"I get to do some slappage. I’ve been practising. Benedict mainly was holding his hand up and having me slap his hand for a bit because I’m … I’ve got slight binocularity problems, so my distance judgement’s not ideal! So, er, so yeah. But it was all right."
- Louise Brealey
Go Molly. :)
Sorry, but NO. Not good. Showing Molly slap Sherlock in his mind palace is slightly less disgusting but not by much. Slapping a man this hard across the face, especially in the context of the original scene, is not something we should be congratulating or egging on. If it was an attack situation, either verbal of physical, then a slap would be justified. But because Sherlock has fallen off the wagon due to intense emotional trauma? I think not.
Amen. I am very curious if Louise genuinely believes this is okay? Many people in the fandom seem to, amazingly, but it’s not like she could say anything. No, Steven, that’s not being a “strong” woman, to physically assault a friend in trouble (the real one, of course, he abuses himself in his mind a lot, clearly). And no one should excuse John either, of course, even though the circumstances were entirely different there.
"Go Molly’? What? Really?
Neither Molly nor John have an innate right to assault Sherlock. At least John was overwhelmed (I hope), but we know he has anger issues that he needs to control. I felt badly for Sherlock, who just took it all without defending himself at all. He’s the last one those two should be ‘abusing’ in the name of ‘love.’ Could anyone see Sherlock smacking either of them in reverse circumstances????
No I really can’t. And, off topic, but I feel like we’ve only seen John get angry a handful of times, tbh, and not usually for no reason at all. So I don’t get this increasingly-common “anger-issues” thing. It implies he’s an outlier somehow, that he has a repeated, serious and unusual problem controlling his anger, which I just don’t see. I’m not saying even these handful of times are justified at all, but they’re also not inexplicable contextually.
What bothers me to no end about both John and Molly hitting Sherlock is that he makes absolutely NO attempt to defend himself. He just TAKES it. He stands there and allows himself to be assaulted, because…I don’t know. He thinks he deserves it? He doesn’t want to hurt the people he loves?
Whatever the reason, it completely breaks my heart and while John actually had valid reasons to be furious with Sherlock (though I don’t in any way excuse the violence), Molly really has absolutely no justification for this. None.
I honestly think that the support for Molly’s assault—of Sherlock (because, that’s what it was) — I think that has more to do with the fact that most of us know what it’s like to be rejected by someone we have a crush on. I think a lot of us haven’t forgiven Sherlock for his treatment of Molly that one Christmas back in Season 2.
So, I think the defense of Molly’s behavior comes from a few places:
(1) Some folks see it as Molly “getting her own back.” The problem is, that’s not out of love Sherlock, or concern for his well being. It’s about rage, and being fed up, and taking out that frustration *on* Sherlock. Remember, Molly went and got a Sherlock look-alike. She’s still not over him. And Sherlock is not in love with her, and never will be. That hurts, and it makes her action in the show read as the vindictive woman scorned.
One thing about this point of view— has no-one ever been hit on (repeatedly) by someone they liked, but would never sleep with in a hundred years? It can get exhausting. (Like the Lesbian who keeps having a male friend that she likes and respects, and he keep on and on and on and on, until she finally snaps.
I don’t know why that view point is never discussed.
(2) Addicts are one of the last few people that it’s okay to publically, self-righteously label as pretty much worthless, as victimizers, as inherently flawed and evil, or so childlike they can’t be trusted to make any decision on their own behalf. John’s treatment of Sherlock is exactly the wrong thing to do to an addict. Molly’s is even worse.
The well-meaning folks act according to the Hollywood drama fest trope of “tough love”, and treat Sherlock as if he is their prisoner. He has no rights. That plays well for the US, where we jail people for LIFE for having a disease— but I find that I am truly, truly disappointed in Mofftiss’ handling of this issue; I thought our cousins across the pond were much more sensible.
So, I also think that (some of us) see Sherlock as fair game for bad treatment.
(3) I think there’s a contingent of fans that actually, don’t really like Sherlock. They really want to see him punished… for “betraying John”, for every rude comment, etc, etc, … In other words, it’s the “he has this coming, whack him again”, syndrome.
As for John’s beating/assault of Sherlock— part of it is that quite a few of us are extremely resistant to any criticism of John, because he’s being seen as Sherlock’s “victim”. And again, it’s about, “good! John’s finally giving Sherlock what for! He deserves it!”
Here’s a question: Using that logic, shouldn’t John punch Mary? Wasn’t he also wounded to the heart by her? Didn’t she betray him? Hurt him terribly. So, she should take her lumps, right? She has this coming, correct?
I can hear the screaming from here.
We only beat up on *Sherlock*, is it? And hitting *women* is abuse. Women hitting men is not, and John has a lifetime pass.
Have I got it right?
Honestly, I am kind of interested in the dramatic implications of John punching Mary. It would certainly be interesting, given that John is character that we’re supposed to root for. Like, even if she was threatening John or Sherlock’s life, there would still be outrage. Maybe it would help dislodge John from his current fandom position as a total martyr who can do no wrong.
I can understand people enjoying certain characters getting a smack in the face, but part of what makes it so gratifying is the knowledge that it’s something that we know is unacceptable in real life, at least for me. I know there are fans of the show who dislike Sherlock specifically and would therefore enjoy this sort of thing, but it does seem a bit worrying that people seem to see this as a morally righteous thing to do. I have to admit, I always suspected that John would hit Sherlock when they first reunited after The Fall, but I would have been far more ready to forgive it if it had been out of shock rather than anger and recrimination.