Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Truth is….Somewhere?

Hi Everyone!

I’m blogging at you from underneath a pile of snow. DC got a zillion inches this weekend, which canceled a number of plans that I had but also reminded me how lucky I am to have shelter, food, and heat. I got a lot of work around the house done that I had been meaning to do for some time, which is good because the baby’s due date is 17 DAYS!!! This journey has been so monumental (and felt so LONG) and now it’s almost over…but in many ways I guess it’s just beginning. We are very excited to begin the adventure of being parents together–we are so grateful for the wonderful community of love and support we have, from right next door to all around the world. They say it takes a village…this lucky kid has one heck of a village!


So, the X-Files. Let’s talk. Have you seen the first two episodes yet? If not, and you don’t want them spoiled for you, now’s the time to bail.

Still with me? Okay! So, it’s been fourteen years since the X-Files was last on the air. And when it went away, people had basically given up on it. Its first six seasons were groundbreaking, appointment television that got people obsessed. Then, David Duchovny left the show (and came back later but only sort of and it was really weird) and the last three seasons, particularly the last two, made a lot of fans bail on the show. There was an episode, I kid you not, called “Jump the Shark”. Pretty much everyone knew that things had gotten really bad, but for some reason the show kept going. And then there was that 2008 movie…and the less said about that the better.


I bring these things up because, in the intervening years, people have gotten nostalgic and remember the X-Files perhaps too fondly. They’ve conveniently forgotten all the bad stuff and want this new series to be as good as the best episodes of the 9 year run. Which I feel is a recipe for disappointment. We need to remember X-Files fairly…it wasn’t all good. There’s no reason to believe (although I certainly…want to believe? #toosoon?) that every moment of this new season will be incredible.


So going in with that attitude, I have to say I’ve been enjoying it so far. Not loving it, necessarily, but having a good time. I am invested in where it’s going, at least. It’s not like watching the last few seasons of “Glee” (or let’s be honest, the last few seasons of “The X-Files”) where I was like “I am actively hating this but I’m here because I have a problem with letting go.”  It really is better than the stuff Chris Carter and Co. peddled towards the end.


I think a big part of the problem is that for many of the viewers, we are in such a different place than we were 14 years ago. This might be hyperspecific to my age group, but for me and my friends, we were in nerdy loner outcasts in high school when this show ended. Now we are adults, we’ve got jobs, we’ve got spouses and kids. It would be an understatement to say that our lives have improved considerably. (Yes, kids, it really DOES get better!) So, we the audience NEED the X-Files a lot less than we did back then. TXF was, for so many of us, a lifeline. I feel about TXF like a lot of people have been saying they feel about David Bowie–it let me know it was okay to be weird. It was the first time I felt like I belonged to something. It gave me hope for a brighter future (even as it was predicting the end of the world). The friends I made in TXF fandom are some of my best and closest friends today. This show BONDED people. Seeing someone in school with an X-Files pin on their backpack was a sign that person was an ally, someone you could trust. They were in the club, your club. It was amazing to, for the first time, have a club. TXF did that for so many of us. It shaped us into the adults we eventually became and helped us survive those thorny teenage years.


So how could new X-Files replace that? Quite simply, it can’t. We don’t need it as much as we used to need it. Now it’s just for fun. So the stakes are considerably lower. And it’s difficult to adjust one’s expectations and know how to watch this show anymore. So it’s been a little weird for me, honestly. I think that’s part of my issue with the new run.


My meta-angst aside, I think it’s also important to remember that this six-parter is a minseries and not a “true” season of the show. I’m grateful that BBC Sherlock has taught me how to be deal with a teeny tiny slice of a show. Trying to pack the emotional arc of a whole story into just a few hours is a very different thing than stretching it out over 15-20 hours. I think it’s going to be better to judge the season as a whole once we’ve seen all six. You can’t pass judgment in the middle of a haircut, you know?


Phew, is that enough disclaimers yet? You can see that I am pretty invested in this 🙂 Now to the actual plot!

-I don’t mind the Tad O’Malley/we have met the aliens and the aliens are us plot. Yes, it’s a “reboot” of the mythology, but the show actually did this several times over the run. It’s the black oil! It’s aliens! It’s alien bounty hunters! It’s human/alien hybrids! It’s the killer bees! It’s the super soldiers! Every few years, Chris Carter got sick of the mytharc he’d made, or he decided it was too unwieldy, and he chucked it and made it new. There’s a reason nobody really knows what the show’s conspiracy was about. (Google “X-Files mythology explained” and you will see what I mean. There are some very interesting late 90’s websites that contort themselves in pretzels trying to make the whole thing fit together.) This idea–that the government is using alien technology for its own nefarious purposes–is more compelling to me than the supersoldiers theory. TXF has always been at its best poking its fingers into people’s darkest fears, things they know they shouldn’t be afraid of but are anyway. Right now, that bogeyman is the government. So they went there. A lot of people felt like it was stupid, but it worked for me.


Also, they kind of had to do it. The end of the series promised the aliens were coming in 2012 to take over the world. That…kind of didn’t happen. So they needed a work-around to conserve the show’s mythology (or they would have had to set the show in a post-colonized world, which might have been cool but would have been a totally different thing.) So this was the solution that they came up with, and I can’t really think of a better alternative. I know some people didn’t buy it but I don’t know how else they would have done it.


That said, it’s…almost a little too topical. It’s true that, in many ways, Mulder’s worst nightmares have come true. In the 90s, the idea that the government was spying on us all the time was a joke. Now, we know it’s a reality. There are drones. There’s Edward Snowden. There’s the NSA. The conspiracy theories of the early show are the realities of today. Chris Carter seems to take great glee in pointing this out, over and over again. And it keeps taking me out of the show every time he does it. I’m like, “yes, CC, we know you were right. You’re very smart and clever. Now can we do the show again please?” I know that the original show was very rooted in its own time and place (see the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel sketch here for further proof of this) but I don’t need to be constantly reminded of our current political climate. It works in concept and theory, but the execution, so far, has been a little clunky. I hope, as we see the next few monster of the week episodes, CC will throttle back on that a little bit.


The main characters–I don’t know what to say. It’s terrible and superficial, but I keep thinking “wow, they look SO OLD.” (with the exception of AD Skinner, who is a fox as always.) Gillian Anderson can’t even quirk her signature Scully eyebrow because of all the work she’s had done. David is looking rough. Time has taken its toll on our dear friends and it keeps reminding me “this is new X-Files, not old X-Files.” It didn’t bother me with “The Force Awakens” at all, so it’s not me being ageist and awful. I don’t know what it is. Their voices, their characters, and everything else is great, but it still feels off on the whole. Does someone else have an explanation for this? I really don’t want to blame it on looks. Is their chemistry off? The dialogue? Something is not quite right.


Last night’s episode, “Founder’s Mutation”, was on paper, everything I wanted. My biggest beef with the 2008 film was the lack of discussion about William, Mulder and Scully’s kid. They’re talking about it now!! They have remorse and really white-people fantasies about doing science experiments with him! It’s the answers that we so desperately wanted in 2008 and didn’t get. But it wasn’t enough. ARE THEY GOING TO FIND HIM? I reserve judgment until the series is over. But if CC brings him up and doesn’t bring him home, I will be VERY SAD.


I also feel like, at the end of the ep, I have no idea what happened? Like, who are all those kids? Is the government messing with them? Will the siblings go on a rampage blowing up labs and exposing the truth? What about the sad unwed mothers’ home? Is the government in on that, too? (And is it possible that Scully worked in the hospital for 7 years and didn’t know a thing about it?) I feel like the whole hour was a setup for something bigger, but I’m worried we may never get that payoff. Again, reserving judgment. But I was at least entertained during the hour. It felt like old-fashioned X-Files. I just hope it’s leading somewhere.


The thing I did like about the 2008 movie was that it showed just how damaged our poor heroes are. They’ve been “chasing monsters in the dark” for their whole career and it’s cost them everything. There’s no way they can just live normal lives anymore–they’ve seen too much. As much as I want them to elope and run off to a small, sunny tropical island and stay far away from all of the chaos and the conspiracies, I don’t think they could do it. It’s not who they are. But this new series has really highlighted for me how masochistic it is for me as a viewer to want them to get dragged back into the muck again and again. Like, how many times can we make them give up the lives they’ve carved out for themselves and force them to chase aliens again? They seem tired. Not the actors, but the actual characters. Mulder and Scully deserve a break–or eventually, they’ll have a psychotic break. I felt the tension in the shouting at each other on the porch scene in the first episode. They have been having the same argument for decades. And they’re running out of reasons to keep trying. It’s actually pretty sad when you think about it. I care about these characters too much, obviously, but I almost hope that after this miniseries, they tie up the loose ends and let these characters go. Give us the answers you owe us, CC, and then let the show go.


All that said, I am SO PUMPED for the Darin Morgan-penned ep next week! It’s going to be hilarious (I hope). A home run on that ep would go a long way to get people on board with this new series.


What do you think, guys? Is the show beyond hope? Has the world passed the X-Files by? Or is there room for greatness still? Are you as invested in the William storyline as I am? What retirement fantasies do you have about our favorite duo? Let me know!! Stay warm and safe out there, those who were affected by Jonas, and see you next week!!






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Hi Everyone!


Hope your holiday weekend was lovely–mine sure was! It’s super cold here in the DC area so I am wisely staying inside until April. Brr!!!


I am up to my elbows in book work (only two chapters left to write for my first draft!! Hallelujah! It seems like I will actually accomplish my goal of having a complete draft done before the young sir arrives…) so this will be short–but I wanted to open up a conversation about the Oscars. This sparked a lively discussion on my facebook, so I want to see what else people have to say!


I was dismayed to see that the Oscars failed to nominate a single person of color for any of the four acting categories…for the second year in a row. After the massive backlash of #OscarsSoWhite last year, it seems like Hollywood is doubling down on its stance instead of taking measures to fix it. Why? Why why why? This is just mystifying to me.


Many people took offense when I suggested we just cancel/ignore/rename the Oscars to a Stuff White People Like award. It turns out that people are really invested in this! I myself will confess to being a huge Oscars junkie. My husband and I make a point to see each best picture nominee, we fill out ballots and bet on who will get the most right, and have even had fancy-dress Oscar parties in the past. It’s a lot of fun, mostly. We love movies and it’s a hobby we’ve enjoyed pursuing together in cold and dreary winter months.


But I just can’t get into it anymore. I am tired of watching people of color get shut out not just once (which could have been a catastrophically tone deaf but honest mistake) but twice, which suggests a pattern. Oscar voters are 94% white and 76% male. I think it’s a mistake not to consider the source when looking at these nominations. Older white men do not generally represent me or my interests when it comes to movies (or almost anything, come to think of it…hello Congress!) so I don’t know why I’ve put so much stock in their picks. Like, I don’t really watch the Teen Choice Awards anymore because those are voted on by teenagers, which I am pretty far away from now. My tastes and desires are not in play there. So why do I assume they will be at the Oscars? They just aren’t, as has been proven again and again.


The Oscars do not make bold moves. They do not reward risk or ingenuity. They often retroactively award people for subpar performances because “that person should have won a few years ago” or “it’s their turn”. The Oscars are not–and maybe never have been–truly about comparing movie to movie and performance to performance in a given year. There’s always a calculus going on–is this a lifetime best for this actor? Do they “deserve” it? I know that these are all inherently subjective anyway and that I don’t want robots to judge these awards, but I think that we ought not revere these choices as if they were truly judged on merit.


And doesn’t it all come down to money, anyway? Whose production company mounts the most effective Oscar campaign? Little films hardly stand a chance, except in Best Original Screenplay category. The whole system is just money, money, money. White men determine who gets money to make movies based on how well they think the movie will sell. Things that they think won’t make a movie sell, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary–women in leading roles, people of color in leading roles, and directors/screenwriters who are not white men–do not receive money from studios. These films simply do not get made, at least not easily. Emily Blunt, a bankable Hollywood star, had trouble getting “Sicario” funded because she, a woman, was playing the lead role (an FBI agent). There was nothing “girly” or “chick flick” about this movie–it was rated R, bloody, action-packed, and about hitmen and the war on drugs. But a woman in the lead was enough to give studios pause. And they told Emily Blunt that to her face. Isn’t that just so stupid? I don’t have any better words for it. It’s just dumb.


Add that to the pay inequality scandal that rocked sony recently–with Jennifer Lawrence getting paid millions less than her costar Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”–and it’s clear that Hollywood is stuck back in time–or maybe stuck in a time that never was, a la-la nightmare land where women don’t have rich inner lives, don’t want to see themselves on screen, and men are so brutish and ridiculous that their genitalia might fall off if they watch a movie where a lady shoots a gun at bad guys instead of a man shooting a gun. Men deserve more credit than that!! I just don’t believe the cinematic world will end if movies get made about people other than white men. “Mad Max: Fury Road” was proof that I’m right. So was “The Force Awakens”. So enough already! Let’s quit pretending this can’t happen.


Ah, you say, Mad Max? Isn’t that nominated for BEST PICTURE?? Doesn’t that prove you wrong? No, it doesn’t. It’s the exception that proves the rule. One measly feminist picture does not reparations make. And it’s even worse for people of color than it is for white women. When a mistake of this magnitude is made, it must be corrected immediately, all at once, not one movie at a time. It’s way past time for that. I demand more movies written by, directed by, and starring minorities (basically anyone but white cis males). And I demand that those already made, a Herculean feat in this climate, be recognized for the tremendous achievement that they are. And I demand it right now. Not another Oscars  full of white people.


Idris Elba, you deserved to be nominated this year. I am sorry.


Ryan Coogler, you deserved to be nominated this year. I am sorry.


Hundreds of people whose movies didn’t get made because of a broken system–you deserved to be nominated, too. I am so, so sorry.


I don’t want to dismiss the Oscars altogether. I love movies and I love to celebrate them. I respect their power to change minds, change lives, and inspire. I just wish that more attention was paid to ALL stories, so that more people could be inspired and changed. Everyone deserves to see themselves on screen. It’s a powerful, validating experience when it happens. “The Force Awakens” was HUGE for me because I felt like for the first time in a twenty-year love affair with Star Wars, someone realized that I mattered. I was not the only one who felt this way about Rey. We need more Reys, and more Adonis Creeds, and more representations for everyone. It’s time. Please, Hollywood, please Academy, let’s get to work on this. We all deserve so much better.


What do you think, readers? Am I way off? Who do you think got snubbed? Want to start a People’s Choice Awards with me? Will you be watching the Oscars telecast this year?


Stay warm out there, folks. Take care of each other.






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Bowie and Che

Hello Dear Friends!


When I thought about what I would write about this morning, the first thing that came to my mind was Che. He’s my betta fish whom I’ve had for a year and a half. Before him, I had a betta, Wanda, who lived for five years. I wouldn’t really call myself a “betta enthusiast” (and yes, those people exist) because I don’t post in online forums, read betta blogs, and other things like that. But I do love my fishes to a degree that some people, my husband included, would call a bit excessive.


Last week, Che started acting very strangely. Normally an active fish, he took up residence at the bottom of his bowl, breathing heavily. He stopped showing interest in food. At first, I thought it was the cold snap we were experiencing. After all, I was sitting in the dining room in a sweatshirt, two pairs or socks, and a wool cap; why wouldn’t my fish also be cold? I consulted Dr. Google (because strangely enough, my vet doesn’t see or advise on fish) and discovered that cold is very bad for bettas, and I ought to be horsewhipped for having him in a small unheated bowl. Horrified (and totally disregarding I’d kept a very happy betta for five years in said small, unheated bowl) I dashed to the pet store, where I bought a 2.5 gallon tank, complete with some plants, a filter, and of course, the all-important heater. Although I followed the instructions to a tee, painstakingly setting up the heater and bowl and waiting the 24-hour “cycle” period before introducing Che into his new home, he did not bounce back as I had hoped. Some online sources claim that male bettas don’t eat for a week after being introduced to a new habitat, and I’m praying it’s that. But he’s still lethargic, only periodically swimming around energetically before flopping back on the tank floor. He doesn’t seem to be getting worse–he might be responding to the daily water changes, aquarium salt treatment, pH testing, and all-purpose medication treatment I’ve been using daily. Some guy online said his fish went through the exact same set of symptoms but with the aggressive treatment, in 10 days he was totally bounced back. What I hope more than anything is that he’s not needlessly suffering. I know he’s a fish and is not really aware of what’s going on, but it’s hard not to anthropomorphize him as he’s propped up against the side of the tank, visibly gasping for breath.


Yesterday, a cultural icon died after a long battle with cancer. I myself am not a huge David Bowie fan (don’t dislike him, just never had enough room in my Beatles mania to add him to my music rotation) but many of my friends are, and I watched the massive outpouring of public grief unfold online. Many people expressed chagrin that they were acting this way and asked for sympathy, as if they knew they would have a tough time getting it. I spoke to someone about how many people seemed bowled over by this, and this person responded with something along the lines of how they didn’t know him personally and celebrity deaths are vastly overblown in our society. Having witnessed recently the reaction to Steve Jobs, Robin Williams, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s deaths, I couldn’t really disagree with her. But her comment did get me thinking about grief.


The thing is about grief–it’s irrational. It doesn’t strike people at proper times or last for appropriate lengths. It’s big and ungovernable and messy. It doesn’t make logical sense that I have spent nearly a week consumed with worry, lying awake at night earnestly praying to God to save my $10 fish and feel almost nothing about the death of a man who did so many good things for so many good people. Last year, I was very upset about the Paris attacks, because many people died but also because Paris is a city that I love very much and have made many fabulous memories while there. I was not as affected by the Lebanon attacks which occurred near the same time–not because I cared less that those people died, but because I have no connection to that city. Now, why THAT is true is a big tangled web of Western bias and privilege and what the media covers and so on, which is fodder for another blog post, but the point is that Paris, for me, was personal. Lebanon was not.


I feel like the internet has caused a rise of “grief policing”: where people say “why are you upset about X when Y and Z are happening too?” I myself was sorely tempted to join in during the Cecil the Lion issue. I was flummoxed when people were devastated over the death of this lion and calling for his killer to be shot. Who cares about one stupid lion, I thought. People are dying every day from a lack of fresh water and nobody cares about that. I privately ridiculed the overblown statements of grief and felt a little superior that at least my head and heart were in the right place.


I’ve decided that kind of thinking is wrong, wrong, wrong. Because if somebody were to laugh at me right now because I’m more upset about my pet fish than a human life, I would want to smack them. You don’t know what’s in my heart! I would say.


Even talking about one’s heart is illogical, if you think about it. We often speak of the conflict between one’s head and one’s heart, yet the truth is the “heart” is not a feelings-capable organ at all. It’s just a muscle that pumps blood–vital, yes, but sentient, no. That would be like saying my liver tells me, or my pancreas, or my small intestine. Other organs are not endowed with the same decision-making power. The whole “heart” thing is a placeholder for something else–something not tied to a physical location on our bodies. Is it our “spirit”? Our “conscience”? Our “daemon”, as the ancient Greeks believed? Is it the voice of God? I don’t know. I don’t have any answers. But the point is, there is something–something completely irrational and ungovernable, that determines how we feel about things. And policing that something is about as useless as trying to regulate how fast someone’s hair grows. It cannot be controlled. That’s the point.


Everyone thinks their own baby is the cutest child that ever lived. We accept that fact and embrace it, even though empirically it’s not possible. It’s a part of life, an irrationality that we welcome. Should we not strive to welcome other’s griefs as well, strange as they may seem to us, as proof that life, mystical and wondrous as it can be, is operating as it should? That these seeming irrationalities are evidence of something greater than biology at work?


I’m going to try, anyway. I am going to make an effort to repress my eye roll when I see someone on facebook really upset about something I don’t care about. Instead, I’m going to send them a nice message (or at least a quick text) to make sure they’re doing okay. Because grief can be horribly isolating, too. And I want my friends to know they’re not alone.


As I’ve been writing this, Che has been more active than I’ve seen him in days. That other great irrational, Hope, has been welling up in me. Maybe hope and grief are opposites that need each other to survive. If we like one, we have to accept the other. So say a prayer for my fish, would you? And take care of yourselves and those you love. Stay warm out there, guys. See you next week!!




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Sherlock Special

Hi Everyone!


Hope you had a lovely New Year’s celebration, whatever it entailed. We had a quiet dinner with friends and watched a Disney movie until it was time to catch the ball drop in Times Square, which was just about perfect for me. New Year’s Day I had a packed schedule of quilting, cleaning, working out, seeing friends, and writing (knowing that what you do on Jan. 1 is what you’re going to do all year–I think I chose wisely!) I guess, under that superstition, I should have washed some baby clothes and changed some diapers, since I will for sure be doing that all year, but I didn’t.
The baby’s room is all finished! It is organized, furnished, and decorated! We spent a good part of the holiday weekend(s) getting that done, which was hard work but lovely to do together. People of the world–when you choose someone to share your life with, make sure they are someone you don’t mind doing menial and difficult tasks with. It makes all the difference to have a partner who can make you laugh as you’re drilling the umpteenth hole in the wall to hang something up…and one who knows to order a pizza when you make a huge mistake and drill an extra-large hole in the wall that needs to be plastered over. (hypothetically of course. I would never do such a thing!)


Anyway, we took a break in time to watch the SHERLOCK Special on PBS, the triumphant return of BBC’s hit series after two years away. Reactions to this episode were highly mixed, more so than previous ones. It also received lower ratings than Season 3’s premiere, although that may have been due to it being broadcast in theaters later in the week–some people may have wanted to have their first viewing experience on the big screen. My review will contain spoilers, so please don’t read any further until you’ve seen it if you’d like to avoid them.


Alright then! If you’re still here, you’ve been warned.


I will say, on the whole, I think I liked it. Watching Sherlock is always such a roller coaster for me the first time I see an ep that it takes repeated viewings to see if I actually enjoyed it. I’m too busy taking things in, searching for clues, and observing sly canonical references (for a really excellent post on these, check out my friend Anastasia’s blog here)  to really watch it for enjoyment’s sake. That being said, I think I liked it.


It started out, as Sherlock episodes often do, with a “what the heck is going on?” feeling that I think lasted about 45 minutes. I had no idea why we were in Victorian times. I didn’t necessarily dislike it, but I was waiting for an explanation…knowing Gatiss and Moffat don’t often give them but waiting nonetheless.


There were some great funny moments, like the sign language bit, John saying “the illustrator’s out of control”, Lestrade’s amazing mutton chops, etc. A friend of mine said this show is really a screwball comedy a la “His Girl Friday” disguised as a Sherlock Holmes story, and I felt that was true in this episode. It was (actually literally for Sherlock) kind of an acid trip.


I did not like grotesquely fat Mycroft. I know canonically he’s super fat, and there’s something to be said about Sherlock gambling with Mycroft’s life the way Mycroft gambled with his (by sending him to Serbia) but I honestly think that’s giving the writers too much credit. I think that they were being silly just to be silly and nobody ever tells Moffat no, ever. And sometimes someone should. (I read an interesting article  [even though it was a year old] about what a jerk he is and how puzzling it is that he runs two of the most popular TV shows of all time. While I don’t agree with all of it, and I don’t have him as much as the author seemed to, it was an interesting take.)


Come to think of it, a lot of this episode was just gratuitous and silly. The nadir, for me, was the conversation in the greenhouse which was basically a rehash of Chris Pratt’s speech to Bryce Dallas Howard in “Jurassic World”:

“…do you relate to any of those things, Sherlock?”  It went on forever, and there was no resolution to it. Why even put it in there if you’re not going to introduce something new?


There is a large camp of people on the internet who think John and Sherlock, in this particular iteration, are going to end up together and Moffat and Gatiss have known it all along and have been dropping hints. They are called The Johnlock Conspiracy (TJLC). While I don’t agree that it is going to happen (people would burn down the BBC), I DO wonder why M&G spend SO much time talking about John and Sherlock’s sexuality and making gay jokes and generally queer-baiting the audience if they’re not going to do SOMETHING about it. It just gets annoying to me after a while. I’m not amused with the “are they or aren’t they” tension because it just feels like a cruel joke to the audience who is so invested in this pairing. M&G know about TJLC, they know they have a HUGE fanbase who wants it to happen, and they are aware of the lack of GLBT representation on screen and how much it would mean to the community to have a gay version of Sherlock and John, so the fact they keep teasing it with full knowledge of all that just seems spectacularly tone-deaf. Another instance where someone needs to edit Moffat, but his wife is the producer so that’s not going to happen any time soon. *Sigh*


And then there was the women thing this episode. I LOVED Man-Molly, trying to make it in a man’s world (and Sherlock totally missing it). It was a lovely way to include her in the ep and be period accurate. I felt that gesture was nice and appropriate. BUT THEN. But then.


The women in hoods (which looked a little KKK but weren’t white and also the original story “5 orange pips” on which the case was based involved the KKK and so of all the things to be mad about maybe let this one go?) who made a murder-club to…win the vote? Not quite historically accurate. I felt pandered to–like M&G were like “we heard you, whiny women people, so look! We mentioned you! And admitted we’ve treated you poorly! So we made you assassins! Now quit bitching and watch our show.” (I think it’s worth mentioning that one of the only female characters of note in this show, Mary, is also an assassin. I’ve been told Dr. Who has a similar problem–ladies are either wilting flowers or murderers, no in between. Can you come up with another trope, Moffat? It’s wearing thin.)


If it turns out that Sherlock LEARNED something from this (and starts treating women better? I don’t know) than I’ll forgive the sequence. But the “mansplaining the feminist movement” (and equating suffragettes with murderers) really rubbed me the wrong way. It seemed so out of place and a blatant attempt to calm the “hysterical” masses of women who complain about representation in this show.


I didn’t mind the jumping back and forth in time. I bought the whole drugs-made-a-multiverse thing. Once I resigned myself to the fact it had no point and just looked cool, I really enjoyed it! The introduction of Moriarty as Sherlock’s conscience (sort of) was excellent because it means we get more Andrew Scott, and I think it helped develop Sherlock’s character a bit. My husband, who really liked the episode and thinks I’m overreacting about the suffragist bit, says the whole thing was “let’s learn more about Sherlock’s feelings and how he views himself and the world” episode, and he really appreciated a glimpse into his psyche. I guess read that way, the episode was pretty great. (although still weird because why would Sherlock be so fixated on women getting the vote?)


The final battle at the falls was just sublime. I was staring at the screen in slack-jawed wonder. It’s a classic canonical moment, rendered gloriously. I loved John shoving Moriarty at the end, particularly with his “it’s my turn” line. For me, this ep was most successful as an introduction to the multiverse idea–that there are many parallel universes where Sherlock and John will always exist, endlessly living out their adventures in different places and times. And they will be essentially the same, despite costuming and time/place differences. I’ve read a few fanfics that do this concept better (and I think there was a scene in the ep ripped straight from one of them) but I liked the message–that whether it’s 1895 or not, Sherlock Holmes will always be a clever detective and John Watson will be by his side. So the end of the ep was much better than the beginning for me.


Back in present time, there was Mary being brilliant and John being daft, which is NOT the way to make a woman character look smart! She doesn’t have to belittle John to prove she’s important…again, I think I just feel really, really sorry for Moffat’s wife. Because he clearly doesn’t understand or even really like women. The list bit with Mycroft was unnecessary and clearly added because Gatiss is a showrunner and wanted a bigger part. So it ended on a slightly sour note for me, but I will still pumped about the Reichenbach Falls scene so I let it go.


All in all, I think time will tell about this episode. Depending on how the next season goes (next year, most likely…my kids will be in college before this damn show is over) and where the plot of this show fits in will prove how successful it was. It was pretty funny, it looked very nice, and it did have the standout Reichenbach sequence. So, not as bad as the Blind Banker, but not one of my favorites by a long shot.


What did you think, readers? I’ve seen some super strong opinions out there of vastly different polarities. Let’s talk! At length. Please.


See you next Tuesday!! Stay warm out there.




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