Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Fire

The night is calm, but my mind is a racing engine. It is raining fire all around me. You watch me from above, long to take me in your arms and protect me forever, yet the sky is your prison, and you can only watch as I begin this journey. Every step, every footprint feels like a burning coal beneath my boot. You cry out, and I long to look up to where you dwell and join you. But the fires are still lit in the night, the wind whipping them up to tremendous heights, brighter and extremely dangerous.
Yet somehow in my angst, somehow as you watch me from above, the fire speaks to me, tells me things I knew once but may never know again. You are holding your breath as the fire extends toward me and I long to back away from the heat.
But I can't. I look up at you one last time before this transforming rendezvous. I tell you I love you and touch the fire as you are released from the prison of the sky. You fall to the earth as the fire continues to dance in the night wind. It is an eternity that the fire spends dancing with me, but just as a single tear falls down your cheek in this realization, I walk forth from the flames. I am burned in many places, my hair is singed, my clothes black with burns. Yet I am alive.
I smile and rush into your arms and plant a hot kiss on your cold lips. A clock strikes eleven somewhere nearby.
I don't remember what happened in there; I don't know how I made it through alive. But I did.

I kiss you one final time in joy and love, and we are ever so gently lifted up into the night in the celebration of our reunion. Our loyalty, though scarred by fire and the memory of your prison cell, is impenetrable. And as we stand here together, the night wraps it in golden lace of the stars as the fire below slowly dies.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review of "The Final Problem"

Wow.... wow. Before I get too carried away, the drill is the same: this review will contain spoilers for the season 4 finale of Sherlock. 

Spoilers below!

Jeez. I didn't realize that Sherlock's secret sister could be so psychotic, so evil, so scary. Let's start from the beginning again.
Mycroft is watching a tape in this old building when the video he's watching says ominously, "I'm back." Mycroft gets up and walks around the building, seeing shadows of someone. He had his umbrella with him and, to my surprise, pulled that umbrella apart to reveal a sword. It's funny how something that sounds so simple actually appears so awesome, so badass, when you see it on the screen. He walks forward and asks the person he knows is in the shadows to come out. Unbeknownst to the elder Holmes brother, Sherlock set the trick up only to berate Mycroft about not telling him about Eurus. Speaking of which, the last episode left us on a cliffhanger with her shooting John. Well, it turns out, he's okay, because it was a tranquilizer dart. I will admit that I wish they had at least told us where he was shot before he recovered.
Anyway, moving on!
Mycroft, John, and Sherlock go back to Baker Street and Sherlock asks Mycroft about Eurus and why he can't remember her. Well, it turns out she was psychopathic from a very young age and Sherlock's mind buried his memories of her and altered them to protect him. Remember Sherlock's dog, Redbeard? It turns out it's not a dog; Sherlock never had a dog! It turns out Sherlock imagined Redbeard to cope with the dark truth: Redbeard was really called Nemo Holmes, the third brother. And Eurus killed him!
I will say that this particular twist cemented everything for me: Sherlock being a man of logic rather than emotion, Mycroft keeping up the story of the dog to protect Sherlock, and Eurus being the most dangerous genius Sherlock ever faced.
While they are discussing Eurus and what to do, an explosive drone flies into the room and the three just make it out as the drone explodes. I'm honestly glad that that's what the explosion from the trailer was - at least they made it!
They then travel to Sherrinford to find out how Eurus escaped. I love what Sherrinford turned out to be. I love how Gatiss and Moffatt had everyone assuming Sherrinford was the brother and not a place. Smart move.
Once they get there, things get ramped up to an eleven. Eurus is in control of the entire ward. At this point, I was so afraid of her that I didn't even know what to think. We then go back five years where we meet Jim Moriarty once again, who visits Eurus without supervision by the staff. The sudden appearance of Moriarty scared the living crap out of me.... then I found out it was a flashback. Moffatt and Gatiss are way too good at scaring viewers.
We then watch as Eurus and Moriarty formulate a plan to end Sherlock.... at this point, I was absolutely terrified. Darker and edgier, indeed! Eurus, back in the modern day, forces Sherlock to play a dangerous game where he must shoot one of the ward's employees, tell Molly Hooper he loves her, and kill either John or Mycroft in order to move on. The game was the most terrifying thing to sit through, and if Sherlock didn't do as told she would blow up a plane with an innocent little girl inside. I was convinced at this point: Eurus is the most dangerous villain Sherlock has faced to date. Sian Brooke was brilliant playing her.
Sherlock refuses to shoot his brother and friend, so Eurus knocks him out and puts him in a holding cell, Mycroft in another room, and John in a well somewhere on site. She then forces her brother to solve the case of the Musgrave ritual.... Sherlock finds out that the little girl on the plane and Eurus are the same person. A child warped by fear of the world with no one there to help her since she got locked up. Sherlock finding her and comforting her was a perfect way to end the game, even if it was a little cheesy. But I like the idea of Eurus and Sherlock just being human in the end. She helps Sherlock to find the well (in which John is drowning at this point) and they rescue him just in time.
Eurus gets locked up again for all she did, but this time Sherlock is allowed to visit her. I found that to be perfect, because it fulfills both characters and they are both better people in the end. The episode ends with Sherlock and John back at the Baker Street flat, which has begun to be repaired from the blast and a video clip of Mary signing season 4 off.

Overall, even if it did get a little cheesy in spots, I feel like we needed to see that from Sherlock, not just the cold, calculating machine. Brooke was fantastic in her role and Martin Freeman delivered yet another amazing performance as John Watson. Mark Gatiss was on point as the foil to Sherlock. I'm glad we didn't see him exhibit any emotion, though, because it wouldn't have shown how Sherlock, though the younger, is the one who has grown. I hope Moffatt and Gatiss continue with Sherlock's story sometime in the future, because I feel there is a lot more that could be said. I hope to see Sherlock again soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Review of "The Lying Detective"

I figured I'd review the latest Sherlock episode The Lying Detective. Because why not? I reviewed the first episode and I feel like I have a lot to say about this more recent one. And that's a good thing.

As usual, spoilers from here on in!

Okay. This may have just replaced The Great Game as my favorite episode. Let's start from the beginning with Faith and her father Culverton Smith. I loved Faith as a character, she was just wonderful. And it was great seeing Sherlock bond with her over chips and a little mystery. As for Culverton, the way Toby Jones portrayed him was perfect, because he was one of the scariest villains I've seen on this show to date. It's just how psychopathic he is and how ruthless he is with his "TD 12" serum. He seriously is an amazing villain, how he hid in plain sight and was out to kill "anyone". The way he and Sherlock interacted was great to see and how Sherlock used him to get John to be his friend again after what happened with Mary was a brilliant move in the story.

Ah, Mary. Yes, I need to talk about her a little. I know some people don't like her (and they have pretty good reasons not to), but I honestly adored her and seeing John imagine her and have her guide him throughout the episode was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And even though I miss her in life, I feel like she's much funnier dead saying stuff like, "He really should wear the hat as a special tribute to me. I'm dead, I would really appreciate it." Just the way she knows John in this form and how she's so self-aware and loving toward him. And she can't do anything that the fans will hate her for in this form. Good move, Moffat.
As for Sherlock, damn! The drugs! The meth! How Mary asked him to do it to save John from himself! And he was so funny when high! How other people dealt with him was perfectly in line with their own characters: Mycroft seeing him as a security concern, John being angry with him about Mary and venting that anger using the drugs as an excuse - wrong on John's end, but still in line with who he is - Molly being fed-up with Sherlock's behavior as an addict and her love for him driving her to angry tears, and finally, Mrs. Hudson.
I have to give her her own section here because I love how we got to see this perfectly badass woman beneath a grandmotherly exterior. She had a gun on him and put him in the trunk of her car and Sherlock's reaction to such treatment was hysterical in every sense of the word.
"Except the boot. The boot was mean." 
How she dealt with Mycroft and his men searching Sherlock's flat was perfect in its own way. The way she broke down Sherlock as a man of emotion and not hard logic was amazing. And she was able to berate Sherlock's own brother for not realizing this! It is brilliant and so wonderfully insightful for a woman we don't see much of as a character - most of the time.
"I mean, he knows you're an idiot, but that's okay because you're a lovely doctor, but he has no idea what an idiot [Mycroft is]." 
And her concern for John as everyone watches the video Mary left behind for Sherlock was wonderful.
The video. I have to mention this, too. The way it was revealed that Sherlock on drugs was for her case was amazing. How the way he saved John from himself was brilliant, intense, and gut-wrenching. My heart was pounding the entire time!
And how such a scene finally exposed Culverton Smith as a serial killer was amazing. John attacking Smith to help Sherlock was so nice to see, because it shows that, no matter how much Sherlock annoys John, they are and always will be best friends.
And John's therapist. I know I've been rambling on for a while, but cutting up this episode to expose each piece for its brilliance is the point of this review. She was amazing, Eurus. The way she turned out to be Faith, the woman John texted in the previous episode, and Sherlock's secret sister was brilliant. And the note she left for Sherlock using blacklight was something I was happy to see because it reminded me of the secret messages of Journal 3 from Gravity Falls. Maybe I should have seen that one coming.....
All in all, a brilliant episode that is the perfect leader to the finale. I can't wait for The Final Problem! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, if only I had been able to fly through this one in time to finish off the 2016 reading challenge.... You just can't win them all, can you?
I hate to say this, but I really prefer Arthur Conan Doyle novels to the short stories. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the stories in this book, it's just that I felt like most of them were weighed down by clients' stories of whatever their problems were. I felt like, as a result, the mysteries were cleared up so quickly that I missed the solutions to some of them! It was good, overall, but it wasn't as good as The Hound of the Baskervilles or The Valley of Fear, simply because I did not feel as immersed in the shorter stories as I did all four novels.
I want to point out that this has nothing to do with Conan Doyle as a writer, however. I've read all of his Holmes novels and The Lost World and those were all exceptional works of genius. I have no doubt that Conan Doyle is brilliant. Short stories have just never been my cup of tea, personally.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 2, 2017

"The Six Thatchers" Review

So I'm going to take a minute and stray from the norm again. This time, I'm going to be reviewing season 4 episode 01 of Sherlock. Just a quick warning to those who haven't seen the episode yet that this review will contain spoilers, so I recommend you watch the episode if you haven't seen it and then come back to this review

Spoilers from here on in!

Wow... just wow. I should have seen it coming. I really should have. After Sherlock is called to investigate why six busts of Margaret Thatcher have been, well, busted, the mystery is compounded with another. Remember that flash drive with Mary's initials on it in "His Last Vow"? Well, there's more than one. And a man who wants Mary dead has it! He wants her out because she betrayed a group they were both a part of about six years ago.... but that turns out to be false. Someone else betrayed them.

Sherlock struggles throughout the episode to find out how all of this is connected to his deceased rival James Moriarty, but finds nothing. I will say I need to watch the episode again, because it was hard to view in my living room since the TV was mounted high on the wall. I hope Netflix gets the episode soon....
I moved into the den to continue watching the episode as Sherlock vowed to protect Mary, who of course was in danger. The second to last scene absolutely broke my heart, as Mary passed away, but it felt right. I'd heard that Conan Doyle eventually had the original Mary die. I haven't gotten that far into the short stories yet, but it was dark and tragically touching....
I will miss Mary going forward, but I understand that her story arc needed to be wrapped up and her sins eventually needed to catch up to her. I believe John will eventually come around to a more peaceful state of mind, after the dust has settled, and understand that it's not Sherlock's fault....
And a little side note: John and Mary's daughter, Rosamund, is beautiful! And I love her name!
I hope everything sets itself right, because I really want to see John and Sherlock solving crimes together again....