brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
[personal profile] brabbel123
Rewatched “The Six Thatchers” yesterday, and I have to say I really like this episode. Yes, its timeline is questionable, yes, there are apparent plotholes, yes, there are duplicate scenes... but that’s the fun of it, being practically invited to speculate. And I have to say, the greatest fun wasn’t watching the episode but interacting here or in other social media.

So, in addition to what I’ve written before:

* John:

He’s the character that makes the least sense. And he’s the one in both duplicate scenes which take a quite different meaning when they reappear later on the episode. So I think especially here, not everything is as it seems.

John’s a thrill-seeker, on first glance he feels marginalized by Mary, by the baby, disappointed by the lies, bored - but nothing of what we know so far would point in the direction that he’d cheat. Granted, he had a string of girlfriends up to ASiB that he had difficulties to keep apart, but he never had two at the same time. I’d rather think if John feels frustrated, he’d vent those frustrations by going into a drug den and beating up a junkie... which he already did. That’s more his poison. So for now I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, especially since the first time around the bus scene seems quite inoccuous, the second, though, together with that grin is off.

But who’s the bus-lady - and who’s John texting the last message (”breaking things up”) to, since the bus-lady’s phone didn’t ping at the station? Is she a middle-man to Mycroft? Sherlock? Someone more sinister? The whole sequence takes place when John looks out the window on the plane, so arguably from his PoV, and precipitated by the conversation of John and Mary about the many lies that (not only) Mary has told. As just some more fodder for thought: Middle-women who contact John are the same type: Anthea, Kate (Irene), now this “E”...

Then there's his reaction when AJ confronts Mary, when he tells about the torture he's endured, John crouches together as though making himself smaller - sympathy? Empathy? Has he gone through something similar? And remember, back in ASiP, his hands were steady as rocks in times of crises, he shot the cabbie at quite some distance through 2 windows. This time around he definitely didn't appear steady, and Mary and AJ were just across from him.

Now, the death scene: Why exactly is John so angry at Sherlock? He's emphasizing the vow... but the vow was literally only about "being there for the 3 of you". So, just how did Sherlock fail in that? I don't get it. Some people said that as a medical doctor he should have done something, but what exactly? I mean, the way it's shown is that Mary quite simply bled out in the matter of a minute, and nothing John could have done would have changed that.

* Mary

Granted, I don't like the way this episode turned into a movie about Mary, rather than about the detective it's named for. But:

Why insert her into every case? Who's the receptionist (What receptionist'd know about the intricacies of one case?) who told her about the case with the dead son? How did she know to come prepared to poison Sherlock when she didn't even know what the meeting was about? How did she know that she was to meet Sherlock at the aquarium since he didn't include where to meet and John didn't tell her? And quite frankly, why would she suddenly jump in front of a bullet when she herself almost killed Sherlock to protect her secret and keep John, so for purely selfish reasons? Why didn't she take a gun to the aquarium, given the ominous text? Speaking of which: Why would a killer trying to retire consort with a famous detective where it's entirely possible that you get your picture taken and put on the internet?

* Sherlock

Premonitions, hunches, weird cuts, sharks, his face being overwritten half by Thatcher's, his calling his own deductions as sometimes lies/made up... That's not Sherlock, that's at least partly TAB-Sherlock, the way he thinks of himself in his mind-palace. I rather think that, given the way the merchant story was told, framing the main story, just as much as the images of sharks and water were framing it, somehow the whole plot was distorted through Sherlock's mind. I don't think it takes place actually in the MP, but again because of the framing story I think that Sherlock is telling the story to someone - may it be the actual Ella, or some kind of MP-version of her (the way the walls didn't meet the floor, the attic office) - and that it gets filtered through his mind. It would explain some inconsistencies, such as the texts which he didn't sign off on but which are clearly meant to be from him. So, perhaps we should put all the scenes not clearly containing factual evidence into question... because as we know Sherlock doesn't do and understand emotions, so did he get all the subtext right?

This theory would also account for the timing of the episode... or are we meant to believe that Sherlock and Mrs Hudson left balloon!John out for months between its first appearance and the point after Mary's death when they view the DVD? Then there are the 2 scenes which occur twice, phrases that are said with no prior knowledge of their history (dragon slayer - Mycroft called Sherlock that in HLV, why does Mary use the same expression?).

Sherlock seems driven by 2 points: Moriarty and the need to protect Mary. "Not on my watch" is reiterated by both Sherlock and Mycroft even if they apparently mean different things not happening on their watch. Somehow this is a recurring motive since at least TRF, and even more obvious HLV. "Tying up loose ends" is another point both brothers agree on.

If the whole plot were told from an objective point of view, then why insert Norbury in the top-secret meeting in the beginning? As Mycroft specifically orders her not to take notes, why is she as a secretary even there, if not to hint at what's coming, who's the perpetrator. And why exactly is her opening statement in the aquarium about Samarra if she's not figment of Sherlock's mind? Given what we learn in that first scene about manufacturing evidence - what does that tell about Sherlock's version of events? Was there a Mrs Norbury in the first place? What about a team of assassins, top-secret, who carry their whole identities around with them on assignment? Credible? Not to speak about the actual shooting which has Norbury shoot, and Mary decide after she fired to jump in front of it... yes, that's possible in a dream/recount-sequence but in reality bullets move a bit too fast for such heroics.

As a side-note: the whole deduction of a client's wife being a spy... well, sounds familiar, doesn't it.

So, what do we have:

duplicate scenes that don't make sense
Sherlock witnessing scenes where he has no place (such as John and Mary's highly personal reunion with at least 2 hints that John doesn't feel the same thing for Mary any more, resp that she's not the only one who lies)
the "premonition" and "hunch" about the bust and Moriarty... he's been blindsided by Mary before, and in his state of mind he redirects everything towards Moriarty instead of Mary.
John being OOC and not making sense, neither with the lady nor with rejecting Sherlock - the one variable Sherlock can't bow to his version of events.
Mycroft talking about loose ends and not letting things happen on his watch
Sherrinford and the vision of the boys at the beach playing pirate... who's the other boy? Can't be Mycroft since he's 7 years older.
the repeated use of sharks (Magnussen) and being under water
Mary being shot in the same place she shot Sherlock
the appointment at Samarra - Sherlock talks after Mary's death of the possibility to avoid Samarra altogether... so the story wasn't meant to refer to Mary's death but maybe his own fate?
Mary's assignment and John's going off the grid, apparently not even taking care of the baby... I'm not sure I believe John would actually desert his child when its mother just died, given how he was a hands-on father before.

So there're quite a few questions left for the remaining 2 episodes of this season.

But I thought that TST was for the main part a return to the Sherlock of the 2nd season, it was fast-paced, at least somewhat based on a mystery (even if that one was Mary's past which I don't particularly care for)... and in a way it mirrored TRF in structure, pressure on a character, sacrificing yourself for someone else, grief/devastation, a rift between John and Sherlock (apparently), Ella (apparently). Maybe through the mirror we'll finally learn what happened to Sherlock during the hiatus. Have we seen the last of Mary? I doubt it.

I upgrade my rating to 8/10.
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