Subtle Skies

and Gray Analogies



(Source: holmesless)



based on: (x) (x) source: (x)

So, Elementary fandom has talked about gaslighting before, and how it is used in abusive relationships. We’ve seen Irene/Moriarty do this to Sherlock in Elementary, and the same pattern appears in the newly-aired Sherlock with Sherlock and John. This article defines how gaslighting takes several distinct forms most of which can been seen paralleled with Elementary and BBC Sherlock. (Also, if anyone with psychiatric background could weigh in on this, that’d be great.)

1-4: Compartmentalizing: Irene fakes her own death, then makes a sudden reappearance a year later, after Sherlock has moved on and formed healthy relationships with other people (Elementary).

Sherlock fakes his own death, makes a sudden reappearance two years later after John has moved on and formed healthy relationships with people (BBC)

5&6 - Denial, Blaming/Deflection, Chronic Invalidation: Sherlock deduces that Irene is working for Moriarty (or at least, not held captive by him as she stated) and thinks she’s lying to him - he gets angry. Irene placates him, saying it’s because he is “seeing things that aren’t there”. (Elementary)

John’s angry at Sherlock for not contacting him for the last two years; Sherlock doesn’t apologize and dismisses John’s anger, explaining that it was because Sherlock didn’t trust him. (BBC)

7&8 - Domination: Irene tries to make Sherlock take back his words - when he doesn’t, she replies with “You lied before! You don’t want to come with me, so you’re inventing an excuse not to!”. Then she walks out of Sherlock’s life and makes him think he’s cause of it because in her eyes, he is the just as bad as Moriarty. (Elementary)

John’s angry that Sherlock acts irresponsibly and the bomb is about to go off. Sherlock defuses the bomb in the tube train, but lets John believe that they’re both going to die. Sherlock fakes vulnerability, apologizes to John and uses the now-or-never-scenario to make John accept his apology. (BBC)

9&10 - Minimization: Irene waltzes back into Sherlock’s life, reveals her true identity, and calls Sherlock’s trauma at her death a game. “You’re a game I’ll win every time.” (Elementary)

Sherlock reveals that the bomb had an off switch, and laughs at John’s trauma and fear when he thinks he’s about to die. “Your face, your face! Totally had you!” (BBC)

The most important thing about this, though, is that Elementary portrays it as an abusive relationship and recognizes that Moriarty/Sherlock is not in any way a healthy relationship. Meanwhile BBC Sherlock does the complete opposite, which is all kinds of fucked up.

I’m going to get hate for this

Gaslighting. That, in a nutshell, is exactly what’s wrong with BBC Sherlock. At the core is what I’ve said in my own review of TEH: The two men running this show are shit-scared of actual, genuine, human emotion - it’s to be laughed off, made the target of homophobic and misogynistic humor, and leads to plot-twists that were ugly things in 1960s sitcoms when men pulled them on women as a joke.

I would just love to sic JOAN Watson on BC’s unspeakable asshole Sherlock - she’d teach John how one handles a healthy platonic relationship, and it’s not by perpetually taking abuse and asking for more.


Elementary’s current storyline: "How you behave and the lines you cross have consequences, other people’s lives aren’t less important and don’t revolve around you and your brilliance, and saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean that relationships will be repaired and you have to learn to balance your vices with the fact that you need people."

Sherlock’s current storyline: "Oh my god, the brilliant genius is back, thank god, the two people’s lives who have been shamed into irrelevance or insanity don’t need to be made up for, and oh by the way, just keep screwing with your friend who thought you were dead yeah let’s all have one big fucking laugh meanwhile look, that girl who liked you is dating someone who looks just like you isn’t that sad and hilarious?"





  • Fakes own death and leaves person who loves them to see the result.
  • Makes unexpected reappearance when ‘loved one’ has moved on and is back to health/happiness.
  • Person who loves them goes into natural shock and incomprehension at this sudden reappearance.
  • Person who loves them lashes out, unable to accept the return, and unable to forgive the person for betraying them.
  • Plays emotional games with the person who loves them to get the reaction they want.

The reaction post I needed and was too angry to make myself.

…that’s really fucked up.

And also quite a representation of how Moffat’s writing clearly favors cleverness over being an actual good person, and therefore what was framed as terrible in Elementary (as it should have been) was framed as perfectly acceptable because the plot demands it.

I can’t believe I didn’t realize this sooner.

Not the same anon but adding to the Elementary thing, a lot of Sherlock fans make the argument that having had casted so many POC and of varying sexualities and gender identities is "gimmicky" and "trying too hard" and that's not just illogical (NYC is one of the most diverse places in the world) but also I think really a supremacist mentality. I love Sherlock, but it's disheartening that having such a diverse cast is apparently a bad thing, whereas a cast of white male protags is acceptable??

ugh ugh ugh i know

right after the reveal that mrs hudson was trans*, like half the sherlock fandom exploded about how sherlock was “an actual brilliant show” not one that “just hands out as many sj cookies”

like h a h a h a sorry that a show that depicts a diverse city as actually diverse (and, in spite of the west-bound anglophiles’ insistent shrieking, london is one of the most diverse cities in europe) is just “handing out sj cookies” and not actually working toward racial and gsrm rep

not to mention the fact that elementary has produced roughly sixteen times the content sherlock has, and remains an excellent and clever show in spite of the fact that it doesn’t get 2 years to formulate 3 episodes
















OH CRAP..i urinated on myself


now the question is.. who would win? answers anyone?


Rory dies first, obviously. Everyone expected it—except for the viewers in the capitol who bet on it being the fat hobbit. But that’s okay: Samwise dies second.

The bloodbath at the cornucopia goes like this, writ small: Merlin kills Rory and Arthur kills Samwise almost immediately. They’re the easiest, most defenceless targets. Frodo runs, thinking Sam is just behind him, and the last thing Sam does before Arthur slashes him open is yell run, mr. frodo. John drags Sherlock off after grabbing a single gun. Amy and the Doctor run, the Doctor having grabbed his screwdriver and a backpack full of supplies, because at heart that man is ruthlessly practical. Sam and Dean kill Arthur and Ron. Hermione and Harry kill Dean, and then the furious big guns get pulled out: Merlin and Hermione and Harry vs. Cas and Sam. Cas and Sam mostly win—they get the cornucopia, anyway—but Merlin, Hermione and Harry make it off with lots of supplies: wands for Hermione and Harry, a staff for Merlin, and swords for all three. (Well. Merlin takes Excalibur from Arthur’s dead hand, before the cannon fires and he is cleaned away.) They form an alliance: the magic-users versus everyone else, but most particularly against the angel. Hermione privately resolves to die for Harry if it comes to that, while Harry does the same.

Five cannons go off.

In the woods, The Doctor is desperately trying to convince Amy that she has to hang on, she has to. Sherlock and John find water. Frodo hides in a hole in the ground.

Merlin, Harry, and Hermione discuss possible ways to kill an angel, since Avada Kedavra didn’t work. Merlin thinks the angel’s power is in his sword, because of course he does.

Sam and Cas have a conversation neither of them ever wanted to: about how Sam didn’t need the feather to fly. 

Sam goes on a hunt. Cas follows after, silent and powerful. Like Dean and Cas in purgatory, but better, since Sam was always the better hunter when he’d put his conscience aside.

Sam catches Amy and the Doctor. He hears the Doctor call her Amy Pond, and for a split-second he hesitates, but then he shoots her in the back of the head anyway. Dean is dead. No more mercy.

The Doctor turns to the demon-boy and the angel with his best friend’s blood on his hands, and he is the Doctor who has committed genocide twice. He figures out that Cas is using the angel sword as the main conduit for his power. He figures out that Sam isn’t quite human. Sam has no more mercy for monsters, and the Doctor points out viciously that the three of them are the only monsters in the arena. Everyone else is quite human. Sam shoots him, and the Doctor regenerates, and steps back up an entirely new man, and makes his first deed in his new life snapping Sam Winchester’s neck from behind. Cas stabs the Doctor through the heart, and the Doctor falls down, apparently dead.

Three cannons go off.

Merlin, Harry, and Hermione stumble into Sherlock and John’s camp. John shoots at them all on sight, but Hermione casts Protego in time and Harry gets him with Avada Kedavra. They make short work of Sherlock, who really had no hope without John. Merlin stabs him, looking like Sherlock’s younger brother, serious and golden-eyed.

The Doctor isn’t dead, of course. Just new. Still furious. Black-haired, damn it all. He snatches Sam’s shotgun out of his hand before it’s collected.

Merlin, Harry and Hermione find Cas by the water. Merlin and Harry confront him together, magic against grace, and they wait for Cas to materialize his sword. Accio!, Hermione shouts, and the angel sword is in her hand.

Together, they make short work of Castiel. Hermione is the one who kills him, finally.

Now their alliance is broken, and it’s Merlin with Excalibur against Harry and Hermione with the angel sword. Harry dies. Merlin and Hermione are locked in a stalemate: he’s more powerful, but she knows more spells than he does, is quicker witted. They’re both ruthless, and they’re both holding objects of great power. Eventually, Merlin slips up, and Hermione casts Obliviate!. Merlin sits, confused, docile as a child, while she walks up to him, picks up his sword, and slides Excalibur into his heart.

Three cannons go off.

The Game-makers send dementors after the three that are left, driving them together. The Doctor sees himself, as always, and runs, because he understands what he is seeing. Frodo sees Sam dying, again and again, and is paralyzed with fear. He is Kissed, and the Doctor shoots him as a kindness. Hermione’s Patronus protects her, but there are still too many dementors.

She and the Doctor meet at the cornucopia.

The Doctor gets one good look at her, beautiful teenage girl with eyes red with grief, covered in other people’s blood, her wand hand shaking, and he knows in his new beating hearts that he would have asked her to come with him, in another place and time. (He never knows why. Just who.) She’s more powerful than he is, but she’s tired. Very tired. And no matter what he says, the Doctor is a brutal survival instinct at his core, never one to die for a cause, or an ideal. Look at the Time War.

The dementors come closer, and her Patronus is tiring, and Hermione wonders dizzily if you can still be the victor if you’ve been Kissed. After all, you’re still alive, technically.

Hermione, is what he says. It is Hermione? You’re tired. I understand. Put the wand down, Hermione, and let’s talk.

I’d rather not, is what she says.

Come on, Hermione, he says cajolingly. You don’t want to kill me.

You underestimate me, she says, and casts the killing curse.

The Doctor dies, and the cannon goes off.

Her Patronus stutters and dies, and the dementors draw closer, but surely they won’t harm her—she’s the victor, she’s won. she gets to leave alive, she gets to be healed in body if not mind.

The dementors do not stop coming closer, and she tries to recast her Patronus but to no avail: there is no happiness left, there are no happy memories. She is covered in Ron and Harry’s blood. Hermione is Kissed.

The Doctor sits up, shining with golden light, and she’s new, a thirteenth Doctor, bright and cruel and finally ginger.

She rises up with her red hair, and the games are over.

Molly I finally read this, and it is so glorious. 

Elizabeth how did you even find this, I think it’s a year old. did I even have all my current tags a year ago? 

(Source: lokiddled)


i’ll survive; somehow i always do: fandomsandfeminism: drakamena: I don’t get it. Both Irene Adlers were…



I don’t get it. Both Irene Adlers were defeated because they fell for Sherlock Holmes, because of their sentimental feelings for him, but one is bashed and her writers are called names (Sherlock) and one is celebrated and her writers are called progressive (Elementary). I guess I’m thick but I see no difference between them, neither won and both let their feelings for him cloud their judgment.

Allow me to explain.

In BBC, Irene is hyper-sexualized, introduced as a lesbian woman, who’s sexuality is then ignored in order for her to get wet in the panties for Sherlock. It is revealed that she only posed a threat in the first place because she was given help from Moriarty, a man. She is then defeated when Sherlock proclaims that sentiment is a “chemical defect of the losing side”, reenforcing ”Women are so weak and emotional and girly feelings make you weak” tropes, and the episode ends with Sherlock having to go and save her from the scary scary terrorists. 

In Elementary, however, Irene works to SUBVERT the classic “damel” trope. We are told that she was killed to get to Sherlock, only to be recovered and in need of “healing.” (Bonus! Even in scenes where she is changing, she is never hyper-sexualized) However, the entire thing is a trick. Irene is actually the one in power. She manipulated SHERLOCKS feelings in order to dominate him. Her needing rescue was only a trick, praying on Sherlock’s emotional buy in to the classic “damsel” narrative. The vast majority of the male antagonists in the show were only HER pawns. And let’s be clear here: She DOES beat him. She defeats Sherlock. Irene/Moriarty is only defeated because she underestimated JOAN, not because of her sentimentality. Because she only saw Joan as a “mascot.” (And woah, the racial implications there are intense). In fact, Moriarty is primarily empowered by her emotions, talking about how her ability to manipulate people’s feelings is one of her sources of strength. 

You see, the BBC narrative buys into sexist tropes and the systematic disempowerment of women, along with a healthy dash of queer-baiting.

Elementary deliberately subverted those sexist tropes, demonstrates the power of women, and only has Moriarty defeated by underestimating another woman.