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My Problems With Sherlock

Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:00 by Ali Plumb in Small Screen
My Problems With Sherlock

Back at uni, I studied the Sherlock Holmes stories as part of a module on Crime Literature. Raffles The Gentleman Thief was also on the reading list, as were Father Brown, Lord Peter Wimsey, Poirot and Miss Marple. If you consider yourself a Sherlock fan, I heartily recommend them all, especially Lord Peter Wimsey. Start with The Nine Tailors, you won’t regret it.

I'm not calling myself an expert here – far from it – but I mention all this because although I’ve studied Conan Doyle's work, I don’t think of myself as a Holmes purist, and I genuinely enjoy the new Guy Ritchie films and the Moffat / Gatiss TV shows. This includes the latest episode, A Scandal In Belgravia, which despite the problems I mention below, I genuinely did enjoy. But after looking forward to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return for so long, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed – even though, as I say, I did enjoy the show very much.

I think it’s mainly a change in tone from the previous series that jarred with me a bit. This is a far more confident, far more accomplished, far, well, camper show compared to the first season: full of naked torsos, knowing nods and Moriarty blowing raspberries at Big Ben. But there are also plotholes and odd moments and clunky bits of dialogue here and there that remind me that though this new Sherlock is good, it’s not the “worth the licence fee alone” triumph that many critics are heralding it as.

Essentially, what I’m offering up here is a bubble-bursting exercise. I’m not saying A Scandal In Belgravia isn’t great, but there are cracks in its apparently perfect veneer. Some will accuse me of over-analysing things, but I feel Messrs Moffat and Gatiss know that's par for the course with something so inherently analytical in of itself. 

So without any further ado, here's a quick (and admittedly preposterous) list of what wound me up a bit. In the TV show I genuinely enjoyed. Honest.

Also: spoilers ahead.

  • At the very beginning, Moriarty gets a phonecall from Irene and suddenly the elaborate Mexican standoff / cliffhanger from the last episode is over. I call cop-out. There. I said it.
  • The thing that killed the hiker was… a boomerang? That bounced off his bonce and into the river? There are many ludicrous things in the previous episodes – Janus Cars, anyone? – and there are many more in the original stories… but a boomerang? Really?
  • The deerstalker is, of course, a hat-tip (Ithankyow) to the public image of Sherlock, where he’s more often than not depicted wearing just that hat. Part of the joke is that there’s no mention of Sherlock wearing such a hat in the original stories, but I felt this was a touch too much. For some weird reason, I know. Turn away from the screen for a second and suddenly: there’s a deerstalker on his head. Photographs in the Guardian. Boom.
  • I loved the blogging aspect, but did the initial 1895 hits over eight hours – I think it was eight hours, anyway – strike anyone else as… not that much? Consider he’s becoming the media’s darling and all, I felt a Twitter push would have easily nudged them into the five digits mark. #obligatoryhashtagjoke #onlyreallymentionedtomakesaidhashtagjoke
  • Why was Sherlock asked by Mycroft to get the photos off Irene? He's an amazing detective, but getting a dominatrix to hand over her phone doesn't actually seem that worthy of his talents... at first, anyway.
  • When the code to the safe is revealed by “tapping” the camera and the numbers appearing, couldn’t it be left at that? Having Irene tip backwards out a window after revealing the digits corresponded to her vital statistics felt a little blunt. I thought it was nice they weren’t giving it away and then… they do. Shame, I say!
  • What phone has a “I AM ____ LOCKED” bar? And can anyone put letters into their phone passcode? I’m aware this is a phone with explosive devices in it, so really, what the hell, but still...
  • In the morgue, how did the master of deduction not realise the faked body of Irene wasn’t actually Irene?
  • What the who the how did the Bond plane thing work again? Wouldn’t the terrorists / everyone know they were all dead already – even with fake IDs? What family of what dead person would endorse this idea, before or after the event? This is all explained furiously quickly in the show, and without rewinding it, I challenge anyone to get it straight away.
  • And if Moriarty’s such a clever man – and he really is – and Sherlock could work out the "Bond Plane" seating code in a few seconds, why didn’t Irene just ask Moriarty to crack it instead?
  • The rug pull ending, showing a dressed-up Sherlock swinging a scimitar at the texting Irene’s head, was fantastic. It was also utterly ludicrous.

Things I did enjoy very much included the amazing camerawork – especially the guy-who-looked-like-Barry-from-Eastenders flipping upside-down and into a car bit – Watson and Holmes’s sparring, the charm, the wit, the feeling that you know everyone involved is having the time of their lives... Plus, the music was also excellent, as were the locations, the sets, the design. Cumberbatch and Freeman were also on top form, and Moriarty continues to be joyfully nuts.

On a side note, I'd personally have preferred it if Irene was set up as another intellectual foil to Sherlock, but with the added element of sexual chemistry – rather than an actual, proper love interest she became at the end. But that's no big deal, I know.

Anyway, despite all the good bits, did the not-so-good bits nag anyone else? Or is it just me, all jaded and cynical, who can’t just sit back and enjoy the thing for what it's worth? Does the occasional moment of over-confidence, Doctor Who-ish campness and clever-clever winks to camera ruin it, or just scuff it a bit? I guess it’s putting things on a pedestal – there’s no way the show could ever really live up to my expectations.

Still, let me know what you think. Were there any other moments that stuck in your craw? Or was it all good ol’ fashioned fun? I need to know. In the comment box below. Like, now.

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Comments

1 adambatman82
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:51
"I loved the blogging aspect, but did 1895 hits over eight hours – I think it was eight hours, anyway – strike anyone else as… not that much?"

Wasn't that an actual plot point tho? It was deliberately stuck at 1895 wasn't it?

2 Dr Quinzel
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:54
First let it be said that, like Ali, I love Sherlock. But I know what you mean - that episode had some cracks. I think they knew that the original Scandal in Bohemia didn't have quite enough twists and turns to pad out an hour and a half of Holmes being a genius, so the terrorist plane thing was tacked on to add more suspense and a bigger mystery. It never felt like more than an after-thought though.

They'd have been better off ignoring any sort of twisty-turny mystery and just focus on it being a game of cat and mouse between Sherlock and Irene, which was clearly the part of the episode that Moffat enjoyed writing the most anyway.

Got to be said though, despite the flaws it was still the best directed and acted show on TV in ages. Martin Freeman was especially brilliant, I thought.

3 thisiscarlijn
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:57
I appreciated the boomerang, and the 'I am Locked' thing (even though it's not realistic)'. But I agree there's something different about the attitude of this episode. It was a bit too confident. And indeed, how on earth did Sherlock not know it wasn't Irene in the morgue? I mean, it's like the oldest trick in the book, use a dead body with a beaten up face so nobody can really identify it, so you can disappear. And the line 'I know what he likes'? That only worked once, it was boring second time round.
Still, it was a fantastic episode. The show's still very original.

4 kinge247
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:58
I loved the bit where Holmes saved Irene from the terrorists, I think I may have exclaimed an audible "Yay" at that.

They explained the Bond plane didn't they, all the bodies had been secreted away and the families were told they couldnt see them as per the 2 little girls and the man with the ashes. They were all given fake id's so no one would have been missed and the terrorists would have been none the wiser.

I really loved it and completely went with the fantasy of it all. I think you are what you said, jaded and cynical.

5 paulstanton
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:59
Jaded and cynical I'm afraid (I can't deduce if you are in fact lonely and/or grumpy from just this post).
Have read a few reviews and heard several people speak about the episode and nearly everyone has been the same, loved it....but.
Why bother with the but?
It's as if everyone has to have an opinion (yes I know!) and the last word, just let it be, if you did indeed enjoy it then surely it has done it's job and by trying to find fault you are undoing everything that worked to give you that enjoyment.

6 Dr Quinzel
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 11:59
Re. the 1895 thing - yes, the sheer weight of traffic caused his blog to stay on that count.

I wondered if it was a reference, perhaps to the publication of the original A Scandal in Bohemia, but sadly not. That was in 1891.

And yes, no-one's phone actually says I am ___ locked. But come on - who didn't smile at that ridiculous, camp reveal?

7 chola1
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:00
Loved it. like Doctor Who, just good tv entertainment. and as for words as passcode on your phone, you can. I do and it's....oh, you sneaky thing you!!!

8 Mijacogeo
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:00
I enjoyed it a lot but agree that there were definitely elements that didn't quite work. The whole plot with the plane was totally beyond me, they explained it so quickly I didn't quite follow it. How were they going to fly it? Remote control or something?

Also (and this may just be me remembering it incorrectly) but didn't Irene text Sherlock 'Mantlepiece', guiding him to the phone? That she apparently just text him with as his phone made the familiar noise identified with her number. I'm not a Martin Freeman fan but I do love his John and felt that he was a bit lacking in this ep as it focused more on Sherlock and Irene.

I've never been a fan of people's desire to turn Irene into a love interest as there is no indication of such in the book, but I think they handled their interaction quite well. But I also agree that it seems very far-fetched that Sherlock didn't see through the battered body of 'Irene'.

And the whole 'Moriarty blowing a raspberry' bit really rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, he's pretty damned nuts but he's not juvenile. It just seemed very misplaced to me.

9 baranzoral
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:03
I loved the show, I believe you are overthinking about the episode. I don't know if it's because you studied criminal literature and Sherlock Holmes specifically or you are just hypercritical.

*Deerstalker hat lying around in the house is not common but I think it goes with Mrs. Hudsons age and style (house wise)

*and I believe Sherlock was aware of the duplicate body not being Adler's, he just didn't want to lose the upper hand by letting her know he knows (things just got complicated)

Overall, it's a brillant piece of television work with marvelous acting and cracking script.

Baran, istanbul

10 TCharles
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:13
Asides from Irene's fake out with the dead body I didn't have an issue with the rest of the episode. My thoughts on some of you other issues are as follows:

1. The counter was stuck on 1895 as a reference to 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes', which was published in that year. And more importantly contains the famous Reichenbach Falls ending; which is where (going by episode three's title) this series will end.

2. Personalising a phone layout with 'I AM ---- LOCKED' is hardly beyond the realms of possibility, and they did a good job of slowing bringing in the idea that it might not just be numerals Irene would use, by initially trying '221B'.

3. Irene's safe code is something most people would have missed if she didn't give us that slight bit of exposition. The numbers are up fleetingly, and I think most men wouldn't have understood it if they had caught the numbers. It's just one of those things were not that likely to know. Or maybe that's just me?

4. The deerstalker thing... Really not an issue. It was a fun throw-away gag, and it's more than excusable as a prop in a theatre.

11 Wrath
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:14
Great article. Some thoughts:

1. Yeah, bit of a cop out. Or Moriarty's tacit admission that Holmes shooting the bomb was unbeatable.
2. It's far fetched, like the best Holmes stories.
3. As in most Theatres, costumes are lying around everywhere. It was perfectly reasonable to find the hats there.
4. Bit nitpicky?
5. Same reason that, in the book, the King asks Holmes to go to Adler. It's Holmes, he's the best. Straight from the source material. In fact, Mycroft's hope to avoid the Secret Services lends weight to it.
6. Most of the audience hadn't figured it out, so alienating them would be frustrating. In the books, Holmes always lays everything out, as does his culprits. This was quite elegant, because it's a killer way to reveal it as she exits. Speaks to the fact that Holmes is not as asexual as we had thought, and Watson, learns that too. He knew where to look after all.
7. Yes, it was weird. Body massively mangled? Even still, he should have known.
8. The family members would not consent to the bodies being used. They were stolen. Holmes' early cases were informed by that, but he missed it. Of course, the terrorists would never know that everyone was dead. Mycroft would have had the plane with a full manifest, and plenty of bio material after the explosion to provide "victims". Given how stage managed it all was, it's reasonable to infer he would have continued to fudge the ID process later, and the country would mourn Aliases with fake histories etc. The terrorists believe they have struck a blow for their cause, Mycroft gets to continue to listen in on their chatter. When it gets blown, of course the terrorists switch codes, and Mycroft is frozen out. Moriarty, clever that he is, may well have seen a code and tried to break it. Holmes' ability to see the plane seats speaks to his own exprience and training. An analysis of the mundane as well as the brilliant. That served him well there.

9. Yeah, but it's cool

12 artilleryman
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 12:56
Not as great as the highs of the first series, I grant you -- but still better than the meh second episode of such. But still a glorious triumph compared to the travesties that are the Guy Ritchie films -- which are Sherlock Holmes pretty much in name only.

13 loafroaster
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 13:14
Why does everyone tear Richie's version(s) to shreds, but gush uncontrollably about its telly counterpart?

Granted I haven't seen any of the previous season, but "A Scandal In Belgravia" contained as much (if not more) fight scenes, bromance banter and chaotic editing and camera trickery as either of the films. It even ripped off the 'inside Sherlock's mind' trick as he studied people from Richie's version, which I think came first.

That said, I enjoy both!

14 Wrath
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 13:42
Loafroaster,

Sherlock was knee deep in production when Ritchie's movie came out, so no ripping off involved. For what it's worth, I find those movies perfectly fine.

15 mjbeeds
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 16:41
got to say i find the moriarty character in the series laughable, i just cant take his shrieking and overacting seriously.
It may just be me but my idea of sherlocks ultimate cerebral equal is not widow twanky

16 loafroaster
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 16:46
True, Moriarty's performance belongs in the overacting paradise that is Doctor Who, not Sherlock.

17 HBK_nWo33
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 17:50
"And can anyone put letters into their phone passcode?"
Yes, the iPhone does allow this by deselecting the simple passcode option. It doesn't bring up the four boxes though like it does with the simple number password, but it worked for the episode.

18 TheMovieAddict101
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 18:11
I think you, Mr. Plumb, has probaby read into it a bit too much. As for the television series being miles better than the films with Downey Junior et al, the problems you highlight don't really seem like major gaping plot-holes. Agreed, the boomerang death was stupid, and the whole I AM ___LOCKED aspect was explained in the story, but apart from that, your problems only come across as someone attempting to find holes in something successful. It was indeed, a Mr. Plumb that wrote about the problems with Harry Potter, so is that mere coincidence, or a man resentful of success?

19 Frakin_Toaster
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 18:24
Moriaty and Holmes, in this incarnation, are all about 'the game'. From Moriaty's comments about both Holmes boys ["the Ice-Man and the Virgin" and Adler employing his 'consulting criminal' status free of charge] you can see he gets off on the watching the Holmes’s run around solving his puzzles. This is a leap (but a logical one) from the original stories where there is mutual admiration between the characters.
I personally like Moriaty's pantomime faces and crazy falsetto voices. It makes him all the more creepy, intimidating and, oddly, charming. And, quite honestly, his ringtone is so awesome it makes up for any other inconsistencies or grievances anyone might have.
Also, the 1895 thingybob is a hat-tip (ithankyow) to the first publication date. I really rather enjoyed the 'campness and the clever winks to camera'. The deerstalker and flat cap bit had me giggling away as did Watson's Playful blog titles, 'Speckled Blonde' and 'Geek Interpreter'. Yes, Moffat, Gatiss et al are having a laugh but it's done with a genuine love of the original literature - and it shows.
I agree with the ‘I AM ____ LOCKED’ bit being a little far-fetched... And yet, it didn’t stop a screen cap of this being my new Holmes avatar. Just watched the trailer for the Hounds of Baskerville today and I can’t wait.

20 Frakin_Toaster
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 18:25
Moriaty and Holmes, in this incarnation, are all about 'the game'. From Moriaty's comments about both Holmes boys ["the Ice-Man and the Virgin" and Adler employing his 'consulting criminal' status free of charge] you can see he gets off on the watching the Holmes’s run around solving his puzzles. This is a leap (but a logical one) from the original stories where there is mutual admiration between the characters.
I personally like Moriaty's pantomime faces and crazy falsetto voices. It makes him all the more creepy, intimidating and, oddly, charming. And, quite honestly, his ringtone is so awesome it makes up for any other inconsistencies or grievances anyone might have.
Also, the 1895 thingybob is a hat-tip (ithankyow) to the first publication date. I really rather enjoyed the 'campness and the clever winks to camera'. The deerstalker and flat cap bit had me giggling away as did Watson's Playful blog titles, 'Speckled Blonde' and 'Geek Interpreter'. Yes, Moffat, Gatiss et al are having a laugh but it's done with a genuine love of the original literature - and it shows.
I agree with the ‘I AM ____ LOCKED’ bit being a little far-fetched... And yet, it didn’t stop a screen cap of this being my new Holmes avatar. Just watched the trailer for the Hounds of Baskerville today and I can’t wait.

21 joeSD95
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 18:37
personally as someone who was more than a little...well....disgusted when I first heard that my dearest stories were being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century- I personally found this episode to be absolutely faultless. Though I acknowledge your points, simply nothing is absolutely perfect and I find the fact that you felt the need to do this to be a compliment to the show- through, no less, human obsession with nothing possibly being as good as it is made out to be. The simple fact is that the episode was infinitely enjoyable, and that's all that really counts in any entertainment at the end of the day. HOWEVER- Sherlock appearing in Yemen was weird, though I like to think that it was his personal fantasy made subtle for those who wished to really believe a fairy-tale walk into the sunset ending.

22 Porter
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 20:12
Ali, I agree - there was something astray with this episode.I can't really eleborate more than that - it's hard to quantify a feeling - but something was different and your points certainly covered aspects of my disappoinment. Still enjoyed it, but the 1st series left me needing more. This series, so far, left me not that bothered (especially as that woeful bloke from Being Human is in the Baskerville episode, which should've been THE episode). It's a shame, because there's not much must-see TV on these days. Shame to lose another one. Still, winter is coming...in April.

23 nclowe
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 22:40
Personally I loved the episode. Sure the tone was different from S1 but in my view thats not a bad thing. S1 was about John and Sherlock meeting and gradually developing the strong friendship seen in most of the other Holmes adapations; S2 starts by skipping merrily along months at a time to the point of the friendship being well established and overall...more confident.

Irene Adler was a fun and entertaining character, very well introduced into the series and I cant wait to see her again...most likely I'm guessing in Ep3. *fingers crossed*

I was entertained fully for the whole 90mins (S2 bluray was pre-ordered straight after the ep ended!) and cant wait for next weeks episode - cant remember the last series on BBC I have awaited this eagerly!

24 Mike Sutherland
Posted on Thursday January 5, 2012, 23:17
I think because it was so eagerly anticipated, I found it hard not to love. I found myself laughing at every reference to other Homles stories, as well as the attention to detail used within the episode. But as an earlier comment highlighted I feel as if they struggled to contain the episode, as like the others it filled the hour and a half time frame, but failed to do so in such a gripping way as its predecessors. Not to say that I didnt enjoy the episode, just that the original story would have failed to compete and as such I think that the writers may have tried a little to hard to impress, with more twists and foreshadowing than was necesarry.That is the only possible negative I can find.. I thought Moriarty was still brilliantly overzealous and camp, Holmes and Adler's relationship throughout added depth, and im looking forward to the next episode.

25 elsquig
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 00:42
i loved it. you chaps think to much. be like water.

26 acertree
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 14:29
OK now do that level of nit picking with the Guy Ritchie film. I think you'll have a blog entry the size of the bible.

27 Mopictures
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 15:28
I thought it was not only great, but consistently on top form.

In fact it was so good I almost felt it was probably the reason that this years Doctor Who Christmas special felt a little lazy in places (All alien technology can be remote controlled by people's tie-in-plot-emotions, SHAZAM!), Moffatt obviously needed all his brainy brilliance focused on this episode.

My only problem was Irene Adler's measurements - I can see why Moffatt did it, it's a good cheeky gag. My problem was that I was convinced that the combination to the safe was tattooed (or in some inscribed) close to adjacent to irene's private parts. The reason I thought this was they'd actually made a point of showing that everyone everyone (including Watson) would instinctively look anywhere BUT there when confronted by a naked woman - Holmes however has no such skittishness. It's a more racy (dare I say it, grown-up) idea, sure, but actually would make more sense as a deliberate "clue" to test Holmes by Adler.

I mean, Sherlock can actually measure someone accurately with his eyes? Surely we're getting into Commander Data territory here?

Oh well, I'm probably just peeved because I thought I'd figured it out and so then felt foolish (and a little dirty, haha!).

28 Stalla
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 15:32
There's no way I would've figured out that the safe code was her measurements - am I just thick? If she didn't mention it it not only would have bugged me but it would've felt like a big hole of missing information.

Also, on the not recognising it wasn't Irene - I assumed there was something up with her face, like really burnt/mangled but other than that, her measurements matched Irene's. That said I guess for Sherlock it would have been odd to have not noticed a single distinguishing feature on her body when he first met here.

On the other stuff, people have addressed these points already. While I agree with the first point much of the rest seems beyond nitpicky.

29 kgrant
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 17:07
I think the hit-counter being stuck at 1895 may have been a reference to the last stanza of Vincent Starrett's famous poem, '221b':

A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.

A lot of the episode seemed to be based on Billy Wilder's 1970 film 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes', inc. the joke that Holmes gets saddled with the deerstalker as part of his 'public image'. Lara Pulver's Irene owes much to Illsa von Hoffmanstahl from that movie (esp. the final scene) and so does the bitchy Mycroft and his secret plot.

Incidentally, the deerstalker DOES appear in the original ACD stories -- it is described as Holmes' 'cloth-eared travelling cap' in Silver Blaze, so he did own one!

30 cardbordfish
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 18:21
I thought it was awesome. But nothing's perfect, so why pull all the awesomeness apart by mentioning things that if you're just watching for pure enjoyment (which you should be as that's the whole point), you don't even really notice or think about it? There is a lot of terrible television that deserves criticising, so why pick out miniscule things from a programme you actually really liked?

31 Twihard12
Posted on Friday January 6, 2012, 20:22
For the point about Bond Air- the whole point of a bomb on a plane is that the bomb blows up ON THE PLANE, i.e. in midair, with no survivors, be they bodies or passports. Also, this is MYCROFT we're talking about. This guy is an umbrella-toting, cake-eating, 221b-bugging, brother-nagging menace.

But I love him really :)

32 kath_a90
Posted on Saturday January 7, 2012, 10:09
I agree whole heartedly. Loved the series but was very disappointed in the episode. Am now dreeding Irene's return as opposed to looking forward to it like I have done in past adaptations. Oh well hound of the baskervilles soon lets hope it gets back to form.

33 fmonson
Posted on Saturday January 7, 2012, 10:35
Absolutely love it but has no one else questioned how Irene apparently texted Sherlock on her original phone on the final scene even though it had already been seized?

34 dannyfletch
Posted on Saturday January 7, 2012, 10:56
I really enjoyed A Scandal In Belgravia and found it to be the most entertaining episode yet and a very promising start to season 2. I think you have over thought this and just need to relax and enjoy.

35 jordieb
Posted on Saturday January 7, 2012, 14:31
to a certain extent this episode did feel a little cocky
but for pure entertainment value the points that have been picked up on can be noted and then ignored, because it is genuinely entertaining stuff and I look forward to seeing their interpretation of hound of the baskervilles this weekend.

36 Peachsilk
Posted on Saturday January 7, 2012, 23:30
To 33: fmonson... The phone which was seized was her 'camera phone', which was referred to quite specifically throughout the episode and is what she stores her photographs / potential scandals on. She keeps it in a safe and has "permanently disabled any kind of uplink or connection". She doesn't use it as a phone at all and has another mobile which she uses to text Sherlock.

37 evila_elf
Posted on Sunday January 8, 2012, 08:28
The boomerang bit bothered me as well as Sherlock not being able to recognize Irene.
My theory on Irene's body: I think Sherlock really did know all along. But he was playing it up because he wanted John to not leave for his New Year's family visit.

I thought the I AM LOCKED bit was a little weird, but the fact that most shows can't replicate site info, they had to change it. Notice how webpages are always an odd replica of Google?

One of my newest nit picks is the poor editing while Sherlock played the Violin. I had read that Benedict had training and all this work that went into him playing in time to the music. All that lost.

As far as Irene giving Sherlock the code to transcribe, wouldn't it be more fun for Sherlock to be the one ruining (however unintentional) his brother's plans?

All that being said, I have watched the first ep of series 2 8 times and am looking forward to seeing the next episode.
Oh, and I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes movies as well. I love the slow motion in that and in the series. Makes me happy ^_^

38 cradleofcivilization
Posted on Sunday January 8, 2012, 10:20
I agree that the start was a cop-out (although they set themselves up for that, Moriarty had trapped them in an impossible). However, in the books Moriarty has an extrme respect for Holmes, and enjoys the challenge of going up against him, so may have wanted him to stay alive for his own amusement. Alongside the recent Great Expectations and The Killing, it's the best thing on TV.

39 Big Stevie
Posted on Sunday January 8, 2012, 19:32
Just a few observations -
It's TV - not anything more or less
It's entertainment - definitely!
Get over yourself!

40 dreamdragon
Posted on Sunday January 8, 2012, 23:15
I can forgive the boomerang because Sherlock gets the unsolvable cases. It’s just math-which he would get one weird case eventually and that worth telling right? I can forgive the beginning where the phone call stops the standoff. We all have to answer to somebody. I can forgive the ending because of the line “It would take Sherlock to trick me” (or something like that) but I can’t forgive that fucking big Ben blow. That pissed me off. And still pisses me of and will continue to piss me off unless he does it again for a reason. And it better be a fucking good reason. We all have are character traits…

41 Dr Science
Posted on Monday January 9, 2012, 08:59
Last night's Baskerville epsiode was utter cack - mishandled and misjudged in almost every single possible way. I thought the second episode of the first run was awful too but they pulled it back on track for the final episode - so I hope the same things happens in this series. Roll on (over?) Reichenbach Falls.

42 Underdog
Posted on Monday January 9, 2012, 10:31
No one seems to have mentioned Cummerbunds dreadful miming whilst playing the Violin, that jarred more than anything...

43 HippyMidget
Posted on Monday January 9, 2012, 12:01
I agree with many things you've pointed out, I also felt an indefinable sense of disappointment at the first new episode - maybe because the first series was just So good, it was difficult to reach my expectations.
The boomerang death was absolutely ridiculous. How hard had that man thrown the thing?? Surely if it was flying towards him with enough force to kill him then even if he'd caught it it would've sliced his fingers off. I also disliked the Irene-solving-the-puzzle aspect of that scene; it felt like an after-thought, an attempt to show she had brains as well as body, but there had already been too much emphasis on the sexual side so it was too little, too late in my opinion.
By the way, I did figure out that the safe code referred to her measurements so revealing it did feel a bit clunky and obvious, but maybe that's just because I'm female.
The ending was also ludicrous, and again revealed in a clunky way - as soon as Moriarty said something along the lines of "She was beheaded and I don't think Holmes was on hand" I just Knew he would be. It felt like cheap panto! "Holmes won't save her!" "Oh yes he will!" So it was no surprise when he turned up inexplicably, it was just groan-worthy.
Despite these niggles I'm going to stick with the series, because s1 was excellent and I hope for a return to that form.

44 HippyMidget
Posted on Monday January 9, 2012, 12:03
**Mycroft, not Moriarty. Damn those M's! =)

45 markster
Posted on Tuesday January 10, 2012, 15:15
It's just you, mate.

46 DMeister
Posted on Wednesday January 11, 2012, 00:40
Sorry Empire but I thought that the following was pretty much nit-picking for my taste

- At the very beginning, Moriarty gets a phonecall from Irene and suddenly the elaborate Mexican standoff / cliffhanger from the last episode is over. I call cop-out. There. I said it.
-The thing that killed the hiker was… a boomerang? That bounced off his bonce and into the river? There are many ludicrous things in the previous episodes – Janus Cars, anyone? – and there are many more in the original stories… but a boomerang? Really?
-The deerstalker is, of course, a hat-tip (Ithankyow) to the public image of Sherlock, where he’s more often than not depicted wearing just that hat. Part of the joke is that there’s no mention of Sherlock wearing such a hat in the original stories, but I felt this was a touch too much. For some weird reason, I know. Turn away from the screen for a second and suddenly: there’s a deerstalker on his head. Photographs in the Guardian. Boom.
-I loved the blogging aspect, but did the initial 1895 hits over eight hours – I think it was eight hours, anyway – strike anyone else as… not that much? Consider he’s becoming the media’s darling and all, I felt a Twitter push would have easily nudged them into the five digits mark. #obligatoryhashtagjoke #onlyreallymentionedtomakesaidhashtagjoke
-When the code to the safe is revealed by “tapping” the camera and the numbers appearing, couldn’t it be left at that? Having Irene tip backwards out a window after revealing the digits corresponded to her vital statistics felt a little blunt. I thought it was nice they weren’t giving it away and then… they do. Shame, I say!
-What phone has a “I AM ____ LOCKED” bar? And can anyone put letters into their phone passcode? I’m aware this is a phone with explosive devices in it, so really, what the hell, but still...


47 Ella19
Posted on Sunday January 15, 2012, 20:03
I have to say I agree with some of the original article. Mostly my problem with the first episode was the style/tone - it tried to be clever, but in fact it didn't seem very clever at all, once you started to think about it. For example, the whole thing with the plane and bodies was (as another post mentions) over in a trice, and felt as if it had been borrowed from the pile of plots discarded from the Spooks writers' brainstorming sessions... a bit too lame to work in a "realistic" show, but ok for Sherlock. Irene Adler was a bit ridiculous... and what was with all the question marks as Holmes was trying to "read" her when she first walked in? Her lack of clothes would surely not render him incapable of making any observations about her. Instead, he could have been thinking "hair clearly professionally styled, expensive make-up, body suggests takes Pilates classes" etc. (not that I was looking close enough to tell from the tv, but surely he could have!). And then when he describes her to herself, he starts with "clearly born in the 80s...", now, I would hate to find fault, but that is a little generous for someone with Holmes's searing observation skills and lack of feeling, considering that even without hi-definition I could see more wrinkles than the average 20-something would have! Ok, yes, if she was born in 1980 she could be 32, but still "the 80s" would tend to suggest Holmes thought she was younger - which she isn't (yes I admit I looked up her age on IMDB!).
Well I don't want to be ungenerous to a series that everyone seems to love so I'll leave it at that... I'll have to see a couple more episodes to decide if I like the series or not. Both Sherlock movies, by the way, I loved - great fun, which is what they're meant to be; I'm sure there are plenty of holes but the films have heart and that wins for me. Plus RDJ is a lot more fun to watch than Cummerbund (I'm going to call him that from now on, thanks Underdog!).

48 loretta27
Posted on Friday January 20, 2012, 16:07
SPOILERS!

Yes, there were that annoyed, or 'scuffed', as you put it, but it was all still enjoyable and I happi;y watched every episode. Ep 2 by comparison to eps 1 & 3 was a bit of a letdown, but may have doubled as a convaluted clue to the final scenes of ep 3, where Benedict's flawless Sherlock appears to jump/die and Martin's brilliant Watson is distraught...I had a leap of suspicion when Watson was knocked over by the cyclist. Time to be infected with fear serum or just a conveniant distraction??

Anyways, the bits that leapt out at me for annoying ep1 bits are definitely the cop-out/letdown opening that seemed to be resolved WAAAY too quickly/easily.

Sherlock being distraught at Irene dead body was supposed to convince the audience that she was actually dead, but why kill off such an intriguing (FEMALE) character/protagonist so soon? That never quite rang true, and while the "The rug pull ending, showing a dressed-up Sherlock swinging a scimitar at the texting Irene’s head, was fantastic", was a real punch-the-air moment, but stupendously nonsensical.

I've learnt, being a fan of Dr. Who, that it's really much better to never over think it - not least because you'll probably injure yourself in the process - but to just try and relax and let it all sweep you along.

The final episode, however, felt like it was beautifully judged, and balanced more outlandish elements with fabulous acting and seemless storytelling.

Bravo everyone!

Ps: I love how Molly was 'allowed' to be included more in Sherlock's vastly obnoxious genius and that heartbreaking smacked puppy scene she's given in ep1 where Sherlock actually apologises AND does so sincerely! Even Watson was shocked.

49 Hellogirl
Posted on Friday February 1, 2013, 20:47
I admit, I sometimes get a sleepless night after a film or TV show makes me feel aroused. OK, I am blushing. It happened with this show, too. I notice a pattern - the more nonsense, the more excitement. Another example of stupid plot turning me on was "Lost in Austen" or (blushing even more) Coppolas "Dracula". Maybe, if the plot is not logical, I turn it around in my head for longer ? I wonder if it is just me, or do other people work the same way ?
But, yes, You are right, this episode makes no sense at all from the logical point of view. And, yes, it is a shame. Because the whole point of the Sherlock Holmes character is a celebration of logic. A similar disappointment was the season 4 of "Breaking Bad" with that preposterous "lilly of the walley" thing, and, since there was no erotic tension that could be enhanced by the stupidity of the plot, I stopped watching that one entirely.

Back to Sherlock. I managed to patch up the plot-hole about Holmes not recognizing the body is not from Irene. Maybe he did know it was not her, but did not want ruin her scheme.
But the acurate body measurements just by eye - come on !
And how come the corpses on the plane were not decomposing by the end of the show ?
And how did Sherlock travel to Iran without anybody noticing ?

(Btw, I asked my boyfriend if he would recognize me just from the body. He suggested for me to check it out. He would like me to throw a party and alternate with my naked girl-friends before his observant eyes, to see if bodies differ sufficiently !!!)

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