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This scene was actually when I went from feeling more or less neutral on Joan to actively disliking her.
Because wow, that was patronizing.
I loved that scene in Elementary.
1) Firstly, because it immediately deconstructs the “hero throws and breaks something in frustration” cliche (Sherlock throwing a glass slide in HoB, anyone?) it might even be seen as a parody of that cliche.
2) Secondly, because the dynamic is different between a man and a woman than it would be between two women or two men, the visual of a man smashing something in a temper in front of a woman can be taken as threatening or borderline abusive. Joan Watson immediately shows that she is not intimidated by Holmes’ behavior.
3) Lastly? One of the running themes of Elementary is the deconstruction of Sherlock Holmes as the solitary, antisocial genius, and his becoming a member of a community. Holmes’ gifts are given their due respect, but no one in Elementary plays the game of Because Sherlock Holmes is a Bloody Genius He Can Do Whatever He Wants So There. When Sherlock goes after Moriarty (“M”), Captain Gregson suspends him. When Sherlock doesn’t want to talk about his addiction, Alfredo says “You’ve got to get over yourself.” And when Sherlock behaves like a spoiled child, Joan tells him “Use your words.”
You see Joan patronizing Sherlock. I see a member of Sherlock’s community teaching him how to behave like an adult member of that community.
Additionally, Watson’s done good work for a number of years as a sober companion, not a manchild enabler. It’s quite literally her job to deconstruct people’s shitty self-defeating habits and demonstrate that there are better ways to live your life. She’s not in the business of humoring anyone or playing along with their tantrums, she’s in the business of fixing them. And what she does works! It gets spelled out explicitely in the text of the show: Sherlock himself admits that what’s changed about him, for the better, is her.
That scene just made me like Watson even more. She goes along with much of the random stuff Sherlock throws at her - the random house guests, and most recently, the chickens. The chickens in particular stand out as one of those “out there” things that Sherlock does. (Even if he might be somewhat correct in the end.)
There was another quote going around Tumblr a while back, maybe based on this scene, but it talked about breaking a plate on the floor. You can apologize, and say you’re sorry to the plate - but it won’t put the plate back together. The plate is still, and will forever be, cracked, if not broken entirely. It will never be whole again. There are some things you can never un-do, take back, or apologize for.
The one other thing that I really like, is that the scene is really Watson being Watson. So much of what she does is based on medical principles of treating addiction, the rules of being a police consultant, or the rules that Sherlock and Watson have come up with for their continued partnership. (Rules, social constructs, whatever you want to call them.) Breaking a plate is pure Watson - making a point her way.
happy earth day friends
this is…the best possible use of this particular gif.
a CEO walks into his office “any messages?” he asks his assistant
“two anons want to know who tom petty is and one just says ‘post your ballsack’”
“got it. check my dashboard”
“that skeleton gif you like is back again”
he rubs his chin pensively “mm. reblog that”