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"The Lying Detective" Reaction Post

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I think, like with TST, I loved parts of this episode and strongly disliked other parts. If you smoosh those two episodes together, I could make one AWESOME episode and one episode I'd never watch ever again, lol.

·       Starting with the gunshot, ending with the gunshot. Well done, very clever.

·       Thank you, show, for making me suspicious of therapists. Now John’s therapist – slash – Sherlock’s sister – slash – many other random characters is like, “Tell me about your day, John,” and I’m like, “creeeeeeepy, John, DON’T ANSWER

·       The dead giveaway for this creepy therapist should be the fact that her rug is basically a dead animal carcass still drenched in blood.

·       “Has he attempted to make contact with you?” therapist – slash – sister – slash – everyone else asks, and John says no. But: In fact, yes. Yes, he did, John. And you gave Molly a mean message for him, and also a mysterious note. That apparently we are never going to know what that note said???

·       Me: “Who wrote this one? Moffat?” My friend L: “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He’s not dead.” My friend S: “Plot twist!”

·       That scene with Culverton in the beginning is the scene in every James Bond movie where the villain gathers everyone and then pipes in deadly gas and everyone dies. Culverton is the creepiest person in the universe and how are all of these people associating with him? The only thing I can think is: MONEY. If I had been in that room, I’d like to think I would have been like, “Uh, no, you are not putting that sketchy drug in me, I just won’t listen to whatever your deep, dark confession is because you are a deeply creepy human being.”

·       Me: “I want to live in that place.” L: “You have to be a villain.” Me: “I’m a lawyer. I’m halfway there.”

·       “Big Brother is watching you.” SUCH A GREAT LINE. Because at first I was like, “How does she know about Mycroft?” And then I was like, “Oh, she just means 1984 type Big Brother.” BUT NO. SHE MEANS LITERAL BIG BROTHER.

·       Best moment of the episode: that little smile Sherlock gives the CCTV when he’s writing his message to Mycroft. Seriously I LOVE THOSE TWO SO MUCH.

·       “How am I supposed to do that?” “Sex.” THAT SCENE TRANSITION WAS SO HORRIBLE, I HATED IT SO MUCH.

·       I was like, “Does this plot twist work even for people who don’t have facial recognition issues?” I mean, I never recognize anyone, so it doesn’t shock me that I wouldn’t recognize that woman was playing multiple characters.

·       Should we count the ways Mrs. Hudson is awesome? Her car. And the fact that she was on the phone with Mycroft clearing her way. And the tea. AND THE HANDCUFFS. AND SHERLOCK IN THE BOOT (“That was just mean”).

·       I loved that Sherlock was reciting Shakespeare. Like, he doesn’t care about the solar system but he knows the precise Shakespearean monologues he needs to be as dramatic as possible. OF COURSE HE DOES.  


·       Why does Sherlock need a romantic relationship to be complete? Like, there is John, standing there in front of him. And that is important. John is important. John, just *as a friend,* is important. Why does there have to be some kind of realization linked to some kind of potential romantic relationship? I was actually really irritated by that. Like, John has this whole enormous speech about how Sherlock needs to go be with a woman because the woman is alive. What about the fact that his best friend is standing in front of him, alive? Even if you don’t think Sherlock Holmes is in love with John Watson, why is it that Sherlock can’t be “complete as a human being” without a woman? Or even without sex? Why is it that John thinks Sherlock needs *someone else* to make him complete as a human being? Why can’t John be enough for that? Or Mrs. Hudson? Or, you know what? Why can’t Sherlock be complete as a human being *on his own*?

·       So…I assume Euros was sent away when Sherlock was very young? So that Sherlock wouldn’t recognize her? He knows right away that the Faith in front of him is not the same Faith, so presumably he was with it enough to recognize people. If not at the beginning of the night—when he was admittedly a disaster—surely at some point during the night? Or remembering the night afterward?

·       I like to imagine that “your life is not your own, keep your hands off it” is an idea Sherlock got from the people who cared about him in his darkest days. I’m going to give it to Lestrade. Because why not?

·       You know what, Mary? You were better, while you were a manifestation of John’s brain, because John’s brain put you on Sherlock’s side, which was predictable and lovely. But like, WHAT. THE. HELL. MARY. Your plan—your entire plan—was to give Sherlock instructions to basically GET HIMSELF KILLED. TO BE FAIR to Mary—which I almost never am—Sherlock always pulls John in with a fascinating case full of danger. This is TEH all over again. And John should really see it sooner, considering Sherlock barely bothers to hide it. “It’s not a trick, it’s a plan,” Sherlock assures John. Yup.

·       Sherlock high is fascinating, and terrifying, and really well done. Like, he’s so clever that his brain clearly works independently, without his input, and he can only catch up with it every so often. This show is so interesting because it makes you feel so vividly what it’s like in Sherlock’s head. I’m always so impressed by that.

·       “I’m stressed. You’re dying.” “Yeah, my BFF’s late wife told me to kill myself.”

·       UGH of course Culverton is gross to that poor girl helping with the cereal commercial. That poor girl’s expression: Girls dealing with gross men everywhere.

·       WHAT IS EUROS DOING? Okay, honestly, I didn’t want to do a third-Holmes storyline, because, whatever. But they’ve got me, I’m intrigued, I WANT TO KNOW MORE. So Culverton enlisted Euros into doing all of this? Why? What’s her deal? Culverton takes the piece of paper and gives it to Euros and she sets up all of these deductions for Sherlock. The plan is clearly very definitely that John has to be involved. Euros calls John’s attention to the whole Culverton thing and then makes sure John talks to Culverton on the phone and that Culverton mentions John is supposed to be coming, too. And these two are playing this super-long game that *must* involve *both* Sherlock and John for…what? I assume we’re going to learn? Part of me hopes it’s all about Mycroft, because if we’re going to have this show be about someone other than Sherlock, I’m totally okay with that person being Mycroft.

·       At first I was like: How easily Euros manipulated Sherlock. And then I realized: Wait, how difficult is it to manipulate Sherlock Holmes? You just have to be *nice* to him. That is literally the huge secret. It’s sad because I actually really liked Faith. She was nice to him, and he seemed to brighten up when he was with her, and she said that he was nice, and he needed that, and he thought she liked him, and I liked having her around, and great, she turns out to be evil. ALTHOUGH. I also really liked Mary, and then she turned out to be what I thought was evil, and then the show was like, “Nope, she’s not evil,” so…who even knows.

·       Euros seemed genuinely pleased about Sherlock’s small-kitchen deduction. And once you know she’s his sister, you would like to believe that she’s just delighted by him. When she says he’s not what she expected, he’s nicer, I wanted *so badly* to believe that, because it’s what I believe about Sherlock Holmes, and it’s probably what Sherlock Holmes would love, so very much, to have a person say to him, in the midst of all the rejection and blame he’s getting from all corners at the moment, and it’s so devastating to have that rug pulled out like that. This show is brilliant so often because you get the feeling Moffat and Gatiss really know exactly what we want to happen and uses that expectation to walk us into their traps. (Which is why aspects of this episode were so annoying to me, but that’s for a later point.) And then she’s in cahoots with a villain and holding a gun on John Watson so…yeah.

·       Presumably Euros is just going to perform surgery on John and she might shoot him but he’ll be totally okay and she’ll be the center of the show next season. So no worries! It’s all going to be okay! (Actually, maybe she did all this just to get John and Sherlock back together?)

·       Apparently everyone in Sherlock’s life was totally predictable to him but also apparently they were totally predictable to Euros.

·       “You pretended to be dead for two years!” “Apart from that.” I loved that disagreement and I loved Sherlock’s beat of reaction time when John brought it up.

·       Hey, John, I bet Mrs. Hudson would let you borrow your car if you moved back into Baker Street. In fact, Mrs. Hudson IMMEDIATELY lets you borrow it when you decided to use it to save Sherlock Holmes.

·       How would people *not* think you are a serial killer when you’re sitting there creepily being like, “Hey, how do you catch a serial killer? Bet it’s pretty hard, right? Especially if the serial killer was me, right? HAHAHAHA, JUST JOKING. But creepily. Stop laughing. I’ll fire you right now, not even kidding. JUST KIDDING. Nope. Not kidding.”

·       Would read a story about a serial killer monarch but don’t worry, that’s not what’s going to happen in Jadenvale or Euphonia.

·       So every so often you get this little bit of magic where John and Sherlock fall into their old habits together, and they’re friends again, and they banter with each other, and it’s so nice. Remember when that’s what this show was? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get that again? It would be really nice.


·       What is the purpose of the memory serum thing? Like, I thought something other than that creepy beginning thing was going to use that? Is it coming back? I really assumed John would want to use it.

·       “What are you doing? How are you allowed in here?” John. Meet People Who Have Power. Exhibit A: Mycroft Holmes. Remember him?

·       “Not long ago he shot Magnussen in the face.” FOR YOUR WIFE, JOHN. FOR YOUR ASSASSIN WIFE. My friend L: “Also, that’s a state secret, isn’t it? Lestrade doesn’t look like it’s a surprise.” Me (in a sad whisper): “Probably Mycroft told him in their last conversation before Mycroft started sleeping with Lady Smallwood.”


·       When John is beating Sherlock up, I think even Culverton Smith the serial killer is like, “Oooookay, didn’t quite expect that to be happening.”

·       “I killed his wife.” “Yes, you did.” NO, HE DIDN’T, JOHN. HE DIDN’T.

·       Instead of saving Sherlock from the Creepiest Man in Existence, John is like, “Yup, here to say good-bye, here’s my walking stick.”

·       When Mycroft calls John in the hospital, I was like, “OH, GOOD, IS MYCROFT GOING TO YELL AT YOU?”

·       The fact that Mycoft had another sibling he apparently couldn’t save: like, I didn’t want us to do a third Holmes storyline but this breaks my heart for Mycroft. This is why he’s so desperate and frantic when it comes to Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson says Sherlock is more about emotion than thought, but as you all know I’ve always thought that about both Holmes brothers: they’re so emotional, and they try so hard to pretend they’re not. Caring is not an advantage.

·       BEST LINE IN THE EPISODE: “I detest conversation in the past tense.” MYCROFT, MY LOVE.

·       I *love* that Mycroft is like, “I have no idea why Sherlock would be so upset,” and John’s like, “I don’t know why he’s so upset,” and Mrs. Hudson has this elaborate explanation, like, “Sherlock’s very emotional.” Which is TRUE, but, MYCROFT AND JOHN, it should be SO OBVIOUS: What’s on Sherlock’s mind is that his best friend in the world is no longer speaking to him. Mrs. Hudson even says it explicitly outside the therapist’s: Molly, other people--*they don’t matter.* It’s *John* who matters. And, also, Mrs. Hudson knew what was on Mary’s video so presumably she has the best idea of all what’s causing Sherlock’s downward spiral. IT IS ENTIRELY JOHN WATSON.

·       (Although, Mrs. Hudson telling John he can watch the video later… Yeah, later, Mrs. Hudson. After Sherlock’s dead. Good idea.) (I mean, John cuts it *awfully* close there.)

·       Mrs. Hudson’s seen Mary’s video already, so she knows what it says, so I assume that Mrs. Hudson insists Mycroft leave because if Mycroft saw what Mary told Sherlock to do, presumably he would be so irritated that Mary basically *comes back from the dead* to see if she can kill Sherlock Holmes one last time. I mean, presumably that would be upsetting to him, but he didn’t seem to be all that upset the last time Mary tried to kill his brother, so maybe not.

·       And, actually, now that I am thinking about it, this stupid episode is basically HLV ALL OVER AGAIN. Because it’s, like, Mary once again trying to kill Sherlock Holmes, and Mary once again being like, “But I didn’t mean it! It was surgery! I knew John would save him,” etc., etc. And it’s once again me being like, “Why do you keep trying to kill him, Mary???????” I mean, I know she also saved his life, but I literally have no idea why they continue to think that the way to get me to love Mary is to have her constantly put my favorite character on death’s door, literally.

·       And actually Mary’s belief that John would save Sherlock was a vast miscalculation on her part, apparently. Like, John beat him up, left him in the creepiest hospital imaginable, even showed up to say a dramatic good-bye to him. The only reason John shows up to save Sherlock is, *naturally,* because *Mary* eventually tells him to. So, I guess, yay, Mary, I guess? I don’t even know. Why does John Watson need his dead wife to tell him not to let his best friend get murdered? But there is something to the fact that Sherlock apparently knew John would do this. Sherlock knew John would say good-bye to him and leave his walking stick, apparently. Sherlock was anticipating that.


·       “I thought we were just hanging out.” Nah, Sherlock, John Watson doesn’t hang out with you anymore.

·       Why do we even have a baby on this show if John is never going to actually take care his baby? What was the point of that? (My friend S says it’s because John would have had zero incentive to forgive Mary for shooting Sherlock without her being pregnant.) It’s annoying because even though we’re told in this episode that John will be there for people who need him, he is basically never there for his daughter that we can see.

·       Mary was very forgiving of John’s confession. That’s how you know it was the Mary in John’s head. Real Mary probably would have shot John.

·       Awww, happy season 1 Sherlock music! Maybe we’re getting somewhere!

·       SO UNNECESSARY to have that incredibly weird scene with Mycroft and Lady Smallwood. I just…WHY WAS THAT NECESSARY? It was like at a certain point this episode became a personal affront to me. “We will have there be a long elaborate speech about how Sherlock Holmes needs Irene Adler to be complete. And then we will explode Mystrade just to make sure that gets destroyed in one fell swoop.” I have actually thought throughout the life of this series that they’ve been playing games with us, being wink-y, giving us just enough crazy shipping possibilities to let us have fun. This episode felt a little bit like that mysterious promo where Sherlock is scattering every piece off of the chessboard.

·       S: Why would he put that piece of paper under a black light? Me: Well… S: Yeah, all that stuff with Moriarty. Me: I think he lives the kind of life where it pays to be paranoid. S: Yeah, he probably puts all of his mail under a black light. Me: It was actually weird it had taken him so long to put it under a black light.

·       “We had chips.” DOCTOR WHO SHOUT-OUT. (In my head.)

·       My friend S: “I really hope next episode that John actually likes Sherlock again.”

·       Mrs. Hudson: “Get out of my house, you reptile.” Me: “Poor Mycroft.” My friend S: “Although: What the heck was Mycroft doing this entire episode?” Me: “Having sex with that woman, apparently.”

·       Me: “What happened to Sherlock? Why isn’t it on anymore?” My friend L: “You’ve seen it three times now. You want to see it again?” My friend S: “It’s what we do.” Me: “We have to watch it until it ceases to become an episode to us and becomes the fabric of time itself.”

·       My friend L: “I’m going to make a Mary mask and wear it whenever you come over.” My friend S: “You do that. You’re too lazy to even wear a hat to a party.” Me: “Oooh, pwned.”
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On January 10th, 2017 04:12 pm (UTC), k2togyo commented:
“We have to watch it until it ceases to become an episode to us and becomes the fabric of time itself.”

Yeah. I must have watched it 5 times in the first 24 hours. But I catch something on each re-watch, so it's necessary. (And once, of course, with subtitles so I can catch what I missed the first 4 times.)

I'm finding myself worrying a lot about Father and Mummy Holmes. Hopefully Mycroft has some security in place to protect them from crazy daughters on the loose. Ever since I saw that first promo with "I Love You", I have pictured Sherlock standing in front of their mausoleum when he's saying that.

Ghost Mary was interesting mostly, but I'm at the point of "go to the light, Mary". I never really minded Mary as a character, but now I'm done.

I'm trying to prepare myself for literally any of the characters to bite the dust in episode 3. I expect Sherlock and John to survive, but Mycroft, Lestrade, Molly, Mrs. Hudson, Mummy & Father - any one/every one of them is at risk from where I sit.

Anticipatory grief..always a fun place to be.

Looking forward to your episode 3 review.
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On January 10th, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC), rereader replied:
(You forgot Rosie in that list of people who might go...)
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On January 10th, 2017 09:45 pm (UTC), k2togyo replied:
True. She hasn't quite sunk into my consciousness yet. Surely they would not be that mean. {biting nails}
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On January 10th, 2017 10:12 pm (UTC), rereader replied:
I know. Even typing that made me wince hard.
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On January 10th, 2017 07:36 pm (UTC), rifleman_s commented:
"Why is it that John thinks Sherlock needs *someone else* to make him complete as a human being? Why can’t John be enough for that? Or Mrs. Hudson? Or, you know what? Why can’t Sherlock be complete as a human being *on his own*?"

My sentiments exactly!

*goes off to watch again*
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On January 10th, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC), k2togyo replied:
I meant to comment on this as well. As a single career lady, I do take offense to the idea that I'm somehow defective because I never got married or had children. I consider myself having turned out just fine, thank you.
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On January 11th, 2017 10:35 am (UTC), rifleman_s replied:
Glad to know I'm not the only one! :)
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On January 10th, 2017 09:57 pm (UTC), chocolamousse commented:
Once again, yep to a lot of that. I really admire how articulate and coherent you manage to be just after watching an episode. I sent a message to a friend just after seeing The Lying Detective and it just said: O_O


Edited at 2017-01-10 09:57 pm (UTC)
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On February 7th, 2017 04:48 am (UTC), earlgreytea68 replied:
Hahahahah, well, this is after the third viewing or so! ;-)
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On January 10th, 2017 10:11 pm (UTC), rereader commented:
I think this episode was more of a cohesive show than TST, no? The plot part (a fairly straightforward retelling of "The Dying Detective"--so more ACD than usual!) was more used as a fabric on which to stitch the Saving of John Watson and The Revelation of The Sister, and only the story was a plot. (Such as it was--the original story was awfully short on plot, too!)

That rug in the therapist's office was SO WEIRD! (Unless Euros brought it in herself? Which really would be even weirder.)

I did not recognize that actress from last week, or from earlier in this show, or at all. (However, I am rubbish at faces, too, though. Ahem.)

I LOVED the bit with Mrs. Hudson and the handcuffs and the boot--but then later it becomes clear that Sherlock has coached her at least somewhat, because of how she pushed Mary's CD on John, pretending she knows nothing about it when we know she saw the whole thing with Sherlock. So maybe he coached her about everything else, too. (Except that she still owns a hot sports car!) And since Molly lied to John about Sherlock's physical state, she was in on it too, at least partly--and why not? We already know Sherlock totally trusts her with secrets

(Really, John? This is JUST WHAT HE DID THE LAST TIME! How short a memory do the people in this world have?!?)

and that she is eminently worthy of that trust. So the only one being manipulated with these two-weeks-ago and three-weeks-ago is John. Sherlock clearly can predict John's behavior better than John can, up to and including that cane thing.

Which leads me to this: So Sherlock was COUNTING ON John beating him up, and he was COUNTING ON John not forgiving him right off, and then he was COUNTING ON John having second thoughts on seeing that CD.

Of course, as in the original story, he had a backup plan--he wasn't really as incapacitated as he seemed to be in either story, only enough to be convincing. I wonder if he had a trigger for Lestrade ready--or even Mycroft? Maybe Mrs. Hudson had more instructions based on John's behavior? I wonder...


That whole thing with John and romantic relationships and being complete--I think (hope) that that was John fumbling his way through to his guilt and his idea that he was only worthy of admiration when he tried to live up to Mary's expectations. It's not true that he needed to live up to someone else's expectations--he saved Sherlock that first night with NO ONE expecting it--but he seemed to believe it and I think that whole yelling-at-Sherlock about Irene thing was him needing to spill his guilt about Mary and also to spill his guilt about almost being too late to save Sherlock this time.

ITA that if Sherlock knew his sister, he'd have recognized her. I'm not even sure he knows he HAS a sister. If she is older than him, she might have been expunged from the family before he got old enough to remember her--that retweet about "The Sussex Vampire" was very intriguing, the parallels so far are very strong. Or he might have deleted/repressed early memories of a sister, because of those flashbacks. Or a combination of not having been really old enough and repressing what little there was--or the drugs helping to pull out some half-remembered flashes? Anyway, at this point I'm thinking this is not a person Sherlock knew at all and also the other way round--it could well be that Euros really did think Sherlock was nicer than she expected. Like you, I'd really like that to be true, even if she is the devil incarnate otherwise. Because while sometimes Sherlock is mean, mostly he's really not.

YES! It was amazing to see Sherlock trying to keep up with his own self-training of his brain.

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On February 7th, 2017 04:47 am (UTC), earlgreytea68 replied:
I now want to imagine Euros walking around carrying a dramatic red carpet with her, like, "*This* is the final touch!"

So much of Sherlock's plan in this episode seemed to resolve, frankly, around John not being on his side, which was so painful to watch.
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On February 7th, 2017 04:18 pm (UTC), rereader replied:
OMG, that cape would be hysterically apt! (With maybe a Snidely Whiplash mustache... :D)

And yeah. :(

Edited at 2017-02-07 04:20 pm (UTC)
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On January 11th, 2017 03:27 am (UTC), lauand commented:
After the complete trainwreck that was the previous episode, this was like a balm on my wounds. I can't help but agree with you on most points, though. Especially this bullshit about people needing a romantic partner to be complete. Because John is only a good person because he wanted to be the good man Mary thought he was (wtf??) and Sherlock can only be completed as a person if he gets together with Irene Adler (wtf??) and Mycroft actually might be getting some, too, because caring is not an advantage but even the British Government is more British Goverment with love. Thank you, Sherlock BBC show, for telling me to my face to stop being just a half of something and go out there to get some love because otherwise my life will never be complete.

My first reaction to this therapist twist was: "no, again? Really, it's okay if some important character gets introduced without this silly dramatics, they don't have to pose as something else first", but then I just thought "I understand that he was high as a kite, but even I would recognize my own fucking sister if she tried to pull that one on me". Also, if she hadn't heard from others, why did she address the matter as "Sherlock's brother"? Why not "Sherlock's sister" or at least "sibling"? And if her name references the Eastern Wind that was the bane of villains in HLV, I can't understand why she's actually one of them.

Also, I don't understand either that we see how John catches the reference about "my favourite room" and does nothing about it. You can't be more obvious than that. Why do they need to bring down John's character that much? I used to love him so much... but now he's the kind of asshole who is an asshole and still has the fame of being a good guy.

And, as far as I understand, Culverton didn't plan for the note to reach Sherlock. The fact that the note has a "Miss Me?" makes me think that Culverton and Moriarty are linked and, by extension, Euros and Moriarty and linked. But I don't think there's a direct relationship between Euros and Culverton.
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On February 1st, 2017 04:50 am (UTC), earlgreytea68 replied:
So much nodding of my head to all of this, but you're right, now I get that there was no direct Euros/Culverton connection.
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On February 1st, 2017 12:15 pm (UTC), lauand replied:
OMG. The last episode. What the fuck.
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