If you can see this this message, my queue has riched its bottom.
Don’t worry ‘bout me, I’m alive and travelling. I’m probably somewhere in Africa or in the south of Europe.
I shall be back before 15th of September.
I had no idea you would be so affected.
Hi, and thank you! The Hamish timeline is really tricky, because in TSoT Sherlock’s MP sequence includes a bunch of flashbacks. He’s not trying to figure out John’s middle name during the wedding – he learned it years ago, and now he’s remembering how he obsessed over it, how secretive John was about it, and the lengths Sherlock had to go through to figure it out. He’s just realized Tessa knew John’s middle name, which Sherlock found unusual because John was so tight-lipped about it.
But this is definitely a place where the fabric separating reality from metaphor is worn thin. Because, as Sherlock acknowledges, “Hamish” was on John’s wedding invitation. Therefore it wasn’t a secret – anyone who saw the invitation would know. Tessa saw the wedding invitation, and that was the clue that triggered Sherlock’s Mayfly Man deduction process, but it was entirely unnecessary to show us that lengthy flashback montage demonstrating how secretive John was with his middle name. That secrecy was irrelevant because Hamish appeared on the wedding invitation. It wasn’t a secret in TSoT.
So why did Sherlock spend so much time remembering how he obsessed over it? And why on earth would a man who has no room for the solar system or who the prime minister is in his mind obsess over learning his flatmate’s middle name so much anyway? Because as he keeps doing on the wedding day, Sherlock is making one more deduction than he expected – that he’s in love.
We know from the flashbacks that Sherlock had procured John’s birth certificate before John blurted out “Hamish” in front of Irene. And the first flashback, when Sherlock first sees the “H,” shows Sherlock has started smoking again.
In TGG, Sherlock is still on nicotine patches: he reminds John of this at Janus Cars and says “I’m doing well.” So the smoking began again between TGG and ASiB. Which makes perfect sense – he started smoking after what happened at the pool with Jim, when John offered to sacrifice his own life to save Sherlock.
Sherlock has no idea what to do with these feelings he has for John. He doesn’t even know what they mean. That confusion, all those emotions he doesn’t understand, manifest into a renewed smoking habit and an otherwise inexplicable obsession with something as trivial as John’s middle name.
Now, at the wedding, he’s finally coming to understand what those emotions and that obsession meant/mean.
Metaphorically, “Hamish” represents John’s other secret: his own feelings for Sherlock. That’s why the only flashback in the sequence that was actually from a previous episode is the one where John blurts out “Hamish” when he thinks Sherlock is flirting back with Irene. Both John’s secrets are revealed at once – his middle name, and his jealousy. Back in ASiB, Sherlock didn’t understand John’s outburst. But now, at the wedding, Sherlock is putting the pieces together.
He realizes he’s in love, and he realizes John just might feel the same. But his mind is still preoccupied with the Mayfly Man case, so he hasn’t had time to think about what this means – about the fact that hey, John just got married. For once, Sherlock’s heart is ahead of his brain. That’s why he looks so, so purely happy here:
His brain catches up once its solved the mystery of Sholto and the delayed action stabbing, and the metaphor rises to the surface again with the Sholto-Sherlock parallel (Mr. Holmes, you and I are similar, I think. Yes, I think we are.)
As Sherlock talks to Sholto through the door, his epiphany about John begins to sink in – you can see it happen. Despite what he feels (and what John feels), Sherlock knows he can’t tell him now.
Not at John’s wedding. We wouldn’t do that, would we…you and me. We would never do that to John Watson.
Since the first 221b series post has been picked up again, here’s part 2.
I was taking screencaps of TEH (as you do) and cropped this out to show the better shot of the lighting on Sherlock and I just wanted to put it out there at this shot is friggin’ beautiful. Torture notwithstanding. But the lighting of the torturer, the painterly quality of the walls and table and window, the wetness and texture of the stone tile, the line of Mycroft’s body, the stairs up and away. This is gorgeous. Guys, say what you will about Sherlock and maybe TEH specifically but sometimes I’m still overwhelmed by how good this show is.
Welp— I asked Steve Lawes what his inspiration was for this scene and this was his answer:
sherlock // the empty hearse
You love it. Being Sherlock Holmes.
no words necessary
(requested by anigrrrl2)
I used one of my art challenge days to finish this off. Holmes treats Watson to a relaxing evening after a long day’s doctoring and detecting.