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August 9th, 2010


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08:16 am - Sherlock
I didn't blog about the second episode of Sherlock because I didn't think it was very good. This third and final one was a lot better. Overall the absolute best thing about the series is the acting. I didn't think Martin Freeman had been that compelling in his other post-Office work, but he was consistently excellent in this, best thing about it. Cumberbatch has never given a poor performance in anything that I have seen, and he's managed to balance continuity with the tradition, and refreshing the interest of the role. Excellent work.

Apart from that, the plot was complete tosh and didn't even make sense (for instance see ajr's list here), but it was very enjoyable and engaging. And so much happened. After half an hour my daughter and I were astonished to see how little time had passed for the amount that had happened. And satisfying without being too deep - just like the original.

Now for big spoilers about the final scene.

Some of you might have seen through the subterfuge right away, but for a few seconds I actually thought Watson was Moriarty, and it seemed a terrifically audacious bit of writing: though it would self-limit the series, and I'm sure they wouldn't do that.

Yes, Moriarty was a bloke. I understand the actor Andrew Scott is very well thought of, with loads of awards, and I understand that they were trying to achieve a similar feel to the relaunch of the Master in New Who. But for me the concept just didn't quite work. Scott is the right age (he would have been a young teen in the late eighties) but he just seemed too callow and weak. I think the fault was possibly the direction, or a mismatch between talented actor and role that wasn't properly thought through.

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:August 9th, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
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Until the series returns, I'm sticking to my thesis. We know Moriarty likes to speak through mouthpieces; Jim is just a more subtle form, because he thinks he's her partner rather than her pawn. And that was why Sherlock pointed the gun at the bomb-and-comms gear at the end, to signify that he'd worked it out.
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From:communicator
Date:August 9th, 2010 08:25 am (UTC)
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I hope you are right. It may be they haven't decided yet.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:August 9th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)
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On the other hand, it may just be a riff on last night's theme of Watson almost solving crimes but ending up with the wrong answer; they're handing me all the evidence that it's Molly, only to say that it isn't.
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From:julesjones
Date:August 9th, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
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I thought that pointing his gun at the bomb was a direct analogue to the Reichenbach Falls, and a reference to Holmes's willingness to die in The Final Problem if it meant he could be sure of taking Moriarty with him.

Which doesn't rule out Jim being Moriarty's cat's-paw, because it's still worth threatening Jim if he's the one the snipers will answer to because he's the one they've always had their orders from.

Moriarty didn't really work for me. Nice try, but while John and Sherlock feel like the original characters as they'd be in 2010, Moriarty doesn't feel right for a current-day version of the character we see in The Final Problem. He *gloats* in a very Victorian melodrama way, but Moriarty wasn't a gloater.
[User Picture]
From:kalypso_v
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
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I did wonder about Jim (who'd already featured on Molly's blog, apparently as a new boyfriend, though that could have been staged) when she paraded him in front of Sherlock - ie whether Moffat and Gatiss might think an IT worker was the modern equivalent of a maths professor. (Obviously that's wrong: he should be a professor of computer engineering.) But I dismissed him as a candidate, probably because from the start I've been so wedded to the idea that Moriarty must be a woman.

The more I think about the final scene, the less I believe in Jim. I don't think he changes his mind about killing them, I think he diverted from the script and was told to go back and do it properly. And as Sherlock says, Moriarty must have thought of his response; therefore Jim is expendable, and indeed it would be tidier to ensure that he dies along with the other two.

It won't surprise me, though, if M and G are maintaining a sexist perspective and think Jim is a suitable Moriarty. But I'm the one who still thinks Laura did it.
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From:communicator
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
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I doubt that Gatiss and Moffat have a definite idea in mind for what happens next. I expect they will see how poeple have reacted to this 3-part mini-series and work from that.
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From:watervole
Date:August 9th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
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Er, he pointed at the bomb to say that he could shoot at it and blow Moriaty to kingdom come.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
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That's one reason, obviously. But it would be a better story if he has multiple meanings, and not all of them are clear yet.
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From:vilakins
Date:August 9th, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
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I guessed that Moriarty was the gay guy at the morgue because it had to be someone there who could give the dead woman the cut. However I hadn't thought of the woman who has/appears to have a crush on Sherlock. Good thought.

Edited at 2010-08-09 09:53 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:August 9th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
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I am The Worst at anticipating how this show is going. Probably adds to the fun.
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From:several_bees
Date:August 9th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
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Yes, I was taken in about it being Watson for a moment, and thought something like "crikey, that's very good if they can justify it". And then it was just the classic Guy You Saw For A Minute Earlier On In The Episode, which was pretty disappointing. Oh look, it's a merCURial ZAny villain who occasionally swoops UP with his voice or volume, he is so capRIcious!
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From:communicator
Date:August 9th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
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Yes, I almost wish it had been Watson, because it would have blown me away.
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From:despotliz
Date:August 9th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
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I thought it was pretty impressive that I thought Watson might be Moriarty even for a second, since it obviously wasn't going to happen since it would muck up any future episodes.

I am hoping that the above theory that Molly = Moriarty is true for two reasons: firstly, I wasn't that fond of the way they played Moriarty (I've said elsewhere he felt like a poor man's Keats from A2A) and secondly because the show is lacking in interesting roles for women and I would be less irritated if Molly's crush on Sherlock was a cunning disguise that even he hasn't cracked.
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From:communicator
Date:August 9th, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
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Good comparison with Keats, who I increasingly look back on as the best supporting actor of the past 12 months on British telly. This just did not get there.
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From:tehomet
Date:August 9th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
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I didn't even think for a second that Watson was Moriarty. If I was supposed to, I guess I just was so slow to get it! It seemed logical to me, first regular citizens, then a senior person, then a kid, then Watson; each time, closer to the bone.

I totally agree that the plot is entirely secondary to the character interplay. :) At least for me.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
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That probably means you think like Moriarty! I think we were supposed to, for a fraction of a second; I hadn't had time to weigh up the likelihood before I noticed he was wearing the sort of anorak favoured by suicide bombers and looking fatter than usual.
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From:tehomet
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
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That probably means you think like Moriarty!

I'm simultaneously horrified by and impressed with myself. :)
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From:communicator
Date:August 10th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
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It was written to be enjoyable for both types of viewer, I think, which may be why it has been so acclaimed.
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From:kalorlo
Date:August 10th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
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I didn't think Watson was Moriarty. I did think he'd twigged/been informed that Holmes had kept the USB stick and was there to be Disappointed and try to get it back. With police backup if necessary.
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From:sugoll
Date:August 10th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Me too - except that I'd figured he'd just gotten to know Holmes a little better, and was just following him.

I wasn't at all impressed with Jim - he seemed like a Photoshop morph of Ant and Dec.

Although in hindsight I thought it was a good thing that he wasn't played as the usual upper-crust gent. But I (nth) the suggestion that Molly or Laura would be better.
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From:communicator
Date:August 10th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I think that flitted through my mind. But I think it would have been a real thrill if Martin Freeman had been an evil mastermind.

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