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S02.E23: Art in the Blood

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I liked this episode a lot, especially with the canon references. Mycroft saying "I am British Intelligence" was almost as good as the line in the books that Mycroft sometimes is the British government. Sherlock continues to belittle Mycroft and not believe that he could be intelligent. But at least he was willing to say that Mycroft is being framed, instead of actually being an evil guy. Possibly Sherlock just thinks that Mycroft is too dumb to have committed the murder and treason.

 

Why do they keep mentioning Ms. Hudson if she's not going to be onscreen? Is she not going to discover the drugs in the books until next season? Phooey.

 

I liked Mrs. West, and it made me hope that finally FINALLY this show is going to have Holmes take more private clients instead of always working the police cases. I like Gregson and Bell, but they don't have to be in every case. I don't want Sherlock to work for MI6, though, because there's too much chance it will end up in weird drone territory again. Also it may just be my knowledge of the books, but the character names they used (from "The Bruce-Partington Plans") made me suspicious. If they throw in some Hugo Oberstein and Pierrot, I'll be expecting a submarine somewhere.

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I find Joan and Mycroft to be visually mismatched, while she and Sherlock look as if they would fit together. I've assumed this was deliberate casting. So I am kind of repulsed at the depiction of Joan and Mycroft as lovers. Can they be going for that reaction? Or am I way off base and they just chose Rhys Ifans more for his ability to do an accent and speech pattern that sound like Sherlock's?

I'm used to seeing the actress who played Mrs. West as an untrustworthy evil doer, so I kept thinking this character was going to be evil too.

Edited by shapeshifter
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I don't see what's "visually" wrong with Joan and Mycroft being together. An interracial couple can be cute, or is your objection to them being short and tall, or a hot woman (with a "symmetric face") in a relationship with an average man? I don't think he looks unattractive, just quirky in the charming way that British men can be. Women often like men for reasons like humor and personality that are more important than model-looks.

 

The only part I object to is the rushed nature of their relationship. In London, I thought I saw the sparks of a respectful friendship developing in their scenes, but after London we suddenly find out that they jumped straight from friendship into sleeping together. Then in this episode Joan totally distrusts and rejects Mycroft at the brownstone, only to forgive him later and go to bed with him. If the writers didn't leap so quickly into sex, the romance could build slowly. But I guess they think they can't take time for a beat between friendship and sex, because he's a guest star and they can't get him for many episodes. I don't know. For now, they're clearly committed to the season finale being about Mycroft.

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or is your objection to them being short and tall

Yes, this, and only because this is a visual media, not real life. To me, how a couple looks together on screen is an element of design that should be considered. He's not only tall, but his head is so much bigger than hers--whereas Jonny/Sherlock's is fairly small. I think this is important for close shots during conversations, as well as romantic shots. I find a big difference in head size distracting. But maybe this is not a consideration when casting? I know Americans are very conditioned to thinking a taller woman should not be paired with a shorter man, and that is reflected on screen in general, but here I'm just looking at how the physical elements balance. Maybe if Mycroft was supposed to have superpowers it wouldn't bother me as much--but I can't picture him in tights and a cape either.

So it makes me wonder if they purposely cast Mycroft to be visually discordant when seen with Joan so viewers would be satisfied if/when it turns out they are not going to live happily ever after together. Also, they seem to emphasize how much taller he is in the street shots, rather than having her stand on something to even things out, as has been done on other shows and movies with a diminutive female actress.

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Not a fan of Joan and Mycroft. Maybe because it's since I love Sherlock so much I dislike Mycroft on his behalf. It isn't the actor, for other things he's been in I know he's extremely talented.

 

Good episode and was very pleased they Joan didn't wallow but went right back to work, and that Sherlock wanted her there.

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I  hate Mycroft/Joan. "It's his problem, not our problem". Wow, Joan, you and I have a very different concept of friendship. 

 

I never liked Watson's weddings in canon, but it wasn't a big deal either, Holmes wasn't sad or depressed about it. But this new trend where every  time Watson leaves Holmes he's devastated is killing me. It makes me dislike Watson. And the fact  that here she's sleeping with Sherlock's  brother is even worse. As a character, Joan has to create her identity outside Sherlock's influence, but doing that doesn't need to hurt  Sherlock. I'm tired of this  "new" imbalance where Sherlock needs Watson so  much and  Watson doesn't.

 

Other than that, it was a great episode. I really enjoyed the scenes with the Holmes brothers. And I like Mycroft, just not with Joan. 

Edited by Helena Dax
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I thought the moment when Sherlock came back to the brownstone and walked right up to Joan but did not touch her was well played. A "normal" person would have hugged her, but that wasn't in the cards (because the director said so, for whatever reason.) but Jonny Lee Miller did a great job of showing that he was relieved to see Watson, and hurt for her that she'd been through the kidnapping, while keeping that physical distance between them.

 

On the other hand, I would like to see platonic physical affection. We know Sherlock doesn't object to physical touch, so there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to express affection physically, at least under extreme circumstances.

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One thing I have learned from this show: it's important to keep a solid alibi at all times.

Pretty much any procedural crime show teaches that. Everytime it comes up on a show, I look around my empty nester apartment and think: Nope. No alibi.

I thought the moment when Sherlock came back to the brownstone and walked right up to Joan but did not touch her was well played. A "normal" person would have hugged her, but that wasn't in the cards (because the director said so, for whatever reason.)

I think we should be able to call that moment an "eye hug."
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I think we call that a "wham" episode, no?

 

I thought it was great to learn that, all along, despite being rather slimy about it, deep down inside, Mycroft actually does care about his brother. I thought the whole explanation and the way it was built up was perfect. Yet another example of how great this show is at characterization- writers can learn from this.

 

I also thought it was wonderful that Sherlock, too, also loves his brother. He could have let Mycroft get arrested and have to fend for himself after the police deduced his "fingerprints" were on the gun, but as soon as Sherlock realized what happened he rushed to warn him. Maybe all along Sherlock's contempt for Mycroft has more to do with Mycroft not understanding his abilities and his intellect than Sherlock believing he is actually stupid. Regardless, this was also very well played.

 

Only quibble I have is how Sherlock exactly deduced that Mycroft is being framed. I'm not sure I saw anywhere in the episode where Mycroft had a viable alibi for the night of Arthur West's murder, nor did Sherlock produce a reason why he believed the fingerprints were not genuine. Perhaps we'll get that answer in the next episode.

 

As for "Joancroft": I object to it for the basic reason that I look at Joan and I look at Mycroft and I see a beautiful woman who's being paired up with a caveman. Mycroft without his shirt on was probably one of the ugliest things I'd ever seen...surely Joan can do better than that. As soon as they kissed I could picture a million TV viewers puking into their toilets...I mean, no offence to Rhys Ifans...I'm sure he's a nice man and that Anna Friel gets to see a much better side of him than I do, but Elementary staffers...if you're going to make Joan shack up with someone, how about pairing her up with someone who looks like they're actually aware a shower exists? Please?

 

Other episode notes:

 

-Was waiting all this time for Gregson and Bell to start wondering what Joan and Sherlock are being so secretive about. I know Gregson made a look, but that was it. I would have loved to have heard a line, at the very least.

-Might have liked it better if Graeme de Soto was revealed to have been working with Mycroft all along- hence why he could have gotten away- but the alternate explanation wasn't too bad.

-Even though I understood why Joan was mad at Sherlock for quickly dismissing her idea of moving out, it still surprised me. Joan's been with Sherlock long enough to know that he's never too quick to provide an explanation and has no tact in presenting it...she should have been more upset that Sherlock was too easily dismissive of the idea instead of being upset that he "turned it into a psychological cliche".

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As for "Joancroft": I object to it for the basic reason that I look at Joan and I look at Mycroft and I see a beautiful woman who's being paired up with a caveman. Mycroft without his shirt on was probably one of the ugliest things I'd ever seen...surely Joan can do better than that. As soon as they kissed I could picture a million TV viewers puking into their toilets...I mean, no offence to Rhys Ifans...I'm sure he's a nice man and that Anna Friel gets to see a much better side of him than I do, but Elementary staffers...if you're going to make Joan shack up with someone, how about pairing her up with someone who looks like they're actually aware a shower exists? Please?

Oh my God--perfection! Thankfully I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. I literally closed my eyes through their whole encounter, and had to keep peeking until I was sure it was over. I just cannot see any chemistry with them and seeing them together is just visually disturbing. Ugh!

It's been posted before and I agree, that surely the Joan who has been presented to us from the beginning would think twice about entering into a relationship with Sherlock's brother. She admitted they slept together as two consenting adults, not because she had strong feelings for him. She even said she didn't know he would come to NY (in "The Marchionness"). It just seems incredibly out of character for her to be tone deaf to the effect this might have on Sherlock. Yes, she is entitled to her own life, but it has not been demonstrated that Mycroft is some irresistible force that she simply can't resist. This dalliance surely can't be worth the potential complications, could it? Again, ugh.

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I was thoroughly disgusted with Watson after her visit to Mycroft.  "I can't believe a word you say!"  "Ummmm...  I did for Sherlock!  Yeah, there was this terrorist and blah blah blah [really dumb plot] so Sherlock.  Yay?"  "Okay then!"  [smooch] [sex].

 

Eln5
I just cannot see any chemistry with them and seeing them together is just visually disturbing. Ugh!

 

 

It's definitely not an [inter]racial thing for me, and not so much shorter / taller -- they just don't work.

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Last week we had "If you don't help us I'll tell everyone about your severe manic depression and you'll lose your job" and this week we had "this poor brilliant man's bipolar disorder wrecked his life." Yes, writers, we are all terribly proud that you've learned about a new mental illness. Are you done throwing it in?

 

I don't like the "Sherlock is always right about Mycroft being a lying liar who lies" thing they had going. But I like Mycroft's martyring himself for Sherlock even less.

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Yes, she is entitled to her own life, but it has not been demonstrated that Mycroft is some irresistible force that she simply can't resist.

I thought they tried to demonstrate it in this episode, saying that the pull he has on her is their mutual love of Sherlock. I don't see that Joan is being morally bad or insensitive to consider dating Sherlock. Sherlock does hate his brother, but in a previous episode he did say, "Maybe we could work out some shared custody" meaning he was willing to entertain the possibility that Joan could date Mycroft. So he doesn't hate the idea of the pairing. He just hates Mycroft and distrusts him and perhaps feels that he's unworthy of Joan due to all his lies and her being kidnapped.

 

To me, Joan is not moving out to hurt Sherlock. She needs some space, and he probably also needs to learn how to cope without relying on her as a crutch. She can't stay with him forever (and in the episode about her apartment being used for porn she said specifically that she always liked keeping an independent space that belonged just to her even when living with clients as a sober companion). So she's always had this streak of independence in her. She never pledged to stay with Sherlock forever. Someday she'll want to date again and possibly get married, and he needs to know how to stay sober and sane when she's not a live-in colleague anymore.

 

And I don't think Joan is pursuing Mycroft to hurt Sherlock either. She's found an emotional kinship with Mycroft over how they protect Sherlock from himself. And personally I don't find them to be a repulsive couple, just a rushed one. But yeah, if you guys have to fast forward through their scenes, go ahead. No matter what happens, Rhys is probably not going to be a regular star on the show, only a guest star for special storylines like this one. The writers will go on to other things eventually.

Edited by Cress
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I thought the moment when Sherlock came back to the brownstone and walked right up to Joan but did not touch her was well played. A "normal" person would have hugged her, but that wasn't in the cards (because the director said so, for whatever reason.) but Jonny Lee Miller did a great job of showing that he was relieved to see Watson, and hurt for her that she'd been through the kidnapping, while keeping that physical distance between them.

Yes, I thought this was extremely well-played by JLM -- it actually had more power to me than if he had hugged her. Honestly, that's the kind of moment that keeps me with this show -- the gorgeous interplay between the two actors/characters. This Sherlock is sometimes so fragile and so unable to have what most would consider normal emotional interactions -- not because he's cold and unfeeling; actually it's quite the opposite. JLM plays him as desperately longing for intimacy in some ways and completely pushing away intimacy in so many others.

 

And I've grown to love Lucy Liu in the Watson role. She has a subtly and gentleness that works, plus I believe her as being intelligent  I think here moving out of the brownstone is a great idea, but I think her relationship with Mycroft is...eh? Does nothing for me. I much preferred her telling him off than her sleeping with him. For this portrayal of Sherlock/Watson to work, (imo:) Watson has to be, if not Sherlock's equal, than his balance, his connection to others, and she has to be pretty damned smart and more emotionally whole than Sherlock. Getting all schmoopy-faced over Mycroft doesn't work with the portrayal so far. Not that Watson can't fall in love, but I think she would be smart enough to avoid the minefield that is Mycroft for a lot of reasons, not all of them Sherlock related.

 

Two more shallow notes: Where is Clyde? And omg I loved, loved, loved the grey asymmetrical-neck dress LL was wearing.

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I really liked this episode. I thought emotional beats were perfect for Sherlock, Joan and Mycroft.  It's amazing how much more "Mycroftian"  Ifans could play Mycroft now that the cat is out of the bag.  And I may or may not have teared up when Sherlock raced over to Joan upon seeing her safe and sound.

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There was a definite lack of "show, don't tell" this season and because of this, when Joan and Mycroft kissed I actually yelled "GROSS!" at my TV. I don't ever talk to my TV. This reaction didn't have anything to do with physical disparity, but the complete absence of evidence to back up any sexual attraction. Not to mention zero chemistry between the actors. I think I actually made rage-y noises when they were in bed. Joan has been shown as the kind of person that would never cross boundries in a work environment in the past, and yet she sleeps with the brother of her former client and current work partner and discusses Sherlock's history behind his back. Yikes.

 

I think the argument of Ifans being a guest star and therefore the story had to be condensed is excusing the writers of any kind of creative challenge. They could have built the backstory on Sherlock easily without ever having Mycroft on screen. Mycroft's lengthy expositions could have been avoided.

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I think I'm one of the five people who not only don't mind Joan and Mycroft's relationship, but in fact rather like it. But then I find Rhys Ifan kind of magnetic, and I like his quiet manner that has a lot of underlying steel - I'm sure he and Sherlock both had to grow that polite shell with a strong spine to survive whatever the hell kind of horrible family stuff their father seems to have inflicted on them. And at last, at last, I'm so happy that they went the British Intelligence route with him, even if it's from a different direction than the books. I've perhaps always been a Mycroft fan because he's such a good contrast to wirey, nervy Sherlock.

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I think the argument of Ifans being a guest star and therefore the story had to be condensed is excusing the writers of any kind of creative challenge

 

I wasn't trying to excuse the writers. I was complaining that they rushed the story. They shouldn't have made Joan go from total rejection of Mycroft to sleeping with him in the same episode. Joan and Mycroft should have just talked at Mycroft's place and become tentative friends, while she tried to trust him again. They could have argued about whether to tell Sherlock about why Mycroft rejoined MI6 and maybe discussed whether Mrs. West told too much and was safe. The writers could have saved sex for the next episode, after more bonding and working together on the case. But no, they rushed it instead. I would support the pairing more if the writers didn't take huge leaps like this. Indeed, they could have spread out Mycroft's episodes throughout the season more instead of bunching them up like this. I hope the writers learn to pace better next season.

 

 

Joan has been shown as the kind of person that would never cross boundries in a work environment in the past,

 

Didn't they imply once that Joan slept with a professor of hers during medical school? It's not quite work, but it's ethically dodgy and could have landed them in trouble. Also, Joan got into being a sober companion in the first place because one of her boyfriends was an addict. I can't remember the details now. Didn't they meet through work?

Edited by Cress

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Also, Joan got into being a sober companion in the first place because one of her boyfriends was an addict. I can't remember the details now. Didn't they meet through work?

Dr. Joan treated him in the ER.  He became an addict after they started dating.  Joan figured after trying to "save" him that she had earn the stripes to become a sober companion.

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I wasn't trying to excuse the writers. I was complaining that they rushed the story. They shouldn't have made Joan go from total rejection of Mycroft to sleeping with him in the same episode.

...unless they did it on purpose to prevent viewers from shipping a relationship that they plan to dismantle.

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Dr. Joan treated him in the ER. He became an addict after they started dating. Joan figured after trying to "save" him that she had earn the stripes to become a sober companion.

People with addiction experience often make great councellors. I completely dig her backstory as motivation, even if it has a weak canon reference in the short stories. If she can't distinguish work from personal, make that more clear. But they touch on her history so little compared to Sherlock. Watson could be a potential gold mine and I personally don't think they are being true to their own writing.

I guess what it boils down to, is that they have been explicit with character traits for Sherlock, but not Watson.

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Pfui.  This version of Mycroft gets worse and worse.  Not because wah-wah he lied to the one he loved.  But because instead of being smart, capable and ruthless, he's a whining marshmallow.

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...unless they did it on purpose to prevent viewers from shipping a relationship that they plan to dismantle.

 

Well, this very show has Holmes and Moriarty as ultimate dysfunctional soul-mates. I personally find that disgusting but I'm not TPTBs, so whatever.

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Well, this very show has Holmes and Moriarty as ultimate dysfunctional soul-mates. I personally find that disgusting but I'm not TPTBs, so whatever.

I had no problem with that pairing because of the gender swap of the main characters. I think they built a pretty good case for why she would be the only person he could invest in. She reflects his feelings (villain-wise) of Doyle's universe pretty well.

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Why because of the gender swap? If Moriarty had been male and had been Holmes's soul mate in the same way, why wouldn't that work as an obsessive stalkery passion?

 

Personally, I agree with Cooper TV, that the Moriarty/Holmes thing is disgusting, but mostly I find it so because they merged Moriarty with Irene. I hate that and will continue to hate that forever. I suppose I hate it like some people seem to hate Joan and Mycroft, so I just choose to skip those episodes now so I won't rage at the TV.

 

So far the show still balances things I like against the things I hate. It's enough that I don't completely abandon the show altogether, but it's still a struggle sometimes. Maybe someday one of the writing choices will be last straw for me, and I'll give up like I did with BBC Sherlock, but that's not here yet.

Edited by Cress

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Why because of the gender swap? If Moriarty had been male and had been Holmes's soul mate in the same way, why wouldn't that work as an obsessive stalkery passion?

Personally, I agree with Cooper TV, that the Moriarty/Holmes thing is disgusting, but mostly I find it so because they merged Moriarty with Irene. I hate that and will continue to hate that forever.

It I didn't mean the gender swap thing the way it was read. I should have clarified. If Sherlock has found his ideal working partner to be a woman (Joan), maybe it makes sense that his ideal villain turns out to be a former lover. I don't know if they being a long con for Moriarty was a passage way that he should have seen the trail of facts pretty clearly. Seeing that happening again with Mycroft would have been a blow. Joan, consider your motives scrutinized. Not likely we will every truly dig into that psychology sension For all his vices and weirdness, it's a nice tie to parter and villain as a lady he is fiercely protective and holds in high esteem. It just reads on my end that his intesity for them comes from two different places and I like that it can

It I didn't mean the gender swap thing the way it was read. I should have clarified. If Sherlock has found his ideal working partner to be a woman (Joan), maybe it makes sense that his ideal villain turns out to be a former lover. I don't know if they being a long con for Moriarty was a passage way that he should have seen the trail of facts pretty clearly. Seeing that happening again with Mycroft would have been a blow. Joan, consider your motives scrutinized. Not likely we will every truly dig into that psychology sension For all his vices and weirdness, it's a nice tie to parter and villain as a lady he is fiercely protective and holds in high esteem. It just reads on my end that his intesity for them comes from two different places and I like that it can grow from them both.

The forms were acting super shady so apologies for amy weird business.

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On 2014-05-16 at 7:19 AM, Cress said:

Personally, I agree with Cooper TV, that the Moriarty/Holmes thing is disgusting, but mostly I find it so because they merged Moriarty with Irene. I hate that and will continue to hate that forever.

 

How come? She's such a small character in the original works. They never even had a relationship.

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On 9.5.2014 at 6:40 AM, Cress said:

I don't see what's "visually" wrong with Joan and Mycroft being together. An interracial couple can be cute, or is your objection to them being short and tall, or a hot woman (with a "symmetric face") in a relationship with an average man? I don't think he looks unattractive, just quirky in the charming way that British men can be. Women often like men for reasons like humor and personality that are more important than model-looks.

 

The only part I object to is the rushed nature of their relationship. In London, I thought I saw the sparks of a respectful friendship developing in their scenes, but after London we suddenly find out that they jumped straight from friendship into sleeping together. Then in this episode Joan totally distrusts and rejects Mycroft at the brownstone, only to forgive him later and go to bed with him. If the writers didn't leap so quickly into sex, the romance could build slowly. But I guess they think they can't take time for a beat between friendship and sex, because he's a guest star and they can't get him for many episodes. I don't know. For now, they're clearly committed to the season finale being about Mycroft.

Old post but I just can't begin to express how strongly I disagree with you. Mycroft's personality is just as repulsive as his looks and I completely lost ALL respect for Watson after she slept with that oaf quicker than a 2 dollar whore. For the next episodes the only reason I kept watching the show was my strong hope that it was just something they said to get Sherlock off their backs and that it hadn't actually happened, but I just watched the episode where we see them kiss and then went to bed together and it nearly make me throw up out of disgust, and now I don't feel like watching the show anymore. Worst kind of casting in a show ever. 

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