First of all, you say that Sherlock was both “embarrassing” and “out of character” throughout the episode, mostly due to his “adolescent” feelings for Irene. Personally, I felt that while he was ruffled on occasion in the episode, it was more due to Irene’s ability to keep up with him mentally, rather than from his physical desire for her. After all, it’s not often that Sherlock interacts with someone who can keep up with him, and more so, pose a threat.
I would agree with you if it wasn’t for that embarassing (yes, embarassing) scene when Sherlock first sees Irene naked and can’t read her. I mentioned in another post how that is absolutely ludicrous as there is so much you can tell about someone from their naked body: age, weight, height, scars, tan lines, birthmarks, musculatre, irregular development, confidence, insecurity, posture, injuries, etc. etc. He wasn’t shocked into numbness by how smart she was in that scene - he was shocked and flustered by her naked boy. And I, for one, am tired of characterizations wherein the only way where a woman can successfully get an upperhand on someone else is through her sexuality and her body. Yes, Irene is smart, but more importantly, she is scandalous and sexy - a tired trope used for female characters, and frankly, a bit sexist. Check out readings on femme fatales and false dichotomies of masculinity and feminity if you are bored and want to know more.
In fact, his feelings play a very small role in his dealings with Miss Adler, as the audience is shown at the end of the episode - the scene in which one might have thought Sherlock was falling for Irene was actually a carefully calculated moment wherein he was able to unfeelingly analyze his opponent.
Another problem here which is prevalent in this whole episode: Sherlock’s characteristics are contrasted against Irene’s. He is seen as unfeeling, aloof, ‘objective, and she is seen as clever, but still susceptible to traditionally ‘feminine’ weaknesses such as sentiment, affection, love. This lauding of detachment and condemning of sentiment is again, hardly new. The prescribing of these traits as masculine and feminine respectively is also nothing new. By continuing to rely on antiquated understandings of feminity and masculinity as being diametrically opposed, these writers prove that they do not know how to write a female character without repeating potential damaging stereotypes that have been prevalent in Western societies since… oh, 5000 years ago.
Second, while you may be right in saying that sexual fluidity in the media is more prominently lesbian or bisexual women falling for men, you seem to be missing the other sexual subtext within the episode - that is, John’s close to romantic bond with Sherlock.
Imma stop you right there. Yes, there is loads of homoerotic subtext between Watson and Holmes. It is one of my favourite aspects of the show. But subtext does not text make. If it was explicit in the text that John loves Sherlock, this issue would not be so bad. It would, however, still play on a tired representation of lesbians as “just waiting for the right man”, but if there was some good boy-on-boy action to balance it out, it might have been more critical and less stereotypical. But as it stands, we have assume all we want and look for connections we think are there, but until someone happens as explicitly between John and Sherlock as it did between Irene and Sherlock, those two storyline are not even slightly comparable.
While you may think that he was being intentionally cruel, he was in fact portraying the very realistic situation of a unrequited love, and while Sherlock may have been cruel, it was because he didn’t know any better; he was only stating what he observed. Not to mention the fact that he APOLOGIZED.
Yeah, I did attack Moffat directly, and it wasn’t based on his writing. I should have clarified. I think this episode is evidence of his misogyny, but I actually KNOW he is sexist because of some incredibly stupid, fake apology tweets he wrote about how sexist his characterization of Irene was. So yeah, I know the guy has some problems with women, and I let my previous knowledge of that inform how I read his writing. Even still, I stand with my claim that the tearing down of Molly was excessive and unnecessary, in that it didn’t really show us anything new about Sherlock and it only served to make Molly look alternately humiliated and then pathetic. Did the writers really have no other way to show us that Sherlock can sometimes regret the things he says than to make him tear down a female character in one of the most misogynist rants I’ve ever heard on TV? If so, then they are bad writers. I know for a fact that they are not bad writers, so really, this example just shows that they are sometimes lazy writers.
And as to your argument that there are only two types of female characters, last time I checked, Mrs. Hudson neither wanted to “fuck” nor “kill” Sherlock. The females portrayed on the show are just as, if not more finely nuanced then the men (if you would care to look). Both men AND women on the show love/hate Sherlock - it’s an essential aspect of the character that he is able to bring out such strong emotions in others, and one that I believe is completely in keeping with Sir Conan Doyle’s original character.
We are almost saying the same thing here, but there is obviously some confusion. Obviously, Sherlock is a polarizing character, and people he interacts with either love him or hate him. The thing that makes these female characters sexist is that they either want to fuck him or they hate him. They don’t admire his genius in a non-sexual or platonic way — he makes them horny. They are manipulated sexually rather than forming their opinions and feelings about him based on non-sexual admiration. Having a woman fall in love with a man is the laziest way to show that she esteems him.
And as for the “I AM SHERLOCKED” being, as you put, the “most embarrassing and contrived plot point ever.” I will have to respectfully disagree. As I said before - Irene Adler is the one woman who can truly keep up with Sherlock Holmes. To meet one’s intellectual match, especially at their level of intelligence, would seem to be a profoundly moving experience that could easily evoke the kind of emotions and reactions that occurred throughout their interactions. I felt that it was a beautiful denouement to a stunning return for Sherlock.
I respectually disagree with you. Meaning no offense, I thought it has ham-handed and cheesy. Especially since I jokingly guessed early in the episode that it would say “Sherlocked” because I thought it was ridiculous. I was disappointed that my joke prediction came true.
I just want you to know: I completely understand that you are entitled to your own opinion, and if you maintain your view of Sherlock as a misogynistic piece of garbage on par with Glee, that’s your prerogative. I, however, will continue to enjoy the masterful work of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and all of the actors and crew who are able to create an amazing interpretation of a classic work that has garnered both critical praise and received the love of audiences all over the world.
Juding by this conclusion, you seemed to have willfully misinterpreted my entire post. I thought that major elements of this episode were misogynistic and the characterization of Irene Adler woefully sexist and misguided. Do I hate the show? No. It’s still one of the best written, acted and produced shows on TV. I still like the characters and am still interested in the plot. I just didn’t like this episode. You are allowed to be critical of things you like. In fact, I would encourage it. It pushes already excellent shows to improve. Frankly, I don’t know why you think enjoying a show and being critical of its problematic elements are somehow mutually exclusive, but hey, that is your prerogative.
Also, I do apologize, in all sincerity for real if I implied that Sherlock was as bad as Glee. I just meant that the subtley of “I AM SHERLOCKED” was about on apar with Glee writing. The rest of the episode, even the parts I didn’t like, were clearly of a much higher calibre than the shit writing that show produces.