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Subject: Sherlock: Season 3 (SPOILERS) rss

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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The first episode aired in the U.S. last night. I've seen all three, already (Hola extension for Firefox/Chrome + BBC iPlayer), but I wanted to wait until now to discuss anything. So what are your thoughts?

I loved the way they resolved Sherlock's fake death. Very amusing and at times, touching. Yes, they left a little question mark after the third (and presumably correct) explanation, but I think that was an important acknowledgement to say that yes, we know that not everyone will be satisfied, so we're still leaving a shred of doubt where you can fill in your own ideas.

That whole thing ended up taking a lot of time, maybe too much, and the new mystery kind of got short shrift a little bit. That would be my only complaint.

Without spoiling anything of the next two episodes, my impression is that they are even better than this one, and that this show is now running on an incredible amount of self-confidence, in terms of the writing, acting, direction and the clever ways of story-telling.
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I had forgotten how funny the show could be. This was a particularly warm and fuzzy one, which is ok once in a while, but I hope they dive right back into it next week. I got my biggest chuckle at the Holmes/LaStrade meeting.

My biggest disappointment was that they once again decided that the shutterflash-edit-salad of Sherlock accessing his brain is something people enjoy. It's cringe-inducing.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Ep. 2 is a little warm and fuzzy, too (John's wedding), but is also a better show overall, and more interesting in the way it plays out.

Ep. 3 is definitely not warm and fuzzy. Very intense. I have mixed feelings about the way it concludes, but I'll wait until that airs on PBS in a couple weeks to discuss that.
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I thought Martin Freeman was particularly outstanding. He deftly displayed the range of emotions that Dr. Watson would undoubtedly feel given the circumstances.

BEST. SERIES. EVER. (perhaps not, but pretty damned great.)
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While I love, love, love this series, I have to say that I am becoming less impressed with Martin Freeman's acting. Perhaps my disappointment with The Hobbit is crossing over to Sherlock, but he doesn't seem to ever be anyone but himself.

The writing and production of Sherlock, however is outstanding.
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Grudunza wrote:
I loved the way they resolved Sherlock's fake death. Very amusing and at times, touching. Yes, they left a little question mark after the third (and presumably correct) explanation, but I think that was an important acknowledgement to say that yes, we know that not everyone will be satisfied, so we're still leaving a shred of doubt where you can fill in your own ideas.

I haven't seen the third one yet, but I am happy with the first two.

As for the first, my perspective was that all the explanations for faking his death were incorrect. The last one, given by Holmes himself, was just offered as a very intricate tale (obviously grabbed from some website where people indulge in coming up with intricate tales and defend them against all criticism), which then was being poked holes in by the guy who is most likely to come up with such an intricate tale (holes probably grabbed from the same website).

It is as if the creators are saying: whatever we offer as an explanation, no explanation can be airtight. Someone will be able to poke holes in it. So, you know what: we are just not giving any explanation -- just assume that Holmes is much smarter than anyone in the audience OR us, and that he can think of things that nobody else can -- and he is not going to reveal his secrets.

It is a bit of a cop-out, and I would much rather have seen them kill Holmes off (but then air that episode at the end of the 10th season or so), but it is probably the best way to resolve it.
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I don't watch TV for plausibility, even regarding sports. Best TV being produced at the moment, at least according to my household (we don't have cable TV or internet, so it's basically competing against Survivor, Antique's Roadshow, and local news).
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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roseundy wrote:
he doesn't seem to ever be anyone but himself.


That's actually what a good actor should do... be themselves. It's more the writer's job to make the character unique, and the director/casting director's job to choose the right people who, while being true to themselves, will make the character interesting. True and False is a book by David Mamet that describes that much better than I can.
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Grudunza wrote:
roseundy wrote:
he doesn't seem to ever be anyone but himself.


That's actually what a good actor should do... be themselves. It's more the writer's job to make the character unique, and the director/casting director's job to choose the right people who, while being true to themselves, will make the character interesting. True and False is a book by David Mamet that describes that much better than I can.

Far be it from me to contradict David Mamet (although I'd kinda like to since I find some of his plays incredibly wooden and tedious).

It seems then, either somebody put John Watson in the The Hobbit or somebody else put Bilbo in Sherlock.
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roseundy wrote:

Far be it from me to contradict David Mamet (although I'd kinda like to since I find some of his plays incredibly wooden and tedious).

It seems then, either somebody put John Watson in the The Hobbit or somebody else put Bilbo in Sherlock.


Yeah, but that can happen any time the same actor does a different role. When I see a movie with Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise, I always know it's still Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise, and they don't really "act" any differently from role to role, but for a few affectations or accents where applicable. They're still being true to themselves on a certain basic level. What makes the characters different and interesting (hopefully) is how they are written and how the film is directed. In essence, there's not a whole lot of difference between the kind of characters that Watson and Bilbo are... affable, shy, early 40's, unsatisfied, polite, adventurous (when pressed to be), etc. Which is why Martin Freeman fits both roles really well. Not that he is also all of those things, but his natural character is a good fit for portraying those types of roles.
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I enjoyed Martin Freeman's acting and actually felt he's done better this season than in the past and as Bilbo. I wish he kept the mustache, only because it's less of a visual reference to Bilbo for me.

I dig Mary and the head-butt was awesome. Sherlock had it coming. The resolution of the bomb was lacking, but it was fun all around.
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Gotta say, season 3 was the best yet. There were so many great moments in each episode! It was a bit light on the whole mystery-solving/whodunit side of the show, but that's my only small gripe. Really excited for season 4, which *might* be coming as soon as Christmas this year!

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Grudunza wrote:
roseundy wrote:
he doesn't seem to ever be anyone but himself.

That's actually what a good actor should do... be themselves.


I dunno, I'm inclined to agree with rose. I happen to enjoy Martin Freeman quite a bit, but on a technical level I'm much more impressed with an actor who can play characters so diverse that I sometimes don't recognize it's the same actor (e.g. John Turturro in Big Lebowski, Brother Where Art Thou, Quiz Show) rather than an actor who just seems exactly the same in every movie (e.g. Nicolas Cage is Nicolas Cage in The Nicolas Cage Story)
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I liked it, but I'm kind of hoping for more done-in-one cases, rather than the linked season long stories. I love series that build and change, but Sherlock, particularly in the 3 hour and a half length episodes per season, doesn't really need it.

Given the ending of the last episode, that's probably not going to happen.
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Flyboy Connor wrote:
It is as if the creators are saying: whatever we offer as an explanation, no explanation can be airtight. Someone will be able to poke holes in it. So, you know what: we are just not giving any explanation -- just assume that Holmes is much smarter than anyone in the audience OR us, and that he can think of things that nobody else can -- and he is not going to reveal his secrets.

This is all fine and good in the real world, but fiction requires answers, even if there's some ambiguity about the details and/or the person giving the details. I was fine with the way the writers explained the first scenario (specifically, I was thinking, "Oh there is no way this is realistic," and then appreciated the fact that they duped me into thinking that was the explanation), and the second scenario was a nice nod to the fan fiction based on the show, but there needs to be closure. Is Sherlock's final explanation what we have to take for our closure?

Quote:
It is a bit of a cop-out...

Spot on.
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Verkisto wrote:
This is all fine and good in the real world, but fiction requires answers, even if there's some ambiguity about the details and/or the person giving the details.


I quite like a little lack of explicit answers from time to time in my fiction.

The Sherlock episode seemed, explicitly at one point if I remember right, to me to say that how he survived really isn't that important. I tend to agree.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I felt as though the third explanation was the right one... it was reasonably plausible, at least in terms of the character and circumstances, and consistent with what had been shown. But then there was that final piece of doubt that Sherlock threw in at the end, to keep the guy (and the audience) second-guessing that explanation. But I think it's okay to also accept that at face value.
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I don't know how to obscure spoilers but the thread heading has the warning in it so hopefully I'm safe posting this.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I didn't think much of the end of the 3rd episode. The bad guy essentially out smarted Sherlock and how does he re-act? With an even greater show of wit and smarts?

No, he shoots him in the head. And then essentially gets away with it.

Other than that it was a good series though. I thought Watson's wife was great.
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roseundy wrote:
While I love, love, love this series, I have to say that I am becoming less impressed with Martin Freeman's acting.


I have my theory (The "Keanu Triangle") that all movie stars (as compared to actors) can perform exactly three emotions, and if the movie calls for those particular emotions, it can be great. (Actors, of course, act).

Keanu's triangle -- Bored, Confused, Ennui. (Yes, ennui is pretty close to bored. Not everyone gets a big triangle). Note that the Matrix moves through this exact pattern.

Jack Nicholson's triangle -- Amused, Enraged, Crazy.

I've been on the fence if Freeman is an actual actor or a movie star, but it certainly seems like all the movies want him to be in his triangle

Martin Freeman's Triangle -- Innocent, Exasperated, Forgiving.
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And my general thoughts on "The Empty Hearse" (which I just saw last night).

I'm with the Onion:
Quote:
As with Doctor Who, Moffat has become his show’s biggest problem


We get practically zero mystery in this episode. NOTHING is resolved. Moffat's always been great at creating cool scenarios and terrible at resolving them, but this was really lame.

1) Multiple (wrong) resolutions of Reichenbach.
2) Who kidnapped Watson for Guy Fawkes day? No idea. And Sherlock's finding him? The kidnappers basically told him. Most meaningless chase sequence since the fellowship spent 5 minutes jumping around falling stone staircases in Moria.

But there were a ton of cool minutiae.

Hopefully this episode was the weak link in this season.
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panzer-attack wrote:
I don't know how to obscure spoilers but the thread heading has the warning in it so hopefully I'm safe posting this.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I didn't think much of the end of the 3rd episode. The bad guy essentially out smarted Sherlock and how does he re-act? With an even greater show of wit and smarts?

No, he shoots him in the head. And then essentially gets away with it.


Other than that it was a good series though. I thought Watson's wife was great.


You use the spoiler tag, which is up there on the right. I added a spoiler to protect the unwary.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I'm conflicted. On the one had, I agree with you -- Sherlock was unable to outsmart Magnussen. On the surface, at least.

On the other hand, I have more complicated thoughts:

(1) the "case" was to get the files. There are no files. The only way to "solve" the case, then, was to destroy the files, i.e., kill Magnussen.

(2) think of HOW Sherlock killed Mangussen. "Did you bring your gun, John?" He did. And Sherlock took it. Clearly, his plan -- one of his plans -- was to kill Magnussen. And he waited for Mycroft to arrive -- led there by the GPS in his laptop. He was using John's gun, remember? But there are witnesses who saw Sherlock pull the trigger. Protecting John and Mary from suspicion (remember, Sherlock has a different client on the case -- so there's no *real* tie to Mary anyone can see).

(3) arrive where? Magnussen's home. Which is now a crime scene. So now Mycroft's people can tear the whole place apart.

(4) and why did Sherlock kill Mangussen? To protect Mary and John. It was a great moment of self-sacrifice and possibly the ONLY solution to the puzzle. Also, for whatever it's worth, I don't feel it was out of character at all (though some have pointed out that Sherlock's self-diagnosis as a "high functioning sociopath" is incorrect.)


Did it work for me? Sure. Honestly, once you get past the bluster, Mangussen was a pretty one-note villain. Now we'll see what

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Moriarty


Is up to in Season Four.
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panzer-attack wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I didn't think much of the end of the 3rd episode. The bad guy essentially out smarted Sherlock and how does he re-act? With an even greater show of wit and smarts?

No, he shoots him in the head. And then essentially gets away with it.


Gordian Knot approach.
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Well, I think the second episode had many (all?) of the same flaws as the first, I think that the flaws play much better in a "Watson gets married" episode than a "Sherlock reveals he faked his death to Watson" episode, which should be heavier. There's a reason why "Romantic Comedy" is a genre and "Faked Suicide Comedy" isn't.

And, now that I think about it, they did actually solve the crimes the show brought up.
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So far, season 3 hasn't lived up to the coolness of the previous two, but episode 2 (John gets married) was inspired comedy.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The two of them getting drunk and trying to solve a case afterward were the best laughs I've had all month.


And I'm wondering, about the actual murder & attempts in episode two...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Is it actually possible to "stab" someone through a tight belt and not have them feel anything?!
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MABBY wrote:

And I'm wondering, about the actual murder & attempts in episode two...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Is it actually possible to "stab" someone through a tight belt and not have them feel anything?!


You could test it out. On yourself, I mean. Or become a criminal. It's all for science.
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