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Irene Adler is not a Loser - Part 1

I really love Irene Adler in BBC Sherlock, but even more I love the complex plot of A Scandal In Belgravia. This meta is dedicated to discussing the intrigues and deceptions that are only hinted at on screen and play out behind the scenes. I aim to show everyone why Irene is not a loser but an incredibly intelligent and ambitious woman. On the way I explore:

  • Why dominatrix is not her only line of business
  • Why Irene actually phoned Jim Moriarty – and what deal they came too
  • Why Sherlock was just a pawn in a much bigger game


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A Disclaimer before we start...

This piece isn’t about sexism or the portrayal of women in the media. It’s much more focused on the plot of ASiB and analysis of Irene’s motives as if she was a real person, not an artificial construct presenting a particular literary troupe. Certainly, there are things that I would have changed about Irene if I had been one of the writers but then there are many things I want to change about myself and can’t. In this case I am going to think of Irene as person – not a representation of the female gender – and just accept that she has flaws but they do not make her any less brilliant.
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A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

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We can assume that before she made this phone call she had already obtained sensitive material on her phone. I had always assumed the sensitive information she had was the MOD email but there is no evidence at that time, Irene realised its importance or that she even possessed it. We do not know the timeframe over which she was being pursued by the Americans – it might have started just recently before Sherlock and John turned up (remember there is quite a long period of time between the pool scene and Sherlock meeting Irene).

At the time of the pool scene the MOD email could not have been the bait that Irene used to hook Moriarty because even if she had it she didn’t know why the email was important even or that it was important. The MOD man might just have been talking nonsense in an attempt to impress her and the code itself was a load of jumble even to a cryptographer. Moriarty certainly couldn’t figure out the information either because Irene had to manipulate Sherlock into given them both the answer when they realise it was important much later on.

So Irene couldn’t have got Jim Moriarty’s attention by saying “I have a nonsensical fragment of an MOD email that, according to the stupidly pathetic man who’s in love with me, is going to save the world.”

She must have had much more than just that email on her phone. As she suggests to Mycroft – she has all sorts of things on there and I certainly believe that she does.

The Americans were after her for one single email but it doesn’t mean that Mycroft and the British Government weren’t after her for much, much more.
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The Economics of Being a Dominatrix

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vlcsnap-2013-01-09-19h57m38s177

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From the clients she chooses to engage with (high ranking police officer, best cryptographer in the country, an official from the MOD), I think her line of business is more than just being a dominatrix. I think the most lucrative part of her business is actually the information she gets out of her clients. I’m sure the thrill of having power over powerful people was also very enjoyable but Irene is a very pragmatic, cunning person and she likes money. (I think people over look the fact that the entire point of her plot was to extort billions from the British Government)

If you think about it, all the clients she has picked are exactly the kind of people that actual spies want to get close to - people with access to classified and/or sensitive information. Irene has basically set up the ultimate honey trap and she makes Anna Chapman (professional Russian spy) look like a complete looser.

Of course she’s not a professional spy –she doesn’t report what she finds back to some sinister foreign organisation. Irene is a freelance, independent stock broker in sensitive information and I think this definitely suites her personality.

However being a freelance information broker has its disadvantages

  1. you don’t always have the right customers
  2. you are dealing with some very dangerous, very ruthless people at both ends and there is no tag team of CIA agents to watch your back.

Customers for sensitive information do not appear like punters rolling up at the curb. Their reasons for wanting classified/sensitive information are definitely shady and as people they are probably even shadier. Her customers might work for a multitude of foreign intelligence services or be unofficial/commercial/terror organisations but these people are hard to find. This is why she needs Jim Moriarty. Not just to find these customers but also to make sure the deal is sealed without any of these people harming her.

I think initially Irene did manage to build a small network of contacts to pass information onto. However like any shrewd businessman when there is more supply than demand, Irene wanted to expand her business. This is the second reason she comes to Moriarty – she must have hooked him with an immediately financially lucrative set of documents. Imagine what other classified documents the MOD man might have leaked to her before the Bond Air email? As Irene say she usually likes to visit her clients more than once.

Let us not forget that Moriarty is still a businessman despite being obsessed with Sherlock. He might have thrown £30 million away to get Sherlock to come out and play but it doesn’t mean he isn’t looking to recuperate that money elsewhere. What Irene proposes is simple: she’s provides the data, Moriarty is the middle man and gets his cut of the profit which can be substantial.


 Irene also needs to find her own protection and that is where her celebrity clients and her camera phone come in. Firstly, celebrity clients get one some exposure/publicity within their circles – yes she is extremely controversial but she’s not anonymous anymore. You cannot just make her disappear overnight and not have people ask questions. Secondly, there is no reason to believe that all of her clients hate her guts, she doesn’t openly screw over everyone she meets – it’s not good for business. Some of her clients might actually think they are in love with her. Irene has the great power of making people “feel special”. She can make people love her and love is much more vicious motivator – perhaps enough for a motivator for them to protect her against enemies foreign and domestic?

When all else failed she had the material on her camera phone to fall back on. When clients became threatening or violent – she can always pull out that smart little device. However I doubt this happened very often because Irene is perfectly capable of keeping her clients sweet.

Before the Americans started turning up with their armed hit squads, I think Irene’s protection was perfectly adequate. She had Jim Moriarty for the information customers and her own resourcefulness for her clients. Irene is a small-timer compared to the huge network of spies and informers that nation states employ. MI6 might have been aware of her before she threatened the Royal family but just as likely, she managed to fly under the radar. She’s very intelligent and Irene would have known how important discretion is. As long as her clients never linked security leaks to their own blathering, there is no reason why anyone would suspect a lowly sex worker and even if they did – she had enough on her phone to ruin them.

It was only when she realised that there were trained killers out hunting her that she started to fear.

The Anatomy of a Royal Scandal

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vlcsnap-2013-01-09-20h00m25s46
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Whether or not Irene actually demanded something from the Royal family, we don’t know. Mycroft claims she didn’t because Sherlock doesn’t do blackmail - he simply tells them to pay her off. Telling the Royal family that she has the photographs does sounds like a prelude to making some kind of request or demand in the future   as well as a power play. I personally don’t subscribe to the idea that the Royal Family “have people whacked” – they are not that unrestricted or even that shady. They could easily provide her with enough money to get out of the country and change her identity but that’s not what Irene is aiming for.
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Irene is aiming to extort billions from the treasury before she leaves the country (and yes she was plotting this before she knew about Bond Air as explained in Part 2).
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Now that’s what I call ambition.

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However the Royal Family can provide a good second avenue of escape if her plot goes to pot but this is only one of the reasons she informed them about the pictures.
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There is no evidence at the beginning of ASiB that Mycroft sees Irene (and Moriarty) as anything more than mere insects – little conveniences compared to the broad power plays of entire nations. However both Irene and Moriarty desperately want his attention for very different reasons.

For Irene Mycroft is literally the key to the treasury. Her plot was never about Sherlock at all, he was at best a vital pawn and amusing distraction. Mycroft s probably the only man who has the power to authorise the transfer of such vast sums she’s demanding in one night. He has control over the spineless brainless government ministers and he can pull their strings like a master puppeteer. First she needs to get him to the negotiation table and there is no evidence that Mycroft took her at all seriously. He certainly doesn't take her threat to national security seriously given he has  real, highly trained operatives who could retrieve that cameraphone but he doesn't use them. Instead he opts for his little brother, a civilian detective

Moriarty obvious wants information on Sherlock but he’s perfectly willing to play along with Irene when they have the same goal in common.

When the Americans started chasing her – Irene must have realised she stumbled onto something really big this time – something utterly out of her league. It might have taken some time but she did eventually realise it was the MOD email. I think the first thing she did was use her own contacts and resources to try and crack it but when that failed she showed it to Moriarty.

Obviously Moriarty couldn’t make heads or tails of it either but he suggests a solution that will kill two birds with one stone - getting Mycroft's attention and cracking the code: GET SHERLOCK. The best way to get Sherlock was through his brother Mycroft who just happens to be very old acquaintance of the Queen.

Sherlock doesn’t get Irene’s camera phone and Irene learns to be careful what she wishes for because she really has attracted the attention of Mycroft Holmes with this shenanigan. I mean how forgiving is he going to be to someone who drugged his little brother? Now it’s personal.

From this point forwards the pair of them: Irene and Mycroft are locked in a ruthless game of chess



Continued in Part 2



Other Parts in the Series:

Hidden Heroines of Sherlock - Molly and Sally

  Why Molly and Sally are not just one dimensional characters but prime examples from strong, independent, professional women

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
livejournal
Jan. 9th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
Wednesday, January 9th, 2012
User dancy_dreamer referenced to your post from Wednesday, January 9th, 2012 saying: [...] by (Holmes/Watson | PG-13 | BBC/James Bond - Skyfall) + Misc Irene Adler is not a Loser: Part 1 [...]
liltipsyfyi
Jan. 9th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
love this! Can't wait for the next part!
johnnypenn
Jan. 10th, 2013 03:34 am (UTC)
For some reason I never thought Irene represented the female population. I always saw her as a character. I guess that's just my writer side speaking. But I have to say that when I write women in my fiction, I believe they are real people. They don't represent anything to me because they aren't supposed too and I don't think Irene represents anything. They're trying to adapt the stories and almost every version of Sherlock Holmes adaptation that deals with Irene Adler updates her in a different way. She was an Opera Singer in the original stories, and at that time people like her weren't seen in a good light because if you were on stage, there is a pretty good chance that you had sex with other people and Victorian's were pretty conservative and wouldn't have approved of a young lady having sex and not being married. For whatever reason.

And in society today, Irene's line of work isn't seen in a good light at all. If it was, it'd be in the media and seen as a normal thing. But unfortunately for us, society isn't very open about these sorts of things. So Opera Sings/Adventuress translates into Dominatrix but serves the same function in the story line. Here is a woman who can charm blokes/ladies and gets money out of it. I think she just got bored and decided to fry some bigger fish and got in over her head. Well, at least she wasn't made into shoes...so there is that.
rachelindeed
Jan. 10th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
Your analysis is interesting and plausible; very interesting points about how she must have had something besides the MOD email going on at first -- although, personally, I don't believe Moriarty could have been so effectively distracted from Sherlock at the pool by a matter of mere money. He ultimately kills himself for the pleasure of spiting Sherlock, I don't think a rational profit-minded man would act that way. I think he's about as interested in money as Sherlock is, to be honest; he's interested in being challenged. If Irene offered him some challenge, especially one that would enable him to draw out his game with Sherlock, I could believe he would walk away at the pool. But that's just my impression.

You certainly make a good case for Irene being quite an effective criminal. I agree with you. From this point on our different reactions to her character just become matters of taste, but for me her criminality is actually why I want her to lose. She is doing terrible things. You haven't gotten to the part of her plan yet that involved murder, but her "ambition" (a value-neutral word, not the one I would have chosen) to blackmail billions from British citizens (which is very far from being a victimless crime) led her to arrange the killing of a doppleganger woman so she could fool Sherlock into thinking she was dead, to tell terrorists their code had been broken and thus increase the likelihood that they would kill more civilians in the future, and to expose Mycroft's informant within the terror cell who was surely killed in response.

She has a lot of blood on her hands before the episode is over, which is why I personally don't want her to win, anymore than I want Moriarty to win. The bottom line is exactly what John said in TGG ("There are lives at stake here, actual human lives") and what Sherlock said ("People have died.") I have a feeling Irene's response would have been quite similar to Moriarty's ("That's what people do.") That's why I can't root for her in any sense.

But obviously that's just me taking the ethics of a fictional show seriously and allowing that to influence my enjoyment of the characters; there's plenty of people out there who really love a good villain, which as you say Irene clearly was. I think I was just confused that, instead of acknowledging her villainy the show seems to want the audience to sympathize with her on romantic grounds, which is a bit baffling to me. Anyhow, thanks very much for your interesting analysis :)
fenm
Jan. 10th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
She has a lot of blood on her hands before the episode is over, which is why I personally don't want her to win

THANK YOU! I'm so tired of people saying, "Oh, but the Irene in canon won!" Yeah, but the Irene in canon also didn't do all the bad shit that BBC!Irene did.

I think I was just confused that, instead of acknowledging her villainy the show seems to want the audience to sympathize with her on romantic grounds, which is a bit baffling to me.

Yeah, this really pisses me off. In the commentary, Moffat says that at the end of the scene where Sherlock reveals her password, we're supposed to feel sympathy towards. Uh, why?
wellingtongoose
Jan. 11th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comments! They were very interesting and insightful. I actually discuss Irene Adler's criminality here:

http://wellingtongoose.livejournal.com/11256.html -

Under Charge 2 - Everything about Irene Adler. I actually think the writers made a great villain - because that's the whole point of Irene as a character. The moral dilemma is if you let Irene win, you are telling the audience that crime pays.

I think the whole point of getting Sherlock to rescue her is to show that our hero is capable of forgiveness and he does believe in redemption. She has committed a great deal of wrong (as you have already said) legally and morally. She has wronged Sherlock but he is able to empathise and sympathise enough to rescue her. Never mind whether his empathy is driven by lust or curiosity or just because he thinks she's clever. He did it.

I think when Irene is defeated Moffat hoped that we would also feel the sympathy that Sherlock does - the sympathy that causes him to cross oceans (or just London) and risk his life to save her. It makes his heroic moment...well...more human.

Personally my sympathetic neurones just didn't fire at the point because I was too busy laughing my head off at "I am SHERlocked". Irene you minx!

I thought it was brilliant because I don't think it had anything to do with a "teenage crush" at all. It was meant to be utterly ironic, an answer so terribly simple that it is blatantly taunting Sherlock for six months and will continue to taunt him for years after. I bet she had private snigger every time she thought of him cracking that phone.


fenm
Jan. 11th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
The moral dilemma is if you let Irene win, you are telling the audience that crime pays.

I think the whole point of getting Sherlock to rescue her is to show that our hero is capable of forgiveness and he does believe in redemption.


I've heard this reasoning before and to be brutally honest, I think it's bullshit.

First off, I don't get the impression we're suppose to cathink to much about Irene's criminality, we're just consider her the standard, sexy, spunky woman.

Also, I'd like to point out that Sherlock rescuing her means she's free to go off and do whatever the hell she wants. How is that sending a message of "crime doesn't pay"?

Oh, and let's not forget that another headless body was found AFTER Sherlock rescued her (and were supposed to buy that Mycroft again fell for this as "proof" that Irene is dead... God, Moffat's a hack), which means she might had committed murder after her rescue, Tell me again how this is supposed to send the message crime doesn't pay?

"That our hero is capable of forgiveness"

There are FAR better way of showing that than having him rescue and SET FREE a blackmailer, who's also possibly a killer (twice over AFTER he rescues her), and who's spent the whole episode treating him like crap.

I think when Irene is defeated Moffat hoped that we would also feel the sympathy that Sherlock does

Why? Why should we feel sympathy for her?

the sympathy that causes him to cross oceans (or just London) and risk his life to save her. It makes his heroic moment...well...more human.

What's "heroic" about setting a blackmailer free? Not to mention that his "heroism" might have gotten an innocent woman killed!

I'm sorry, but the idea that rescuing Irene, given all the all bad shit she's done--and possibly continues to do AFTERWARDS--is supposed to make Sherlock seems more human is just so fucking stupid to me. What about the end of TGG, when he gave up the thumb drive because John was in danger? What about his anger at the guys beating up Mrs. Hudson? What about apologizing to Molly at Christmas? THOSE things made him seems more human, and they didn't involve him helping a criminal go free!

wellingtongoose
Jan. 11th, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
"First off, I don't get the impression we're suppose to cathink to much about Irene's criminality, we're just consider her the standard, sexy, spunky woman."

We are also supposed to consider Sherlock an utter genius who should be worshipped and overlook the impressive array of wrongs he's racked up.

He's deliberately rude, inconsiderate and contemptuous of just about everyone he meets. He runs around crime scenes without proper gear, which is illegal. Doesn't matter if the DI is just standing around letting him do so, it's still illegal and he knows that. He treats the police with such blatant contempt that I get worried what signals its sending to young people. Not to mention the body parts he removes from the morgue, stealing ID cards to impersonate a government officer and absconding from police custody.

He's not an angel - he's just the protagonist but with his behaviour he could just as easily make a brilliant antagonist. He's interesting because he's so flawed, because he's not a nice man with a perfect grasp of morality.

Moffat has gone on a quest to humanise him not make him a saint or even a conventional hero.

On the rare occasions when Sherlock treats the people who care about him with a degree of respect they deserve, it is usually because of John's prompting.

He should be apologising to them and looking after them. John, Molly and Mrs Hudson get into these situation because of Sherlock's choices not their own. They just have the misfortune of knowing Sherlock. Throughout the series they are the ones forgiving him and Sherlock does not get a chance at forgiveness.

Irene on the other hand played for high stakes and lost, she's in the hands of terrorists because of her own actions. She wronged Sherlock and he then has the chance to forgive her.

"Also, I'd like to point out that Sherlock rescuing her means she's free to go off and do whatever the hell she wants. How is that sending a message of "crime doesn't pay"?"

Her dedicated scheming didn't pay off - she never got the billions she wanted from the British government in fact she lost everything. She's never going to be able to be free of the enemies she made. She has to live her life on the run maybe not from Mycroft but from the other people who want her head.

"What's "heroic" about setting a blackmailer free? Not to mention that his "heroism" might have gotten an innocent woman killed!"

Hi heroism also got several terrorist killed but it's Sherlock's flawed brand of heroism. Just like Sherlock's flawed brand of genius or his flawed brand of being on the side of the angels what with his criminal behaviour and all.

He decides of his own accord that he's not okay with being responsible for Irene's death. He basically sentenced her to death at the end of ASiB and he knew it. Sherlock is determined that Irene won't die because of him and he's prepared to risk his life for hers. That's heroism even though the collateral damage might be great. Heroism is not always perfect and entirely morally good. Winston Churchill allowed Coventry to be carpet bombed - we won the war and he's still thought of as a hero.




Edited at 2013-01-11 08:55 pm (UTC)
fenm
Jan. 11th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
We are also supposed to consider Sherlock an utter genius who should be worshipped and overlook the impressive array of wrongs he's racked up.

True.

You realize, though, that this actually makes my point for me, right? Moffat writes characters who do terrible shit that we're supposed to be okay with (and that he might not even SEE as bad), and Irene is one of them.

Irene on the other hand played for high stakes and lost, she's in the hands of terrorists because of her own actions.

Yes, her own actions. I'll get back to this.

She wronged Sherlock and he then has the chance to forgive her.

Why should he?

Even if he feels he has to rescue her because he's "responsible" for her plight, that doesn't mean he has to forgive her. And it for damn sure doesn't mean he has to let her go. Why not rescue her then drag her ass to jail where she belongs?

Her dedicated scheming didn't pay off - she never got the billions she wanted from the British government in fact she lost everything. She's never going to be able to be free of the enemies she made. She has to live her life on the run maybe not from Mycroft but from the other people who want her head.

Didn't she fake her death to keep most of that from being an issue?

He decides of his own accord that he's not okay with being responsible for Irene's death.

See, I don't think he is. She was the one who decided to use the same tool she keeps her terrorist shit on to try to blackmail his brother. Just for the hell of it. Which makes her situation HER. FAULT.

And again, okay, fine, he felt he was responsible, so he rescued her--why then not take her to jail? Hell, I'm still trying to figure out why Mycroft didn't throw her ass in jail when he had the chance.

Edited at 2013-01-11 10:17 pm (UTC)
wellingtongoose
Jan. 11th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
"Yes, exactly. We see Sherlock acting human. We see him showing remorse and doing what's right."

Being able to forgive is also a human attribute. Being able to put aside our own ego, our own pain and instead see the damage that vengeance can have on the other person is not a vice its a virtue. Being human is not just about morally doing the right thing - sometimes it is very different to decide what the right thing is and Sherlock often gets it wrong even when there isn't a moral dilemma.

Irene represents to him a moral dilemma, though to you it seems very clear cut what she deserves. He certainly thinks initially that she deserves to loose everything and is completely fine with the prospect of her dying. However he comes to conclusion that he doesn't have the right to judge Irene or condemn her to death in the way that he did. He decides that she is worthy of his forgiveness for the wrongs she committed against him and only him.

He rescued Irene not because he felt her actions against his brother and the country were permissible but because he didn't want to end up, to all intent and purposes, her executioner.

Why should he have to forgive her? Because it's a part of a hero's development and a part of human development. In life we learn to forgive. Sherlock's "learning of forgiveness" is merely an incredibly dramatic and somewhat flawed version we all go through just like the rest of his life and character.

Yes the situation she lands in is her fault. If it was entirely Sherlock's fault - how can he learn to forgive her? He has the moral high ground (for once) and what he chooses to do with it is an important part of his development.

Why does he not drag her back to jail? Mycroft has decided he doesn't want to jail her - he evidently wasn't feeling kind. I speculate that he actually handed her over to the terrorists

As I explain here http://wellingtongoose.livejournal.com/11684.html

Mycroft wanted her dead, if she ever returned he would still want her dead.

If Sherlock had bought her back to Britain to stand trial, he cannot guarantee that she will receive a fair trial which every person deserves whether we think they are guilty or not. He would merely be delivering her from one executioner to another.

She is still on the run from her other enemies. I am not entirely convinced that the tape fooled Mycroft (re. article linked) but even if it did, what about the terrorist affiliates - they would know she was alive or at least something had gone horribly wrong. They would be looking for her because they would know that tape was fake.

She has no papers, no money. Yes, theoretically she is now free but she is still on the run and will remain so perhaps for the rest of her life. MI6/MI5/Mycroft are not so closed minded that just because she's presumed dead they have taken her off their radar.

"You realize, though, that this actually makes my point for me, right? Moffat writes characters who do terrible shit that we're supposed to be okay with (and that he might not even SEE as bad), and Irene is one of them"

I think that Moffat writes complexed characters that aren't black or white. Like real human beings they have their vices and their sinful natures. We would prefer our heroes to be good upstanding people but real heroes are often not - because they are first and foremost people. Winston Churchill used to drink champagne and eat venison to excess when the rest of the population were on strict rations. His imperfect but it does not make him less of a great man and a hero.

I pointed out Sherlock's flaws because that's an important part of what makes him a very real hero and what makes his development has a character important. Had he been perfect already what would be the point?

Are we supposed to be okay with the crimes we see being committed? That is up to us to decided. There are impressionable kids out there but that does not mean we should force the writers to be more "judgemental" in their approach to wrong-doing. This is first and foremost entertainment not moral education although there are morals if we care to look. This show with a deeply flawed hero teaches us that all people have negative attributes but we can love them despite this. We can see the good qualities in others.


Edited at 2013-01-11 10:36 pm (UTC)
fenm
Jan. 11th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
Irene represents to him a moral dilemma, though to you it seems very clear cut what she deserves.

Indeed I am: I think she deserves jail. Is she in jail at the end of the episode? No, she's not. And it's not because "[t]his is first and foremost entertainment not moral education", it's because Moffat likes the character. And come to think of it, for show that's "not moral education", a lot of the bad guys end up dead...

She has no papers, no money. Yes, theoretically she is now free but she is still on the run and will remain so perhaps for the rest of her life.

Yes, because of her own actions. Pardon me if I don't feel sorry for the blackmailing murderess.

I think that Moffat writes complexed characters that aren't black or white

Yes, but he ALSO creates people who do bad shit and get away with it, and who we're supposed to think are "cool". Again, we're suppose to like and sympathize with Irene. This isn't speculation on my part, he has said this himself.

all people have negative attributes but we can love them despite this.

People also have choices to make. Irene made a series of choices which disgraced, hurt, and humiliated people. Hell, she made choices that could have gotten people killed--and in some cases DID. And she did it FOR FUN. These aren't "negative attributes", these are choices she made.
wellingtongoose
Jan. 12th, 2013 12:04 pm (UTC)
"Indeed I am: I think she deserves jail. Is she in jail at the end of the episode? No, she's not. And it's not because "[t]his is first and foremost entertainment not moral education", it's because Moffat likes the character."

I have explained the practical aspects of why Irene isn't in jail. Saving her from terrorists who are trying to murder her is somewhat heroic - breaking her out from jail is not. Had Sherlock's forgiveness scene been him visiting her in jail and telling her she forgives him - it would be a rather undramatic end to a very dramatic episode. Also - given Sherlock's general attitude to people and emotion, very out of character. Moffat gave drama and entertainment factor more consideration than ethical/legal issues

"And come to think of it, for show that's "not moral education", a lot of the bad guys end up dead..."

Yes and plenty of good/normal/innocent people also end up dead, either as a direct result of "bad" people or their own stupidity. This is how the world works, and Sherlock is a distorted reflection of it. Several of the "bad" guys actually end up committing suicide for dramatic effect and are never bought to justice because Sherlock isn't a police drama/legal process drama either - it's entertainment.


You might think Irene deserves jail, I think she deserves a fair trial and the judge who has far more legal experience than me can decide what she deserves a punishment. Either way, Moffat and Gatiss are not interested in legal proceedings and punishment. Much of what they chose was purely for dramatic flair which I can understand because they need to sell a sunday night entertainment show.

"Yes, but he ALSO creates people who do bad shit and get away with it, and who we're supposed to think are "cool""

Irene is really the only antagonist who actually doesn't end up with karma biting her backside. Although nearly dying is a form of comeuppance. In this world plenty of people do terrible things, get away with it and we are supposed to think they are cool. Celebrities taking drugs, business leaders making fortunes on the misery of others who we are supposed to applaud as entrepreneurs etc. Sherlock like many dramas is a distorted reflection of our own world where justice is rarely served the way we think it should be. It merely takes these issues that lurk below the surface and reflect them to us a hyperboles. The show is not here to provide a solution to our problems or an answer of what should be done. It merely makes us think a little bit more.

"People also have choices to make. Irene made a series of choices which disgraced, hurt, and humiliated people. Hell, she made choices that could have gotten people killed--and in some cases DID. And she did it FOR FUN. These aren't "negative attributes", these are choices she made."

Yes, and we all make very bad choices in life even people with mostly positive attributes. Whether it is the nasty things we say about people behind their backs, or the ruthless manoeuvre to get that next promotion. Irene is a hyperbole, a dramatic representation of a very clever woman who deliberately made very bad choices. I really don't think she is all for fun. She certainly enjoyed doing it but it was all for the money.

Given the misery spread by companies, governments etc in the pursuit of money, Irene's crimes pale in comparison. She's definitely not a good person but then she is suppose to be the villain.

There is a long literary traditions of liking villains. Villains intrigue us and when we see ourselves reflected in them, we can begin to explore our own darkness and the darkness of our society. Villain are not the "other", darkness/wrong doing is not something that lurks at the edges. It is very much embedded in all of us. By hoping that we can like and sympathize with a villain, it is the first step to acknowledging that we all have darkness, selfishness, greed and sadism inside to varying degrees.







Edited at 2013-01-12 12:09 pm (UTC)
fenm
Jan. 12th, 2013 03:01 pm (UTC)
I have explained the practical aspects of why Irene isn't in jail.

Which isn't the same as her not deserving to be.

Had Sherlock's forgiveness scene been him visiting her in jail

Had she been sent to jail, I don't know why we'd even need such a scene. Her last scene could have been Sherlock telling her off and leaving.

Several of the "bad" guys actually end up committing suicide

"Several"? I count one.

You might think Irene deserves jail, I think she deserves a fair trial and the judge who has far more legal experience than me can decide what she deserves a punishment.

Really? You don't know for yourself that trying to blackmail a government official is illegal?

But, yes, of course I'd want her to be tried. But, again, we SEE her do illegal things.

Though the more I think about it: Fuck jail, she should be dead. Every other villain on the show died, why shouldn't she?

Irene is really the only antagonist who actually doesn't end up with karma biting her backside.

Yes. Exactly.

Celebrities taking drugs,

Really? That's your example of people doing terrible things?

Sherlock like many dramas is a distorted reflection of our own world where justice is rarely served the way we think it should be.

Except, as you pointed out, all the villains except Irene DID get punished, quite severely. So, no I don't agree with you. The show has no problem meting out "justice". Except to Irene. Why is that? Why is Irene the only villain who doesn't die? And don't give me this "life is unfair and the show reflects that" bullshit. Because that's what it is, it's bullshit. EVERY OTHER VILLAIN HAS DIED. So why not Irene?

The show is not here to provide a solution to our problems or an answer of what should be done. It merely makes us think a little bit more.

I can honestly say this show has never made me think about any of that, actually. It's a detective show that ends with most of the villains getting dramatically killed at the end. Pretty much like many other detective/crime/police dramas. Yes, it reflects society; most media does. Sherlock is not unique in this regard, nor does it do it noticeably better than most shows.

Yes, and we all make very bad choices in life even people with mostly positive attributes. Whether it is the nasty things we say about people behind their backs

Seriously? You're comparing talking behind someone's back to blackmail and MURDER? WTF?

No, seriously; why, when talking a woman who committed blackmail, assault, and possibly murder, do you keep giving me examples of "bad" things people do that are so... weak in comparison? Am I supposed to take these comparisons seriously? Cuz I'm not.

I really don't think she is all for fun. She certainly enjoyed doing it but it was all for the money.

Except they specifically talk about Irene doing things like ruining people's marriages without ever asking for money So, no, it wasn't. The show SAYS it wasn't.

Given the misery spread by companies, governments etc in the pursuit of money, Irene's crimes pale in comparison.

Yes, and compared to Stalin's purges, what Ted Bundy did was a cake walk, but I think it's fair to say that you still think he deserved to be punished, right?

She's definitely not a good person but then she is suppose to be the villain.

Really? Maybe you should tell Moffat that, cuz he sure the fuck doesn't treat her like one.

By hoping that we can like and sympathize with a villain, it is the first step to acknowledging...

Yeah, this is a bunch of horseshit, too. If the show was about that, why do all of them but Irene die?

BTW, I think Jeff the cabbie was a far more sympathetic and interesting villain than Irene. Or any of the others, really.
wellingtongoose
Jan. 12th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
I think this discussion is not getting anywhere. Firstly we are talking at cross purposes. To point out what our fundamental disagreements are:

You clearly feel that Sherlock the TV show should portray justice and Irene did not get the justice she deserved. I think that Sherlock reflects modern society in a distorted melodramatic way and is good entertainment. The writers are not obliged to deliver justice, any more than they are obliged to delve into the philosophy of morality. If they have decided to melodramatically end all the other villains I think it is for dramatic flair and closure.

None of them actually got the justice they deserved by way of the courts or had the chance to rehabilitate. Punishment is not the same as justice. By killing off the villains, justice is not served any more than letting Irene live. They are never tried, the victims can not get closure from the idea that the due legal process has been observed and delivered.


Clearly Moffat felt it was best in Irene's case to keep her alive, for the drama and other reasons such as humanising Sherlock.

Irene as a character is special, she has to be - she's the woman, the only woman Sherlock ever had an interest in. Irene's death would only serve as one in a long string of similar villains, thereby mitigating her specialness. Even if she escapes justice, it only a different way of escaping justice to the other villains.

Discussing what Irene deserves is very different from discussing whether we understand if her actions are right or wrong. Of course I realise her actions are illegal and we see her doing illegal things. However we are witnesses rather than judge, jury and executioners. I personally do not believe I have the right to judge other people, certainly not to point of deciding who deserves to live and die - no one is. This is why we have a court system that contains a jury of peers. This why I can only say Irene deserves a fair trial, not that she deserves to die.

Whatever we feel Irene deserved the writers chose to keep her alive they have the power of the final verdict. Our issues are not going to be resolved because Moffat writes what Moffat wants. My point is that he had logical reasons behind his writing, even though I disagree with the outcome.


"Had she been sent to jail, I don't know why we'd even need such a scene. Her last scene could have been Sherlock telling her off and leaving."

Then we only see Sherlock disparaging sentiment - making him less human. We never get the heroism or the forgiveness which is important.

"Seriously? You're comparing talking behind someone's back to blackmail and MURDER? WTF?"

Please read my reply in context. Irene's bad choices are a hyperbole of the bad choices we make every day. Even if they pale in comparison to Irene's crimes, which in turn pale in comparison to other larger crimes - all of them are all still crimes, legal or moral.

"Really? That's your example of people doing terrible things?"

Flaunting the law in the public eye? Yes of course it is a terrible thing. Not all damage to society comes from loss of life. In a broader context - we are meant to admire these people who knowing break the law and then expect to be treated differently because they are famous. Moffat's intent on making Irene look "cool" is built on the fact that society admires these celebrities who do "edgy" things which are illegal - he merely blows up the crime in Irene's case as he hyperbolises everything else.

I feel that this discussion is not going to resolve the issues that you have with Moffat's writing and decisions. I also have (different) issues which will never be resolved simply because I don't write Sherlock.

Given how frequently you compare my replies to various kinds of animal manure, I don't think you are finding this discussion any more rewarding than I do :) - so I'm going to say: this has been interesting because you have made me think but it would be prudent for this be my last reply.





Edited at 2013-01-12 07:51 pm (UTC)
fenm
Jan. 12th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
You clearly feel that Sherlock the TV show should portray justice

I'm not saying it should, I'm saying it already does. Again, every other villain IS DEAD. The show passed judgement on them and gave them the death penalty. Why not Irene?

None of them actually got the justice they deserved by way of the courts or had the chance to rehabilitate. Punishment is not the same as justice.

Ok. So why wasn't Irene punished, too?

Irene as a character is special

The Irene in the story is special, yes. The Irene in the episode was just another in a long line of sexy, "spunky" women who we're supposed to give a pass to ignore all the bad shit they do because... tits? Yeah, I don't really know why.

Of course I realise her actions are illegal

Yeah, see here's the thing: There are TONS of things that are illegal that, at the end of the day hurt, NO ONE (except maybe the person doing it, and hey, that's their all) and that honestly, I'm okay with people doing. Irene doesn't do things that are just illegal, she does thing that hurt other people.

Then we only see Sherlock disparaging sentiment - making him less human.

There are ways of making him human that don't involve letting a killer go free.

Hell, I thought him helping her made him LESS HUMAN. He didn't give a shit about the people she'd hurt. He had a hard-on for this woman, and damn all the misery she'd caused, and might cause in the future. That's not humanity, that's a man thinking with his dick.

Flaunting the law in the public eye? Yes of course it is a terrible thing.

Damn you, Rosa Parks!

we are meant to admire these people who knowing break the law and then expect to be treated differently because they are famous.

No, I don't think we are.

And if it's a stupid law, hell yes I want people to flaunt it.

Irene's bad choices are a hyperbole of the bad choices we make every day.

No, they're the choices of a villain in a crime drama. They are also choices that most people wouldn't make because they have morals and integrity.

Edited at 2013-01-12 08:33 pm (UTC)
wellingtongoose
Jan. 12th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
" personally, I don't believe Moriarty could have been so effectively distracted from Sherlock at the pool by a matter of mere money"

This is an interesting proposition. I had Sherlock pegged as the type of man who sees money as he sees food: a necessary evil but not one he delights in handling.

Moriarty, I thought was similar but then the "westwood" comment made me think. Sherlock mentions his Belstaff coat or his Spencer Hart suits - he may not be interest in how much they cost or the brand (I have a feeling Mycroft bought him his clothes) but Moriarty cares about luxury. He cares to be seen on his first official appearance in expensive attire - so I think he does like money, if only because it allows him to indulge in luxury to fuel his ego. Of course he might be reflecting Sherlock, but given how little Sherlock cares about fashion - does he even know what "westwood" is?

I completely agree that Irene has a lot of blood on her hands. This fits into the mould of all the other hyperbolized, dramatic villains in Sherlock. They don't just kill one person they usually kill several - advertently or inadvertently. She is the typically villain up to a point.

I personally like the fact that she's different from all the other villains because Sherlock risks his life to save her - and in doing so forgives her. She's the woman - because she forced him to evaluate his own feelings about being responsible for her death, even though she wronged him. She forced him to experience forgiveness and a form of self-less sacrifice.

rachelindeed
Jan. 12th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
I see why you like Sherlock's decision not simply to stand aside and do nothing and allow her to be murdered by her angered associates. I'm with you on that.

Also, it is 100% canonical for Sherlock to let murderers go free. I can think of at least four original stories off the top of my head where he did this. In each of those cases, though, he sympathized with the reasons that had driven the killers to their actions and he also had no doubt whatsoever that they would be no danger to innocent people -- they were not going to kill (or be criminal at all) again, and they had "good" (in his eyes) reasons for their desperate actions.

I think that ASiB tries to set up a somewhat similar situation, in that Irene has to be defanged in terms of her criminal capabilities before it would be alright to indulge the impulse to spare her life. She needs to not be able to go back to doing serious harm. So I think her losing her phone to Sherlock, which was the vital base for her criminal life, is really required by the story. It is necessary that she lose, which is part of why I did not feel upset - like many fans did - that Sherlock beat her in this version of the story.

I see the logic that helps make the conclusion satisfying for you. Personally, I felt that we had already done a similar storyline in The Great Game of Sherlock initially being so flattered and attracted by receiving the attentions of a worthy criminal adversary that he totally overlooked the collateral damage. All he cared about was his intellectual/emotional relationship with the "delightfully interesting" bad guy, not all the people who were dying along the way. In TGG, John called him on how morally blinkered his attitude was, and by the end of the episode Sherlock had come to agree to the extent that he brought up the collateral damage ("people have died") and swore that he would stop Moriarty.

That, to me, was an important heroic moment for him and a big step in his human development. In some ways, I felt disappointed that his fascination with Irene seemed to make him once again overlook all the collateral harm she was doing; it felt like regression rather than progress if all he cared about was her relationship with him, not the effect she was having on other people. But I guess a lot depends on whether one thinks she will be back out in the world doing more harm after this, or whether she has somehow reformed and/or lost so much power that she can't be a serious threat anymore. The only concern I am left with at the end is that Sherlock's rescue might lead to more people getting hurt as Irene returns to her life of crime, and that Sherlock might not actually care about that. If so, I think in that area of his development at least, he took a step backwards from where he was in the pool scene.

But, yeah, compassion is a good thing and certainly it's human to react differently to different people - to be sympathetic toward someone like Irene and unsympathetic to someone like Jefferson Hope, regardless of how similar or different their talents/intellects/crimes were. I think ASiB was overall an entertaining episode with clever twists and it doesn't upset me either that Irene lost or that she was saved. It just falls ultimately rather flat for me because it didn't succeed in making me sympathize with Irene or be invested in any potential for romance between her and Sherlock. I didn't much like her, and was thus disconnected from Sherlock who obviously did. The episode was aiming to make me enjoy the fun of her style/craftiness/sexiness, but it didn't always work because I wasn't always overlooking the collateral damage issues the way Sherlock was. To that extent, I feel like the plot may have interfered with, rather than forwarded, the dramatic themes and intentions of the episode. But everyone's reactions to these things are different, and clearly Irene and Irene/Sherlock succeeded with some people more than it did with me :) With Irene and love-hate relationships generally, clearly YMMV!
fenm
Jan. 13th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
The only concern I am left with at the end is that Sherlock's rescue might lead to more people getting hurt as Irene returns to her life of crime

A headless body presumed to be Irene's is found, which suggests someone died [again] for her to fake her death. This happens after Sherlock rescues her. So it's not even a question of whether someone will get hurt because Sherlock freed Irene--it's already happened.

We're supposed to be HAPPY Sherlock is attracted to this woman, and let her go... why?
rachelindeed
Jan. 13th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC)
A headless body presumed to be Irene's is found, which suggests someone died [again] for her to fake her death.

Good point, but Mycroft basically says "only Sherlock Holmes could have faked this," which I always assumed meant that that's exactly what happened. I thought Sherlock faked the 2nd death, so I just assumed no actual murdering was involved.

Personally, as I said, the attraction part of the story never made me happy -- Sherlock/Irene fell flat at my end of the television :)

I'd have been happy if he put her in prison. Less happy if he left her to die (I think stopping murders is good, even the murder of criminals).

As for letting her go, if it leads to more people being killed or endangered then I'm disappointed. In my head I hope that her criminal career was effectively derailed with the loss of that phone; they did build it up through the whole episode as being vital to her.

For what it's worth, the canonical Holmes in the original stories does have a record of letting a lot of criminals - both murderers and other kinds - go free. For example, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Abbey Grange, Charles Augustus Milverton, The Devil's Foot, The Blue Carbuncle, & The Second Stain. In those cases - with crimes that range from murder to theft to treason - he let the culprits go.

But yes, I understand your feelings and I also feel like the Irene fascination does show Sherlock being disappointingly blind to collateral damage.
fenm
Jan. 13th, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Good point, but Mycroft basically says "only Sherlock Holmes could have faked this," which I always assumed meant that that's exactly what happened. I thought Sherlock faked the 2nd death, so I just assumed no actual murdering was involved.

So how did it happen? He found a dead body that looks enough like Irene to fool Mycroft? Wow, convenient that there was another one of those lying around.

Yeah, sorry, the whole premise of them finding these bodies that can pass even Sherlock and Mycroft's scrutiny is just so stupid.

Yeah, I know the canon Holmes let people go sometimes. But as you said in your previous comment, it's usually because they clearly had some justification (in "The Devil's Foot" the killer was avenging his sister's death) or had no stomach for crime and were never going to do it again (the thief in "The Blue Carbuncle). Irene neither has any justification for her crimes, nor does she show any squeamishness about her crimes which would suggest she's going to stop. And hell, why should she? The very person who should have put a stop to her crimes actually set her free to keep doing them.
wellingtongoose
Jan. 13th, 2013 01:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the similarities between Sherlock's reaction to Jim and then Irene.

But I'd like to point out that as villains they are entirely different. I would like to discuss this rather odd assumption a lot of people hold regarding Irene's criminal capabilities.

She's a very intelligent woman but in no way is she a career criminal. She is a career dominatrix - which is a perfectly legal profession. Her manoeuvrings during the course of ASiB pretty much convince me of that. She needed Moriarty's help to get into the criminal world - she only dabbled rather intelligently with it before. When she landed in deep water - she was completely unprepared and merely escaped because Mycroft and the Americans really didn't think much of her and didn't send their best men for the job.

The other thing is - there is absolutely no proof that Irene murdered anyone in the course of her schemes. The assumption that a dead body resembling her had to be acquired by murder is wrong.

I work in a hospital and it amuses how much Sherlock fans bend over backwards to explain how he gets through the "rigorous" checks at the morgue in order to fake his death.

Seriously, morgues are increasingly staffed by overworked doctors for whom tending corpses is just a small part of their highly pressurised jobs. They do not care that much - they are not on the look out for foul play, they probably won't spot it if it hit them in the face with a wet fish.

All Irene needs is a friendly pathologist who's willing to be on the look out for an unclaimed corpse that matches her description. If she can change DNA records in the police system how easy is this in comparison?

Also bear in mind that death can distort the body - Sherlock knows it perfectly well. Irene + her friendly pathologist do not have to find a perfect match, just a nice slim female.

I am quite convinced she faked her death at Christmas because of the season. The mortality rate in winter skyrockets every single year. Not just for the homeless or the old but also for depressed young women. These people who commit suicide/just die from illness are often immigrants without friends or family to claim their corpses and there will be a selection of them to choose from in winter. The sad thing is there's often no coroner or inquest involved even though there should be because nobody cares about these women. They have no advocate.

All Irene + her friendly pathologist need to do is register the corpse as Irene, mutilate it and then present it to Sherlock. Job done, no one needs to be murdered. In fact this method is so much easier to do than a murder.



Edited at 2013-01-13 02:04 pm (UTC)
rachelindeed
Jan. 13th, 2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
Well, I think it's open to debate certainly, but here's the thing. Irene fakes her death twice, once while working with Moriarty and once while working with Sherlock. Since I've always assumed the one Sherlock arranged didn't involve murder, I must grant that it's possible to set up such an arrangement using some existing dead body, not one expressly killed for the purpose.

However, they make a big point of showing that Sherlock identifies the first body by recognizing it as a match for Irene's naked body. To me, that means it can't just have been another slim woman. Sherlock knows Irene's dimensions down to the centimeter, that was clearly established as a plot point earlier. There could not be so much as a mole out of place on the skin if Irene and Moriarty expected him to be fooled. The odds of finding a randomly naturally deceased person to be such a perfect match for her seem pretty darn low to me. I'm sure you're right that death changes a body, but of course Sherlock is an expert at analyzing such change and would surely recognize if the corpses' weight, bone structure, complexion or anything else had changed too much. In short, I think Sherlock's genius, experience examining dead bodies, and earlier encounter with Irene in the nude all make it likely that Irene (or Moriarty, if she asked him to arrange things) had to find a very very close body double for her. The chances of finding one among the convenient already-dead of the season seem low to me. I think it more likely they selected a woman for her physical resemblance, killed her and then beat her face in. :( And, since Molly was the pathologist in this case, I think we can rule her out of any collaboration. The body was likely arranged before it got to St. Barts.

Irene also gives terrorists, who we know have previously successfully crashed a plane with their bomb, the ability to evade British and American counter-terrorism agents. This makes it likely that dozens more will die because of her actions. Also, it makes it likely that the informant, who sent Mycroft the code and who Bond Air was arranged to protect, was identified and killed by the terrorists.

So, while of course you're free to disagree, I'm still pretty convinced that Irene's actions are killing people.

And, of course you're right that being a dominatrix is not a crime. Even being a consistent blackmailer, which is a crime, is not nearly as bad as the kind of criminality Moriarty constantly practiced. However, I thought the point of your essay was to suggest that Irene had been dealing in espionage for a long time before the Sherlock thing. And trading national secrets to terrorist groups and the like does tend to lead to people dying. Whether Irene just started to do that or has done it for a long time, it's still extremely serious in my eyes and makes me have little sympathy with her, because she's selling info that costs lives purely for her own gain.

That's how I see it, anyway :)
rachelindeed
Jan. 13th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
Oh, just a few more thoughts about the "does Moriarty care about money?" question. It's certainly possible; you make a case for his enjoyment of luxury, but to me the Westwood suit seems like a costume just as much as the "Jim from IT" outfit or the simpler suits and T-shirts of his Richard Brook persona -- I hesitate to deduce much personal from any of those appearances.

I believe Sherlock directly says to him in TRF "You don't care about money, not really" or something like that, when they're having tea at Baker Street?

Also, when we look at the crimes of his that we know about we have:

1) Sponsoring Hope to serially kill random people. Moriarty pays him a presumably large sum of money for every murder. I don't see how he could make any kind of profit out of this enterprise, he seems to do it purely for the pleasure of seeing a crime well done, and possibly to bait Sherlock.

2) Carl Powers. No money in that murder, obviously.

3) The husband faking his death to go to Columbia. Probably some money in that, since Janus Cars likely gives Moriarty's organization a cut of the profits from the life insurance.

4) The Connie Prince murder. Presumably Raoul paid him for his consulting criminal advice; don't know how much the house-boy had to spend, but there was money involved.

5) The fake painting - Moriarty dumped 30 million pounds on that one.

6) Kidnapping John, no money there.

7) Bruce Partington Plans - threw them in the pool. Not sure what to conclude about that.

8) The multiple heists that open TRF - as far as I can tell none of them made him any money. He had people competing for the fake computer code, but since he never sold it to anyone since it didn't exist, I can't see where he made any money off that.

9) The Richard Brooks fraud. No money.

In short, from what we see of him he does not seem to be engaged in particularly lucrative criminal endeavors. He's bored, he wants to create interesting crimes and face a worthy adversary. He seems to design his projects with those priorities in mind.

So I still tend to think money is probably not a major draw for him.

wellingtongoose
Jan. 13th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting.

However the big problem we have as viewers is that the vast majority of Moriarty's crimes we do see are after he has become obsessed with Sherlock. We don't know what he did before he heard of the Sherlock or indeed what he was going on the side whilst he was playing with Sherlock.

The Carl Powers murder merely showed us he was a psychopath as a child. Self-gratification crimes are usually the first any psychopath commits but many of the more intelligent one always embark on financially lucrative criminal lives as adults. Why? because money makes everything easier. They might not be obsessed with money the way Jim is obsessed with Sherlock but it takes a very dumb psychopath to think that money is no object.

The vast majority of what we see Moriarty commit are simply self-gratification crimes but it does not mean he doesn't commit crimes for financial reason either. He does point out that he "even threw away 30 million" to get Sherlock to come out and play. He understands the value of money, it does mean something to him.

By the time he meets Sherlock, Sherlock is the center of his attention, money is no longer the objective any more. What I think Sherlock means by "You don't care about money, not really" is that specifically Moriarty's latest plot wasn't about the money (which is wasn't it was about Sherlock).

One thing we are supposed to assume TBB is that Moriarty was the one who assisted (or even controlled) black lotus and General Shan. That in itself is an incredibly lucrative business on its own. He executes them because they utterly failed and would be a liability if caught. The smuggling ring was bust open, even if Shan was never caught - so why leave loose ends.
rachelindeed
Jan. 13th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hello! Good point about the Black Lotus, I forgot about that one. And yes, I fully grant your point that maybe it's only at this point in his career that Moriarty isn't much focused on money, quite possibly because he already made so much profit in his earlier criminal endeavors before his games with Sherlock that really he doesn't have any pressing need for more and can focus on self-gratification crime.

However, my original point was just that Irene would need to be offering something more interesting than money in order to distract him from Sherlock at the pool. Because at that point he is obsessed with Sherlock and from what we can see relatively indifferent to adding or subtracting to whatever money he already has :) He's already in his self-gratification phase, so the question is, what did she offer him that so caught his interest?
wellingtongoose
Jan. 14th, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think I rather went on a tangent to your original point. Now that you pointed it out I am quite sure that Irene did give him something Sherlock-related. More specifically something from the policeman she knows. I think Moriarty is using Irene's inside information from the police to essentially stalk Sherlock through his cases - of course this is after he met her. Sherlock may be somewhat clueless about Morarity's fascination with him before AsiP but it doesn't mean the wider community are not - when the resident criminal genius starts doing highly illogical things that are bad for business, criminals and Moriarty's customers (who aren't all criminals) tend to notice.

Moriarty pretty much fixes things for people with enough money - Irene's clients generally have a lot of money and even more things that need "fixing". I think Irene learnt about Moriarty from her client circles.


rachelindeed
Jan. 14th, 2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
I think Moriarty is using Irene's inside information from the police to essentially stalk Sherlock through his cases

Interesting idea. I think Moriarty has some police connections (or at least, it looked like the assassin sent after Lestrade in TRF was in the police, or else just disguised as a policeman). But I'm sure he took Sherlock-info wherever he could get it, and Irene's policeman might have been useful. And he and Irene seem to have mutually enabled each other when it came to Sherlock-stalking. I've always assumed it was Moriarty who sent her those photos of Sherlock in his sheet, and then later of Sherlock and John with the ashtray in the taxi. Plus he apparently filled her in on Sherlock's (lack of) sexual history, which I REALLY don't want to know how he investigated. Stalkers, indeed.

Sherlock may be somewhat clueless about Morarity's fascination with him before AsiP but it doesn't mean the wider community are not

Yes, I agree. Jefferson Hope certainly knew that Moriarty was Sherlock's "fan."
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