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Old January 15 2014, 05:34 PM   #151
Chilli
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Haggis and tatties wrote: View Post
Magnus was a blackmailer, he was a criminal, he may not have pulled the trigger himself, but was quite happy to put people in harms way if his demands were not meet, as i see it Sherlock chose his friends lives over allowing Magnus to be in the position to put their lives in danger when he chose to do so.

You could say it was elementary decision.
It's essential for his reputation as a blackmailer that he occasionally delivers on his threats, yes. Esp. in high-profile cases. But to me it did not seem like this was such a case - his words regarding "acquisitions" more sounded like he was going to milk the leverage he had over Mary --> Watson --> Sherlock --> Mycroft for all it was worth.

Even if all this was sufficient to exonerate Sherlock legally: how is that supposed to happen if the whole point of killing Magnussen was to prevent all this stuff from coming to light?
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Old January 15 2014, 06:31 PM   #152
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Chilli wrote: View Post
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Chilli wrote: View Post
To me, the season finale was entertaining while I was watching it, but the more I think about it now that it's come and gone, the more my reaction is "wow, fuck this show".

Holmes shooting CAM in the face: That'd have been an OK way to end it if this was the final series. A rather massive deviation from canon (Holmes taking no steps to ensure CAM's murderer gets caught is pretty different from him doing the killing himself), but whatever: the show could have concluded with Sherlock finally snapping, proving himself to indeed not only be a sociopath but a *dangerous* one that is a menace to society, and going to prison.
First and foremost, Sherlock Holmes is the last place to apply the appalling label of 'canon.' Doyle couldn't have given less of a toss about continuity and contradicted the ever-living-piss out of himself on every occasion possible. He didn't care, so long as the story he was writing at the moment was internally consistent. So getting in a twist about how a modern take on the Sherlock character deviates from what Doyle wrote a hundred and thirty-odd years ago is pretty rich.
You did see the "but whatever" after I mentioned it was a deviation from canon, yes? I *don't* give a toss about that. Like I said, I could very well have lived with the conclusion of the plot if this had been the final season. It's just that I see no way this series can continue from here in a way that's ethically defensible - and yet, they're already talking about 2+ more seasons.
So your problem isn't with the characters but rather that the world they're portraying doesn't fit into your rigid moral code? I can't help you with that.

Again, my issue is not that Sherlock killing Magnussen is out of character for Sherlock. It's that letting him get away with it is out of character for the justice system of a functioning democracy.
That's an incredibly naive thing to say and more than a little overwrought considering that the show has depicted the British government of being a considerable failure on the 'democratic' front. One of the big issues of Season 2 was the plane full of dead people concocted by Mycroft for some arcane reason that I've forgotten.

The world of Sherlock is not a nice place. This is not new.

Magnussen was poised to report them for illegal activities that they did, in fact, commit. Of course, the plot was more complicated than that, but in no sane court of law would Sherlock's actions pass as "self-defence". This was even established in the series: He was not going to get away with it.
Sherlock breaks the law all the live-long day. He assaults people, breaks-and-enters, steals and general does whatever he damn well pleases. No sane police force or court-of-law would let him continue to swan about as he does, regardless of the Magnusson shooting.

Yet given the 2+ seasons that are coming, one can only assume that he is going to. The only way this can happen is if heroic deeds to come will in some way legally vindicate him. Which is not the way a functioning legal system works, and, ethically appalling.
Shock of shocks, Mycroft and the government are willing to cover up Magnusson's murder in order to 'protect the realm.' Your shrill protests are more than a little overwrought here.

Yet none of these previous incidents happened in contexts where his guilt, in the eyes of the law, was indisputable. When it comes to Magnussen, it could not be any more indisputable.
Crap. As I point out above, Sherlock is constantly breaking and flouting the law. If you're so concerned with an 'ethical justice system,' you'd have stopped watching the first episode.

What Sherlock did was hardly irredeemable. The show's entire concept is about an intellectual superman who literally knows better than anyone. If you're prepared to buy into that concept, it's hardly a stretch to see him perform violent acts outside the law in preservation of his concept of right and wrong. And again, we've seen Sherlock do these things before, with nary a peep of protest.
See above: the problem isn't that this was out of character. The problem was that these developments in a show that's not actually about to end puts the plot development somewhere where the BBC ethics board could seriously pull the plug on this show before it represents the British legal system in a way that's simply unacceptable on national TV.
Jesus H. Christ. It's a drama set in a fictional universe populated by God-like intellects. Take your outrage level down a notch. No one is going to confuse Sherlock with reality. If Clarkson and the lads can be racist, homophobic, lying (yet, oddly entertaining) dillweeds every Sunday night in an ostensibly reality-based television show, I think the British public can survive a drama that dares to posit a reality where the justice system isn't absolute.

No, you're mad about Doctor Who and are furiously projecting onto Sherlock. Understandable, but hardly defensible.
Semi. I'm disappointed about Doctor Who. I used to be a big fan of Moffat's, and still am of his earlier work (though some of the later weaknesses are obvious there too: Press Gang already did the whole escalating drama thing, where the threats the cast faces have to always outdo the previous threats they've faced, eventually leading to plotlines that are simply feel out of place in a show about a kiddie newspaper). I *loved* his DW eps in the first three seasons. I was moderately excited when he took over as the show runner (I'd disliked his season 4 episodes, and detested the River Song plotline from the start), but quickly cooled off his interpretation of Who: it felt like an obvious case of "absolute power corrupts absolutely". As soon as he was in charge and made the rules, there were no rules for him, which made for absolutely ghastly television.
Right, so you're mad about Doctor Who and completely irrational about Moffat. Thanks for that.

I've been moderately enjoying Sherlock, and seeing it as proof that Moffat can, in fact, still write. I've been wondering if it's the fact that he shares creative control with Mark Gatiss that's been keeping his Sherlock plots more grounded and enjoyable, or if it's simply the nature of the show (if you don't have a machine that can take you anywhere in time and space, there're bound to be more rules). I actually loved the wedding episode.

This, however, had all the symptoms Moffat's worse DW work has had.
What, you mean genuine emotional moments, fantastic character studies and sharply drawn tension? Yeah, what a terrible mess that was.
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Old January 15 2014, 07:22 PM   #153
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

The Stig wrote: View Post
So your problem isn't with the characters but rather that the world they're portraying doesn't fit into your rigid moral code? I can't help you with that.
The rigid moral code where shooting people is generally considered bad?

That's an incredibly naive thing to say and more than a little overwrought considering that the show has depicted the British government of being a considerable failure on the 'democratic' front. One of the big issues of Season 2 was the plane full of dead people concocted by Mycroft for some arcane reason that I've forgotten.
It was the purported Coventry phenomenon: the intelligence services had the ability to crack a hostile code, but did not want the nasties to know about this, lest they change it. So if they intercept a communication that a plane's about to be bombed, they cannot prevent the bombing, or they will not have access to this information any more in the future. Hence, fill the plane with dead people, and make it look like the terrorist attack actually worked. Pretty ingenious.

And not in any way comparable with what happened in this episode. Intelligence services doing sneaky shit somewhere behind the curtain is hardly far-fetched. A real-life equivalent to this would be Bono shooting Rupert Murdoch in the head, but gets away with it, because Rupert Murdoch was a dick, and Bono has done a lot of good in the world. A fucking stupid scenario.

And, yes, I do hold TV shows I watch up to a standard where the stuff that happens in them shouldn't be fucking stupid.

Sherlock breaks the law all the live-long day. He assaults people, breaks-and-enters, steals and general does whatever he damn well pleases. No sane police force or court-of-law would let him continue to swan about as he does, regardless of the Magnusson shooting.
That's all the principle of "what the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve", though - the police can pretend not to see all these things. Again, hardly implausible. Sleazy, but not implausible.

Shock of shocks, Mycroft and the government are willing to cover up Magnusson's murder in order to 'protect the realm.' Your shrill protests are more than a little overwrought here.
But that's the thing - that didn't happen. Sherlock's guilt was not covered up in the end. Mycroft couldn't prevent it from coming out. His vindication is yet to come, and it'll come after his deeds have become known.

And again, all the attempted justifications for what Sherlock did hinge on knowledge of the circumstances. The very knowledge Sherlock killed Magnussen to prevent from seeing the light. If the fact that Magnussen was blackmailing Mary justifies killing him, whoever ends up exonerating Sherlock would have to know about Mary. Which would completely defeat the purpose of killing him in the first place.

Right, so you're mad about Doctor Who and completely irrational about Moffat. Thanks for that.
I am biased against him right now - partly because I know that he can do so much better - but try to give fair judgements.

My current judgement is that he's still a fantastic writer, but has a tendency to buy into his own hypes, and doesn't do his best work when he has complete creative control - something that applies to many creators (George Lucas, anyone?).

I cannot myself judge if this is a fair judgement or not. I don't think you can either, though.

Yeah, what a terrible mess that was.
Yep.

When the dramatic moments in something I'm watching completely defy rhyme and reason, and simply seem to be there as cheap attempts to make me go "Woaw, shit!", it's the entertainment industry equivalent of a three-year-old kid throwing a temper tauntrum because it wants my attention. It's obnoxious, and not very interesting.
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Old January 15 2014, 07:37 PM   #154
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

I've been disappointed by this past season.

In my honest opinion, the writing just hasn't been as strong as previous seasons. I enjoyed the premiere episode, "The Empty Hearse", but the plotting and writing of that episode was so uneven. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman made the episode worthwhile, but Sherlock has always been more than just a show to show off the chemistry between the two lead actors. There was honestly some writing that seemed very fan-fiction-y.

With "The Sign of Three", while it was another highly enjoyable episode, again it felt like it was going through an identity crisis. It didn't even feel like a typical episode of Sherlock. Then again, I enjoyed Sherlock's best man speech and that alone was the best part of the episode and made it worth the watch. However, it felt like it wanted to be a couple of things (comedy about Sherlock's best man duties, mystery involving Watson's military friend, etc) and it didn't know how to properly interweave all of those moments. The best of Sherlock was able to successfully interweave the sparkling character interaction between Sherlock and Watson with the intricate, multi-layered mystery the show is usually so damn good at.

Lastly, don't even get me started on "His Last Vow". I was honestly so disappointed by that episode. First of all, I could tell some of the twists from a mile away. Mary's background was not that surprising, at least to me, although I appreciated the clues that Moffat and Gatiss sprinkled through the earlier episodes (such as the letter from "CAM" that Sherlock reads during his best man speech). Sherlock even has a moment where he's basically telling Mary in the hallway that he pretty much knew all along. I did appreciate, however, that the ending to that storyline wasn't what I was expecting. In regards to "CAM", or Charles Augustus Magnussen, I just thought he wasn't a very threatening villain at all. With Moriarty, he was so well interwoven in the fabric of the show before his actual appearance. On top of that, he really shook up Sherlock's world. What did Magnussen do, besides piss in Sherlock's fireplace? Yes, he threatened Watson and Mary, but they never seemed to be in actual jeopardy. There was a whole lot of that in "His Last Vow". Even the ending, while a tad surprising, didn't have the impact on me that I'm sure Moffat and Gatiss intended. "Reichenbach Fall" had me nearly in tears and shook me to my core. At one point, I even thought Moriarty was actually right and that Sherlock was a fraud - that takes some seriously villainry. With "His Last Vow", though, I wasn't really emotionally moved or invested at all.

Perhaps I'm being harsh. Two years of waiting created huge expectations that I'm sure was impossible to overcome. Even with that, I still think the writing could have been better. Regardless, I still love the show, and even a sub-par or mediocre Sherlock episode is still miles above most television. I'm glad it seems we're getting seasons four and five, even though the "Miss Me..." moment at the end of "His Last Vow" doesn't instill me with a lot of confidence or excitement. I will say, though, that I don't think the last season has been on the level of seasons 1 and 2 and that's mostly do to the writing and direction. Maybe Sherlock peaked with season 2, but we'll see. I am hopeful and excited for more Sherlock... I just hope Moffat and Gatiss can maintain the quality.
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Old January 15 2014, 09:52 PM   #155
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Chilli wrote: View Post
Haggis and tatties wrote: View Post
Magnus was a blackmailer, he was a criminal, he may not have pulled the trigger himself, but was quite happy to put people in harms way if his demands were not meet, as i see it Sherlock chose his friends lives over allowing Magnus to be in the position to put their lives in danger when he chose to do so.

You could say it was elementary decision.
It's essential for his reputation as a blackmailer that he occasionally delivers on his threats, yes. Esp. in high-profile cases. But to me it did not seem like this was such a case - his words regarding "acquisitions" more sounded like he was going to milk the leverage he had over Mary --> Watson --> Sherlock --> Mycroft for all it was worth.

Even if all this was sufficient to exonerate Sherlock legally: how is that supposed to happen if the whole point of killing Magnussen was to prevent all this stuff from coming to light?
I don't think Magnus would ever be content simply holding what he had over them, and i think that Sherlock knew this, as long as Magnus had this info over Mary and the threat to use it, neither her, Watson or their child could ever live a normal life.

Course that's just what i took from it.
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Old January 15 2014, 11:10 PM   #156
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Well, I for one loved it all three times I have watched it.
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Old January 16 2014, 12:12 AM   #157
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I've been disappointed by this past season.

In my honest opinion, the writing just hasn't been as strong as previous seasons. I enjoyed the premiere episode, "The Empty Hearse", but the plotting and writing of that episode was so uneven. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman made the episode worthwhile, but Sherlock has always been more than just a show to show off the chemistry between the two lead actors. There was honestly some writing that seemed very fan-fiction-y.

With "The Sign of Three", while it was another highly enjoyable episode, again it felt like it was going through an identity crisis. It didn't even feel like a typical episode of Sherlock. Then again, I enjoyed Sherlock's best man speech and that alone was the best part of the episode and made it worth the watch. However, it felt like it wanted to be a couple of things (comedy about Sherlock's best man duties, mystery involving Watson's military friend, etc) and it didn't know how to properly interweave all of those moments. The best of Sherlock was able to successfully interweave the sparkling character interaction between Sherlock and Watson with the intricate, multi-layered mystery the show is usually so damn good at.

Lastly, don't even get me started on "His Last Vow". I was honestly so disappointed by that episode. First of all, I could tell some of the twists from a mile away. Mary's background was not that surprising, at least to me, although I appreciated the clues that Moffat and Gatiss sprinkled through the earlier episodes (such as the letter from "CAM" that Sherlock reads during his best man speech). Sherlock even has a moment where he's basically telling Mary in the hallway that he pretty much knew all along. I did appreciate, however, that the ending to that storyline wasn't what I was expecting. In regards to "CAM", or Charles Augustus Magnussen, I just thought he wasn't a very threatening villain at all. With Moriarty, he was so well interwoven in the fabric of the show before his actual appearance. On top of that, he really shook up Sherlock's world. What did Magnussen do, besides piss in Sherlock's fireplace? Yes, he threatened Watson and Mary, but they never seemed to be in actual jeopardy. There was a whole lot of that in "His Last Vow". Even the ending, while a tad surprising, didn't have the impact on me that I'm sure Moffat and Gatiss intended. "Reichenbach Fall" had me nearly in tears and shook me to my core. At one point, I even thought Moriarty was actually right and that Sherlock was a fraud - that takes some seriously villainry. With "His Last Vow", though, I wasn't really emotionally moved or invested at all.

Perhaps I'm being harsh. Two years of waiting created huge expectations that I'm sure was impossible to overcome. Even with that, I still think the writing could have been better. Regardless, I still love the show, and even a sub-par or mediocre Sherlock episode is still miles above most television. I'm glad it seems we're getting seasons four and five, even though the "Miss Me..." moment at the end of "His Last Vow" doesn't instill me with a lot of confidence or excitement. I will say, though, that I don't think the last season has been on the level of seasons 1 and 2 and that's mostly do to the writing and direction. Maybe Sherlock peaked with season 2, but we'll see. I am hopeful and excited for more Sherlock... I just hope Moffat and Gatiss can maintain the quality.
This perfectly summarizes my thoughts and feelings. Thanks!
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Old January 16 2014, 01:03 AM   #158
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Personally I think the Moriarty thing is going to turn out to be a red herring. I think Mycroft will have set it up to get Sherlock back.
I consider this to be strong possibility #1.

Claudia wrote: View Post
Except of course, if Magnussen's not dead (and again, we didn't really get a good look on his corpse, did we?).
My strong possibility #2 is that Magnussen (probably has retinal implants and was being fed info, rather than having a mind castle) and the "Moriarty" that we've met have both been tools of the real Moriarty, and that we will finally meet him next season.

Weak possibility #1 and only that occurs to me is that when some raving lunatic manages to put his face all over London, he frequently has access to alien tech and the Doctor shows up. Next series: crossover?
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Old January 16 2014, 05:17 AM   #159
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

I enjoyed all three episodes of this season. The Empty Hearse was only 'good' in my opinion, and the 2nd and 3rd eps were great.

I personally didn't take any issue with Sherlock shooting Magnusson and contrary to what several posters have said, there is no proof yet that Sherlock will "get away with it". They were going to send him to his death ("Mycroft is never wrong") for it before they hit the emergency with Moriarty, and unless you know more about the 4th and 5th series than the rest of us, I think it highly likely that instead of being exonerated, Sherlock will pay a price for his action. What that price will be, I am not sure. But I can say that the writers didn't just have S&W jump right back into solving crimes when Sherlock came back from the dead and they won't just ignore this whole murder thing and its impact on the characters.
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Old January 16 2014, 06:49 AM   #160
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

The shame is, the solving mysteries thing was why the first two seasons worked so well. Now the show has turned into a thriller which, based on the response here and elsewhere, isn't really what people want from this show. The fact that it is still a good thriller doesn't negate that it is a very different show.
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Old January 16 2014, 01:41 PM   #161
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

The Stig wrote: View Post
First and foremost, Sherlock Holmes is the last place to apply the appalling label of 'canon.' [...]
You do know, that the concept of 'canon' as applied to the areas relevant to this board was invented to describe the plethora of stories told about a certain Sherlock Holmes?
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Old January 16 2014, 10:10 PM   #162
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Ometiklan wrote: View Post
I personally didn't take any issue with Sherlock shooting Magnusson and contrary to what several posters have said, there is no proof yet that Sherlock will "get away with it".
This is true, we don't actually know what will happen. It could be that he'll go to prison, but is let out with a GPS anklet from time under supervision to solve crimes. If this is what happens, and they manage to pull it off, I'll eat my own words. This seems pretty unlikely, though. All realistic scenarios in which he doesn't get away with it preclude continuing the show in a format that's in any way reminiscent to the format to date.

Even if they somehow manage it, though ...

Venardhi wrote: View Post
The shame is, the solving mysteries thing was why the first two seasons worked so well. Now the show has turned into a thriller which, based on the response here and elsewhere, isn't really what people want from this show. The fact that it is still a good thriller doesn't negate that it is a very different show.
... so very much this. Considering I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan, this seems like an odd thing to say, but: can't anyone just do episodic television anymore? Archs and continuing story lines are fine and dandy, but not every show has to be built around them. It worked on B5 as this was the way the show was conceived and designed (and incidentally, that show sucked whenever it did standalone plots), but every show doesn't have to be like this. Both Castle and White Collar are nice examples of serial offenders: both shows have a great formula that makes for highly entertaining standalone episodes. Come a season (or mid-season) break, though, both shows feel obliged to give a cliff-hanger. For it to be dramatic, it has to be something that smashes up the formula.

Come the next season, and you can't help but feel that what the show really wants to do, now, is to get back to the status quo, which actually was working for all invovled. At times it feels like the writers are actually admitting that that crazy development at the end of the last season was only there to grab your attention.

But, dark as the places those shows have gone have been .. they never went somewhere as completely "hopeless" as Sherlock did. Sherlock shot an unarmed man in the head to keep a contract killer out of prison. There's no valid path back to the formula from there.


Sean_McCormick wrote: View Post
The Stig wrote: View Post
First and foremost, Sherlock Holmes is the last place to apply the appalling label of 'canon.' [...]
You do know, that the concept of 'canon' as applied to the areas relevant to this board was invented to describe the plethora of stories told about a certain Sherlock Holmes?
Yep. As a "fan" of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, though (not a massive one, but I have read all the stories, most of them twice - and did so long before the show was on the horizon), I don't completely disagree with what he's saying. Proper enjoyment of canonical Sherlock Holmes does depend on your ability to occasionally just ignore things. Conan Doyle's heart stopped being in it pretty quickly - he didn't "kill" Holmes at Reichenbach Falls for drama, he killed him because he wanted him dead. Bringing him back wasn't his idea. Once Conan Doyle's wife died and he started getting into the occult, some odd things started creeping into his writings as well. WWI-era jingoism doesn't do any favours to the characterisations of the time either. If you can ignore the silliness, though, the stories remain enjoyable to the end. It remained good episodic story telling, interspersed with obnoxious crap.
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Old January 16 2014, 10:47 PM   #163
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Chilli wrote: View Post
But, dark as the places those shows have gone have been .. they never went somewhere as completely "hopeless" as Sherlock did. Sherlock shot an unarmed man in the head to keep a contract killer out of prison. There's no valid path back to the formula from there.
There is, actually, a valid path back to the formula from there. And I'm trying to figure out if "His Last Vow" actually offers it.



It's not perfect, but this would make sense of the situation. And it would be Moffat paying tribute to the modern day series that paved the way for Sherlock.
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Old January 16 2014, 11:17 PM   #164
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Hmm. That'd be .. annoying and stupid (it's such an overused trope), but preferable to anything else I can think of.

(And in the spirit of "good episodic story telling, interspersed with obnoxious crap" )
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Old January 16 2014, 11:33 PM   #165
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Re: Sherlock - Series 3

Chilli wrote: View Post
Hmm. That'd be .. annoying and stupid (it's such an overused trope), but preferable to anything else I can think of.
Yes, but it's not like Sherlock has a track record of great cliffhanger resolutions. Look at "The Great Games"' resolution; Moriarty goes, "Oh, never mind," when his phone rings.
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