6 Pairings That Romanticize Abuse


Every time, I swear to God, every time I fall in love with a new TV show, some asshole comes along, sweeps up the main character, and brings down the entire show, causing me to stop watching in disgust. I’m not kidding, this has happened three times this year alone.

Abusive relationships being romanticized is one of the things that I absolutely hate with a burning passion. But gone are the days where the hero dudes go around smacking their girlfriends, because if that happened, everyone would be up in arms. No, TV and movies have found sneaky ways to paint abuse as “true love” and get away with it scot free. But luckily for you, my little raspberries, I’m here to expose their malpractices with the light of truth!

For this article, I’ve avoided obviously abusive pairings, like Joker/Harley Quinn and Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham, or pairings that have been beat to death by the mainstream like Bella/Edward (seen above) and Anastasia Steele/Christian Grey. I’m choosing to focus on those pairings who are the darlings of their fandoms, who can obviously do no wrong. Oh, but they can, my ducklings! They can. I’m about to rock your world.

**Warning: mild spoilers ahead for various media, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and BBC Sherlock.**

1. The Phantom and Christine Daaé, The Phantom Of The Opera

Because every girl’s fantasy is to be stalked by a murderer in the shadows and be forced into marrying him or have to watch her childhood best friend be strangled to death. I don’t give a shit how many roses he leaves in her dressing room – that’s f**ked up.

Not to mention, Christine is 18. Eighteen! She’s barely legal as it is. She claims that the “Angel of Music” (the Phantom) has been tutoring her and watching over her since she first came to the opera house. She’s been living there since she was eight years old. And thanks to Madame Giry’s flashback, we know that Erik is only a few years younger than Madame Giry – so he’s 40, at least. This is a fully grown adult who’s been stalking a child and gaslighting her until she’s old enough to bang. That’s disgusting.

But, you know. Some free music lessons and a candlelit boat ride through a swamp make everything okay.

Gaslighting: a practice in which the abuser gains the trust of the victim and uses that trust to manipulate them into doing things against their will, all while maintaining the pretense of someone who has the victim’s best interest at heart.

2. Rey and Kylo Ren (Reylo), Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

It honestly shocked me that this was even a popular pairing – or a pairing at all. Not as popular as Kylux (Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux), but it’s up there.

There’s not much to go on here, as there’s really only a couple of scenes between them, but what is there, is pretty frightening. I’m going to put aside the fact that Kylo straight up murdered Rey’s friend and father figure. I’ll even waive all the physical abuse in the lightsaber battles because, hey, this is Star Wars, and it isn’t exactly Star Wars without lightsaber battles.

But there is the creepy torture scene (torture isn’t a very good premise for a romantic relationship, now is it?) where Kylo is trying to get information out of Rey and threatens her with a line about how he can force her to tell him what he wants to know, and J.J. Abrams himself admits that this is supposed to be a “rape” scene. Getting inside a person’s head and violating their thoughts is mind rape. Plus there’s the disgusted, fearful look Rey makes as Kylo reaches toward her face that tells us all that Rey is in distress. Rey is trapped in the room, tied down, and can’t escape this situation, where she’s under the threat of physical violence and having her mind raped by Kylo. And that is abuse.

3. Kara Danvers and Mon-El (Karamel), Supergirl

This is what I was talking about earlier when I said TV shows often get ruined by some asshole (Mon-El) swooping in and becoming the protagonist’s “true love”. I’ve stopped watching Supergirl because my once beloved show about a strong, kind lady hero has been hijacked by this entitled jar of mayonnaise.

Upon crashing down in National City, Mon-El has done nothing by lie to Kara (not telling her that he’s the prince of Daxam), insult Kara and everything she stands for (“You fly around, rescuing people, like you’re just pure of heart, but that is crap. Because you love that attention. You love people loving you. You are not selfless.”), and go against Kara’s wishes (“You have ignored what I need from moment one today”), and generally just be a piece of shit (“I never said I wanted to save the world.” “Oh my God. You are so selfish!”). When she doesn’t return his affections, he whines and guilts her into loving him. And somehow – he ends up with her! What kind of message is that sending young girls?

Also, telling someone you allegedly love that they’re your “Kryptonite” (weakness) is NOT romantic. Love is supposed to make you stronger. If your romantic partner makes you “weak”, that’s a bad sign. Believe me, I know.

4. John Watson and Mary Morstan, Sherlock

I’ve been a little harsh on men in this list. But women can be abusers too, and this is a prime example.

Thanks to poor writing from misogynistic, self-satisfied dipshits, Mary Morstan’s characterization has been all over the place. But two things are for sure: Mary is a psychopath and a pathological liar. It eventually was revealed that Mary wasn’t as sugary sweet as she initially tasted. She was actually a killer for hire before meeting John, which she kept from him for almost an entire year, even after they were married. And the lengths she goes to keep that secret from him are outrageous. Namely, attempting to murder John’s best friend – the very same friend who had been missing for two years, whom John had been grieving over, which Mary had to know would devastate John at losing Sherlock all over again. But does she have any regards for his feelings? No. She would rather kill her husband’s dearest friend then have to come clean.

John does eventually find out, and naturally, is a little pissed off by it. So much so that he leaves her. When John finally does agree to speak to Mary again, she immediately guilt trips him – for being rightfully angry about Mary lying to him and trying to murder Sherlock. But for some reason, John takes her back and all is forgiven and forgotten.

(By the way, she never actually says that she’s sorry for shooting Sherlock in the chest. Not until she herself is dying, but honestly, series 4 is such out-of-character, bizarre, melodramatic, sloppily written horseshit that I don’t take any of it seriously. But that’s an essay for another day.)

And beyond all that…she’s just not a nice person. She makes fun of everyone, treating them all like they’re so beneath her. At one point she implies that John is so stupid, a dog is superior to him in intelligence. She’s manipulative, critical, and conniving. And yet, even though there’s little to no affection shown between John and Mary, she’s supposedly the great love of his life. His saving grace. His angel with a sniper rifle. *noise of disgust* Whatever.

5. Emma Swan and Captain Hook, Once Upon A Time

God, where do I BEGIN with these two?

Captain Hook completely ruined Once Upon A Time. He’s been sucking the soul out of Emma Swan for four seasons, and now she’s pathetic, codependent, and completely unrecognizable from the amazing, badass female protagonist that rolled into Storybrooke in a beat up Volkswagen seven years ago.

Hook started off, appropriately, as a villain. He gets into a sword fight with Emma right off the bat and makes lewd, rapey comments towards her. Emma was sensibly repulsed.

Then in season three, Hook decides he’s going to become the guy everyone loves – especially Emma. “I will win your heart,” he growls in her face. Again, another line that’s supposed to sound romantic, but is actually really gross.

Eventually, Emma was hooked (get it?), and her character development was sacrificed for makeout scenes with this guyliner wearing piece of shit. Like Mon-El and Mary, he lies to her constantly, doesn’t respect her wishes, manipulates her, and verbally abuses her when his world isn’t going perfectly ducky. In season 5, Emma saved Hook’s life by using dark magic, turning him into a Dark One (long story). She erased his and everyone else’s memory, but he does inevitably find out, and boy, does he drop that sweet boyfriend act fast. He hits Emma right in the emotional chink in her armor – by saying that all she’ll ever be is an orphan. He knows Emma’s trigger and uses it against her in the most brutal fashion possible. But are there ever any repercussions? Nope. Because Hook is the love of Emma’s life, and he can do no wrong!

Luckily, Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma Swan on OUAT, has announced her retirement from the show after the end of season six, and this godawful romance can die a festering death. Let’s just pray Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) gets fired and the show is left to be run by the only two likable characters left, Regina and Henry Mills.

And number six…

6. Severus Snape and Lily Evans, Harry Potter

I get it, Internet. You pity him. He never got the girl of his dreams. It’s the age old love story: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy calls girl a racial slur – wait, what?!

There was no fucking excuse for Snape to EVER call Lily a Mudblood. James was bullying him, Lily stepped in to defend Snape, Snape got his sensitive little male ego bruised and had been hanging out with a bunch of wizard white supremacists, and called Lily the worst word possible. She was his best and only friend, and he called her that. So no, I don’t feel bad for Snape at all. Especially since he carried his butthurtedness against her and James past their deaths and onto their orphaned child who had endured domestic abuse for the last ten years of his life. Snape gets no sympathy from me.

Okay. Rant over. Hopefully next post will be something more cheery. Thanks for reading. ~TRL


Sherlock vs. Hannibal


**Spoilers ahead for Hannibal, as well as Sherlock.**

Hey, guys! You know that show about solving crimes where the two male leads are really gay for each other and they have a cop friend who is so done with everything and there’s an iconic scene about falling off of high stuff and all the seasons end on huge cliffhangers and the last episode kind of ends abruptly but left the internet in an uproar?

So to heal from my extreme disappointment of the last season of BBC Sherlock, I’ve been delving into NBC Hannibal to cope. It’s not the best substitute because while it is a mystery thriller revolving around the Very Heterosexual Friendship of two men, Johnlock is about two broken men who are best friends and heal each other, while Hannigram is, as I’ve mentioned before, about a psychopathic cannibal preying on the fragile sanity of an already unstable criminal profiler to turn him into a killer like himself – not exactly the poster child for a healthy relationship.

But you know what’s not a unhealthy relationship? Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller and his Fannibals. Unlike certain showrunners I could name, Fuller actually owns up to the homoerotic subtext he purposely puts into his show – and never shames or ridicules fans for shipping Will and Hannibal. Hell, he does it for us!

Image result for bryan fuller hannigram tweets

Image result for bryan fuller hannigram tweets

Image result for bryan fuller hannigram tweets

Yeah, it’s really great. Especially opposed to –

Image result for mark gatiss johnlock tweet

Like, REALLY, Mark Gatiss? REALLY? Was that comment absolutely necessary????

Sherlock is a testosterone-fueled, white-washed melodrama that started out amazing, and then got so far up its own ass it became a gross parody of itself. Its ultimate lesson is that you should forgive your abusers and that if you’re different, you don’t deserve to have love, no matter how much of yourself you’ve given for it (Mary very nearly kills Sherlock and John welcomes her back with open arms and Sherlock’s evil sister Eurus gets a hug from him even though she murdered his childhood best friend and almost does the same to John; meanwhile, Mary dies and John nearly beats to Sherlock to death even though it’s not his fault at all). Hannibal is a gorgeous piece of art that unapologetically paints a destructive love story in all its twisted beauty.

So yeah, Hannibal and its creators are the best. I highly recommend it.

Johnlock Fan Fics Masterpost

This is a list of fics (by me) about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. The not shitty ones, anyway. (They’re arranged by adaptation and date published.)

Victorian/ACD canon

The Detective’s Wish – T, 600 words. After having sex, Holmes tells Watson his dearest desire. Victorian attitudes, snuggling, and Watson being a romantic sap.

A Great Heart, As Well As Of A Great Brain – NC17, 2600 words. Takes place after the canon story, “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”. Holmes was so afraid he’d lost his Boswell, and shows Watson how glad he was that the doctor’s bullet wound was merely superficial. Hurt/comfort, domestic fluff, and fellatio.

The Case Of The Bohemian Bachelor – T, 1600 words. Watson ponders why there are no women in Holmes’ life. He eventually figures it out.

Good Morning, John – G, 200 words. It is a cold January morning, but luckily Holmes has Watson to keep him warm. Snuggling!

The Thoroughly Imbecilic Scotland Yard – G, 404 words. Lestrade has no idea what’s going on. And he probably doesn’t want to. Oblivious!Lestrade, Holmes’s utterly bitable skin, and Watson being a trashcan as usual.

BBC Sherlock

Sanctuary – G, 900 words. John goes to the library for some peace and quiet and comes into contact with a very interesting librarian. Pre-slash, alternate meeting.

Time Of My Life – NC17; 8 chapters, 30k words. While spending a summer at a camp with his alcoholic sister, John Watson falls for a beautiful dance instructor. A fusion with the movie Dirty Dancing (don’t worry, John and Sherlock are in their 20s, no underage).

Five Endearments John Watson Calls Sherlock Holmes And The One Sherlock Calls Him – T, 700 words. 5+1, pet names, fluff, domestic.

The Guy In 221B – T, 4k words. John’s upstairs neighbor plays the violin. Sherlock’s downstairs neighbor has a gorgeous singing voice. Together, they make beautiful music. But will they ever meet face to face? Alternate meeting, Sherlock being adorably shy, classic rock, flirting, and eventually making out in the laundry room.

Scarred – T, 18oo words. John catches Sherlock with his shirt off one day and finally learns about what happened to the detective in Serbia. Sherlock’s scars, John’s bullet wound, hurt/comfort, and Sherlock confessing his love. Plus sonnet 116.

Sweet Caroline – T, 6600 words. Someone is killing engaged couples in London, and Sherlock and John have to pose as fiancés to each other to catch the culprit. Based on ACD’s “The Solitary Cyclist”. Fake relationship that culminates in a real love confession.

Curiouser And Curiouser (And Definitely Not Boring) – T, 1200 words. A brief fusion of BBC Sherlock and Alice In Wonderland.

The Greatest Of These – NC17, 5k words. A “Reichenbach Fall” fix-it. After seven weeks of being “dead”, Sherlock comes back to John. A teary reunion, love confession, and sex.

On The Edge – NC17, 1034 words. Porn without plot. John and Sherlock having kinky (consensual) sex. Handcuffs, edging, spanking, soft dominant John.

Oh, I Think That I Found Myself A Cheerleader – NC17, 1050 words. Porn without plot. Sherlock in a cheerleader costume and ladies’ underwear having sex with John. Teenage AU (NOT underage; they’re both 18).

Sweet – NC17, 520 words. John gives Sherlock a cute nickname (and morning head).

Dare Not Speak Its Name (series) – M, 6 works, ~5000 words. A series of six stories about John and Sherlock pining for each other and eventually getting together spanning over the events of series 3 and afterward (not series 4 compliant). The missing gay bar scene from stag night, Harry Watson, villain Mary, Moriarty, and a happy ending.

The Closest Thing To A Friend – G, 1000 words. An alternate way “The Great Game” could’ve gone. In short, Sherlock is shocked to learn that John has been the mysterious Moriarty all along. Crack treated seriously.

The Singing Detective – M, 11 chapters, ~22k words. Based on ACD’s “The Dying Detective”. John is a new father and unhappy in his marriage while secretly pining for Sherlock. Meanwhile, Culverton Smith has drugged London’s tea supply, and now people are randomly bursting into musical numbers. That’s right – it’s a Sherlock musical. (Villain Mary, Parentlock, background Lestrade/Molly, and a happy ending for everyone…except Mary.)

He’s All That – T, 9 chapters, ~15k words. When John Watson, captain of the rugby team and most popular guy in school, gets dumped by his longtime girlfriend Mary, he makes a bet that he can get Sherlock Holmes, ballet nerd and most unpopular boy in school, elected as prom royalty in her place. But there’s a catch – John didn’t expect to fall in love with him. A fusion with the 1999 teen romcom She’s All That.

Shower For One – NC17, 1700 words. Porn without plot. Sherlock has a fantasy about John in the shower, but sometimes fantasies can become realities. Sherlock wanking and John being a total sex god.

Dopplegangland – NC17, 5 chapters, 8500 words. While on vacation in Scotland, Sherlock meets a very flirtatious photographer who looks exactly like his flatmate and best friend who he’s secretly in love with. John, who is also secretly in love with Sherlock, is not amused. Crossover with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (and Cabin Pressure!). Dopplegangers, jealous John, wonderfully trashy Iain MacKelpie being a shameless flirt with Sherlock, and John and Sherlock finally quit being idiots and just confess their feelings already. Oh, and sex. Lots of sex.

Angel Of The Battlefield (series) – NC17, 4 works, 7307 words. A series about soldier John Watson, who was killed in battle, then rescued from Hell by a beautiful angel named Sherlock (Destiel, anyone?). Mostly just porn, though.

At The Mercy Of The Gods’ Design – M, ~3000 words. The goddess of love, Irene, holds a grudge against the son of the queen, Sherlock. So she casts a love spell on the queen’s young consort, John, Sherlock’s friend and stepfather. A Johnlock retelling of Phaedra and Hippolytus. No incest or pedophilia or anything squicky, and a happy ending.

“military men making love” – NC17, 2000 words. Sherlock finds John Watson and James Sholto’s sex tape. John finds Sherlock wanking to it. SHERLOCK’S MILITARY KINK.

Human – G, 343 words. John holding Sherlock while he’s asleep and admiring how beautiful he is.

My Hero – T, 2500 words. Sherlock is nursing a huge crush on his mild-mannered flatmate. Meanwhile, the local superhero seems mighty infatuated with Sherlock. Too bad John won’t show interest like that. Super!John and Sherlock being sweet and wonderful.

Chain of Command – NC17, 2574 words. Sherlock/John/James Sholto. Sherlock has a naughty dream about John and his ex-lover James. Polyamory, light BDSM, submissive Sherlock.

In Sickness And In Health – T, 1300 words. It’s Sherlock and John’s wedding day. But of course, disaster strikes. (John gets into an auto accident on the way to the chapel and he and Sherlock just get married right there in the hospital room.)

It’s A Love Story, Baby, Just Say Yes – T, 2319 words. Sherlock and John were best friends as children, and had a favorite game where Sherlock was a damsel in distress and John was the knight in shining armor. But they drift apart and when Sherlock is all grown up, he realizes he’d quite like to be kissed by the handsome knight. Slight song fic, slight 5+1. Kidlock, Teenlock, puppy love, bullies (not John), happy ending. NO underage.

Duck – T, 12 chapters, 2722 words. Taking place after “The Six Thatchers”. Sherlock suddenly has a boyfriend, John refuses to talk about anything, and Mary isn’t such a martyr after all. Not series 4 compliant but sure as hell better than TFP.

Mirror Mirror – G, 1138 words. John introduces Sherlock to Star Trek: The Original Series, and Sherlock points out some awkward parallels to themselves, and Kirk and Spock. Who are obviously in love with each other, according to Sherlock. Johnlock and Spirk in one fic, a bit meta. Crack.

The End – T, 300 words. In which the events of “The Final Problem” were all a dream. In fact, the whole show after “A Study In Pink: Gay Pilot Edition” was a dream. If you hate series 4/TFP as much as I did, you might like this salty little ficlet. My last BBC Sherlock fic ever.


The One Fixed Point – T, 1300 words. Holmes and Watson are soulmates, no matter the universe. (Multiple iterations of Holmes and Watson, including BBC Sherlock, Elementary, the Guy Ritchie films, and even The Great Mouse Detective.)

The Greatest Love Story Never Told

Once upon a time there was a person named Bob who had a crippling case of PTSD and depression, almost to a suicidal point. Bob was wallowing in a pit of his own hopelessness and despair, with absolutely nothing to motivate him to continue living.

Until he met Susan.

Susan was a brilliant, attractive, somewhat eccentric individual who was a fairly solitary person and had never had friends because she was so odd, which caused her to put up defenses and appear to the world as cold and unfeeling, when in fact she was bursting with love and kindness, but with nowhere to channel it. But fate brought Bob and Susan together, and something immediately clicked.

Susan brought Bob into her world where they went on amazing adventures, and suddenly Bob rediscovered his lost vivacity and interest in life. He was dazzled by Susan and her brilliance, and became completely devoted to her, even going so far as murdering a man who tried to kill her on their first adventure together. And for the very first time in her life, Susan felt truly connected to another human being. For once, someone didn’t see her as a freak. Bob showed her kindness. Bob was her friend.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, their bond got them through everything. They were incredibly loyal to each other, giving everything to keep the other safe and happy, even if it meant jeopardizing their own wellbeing.

At one point, Susan crossed paths with an alluring man named Frederic, whom Bob assumed she was in love with. For some reason, this made him angry and upset to no end. Susan, however, was never interested in Frederic in the slightest. Meanwhile, Susan was openly scathing about Bob’s string of girlfriends (who Bob didn’t even seem that interested in). Eventually, Bob just stopped dating altogether so he could devote all his time to Susan and their work. For some reason.

Then, disaster struck. Susan died.

Bob was destroyed. Crushed. Heartbroken. For two years, he mourned her death, utterly destroyed. The once shining light of his life had been cruelly extinguished and Bob was once again lost and without hope.

Eventually, Bob had to carry on. He met a seemingly nice woman named Gertrude and they became engaged.

Then, inexplicably, Susan returned. Not dead after all.

Bob was furious with her. He felt so betrayed by Susan that she’d left him to grieve all these years, and Susan seemingly didn’t seem to care.

Oh, but Susan did. Unbeknownst to Bob, Susan had had to sacrifice herself to save Bob’s life (and those of a couple others). Susan had been suffering torture, starvation, illness, exhaustion, and isolation all these long months to ensure Bob’s safety, so that she could return to him and they could live in peace.

But Susan never told Bob the truth. Instead, she allowed him to rage at and hurt her, feeling that she deserved his wrath. She had hurt him first, after all. But eventually, Bob forgave her, and their friendship resumed. But now, there was a new element: Gertrude.

Susan was overwhelmingly supportive of Bob and Gertrude’s relationship, and even threw herself into planning their wedding. But for some reason, she seemed terribly sad by the aspect of her dear friend getting married, and left the festivities early, and alone.

A month passed and Bob hadn’t seen Susan since the wedding. But he was still thinking of her. As he laid in bed beside his new bride, he was dreaming longingly of Susan and their life together. And Bob and Gertrude weren’t getting along very well.

And Bob wasn’t the only one pining. As it turned out, Susan had returned to her past drug addiction after her best friend had gotten married. One could wonder if there was correlation between the two.

Destiny would have these two friends reunite yet again, to take down a villain who reveled in using people’s secrets against them. Susan went to the lair of this vile man to confront him and bring him to justice. But someone had beat her to the punch, to enact their own vengeance.

It was none other that Bob’s doting new wife, Gertrude. Seemed she wasn’t so sweet after all.

Susan, wanting Bob to be happy, offered to help Gertrude. But Gertrude, not wanting her true nature to be discovered by her husband, shot Susan in the chest and fled.

Susan was dying. She did die, for a full minute. The doctors left her on the operating table, as there was nothing more that they could do. But in Susan’s rapidly dimming mind, one single thought brought her back from the brink.

Bob is definitely in danger.

Susan mentally forced her heart to restart, the drive to protect the most precious person in the world to her enough to revive her. It should have been impossible.

In the end, Bob discovered Gertrude’s true nature. At first, he despised her for her wickedness in attempting to murder his friend. But, alas, she was pregnant with his child, so he stayed with her.

The vile man from before was threatening Bob and Gertrude. Susan couldn’t let her friend’s life be ruined. Not again. And so…she murdered the wicked man in cold blood.

Susan was to be sent away, it was decided, as punishment. Susan knew she wouldn’t be coming back. As she made her goodbyes to her dearest friend, she said, “Bob…there’s something…I wanted to say. That I’ve meant to say always but never have. And since it’s unlikely we’ll ever meet again, I might as well say it now.”

But she couldn’t. She couldn’t tell Bob the truth of her heart, only to break his by leaving him. So she didn’t say it.

Anyone can see that what Susan was going to say to Bob was “I love you”. That Susan and Bob were always in love from the very beginning. It was always a love story. But suddenly you replace “Susan” and “Bob” with two men named “Sherlock Holmes” and “John Watson”, and it’s just a friendship story. A friendship story with an inordinate amount of gay jokes.

I am so incredibly angry with you, BBC. ~TRL

Why All The Villains Are Gay

More than likely, you’ve watched a TV show or movie where the protagonist and their same sex opponent have…weird sexual chemistry. Maybe the villain gets up in the main guy’s personal space; maybe they make lewd innuendoes; maybe they tell the hero they were meant to be together or something. Sounds romantic, almost, in a really twisted way.

I’ve been thinking about this lately, about why a lot of villains are Ambiguously Gay, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not a matter of homophobia (necessarily). Let me explain. On my blog post about Hannigram, I talked a bit about enemyslash, and why I thought Bryan Fuller chose to inject his series with an overdose of homoerotic subtext (if it can even be called subtext anymore). I mentioned that it was Hannibal’s intention to seduce Will to the dark side. Emphasis on the word seduce. In a similar fashion, Passion Of The Nerd covered the lesbian subtext between Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Faith represents Buffy’s shadow self, Slayer power left unchecked. If Faith is symbolic of temptation to act out of selfish wants instead of duty and the desire to do good, it would make sense, then, that Faith would be…tempting.

Often times in film and television, the main character’s archnemesis reflects them, is their dark half, like Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. A classic archetype for this equation is Professor Moriarty from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures. Both Holmes and Moriarty are geniuses, but whereas Holmes uses his wits to defeat crime and do good, Moriarty employs his in committing the crimes. Which is why BBC Sherlock, a slow burn gay romance between the famous consulting detective and his army doctor life mate, has produced one of the most overtly homosexual Moriartys in Holmes canon history (thank you, Moffat and Gatiss).

Usually, the dark mirror half can recognize themself in the light mirror half, and wants to combine their forces to be even stronger. Thus, the villain must seduce the protagonist to the dark side. To better mirror the two characters, they’re often made the same gender (since, you know, men and women can’t be equals, right?), so when you produce Doctor Evilman trying to coax Goodguy Heromale to the dark side, ho yay is bound to follow.

Course, I could be completely wrong and it could all be a plot for the viewing public to associate queerness with being evil, but I like to think positively, you know? ~TRL

Worst Holmes Adaptation Ever???

Hey guys. Been a while. Well…if you haven’t heard the news: Will Ferrell has set out to ruin one of my true joys in life.

Image result for hamilton gif you must be out of your goddamn mind

Please…please, God, no. Please tell me this is some sick joke…no? The-they’re serious. *long drawn out sigh* Alright. Let’s talk about this.

I get that no one will ever be Jeremy Brett. Or match the work of art that is BBC Sherlock. I’m even willing to put up with Guy Ritchie’s farcical Sherlock Holmes and its sequel – hell, I’ll even watch Elementary when I’m bored! But this…this is the all time low.

First all, to quote the article, “After faring so well together in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are reteaming in another Sony Pictures comedy.” ‘Faring so well’? I don’t know about Step Brothers, but I saw Talladega Nights and it’s exactly what you’d expect: a slapstick comedy about an idiot NASCAR driver, with all the humor and maturity of a Beavis and Butthead episode. It beats Anchorman in levels of stupidity – and that’s saying something! (I can’t believe Amy Adams submitted herself to that fuckery – but then, this is the woman who signed on for the DCCU.) Will Ferrell is only good when he’s not doing Will Ferrell movies: ergo, Elf and The LEGO Movie.

I can see it all now. It’s going to be a barrage of fucking shit and fart and boob and snot jokes. Probably weed too. And the gay jokes. Oh my God, you know they’re going to make gay jokes about Holmes and Watson. Because GOD FORBID anyone take the possibility of Sherlock Holmes being gay seriously without turning it into a big fucking joke (like Ritchie) or heterosexualizing it (like…Ritchie, again). And if I know Will Ferrell, he’ll probably get Sacha Baron fucking Cohen to play Moriarty, which will only make things worse. I know ACD said to do what you will with Holmes, but I’m sure he’s turning over in his grave at this new development.

Can’t we just have a third Ritchie movie?

The Greenhouse Scene: A Dissection

Even here, Mind Palace!John (as always, a metaphor for Sherlock’s heart) is self aware and is breaking the scene to have a real heart to with heart with Sherlock…even if he’s only in Sherlock’s mind.

Holmes: “Get down for heavens’ sakes!” = Sherlock telling his feelings/heart to stay hidden/protected

Watson: “Sorry. Cramp.” = Heartache

“Is the lamp still burning?” “Yes…there goes Sir Eustace, and Lady Carmichael. The house sleeps.” = The lamp is the possibly the ‘torch’ Sherlock carries for John, the significance of John waiting till the clients (which here represent people who have the potential to judge Sherlock and his feelings – there’s significance that the Ricoletti case takes place in a historically homophobic time) are out of the scene so John can confront Sherlock about his feelings

Watson: “Good God, this is the longest night of my life.” = Why are you waiting to be honest about your feelings, to love John openly?

Watson: “It’s rare for us to sit together like this.” = You’re always avoiding thinking about your feelings.

Holmes: “I should hope so. Murder on the knees.” Because it’s painful, that why. (Freudian subtext aside)

“Man to man” = more homosexual subtext (notably, Sherlock has nothing to say to this, just shifts uncomfortably)

W: “A remarkable woman, Lady Carmichael…You liked her. ‘A woman of rare perception’.” = The Carmichaels, believe or not, are actually a parallel of Sherlock and John themselves. Sherlock identifies with Eustace, or rather, sees him as a mirror showing all his bad qualities (a misanthropic character, hiding secrets, weak), and all the things he finds admirable in Lady Carmichael are the same traits he loves about John. “Your wife sees worlds where no one else sees anything of value whatsoever.”=”John loves and sees worth in me whereas the rest of the world thinks I’m a cold heartless freak.”

“She’s far too good for him.” “You think so?” “No. You think so.” = Sherlock doesn’t see himself as worthy of John’s affection.

“Marriage is not a subject on which I dwell.” “Why not?” = Sherlock’s unspoken response is that he doesn’t perceive himself as worthy of anyone’s love, least of all, John. Besides, John is supposedly straight (even though this is never stated explicitly-John pointedly never claims to be heterosexual, just “not gay”), and married and expecting a child now, so what’s the point of dwelling on it?

Watson having waited till Holmes was “asleep” to look at the photo of Irene Adler = “A Scandal In Belgravia” was the first time Sherlock was forced to face his own romantic tendencies in his dalliance with Irene Adler. While Sherlock isn’t in love with her, she does represent his repressed desire for companionship and intimacy. Sherlock’s “heart” (John) hasn’t stopped thinking of this since, but because Sherlock insists on burying his head in the intellectual sandbox, those parts of him have never had the opportunity to come to light…until now. Sherlock is now trapped in his own psyche, with a physical manifestation of his feelings to question if he is as emotionally cold as he claims to be. Irene’s photo also serves as a reminder that emotion is trait found on the losing side (Sherlock’s words, roughly), as Irene lost to Sherlock in ASiB because she ended up falling for him.

W: “From absolutely no opposition whatsoever, I am your closest friend.” = YOU CARE ABOUT JOHN.

H: “I concede it.” = Yes, of course I care about John, because he’s my friend. Not because I’m in love with him.

W: “I am currently attempting to have a perfectly normal conversation with you.” = I think we both know there’s more to it than that.

“Why you need to be alone?” “If you are referring to romantic entanglement, Watson, which I rather fear you are, as I have often explained before, all emotion is abhorrent to me.”  = This is where ACD!Holmes differs from BBC!Sherlock. Doyle’s Holmes was not emotionless. He could be jovial, witty, pleasant, even sweet at times. He just didn’t experience romantic love. BBC!Sherlock, on the other hand, tries his damnedest to not care about anything; to be the cold, hard, calculating machine that his older brother (or some figure from his past-possibly Redbeard? Not the dog, I mean.) has conditioned him to be. It’s almost as if he’s overcompensating for the immense emotions he actually does feel. Methinks the detective protests too much.

“It is the grit in the sensitive instrument. The crack in the-” “The crack in the lens. Yes.” “Well there you are. You see, I’ve said it all before.” “No, I wrote all that. You’re quoting yourself from The Strand magazine.” “Well, exactly.” “No, those are my words, not yours! That is the version of you that I present to the public: the brain without a heart, the calculating machine. I write all of that, Holmes, and the readers lap it up, but I do not believe it.” = You’ve spent so much time convincing everyone that you’re heartless you’ve gone and convinced yourself as well.

Then comes the whole “you must have…impulses” speech, which I don’t think I need to decode for you. But notice, Watson (a projection of Sherlock’s mind) never uses specific gender pronouns. If Watson was referring to ladyfolk, he would have said so. He can’t just come out and say “men”, because dropping a bombshell like that to the audience would be senseless. And maybe Holmes isn’t monosexual. Maybe he’s pan, or bi. But he ain’t straight, that’s for damn sure.

(An argument could be made for asexual, as Sherlock Holmes is usually portrayed as, but there’s so much evidence that Cumberbatch!Sherlock experiences sexual attraction that it’s hard for me to imagine that he is so, in this portrayal. Refer back to my overcompensation theory above. My personal opinion is panromantic demisexual with a preference for men, but never mind.)

Then Sherlock says the whole, “No one made me, I made me” line, then hallucinates the sound of Redbeard (this time I do mean the dog). And frankly, I have no idea what to make of that. The only thing I can think of that maybe, something tragic happened to Sherlock’s dog (presumably his only friend) that made young William decide to just stop loving. But he can’t. And it’s tragic.

Then the ghost shows up, and it’s back to the case. Keep in mind that this has all happened in Sherlock’s head while he’s trying to figure out how Moriarty could’ve survived TRF. Why the hell is Sherlock, in the middle of this, suddenly having this conversation about love and sex with himself? Does it serve any purpose in solving the riddle? No. No, it does not. It’s purely Sherlock, talking to himself about his repressed feelings for John.

The conversation may be over, but John/Sherlock’s heart does get its final say. “You’re human, I know that! You must be.” Accompanied by John striking a match and lighting a candle (again, fire is a metaphor for Sherlock’s feelings for John). In context, Watson is speaking to the ghost of Emilia Ricoletti, but remember, everything that’s happening in this Victorian reality directly relates back to either the Moriarty dilemma, or Sherlock himself. In this case, it’s probably both. But definitely leaning more toward Sherlock. ~TRL