"I grew up in Clovis, California. It’s a very, very Conservative, you know, Republicans everywhere type town. For as long as I can remember, one of the biggest political issues in our country currently is gay marriage and all that type of stuff… I recently went back for a visit and I still saw, even though the election was almost a year ago, there was still signs that said "Yes on Prop 8, Ban Gay Marriage" still in people’s front yards. And you know, people there weren’t just harassed when I was growing up, they were killed for being gay. So my first reaction was, "Oh my God, I’m going to be gay on network television. That’s terrifying." But now there’s been so much great material and so much hope… I was a little scared at first, but now I’m so happy and I’m so proud of the stuff that’s been on the show. I think it maybe was a way for me to rebel against that whole way, is, "Fine. You said it was wrong when I was growing up? Well now I’m gonna be that on TV and, you know, I’m probably gonna be the face for gay rights for the rest of my life!"
Tweets by @ChrisEvans over photos from my camera roll
if you say you don’t know the lyrics to at least one high school musical song then you are lying
Look at my hand. I love that hand.
How often do you get the chance to have your eyes opened? I mean, really opened. [x]
My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard. GRAVEYARD hahaha enjoy that cyanide milkshake you piece of shit
whenever we stumble on something new months after the fact (“I think it could work”) I just imagine some poor bbc intern rifling through a huge checklist and wearily being like “they found another one” and making the phone call to a gleeful steven moffat
I came up with the main lines of this meta long before I even considered doing what has been referred to as ‘joining the fandom’, i.e reading fanfic or joining tumblr. I was one of those who arrived late at the party and enjoyed the rare treat of binging on the 9 episodes for the first time in January, since I had never watched Sherlock before series 3 came out. I got swept along and, nine months in, the whirlwind is still going strong. My main interests are the Johnlock element (my interpretation of the show is very TJLC-friendly), the writers’ cunning diegetic juggling with ACD canon and their own references and agenda, and of course all the artistic/aesthetic choices made as a result. I have made a point of listening to as many interviews and podcasts as I can in order to get a clearer picture of the thinking behind the making of the show. I have also been reading a lot of the wonderful meta written by inspired Tumblr users and I am indebted to several people whom I will cite and link to as I go.
Since first seeing HLV I have always been convinced that John is lying through his teeth when he tells Mary that he hasn’t read the A.G.R.A stick despite it having been in his possession for months since Sherlock orchestrated Mary’s revelations and their confrontation. Similarly, I can’t imagine that Sherlock would refrain from curiosity (out of what? decency? politeness? Please.) when he could probably pinch it from John in under 10 minutes without him noticing. I can practically hear Moffat cackling in post-s4 interviews, going: “Do you really think the great Sherlock Holmes would sit around in his flat for months plotting again Magnussen to obtain all the data on John Watson’s wife without first reading the files she herself provided – be it to disprove everything on it within minutes?” After all, we never hear Sherlock so much as claim he wouldn’t read it. My understanding of this episode and my speculation on series 4 have mostly sprung from this idea, because it allows for interesting insight into the characters’ motivations and intentions. For some reason, however, I didn’t come across many metas where this was considered a major clue to what is to come. Please note, I’m not saying no one else has had that idea or even mentioned it in other meta posts before, just that I would have thought it would be a more prominent or recurrent feature in all the work out there. Anyway, imagine my pleasure this morning when I discovered this post by wellthengameover entitled ‘John probably read the flash-drive’. I found his/her observations on the acting and John’s character to be sound, so I decided to write up my own deductions as a follow-up and as an introduction to other points I’ve been wanting to make.
In a nutshell, my starting point is a keyword: liars. Liars, liars, liars, all of them. I will even go as far as to say that the concept of lying is one of the essential features of BBC Sherlock as a whole, on many diegetic and metatextual plans. The characters lie, the actors lie, the writers lie. It’s more than a narrative device, it’s an aesthetic. This could probably be linked to other adaptations or artistic trends, but I don’t have time here. (Somebody else do it? :) )
Let’s start with the problematic Sherlock-John-Mary trio. Just as much as their attraction to dangerous people and situations, it is their propensity to lie that unites them.
- Mary: she qualifies easily, since her whole identity is a lie. It was the one key to unlocking her character that Sherlock overlooked. Her past is a mystery, but she knows any break in her lie could ruin her life.There is ground to anticipate a second big reveal — for John especially — in which Mary does turn out to be/have been John’s sniper during the last hiatus (aka Moran as Moriarty’s henchman in some interpretations).
- John: He isn’t usually the most calculating character, but, as wellthengameover noted, that doesn’t mean that he is, in fact, an idiot. He has to be lying about the USB stick because there is simply no reason for him not to be. He is generally an avoidant character in terms of his own feelings, but this would be utter blindness to danger, which I am unwilling to expect from him. We know that John is far from a saint (he kills a man in the first episode, dammit), which is pretty much what he would have to be to forgive Mary’s actions. If Sherlock doesn’t know, then John is deliberately lying to him as well, for what would be the first time (more on that in the next post). To that we can, of course, add John’s shared responsibility for the elephant’s presence in the room since ASiP: “If anyone out there still cares, I am not gay!” etc. This is more of a lie by omission (“I’m not gay” as opposed to “I don’t have a raging crush on my flatmate”) as well as a lie to himself (“the only thing I know about myself is that I’m not gay so I’ll cling to that instead of asking myself the right questions”).
- Sherlock: easily the most prolific liar in the trio if we count Mary’s as one big lie. He presents himself as a ‘high-functioning sociopath’ as a facade for his unwillingness to face his emotions. There’s a reason for his revulsion toward ‘sentiment’, and it’s none other than good ol’ self-hatred. It is easy for him to feign indifference at people’s insinuations about John and himself under the pretence that ‘it doesn’t concern him’ but really, he doesn’t want to have to deal, guys. I have to mention the obvious enormous lie of TRF as well, though it has been covered abundantly in THE – and fanfiction. Then we have a nice little collection of lies, including his relationship to Janine, the Christmas dinner as a cover for ‘operation Appledore’, and quite possibly the USB stick. His final lie to John, though, is his cryptic delivery of his full name during the tarmc scene. It’s a lie wrapped in truth about Sherlock’s identity: “You could have me but I can’t be the one to tell you that, so you can have my name instead. Yes, my first name is William, like Shakespeare. Did you know that Shakespeare’s parents were called John and Mary? By the way, are you sure it’s a girl?”… What can we deduce about his heart indeed?
With such an impressive curriculum, it is almost ironic that Mary ends up being the one labelled ‘liar in chief’!
Now, beyond the diegetic level, we have the cast and writers. Before going into this one, I must say that, though I thoroughly enjoy reading/hearing their inventing responses to the fan’s pressing questions, I do not envy the constant secrecy they have to live with in order to keep the show going. It must be particularly hard for the actors, who are in the spotlight under constant scrutiny whilst doubtlessly being the best-informed in the lot about plans for series 4. It must be draining for them to strip their comments of anything that could be interpreted as a clue… Thankfully, they don’t always succeed. Now, I don’t think I need to convince anyone that our favourite genial bicephal puppet-master, aka Moftiss, is as full of shit – may I redirect you to loudestsubtextintelevision’s 'lying liars' tag for instance – as any of my Master's assignments (see how I dodged the scatological imagery there you're welcome). They will gleefully lie about plotlines and the homoerotic innuendos that define Sherlock and John's relationship, so much so that it has become a trope in the BBC Sherlock fandom on equal footing with otters, umbrellas and other purple shirts. They lie (or refuse to answer) because they have to lie (as Moffat has said before, who an earth gives the trick away before they've played it?), but also because there is more at stake than criminals and cases: the real punchline will come from John and Sherlock's relationship. Or at least, like many, I genuinely consider this to be the cleverest and most impactful way of ending such a good show. No one can guess what form the punchline will take, but after all this is “a story about a detective, not a detective story” (popular quote, Moffat's words, I heard it in a podcast that I need to find again before I add a reference). It is the story of two exceptional people and their unconventional journey with and toward each other, written by two snarky romantics who also happen to know a good thing or two about subtext.
The purpose of the above rambling is to highlight the fact that detecting lies is a good way to look at series 3 and speculate about series 4. The writers’ task is immense at this point: give us a really unexpected plot twist as well as a perfectly logical explanation for the mess we’re left with at the end of series 3 – and one which, in my eyes, should leave the possibility of a Johnlock endgame open, at that. In the next post, I will propose a global speculative solution based on these guidelines and I look forward to people’s reactions.
so i remember a post a while back about les mis rewritten with fob songs
enjolras singing “some legends are told, some turn turn to dust or to gold, but you will remember me, remember for centuries. and just one mistake is all it will take, we’ll go down in history, remember me for centuries” at the guard
and grantaire in the back singing “you’re a cherry blossom, you’re about to bloom, you look so pretty but you’re gone so soon” to him