brabbel123: (Puss in Boots)
[personal profile] brabbel123
Well, interesting episode though I'm not sure yet whether I actually liked it. But let's start from the beginning.

While John's visiting a different psychiatrist than Ella, we learn that he's hallucinating Mary - and still not talking to Sherlock. Meanwhile Sherlock is drugging himself out of his mind and accusing philantropist Culverton Smith of being a serial killer (which he in turn makes into a joke and an ad, "cereal killer"). Why he's focusing on Smith? Because his daughter Faith came to him with a story about a memory-deleting serum and Smith having announced he'd kill someone. Immediately, he deduces that Faith is unhappy and borderline suicidal and takes her on a walk-about through London. They get on amazingly well.

Mrs Hudson forces John to face Sherlock when she has enough of her tenant's drug hallucination and packs him into the boot of her Aston Martin and delivers him to the doorstep of John's therapist. John reluctantly agrees to accompany Sherlock on an invitation to see Smith's hospital. In Smith's favourite room, the morgue, Sherlock loses it when confronted with Faith who isn't the same person he spent the evening with. He attacks Smith, and John disarms him - but doesn't stop there, beating and kicking Sherlock. He desists only when orderlies drag him off. Sherlock says that John is allowed to do anything because he killed his wife... which John agrees with.

Sherlock is admitted into hospital, and John returns to Baker Street where Mycroft and his lackeys are removing any trace of the drug lab Sherlock and Bill Wiggins have installed there. John finds the DVD Mary left Sherlock and watches the whole of it - where she basically tells Sherlock that he has to risk everything, go to hell, to save John because John himself won't call for help but he'll come when Sherlock's in danger. And indeed, John rushes to hospital to find Smith not only admitting multiple murders to Sherlock but in fact trying to smother Sherlock to death with a pillow.

Back in Baker Street John apologizes to Sherlock for blaming him for Mary's death, and he confesses his texting to the bus-lady to hallucination!Mary. He breaks down and Sherlock comforts him. After that they go down to the bakery to have a birthday cake for Sherlock (after Sherlock received a text from Irene Adler which John uses to make a point that relationships are fleeting and that if there's something with Adler, Sherlock should pursue it).

Cut to the next therapy session where John's therapist reveals herself as the bus-lady, and the Faith that visited Sherlock... she's Sherlock's sister Euros, the East Wind... and a shot is fired when they cut to the credits.

The good/great:

Mrs Hudson: her borrowing Sherlock's handcuffs before, the Aston Martin, her "not being a civilian", her taking Mycroft and John to task for not seeing that Sherlock's deeply emotional, stuffing Sherlock into the boot of her car. Precious. If there's one person wholly on Sherlock's side, it's her. Incidentally, the EU-anthem (Beethoven's "Ode to Joy") is blaring out the sound system of her car - given Moftiss' reaction to the Brexit-vote a nice nod.

Sherlock and Faith walking around London: They have an amazing connection (which gets turned rather sinister by the twist in the end), Sherlock explaining his way of deducing to her, the similarities of her being suicidal to the beginning of the series with John, the way they walk around London, their path forming "Fuck off" to the watching big brother... absolutely fantastic.

John's confession to hallucination!Mary, his breaking down and Sherlock hugging him. That scene was the most emotionally charged of all of Sherlock so far (and there have been quite a few other very emotional scenes).

the twist in the end: First of all, I did guess that the therapist was the bus-lady (but not Faith), John definitely sees but doesn't observe (and "there's always something")... but actually this sort of turns the whole series around. Now we have presumably evil sister Euros who Sherlock apparently blocked out of his memory (except for moments of distress where he sees himself and another child playing pirate... and Redbeard of course), and questions arise: Who's she? Where has she been? And who (what?) is Sherrinford that Mycroft again contacted in this episode? It also puts into question what we know so far: What if Moriarty is a construct of hers, Brook really an actor that she hired and fed Sherlock's past to? Because: Do we really believe Mycroft would tell Sherlock's secrets to a criminal, and then let said criminal go? But we do believe that Mycroft would do anything to protect Sherlock, even hide a sibling. Let's see how that plays out.

Cumberbatch: wow, thought he did an amazing job in TST, but he definitely surpassed that here. And his Shakespeare-soliloquy... precious.

Sherlock: Who ever doubted that he's not a sociopath should be convinced by now. He's absolutely willing to do anything for John Watson - even knowing how ugly that would turn out for him. But I also think that this case with its strong statements concerning suicide (by Sherlock) have him think that his life doesn't belong to him. Maybe that's why he's willing to do anything necessary. But I also got the impression that Sherlock in the end made a conscious choice not to die, that he *wants* to live not anyone else, but for himself.

The neutral:

Culverton Smith: the case and the way he's presented reminded me too much of Magnussen. And they even included some version of the icky (and deleted) hospital confrontation with a seemingly disabled Sherlock... Just one question: Did the TD12, that memory-erasing serum, really exist? We just see some infusion sets after the first scene where Smith apparently doses his closest friends and daughter. So I'll take that part with a grain of salt and put that on Sherlock's drugged mind and Euros' in to raise Sherlock's curiosity.

Mycroft was awfully passive - and he was hit on by Lady Smallwood

Irene - I like that they are still texting, but could have done without John's urging Sherlock into a relationship with her. Doesn't match with how I see Sherlock and Irene's connection.

The neutral-bad:

Mary acting as John's conscience... Honestly, I don't quite see why Moftiss decided to practically deify her so much (except that Abbington's a buddy of Gatiss). She's an assassin, she almost killed Sherlock, and her crimes just caught up with her. And what does that tell about John that he sort of imagines her as his good sense? On the other hand, the hallucination worked well, I just would have liked her character-arc being portrayed differently. But that's not the fault of TLD but rather of HLV and TST. And let's not forget that only after watching the DVD he decides to help Sherlock who he left in the hospital of a suspected killer (and John did have his doubts but apparently didn't care one bit).

The bad:

Apparently, everything we've seen in HLV and TST stands as is: Mary's shooting Sherlock and not apologizing for it (not even showing some qualms), John's taking her back, Sherlock's being okay with it, her not taking any precautions before going to the aquarium (why doesn't she carry a gun in that scene?), the awkward sacrifice, John blaming Sherlock, and even the affair.

What about the baby?

nitpicks: John tells Lestrade about Magnussen???, John forgetting Irene told him she was gay. And then there's the name issue with Lady Smallwood.

The ugly:

John. Pure and simple. As I said in TST I get that he's grieving, that he's immersed himself in guilt and transferred his inability to cope onto Sherlock, blaming him for not keeping his vow. But calling him "monster", beating the crap out of him, having to be dragged away by orderlies even though Sherlock's long down? That's taking it way too far. Granted, he always had a penchant for violence (TEH comes to mind, attacking Sherlock 3 times, attacking Billy in HLV, his threatening statements in HLV+TAB etc - "we did see it", only John is referring to Sherlock's druguse, not his own violent tendencies), and Sherlock didn't put up any resistance at all instances, he just takes it... which makes it even worse and turns Sherlock into practically suicidal confronting John knowingly. Which makes the repeated "I don't want to die" even more poignant when he's actually on the verge of being killed.

I haven't liked John for quite some time, but this sequence of events made me actively dislike him. And that he (and everyone else who ever attacked Sherlock in this series) is not punished in any way, is a major issue for me. Hurting someone, abusing him is NOT okay, and quite frankly I'm not even sure if I want that friendship, the core of the series, back given what's happened. John and Sherlock's relationship was always dysfunctional, no doubt about that, but somehow it worked - but at the latest, since his return in TEH, the balance has shifted, mainly because John found another outlet for his adrenaline-addiction in Mary and Sherlock was now looking for a place for himself, willing to do anything, even letting himself be the victim of abuse (see the melancholy moments in TEH and TSoT, his picture of Mary and John in TAB, his low self-esteem beyond all the posturing). Granted, Mary's out of the picture now, but the damage is done. And no heart-breaking hug can undo it. If I were Mycroft I'd intercede... but he doesn't, neither does Lestrade.

No one faces any consequences for their actions - only Sherlock for handing the rattle to Rosie. Just thought I'd emphasize that point again.

So, there is much to like but one major No-Go as well. Regardless, the twist and the teaser certainly whetted my appetite for "The Final Problem". Just hope it won't end on a cliffhanger. 7/10

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