oh man, i loved when clara when in the timestream and every version of the doctor past her by. it was such a tease, so epic, and i love how series 7.2 has been interweaving the doctor’s past regenerations throughout the episodes until they all could make sense
i’m not even gonna nitpick because i just want to be able to enjoy the fact that i enjoyed an episode of doctor who again
AND MY DOCTOR/RIVER FEELS HAVE RETURNED
(Warning for major Elementary spoilerage; if you haven’t seen the season finale, go do it. IT IS GLORIOUS.)
So other people have made better posts about how the writers subverted the Women in Fridges trope and how Moriarty used Sherlock’s own presumptions against him. I was reading one particular post (here it is for anyone who wants to read it, it has good thinky thoughts) when I had a realization about a couple of scenes that I had thought were off the first time around.
So the first scene I’m thinking of is when Sherlock wakes to Irene screaming, seemingly having a flashback. She’s screaming about how Mr. Stapleton has changed the rules again. Irene seems very distraught. Not 10 seconds later, she tells Sherlock: “Come sit with me, tell me how you’ve been.”
A weird thing for a real person in that situation to say (probably unlikely), huh?
And then there’s this scene:
SHERLOCK: Can I get you anything?
IRENE: I’m fine thanks. This must difficult for you.
SHERLOCK: I’m sorry?
IRENE: Having me here. I know how much you… see. I can only imagine what you’re picking up right now.
Like the first scene, this bothered me quite a bit. I mean here we have a woman who we’ve been told has been through some intense psychological trauma, and the focus is on how hard it is for the man who loves her? Not only that, but to have Irene voice this, to have her seemingly focus on Sherlock seeing her pain and the pain that causes him… That’s plenty screwed up.
Looking back knowing that Moriarty was playing Sherlock the entire time, god it makes so much SENSE. Because as adventuresofacomicgirl said in her post, Sherlock is self-absorbed and Moriarty knows this and ruthlessly takes advantage. It is an act to feeds off of Sherlock’s ego, putting him in the limelight of “Irene’s” emotional trauma.
The great thing is, this works on a meta level too: because Moriarty is simultaneously fooling the audience as well. She plays the role of the Fridged Woman, the role of Living Manpain Catalyst, and the prioritizing of Sherlock’s pain from a narrative standpoint is one that is culturally validated if taken at face value.