Thursday, May 30, 2013

Elementary: Final Thoughts on Season 1

First of all, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my post about the Moore tornado. Please remember that Moore is going to be rebuilding for a long time, and people still need your help. You can make a donation to the United Way of Central Oklahoma which has a long-term fund for Moore tornado victims. There are more links here.

I intended to do this last week and have only just gotten around to it: I fucking loved the finale to Elementary. For real.

Elementary is my favorite adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. End of. It has surpassed every other version in my mind, including the Grenada Holmes (which remains a close second). Yeah. I love it that much. I love it more than Cumbersherlock. I love it more than RDJ and Jude Law Making Sweet, Sweet Love With Their Eyes. It is my absolute favorite. 

Note: I am not saying that any of these are better than any other, I am just telling you which my favorite is. Do not tell me I am wrong, because I don't care. But keep in mind, that every adaptation I listed, I absolutely do love, in spite of any flaws it has. There are other adaptations I love that I haven't listed, either, and at least three or four which I haven't tried but fully expect to enjoy. :)

Spoilers below.

You have been warned.

Let's talk about the episode before the season finale for a second. Lucy Liu is a truly excellent Watson, and Watson's growth as an investigator and as a friend to Sherlock has been wonderful to watch. She really stands her ground when the people around her are trying to do things or get her to do things ~for her own good~ (and that's been true for the whole show, actually). She actually tells Holmes "Look, I have worked on this just as hard as you have, and I deserve answers too," in regards to the Moriarty clue, and also points out that she's a grown-ass woman and can make her own decisions about whether something is too dangerous for her.

Jonny Lee Miller is also a PHENOMENAL Holmes, and I have to say that his reaction to seeing Irene Adler alive and well was incredibly well done. (Seriously, not everyone can look like they're about to faint, puke, and burst into tears at once on command. He actually turned a little grey, though that may have been a special effect.) We knew Natalie Dormer had been picked for Adler, so we knew she was going to show up, but throwing her at the end of the episode before the finale was pretty cool.

So, the finale: oh my god. I can't tackle it in order, it's been too long since I've seen it, so I'm just gonna talk about shit as I remember it.

I spent the WHOLE time (up until the reveal) going "I wonder why they went out of their way to cast Natalie Dormer as an American?"

Ha ha. Ha. Ha.

I actually paused when she revealed herself as Moriarty so I could just take a minute to process it. (Also so I could wordlessly point at the screen while looking at Greg like DID YOU JUST SEE THAT? HOLY SHIT! I am sometimes annoying to watch things with.)

Seriously, before that Holmes had suggested the whole "Adler works for Moriarty!" thing which... had been done, and honestly I don't think it's been done particularly well. So I was like "Eeeehhhhh I dunno," and then the reveal kicked my ass and made me love it.

I love Irene Adler as Moriarty (or vice versa), and here is why (in no particular order):

1: I hate the "oh, she works for Moriarty" plot point, but I also don't think it's been done particularly well. Especially in the RDJ/Jude Law movies.
2: Natalie Dormer has got some FANTASTIC villain body language that she put to great use.
3: More powerful, smart women in popular fiction!
4: Natalie Dormer
5: Holmes did not defeat her.

See, I was seeing this go around a lot on tumblr with "Oh, I didn't like that plot point because Adler actually beat Holmes in cann, she's supposed to win." Which... okay, yes, it appears that Holmes won. In that scene, however, he was the bait, not the trapper.

Joan laid that trap out, guys. She won.

Joan Watson was amazing. She was fearless in the face of Moriarty ("too angry to be scared") and just as helpful and knowledgeable as Holmes would have been. She ran that investigation without Sherlock's help, figured out Moriarty's blind spot and used it against her. These were all things Sherlock was too emotionally compromised to do himself. (These were all things that Moriarty knew, too, proving she was superior to Holmes in some ways, perhaps ONLY because she could see more clearly than he how emotionally compromised they both were in regards to each other.)

Also, they TOTALLY HAD ME with the whole "Sherlock ODs and it's ALL MORIARTY'S FAULT" plot, an excellent parallel to the false fall. Not that they're NOT going to fake a death later (though I would love it if they have JOAN fake her death so she can go haring off after an escaped Moriarty, because*) but I also like that the first season wraps up pretty neatly.

In the ongoing theme of me interpreting Elementary as a dark AU where Watson was an American and therefore couldn't be in London when Holmes started to need someone like Watson- not so much an interpretation as what is actually going on. Anyway, this totally works out. His first interaction with Adler in canon is that he is after her because of a case, then she bounces to America. In this interpretation, she fakes her death and... bounces to America! Well, eventually. Anyway, it all still fits, is what I'm saying.

 *OMG I just realized how fucking traumatizing this would be for Sherlock. *evil laugh*

TL; DR I love every tiny bit of this show (except for the Bing product placement, but I'll deal with that if it means I get to continue to have my BroTP), especially Joan Watson, and was left extremely satisfied with the finale.

What did you think? About the season in general, or the finale? Or anything else. I'm open!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moore Tornadoes

I was planning on posting about the Elementary finale. I still will do that, but it will be a separate blog post.

This is just my impression of today- what happened to me, what I did, what I have heard. I may have heard facts wrong or misinterpreted things. I was not in the tornado, this is not a survivor's account.

I live in Norman, which is the town south of where the big tornado hit today. Moore has been struck by several tornadoes in the last 14 years, the last big was on May 3, 1999. This was before I moved back to Oklahoma, but I have always had family here, so I was aware of it. That tornado was hugely devastating to much of the same parts of Moore as the tornado today.

I was not in danger today. The storms that were tornadic were to the north or the south of me.

Yesterday, I was in danger, but I took precautions when the activity got close to me. For those who do not know, tornado precautions are: get into the smallest, sturdiest room of your house. If you can, cover yourself with a mattress or something else soft, to keep glass from harming you.

My safe place is my bedroom closet. I pulled everything out of the floor and gathered all the pets I could grab (two of my cats had a fight and hid in cabinets, but I had to hunker down). I grabbed a blanket. Our closet is full of clothes and I planned on pulling them all down if I heard anything drop on the house. I sat in a closet with the dogs and Bats until the radio told me I was safe. The rotation that threatened me eventually did drop a tornado, but it had moved east of my town by then.

Today, a tornado absolutely devastated Moore. My father-in-law works in Moore as a postman, and when we texted him after the tornado he texted us back immediately- we knew he was all right as soon as we asked. But when we texted my husband's mother, she informed us that the tornado had hit the post office, and it's very likely that my FIL's car was completely destroyed- another car in that lot was completely gone, and the others were totaled.

The highway was closed, and we had no idea how we were going to get to him. My MIL was not driving- she was too upset to drive, really. My husband drove her car and she directed us through some of the smaller back roads. We got to almost where my FIL was, but we were on the other side of the highway, in gridlocked traffic. We parked in a parking lot and walked over the bridge.

We were on 19th street, which is near the big Warren Theater that was hit (but, again, on the other side of I35 from it.) The Warren had been hit, and looked bad. A lot of the cars from the parking lot were tossed into the highway. There was a lot of debris all over everything- little wads of mud covered cars, buildings, the road. Tiny bits of trees, mud, hay, and peoples lives covered everything.

The power was down, there were officers everywhere directing traffic. We crossed several intersections and ran across the bridge. We were in the middle of a crosswalk when an ambulance came bombing up the exit ramp, and we had to haul ass to dodge them. I could smell smoke from a fire, my MIL saw the plume of smoke.

My FIL was fine, he was apparently nowhere near the path of the tornado. He hid in a school and then finished delivering his mail before going back to the post office. He couldn't get his vehicle back to the office due to traffic, so he had to park it and walk five blocks. Seeing him was good. We were all relieved, even though we knew he was all right.

Walking back, I was watching where I stepped carefully. There were baseball cards, some still in sleeves. Someone's collection. A torn corner of a picture (if it had been a whole picture, I would have saved it, but it was just a snatch of one). A muddy child's blanket. A star barrette. More baseball cards.

Someone got into a shouting match with the police directing traffic. He wanted to go straight, and the officer was insisting he turn. We told him to park his ass and walk. Don't know what he did.

The sound of sirens was never ending. We must have been passed by dozens of ambulances. We were right by the triage area, so that's to be expected.

When we got back, the phone and the internet and the tvs were all still down. We went to Walmart to get an antenna, but they didn't have any at all. A guy who was also looking for one said he had been everywhere in Norman, this was his last home. Radio Shack had a sign up, saying that they didn't have any.

We drove to the Walmart in Purcell, and they did have antennas. There was another couple buying antennas, trying to figure out how many they needed.

It's hard to watch the news, but it's hard to do anything else.

Oklahomans will turn out in droves to help. We always do. We're being told, right now, that they don't need anybody. If they did, I would be there, and not at home, watching the news.

Here is an excellent article about the tornado and it's context. It explains about tornadoes, Moore's tornado history, and more technical details about tornadoes and how they're formed.

Here is a collection of information on how to help the victims of today's and yesterday's tornadoes.