A Scandal in Belgravia

2 Jan

No worries. I’m not going to spoil anything. I’ll leave the details of “A Scandal in Belgravia” to your speculation, but I will say I seriously lost my cool. My friend G. later described my outburst towards the end of Sherlock as a “primal scream.”


I’ve been on sabbatical here at 2000Irises for a while, but it’s alright because only one of my posts draws much attention. You may have read it. Last February I debuted my little blog with a rant about the way the character of Irene Adler is portrayed in film. If you haven’t read it, I can easily sum it up: Dear Mr. Gatiss, Dear Mr. Moffat, when you recreate “A Scandal in Bohemia” for Season Two of Sherlock, please do a better job than Guy Ritchie did in Sherlock Holmes. Please stay faithful to the Irene Adler as written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Please don’t turn her into a romantic sap who can’t resist Sherlock, or worse, needs rescuing. Please don’t have her on her knees, weeping.

Guess what?

Yeah, that’s exactly what they did.

There is lots to love about Season Two’s first episode: it’s as sharply styled as Season One with excellent character development, humor, snappy dialogue, sexiness, coy nods to ACD’s original stories, and Benedict Cumberbatch sans pants. I even liked Irene for a while. Then the tear. The tear. Oh Jesus, not again.

So there you have it. Discuss. But have pity on most Americans and keep it spoiler-free, please. PBS still isn’t planning to air it until May.

Addendum: If you’d like a far more thorough and very beautifully expressed discussion of some of the more frustrating and offensive elements of Sherlock’s Irene, Vida S. dishes it at Buckish Eloquence and Pick-pocketed Wit. Spoilers aplenty, be warned.

Check out Another Angry Woman‘s thoughts on Irene as well. Feminism-fail. Perfectly said.

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2 Responses to “A Scandal in Belgravia”

  1. cim902 January 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Ok….how did you watch it? I think I know how I will…..but I want to know if there is a better option…..

  2. Tim January 5, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    It is a shame the ending treats Adler as you describe, but the rest of the episode does also demonstrate that she is every inch Sherlock’s equal on several counts. Indeed, without getting all spoilery, she is one step ahead of him for most of the story. I quite liked the way Moffat has rewritten the character (except for the ending), as it makes her more contemporary and meaningful than the original (an opera singer, I think?) would have been in a modern context.

    And although the ending does feel bolted on, it does indicate that the door is open for her to return in the future, something the original never did.

    I do understand the concerns you raise, but don’t let it spoil what was a cracking episode. I’ve attached a link to my episode review below – obviously, it contains spoilers though …

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/01/02/sherlock-a-scandal-in-belgravia-review/

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