I was in the sauna earlier today and from the window I had a direct view of the glass door of the Turkish bath. I love a Turkish bath, but I’m on holiday so I have the opportunity to indulge in one full hour of sauna followed by cooling pool and repeat, after workout. At the gym I have a Turkish bath when I have only half an hour. I sigh in the general direction of the spa when I’m in a hurry.
It took me fifteen years to try a Turkish bath, after readin The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax. Of course my dislike for Turkish baths was based solely on the opinion of Sherlock Holmes, as expressed in said story. Then one day fifteen years later I was in Istanbul and I thought the hell with Sherlock Holmes, but I still thought of him while I was lying on the warm marble table, surrounded by the mosaics. I always wear shoes without laces when I go for a Turkish bat anyway. You never know.
Last summer, when the three teaser words for Sherlock season three were revealed, I wondered about the giant rat of Sumatra. We had to make ready for it of course, and we did. Hundreds of #Setlock photos, all the theories, all the red herrings, the shootings being a play within the play. Finally, we have our rat and it turns out mysterious Sumatra is no longer exotic, it’s in London Below, in the beloved and confused tube, a ghost station.
And the rat can make all of this explode. Our London Below, the beloved and confused tube, the ghost stations, up up to the Houses of Parliament, on fire, like in our school memories and in Turner’s painting.
It was scary. We’re so aware of terrorism, we take it seriously. Me, I stopped flying from as well as to Heathrow for ten years after Blair sent the troops to Afghanistan. I take it seriously.
Yet, the instant Sherlock found the giant bomb (of the giant Rat, in Sumatra) and John Watson pointed out he was not in the bomb disposal unit in the Army, he was a doctor, I couldn’t avoid thinking of McGyver. When Sherlock took his scarf off and lowered himself in the bomb hatch I though he’s going to McGyver it. And in fact he emerged so out of character that he could only have defused it. When Sherlock acts out of character he is always always faking it. So I felt a bit sorry for John, but it was the only way to bring forgiveness out of him, a near death situation I mean. We know John Watson, we’ve known him for a long time, not the type to hug you tight like Graham. He needs a life and death scenario.
So you also know this fandom thing with Sherlock being an otter and John being a hedgehog (google it, fear not). Well you know what hedgehogs do in November, they go on hibernation. Under piles of twigs. So if you build a bonfire for Guy Fawkes night you should build it the same day, and check it for hedgehogs before lighting it up. I think this recommendation has been brought up to a new level now.
Is Moffat playing with us? Definitely. Is he mocking us? Well yes, maybe a little bit. But I’m an old school postmodernist, bring on the metanarrative. Bring on the parody, the transformative work and the pastiche. And the snogging. I’m all for it. What to whisper through the fourth wall? I’m game.
The hedgehog under the bonfire, the slash fanfiction, the maddened fan collapsing in a fit of nervous laughter, McGyver, The X-Files (John being injected something mysterious), the black curls, the black curls were paramount, so were the hats, if you know what I mean, Cumberbatch’s parents, it was so obvious they were Cumberbatch’s parents, we all know Cumberbatch’s parents, it was almost embarrassing to meet them.
Dear Moffat, you may be clever and occasionally a genius, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t know the waiter was all Martin Du Creff. We out-nod you. Thanks for the bee anyway.
To sum up, the episode was terrific. Fantastic editing, perfect rhythm, perfect pace, amazing Mary. Gorgeous Greg and Molly. Only.
Well, it’s probably me.
It lacked something. I don’t know what.
Well, of course I know. I just don’t want to sound ungrateful. Because I am grateful. It was a terrific episode. I loved it. I loved that they went for the humour. Oddly canon, just as I like it.
But in my opinion, the humour did not always merge seamlessly with the drama. Well it did merge seamlessly, only, well, generally speaking, as a whole, it wasn’t completely totally balanced. I’m thinking of Galaxy Quest. I believe the episode did not reach the pinnacle of perfection of Alan Rickman comforting Qwellek, which is what to aim for in these cases.
By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!
There was nothing like that, there were attempts at that. I have very high standards you know. It can’t be a problem of editing, since the editing was fabulous. It can’t be a problem with the acting, since the acting was perfect. I think it’s a problem with the dialogues. I’m not sure though. The dialogues between Sherlock and Mycroft were amazing (how would you know), but those between Sherlock and John, I don’t know, I’m not sure they’re going to become classics.
Anyway, as for the fall, I was close, at least to the option fed to Anderson. I knew it was Sherlock on the pavement (otherwise it wouldn’t have been emotional enough). I knew it was the rubber ball. I knew he jumped for real. I knew it was the ambulance station (I went there and checked). I knew it was the cyclist (and on a slow lane, I went there and checked). I knew is was the Irregulars. Only I thought Sherlock had landed on the garbage, you know the garbage track full of big blue bags (the garbage option). I thought the blue inflatable was there for the stunts.
It was still something blue.
Oh, Donovan couldn’t be there because the actress had another job, but in my headcanon she’s in a monastery, clean-shaved, repenting.
Now we have a fortnight to make the most of the season. Two hints are unsettling already. Sherlock deduced that Mary is a liar (and a lib dem), which is part terrifying, because it wouldn’t be canon, part kind of relieving (you know why). The other is that the new baddie may be interested in Tom, Molly’s new boyfriend (oh no).