Tag Archives: Sherlock

Editorial | Sherlock, “The Empty Hearse” Reactions & Recap *spoilers*

***** SPOILER ALERT *****

This review will be discussing plot points which may be considered spoilers. Consider yourselves warned.

This is not a review of the first episode of Sherlock season three, “The Empty Hearse.”  No, the season premier has left me with the warm glow of satisfaction that usually accompanies post-coital cuddling.  I’m reduced to a mere reaction, rather than review.

So… Sherlock Holmes isn’t dead.  We already knew that, since British television apparently has not fallen into the silly trap of creating a season’s end cliffhanger for no reason other than to frustrate fans.  It was still better to have the mini webisode that appeared several weeks ago, “Many Happy Returns,” which showed us Anderson—now fired as coroner and obsessed with clues of Sherlock’s whereabouts—Lestrade, and Watson all receiving premonitions and oracles that seemed to tell them that Sherlock was indeed alive.

It is well known among my friends that I dislike most female characters.  I usually find them weak, catty, and foolish.  As a reader of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I knew that Watson would eventually find his future wife and I fully expected to hate her.  Instead, Sherlock’s creators have given us Mary, played by Amanda Abbington (Martin Freeman’s wife IRL).  I enjoyed her performance and I already adore her depiction of Watson’s significant other.

As for Sherlock…  I cried when he met Watson.  I cried when he met Lestrade.  I laughed when he met Mrs. Hudson.  I can be incredibly critical of television shows that have poorly developed characters and inconsistent plotlines, but these characters get to me in a way that I have rarely felt.  I could feel the pain that both Watson and Mrs. Hudson went through, and I could feel how it simultaneously pulled them together and pushed them apart.

Molly is now engaged to someone who looks just like Sherlock.  I don’t want to like her character or be sympathetic to her plight, but I cannot help but feel sorry for her.  The look on her face when she tells Lestrade that she has moved on from Sherlock pleads for someone to believe her words so that she can believe them herself.

I appreciate the use of romantic tropes as metaphors for the relationship between Sherlock and John.  Again I am surprised at how much this amuses me, since I would normally find this humor pedantic and trite.

I loved the pat exchange between Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes regarding the Icelandic hat and the profile of its owner.  It really highlighted for the first time in this show how much alike they are in thought process and intellect.  They are very much brothers.  At the same time, their parents… what to say about their parents?  I honestly did not think we would ever see the elder Mr. and Mrs. Holmes.  To have them appear and seem so normal was rather disconcerting.

I must say that the situation in which John Watson is thrown into on Guy Fawkes day was confusing.  The motorcycle sequence as Sherlock and Mary rush to his rescue was wildly unbelievable and that entire section of plot left me confused.  However, I am learning to have faith in the show’s creators that all of this will make sense in time.  Instead of a pathetic device to move the plot forward, it will most likely turn out to be incredibly important to the rest of the season’s storyline.

Finally, the beautiful and convincing act that Sherlock uses to finally get John to admit to missing him and forgiving him was disturbingly realistic.  I honestly did believe Sherlock (foolish I know) when he said that he had no idea how to disarm the bomb.  My feeble brain thought that John would come up with a way to save Parliament in a shocking plot twist.  Apparently John Watson and I are equally gullible.

This has been a recounting of my reactions to the fantastic first episode of Sherlock just as I felt them.  Post your own reactions in the comments!  (Please avoid spoiling episodes two and three if you’ve already seen them.)  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to rewatch it and make sure there isn’t anything I missed!

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Filed under Editorial, Television, Tracy Gronewold

Editorial | When Geek Life Interferes with Real Life

Sooo it is finals week for me, as well as most university students in the United States.  While this is a delightful time for most adults, involving frolicking in virgin snowfall and rushing about in scarves and knit caps, carrying armfuls of packages wrapped in brown paper, for me it mostly involves rushing from one group study meeting to another, and dozing off over study guides.

However, there is one glitch to this idyllic vision of the devoted college student:  I’m a geek.  Sometimes, being a geek interferes with my real life.  For instance, this afternoon I was happily typing away at a bullet-point riddled evaluation of Walzer’s application of just war theory to modern obliteration bombing, when suddenly without my consent, my mouse directed my browser to open a new tab to find out when the new season of Sherlock would air in the US.  (It is January 19th on PBS, if anyone is interested.)  Twenty minutes later, I realized that not only was my study guide not finished, but I was late to a group study meeting. ARGH!!

I feel that Sherlock might have had some excellent insight into the Melian’s dilemma…

Then there was the moment while I, engrossed in determining whether climate change or nuclear weapons in terrorist hands were the greater threat to international security, was interrupted by a message from one of my friends who wished to debate the merits of Fox Mulder as an FBI agent.  I have some very strong opinions on this subject, so of course, there was another hour down the drain.

In order to combat the tendency to lose time in this way, I recently decided to create an incentive system for focusing on schoolwork. I spent an hour writing outlines, and then decided to reward myself with an episode of Supernatural.  Four episodes later, I suddenly realized it was two o’clock in the morning and that I was going to be exhausted in class.

My evening hours seem especially prone to such distractions.  I’ve lost countless hours to A Song of Ice and Fire, or Atomic Robo.  About the only thing that doesn’t waste much of my time is video games—mostly because my lack of coordination causes me to get frustrated and give up long before time becomes an issue.

He’s a TERRIBLE criminal investigator… and I can prove it!!

Geek life spills over into my real life in other ways, too, and it doesn’t translate well either.  My meme references seem to always elicit strange, uncomprehending looks from those around me.  (Currently my favorite is Doge—because the final “wow” always, always makes me laugh out loud.)  Random references to my father, Mr. Maximoff, go unnoticed.  It is a sad, hard life.

Still, I manage to find a balance between surviving in the real world and enjoying my own geekiness.  First of all, I find other geeks who are available to hang out IRL.  Andrew, who writes most of this blog, is always down for a cup of coffee and a trip to one of the local comic book shops.  I have other geeky friends on campus who share my love of crime dramas, comic books, and fantasy.  Some even understand my meme references!!  At the same time, I’ve learned exactly how far I can push the procrastination button.  Sure I can binge on Grimm, X-Files, or Dr. Who sometimes,  but if there is a fifteen page paper due in two days, or it’s 3:00 a.m. and I have class in three hours, I have learned to put my entertainment aside and make sure I take care of my real life responsibilities.

Does your geek life ever spill over into your real life?  How does it happen for you?

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Filed under Editorial, Geek Life, Tracy Gronewold