Now that I’ve re-watched all the BBC Sherlock episodes, twice, and re-read a number of stories from my old Penguin books, I am ready for some factual analysis, following the emotional stuff.
Truth is, I’ve always had a penchant for studies in male friendship. It’s what Conan Doyle’s stories are about, it’s what Withnail and I is about, along with Big Wednesday and Star Trek TOS and many other obsessions of mine. Of course I have a couple of theories about why I’m fascinated by studies in male friendship, but I have to say they are not in the least interesting.
What’s interesting maybe, is how I’ve come to terms with loving stories that consistently fail the Bechdel test, over the years. I had a very strict upbringing. Girls were supposed to dress, act, speak, think even, according to predefined social standards. If they didn’t comply, they were not girls. They were nothing. Of course I quickly found a way out of it, not exactly through rebellion, but through indifference instead. I just didn’t care being considered not a girl, nothing, whatever. I kept going my own way, it wasn’t that difficult to be honest, it’s also been lots of fun, and often rewarding.
As a consequence, I tend not to pay much attention to gender portrayal in media. Of course I know it can be unfair and potentially harmful, I’m especially against gender targeted toys, but I’ve never felt personally affected by it, actually I tend to think it does not even apply to me.
All that said, I may not be the right person to write this, but enough is enough. The beheading in Scandal in Belgravia is hideous.
I’m ok with BBC Sherlock failing the Bechdel test, not a surprise to be honest, Moffat always fails it. I also understand that turning Irene Adler into a woman betrayed by her own feelings was kind of necessary to counterpart Sherlock’s humiliation in front of Mycroft, and to build the emotional climax leading to imminent Reichenbach tragedy. But Irene Adler turned into a damsel in distress! That’s outrageous! In Scandal in Bohemia Holmes is fascinated and intrigued by Irene because she is able to outwit him. He forgets cocaine, he laughs, he even has dinner with Watson, actually eating something. While Irene wins, and she leaves the country with her own resources. It’s a pleasure to read. Some of this is still in the episode, with Sherlock comfortably flirting with Irene while all the others are either embarrassed or don’t have a clue of what’s happening. But the beheading, oh I hated the beheading.
Yet after all, I forgive you Moffat and everyone, because in the season finale you’ve delivered, let me tell you, a masterpiece. One complete with friendship, love, London and the swirling coat.