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therapeutic thump

i like your moxie, sassafras!

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Singular (Sherlock / R, gen: Sherlock + John + Lestrade: 221B)
sturdy sense, pulling rank, oh captain my captain
Hi, everybody!

Apparently I'm dealing with my feelings about the new eps of Sherlock through 221Bs rather than proper episode reaction write-ups, but I will get into a little bit of what I've thought of 2x01 and 2x02 here. Spoilers for "Hounds of Baskerville" in the ficlet - the scene that begins in the graveyard.


Born to be on stage, that one, and dangerous for the way he so recklessly mixed truth with his little tricks and traps and taunts. That nearly-apologetic gulp, combined with the drawing close of his coat's lapels as if he wanted to burrow down in a comforting nest of blankets, were precisely timed to appear to be involuntary rather than the opening salvo of Sherlock's campaign to reconquer the territory he'd marked in his brain as John. It would be words next.

When they came, coupled with an intense glare from that paper-white face, John's already meagre supply of patience had dwindled down to nothing. It was interrogation first, as if Sherlock had to work his way up to speaking of his emotions; it was masterfully done, and John felt a lunatic urge to applaud.

Until Sherlock tried the worst manipulation of all: "I've just got one," he confessed like a lawyer in an American novel, voice throbbing with a plea not to let justice be lost. John knew he was meant to melt at the words, to feel the glow of standing alone in Sherlock's heart, but he burned at that moment for Mycroft, for Mrs. Hudson, for Greg, whose face was a billboard for the crimes Sherlock had committed against him and whose ring-finger was, on Sherlock's word, bare.


I don't think this is spoilery, but I've been not as happy with this series as I was with the first. I'm aware that my expectations have been staggeringly high, but I don't think I'm faulting the show for failing to live up to them, but rather for failing to live up to itself. Much as it pains me to say it, I don't think Benedict Cumberbatch is doing very well this time - I've seen some manic overacting that seems to be responding to the critical adoration the show has received. (Of course if it turns out that he's playing Sherlock responding to his greater notoriety, I will be put in my place very nicely.) The absolutely pure good news is that Martin Freeman is doing such perfectly splendid work that I just want to rewatch over and over again to see how he's pulling it off. I was very pleased that he won the BAFTA last year; I will be flabbergasted if he doesn't win it this year. He is amazing.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

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Having now seen all of series 2, I think it does rank below series 1 for me - much of the first episode especially seemed like "scenes the fans ought to like" strung together rather than a coherent narrative.

Absolutely Sherlock would have drugged himself - that's right out of ACD canon. I didn't like that he drugged John here, but I might have been able to live with it had he acted more like a scientist, but that shot of him with his feet up listening to John (battle-scarred vet) go nearly out of his mind with fear really rubbed me the wrong way.

One of the things I found refreshing on seeing the second series after an overdose of fan fiction was the reminder that (many fans to the contrary) Sherlock isn't actually a very nice person: as in so much Blake's 7 fan-fiction featuring Kerr Avon, people who try to get sentimental about the character (or worse, have him Getting in Touch with his Feelings) produce a subtly or not-so-subtly distorted version which is then copied by others, until a sort of Chinese Whispers process produces the character the fans would romantically like to have existed rather than the reticent, self-centred and not infrequently downright cruel original who originally fascinated them. Watching these new 'canon' scripts was like a breath of fresh air: 'Oh, so that was what was wrong with all those stories...'

I'm not accusing you of being one of the culprits in question (it would be nice to say they know who they are, but I've afraid it's the essence of the thing that they don't know, alas), but I suspect that, for example, while it appears to be an article of faith among fangirls that John Watson is the most important person in Sherlock's life (and this may indeed well be the case), Sherlock himself probably doesn't actually perceive it that way. The screen Sherlock would no doubt laugh -- rudely -- in the face of anyone who suggested that he 'loved' John. If he does so, he doesn't know it and wouldn't call it that.

("I don't have 'friends'" rang pretty true to me as a rejection of the whole idea, actually: friends are a weakness, people who think they have some kind of demand on you and get upset when you then persist in behaving in perfectly ordinary ways. John is... a special case, when he remembers it.)

The most important thing on Sherlock's mind would appear to be Sherlock (with the proviso that he doesn't actually seem to care at all for the comfort or otherwise of the-body-belonging-to-Sherlock, which I suspect he probably doesn't consider to be a vital part of 'him' at all) and specifically whatever Sherlock is currently thinking about, i.e. the case he is currently working on or the scientific question that currently absorbs him or any other matter that has his interest aroused. So yes, he's callous and extremely manipulative - it's in character.

Mind you, given that he is also possessive it would be interesting to see how he would react to anyone else experimenting on John in the manner that he has just done...

That's really interesting, because while I absolutely agree that Sherlock is not, fundamentally, a nice person, I still think series 2 was a step back from the epiphany he'd come to in "The Great Game" when he realized that, for all his protests and disbelief, John Watson had somehow come to mean a great deal to him, even if he was still reluctant to label him "friend" or change his personality or behavior to suit John. So I think he does know that he loves John, but he hasn't yet accepted that this is a permanent change for him. I could even find it plausible that Sherlock might believe his feelings to have been created solely by the stress of the pool showdown, but again, I do think he's aware of those feelings, however much he might hope that he wasn't.

I'm finding all of this especially interesting now, as I'm trying to write two long fics, one using my personal take on the characters (to finish off a series) and the other hewing to BBC canon and characterizations. I find myself increasingly aware of how far apart the two sometimes are.

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