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Me and my sassy twitter mouth made it to a blog post, thanks to this tweet:


Most of my reply back is reproduced below. Comments are moderated, so I'm not entirely sure when you'll see it on the blog post. But in any event, I have this ill-used livejournal and thought I'd thought-dump here.

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I did understand the ACD canon reference actually, but that's what I find slightly...clumsy, let's say. A bit forced. Of all the things I find Moftiss' Sherlock, wise, much less wisest, doesn't make the top ten.

I grant that this Sherlock may be on his way to becoming much more the wise Sherlock Holmes that the canon John Watson knows, admires, and eulogizes in The Final Problem, but at this point in the adaptation? In The Empty Hearse? God, you know I'm still thinking of the utterly overcome/compromised Sherlock in The Great Game who paced around the pool and scratched his hair with a loaded gun in his hand once Moriarty had left them alone. I'm thinking of Sherlock panicking at the restaurant where John is obviously about to propose and revealing himself with a jokey mustache. And yes, there's always the cabbie's pill game that Sherlock very unwisely played in A Study in Pink, explicitly not under duress, for which John rightly called him an idiot. Honestly, has Sherlock never seen Princess Bride?!

A couple people have poked me in the ribs about this particular tweet, saying that grief does odd things to a person. But FINA's Watson's writing for the Strand readers at this point, isn't he? Diagetically, he's reporting on the final adventure Holmes and he shared, the case that ended a great man's life. He's had time to digest and reflect. He's memorializing.

But John already eulogized him once and he didn't use the term wisest. In The Reichenbach Fall, his words were, "You were the best man, the most human...human being that I have ever known, and no one will ever convince me that you told me a lie." In public, on his blog, what he did say was very simply, "He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him." (If you take the johnwatsonblog.co.uk as canon.)

So maybe that's the disconnect between the words from FINA and the words that come out of John's mouth in TEH for me. What John's doing in TEH isn't eulogizing; this moment isn't meant to go beyond this subway car because presumably they're both about to die. No doubt, John's been grieving for last two years, but eulogizing, no. This John is repressed, "finds this stuff difficult." This John couldn't handle living at Baker Street and seeing Mrs. Hudson and talking to Ella about what Sherlock meant to him. This John, when he did eulogize Sherlock, did it before his grave, alone, after checking that Mrs. Hudson was out of earshot -- twice.

Hence Sherlock's surprise. He didn't suspect that John would harbor this high opinion of him still, after all this time. There's somehow more of where John's unfiltered s1-2 praise came from, more of the compulsive "that's amazing" praise that Sherlock is distinctly blase about by the time Irene Adler offers up her own version of it ("I'd have you twice right here on this desk until you begged for mercy"). Wise doesn't line up with my opinion of Sherlock at this point, despite the fact that supposedly series 1 and 2 were done in John POV. But John can't help what he thinks. It's little wonder that Sherlock memorializes him the way he does in his best man speech next episode.

July 2017

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