Sherlockian who goes back and forth between yelling at the show for being problematic and the fandom for being simultaneously better and worse.
Things can get a bit wild around here; I hope you enjoy your stay.
femlock icon art by alice xz
sidebar fanart by allegator on DeviantArt
Moffat: Also, if you read [The Adventure Of] Charles Augustus Milverton, Dr. Watson in the opening paragraph tells you that he’s about to tell you a porkie. He says, ‘I even now must be very reticent.’ I think what Doyle is hinting at is that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson sat in Baker Street and said, ‘Right, we’re going to have to go and kill him, aren’t we? That’s the only way we can do this.’ So they break in, kill him, and then Dr. Watson writes up a version of the story that puts the murder [on someone else].
Gatiss: They’re hiding in their burglar masks behind the curtain, and this random woman comes and shoots Milverton in the face and then grinds her heel into his face. It’s odd, isn’t it? So I mean really, it’s just an extrapolation of saying, ‘Well, he probably did it, I think.’❞
Steven Moffat, Empire Interview
…Are you kidding me, Moffat and Gatiss?
Christ almighty, I wish I hadn’t read that Empire quote. How very, very wrong-headed and upsetting.
To be clear, this entire interview is really really worrisome where they are taking the series. Having said that, I read this quote, but I didn’t have problem with it. I wasn’t thinking in terms of Moffat taking away agency from the woman. I see that this too would be a very probably explanation.
But there is a possibility that Moffat is right. Because, and this is my recent understanding so please correct me, people have speculated that Holmes was far too much repulsed by Milverton because Milverton knew about Holmes and Watson’s relationship. That Milverton was a threat to him and Watson. I don’t remember who pointed this out, but in Granada series, they even allude this in the episode The Master Blackmailer where Milverton ruins a wedding by bringing forth a past homosexual relationship of the groom. (Doesn’t Sherlock also say something similar? That Magnussen preys upon those who are ‘different’?) But Watson couldn’t write this of course, so he re-wrote the story to exclude that part of the story. If we believe this could be true, I can easily see Holmes and Watson killing Milverton. Although, I can’t see them being so pre-meditated about it.
I actually was unaware of the speculation that in canon, Holmes was repulsed by Milverton because Milverton knew about Holmes and Watson’s relationship, and I think that’s an amazing take! I would LOVE to see something like that. I think that the way they emphasized in this version that Sherlock hated Magnussen because he targets people who are different supports it quite well.
But the thing is, within the context of the original story, Watson constructed it to make total sense that a woman showed up and took revenge, and that Holmes figured out who it was. I don’t mind that they played with the idea of Watson being an unreliable narrator, but the fact that they downplayed the woman so much really grated against me. The “random woman” comment in particular — I was like, no, it wasn’t a random woman, it was one of Milverton’s victims.
It’s just that downplaying some of my favorite female characters is becoming a pattern with them. The way they handled Irene, and now this… Mary has potential (I’m rooting for the Mary = Moran theory, myself), but I’m worried to see what they do with her, and if they can construct the story to make sense with what they’ve already written. Because they’re trying to make it accessible for casual viewers too (which makes sense), and it might be difficult to fit something that convoluted in there that works for a mainstream audience.