Spoliers: Why I don't trust Mofftiss anymore

On tumblr and message boards alike fans are turning themselves into pretzels in an effort to make sense of the senseless. Among other things they are trying to find out:

Why the man formerly known as Sherlock Holmes was not able to recognise his best friend's fiancee as what she was when he met her.

Why he has become so stupid he can't figure anything out any more and has to shoot a man in the head instead of outwitting him.

Why the man formerly known as the moral compass to the man formerly known as Sherlock Holmes forgives his assassin wife for shooting his best friend in the chest.

Why said best friend says she has saved his life after she has shot him in the chest.

Why there is a baby no one seems to know where to raise in the future.

Where the real Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have gone (to AO3?).

Where all this will lead now that S3 is over and the long wait begins again.

It's sad to see. The long time fans still want to love the show, but it's getting more and more difficult for them.

What disturbed me the most were the de-mystification of Sherlock Holmes, the clumsy handling of the reunion, the retroactive devaluation of the emotional arc of TRF and the emotionally utterly unsatisfying "resolution" to the fall-out of TRF. The best explanation for the  bomb-go-boom fake the internet has come up with as of yet is, "Well, it's a Brit thing."

All right, I confess I was able to wave most of the inconsistencies and logical errors away up to now, but this time I cannot. Because a) this time the shiny wasn't enough due to the lamentable absence of Paul McGuigan (why does he have to do other work than Sherlock, fer God's sakes?) and b) the emotional arc of this season was exhausting. Had TRF to be laughed away just so they could do it all over again? How many times does Sherlock have to self-sacrifice? I hope this doesn't become a trend.

I'm sorry, but I'm at the end of my tether. Fandom has contorted itself into all possible shapes to make sense of everything we're presented with and even managed to explain away flukes, inconsistencies and uneven characterisation. To a degree.

Sherlock gave Mary the side-eye when she mentioned skip codes. He must be onto her.

Sherlock persuaded John to forgive Mary, because he's playing the long game.

It will all be tied together in S4 when we will see that Mary is Moran and Sherlock knew from the start.

No, I don't believe anything any more. All the "clues" for this interpretation or that possible endgame that some people claim to see are most likely just there because someone thought they were cool.

Remember S2/3 and I.O.U. (a fall)? I must have read a dozen theories on the hidden meaning of that thing.

According to Mark Gatiss on twitter when asked why it was never explained, "What do you mean, 'what does it mean'? Moriarty carved it into an apple and left. That's all."

It was just something cool to put there. There is no hidden meaning, no back story, no psychological depth. In other words the writers have successfully fooled us into thinking they are far more clever than they really are.

I imagine it goes like this:

"Let's have a submarine in that scene! Submarines are cool."

"But that scene plays in the mountains! How would it get there?"

"Who cares? As long as everything looks really cool? The fans will figure it out. Ha, that will give them something to do till next season, hehe."

I'm finally getting to the point where I can understand enraged Doctor Who fans who have been left in the lurch far longer and more often than Sherlock fans. And it's sad, when you are practically told by the creators that you are a moron, because you wish to fully understand their creation.

It's neither enough nor a good idea to just incorporate fan theories and/or fanfiction into the show. Even if you think the fans will love the in-jokes (some do) and the casual viewer won't mind them if they're funny enough. What the fans really want is tight characterisation and plot. When we have that we do need neither the submarine nor the winks in our direction.

It seems to be all about the casual viewer who will not notice inconsistencies and just thinks, "Oy, a submarine! Cool! Carry on, jolly good!" But it were not the casual viewers who made the hashtag #IbelieveinSherlockHolmes go viral and become a force to be reckoned with.

Only next season's ratings will show the success of this last season, because the sky-high ratings of this season do not mean that S3 was beloved by everyone as Steven Moffat thinks. S3 ratings were down to the expectations raised by the previous seasons one and two.

A week after S3/3 aired it seems to get already noticeably more quiet everywhere the show is discussed (and in far less enthusiastic tones) than two years ago. I doubt this season will last us as long as S2.

Please, Mofftiss, I beg you, do not make me watch Elementary!

Written by Silke Ketelsen


  1. As having finished Series Three and just now getting to your posts, I find myself once again in the position of agreeing with you. I never thought "Sherlock" was great--good, yes, at times very good, but not great. But to have two episodes suck as badly as "The Empty Hearse" and "His Last Vow" is disappointing, to say the least.

  2. Thank you! Though I must admit I really wish we would still find ourselves on opposite sides. :-(

  3. Don't worry. We'll always have "Elementary".