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September 17, 2015 5:16 pm  #1


Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I think we have no topic for discussing series 3 - viewed by some as a rupture, by others as a continuation of the narrative arc(s) - and I think this meta is quite fitting for starting one. I could not decide where else to post it because it touches many aspects - character development, Johnlock, narrative arcs, etc.:

http://xistentialangst.tumblr.com/post/73306466924/penance-sherlock-in-s3


------------------------------
"Love conquers all." (Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock)

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

September 17, 2015 6:53 pm  #2


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

The meta has some good points, but I don't see everything happens to Sherlock in S3 as penance for the fall. Indirectly, what happens in S3 (John having moved out, marrying Mary etc), are consequences of the fall. But that is not the same as it's happening as penance for Sherlock. John doesn't Mary Sherlock to make Sherlock pay for two years of grieving.

In general, I feel that S3 was more about the characters and their emotional journeys than cases, as in S1 and S2. It was an emotional climax in a way, compared to the two other seasons. I am very curious as to where they are going in S4 from here, what role S3 ends up playing in this whole story.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings
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September 17, 2015 7:39 pm  #3


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I think there are consequences but also acts that may be viewed as Sherlock doing penance. Like the whole wedding preparations. The fact that he mentions the fall in his speech is quite telling. And John staying with Mary because he is striving for security and because he is afraid of being hurt again seems quite plausible to me. Which makes Mary's betrayal even worse. Brilliant construction, if you ask me. 

 


------------------------------
"Love conquers all." (Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock)

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2015 7:47 pm  #4


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Vhanja wrote:

John doesn't Mary Sherlock to make Sherlock pay for two years of grieving.

Let me just quote myself and say that this must be the most brilliant Freudian Slip I've ever done. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png


Yeah, I think a lot of what happens to Sherlock in S3 are indirect consequences of the fall, not done by John, Mary or anyone else for the reason of revenge.
 


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/Tabris93/Sig_zpsbc318d59.jpg

Team Hudders!
 
 

September 17, 2015 7:55 pm  #5


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Yes, that is a classic one. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


I am not thinking in categories of punishment of revenge either. And let me repeat what I have said elsewhere: at the root of all that happens in series 3, there is Moriarty. He has disrupted their lives, it was not Sherlock's decision. He and John and the others have to deal with the consequences. 


------------------------------
"Love conquers all." (Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock)

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2015 8:01 pm  #6


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I think in S3, we see Sherlock's emotional development reach a climax. He goes from a cold wanting-to-be sosiopath to someone who deliberately gives up his life just to make someone he cares about happy. I think, as others have mentioned, it's clear that S3 isn't the end of Sherlock (or John's) arch. 

S3 shows Sherlock at his most vulnerable and most "human", such a contrast to S1 that it's almost a different person. To me it looks a bit like the pendulum effect. In TSoT Sherlock was pure fluff, in HLV he returned to do one of his coldest acts yet (Janine). It's as if he struggles to find the middle ground.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/Tabris93/Sig_zpsbc318d59.jpg

Team Hudders!
 
 

September 17, 2015 8:09 pm  #7


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Yes, in series 1 and 2 most of the time he suppressed his emotions in order make his brain function better. In series 3 he allows emotions but starts making mistakes (misjudging Mary, underestimating Magnussen). The pendulum image is good, he has to mature by finding a balance between heart and intellect. And I really love this development and cannot understand the viewers who were so disappointed by a "weak" Sherlock whose brain does not work anymore. I think they do not recognise that this about his personal journey, not just and not foremost about the cases. 


------------------------------
"Love conquers all." (Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock)

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2015 8:10 pm  #8


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I agree wholeheartedly. I love that there is so much focus on his character development. Just doing cases would get boring more quickly, IMO.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/Tabris93/Sig_zpsbc318d59.jpg

Team Hudders!
 
 

September 18, 2015 8:01 am  #9


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Vhanja wrote:

Vhanja wrote:

John doesn't Mary Sherlock to make Sherlock pay for two years of grieving.

Let me just quote myself and say that this must be the most brilliant Freudian Slip I've ever done. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png


Yeah, I think a lot of what happens to Sherlock in S3 are indirect consequences of the fall, not done by John, Mary or anyone else for the reason of revenge.
 

I love this slip. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png


And I agree. To marry somebody just because you want to make a defiant gesture and pay back to your friend... I don´t think John fits such a character.
 


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

September 18, 2015 8:04 am  #10


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

No, John is not like that. But I imagine that he because of all the hurt he experienced he was truly looking for someone different, someone "who is not like that" and who then turned out to be much worse. 


------------------------------
"Love conquers all." (Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock)

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

September 18, 2015 8:26 am  #11


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

SusiGo wrote:

No, John is not like that. But I imagine that he because of all the hurt he experienced he was truly looking for someone different, someone "who is not like that" and who then turned out to be much worse. 

Yes, I see it similarily.
 


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

September 18, 2015 9:38 am  #12


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

SusiGo wrote:

No, John is not like that. But I imagine that he because of all the hurt he experienced he was truly looking for someone different, someone "who is not like that" and who then turned out to be much worse. 

I agree. As I mentioned somewhere else, I think he tries to go for "normalcy" with Mary. Steady job, normal wife - start a new life that is completely different from the one he had with Sherlock.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
"We'll live on starlight and crime scenes" - wordstrings
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/Tabris93/Sig_zpsbc318d59.jpg

Team Hudders!
 
 

September 18, 2015 10:19 am  #13


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I'm also one of the viewers that prefer character development over detective stories. I think people who don't like S3 might have a very stable image of SH from the canon and don't like him to be weak.

SusiGo wrote:

In series 3 he allows emotions but starts making mistakes (misjudging Mary, underestimating Magnussen). The pendulum image is good, he has to mature by finding a balance between heart and intellect.

IMO it was such a bitter lesson for Sherlock and those who embraced his journey towards "being human". Because ironically, Mycroft was right that sentiment/care is not an advantage. At times it felt as a complete story already and I could even live with the open ending as an end to the series. I'm really curious where the writers will take us from this point.

 

September 18, 2015 1:44 pm  #14


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

When it comes to what I would call arc of suspense, S3 indeed worked very different for me than S1/2. In S1 and 2 I especially love the first and last episode. The episodes in the middle, TBB and THOB, feel a bit weak to me. S3 was something new, because I thought that it got better with each episode. TEH will never be among my favourite episodes, although there were some decent scenes and moments in it. With TSoT it gets a lot better, and HLV is television at its best.
I agree with everyone who says that it's great to see Sherlock develop and change. The problem I'll probably always have with S3 is the lack of domestic bliss with Sherlock and John in 221B - that's the main reason why S3 doesn't feel as 'cosy' and, ultimately, familiar to me as S1/2.
 


___________________________________________________
"Am I the current King of England?"

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"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

September 18, 2015 3:38 pm  #15


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

@SolarSystem

Good point. Apart from the many, many other aspects that felt wrong this was such a disappointment.

 

September 18, 2015 3:53 pm  #16


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Series 1 and 2 worked for me in a way series 3 never worked. I can try to explain but not sure I'll do a good job of it ;-)

Series 1 and 2 had a solid story arc, developing from ASIP till TRF and while I don't agree on any "jumping the shark" talk, I must admit that after TRF, the link to series 3 felt awkward. For my taste, TRF was to early in the series, but there is nothing to be done about it, I'll be forever glad BBC and actors agreed on new series, and that's that. But I get this feeling that series 3 wasn't planned in the same breath as series 2.

For me, with series 3 starts a new Sherlock chapter. Before TRF, it was Sherlock the consulting detective with John, the loyal friend. In series 3, loyalities are far more complex, and also the focus shifts away from detective work. Series 3 is Sherlock the human being, and John finally tries to get his own life going (it's the first time he really tries - when he meets Mike in ASIP, he is still in Afghanistan with his thoughts, and then his focus shifts to Sherlock, but he never really focuses on himself till he has to after TRF, imo).

The problem for me is that I really really love series 3, but I am not sure I love it as the continuation of series 1 and 2. I cannot explain that better. Maybe this way: series 3 feels to me a bit like three little Many happy returns episodes, or like three pilots. Like little stand-alones. Of course not that drastic, but I find it hard to fit them behind TFR, even if TRF already hints heavily towards the Sherlock character development, "not a hero", "most human... human being" etc.
I realise this when I do a Sherlock night, and I cannot stop the series after TGG, but I can easily make a break after TRF. It's a really harsh cut. The one thing I can hold in favour for this narrative arc is that it reflects real life, where development is seldom smooth but happens after we experience change, loss, etc.
I think series 3 is otherwise a bit similar to series 2, where Hounds neglected the Moriarty storyline, and the first and last episode told a story which was put on ice during the second episode. Series 3 feels similar to me. I find that TEH and HLV have the same sound of narration, while TSOT stands even more alone.

But this feeling of stand-alone episodes also makes it easy for me that yes, I think HLV is one of the best episodes throughout all series. Mostly it's just great television, but also characterization, visuals, the whole package is really impressive.
But is it now paradox to say: series 3 isn't my favourite but it contains my favourite episode?

Susi said she doesn't understand the disappointment about a "weak" Sherlock. I think that it's natural to loose some balance if something unpredicted happens and we have to adapt. I don't mind Sherlock being more human and less brainy. But I don't like the way it's shown... it's not like he fails from time to time or misjudges more often, but I get the general feeling that he is out of his depth. I dislike that he seems to be not himself most of the time. He is like John in series 1 and 2: trying to find himself again but mostly concentrating on others. I don't think that's character development, I think it's one step before. I hope series 4 will solve this.

About the meta: I think it has some points. But I disagree that Sherlock is paying during series 3 because of TRF. He messed with a friendship, and I agree that broken trust and forgiveness is a big issue here. But I don't agree that forgiveness needs equality. True forgiveness does not need it, that makes it so beautiful. So I'm really hoping the writers don't put Sherlock through all this just to make a reconciliation with John easier. I think what Sherlock needs to do (and in my opinion does or at least tries to do, if only subtle), is understand what he did to John, acknowledge it in full, and voice it. That's all.

I think John just fails to understand how he is still attracted to danger. He is trying to find himself, but still closes his eyes to what he really wants. Sherlock is spot-on there in the "domestic" scene in Baker Street, imo.
So all in all, I think both are still struggling to get themselve sorted. And I am not sure they can do it together with each other. I think they both needed their very own development.

I don't think that series 3 lacks domestic bliss. I feel that Sherlock and John still show strong connections to "their" place, even if they don't share it anymore. It shows again in the "domestic scene", when John admits that he still thinks of the room as the place where Sherlock and John do "their" work - listening to clients. He also admits in TEH how difficult he finds it to face the empty Baker Street without Sherlock in it. I think them not living together but still having such strong connections shows very clearly that their friendship is not build on flatsharing. Having my own experience of flatsharing, for myself I can say that only after leaving a flat it really shows if you were only flatmates or you have become real friends. Series 3 gives John and Sherlock an opportunity to realise that it's not about being flatmates in 221b, even if that was a big part of their lives. I think now that they have realised this, it doesn't matter much if they move back in together or don't. (this is written from my mostly non-Johnlocking point of view, if I may add this ;-)

Last edited by Whisky (September 18, 2015 4:19 pm)


_____________________________________________________________

"It is what it is."

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September 18, 2015 4:18 pm  #17


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

I think you explain yourself very well, Whisky.
I agree with the harsh break in the series. I'm fine with more character development and less crime. But I would wish for at least some crime at all in the next series. In the end HLV was also mostly personal Watson drama.
I did not like S3 too much. That doesn't say that it's not finest TV, not at all. But there were so many flaws in characterization, partly screen writing also, and it just left me deeply frustrated and unsatisfied.
The fall has always been around. For the whole season. It has never been resolved in my opinion.
I hope very much that they can finally leave it behind, and - here I disagree with you, Whisky- I think best together.


------------------------------------------------------------

Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.


"If you're not reading the subtext then hell mend you"  -  Steven Moffat
"Love conquers all" Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock's and John's relationship
"This is a show about a detective, his best friend, his wife, their baby and their dog" - Nobody. Ever.

http://picload.org/image/lcowadi/osajrand2.jpg
 

September 18, 2015 4:31 pm  #18


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

mrshouse wrote:

The fall has always been around. For the whole season. It has never been resolved in my opinion.

Where can I sign this?
I think it's fine to leave something unresolved in a tv show, but then you somehow need to find a way to give the audience a chance to nevertheless make peace with it. But maybe that's a contradiction in terms? I'm not sure. The 'problem' with S3 is (for me) that TEH almost completely revolved around the fall and how Sherlock did survive it. There was no real answer, they just played around with it. Which in itself isn't a total desaster, but that in combination with the fact that the consequences of Sherlock's absence were tangible during TSoT and HLV as well... Maybe they wanted to leave us hanging in order to fully resolve this in S4. But still, this wouldn't make me feel a lot better about S3. 
 


___________________________________________________
"Am I the current King of England?"

http://picload.org/image/lcpldgo/berlinsigneu2.jpghttp://picload.org/image/lcpldgc/berlinsigneu3.jpghttp://picload.org/image/lcpldgw/berlinsigneu.jpghttp://picload.org/image/wcodogr/jungssignatur.jpg

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

September 18, 2015 4:32 pm  #19


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

mrshouse wrote:

In the end HLV was also mostly personal Watson drama.

Nicely put. Although I feel that Watson was just the mirror against which Sherlock's drama was reflected. John as means of making Sherlock's emotinal journey possible.

mrshouse wrote:

I did not like S3 too much. That doesn't say that it's not finest TV, not at all. But there were so many flaws in characterization, partly screen writing also, and it just left me deeply frustrated and unsatisfied.

I feel similar. It's finest TV, and yet I still feel like I had a full meal but still hungry. I cannot really say what it is. Because series 1 and 2 also had their flaws, maybe less in characterization, but in screen writing and there were little plot holes and yet series 1 and 2 feel more satisfying. I always try to find out what it is but it feels a bit in vain when in the end I always have to say that it's brilliant TV nevertheless.

mrshouse wrote:

The fall has always been around.

I am wondering if maybe it was a mistake not to really end TRF. Like solid explanation, a proper reconciliation. Now it's dragged along, and must it really stay the center of the whole BBC series? I am not a purist, but the Reichenbach incident is not the most important or best Doyle story. Is it for dramatic reasons? For storywriting? Because it's easiest to shape and show characters with help of such big life-and-death situations? Sherlock shooting Magnusson feels a bit like a re-use of the Reichenbach climax.
edit: ah, Solar, crossposting. Agree with all you say about this.

If we talk series 3, is this also the place to mention once again how the little Moriarty moment at the end of series 3 really ruins a lot for me in this series? For the same reasons - Moriarty is dragged along, although he already had his big moments.
 

Last edited by Whisky (September 18, 2015 4:36 pm)


_____________________________________________________________

"It is what it is."

http://i58.tinypic.com/2j432ti.jpg
 

September 18, 2015 4:47 pm  #20


Re: Thoughts about series 3 as a whole

Yes, I loved Moriarty to pieces, but I don't know what to think about his reappearance.


------------------------------------------------------------

Eventually everyone will support Johnlock.


"If you're not reading the subtext then hell mend you"  -  Steven Moffat
"Love conquers all" Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock's and John's relationship
"This is a show about a detective, his best friend, his wife, their baby and their dog" - Nobody. Ever.

http://picload.org/image/lcowadi/osajrand2.jpg
 

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