, Mary the Fiance, Mary the Friend. She’s kind, she’s nurturing, she brings Sherlock and John together and gives them the space to be Sherlock and John, independant from her. She’s fun and funny, sweet and silly.
In His Last Vow we mostly see the same Mary at the beginning of the episode, but the wham! We’re hit with Mary number two: Mary the Liar, Mary the Assassin, Mary the Murderer (yes, murderer). She’s cold and calculating, she tells Sherlock she will kill him — and then she does. She threatens him repeatedly. She seems completely unaffected by John’s pain and then emotionally manipulates him at the reconcilation scene at 221b (“If you love me, don’t read it in front of me.”)
The seemingly incongruous nature of the two Marys is a sticking point for many fans in their opinion of series three and Mary’s character in general. Worse, after the series aired we were told that Amanda Abbington didn’t even know about the second Mary before the table read for His Last Vow and therefore wasn’t able to make any sort of choices in her performance that would have alluded to the other Mary, or rather, what I would consider, the real Mary — Mary the Contract Killer.
Initially I agreed with this and thought it was a giant mistake by the writers to not let an actor in on the actual characterization of the part they’re playing. Way to cut Amanda off at the knees, guys. No wonder we have such trouble reconciling TEH/TSOT Mary with HLV Mary. They’re two different characters.
Are they, though? Is Mary’s characterization really that uneven? Let’s look more closely at TEH/TSOT Mary before we decide.
“My dear Holmes, please. My bedroom is at your disposal.”― Watson, The Empty House, Granada Holmes (via shylocks)
"he mentions him all the time to me, he never shuts up bout him"
"oh sherlock… neither of us were the first you know"
wow fuck off mary
Moffat also revealed that Martin changes the scripts quite regularly because he will often say ‘oh I’ll just do all that with a look’. [x]
G O D
A bit of a body language deduction
I’ve seen a lot of posts regarding John’s body language in Baker St. from after Janine emerges from the bedroom till the moment she leaves the flat, but it I’m surprised no one mentioned this one particular moment, which is, in my opinion, the best indicator of John’s attitude towards the whole situation.
I am talking about the part when Janine is leaving the flat and John gets up from the table and puffs out his chest. I have a pretty good grasp of body language (I did my research), so let me tell you what is John subconsciously telling us.
Men puff their chest out when they want to look bigger, e.i. strong, powerful. This action can be directed either to the person they find threatening or to the person they are attracted to and want to impress with their masculinity and strength. Now, I think our Johnny boy has got covered both of the reasons for such gesture. Thrusting his chest out he’s saying to Janine “back off or I’ll crush you”, and to Sherlock “look Sherly! I’m strong and I can protect you and our babies”. It’s worth saying that this gesture is also used when someone wants to become more visible (“hey Sherly, look at me, I am here also!”)
I just wanted to share this with fandom because I think it is really important. When he’s oozing jealousy no one can see him, but this, this was for both Sherlock and Janine to see and to get the message.
Allow me to illustrate.
i love sherlock so much he’s such an idiot [starts crying]
Porn preference: Normal
I was looking over Cam’s files on Sherlock for another meta and found myself wondering, not for the first (or hundredth) time about this particular part. I can only imagine Sherlock watching porn as research for a case, and if that were true, it probably wouldn’t be what you’d classify as “normal.”
Then I remembered this.
"If I wanted to look at naked women, I’d borrow John’s laptop."
"You do borrow my laptop.”
"I confiscate it."
And this isn’t the first (or last) time we hear or see that Sherlock “confiscates” John’s laptop.
The notable thing isn’t that Sherlock has a porn preference, or that it’s normal. It’s that his “preference” is the same as John’s.
Now, how would Cam gather porn preference information on people? Probably by having someone with mediocre hacking skills check their browsing history, downloads, and the like, right? So he must have gotten into John’s laptop and Sherlock’s to get this “preference” on both of them. Which tells us Sherlock didn’t just see this stuff on John’s laptop, but also looked it up on his own. Out of…curiosity?
Theory/headcanon:Sherlock wanted to find out what John Watson liked.
Homicidal Standoffs and ERotS as Prophecy
This series is starting to really grow, faithful followers. This is part 4 and follows directly from this meta, but this one is less wordy, because I don’t introduce new philosophy concepts, only elaborate on those I have already talked about. The link that lists all the meta is here. I may end up having to write a book when all is said and done.
In Suicidal Seductions and Eternal Recurrence of the Same, I draw parallels between the climax scenes of ASiP and TRF. Due to itwasntworkingforme’s brilliantly insightful question, I have realized that the pool scene at the end of TGG prophesied the Appledore scene at the end of HLV in much the same fashion. I will use this insight to further show how Eternal Recurrence of the Same functions as a Prophecy, both in that what came before will inevitably return and can not be escaped, and in that characters “forever … prove to be uncomprehending, both before they hear and once they have heard it” or in this case, even experienced it.
Now let’s look at the two climax scenes in which it is Sherlock, rather than his adversary, that pulls a gun. In both cases, it is John’s gun. John is also present from the beginning in these two scenes, unlike in the suicidal seductions, where he only shows up at the very climax.
Sherlock arranges each of these meetings,
TEXT ON SCREEN: Found. The Bruce-Partington plans. Please collect. The Pool. Midnight.
MAGNUSSEN: And what are you giving me for Christmas, Mr Holmes?
SHERLOCK: My brother.
and he does so by tempting the villain with state secrets.
In both cases these bribes come from Mycroft, though in the case of the Bruce-Partington plans, only indirectly, as SH found out about its existence through MH, but obtained it through detective work.
When he tries to give the villain the bargaining chip, in each case it is rejected. Jim kisses the drive, but then throws the it into the pool saying “Boring! I could have got them anywhere.” Magnussen at first caresses the laptop, but then states, “You know, I honestly expected something good.” Sherlock replies “Oh, I think you’ll find the contents of that laptop …” and is cut off with “… include a GPS locator.”
Each villain threatens Sherlock directly.
JIM: Kill you? N-no, don’t be obvious. I mean, I’m gonna kill you anyway some day. I don’t wanna rush it, though. I’m saving it up for something special. No-no-no-no-no. If you don’t stop prying, I’ll burn you. I’ll burn the heart out of you.
MAGNUSSEN: Sherlock Holmes has made one enormous mistake which will destroy the lives of everyone he loves … and everything he holds dear.
MAGNUSSEN: Let’s go outside. They’ll be here shortly. Can’t wait to see you arrested.
And each is manipulating and humiliating John Watson.
JOHN: What … would you like me … to make him say … next? Gottle o’ geer … gottle o’ geer … gottle o’ geer.
MAGNUSSEN: Lean forward a bit and stick your face out. Please? Now, can I flick it? Can I flick your face? I just love doing this. I could do it all day.
When we come to the moment that Sherlock is pointing the gun, in each case, pulling the trigger means sacrificing himself as well. The gunshot, like in the two scenes I analyzed in Suicidal Seductions, is where the plots diverge.
SHERLOCK: What if I was to shoot you now – right now?
JIM: Then you could cherish the look of surprise on my face. ’Cause I’d be surprised, Sherlock; really I would.
SHERLOCK: I’m not a hero … I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Merry Christmas!
Magnussen is surprised, too. He did not think that Sherlock would shoot and sacrifice himself, despite the fact that he had really left Sherlock with nothing to lose. He had Sherlock and John searched for weapons in their own flat, but not when they came to Appledore. His hubris caused him to severely underestimate his enemies.
Eternal Recurrence of the Same is Prophecy
So we have two pairs of climax parallels, Suicide in ASiP/TRF and Homicide in TGG/HLV, with the homicides each being essentially a suicide as well. But despite matching up so perfectly, they diverge at the end, and the second brings the consequences escaped in the first. The first functions as a Prophecy for the second. Sherlock tells Magnussen “The fact that you know it’s going to happen isn’t going to stop it,” and that is exactly the point of the way that they have structured prophecy into this show, in actual predictions uttered, in prophetic signs, and in Eternal Recurrence of the Same. Because the times that Sherlock seems to escape consequences through deus ex machina, they are actually only delayed. The gods still owe him the conclusion of the events that have been begun, and knowing won’t prevent it.
Magnussen thinks that “It’s all about knowing. Knowing is owning”, but knowing will not save him, and owning is an illusion. Magnussen’s knowing is his downfall. My next essay will be on John as the personification of not-knowing, and how this is the only way forward in this tragic world where knowledge - and the illusion of control it brings with it - is so destructive.
As always, thanks go to arianedevere for the transcripts. And as always, looking forward to your comments in the notes. Happy deducing.