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July 24, 2014 7:59 pm  #21


Re: Violence at the reunion

Of course John has grown. I do think, though, that the set of circumstances shoved in his face are enough to set him back a bit. I do think that Moftiss went a little overboard with the violence in TEH, but I want to stick to the idea that it was a fluke in John's system. Yes, he did get really upset in HLV, but he would, wouldn't he? Notice he was very careful to not actually hurt anyone, but he needed an outlet for that horrible anger that must have been pooling inside of him. His wife betrayed his trust and shot his very best friend. He tells Sherlock: 'One more word, and you won't need morphine,' but he lets Sherlock speak anyways. I think he was attempting to show restraint with a short temper like his. Yes, he needs a new therapist, but I don't think what he exhibited in S3 would break my trust in him.


_________________________________________
Life is always more interesting when one escalates sibling rivalry to that of a minor land war.

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July 24, 2014 8:13 pm  #22


Re: Violence at the reunion

You think John has grown? He keeps regressing and he's not getting any better. Again, I get what he went through during and after TRB. Combine that with his PTSD about Afghanistan (which he has no matter what Mycroft says in SIP) and he's a giant mess who has no idea how to deal with his emotions. People say Sherlock is bad with emotions, but John has him beat.

John might not hit Sherlock in HLV, but the threat is chilling. Just the fact that he thinks it is sad. We can make all the excuses we want for his behaviour, but the fact is that he is emotionally damaged, perhaps irrepairably, and a bomb with a hair trigger. I wouldn't trust him with Baby Watson at this point.

Mary


John: That's clever. So you scratch their backs and...
Sherlock: Yes. And then disinfect myself.
 

July 24, 2014 8:24 pm  #23


Re: Violence at the reunion

I understand where you're coming from, but I honestly think these are mistakes on Moftiss's part. I don't know. I want to see the best in John Watson, and I would most definitely trust Watson Jr with him, maybe even more so because he would protect her so fiercely. I'd like to be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because our lovely, horrible show creators would never make him do something so terrible like hurting the baby, or pregnant Mary. 

I'm sorry to keep contradicting you, but I cringe to think that our John would ever stoop so low and to think that there is a considerable amount of people out there who think he might is painful. 


_________________________________________
Life is always more interesting when one escalates sibling rivalry to that of a minor land war.

http://i.imgur.com/h27Yj5s.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/2OlkLiV.jpg
 

July 24, 2014 8:35 pm  #24


Re: Violence at the reunion

Moftiss, therein lies the rub. John is a fictional character and all his potential lies in his writers. I'm sad that such fans of the ACD stories have made their version John Watson this way. I have no doubt now that John was just a secondary character to them, just as he seems so unimportant to fans of the show.

We're all entitled to our own opinions, don't apologize for yours. I'm just reacting to what I see on screen. I don't want to believe this, but it's what's there.

Mary


John: That's clever. So you scratch their backs and...
Sherlock: Yes. And then disinfect myself.
 

July 24, 2014 8:51 pm  #25


Re: Violence at the reunion

I suppose that part of the reason we don't see similar violence from Sherlock towards John is that Sherlock has some less desirable qualities, and those seem to be offset with better things like unexpected kindness. Whereas John has many admirable qualities, so it's interesting to offset those with something negative, like violence.  I get that.   And maybe some of this episode is showing the other side of the coin with both characters. 

Thanks for the warning about the threat in HLV (which I haven't seen yet).  I'm trying to avoid too many spoilers, but it is good to be emotionally prepared.   I suppose it makes sense - after an incident like this one, there is always an unspoken threat there - if you go too far, expect violence. 

I like your point about trust, Breathing, but I feel differently, as if my trust is betrayed!  I trusted John NOT to do something like that.  (And I trust Sherlock not to do something like that).  My view of the character was that he did have that violent streak, but that he wouldn't use it in that way against people close to him.   Edit: just read your point above, Mary, and yes I agree.  Silly me "trusting" a fictional character - but yes, I don't like that he was taken in that direction by the writers, and I don't think he had to be at all.  I don't get that feeling from the John Watson in the stories.  I haven't read them all, but from the ones I've read it's difficult to imagine him treating Sherlock like that.

As for Sherlock, I was just thinking of that little scene when John gets the call about Mrs Hudson, and Sherlock talks about being alone, the second last time they speak to each other ... it's sad thinking that Sherlock is preparing for being alone for years at that point, and knowing that he won't be able to contact John.  He goes to hell and back, then runs round apologising to everybody.   Anyway, I was thinking of the use of "protection" in the ASiB, and how Sherlock becomes Irene's protection, and how later he has to be alone to become John's protection. 

Oops, rambling off topic now.  But I'll let it stand.  I love talking with you people!

Last edited by Liberty (July 24, 2014 8:54 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

July 24, 2014 9:18 pm  #26


Re: Violence at the reunion

Just wanted to mention, one thing I do like about this is the little scene with LeStrade afterwards.  It's a bit awkward, uncomplicated, so sweet and such a relief at that point.  I felt like I really needed that. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 24, 2014 9:24 pm  #27


Re: Violence at the reunion

I won't spoil it for you, Liberty, but if you want to steel yourself, after the big reveal, Sherlock takes John and Mary back to 221B and John does a lot of shouting. He also kicks a chair pretty violently, but doesn't actually hit or hurt anyone, choosing to take his anger out on something that won't be hurt by it. 


_________________________________________
Life is always more interesting when one escalates sibling rivalry to that of a minor land war.

http://i.imgur.com/h27Yj5s.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/2OlkLiV.jpg
 

August 6, 2014 2:51 pm  #28


Re: Violence at the reunion

Liberty - I've only been on this board for a couple of days, but I've come to enjoy your usually very insightful posts, so it really upset me to see you so upset by this issue.

Others have made very thoughtful contributions to this thread already, but let me just throw in a couple of thoughts of my own.


1. The violence at the Reunion is definitely meant to be funny. If there was no other indication, the music alone would say it all. If it was supposed to be truly threatening or disturbing or dangerous, the music would have indicated it. But it says "ridiculous" and "absurd" and yes, "funny". I admit I laughed. Nothing could be more repulsive to me than gratuitous violence or domestic violence patterns, but yes, I laughed.


2. I think there is little point in imagining either participant of the scene to be female instead of male. At least it won't help to get to the bottom of this. Because hitting each other in order to say "look, I CARE!" is what blokes do to each other. Well, most grown-up blokes stop doing it at some point, but adolescent ones certainly do, and we all know neither John nor Sherlock have yet grown up properly. I'm absolutely convinced that John hitting Sherlock doesn't automatically mean he generally hits people, especially not women and children. Just like all my brothers (a considerable number) when around 15 would keep punching and shoving each other and their friends all the time but would never do that to our mother or their little sister.  I don't know what it is, but a very many blokes' minds (or bodies) work that way.


3. I think the few moments when John loses his patience with Sherlock actually highlight the many more moments when he doesn't, although he would have every right to. For every single instance in which John annoys or provokes Sherlock, there are a hundred more in which Sherlock annoys or provokes John. That would amount to a lot of suppressed anger over the years. I'm really not surprised that John explodes now and again, especially when you consider his PTSD and all that.


4. If you look more closely at the scene in question, I can't help coming to the conclusion that Sherlock really asked for it, all three times he gets hit. What John actually does is not so much punish him but shut him up. The attacks are not so much a response to what Sherlock says as a desperate attempt at not having to hear it.

Let's look at the immediate context of these attacks.

No. 1 is when all he has to say in response to John's obvious and immense difficulty of dealing with the situation is "are you really going to keep the moustache?". I mean, as far as responses go, it doesn't really get more inappropriate. It may only partly be a deliberate provocation, there may be an element of insecurity as well, but, please.

No. 2 is when John expresses upset at not being told of Sherlock's survival although many other people were, and again, all Sherlock has to offer in response is not an excuse or an explanation but a nit-picky correction of John's (obviously exaggerated) estimate of the exact number of people involved. Which, again, is totally beside the point and therefore really not helpful.

No. 3 is a reaction to what I can only call a deliberate provocation on Sherlock's part ("You have missed this. Admit it. The thrill of the chase, the blood pumping through your veins, just the two of us against the rest of the world ...") . John knows Sherlock is right, but he doesn't like being told, because it is a sore point with him (which will become even more clear in HLV), and Sherlock knows he doesn't like being told, and still does so, trying to get the upper hand and have the last word and take charge again when John is clearly not ready yet. Bit Not Good, as John would say.

In sum, John would have been a SAINT to take all of that calmly. And he certainly isn't and I don't think anyone of us wants to see him that way.


5. I think that added to all the above, there is another reason for the violence that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread: The simple fact that a lot of people in the audience get a kick out of seeing a hero suffer and a pretty boy beaten up. Lots of people do. I certainly do.
Now, it may be a sort of primitive enjoyment that serious and thoughtful filmmakers should not cater to, but they do, it's a pattern that keeps repeating itself in all sorts of stories, be they on TV or in movies or books or whereever. It's rarely discussed but it is obviously silently agreed on by everyone. It wouldn't happen all the time, otherwise. If you started a poll on this forum about how many of its members get a kick out of Sherlock being punched in the face by John in SiB, being drugged and whipped by Irene in SiB, being drugged and scared by Dr . Frankland in THOB, being drugged by the evil cabbie in the SiP pilot, vomiting on the carpet in TSOT, being beaten into a pulp in Serbia in TEH, not to mention what happens in HLV, I'm sure you'd get a 99 percent positive response. And as long as we want to see it, they will show it.



There. I've rambled horribly, I'm not sure it was helpful, but I felt I had to say something.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t breathe. I’m trying to think.

 
 

August 6, 2014 7:08 pm  #29


Re: Violence at the reunion

Jolie, you did not ramble, but wrote down a very elaborate meta on the topic. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
I really liked reading it.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I still believe that love conquers all!

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"Quick, man, if you love me."
 

August 6, 2014 8:30 pm  #30


Re: Violence at the reunion

Thank you very much for your post, La Jolie!  I really appreciate it.  I've thought about everything you've said and was writing a huge reply.  But I've cut bits out as it was getting ridiculously long! 

You are right that it's obviously meant to be funny, and some aspects are funny even to me.  I  laughed at Sherlock saying "not quite" in response to Mary's "Oh my god!", and enjoyed the downgrading of the eating establishments.   I agree about John feeling compelled to shut Sherlock up. 

Yes, I think there are moments when Sherlock treats John badly, and up until this episode that was bothering me.  Somehow this one incident crosses a line for me, while the others don't.  Mostly, I feel that Sherlock is at fault by not telling John what's going on ... which John seems remarkably OK about a lot of the time, but I can see that could have built up.  

Thank you for the comments about the triggers for the attacks.   Now, my gut feeling tells me that it doesn't really matter what the triggers were, the violence isn't justified.  (The anger is justified).

The joke about the moustache, I felt was OK - it's how they respond to each other.   John responds to Sherlock's question about having faith in him, by telling him that nobody could be such a dick all the time.   It's typical of their interactions to joke like that.  Sherlock is acting towards John in the way (he believes) John would act towards him (I think).  (But I can understand why this sets John off, even though I think strangling is excessive).

The second attack, yes, Sherlock misses the point.   A major theme of this episode is how he did it (what the audience had been waiting so long to hear!), and somehow the "why" seems to get lost.  I've thought about this a lot, because John does seem to have complete faith in Sherlock in TRF, and I think he understands that Sherlock needs to destroy Moriarty and his network, and I think he could guess that he, himself, would be under threat (although I'm not absolutely sure about this last, as Sherlock kept so much hidden, including information about Moriarty).  He must know, at least, that Sherlock had to have a very good reason for not telling him.  It's so frustrating that he doesn't ask why, and that Sherlock doesn't tell him why.  What I really don't like about this second attack is that it's not just what we see, because Sherlock has a (minor) visible wound that couldn't have happened from just John lunging at him like that.  There was more hitting off-screen.

And by the third time, Sherlock has made it clear how hard it was for him not to contact John (i.e. he was hurting too and must have had a very good reason), but most of all, he has that visible injury.   I don't see any of these attempts at reconciliation (joking, trying to explain, going to the heart of what John needs from him - I don't see it as trying to get the upper hand) were that bad, and none deserving of violence. 

5. I think that added to all the above, there is another reason for the violence that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread: The simple fact that a lot of people in the audience get a kick out of seeing a hero suffer and a pretty boy beaten up. Lots of people do. I certainly do. Now, it may be a sort of primitive enjoyment that serious and thoughtful filmmakers should not cater to, but they do, it's a pattern that keeps repeating itself in all sorts of stories, be they on TV or in movies or books or whereever. It's rarely discussed but it is obviously silently agreed on by everyone. It wouldn't happen all the time, otherwise. If you started a poll on this forum about how many of its members get a kick out of Sherlock being punched in the face by John in SiB, being drugged and whipped by Irene in SiB, being drugged and scared by Dr . Frankland in THOB, being drugged by the evil cabbie in the SiP pilot, vomiting on the carpet in TSOT, being beaten into a pulp in Serbia in TEH, not to mention what happens in HLV, I'm sure you'd get a 99 percent positive response. And as long as we want to see it, they will show it.



Now that is something I didn't think of!  I'm a long-standing fan of on-screen suffering.  I just didn't realise it was quite so popular with everybody else, but you're right, we're practically brought up on it.  I suspect it's even more of a Thing for me than most people, so I don't know why these scenes didn't press that button, instead of my "domestic violence" button.   Well, maybe they pressed both buttons simulataneously, and button A made me feel even more outraged about button B.  Maybe it's my own guilt at objectifying a hot guy getting hit whilst seeing it as a particularly non-hot situation.  I've been fine with the other scenes you mention.

Please don't worry about rambling.  I loved reading your post and you've helped me sort out my own feelings about it (because I know this is mainly about my feelings as most people don't see it that way).  I'm still not completely OK with it and still can't look at John in the same way, but I'll go more happily into the next episode (possibly in the next few days!).  Thank you http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
.
 

Last edited by Liberty (August 6, 2014 9:00 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

August 6, 2014 8:55 pm  #31


Re: Violence at the reunion

La Jolie wrote:

I think that added to all the above, there is another reason for the violence that I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread: The simple fact that a lot of people in the audience get a kick out of seeing a hero suffer and a pretty boy beaten up. Lots of people do. I certainly do. Now, it may be a sort of primitive enjoyment that serious and thoughtful filmmakers should not cater to, but they do, it's a pattern that keeps repeating itself in all sorts of stories, be they on TV or in movies or books or whereever. It's rarely discussed but it is obviously silently agreed on by everyone. It wouldn't happen all the time, otherwise. If you started a poll on this forum about how many of its members get a kick out of Sherlock being punched in the face by John in SiB, being drugged and whipped by Irene in SiB, being drugged and scared by Dr . Frankland in THOB, being drugged by the evil cabbie in the SiP pilot, vomiting on the carpet in TSOT, being beaten into a pulp in Serbia in TEH, not to mention what happens in HLV, I'm sure you'd get a 99 percent positive response. And as long as we want to see it, they will show it.

I doubt people really watched those scenes because they like seeing somebody beaten up. Most people are not sadistic - and many viewers indeed protested that those scenes disturbed them greatly. It is a one thing to use violence as a plot device so that you can show compassion and care being offered to your hero who was a victim of it. It´s different thing altogether to have somebody cruelly abused in your story just for the sake of a cheap thrill. And even as a person who likes TEH I think the authors overstepped the line here.

I am really conflicted about the level of violence being used by John in the reunion scene. It greatly cheapened the previous emotional scene, beautifully acted by Martin Freeman, of John recognising Sherlock under his waiter disguise. On one hand it was genuinelly funny. On the other hand it was psychologically unbelievable - the sudden outburst of violence from John could be spontaneous until he draw blood (after he split Sherlock´s lip), so probably the first two times he actually hit his friend. The third time he hit Sherlock it seemed like a deliberate malice. It really bordered on abuse. I don´t buy it that you can have such fits of temper thrice in a row, even when you need to vent up some pent up frustration.

But at the same time, when I rewatch TRF, especially that scene where John is moaning "Jesus, no... God, no!", I feel that John didn´t slap Sherlock enough for this incredibly cruel lie.

And yet, wasn´t it Moriarty who pushed Sherlock into that corner? It´s not Sherlock´s fault that the madman felt such a strong attraction to him and that he targeted his friends to disturb him. John´s anger is pointed at the completely wrong person here!

Of course, Whisky mentions above: =13pxMaybe I cannot see Sherlock so much as a victim here. John was telling him from the very beginning not to stand up to Moriarty, not to get involved... and Sherlock got into it, played the game until the point of no return. That is I think part of Johns point of view. That's what John doesn't get - and it shows again when they're underground, how John shouts at Sherlock "and you did not call the police!" Sherlock is suffering from his own decisions, and John refuses to take responsibility, that's what I see. Compassion, understanding, yes, but no responsibility. 

But this is kind of... "Mrs. Hudson´s logic", don´t you think? "It was my husbands drug cartel, I just did the typing!" John follows Sherlock willingly because he thrives on dangerous situations, so he cannot pretend it is all just Sherlock´s responsibility when things go awry. It would be incredibly alibistic and opportunistic of him.

The next thing that I hate on that scene is that it depicts violence in a cowardly, dishonests manner, as a kind of "Hollywood violence" that has no consequences. Do you have a need to show violence to your audience? OK, but let them have a real deal - the realistically depicted wounds from such a beating, the broken nose, scars, violet and blue bruises, scratches which heal for weeks and months! This fake violence that leaves no traces despite its viciousness just invites irresponsibility into the minds of the viewers, because it gives them a false impression that it functions that way in real life.

The only positive thing I derived from the scene was the realisation that it is actually John who is a dick and it is Sherlock who is actually a compassionate and patient, warm-hearted man. The fanfictions always annoyingly depict them in the opposite manner, so this was a quite refreshing change. But only a bit. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png

 


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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
 

August 6, 2014 10:11 pm  #32


Re: Violence at the reunion

nakahara wrote:

The only positive thing I derived from the scene was the realisation that it is actually John who is a dick and it is Sherlock who is actually a compassionate and patient, warm-hearted man. The fanfictions always annoyingly depict them in the opposite manner, so this was a quite refreshing change. But only a bit. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png

 

I see nothing compassionate and warm-hearted from Sherlock in these scenes, in fact he was lacking totally tact. He even coudn't stop  to make that silly joke seeing how hurt is John and on the verge of crying - yes he was nervous and this is excusable, but how is that compassionate and warm? He hurts deeply John by telling him he was not trusted, that a lot of people were but not John. I don't see that Sherlock realise till John get in the cab how much hurt he did to John. Compassionate would have been to say sorry like he did in 221B not by making stupid stupid jokes and trying to be a smart-arse.

Violence is not excusable, but is realistic, very realistic for this moment. The majority of men who are worse at communication would put their anger like that. It woudn't have worked with John how Lestrade reacted, neither just a faint or only joy. John is in that moment in shock, he is not the normal John. To see somone you grieved for two years, someone you believed that commited suicide in front of you, someone who makes jokes when you are on a verge of tears - not easy to be rational and compassionate and sweet in such a moment. We see how the joke made him swallow literary in a second all the emotions and let him only with the anger who was too much to manage. By the power of the feelings he had were only two alternatives for John: either heart attack or anger. Anything else woudn't have done justice and would have been too watered down for such deep feelings John has.

Actually these scene is very methaphoric putting in oposite the worse of cold rationality vs the worse of emotionality. Neither Sherlock or John manage the situation well, both failed  and it speaks tons about their friendship that after a very short time they managed to forgive each other. 

And i think these scene also changed both of them, one sees now how his actions can hurt someone and learned an important lesson, other think now that he was not worth the trust of his friend and makes him more repressed and more shut down than before, he has more difficulty than before to express his feelings and is not the wide-eyes-naive John from series 1 &2 anymore.. 

 

August 7, 2014 9:28 am  #33


Re: Violence at the reunion

A lovely light wrote:

nakahara wrote:

The only positive thing I derived from the scene was the realisation that it is actually John who is a dick and it is Sherlock who is actually a compassionate and patient, warm-hearted man. The fanfictions always annoyingly depict them in the opposite manner, so this was a quite refreshing change. But only a bit. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png

 

I see nothing compassionate and warm-hearted from Sherlock in these scenes, in fact he was lacking totally tact. He even coudn't stop  to make that silly joke seeing how hurt is John and on the verge of crying - yes he was nervous and this is excusable, but how is that compassionate and warm? He hurts deeply John by telling him he was not trusted, that a lot of people were but not John. I don't see that Sherlock realise till John get in the cab how much hurt he did to John. Compassionate would have been to say sorry like he did in 221B not by making stupid stupid jokes and trying to be a smart-arse.  

I made that comment partially in jest, that´s why I inserted "tongue-in-cheek" smiley behind it.

Still, if you look at S3 as a whole, Sherlock comes forth as an almost angelically patient and caring man. He pulls John out of the fire, never asking for any thank-you´s after it (and never receiving them). He supports John´s relationship with Marry even if it breaks his heart. He arranges Watsons marriage at John´s request althrough it borders on "cruel and unusual punishment" for him, seeing John leaving him and having to go through the social occurence that he absolutely abhors. After he is shot by Mary, he deliberately downplays the severity of his wounds to not aggravate John further. He even kills a man for John to save him and his wife from a blackmailer. He puts up with quite a lot - being quite benign and almost submissive when people are having fits over his behaviour left and right, shouting at him, invading his personal space, slapping him around, even trying to dispose of him by killing him painfully. Cracking some inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times is the only way in which Sherlock copes with all that abuse, surely he´s allowed to do at least that?

John of S3, on the other hand, is frequently angry and curt, his conversation with Sherlock has mostly a form of sentences like: "You cock!", "Why didn´t you call the police!", "Solve it!", "You are a primadona!", "Shut up, just shut up!", "I´ll pummell you so that you won´t need the morphine!" and similar slurs like that. He has some pleasant moments in TEH and TSOT, but his character (which was feisty and energetic, but kind and gentlemanly in the canon) was a bit dick-ified, if you ask me. And really, his short fuse reactions indicate a deterioration of his PTSD, not a betterment of his state.

A lovely light wrote:

Violence is not excusable, but is realistic, very realistic for this moment. The majority of men who are worse at communication would put their anger like that. It woudn't have worked with John how Lestrade reacted, neither just a faint or only joy. John is in that moment in shock, he is not the normal John. To see somone you grieved for two years, someone you believed that commited suicide in front of you, someone who makes jokes when you are on a verge of tears - not easy to be rational and compassionate and sweet in such a moment. We see how the joke made him swallow literary in a second all the emotions and let him only with the anger who was too much to manage. By the power of the feelings he had were only two alternatives for John: either heart attack or anger. Anything else woudn't have done justice and would have been too watered down for such deep feelings John has.

Actually these scene is very methaphoric putting in oposite the worse of cold rationality vs the worse of emotionality. Neither Sherlock or John manage the situation well, both failed  and it speaks tons about their friendship that after a very short time they managed to forgive each other. 

And i think these scene also changed both of them, one sees now how his actions can hurt someone and learned an important lesson, other think now that he was not worth the trust of his friend and makes him more repressed and more shut down than before, he has more difficulty than before to express his feelings and is not the wide-eyes-naive John from series 1 &2 anymore.. 

As you can see above, I didn´t object the use of violence in first two scenes where John attacked Sherlock - I think the shock and anger combined with Sherlock´s deliberate silliness were too much for him and he just saw red. But the third scene, in which he headbutts Sherlock, was just wrong on so many levels.

If you had nightmares every night about your friend´s dead face being covered by blood after he jumped from the high building, would you be able to continue to beat that same face after you saw one real drop of blood on it? John could have been angry but after he split Sherlock´s lip and the blood spilled on Sherlock´s face, I can´t believe that his head didn´t cool down quickly. And I´m still persuaded that you can only have such amok (where your head just switches off in anger and you are not yourself) over the same thing just once, not three times in succession. I therefore fully believe that John´s third attack was deliberate malice from John´s part, done out of sense of revenge.

You can even notice that the third time it happened, it couldn´t be triggered by Sherlock´s insensitive remarks. Just the opposite - Sherlock informed John about the pending terrorist attack (in which tens or even hundreds of people could actually die) and althrough his request was not elegant, it contained a sense of seriousness and urgency. But John couldn´t reign his small ego in, not even considering the possibility of his own relatives and acquaintances dying in an attack and cold-bloodedly head-butted the man trying to stop the apocalypse from happening. When he could just plainly refuse to help, show Sherlock the bird and proudly leave. That was just plain wrong.

And the magical healing of Sherlock´s wound which completely disappeared overnight was a very cheap move on the side of the authors, to not paint John in the negative light. In SiB, where John punched Sherlock in the face, they were not so cowardly - the scrape on Sherlock´s cheek was plainly visible even in the consequent scenes. In TEH they chickened out and didn´t show us the real result of assault on Sherlock´s face.
 


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

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
 

August 7, 2014 9:50 am  #34


Re: Violence at the reunion

nakahara wrote:

Still, if you look at S3 as a whole, Sherlock comes forth as an almost angelically patient and caring man. He pulls John out of the fire, never asking for any thank-you´s after it (and never receiving them). He supports John´s relationship with Marry even if it breaks his heart. He arranges Watsons marriage at John´s request althrough it borders on "cruel and unusual punishment" for him, seeing John leaving him and having to go through the social occurence that he absolutely abhors. After he is shot by Mary, he deliberately downplays the severity of his wounds to not aggravate John further. He even kills a man for John to save him and his wife from a blackmailer. He puts up with quite a lot - being quite benign and almost submissive when people are having fits over his behaviour left and right, shouting at him, invading his personal space, slapping him around, even trying to dispose of him by killing him painfully. Cracking some inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times is the only way in which Sherlock copes with all that abuse, surely he´s allowed to do at least that?

John of S3, on the other hand, is frequently angry and curt, his conversation with Sherlock has mostly a form of sentences like: "You cock!", "Why didn´t you call the police!", "Solve it!", "You are a primadona!", "Shut up, just shut up!", "I´ll pummell you so that you won´t need the morphine!" and similar slurs like that. He has some pleasant moments in TEH and TSOT, but his character (which was feisty and energetic, but kind and gentlemanly in the canon) was a bit dick-ified, if you ask me. And really, his short fuse reactions indicate a deterioration of his PTSD, not a betterment of his state.
 

There is a very insightful analysis of that topic in the meta I have posted before, especially this part:
http://acafanmom.tumblr.com/post/75709446204/addendum-his-last-vow-3a

It points out how we get to see a lot of Sherlock's soft, loving side, but John does not. We are not used to that because S1 and S2 were mainly told from John's POV, and I did not notice it myself. But acafanmom is right. John is not present or does not look at Sherlock or is drugged during most of the crucial scenes revealing Sherlock's humanity. It also emphasizes all the hurt John has been through prior to S3 and how it is only human for him to fight with anger and agression.
 

Last edited by Schmiezi (August 7, 2014 9:50 am)


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August 7, 2014 10:02 am  #35


Re: Violence at the reunion

It is very easy to get a nose bleed, without having a big trauma on the nose (i get them for very little), so i see no chikening here. We don't see how brutal was the headbutt (and he is a doctor, he knows how to headbutt people http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png
). 

Yes, in S3 Sherlock evolves and John regress - that's the tragic of it. John tryes by all means to protect himself and does what he has always done, build a wall, a bigger one from what he already had. When you does that all your life (i don't think it is a war issue, he is a too good master at doing it to have learned as an adult) it is hard to learn to adress it in other way and you need help for very understanding people, which he actually has not - both Mary and Sherlock accuse him in HLV, put the blame on him for his dissapointing for being lied (whoah, how wrong was that scene, grrr). Can we talk also how little support Mary gives him in the reunion scene? Like none and i see it best when they are in the cab, each one in his corner very distanced, facing opposite views.... 

I bet my money that in S4 John will have to face this issue. But i think he will have to hit the bottom first - he is not far from it, but still has a way to go. 

 

August 7, 2014 10:31 am  #36


Re: Violence at the reunion

A lovely light wrote:

It is very easy to get a nose bleed, without having a big trauma on the nose (i get them for very little), so i see no chikening here. We don't see how brutal was the headbutt (and he is a doctor, he knows how to headbutt people http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png
). 

I quite like this theory, so I agree. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png


A lovely light wrote:

Yes, in S3 Sherlock evolves and John regress - that's the tragic of it. John tryes by all means to protect himself and does what he has always done, build a wall, a bigger one from what he already had. When you does that all your life (i don't think it is a war issue, he is a too good master at doing it to have learned as an adult) it is hard to learn to adress it in other way and you need help for very understanding people, which he actually has not - both Mary and Sherlock accuse him in HLV, put the blame on him for his dissapointing for being lied (whoah, how wrong was that scene, grrr). Can we talk also how little support Mary gives him in the reunion scene? Like none and i see it best when they are in the cab, each one in his corner very distanced, facing opposite views.... 

I bet my money that in S4 John will have to face this issue. But i think he will have to hit the bottom first - he is not far from it, but still has a way to go. 

Actually, John´s problems are not a bad plot device with which to start S4. You can build interesting stories from his rocky marriage and the complicated issues with his friend. I think you nailed it and the authors would certainly adress this in the new series.

Last edited by nakahara (August 7, 2014 12:04 pm)


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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
 

August 7, 2014 12:40 pm  #37


Re: Violence at the reunion

Schmiezi wrote:

There is a very insightful analysis of that topic in the meta I have posted before, especially this part:
http://acafanmom.tumblr.com/post/75709446204/addendum-his-last-vow-3a

It points out how we get to see a lot of Sherlock's soft, loving side, but John does not. We are not used to that because S1 and S2 were mainly told from John's POV, and I did not notice it myself. But acafanmom is right. John is not present or does not look at Sherlock or is drugged during most of the crucial scenes revealing Sherlock's humanity. It also emphasizes all the hurt John has been through prior to S3 and how it is only human for him to fight with anger and agression.
 

Yes, that was a very good meta. Most facts about John analysed here by acafanmom were very thoroughly thought of and very plausible.

I only disagree with one thing written there. I think that in this moment:

http://media.tumblr.com/ecf5d94130d7163d0188d7c9207b2f23/tumblr_inline_n0jj53ujeO1rckzqs.png


John actually sees Sherlock, sees him in his true form and with undisguised feelings for the first time and he is shocked to speechlessness by the realisation of the depth of Sherlock´s emotions revealed there. Acafanmom has written that "John is not present or does not look at Sherlock or is drugged during most of the crucial scenes revealing Sherlock's humanity", which is very true - but this is exactly the moment where he can finally be present in the situation where Sherlock´s humanity was apparent, thanks to the moment being secretly captured on film. I have a feeling that John is more subdued, even a bit humbled in the consequent tarmac scene exactly because he saw this - and that he understood the true meaning of Sherlock´s joke of "Sherlock being a girl´s name" just a bit.


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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
 

August 7, 2014 1:44 pm  #38


Re: Violence at the reunion

Yes, that is a crucial moment. And it gets even more depth because Magnussen read Sherlock so easily and knew exactly which buttons to press. While John realises only now what Sherlock is willing to do for him. 


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"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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August 7, 2014 3:29 pm  #39


Re: Violence at the reunion

SusiGo wrote:

Yes, that is a crucial moment. ... John realises only now what Sherlock is willing to do for him. 

And  then, only minutes later, Sherlock goes even further and basically throws his own life away for the sake of John's and Mary's happiness. Oh dear.

I can't say how much I WANT John to deserve so much love. I can see how some people are worried whether he really does, given what he's like in TEH and HLV. But then, I believe there is room for - maybe not redemption, but recovery at least, I think. I can see how something drastic happening to Mary and the child could actually help John and Sherlock getting closer again, closer than ever maybe.

It is odd what a lousy friend and a lousy doctor John is in HLV in the scene when Sherlock is practically bleeding to death and John doesn't even notice. But then, considering the revelation he's just had about Mary, I can see how he would have eyes for nothing else. And it's terribly noble of Sherlock not to draw attention to his own trouble. In fact, he's being so noble all along HLV it's hardly bearable. Bless him.


Oh dearies, this thread is moving way too fast for me to keep up with all comments! Keep the good stuff coming!

For now, just a few words on the issue of the "Hero in Distress" (which I've just remembered is the official term for a pretty boy being beaten up for the sake of the audience's enjoyment).

Liberty wrote:

I'm a long-standing fan of on-screen suffering.  I just didn't realise it was quite so popular with everybody else, but you're right, we're practically brought up on it. 

Glad to hear you know what I'm talking about, even though our tastes may of course differ as to what scenario exactly pushes our personal buttons. And even we two are not alone, you know. All the more weird that hardly anyone ever talks about this, not even in the anonymity of the internet!

 

nakahara wrote:

I doubt people really watched those scenes because they like seeing somebody beaten up. Most people are not sadistic - and many viewers indeed protested that those scenes disturbed them greatly. It is a one thing to use violence as a plot device so that you can show compassion and care being offered to your hero who was a victim of it. It´s different thing altogether to have somebody cruelly abused in your story just for the sake of a cheap thrill. 

Nakahara, I think this is a misunderstanding. I don't think the fascination or thrill I was talking about is sadistic. I can only talk about myself, of course, but I don't enjoy seeing random persons suffer random forms violence. It's not the suffering in itself that is enjoyable to me. It has to take a form that enhances my appreciation and my admiration of the victim in question.

So it matters who the victim is - it must be someone I already admire, and it must be someone who's physically attractive to me. (That last point is really important. I very certainly don't get a kick out of John being abducted and beaten up all those many times throughout the series. I think it is because, although I admire his chacter, he's not at all physically attractive to me.)

It also matters what the violence is like. I certainly don't enjoy watching the sort of suffering that totally destroys the victim's dignity.

And it also matters who inflicts it, and what that person's relationship is with the victim, and whether it has any bearing on that relationship.

So it's not gratuitous at all.

It's very complex and I find it very difficult to express clearly how I feel about it. All I can say is, John hitting Sherlock in the face in that situation had all the factos I needed - it was the right victim, it was the right dose of violence (as some others have said, a nose-bleed does NOT automatically mean a broken nose!), it had a narrative purpose, illustrating and exploring the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, and it greatly enhanced my admiration of the victim because he took it so well and so patiently without ever compromising his dignity.

I hope that convinces you that I don't get a kick out of random acts of sadism...



Btw, Liberty - have you seen HLV by now? Not that you're not allowed to post your thoughts about John's character arch until you've seen it - in fact don't even think about stopping -  but I think it will change or at least modify your perception of where he's going. Make sure you check in here again and let us know once you've seen it!

Last edited by La Jolie (August 7, 2014 3:42 pm)


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Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t breathe. I’m trying to think.

 
 

August 7, 2014 4:16 pm  #40


Re: Violence at the reunion

nakahara wrote:

The next thing that I hate on that scene is that it depicts violence in a cowardly, dishonests manner, as a kind of "Hollywood violence" that has no consequences. Do you have a need to show violence to your audience? OK, but let them have a real deal - the realistically depicted wounds from such a beating, the broken nose, scars, violet and blue bruises, scratches which heal for weeks and months! 

Yes! I've been headbutted in the nose twice in my life and as a medic saw all manner of trauma to the nose, from fists to baseballs. Even if the nose wasn't broken, there was always one common denominator: two black eyes that took weeks to go away. I was always 'happy' to see in SIB that Sherlock had overnight developed a black eye after getting punched by John as that was realistic. But in TEH, the violence was 100% gratituous. It makes John look like an out of control madman and passes on the message that it's okay to hit in anger because there are no consequences.

I'll admit that I enjoy seeing scenes where the protagonist is humanized through experiencing trauma, especially when it's a character like Sherlock who so adamantly tries not be human. But the violence in the TEH has absolutely no emotional payoff and doesn't teach us anything about the character. It's like watching someone get tortured just for the sake of causing him pain and only a sadist could possibly find anything satisfying in that, I think.

I skimmed through all the posts in this thread that came in overnight and there's been a lot of good commentary on John's character in series 3. Someone, and I'm sorry for forgetting who, commented (and I know I'm really paraphrasing) that Sherlock was essentially soft and kind and human and sweet in series 3 and John became the hard nosed jerk who can't get his anger under control. That's my problem with John in this series. I miss the old John who was bemused by the Holmes brothers and was their conscience. Sherlock found his humanity in his two years away while John lost his. I don't like series 3 John and I can't imagine anything that could make me like him again from this point on. I really think he's a lost cause. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cry.png


Mary


John: That's clever. So you scratch their backs and...
Sherlock: Yes. And then disinfect myself.
 

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