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October 5, 2015 11:49 pm  #1


Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

This is a purely speculative question, intended in the interest of discussion.

Whether Mary shot to kill or not - was she definitely going to shoot him? After all, she didn't just fire - she gave him a fair warning not to take another step. He did, and she responsed as promised.

This makes me wonder what would have happened had Sherlock obeyed and remained where he was.

Perhaps after an awkward pause, she would have just fired anyway, since Sherlock still now had an idea about her secret past (which didn't change based on whether he was standing in one spot or another a step away).

Perhaps her warning to not take another step was a hesitation, since she knew she should shoot him but realized how much that would damage John (in this case, she'd be much like S3 Sherlock, her cold reasoning at conflict with her emotional feelings). In this scenario, maybe Sherlock not obeying made it easier for Mary to justify her actions in the moment - "He didn't do as I said, so now I'm within my rights to shoot him".

Another scenario would be even more intriguing - would they enter a dialog? What would have been said? What could have been said? What might have happened differently?



 

 

October 5, 2015 11:53 pm  #2


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

This thread might be shot down fast as it might go under the general Mary thread.

But in my opinion, I don't think Mary would have shot if Sherlock hadn't taken a step forward despite her warning. I think him taking that step triggered her training and she shot almost on instinct. If he had stayed where he was, I think they would have entered into a dialogue.

If she had decided to shoot him no matter what, there would be no reason for the warning.

Last edited by Vhanja (October 5, 2015 11:53 pm)


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October 6, 2015 12:29 am  #3


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Vhanja wrote:

This thread might be shot down fast as it might go under the general Mary thread.

I figured that since this had more to do with a scenario involving several people, and not specifically the character of Mary (though she largely figures in this question), that this was a more appropriate place for this thread.

Moderators, please handle this accordingly if I was incorrect in posting this here.

Vhanja wrote:

But in my opinion, I don't think Mary would have shot if Sherlock hadn't taken a step forward despite her warning. I think him taking that step triggered her training and she shot almost on instinct. If he had stayed where he was, I think they would have entered into a dialogue.

If she had decided to shoot him no matter what, there would be no reason for the warning.

Interesting that you mention instinct - I can see that being a very possible factor in the way this scene played out.

If he did not take the step, and they did indeed enter a dialog, I'm curious how it might have played out. I think it is quite likely that after a few words have been exchanged, she would shoot anyway, and the outcome would have been the same.

I imagine it would play out something like this:

Mary would tell Sherlock that he musn't tell John.
Sherlock would tell Mary that he will indeed tell John.
Mary shoots Sherlock anyway.

And even if they had reach some sort of cordial agreement, what would have become of CAM? Surely Sherlock would not be okay with him being murdered (at least at that point, before he knew that there were no physical vaults). And sparing him too would lead to a situation that would be quite ... awkward.
 

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October 6, 2015 12:50 am  #4


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

That is an interesting idea - what would've happened if Mary hadn't shot Sherlock?

I think Sherlock would be smart enough to not just say "Sorry, I'm gonna tell John". I think, once he got over his initial shock, he would be able to talk to her in a way that wouldn't necessarily make her shoot him.

As for CAM, I reckon she would do the same as she did after shooting Sherlock - knock him out.


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October 6, 2015 12:57 am  #5


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Vhanja wrote:

I think Sherlock would be smart enough to not just say "Sorry, I'm gonna tell John". I think, once he got over his initial shock, he would be able to talk to her in a way that wouldn't necessarily make her shoot him.

I actually originally thought the opposite - that he'd be too cocky not to say he would do just that. But you're absolutely right - I can see him finding a way to placate her in the moment, and figure out how to deal with telling John later on when things were less hectic.

Vhanja wrote:

As for CAM, I reckon she would do the same as she did after shooting Sherlock - knock him out.

Well, that's a brilliantly simple answer! I don't even see Sherlock being put out by this obstacle in the Smallwood case - since now he'd have a *much* more interesting situation to deal with!


 

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October 6, 2015 8:55 am  #6


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

I always imagined she shot him because he called her Watson.
Sherlock uses her bond to John to make the point that she is a good person. At that point, he still must think her outfit and break-in is a one-off, triggered by fear.
Mary, in my opinion, must feel pretty upset then, because she realises Sherlock wants to help her to make things alright. But she knows already that there is no way Sherlock can make her past alright. she just isn't the nice Mrs. Watson.
I think Sherlock doesn't get how desperate she is in that moment, and calling her by John's name makes it worse, because it reminds her of her past and wrongdoings, and not, as Sherlock probably intended, of her loving role as wife and mother.
I think her warning reads as "you don't get it, shut the feck up". And he doesn't.


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October 6, 2015 9:05 am  #7


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Also, I think Mary might be the only one who doesn't underestimate Magnusson. And she is right - Sherlock's "help" that he offers... what is it worth to Mary? She already came to the conclusion that the only solution might be to kill Magnusson. She is aware of Magnusson's games. I think she is just not able to trust Sherlock to take on Magnusson. She is not John, who thinks Sherlock will always come out the winner (as proven by the Appledore scene... John just trusts Sherlock no matter what. ) I don't think we can except the same of Mary, so Sherlock' s offer to help probably isn't much relief to her.
Sherlock hasn'tgot her skill set - in her eyes at least. He is really clever, but Mary knows that has got limits. Would she trust her case into his hands whe she wasn't sure he can handle it? Probably not. So what would they talk about? Even later, in the empty house, Sherlock forces her into dialogue- he  uses John to make her talk. There is no indication she would have given the Usb stick to Sherlock, that she would have told the truth without John around. She confides her secrets to john, not to sherlock, which I find a fair move. She did not come to Sherlock on her own, and she had got reasons for that.

Also Mary might be mightily pissed of that Sherlock and John are in the office at all. She could have just shot Magnusson and be done with it, no witnesses. He must have had loads of enemies, so probably Mary, by her skillset and considering her preparations, would have never been a suspect. So basically, Sherlock rocks the boat by showing up. I think Mary is not best pleased to see him, because he pretty much hinders the planned execution.


So, to answer your question... I think she shot him because he was in the way,because she was desperate, because she didn't know what else to do.
So yes, I think if Sherlock wouldn't have gone to the office with John, if he had stayed off magnussons case, she would never have shot him. But as he was already on the case, that wasn't going to happen. But did she know he was on the case? He tells John and Mycroft, not Mary. not sure John would share this information with her. So they never get the chance to bring Magnusson down together.

Sherlock never makes the CAM connection, it seems. Otherwise he would have known how much trouble Mary was in.

I think in the office, it's a bit late for talking. They both should have realised before what the other one was up to. Then they woulnd't get in each others way later. I do think that's what Sherlock mainly is, in the office... he is in Marys way. In her way to save her own arse. While sherlock is just on a case. His life isn't threatened the way Marys life is. he choses to take on Magnusson, while Mary has to. So maybe that's why she isn't one for talking.

So no, she didn't mean to shoot him. she does, because she has to - in her own logic. And in her view, Sherlock put himself in that position. They are not partners in crime, they both have their own interest in mind. The shooting is the reaction to a stressful, tricky situation, and it's mary's way to get out of it. I'msure she never planned to shoot Sherlock before he enters that office and crosses her plans.

But as soon as they meet in the office, I think Mary knows that it might come to this. sherlock offering help and then calling her Mrs. watson makes things worse, not better, imo.
Him ignoring the warning of someone under stress with a gun in hands is plain stupid. They are not that close to play such games. You could try that tactic with a close friend you know very well, or an insecure person that never shot a.o. in their whole life, and might have success. Problem is, Sherlock doesn't know what kind of person he has in front of him. he sees the wife, not the assasin, and that's disastrous.

Last edited by Whisky (October 6, 2015 9:40 am)


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October 6, 2015 10:03 am  #8


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

That's a good point about Sherlock's ability to help: he completely bungles the Smallwood case, and not just because of Mary.    What would he have done if Mary wasn't there?  What power did he have against Magnussen?  He was playing straight into his hands. 

 

October 6, 2015 11:27 am  #9


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

yes, which is why I think Mycroft was so keen on him staying away from that case. He was being a big brother in the real sense of the word - trying to keep his baby brother from going too close to the fire and burning his hands...

 

October 6, 2015 12:04 pm  #10


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

That's true.  He also warns him off Irene Adler (and later apologises for putting him on the case in the first place), and that very nearly went wrong.  Perhaps he's very well aware of Sherlock's limits and weaknesses.

 

October 6, 2015 12:07 pm  #11


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Liberty, Sherlock wanted to steal the letters. CAM shouldn't be there, as he had a scheduled something for that evening - according to Janine (!)
I often pondered about alternatives of this scene, but could never find anything that would make sense. But I think that Mary knowing Sherlock, provoked him to make the "one step", so she could shoot and injure him.

I have read a long meta explaining why Mary wasn't about to kill CAM in his office, and it kind of made sense. IMO killing Magnussen wouldn't solve Mary's problem, because all believed that Appledore was real -  if it would be opened, someone would have insight in all the collected stuff and she wouldn't gain nothing from that.
BTW, Mary seemed to have better information about CAM's chedule, unless she too wanted just to steal something.

Last edited by JP (October 6, 2015 12:07 pm)

 

October 6, 2015 12:08 pm  #12


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Liberty wrote:

That's true.  He also warns him off Irene Adler (and later apologises for putting him on the case in the first place), and that very nearly went wrong.  Perhaps he's very well aware of Sherlock's limits and weaknesses.

He is, and I think that's what pisses off Sherlock about him. He knows his brother can see right through him and he hates that he knows him so well, rebels against that - but then also listens to him and wants his guidance (almost unconsciously).

It's such a beautiful, realistic relationship that they have.

Last edited by Dorothy83 (October 6, 2015 12:09 pm)

 

October 6, 2015 12:13 pm  #13


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

JP wrote:

Liberty, Sherlock wanted to steal the letters. CAM shouldn't be there, as he had a scheduled something for that evening - according to Janine (!)
I often pondered about alternatives of this scene, but could never find anything that would make sense. But I think that Mary knowing Sherlock, provoked him to make the "one step", so she could shoot and injure him.

I have read a long meta explaining why Mary wasn't about to kill CAM in his office, and it kind of made sense. IMO killing Magnussen wouldn't solve Mary's problem, because all believed that Appledore was real -  if it would be opened, someone would have insight in all the collected stuff and she wouldn't gain nothing from that.
BTW, Mary seemed to have better information about CAM's chedule, unless she too wanted just to steal something.

I actually think Mary also went to Appledore to steal the files about herself, following info about CAM's whereabouts that she got from Janine. Then she found him there, and threatened him to get him to give up the info. You don't need a meta to know that she wasn't about to kill Magnussen, at least until she got her files from him  - and this is also why she doesn't kill him after shooting Sherlock - despite her being convinced that 'people like Magnussen need to be killed', she'd rather leave him alive and a witness to her breaking and entering and shooting Sherlock, then kill him and never know where her files are (thus risking someone else getting hold of them).

Had she known the info were only in CAM's head, she would have shot him without thinking twice.
 

Last edited by Dorothy83 (October 6, 2015 12:14 pm)

 

October 6, 2015 12:26 pm  #14


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

That also explains why she was taking so bloody long to shoot Magnussen.  She's a trained assassin - if she intended to kill him she'd have shot him the moment she was in his presence instead of standing there and watching him wibble and plead for his life.  So I assume she was deliberately letting him get more and more terrified so that, once she started making demands on the whereabouts of her file, he'd be more likely to tell her.

 

October 6, 2015 12:36 pm  #15


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Or maybe she was one step ahead, and had some idea that Magnussen wouldn't need files (and that without him, his knowledge wouldn't necessarily go anywhere).  It seems to be confirmed a couple of times that Mary was there to kill Magnussen - Sherlock sees it as the alternative scenario, and John mentions that Mary was just intending to kill him, and Mary says that that's why there are people like her (to kill people like Magnussen).  And there's the deleted scene where Magnussen confirms it.  There was no point in Mary threatening Magnussen in his office.  If he thought she was a real threat to him, he could easily have her killed (in fact, the only reason to keep her alive is to get to John and Sherlock and therefore Mycrovt).  And he'd have known that if he handed over the "files" she'd have to kill him anyway (as he'd still know that information).

As for why she doesn't kill him instantly, I think that's just because she wants to make him suffer for a little while.  She despises him (and also, storywise, to allow Sherlock to walk in on the scene, and think it's Lady Smallwood).

 

October 6, 2015 12:42 pm  #16


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

JP wrote:

Liberty, Sherlock wanted to steal the letters. CAM shouldn't be there, as he had a scheduled something for that evening - according to Janine (!)

I think that was clearly a trap by Magnussen.  He showed Sherlock (fake) letters and fed him false information about being out of the office.

I have wondered if he also lured Mary there the same night (she had befriended Janine too) to set up a confrontation, but I suspect not.  It would be too dangerous and would mean showing one of his cards.   However, in the end, Sherlock finding out about Mary doesn't disadvantage Magnussen and actually gives him more power in the end.   Sherlock taking on Mary's case plays into Magnussen's hands.

 

October 6, 2015 4:38 pm  #17


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Liberty wrote:

I have wondered if he also lured Mary there the same night (she had befriended Janine too) to set up a confrontation, but I suspect not.  It would be too dangerous and would mean showing one of his cards.   However, in the end, Sherlock finding out about Mary doesn't disadvantage Magnussen and actually gives him more power in the end.   Sherlock taking on Mary's case plays into Magnussen's hands.

I also do not suspect Magnussen set up the confrontation - but the timing was quite interesting.

After all, Magnussen's pressure-point chain relies on those people being aware of his threat.  John can only be pressured if he knows that Mary (his pressure-point) has secrets to hide, and those secrets are under threat of being exposed.

In fact ... hmm.  In theory, even though he's a link in the chain, John doesn't even have to be aware of any pressure.  He could be blissfully unaware of Mary's secrets - what's important is that Sherlock knows that Mary is in danger - if he knew this, then he knows that her being exposed would harm John, who is his own pressure point.

Does anyone know of any good metas analyzing the technical details of the pressure-point chain?  Now that I'm thinking about it, it seems a very interesting thing to study.

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November 5, 2015 7:06 am  #18


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

I have a question: if Sherlock getting shot was his own fault, and up to that point, he'd bungled everything anyway-- what is his purpose in the show? Mary is, apparently-- smarter than he is, more competent, has more skills, and knows how to handle these situations-- so, what is Sherlock's purpose? Also, if Mary is as competent as shown, couldn't she have figured out another thing to do than lethally shooting Sherlock?

Also, if she was so angered by Sherlock addressing her as Mrs. Watson, why struggle so hard to keep her husband from knowing that actually, she wasn't ?

 

November 5, 2015 7:08 am  #19


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

Anger over Mrs Watson?
Where has that come from?!


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November 5, 2015 7:31 am  #20


Re: Was Mary Definitely Going To Shoot Sherlock?

I think Mary is a different kind of clever.  He's a detective particularly skilled in deduction - she isn't.  She doesn't quite understand John and Sherlock, even if she claims to.  She can remember the room number and be excited about solving a murder, but doesn't have a clue how to. But yes, Sherlock does fail at the Smallwood case, and kind of fails against Magnussen right up until the end until he takes over Mary's job.  This episode seemed to be partly about him failing rather than being clever, until the end (when there's no deduction involved - Magnussen shows him outright).    I think that in this episode Mary's style does win over Sherlock's, but it wouldn't in any other episode.   It's just that in this one, they wanted Sherlock to murder Magnussen.

I don't think she's angry about "Mrs Watson".  I think it confirms to her how Sherlock sees her, and how he's trying to get her to see herself at that moment.   Importantly to her, he doesn't believe her threat. 

 

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