Written for myself, mostly, and subject to edits/additions.
I’ve taken my sweet time but finally feel somewhat caught up with theories and speculations flying about. I fully intended to write down my expectations, but there are too many possible ways it can go that complicate writing this up into a coherent summary… so this is me gathering my highlights and thoughts on TST.
The Starting Point
Part of why there are so many ways TST can go is due to the fact that not everyone has the same starting point.
General audience assumptions (imo, at least): Jim is dead. Mary is pregnant. The end of TAB was reality.
Fandom assumption come in endless varieties, yet from my perspective, the three main concerns are:
- Jim – alive or dead
- Baby Watson – fake or real (John’s, not John’s)
- The end of TAB – MP or reality (or EMP)
I’m not 100% firm on where I fall here. I’m firmly with Team #JimLives, then waters get more muddled.
Either the baby is dying a quick and traumatic death (this is Moffat, so likely) or the baby is utter fake. This goes and in hand with not only TAB being a figment of Sherlock’s imagination in its entirely, but parts of HLV also were. This is called Extended Mind Palace (EMP) and I owe mylastvow for giving me the cliffnotes on this last September =)
The general audience, I presume, will imagine the episode containing some fluffy baby fun, then a case and a dramatic journey to solving it (with the baby maybe dying. Well, this is Moffat, who are we kidding, the child is so dead).
I agree with @Isitandwonder and @marcethespot (and lots of others) in that the clips containing the baby that we have seen bear more resemblance to POV shots and dream sequences (see their collaborative meta and follow-up feat. deducingbbcsherlock, this Twitter exchange; plus more EMP and Sherlock’s past trauma threads).
So I’m pretty sure we will see John’s vision of what having the baby would be like, then see him waking up and think this, now, is reality, only to later find out that this is Sherlock’s vision of what having a baby would be like (or vice versa).
Mary, Moriarty and Marokko
I haven’t formed a coherent expectation of when the Waking Up For Real Now We Mean It All Right will occur, either form the “baby dreams” or from the EMP experience. Waking up from finding out the baby is not real might be another layer in Sherlock’s MP and feature the case of the Six Thatchers before he wakes up in his hospital bed after Mary shot him; it might happen after.
Waking up to find everything after a certain point in HLV was Mind Palace might be the break into act III.
Aaaaanyway, chasing Mary will lead us to Marokko. Moriarty could be hacking real life, as the transmedial nature of BBC One’s ad campaign for this series has led some to suggest (x).
The soundtrack titles really helped me make up my mind. There is a lot floating about (“Agra” as a city since it’s not written as A.G.R.A; “Cheating” to mean John believes Mary is cheating on him with Sherlock (then I want THIS to happen) or David re-entering the picture after all, “Sharks” connection to CAM?) but what really struck me is the “Never A Field Agent” being relevant to John’s dark secret that will come out according to reviews.
Possible secrets of John’s that could be revealed:
- his bisexuality (please, because we cannot endure more of this denial, please John!)
- he has been working with Mycroft ever since Mary shot Sherlock, or that he figured out that
- he was working for the government in the past
- sth else
- a combination of the above
“Gunshot” has me thinking that this is the point when Mary will die. Not sure who I think is most likely to shoot her, but I’m positive she will not survive this episode.
“Get your attention”
Well. We know from the synopsis that something happens to make Sherlock and John estranged. Their relationship is irrevocably altered.
So…. Love confession? Or actually a kiss?
In favour of the kiss:
- It would up the stakes, no matter how it plays out.
- A kiss doesn’t mean they will get together right that moment. The amount of pining and the heartbreak for Sherlock in particular after a, in his opinion, rejection would be ample reason for his descent into hell/drugs/etc in TLD.
- Mofftiss can certainly write it in a way that heteronormative viewers will be able to pretend it doesn’t make them gay.
- “But if they kissed, the spoilers would be everywhere!” – Hmm. The press managing to keep their mouths shut does not actually exclude a kiss from having happened, as deducingbbcsherlock explains here, pointing to House of Cards.
- Moffat’s Doctor Who special is a blatant Johnlock mirror
- Just… the team’s comments… and ffs, Arwel’s twitter has turned into TJLC haven – he’s tweeting from the basement! They aren’t holding back…
Against the kiss happening already:
- With EMP, all the potential of the baby being fake, Mary’s past, etc., there are enough bombshells to drop on the audience that would explain the allusions in reviews.
- I cannot imagine how Sherlock or John would get into a mindset to kiss the other with Mary still in the picture or only recently out of the picture. (But I’m happy to have Mofftiss show me how 😉 )
- With the third episode being broadcast in cinemas, my gut is telling me that actual Johnlock will happen then. (This still applies, though, if they already shared one kiss/Sherlock kissed John and believes he was rejected in TST, and we get John’s confession that he reciprocates.)
- I can’t shake a feeling of it being too early in the narrative for a kiss to close TST. I’ve been going back and forth on this issue, argh..
Huh. I thought I’d be clearer on what I expect awaits us, but clearly there are too many angles^^ All I know for certain is that there will be lots of elephants, the subtext will be more and more overt, and Mofftiss will have found a way to make it brilliant, regardless of how extended the mind palace is or when the kiss will happen =)
PS: Thanks to merlenhiver for reading this over and causing my convictions to sway again.