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Mary “Femme Fatale” Mor(st)an

writemeastoryofsolitude:

A while ago I saw some discussion about the idea of Sherlock having definite “film noir” elements and Mary as a “black hat,” and then again recently about Mary being a classic example of the femme fatale.  All very interesting stuff, and an area of cinema I wish I knew a bit more about, beyond the bare bones provided by Film 101 in college, BUT—if there’s one thing I can do to death when my interest is piqued, it’s research like a champ.  (Meaning: I didn’t sleep at all last night, instead I stayed up to look into this whole thing more deeply so you’re all obligated to spread this around, sorry, I don’t make the rules.)

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A disguise is always a self-portrait
A disguise is always a self-portrait
Hey. Your blog is amazing. The meta are mind blowing. Awesome job! Now, I have a doubt in TSiB, they show us some cases they are involved in. The cases involving ashes were linked to the Flight of the dead. The geek interpreter s basically their sub textual way of letting us know that our theories will come true eventually. But what does The speckled blond signify? Is it just random? (I don't think so because why waste money on insignificant scenes)I cant figure it out. If you have/do,pleasetell

loudest-subtext-in-television:

Thank you so much! <3 I haven’t done a case write-up in a while so thank you for this question. And as it turns out, this is something I’ve needed to write for a long time, because it touches on TJLC as a phenomenon in general. That’s where I’ll begin. Sorry I’m going to answer your question in such a roundabout way!

"The Speckled Blonde" is a curious case because its implications we’ll probably have either directly confirmed or denied in the show later. It’s a good idea, then, to have this on the books to look back at, as a test of whether you can make predictions based on what’s coded in the subtext.

We already have a lot of evidence to believe you can: This is one of Moffat’s episodes, and we know from his Captain Subtext character on Coupling that he does utilize one-for-one substitution to literally and specifically code the subtext — and not only that, but in the same episode (ASiB), he reappropriates exactly his own one-for-one code from Coupling to construct the metaphor for the hiker deduction. (More info about the Coupling stuff at the link.) Subtext, for Moffat, doesn’t have to be vague in the least. To the contrary, he has fun making it as literal as possible. That Moffat enjoys this approach to subtext and uses it this way on Sherlock is not really a surprise: A Scandal in Belgravia is where we get the exchange where John says he usually hears “punch me in the face” as subtext, and the next moment the actions become literal. It is also in fitting with the "matching pairs" instructions that I argue are given to us in The Blind Banker as a cipher for the meta-game of the show.

I find it not at all surprising that the showrunners of a mystery show would hide a mystery game within the show, especially given that a deductive game developed around the original ACD canon and Moftiss have no doubt played that game themselves, even if just by necessity of adapting the show. From now on I’ll refer to Moftiss’s version as The Subtext Game. It adds a fun level to the show where the audience gets to make deductions just like Sherlock does, and solve the greatest mystery of all: what the hell is going on with Sherlock Holmes’s heart. Some would even argue that deciphering Holmes’s character is the biggest draw of the ACD canon, because the cases get solved but he remains such an enigma.

Is this something Moffat would do? Well, Moffat just recently noted that it’s a “very simple deduction” to realize that Sherlock is not actually a sociopath, but rather the opposite, so we know he feels you can determine characterization via deduction at least some of the time. He’s made similar comments before. And it’s largely Moffat’s episodes, like A Study in Pink, that give us mournful lines like, “Why don’t people think?” The show encourages the mindset that leads one to observe, rather than just see. Would Moffat, a lifelong fan of Sherlock Holmes and someone who delights in tricking people, be interested in hiding this kind of game in his show? It certainly seems plausible enough to take seriously and see where the thread takes us.

However, it irritates some fans that other fans like to play the game we see put before us by the showrunners. They don’t think the game exists, so they think the whole exercise is delusional and stupid. Fair enough. It certainly sounds crazy on the surface, so you can hardly blame them. But is there anything that might convince them? Perhaps not, but hypotheses can be tested with predictions, and the predictions I’ll make now for “The Speckled Blonde” case might sway some in the future.

I hope some are swayed eventually, anyway, because if The Subtext Game is real, it’s not kind to the fans or the showrunners to insult people for playing it. As someone who has written puzzle-style stories before, it’s cool to see all the different interpretations people come up with, but when someone figures out exactly what was intended, it’s a great thrill to have connected with that person and been understood. That’s why puzzle stories are written. (By the way, I’m still hoping someone will play the callback and symbolism game with Sherlock’s scene in my and Ivy’s fanfic. If someone can tell me why they think I chose and then changed the things I did, I’ll be doubly pleased.) We even have a character on the show, Moriarty, "the storyteller," who sets out puzzles purposely for the joy of watching someone solve them. I know if I had written my puzzle stories, and some people had taken it upon themselves to shame or browbeat others out of playing the game I had constructed for them to have fun with, that would have been intensely saddening and disappointing for me. There are a lot of ways for a creator to connect with an audience, and it is incredibly uncool for a person to interfere with a particular avenue just because they personally prefer other avenues. Different ways of enjoying the show should not be experienced as threatening, and the polite thing for any fan to do is to not engage with the avenues that make them uncomfortable or unhappy, not to get angry other people enjoy things differently.

Furthermore, it’s not an unreasonable hypothesis to think that Moffat and Gatiss (and Thompson) might want someone to play with: the conspiracy theorists on the show (Chris Melas, Anderson) are always right, and the showrunners have gleefully admitted to lying to us and have always done so to protect against spoilers — as any writer who loves their audience would do. Of course, I come from a sci-fi background where puzzles-in-stories are commonplace, and it’s the sort of thing I write, so maybe that’s why the practice doesn’t strike me as oddly as it does others. And coming from a writing background, I realized a long time ago that all you can do to address pointed questions about spoilers is to unabashedly lie.

In the interim, it’s not hurting anyone for people to play The Subtext Game and trust that Moftiss are doing something incredible and brilliant. Sometimes I get asks that are skeptical that Moftiss could do this sort of thing, but I really do think they’re more clever than most people, and trust that they are capable of extraordinary, surprising things. They seem to like shocking people and doing things that haven’t quite been done before. It’s also hardly groundbreaking that a writer would have an entire story planned out ahead of time, though I’ll grant it’s unconventional in television. It’s also quite easy to see that’s the problem with most television shows, so I don’t doubt that writers as good as Moftiss have recognized this and from the beginning have simply taken the risk of not being able to finish their story. I think they have that kind of integrity. Call it putting them on a pedestal if you like, but it’s not something I do lightly and I think the evidence supports it. People can judge for themselves. But whatever the case, when a person decides to give The Subtext Game a chance all they’re risking is some time investment and potential disappointment if it doesn’t pan out. For now, anyone who doesn’t want to play knows what tags (tjlc, sherlock mtheory) and blogs (read: mine and some others) to blacklist.

But in the future, “The Speckled Blonde” offers us a way to test the TJLC hypothesis: if it’s true that Moffat encodes literal, specific meanings into the subtext, then in the future we will find out that John has kept quiet about his attraction to men at least in part because of his father’s attitude toward it.

So: I’ll go over “The Speckled Blonde;” where its subtext fits in the context of the cases in ASiB; and where it intersects subtextually with several later cases. Then I’ll go over what evidence we have in the present to think John might be worried what his father thinks.

Sound good? Let’s deduce.

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A Study in Parallels

ifyouhaveenoughnerve:

(Note: this is part one of my Shadows of the World meta series, the rest of which can be found here) So, A Study in Pink.

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Subversion and Sherlock: A Study in Pink

loudest-subtext-in-television:

Please read the introduction to this series if you haven’t already.  Be aware that all episodes are fair game to be referenced, so I don’t recommend reading this series until you have watched all available episodes of Sherlock.

A Study in Pink is where it all begins, and accordingly, this is the episode where the building blocks of John and Sherlock’s romantic arc are put in place.  We won’t start getting more compelling evidence until later episodes — callbacks are the strongest subtext, in my opinion, and you can’t have callbacks until you have more episodes — but we still have everything we need to get started.

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silentauroriamthereal:

In my reading of this series, there are three people who ever appear in Sherlock’s mind. This is my interpretation of who they are and what they represent to Sherlock. 
1. Mycroft Holmes: Mycroft is the older, smarter (canon!) brother, the one who potentially introduced Sherlock to the concept of deduction and logical process. Showing him tutoring Sherlock through a deduction during the murder at the wedding would suggest that he played this role for Sherlock. Aka, Mycroft is who comes to mind when Sherlock is uncertain, in need of guidance. 
2. Irene Adler: from the first, Irene was someone who presented the exact opposite of Mycroft: rather than providing clarity, her presence suggests a block, an inability to deduce, come to clear conclusions. Her six-month-long puzzle in Sherlock’s life is probably the longest it ever took him to crack something. Hence, Irene represents confusion, an inability solve the problem, to think clearly. If Mycroft represents brotherly wisdom, Irene is a reminder of times when Sherlock has been stuck before, unable to solve the problem. 
3. John Watson: his blogger, his boswell, his helpmate and friend: John keeps Sherlock’s priorities straight. With only Mycroft’s influence, Sherlock can get lost in only solving the puzzle, forgetting the human element, forgetting compassion. Irene serves only as a taunt over Sherlock’s past deductive failings. John supports Sherlock, even when he’s combing him down over some social faux-pas, praises and affirms his abilities, helps him think more clearly. With John there, conducting light and clarity and serving as a reminder of which way the priorities need to be ordered, Sherlock is unstoppable. 
:)

silentauroriamthereal:

In my reading of this series, there are three people who ever appear in Sherlock’s mind. This is my interpretation of who they are and what they represent to Sherlock. 

1. Mycroft Holmes: Mycroft is the older, smarter (canon!) brother, the one who potentially introduced Sherlock to the concept of deduction and logical process. Showing him tutoring Sherlock through a deduction during the murder at the wedding would suggest that he played this role for Sherlock. Aka, Mycroft is who comes to mind when Sherlock is uncertain, in need of guidance. 

2. Irene Adler: from the first, Irene was someone who presented the exact opposite of Mycroft: rather than providing clarity, her presence suggests a block, an inability to deduce, come to clear conclusions. Her six-month-long puzzle in Sherlock’s life is probably the longest it ever took him to crack something. Hence, Irene represents confusion, an inability solve the problem, to think clearly. If Mycroft represents brotherly wisdom, Irene is a reminder of times when Sherlock has been stuck before, unable to solve the problem. 

3. John Watson: his blogger, his boswell, his helpmate and friend: John keeps Sherlock’s priorities straight. With only Mycroft’s influence, Sherlock can get lost in only solving the puzzle, forgetting the human element, forgetting compassion. Irene serves only as a taunt over Sherlock’s past deductive failings. John supports Sherlock, even when he’s combing him down over some social faux-pas, praises and affirms his abilities, helps him think more clearly. With John there, conducting light and clarity and serving as a reminder of which way the priorities need to be ordered, Sherlock is unstoppable. 

:)



as a conductor of light you are unbeatable

as a conductor of light you are unbeatable

Saw the Original Casting of Frankenstein Today

melatovnik:

Still processing. Just, wow.

And to think I’m also seeing the other version of the performance tomorrow!

Aaaaand the reverse casting was today. Absolutely gorgeous!

It’s a close one, but I think I prefer Benedict as Victor and Jonny as the Creature. Loved both of ‘em to death, of course.

Saw the Original Casting of Frankenstein Today

Still processing. Just, wow.

And to think I’m also seeing the other version of the performance tomorrow!