“I wanted to end the world but,I’ll settle for ending yours.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle
You were not the threat you had been made out to be
#natalie dormer’s goddamn physicality with all its aggression and performative lioness grace #jfc #but also how clearly you can see irene adler /was/ moriarty deweaponized; irene adler was still the same woman #the same fearsome intellect; the same sharpened knife wit and talent; just blurred instead of deliberately brought out #and put into performance #irene adler was not a lie; was never a lie; you can see it right here; in how moriarty is so clearly the same woman #just … stripped bare of sociability or obfuscation #she is better than sherlock for the same reason she’s better than irene; her singular bullet-streamlined sense of purpose #to her own will to power; where irene and sherlock have or had no greater overwhelming structural goal with zero moral compunctions #had nothing to weaponize for #she does; and is; a living breathing knife in the dark; because of the work she does; the work she has created and taken upon herself #(but sherlock was her blindspot like she was his; and that’s how she got caught) via okayophelia
This is a Holmes knocked from the pedestal of the dispassionate gentleman detective. His relationship with his addiction forms the core of his character, of secondary importance only to Watson in his development throughout the season. And Jonny Lee Miller’s fantastic incarnation of Holmes makes sure we feel the weight of addiction in a show that takes it seriously. He suffers the aftermath, and must face the realities of recovery — no easy thing for a man who trades on the illusion of invincibility with all the gusto of the Conan Doyle original.
Also keeping him humble: his supporting cast. There’s a popular misconception — the fault of many an adaptation — that Holmes is a supergenius accompanied by an admiring everyman and surrounded by dunces. Conan Doyle’s Watson and Gregson would beg to differ, and so this Holmes lives in no such vacuum; he’s never the only clever person in a room. When he reveals his addiction, Gregson (not unkindly) points out that as a detective, he had that covered. His sponsor Alfredo’s skills in the repossessionary arts outclass Holmes’s by a mile. He acknowledges Moriarty as more than a match for himself. Even housekeeper/librarian Ms. Hudson has the effortless memory to which Holmes aspires.
And in Watson, he’s found an equal — and that’s what the show’s not-so-secretly about.
Pros-and-cons of Sherlock and Elementary, rebloggable by request
Something that I really wanted to add about Elementary v. Sherlock that’s really important to remember when keeping them both in the context of the books is the characterisation of Holmes;
In canon, Holmes was not an asshole. He sometimes screwed up, because he’s peculiar and brilliant and has a bit (ha ha) of an ego, but if he offended someone he cares about (not just Watson, but clients & near-strangers who didn’t deserve the abuse), he regrets it.
He has a massive heart; it’s half the reason he solves crimes.
- Sherlock doesn’t seem to even touch Sherlock’s humanity outside of John.
- Elementary handles it brilliantly. Sherlock has a heart, and while he often steels himself, he is very much human. And when Sherlock screws up, Watson holds him accountable for it.
Opera singer was probably never an option..
I loved that she’s capable of being a cool tactician AND a barefoot, loose-haired artist. I don’t think Irene and Moriarty are mutually exclusive; I think she enjoys inhabiting multiple psychological spaces and deploying them like pawns in a high-stakes game of chess. Nor do I think one of her iterations is any less ‘badass’ than the other. I swear being in fandom has given me a distaste for the word ‘badass’ because it’s almost always used to venerate certain types of women, and certain ways of being women, at the expense of others. Irene the passionate and sensual artist is just as complex and powerful as Moriarty the criminal mastermind; it’s her ability to inhabit both roles with such subjective conviction that makes her an amazing character.
READ THAT AND LOVE DORMER EVEN MORE
SHE LOVES HISTORICAL ACCURACY AND WORKS HER BUTT OFF FOR GOOD REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN CHARACTERS AND BAD WRITING OF WOMEN IS A CHALLENGE SHE AS A FEMALE ACTOR HAS TO WRESTLE WITH BRAVELY
i really love how friendly a working environment the set of Elementary seems to be
so now I am hoping Liu and Dormer had AWESOME LADY conversations wherein they talked about their craft and the challenges of being an AWESOME LADY in their work
and also I hope that this Moriarty role was a good experience for her re: giving her a meaty, complicated and non-stereotyped female character to play
Are we going to talk about the fact that Joan has discussed that conversation with him?
We know she was angry and kept it all bottled up in the restaurant but when she finally got back to Sherlock she must have let lose about what Moriarty said. I’m guessing we caught the end of it in Gregson’s office.
I think she was especially mad about being called a mascot; that’s why he picks up on it in his confrontation with Moriarty, because it upset Joan the most, so he takes the thing that hurt her and throws it back in Moriarty’s face to prove Joan’s power, to use the insult as a tool of Joan’s power.
In writing everything is done with a purpose; there are no accidents. “The Mascot.” is it’s own sentence to truely emphasise Joan’s place in this world, because if you’ve made it through 24 episodes and still think Joan Watson is a sidekick, this scene proves you very much wrong.
This one line takes Sherlock and Joan’s equality and brands it into the very heart of the show: In Elementary, there’s no such thing as a sidekick.
partners who communicate are THE BEST.
People who think Moriarty was actually in love with Sherlock.
She was in love with the game and in love with breaking him down to see if she could mold him into (what she believed) was better.
She was in love with her ego.
She was in love with winning.
That’s why she showed up in his hospital room.
Not because she was in romantic and/or sexual love with Sherlock Holmes.
I kind of agree with this, but kind of don’t.
I think there’s an assumption in fandom discourse that being “in love” means one thing. And that the one thing it means is a positive, warm thing. That romance and sexuality are warm, good things that inevitably bring out warmth and goodness in people (especially women).
And I just don’t think that? I think that, for Irene/Moriarty, being in love with the game and in love with breaking him down is her version of being in love. It’s the most she’s capable of feeling for another person, so that’s her version of being in love. Being in love doesn’t bring out warmth and goodness in her because there’s really not much there to be brought out.
And it is romantic and it is sexual (Moriarty thinks he’s the only person on earth anywhere close to as good as she is. She thinks she’s like a god compared to everyone else. She’s only capable of feeling anything close to love for herself. Therefore, if she thinks he’s the only person close to her supremacy, what she feels for him is a kind of twisted romantic love based in her narcissism. The only kind of love she’s capable of. And she gets off on power, particularly having power over Sherlock, so of course it’s sexual! It being sexual doesn’t make it automatically weakening or softening for her. She fucks as ruthlessly as she does anything. There are women who are fully capable of that! Fucking doesn’t automatically = vulnerability or weakness or w/e just because the person is a woman). It’s just that romance and sex are not inherently good or ennobling. They’re feelings that people have which they be anywhere from incredibly positive to horrifically destructive.
People are talking like there’s a difference between Moriarty being trumped by Joan because Joan realized her weakness was her obsessive need to win her game with Sherlock/the game that Sherlock is to her and her being in love with him/wanting him sexually and romantically.
But they’re the same thing with Moriarty.
I also think weird assumptions about gender are playing into this. If Moriarty were male in this version and had the exact same relationship with Sherlock, I don’t think a false dichotomy between romance/sex/being “in love” and control/dominance/winning the game would be made.
Bolded for emphasis.
The woman in the scene
» Natalie Dormer as Moriarty
“I always admired Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk, but I don’t know if I’d be a very convincing Hulk.”
In the sequence of the Rube Goldberg machine in the credits intro, the final event, which releases the cage that falls on the little tin man, is a hammer smashing into the bust of a woman. It bears a striking resemblance to Irene!
The sequence actually mirrors Moriarty’s plan to get to Sherlock: “Breaking” Irene in order to break Sherlock. It also underlines the way in which Irene Adler is an empty shell, a piece of art, and Moriarty’s best forgery to date…
remember how at the start we were all disappointed by elementary and then somewhere along the line it turned really good?
DID I MENTION RECENTLY HOW MUCH I LUV NERD DETECTIVES?