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January 2, 2016 5:34 pm  #1


Sherlock's Addiction

Because I think it deserves to be a topic of its own. Some details:

Despite Sherlock first claiming that he didn't OD, he later says that he OD'd to come to the conclusion that Moriarty is still alive.

If we see Moriarty as a symbol of Sherlock's addiction, and self-aware John is kicking him down the Waterfall, does this mean that Sherlock has now kicked his addiction for John's sake?

 

January 2, 2016 5:40 pm  #2


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Just a first thought: I do not think Moriarty is a symbol of Sherlock's addiction. For me he symbolises Sherlock's deepest fears, his self-loathing, etc. In TAB his taunts are sexually charged and incredibly intimate. Maybe the drugs are part of it, but there is much more to it than that. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"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)

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January 2, 2016 5:51 pm  #3


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

I agree, I don't think Moriarty symbolizes his drug addiction, but more every doubt the real Moriarty put in him. His weakness, his inner chaos - everything Moriarty is that is also a part of Sherlock himself. 

I wasn't quite sure what the drop from the Falls was supposed to represent. They kicked Moriarty off as well - so how can a cliff dive mean two different things when done in the same scene? Also, you can't just drop an addiction like that, it takes time. You can, however, make the decision. 

But if I were to venture a guess, I would say the dive was Sherlock finally awakning from his drug-induced MP-state, leaving his fears and doubts behind - at least for now - to be part of the real world and focus on the problem at hand - Moriarty's return, in whatever shape that might be.

I am quite surprised that he ODed, though. As I wrote in the other thread - Sherlock being a graduate chemist and familiar with drugs, he would know how much he would need and how much would make him OD. So it seems deliberate. Perhaps not to kill himself, though, but perhaps take more than his usual dose to be able to completely lose himself in his MP to solve the Moriarty case.


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January 2, 2016 5:58 pm  #4


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Sherlock denies that fears are something to be ashamed of, though. If Moriarty would stand for his fears, he would embrace him.
Also, when he takes drugs in his mind palace, he says beforehand to Mrs Hudson that he is waiting for the devil.

     Thread Starter
 

January 2, 2016 6:01 pm  #5


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

I think Sherlock's addiction is both a reality that he must deal with and also a symbol of the emotional insecurities that haunt him.


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January 2, 2016 6:23 pm  #6


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

@Vhanja, yes, I was rather surprised that there was the same "fall" symbolism for Sherlock and Moriarty.  But I suppose it parallels the fall in TRF - Moriarty was pushed, Sherlock chose to jump (and knew he would live).   I don't think that was about drug addiction.  I did get the feeling that (apart from other things going on there) there was an element of making peace with John over the fall.  John is there, John gets to protect Sherlock (something I think he feels he failed to do), John ends up approving and knowing about Sherlock's jump.   Only in the mind palace, of course!  (Although it could translate to real life - maybe Sherlock feels that John has accepted the fall and truly forgiven him). 

Anyway, I don't think this is really "about" drug addiction, and I don't think Sherlock is an addict.  I think he sails close to the edge, but so far, he seems to have been at least vaguely in control when we've seen him.  (It's suggested that there was a close call some years ago, though, the incident that led to Mycroft insisting he wrote lists). 

This time he claims the overdose was for work - to enter a particular kind of mind palace, to discover what Moriarty is/was up to through solving the Bride case.   Whether that's true (whether he ODed for work, or not) that is actually what he does, and he appears to have no serious side effects (although he does seem to admit to being reckless), and did write the list.   (Actually, the list makes me think that he really did take the drugs to find about Moriarty - he was expecting Mycroft to find him and the list when he arrived back on the plane, otherwise why write it?).   I mentioned in the other thread that it seems almost like an extreme version of the nicotine overdose he takes in the first episode to help him think (a three patch problem).   He needed to think in a particular way, and that had to be drug-induced (apparently). 

I think he did OD (take more than the usual "recreational" dose for him), but it was never meant to be fatal, only enough to induce the right state of mind.   (I've been toying with the idea that he actually meant to kill himself on the flight rather than waiting 6 months, but it doesn't ring true to me - he'd much rather die taking risks through work, rather than a planned suicide, I think).  And I don't think Sherlock is an addict - he rarely seems to use or crave drugs.  I think he's right to describe himself as a user rather than an addict. 

I did like the insight into Mycroft's role.  Mycroft has clearly always been very worried about the drug use, despite Sherlock's minimising of it.

 

January 2, 2016 6:26 pm  #7


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Interesting though, in his own mind Sherlock has John calling him an "unprincipled drug addict". 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"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

 
 

January 2, 2016 6:48 pm  #8


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

What I don't get is why MP Sherlock also took drugs.


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January 2, 2016 6:54 pm  #9


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

@Susi, is that what Sherlock is, or is it what Sherlock thinks John thinks he is?  Actually, I do think Sherlock's minimising is conscious, but I still don't see him acting like an addict.    (I also think that scene is a bit of a nod to Private Life, perhaps). 

@ Vhanja, yes, he has to take drugs to solve the puzzle, and then needs to take drugs in his imagination to get there!  But it kind of makes sense - he had to have that Moriarty scene in his mind palace, and whereas the rest mostly fits with a real life explanation - that just doesn't.  It has to be a dream within a dream, I suppose.  (Now I'm thinking of Doctor Who's "Last Christmas" which somebody mentioned, I think!). 

 

January 2, 2016 7:11 pm  #10


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Liberty wrote:

@Vhanja, yes, I was rather surprised that there was the same "fall" symbolism for Sherlock and Moriarty.  But I suppose it parallels the fall in TRF - Moriarty was pushed, Sherlock chose to jump (and knew he would live).   I don't think that was about drug addiction.  I did get the feeling that (apart from other things going on there) there was an element of making peace with John over the fall.  John is there, John gets to protect Sherlock (something I think he feels he failed to do), John ends up approving and knowing about Sherlock's jump.   Only in the mind palace, of course!  (Although it could translate to real life - maybe Sherlock feels that John has accepted the fall and truly forgiven him). 

Anyway, I don't think this is really "about" drug addiction, and I don't think Sherlock is an addict.  I think he sails close to the edge, but so far, he seems to have been at least vaguely in control when we've seen him.  (It's suggested that there was a close call some years ago, though, the incident that led to Mycroft insisting he wrote lists). 

This time he claims the overdose was for work - to enter a particular kind of mind palace, to discover what Moriarty is/was up to through solving the Bride case.   Whether that's true (whether he ODed for work, or not) that is actually what he does, and he appears to have no serious side effects (although he does seem to admit to being reckless), and did write the list.   (Actually, the list makes me think that he really did take the drugs to find about Moriarty - he was expecting Mycroft to find him and the list when he arrived back on the plane, otherwise why write it?).   I mentioned in the other thread that it seems almost like an extreme version of the nicotine overdose he takes in the first episode to help him think (a three patch problem).   He needed to think in a particular way, and that had to be drug-induced (apparently). 

I think he did OD (take more than the usual "recreational" dose for him), but it was never meant to be fatal, only enough to induce the right state of mind.   (I've been toying with the idea that he actually meant to kill himself on the flight rather than waiting 6 months, but it doesn't ring true to me - he'd much rather die taking risks through work, rather than a planned suicide, I think).  And I don't think Sherlock is an addict - he rarely seems to use or crave drugs.  I think he's right to describe himself as a user rather than an addict. 

I did like the insight into Mycroft's role.  Mycroft has clearly always been very worried about the drug use, despite Sherlock's minimising of it.

Thank you, I think this is my favorite explanation. The suicide theory makes me very sad.

About the list -
maybe it's second nature to him already? To *always* write a list? Maybe he began with the drugs and the list before the plane and added more to both upon hearing the news?


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January 2, 2016 7:11 pm  #11


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

The whole episode reminded me heavily of the film Inception.


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January 2, 2016 7:31 pm  #12


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

It is more like Paprika...but then, Paprika was one of the inspiration for Inception....

     Thread Starter
 

January 2, 2016 7:40 pm  #13


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

There are also nods to "The Seven Percent Solution". Like the "Viennese alienist."
 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"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

 
 

January 2, 2016 9:11 pm  #14


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

I am split about Moriarty being the face of his addiction. 

Sherlock turning out to having taken an OD made me cry last night... and today my friend couldn't understand why after we had watched it at the cinema together... 

This might get a bit too personal... sorry... but this is where I draw my insight from. I've been an addict for most of my life... currently a recovering one. Never illegal substances, but prescription meds and other things... 

I have often referred to a 'little btch' in my mind making me do all the stupid stuff. I am aware she's me, it's not that... but sometimes it's just easier to pretend it's not. I have had actual verbal fights with 'her' trying to keep her away... and she's the voice reminding me of stuff I'd rather just forget... and then I'm supposed to do something in order to forget... 

My friend doesn't have that side... and I think that's why it broke my heart... Seeing Sherlock being high, his fear of rejection and of his older brother being mad at him... how addiction can turn you into a child when you get caught by the one person who worries most. 

But... I know Sherlock is used to high doses... and in the Pilot he took a long time to even be affected by the needle in his arm from the cabbie... but he seemed a bit too awake. OD's can leave you in a coma. 

but then again... we don't know what Sherlock's tolerance is. Not even John does... "This could kill you" might refer to a 'normal' person with a more normal tolerance. 


Mods, sorry if I went too far with this... but I thought it could give an insight. I realized my friend totally lacked it... (but she doesn't know that side of me... so I kept my mouth shut) 


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January 2, 2016 10:13 pm  #15


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Vhanja wrote:

I agree, I don't think Moriarty symbolizes his drug addiction, but more every doubt the real Moriarty put in him. His weakness, his inner chaos - everything Moriarty is that is also a part of Sherlock himself. 

I wasn't quite sure what the drop from the Falls was supposed to represent. They kicked Moriarty off as well - so how can a cliff dive mean two different things when done in the same scene? Also, you can't just drop an addiction like that, it takes time. You can, however, make the decision. 

But if I were to venture a guess, I would say the dive was Sherlock finally awakning from his drug-induced MP-state, leaving his fears and doubts behind - at least for now - to be part of the real world and focus on the problem at hand - Moriarty's return, in whatever shape that might be.

I am quite surprised that he ODed, though. As I wrote in the other thread - Sherlock being a graduate chemist and familiar with drugs, he would know how much he would need and how much would make him OD. So it seems deliberate. Perhaps not to kill himself, though, but perhaps take more than his usual dose to be able to completely lose himself in his MP to solve the Moriarty case.

I viewed the leap off the cliff in the more simplistic way of, when you're in a dream or nightmare, you sometimes need to die in order to wake up.
 


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January 2, 2016 10:17 pm  #16


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Also guys, aren't you forgetting that Sherlock took the drugs BEFORE he got on the plane, BEFORE he found out about Moriarty...he didn't take them in order to solve the case...according to Mycroft he was already high on the tarmac, and John seemed to agree that he couldn't have taken all the "list" at once because he wouldn't have had time.


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January 2, 2016 10:19 pm  #17


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Exactly....and the reason for it was that Sherlock couldn't stand solitary confinement, which makes total sense. The lack of stimulation must have driven him up the wall.

     Thread Starter
 

January 2, 2016 10:23 pm  #18


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

I don't think that the lack of case was his reason for inner turmoil at the end of HLV..


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January 2, 2016 10:24 pm  #19


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

I do believe Sherlock took the drugs to numb himself... he must have been feeling way, way too much now that he thought he would never see his friend again. I can 'understand' how he'd want to forget... maybe even escape the world forever... It's likely he took more drugs during his mind palace scene to 'heighten his senses'... and I take the scene at the Diogenese club where Mycroft asks for a list and Sherlock says he's not done yet.. 


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January 2, 2016 10:25 pm  #20


Re: Sherlock's Addiction

Yes, Phantom, that's how I see it as well.


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"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.

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