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Mycroft theories regarding HLV

Has anyone out there seen fandom discussions of the possible connections between His Last Vow (the Sherlock episode) and "His Last Bow" (the Doyle story)? Or if anyone has thoughts on the matter they'd like to bring up?

I ask because the more I think about Mary, the more frustratingly turned around in circles I become, and no matter how I try to read the Appledore scenes at the end of that episode, I can't see it turning out well for the show - I go back and forth between thinking Sherlock is taking on Magnussen because it's in Mary's best interest, or thinking that he's doing this as a way to appease her, or thinking it's part of some grand plot to take her down, and no matter how I turn it around in my head there are always fairly large parts of that chain of events that simply don't make sense to me.

Which has me wondering if the scene isn't really about Mary, if there isn't some other motive that's driving Sherlock's actions here. I've been playing with a few in my head, and the theories get (IMO) more plausible if you place Mary on the periphery - if for instance he's acting as an operative on Mycroft's behalf, or if he's trying to get John free of being a pressure point that would be used against Mycroft, trying to keep John from being a pawn. And I'm not completely convinced yet, but it does seem suggestive that the show takes its title from the one Doyle story where Holmes works with the government more closely than any other I can recall.

Of course, I'm a Mycroft fan so it's just possible I'm seeing connections that don't exist because they bring my favorite character to the center of things. And of course Doyle connections can be thoroughly tangential when Team Moffat wants them to be - they're certainly not shy about turning the canon on its head. But I was wondering if anyone had seen discussions on this connection or had thoughts they wanted to discuss, to help spur on my own thinking here.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
fractalwolf
Jun. 30th, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
My take on it was that it was all about John. He truly wants John to be happy. He's easily perceptive enough to see that the situation with Mary, especially with the introduction of a child (people really get rid of the child and act like John wouldn't care? Bleah!), is on par with any happiness he can bring John. And Mary's a lot more stable than Sherlock could be (or sees himself as being able to be), long term.

I don't see it being about Mary. I don't see him caring one way or the other about Mary, except in as much as she connects to John. If she were threatening John the way Magnussen was, I rather imagine Sherlock would equally dispassionately arrange for her to disappear, possibly with Mycroft's aid.

That said, I can also see it being on some level about Mycroft. And about his own vanity. There's no reason why Sherlock can't have multiple levels of logic. By killing Magnussen he protects his brother in ways his brother's not willing to protect himself - morally. (I love the "Don't appall when I'm high" line.) He also protects his brother's pet project - the British government. And on the vanity level, he completes the task he promised to do at the start of the show, which is to get Magnussen to stop holding the blackmail over Lady Smallwood.

Of course, I'm not a rabid fan and have only seen the episode once, and haven't spent a lot of time thinking deeply about it, so YMMV.
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