Friday, 31 January 2014

QVC Beauty Bash 2014

The beauty event of the year, at least one where so many millions would like to flock to, but alas tickets are few and far between.  This year the QVC Beauty Bash took place from 22nd January - 24 January at Old Billingsgate.  A location that is definitely in the heart of London and close to the River Thames.

Most every brand featured on QVC was here and a few new ones who will be making their debut very soon on the channel.  Including Lalique perfumes.  A name that has been synonymous with fragrance but from the outset Rene Lalique was a French glass designer who created amongst other works of art, glass perfume bottles. In 1907 he partnered with the perfumer Francois Coty to produce elegant and creative bottles, becoming collector's items.

Attending on the Thursday it was great meeting up with QVC presenters Debbie Flint, Julia Roberts again and also seeing Will Gowing again too.  As well as getting to meet QVC's own resident beauty expert, Alison Young, complete with her heels! And not forgetting Miceal Murphy.  New presenter Marverine Cole was there too but didn't get a chance to meet her.

Of course all the old faves were there too, from Leighton Denny, OPI, Nails Inc, to Decleor,  Gatineau, Elemis, Mally, Laura Geller, Stila, Bare Minerals and the list goes on.  Places filled up quickly for the make overs and nail manicures, treatments but I was there for more of a gander, meeting the faces we see on screen, finding out about products both old and new.  As Andrew Bagley of Gatineau put it, these events are a way of meeting customers in person so they can see our skin and give appropriate advice.  There was a bit of a queue to see Andrew!!  Though I doubt anyone needed Debbie's playful steering in his direction, ha.

Got to meet Nina: so lovely and friendly as she led me to the upcoming Leighton Denny TSV containing my fave colour purple! A must have.

An enjoyable few hours well spent in the company of some exceptional people and brands!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Revenge 3.4 "Mercy" Review

As Emily (Emily VanCamp) arrives at the hospital and she finds Father Paul (James LeGros) critical and he eventually dies.  Conrad (Henry Czerny) however survives like a cockroach, ha, and she suspects he may have had something to do with his death.  She vows to bring him down and prove he was driving even if Daniel (Josh Bowman) wants to do everything he can to ensure he isn't blamed for the car crash.  Emily says she didn't give him the full dosage of the drug and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) tells her again he warned her about doing this.  Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) turns up at the hospital if not just to gloat and tells Daniel how Conrad was going to confess about the past and David.  Emily finds Patrick (Justin Hartley) outside and he returns home after he's not allowed to enter the hospital room.  Emily telling him that's how the Grayson's do things.

Charlotte (Christa B Allen) doesn't pick up Victoria's call and she's doing her bridesmaid duties by sending out wedding invitations and encourages Jack (Nick Wechsler) to come.  He's not going though.  Victoria gets a job at the gallery as she's trying to make a clean break from Conrad, easier said than done and her so called friend, Sheila (Kathleen York) has heard about her financial troubles and uses it as an excuse to bring in the punters.  Seems Victoria is getting the short end of the stick this season as everyone's deserting her, especially her children. Not that they didn't before but seems like she only has Patrick left for emotional support and he doesn't look like he's going anywhere.  Although we still don't know anything about him, seems he is there for his mother as he shows by putting the spanner in the works for Sheila at the gallery.  He offers her a painting to sell and she declares she can't without the paperwork, then blackmails her into buying it since he knows she's done that in the past.

Emily decides she has to gloat too at Victoria's misfortune of having to join the dregs of ordinary workers but it's not as though her job isn't glamorous enough for her.  Charlotte also turns up to lend support to her since she's doing something to get away from Conrad.  Aiden (Barry Sloane) is invited to stay in the pool house by Victoria since he can give her the lowdown on Emily and get between her and Daniel.  Conrad not being too happy about this since he is the one who took their fortune.  Emily also gives Aiden Conrad's pills to change. Took his time about doing that, but he does find out where the wreck of the car is for her.

Emily can't stay away from Jack and tells him about Conrad and how she knows he was driving.  She wants him to not get involved so why bother him to begin with.  Obviously he can't stay out of it cos he hasn't got his revenge on Conrad for Amanda and Declan.  Emily wonders why the police haven't questioned her since she was first at the scene and stops by at the magazine to discover Daniel's already talked to the police on her behalf and given her statement to them, er thought this couldn't be done.  Whilst also writing out a cheque for their charity.  Bribes hey.  Emily gets her revenge on him when she tells the magazine about his DUI. He's staying at the Southfork Inn when Emily finds him at the beach house, they have an argument over the article and how he's defending Conrad, she tells him to turn the alarm on before he leaves.

Nolan is intent on finding the dirt on Patrick and he steals his wallet from the club, really Nolan it was just to see Patrick shirtless! and going back to using his hacking skills, finds he has an ex wife in Miami so he flies down there, flashes some money around, which really isn't his and gets the dirt on him.  Well it wasn't really dirt since we discover Patrick really is not into the opposite sex.  Cue passionate kiss between the two of them for those who anticipated this, of course it was obvious these two had a thing for each other as soon as they met.

Victoria tells Sheila she found out about her painting being sold from her friend Jordan and blackmails her into giving her the gallery.  So guess can't fell sorry for her anymore, as she and Patrick were in on the scam from the outset.  Of course they were and look she got a gallery for nothing.  Emily took her sweet time getting down to the scrapyard since Jack has beaten her to the punch.  He's taken photos of the wreck and the airbag is missing from the driver's side so this means Conrad was driving as his injuries prove this.  The car is taken away to be wrecked.

Conrad realizes he's not suffering from Huntington's after all and he's celebrating.  Emily tells Daniel he must be relived but he's still not going to come back to her.  Conrad also thanks Daniel for covering for him but he admits he did it for himself.  He's got his own reputation to think about and wants to make his own name. Charlotte didn't even come to see Conrad, ha.  Emily also tells Aiden about Jack and how she revealed who she was to him to stop him from shooting Conrad and see the temperature rise there as Aiden sees red.  He's so envious of him that he tells Victoria he knows who sabotaged the car: Jack! Argh, that's his agenda revealed, he wants shot of Jack now.  Jack shows Emily the video of the engine which shows the car was infact sabotaged so Conrad wasn't responsible for killing Father Paul after all.

This ep didn't have a closing or opening narration from Emily.  Daniel actually having his own motives for clearing Conrad was a bit of a revelation, usually he doesn't have that much to do character wise, aside from being used by Emily to further her revenge plans and worm her way into the Grayson clan even further. Daniel listening to Conrad when he says he shouldn't go running back to Emily since it shows weakness and Daniel actually rejecting her even when she wants him to come home.

Victoria sat on her chair again, that chair, need to get my hands on it! Ha.  It's been missing of late and surprisingly it showed up this ep when Victoria was being fiendish with the help of Patrick.  Funny scene when she told Conrad to go away, she's working. Aiden thinking he can shoot two birds with one stone since he can get Jack out of the way and away from Emily whilst still being able to stay on at the pool house. I don't know, seems like whoever stays there, or visits, comes to a bit of a grizzly end.

As for the brakeline cutting fiasco could it be Patrick, of course we know he was a round when Victoria told Conrad not to drive and he could have heard their argument afterwards too, but presumably the brakelines had already been cut by then.  He did show some of his true colours when he helped Victoria with the gallery, does his shortcomings include murder.  If so was he behind Emily's shooting.  Okay getting my thoughts down now, ha.  Irrespective of all this, it does appear Nolan appears to be heading for another fall as far his love interests are concerned.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Mr Selfridge Series 2 Episode 2 Review

War looms on the horizon as does the Trade Union movement and in actual fact it's all out war between Lady Mae (Katherine Kelly) and Loxley (Aidan McArdle) as well as Harry (Jeremy Piven) and Rose (Frances O'Connor) well it doesn't help to have Delphine (Polly Walker) hanging around like a bad smell, considering she's the one who is behind it all as far as Harry and Rose not getting along is concerned.  The Selfridge's staff feel Harry will desert them at the time of war and go back to America, as Mr Crabb (Ron Cook) tries to put them right, also warning Harry to possible dissention in the ranks, which is Groves's (Tom Goodman-Hill) job.  Harry thinks he needs something to boost morale and pep up his workers and so asks for suggestions from his staff at the Head of Departments meeting.

Agnes (Aisling Loftus) arrives late as she's really overwhelmed with the workload and Thackeray (Cal MacAninch) isn't making things any easier for her.  Don't know what his problem is, he comes across as sexist and doesn't want Agnes to be in charge or he just plain hates the fact that he should be doing such a job when Agnes has all the say.  Agnes drops her pencil and can't think of anything when Harry asks her but Kitty (Amy Beth Hayes) comes up with an idea to throw a party for the staff and they can have a Tango demo since Mr Gomerez (Amir Giles) is in town and is at Delphine's.  Harry thinks it's a good idea and comes up with the theme of the Empire Exhibition, shown in all its glory.  Thackeray seeing how Agnes isn't coping adds a spanner to the works by calling a meeting with her and Harry to say they should extend it to all the departments and to have it go on for a week.

Frank (Samuel West) comes in the store to apologize to Kitty for taking advantage of her or trying to and wonders what he could buy her by way of apology.  He's recommended the new Guerlain fragrance but Kitty interferes and suggests the Yardley collection for this woman he wants to impress and is difficult to shop for.  It's also more expensive.

Rose asks Delphine about Henri (Gregory Fitoussi) and she gives her his address.  Delphine also wanting Rose to ensure Harry throws his party at the club, that way she gets to make money which she later admits to Harry is her sole intention since she's "skint."  Wouldn't think she'd have admitted that at all, not good business practice is it.  She also realizes Harry has been here before but he doesn't really tell her when.  She tries to give him advice concerning Rose but he doesn't want to hear it and is short with her, which he should be.  "I know my wife better than you."  When Delphine tells him he should "trust her."  Rose pays a call on Henri and finds he's living in the dumps, so to speak.  Things didn't work out in New York but he doesn't want to see Harry or talk with him, even after Rose suggests he should, since Harry is in need of a friend.

Harry in an attempt to save his marriage and win Rose back cancels Miss Spender's (Gina Bramhill) account, well she had an appropriate name, ha, and sends her packing, as well as cancelling all the other accounts too belonging to his lady friends.  He misses Rose but she doesn't want to go there again with him in their marriage cos she loses a little of herself everytime she does.  Enjoying putting Harry through the wringer and tormenting him some more.

The warehouse men want to be able to join the Trade Union and go to Grove to ask him about it but he refuses since they still have a Staff Council to air their troubles.  The men however aren't happy with this and decide to have their own meeting at seven in the loading bay when Harry et all will be at the party.  Gordon (Greg Austin) listens in to their conversation and warns Harry but he tells him there'll be good and bad days when he's behind that desk so he has to deal with them.

Lady Mae packs up to leave for the country in the hopes of escaping from Loxley but he wants her to introduce him to Harry since he's got a business proposition for him.  She doesn't want to but in the ultimate humiliation, he rubs runny egg on her lips after she asks him if he's going to blackmail her too like he did his friend.  The sooner he's gone, the better, he really is a piece of work and is in there to spice things up.  As later at the club he insinuates himself into ensuring he uses the invitation that was only intended for Lady Mae and tags along, and wants to talk about her account and also business.  Harry puts his foot down and tells him this isn't the time or the place.  Loxley insists and thinks Lady Mae will put in a good word for him, but she says the same as Harry which really riles Loxley.  Harry telling him to stay and have a few drinks as "they're also on the house."  Harry getting his own back on him for the humiliation last episode and that was in front of his staff.  Notice Frank casually listening into their conversation.  When they mentioned Loxley last series it was implied he was more kind of absent minded and aloof, but here in person he's completely different to how we would have imagined him.

Mr Crabb covers for Grove who has been arriving in late for work and also turns up at his home to pick him up, just to show us the stress he's under at home and for us to see Doris (Lauren Crace) and the children. Grove thinks he's got it bad, how does he think Doris manages being with the children alone all day. There's another baby on the way and he's just overwhelmed.  He's also concerned about the war and how it will affect his daughters.  Mr Crabb adding that they will learn to adapt.  Grove places his hand on his and tells him he's  good friend and a gentleman.  Shocking Crabb who tells him to "steady on."

Kitty is about to accept the present from Frank when she's pulled away to dance the Tango, well she wore appropriate attire for this, her green dress with the slits and red tights!  Agnes tells Victor (Trystan Gravelle) that there is no 'us' as he tries to see what's troubling her.  He didn't want to hear her problems before but he does now.  That's cos he doesn't know how to treat her and she goes home as she's tired.  She needs Henri around not only to help her at work, but also to pick up her spirits, which will make Thackeray all the more jealous, can't wait to see that.  As well as more heartache for Victor.  But then he had his girlfriend, what happened to her?

At the meeting the men tell the union man that they've already got what he's offering at the store and he quite forcefully tries to make trouble by telling them Harry will be off and leave them at the first sign of war. Gordon objects to that and fights for his father, getting punched in the process, but one of the men tells him he's okay and stood up for his father.  The men realizing they have it good at the store, but not for long as there's talk of war and we see Victor, Franco (Sean Teale) and other men enjoying themselves dancing, cos that's probably their last moment of laughter and joy as most of them will be fighting and not coming back.

Loxley is angry at Lady Mae's treatment of him and won't take her lip (I can say that can't I considering he did put egg on it, so no pun intended) and he slaps her to the floor.  That'll have her running to Harry for help and comfort and right now, Harry is in need of both too, well more comfort than help.  Delphine takes Rose for a surprise and asks Harry to join them.  The surprise being jellied eels, yuk!  He doesn't like them and she lets slip on purpose, that much was obvious, asking about Rose and her mysterious Frenchman.  Rose tells him about Henri and Harry leaves.  There Delphine causing problems between them more so cos Harry told her he didn't want Rose investing in her club and that his good name means a lot to him, as does Rose.

Harry returns home and Gordon arrives later with his bruise, but Harry tells him he's his own man now and can do what it likes,  here he was sticking up for Harry but perhaps Harry's worried at losing his son's loyalties to the loading bay men.

So the ep began with talk of war and ended with violence on the homefront between Loxley and Lady Mae, highlighting again how the men ruled most everything including treating their wives however they wanted. Wonder if she'll leave him, well he no longer has any money and Loxley makes it harder for her even to get away from him as he's leased their country house to a Dutchman, as he throws this bombshell on her in an  attempt to make her stay and come round in helping him with Harry.  Maybe Loxley should get together with Delphine as they're cut from the same cloth.  Wasn't Loxley not meant to have been seen at the infamous club?

Lots more to come as the events of this second episode will have repercussions for the next and most likely the entire series.  Especially since Agnes will get a most welcomed ally in the form of Henri and his return, notch one up to her against Thackeray.  As well as showing how the women will keep commerce running whilst the men go off to war, a time of change for all concerned, least more for the staff.  But rest assured they'll have Harry on their side to give them lots of pep talks as he did here by telling them "it might be my name on the door but behind that door you are the ones that matter."  Alas no lift scenes this episode! Ha.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Revenge 3.3 "Confession" Review

Emily: "Some believe that confession helps a guilty soul find peace releasing us from the shame and regret of our mistakes.  In the face of mortality many feel the need to seek this closure to make things right, because if death doesn't kill us, our demons will."

Emily (Emily VanCamp) finds a way of getting back Father Paul (James LeGros) his position, but not until he helps Conrad (Henry Czerny) to confess.  She visits him in confessional telling him she is Emily Thorne and she can help him get back his parish, that she set him up with the photo. She also visits Conrad who dreams of Charlotte (Christa B Allen) killing him.  Emily being able to deliver some more of the drug.  Nolan (Gabriel Mann) plans a party at his new home and gets to invite Patrick (Justin Hartley) after meeting with him at the club.  Of course with them two you know something's between them.  But Nolan now realizes he's Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) son.

Aiden (Barry Sloane) tries to worm his way deeper into Victoria's good books by telling her about Emily and how she was sleeping with him whilst also seeing Daniel (Josh Bowman).  Thus giving Victoria more reason to hate Emily and want to bring her down.  Victoria can't wait to tell Daniel about Emily's betrayal and that she brought Nolan's new expensive mansion.  He confronts Emily of course who admits she bought it for Nolan but didn't say anything cos Nolan would be ashamed if anyone knew.  She conveniently doesn't tell him about Aiden though and Daniel reacts by installing security at the beach house in the form of an alarm system.  Also showing Emily her secret hiding place and how she keeps a gun there. The same gun he used to shoot Aiden when they had their own little confrontation at the end of season 2.  Emily denying there was anything between her and Aiden and that she made her choice when she took Daniel.

Can't believe Aiden is really that hateful of Emily to paint her so evil in front of Victoria, as said, they must have been in league together, otherwise why the forced charade.  Especially at Nolan's party when he turns up with Victoria on his arm and they have their confrontation, shouting at each other but so everyone can still hear them.  With Emily telling the entire town that the Grayson's are bankrupt, the utter humiliation for Victoria.  At least it's revealed that Aiden and Emily were setting up Victoria with him telling her he was here for her cos he was the only one she could turn to.  He shows her the scar from the bullet wound.  There knew they didn't hate each other that much to find them on opposites sides.

Margaux (Karine Vanasse) wants to feature Nolan on the cover of the magazine but Daniel disagrees since he lost his fortune cos of Nolan and that he's been in prison.  Margaux puts her foot down, it's her who is running the magazine and wants to meet Nolan, which she does by scoring an invite to his party by making sure she accompanies jack (Nick Wechsler).  Emily all the while being jealous of Jack everytime he's with her.  Charlotte having a hand in getting the two of them together by saying that he needs to get out and having a tailor made suit prepared for him.

Paul tries to get Conrad to see the right path but it proves wrong for him.  If Conrad confesses then he will be on the right track to giving Charlotte her father back by clearing David's name.  He tells Emily even if Conrad doesn't confess then he will.  Being the wrong thing to say since it's obvious he was going to get killed.  Emily lets slip about being friends with Nolan when she talks with Victoria and she warns Patrick off by telling him how close the two are.  Victoria having Patrick move into the mansion now.  Patrick pays a visit to Nolan but after the party's over and finds he purchased the painting.

Conrad decides he wants to do the right thing anyway and tells Victoria, why tell her, if he wants to confess all. It's not like Victoria was going to let him or be happy for him.  For a minuet there it looked like she was going to push him down the stairs, remember it was that same balcony where she was fighting with Amanda and she fell from it.  She tells him if he gets into his car it'll be the last thing he does.  He drives off with Paul in the Ferrari.  Emily drives past and finds the Ferrari crashed, with Paul unconscious on the ground and Conrad on his feet.  Funny how things turn out in this show.

Emily: "The guilty heart is silent, it's pulse muffled by the secrets it keeps.  Some believe confession can release a tortured soul, others view it as a sign of weakness.  Because ultimately whatever you say, whatever you feel about what you've done is irrelevant.  For the hand of death is equally unforgiving."

If not Victoria then it must be Conrad who set up the crash, since Paul is the only one who was actually going to turn himself in and confess, which would bring down Conrad's world even if he is allegedly dying anyway.  Mind you it could just have been an accident, albeit very convenient. This way he ties up all the loose ends and since he's got so much blood on his hands anyway, that of a priest will do very little to save his soul anyway.  Yet that's what this season is about or so it seems about Emily's soul and saving what's left of it.  Jack wants her to have her revenge and leave, Paul wanted her to question what she was doing and how this would affect her.  She also seemed angry that Aiden would mention their 'affair' to Victoria since this would affect Daniel and kind of throw a spanner in their relationship and plans for the wedding.  So even if Aiden is on Emily's side, he still doesn't want her to marry Daniel and so he comes across as having his own agenda too.

Patrick still has to reveal his agenda too and he is intent on 'befriending' Nolan irrespective of what mommy dearest warned him not to do.  Surely he's not someone who also has a vendetta against Victoria for abandoning him like she did for all these years and turns up out of the woodwork when she's practically all alone and burnt her bridges with Charlotte and Daniel.  Patrick is some sort of a conman or worse still he was the one who meddled with the car since he was around when Victoria questioned Conrad driving it the first time round!

Margaux is another bore, get her off this show quick smart.  She is pointless and her magazine storyline is also boring.  Yet she makes a 'play' for Jack as soon as she meets him but still putting it down to wanting to meet Nolan at his party.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Mr Selfridge Series 2 Episode 1 Review

Time has moved on as it's the five year anniversary of the store and the staff have gotten together to pitch in for a bust of Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) which is revealed to him as a surprise and very nearly doesn't happen.  He gives them all another speech about family, love and loyalty.  As Agnes (Aisling Loftus) returns from two years in Paris, training at the Galeries Lafayette (no chance of bumping into Moray (Emun Elliott)  then in Paris, though he was before her time in The Paradise, ha.  She has new ideas she wants to get on with and exudes confidence and maturity.  She is now Head designer, as shown by her new appearance and fashion sense, which the new fashion head, Thackeray (Cal MacAninch) is not happy with.  Asking which college she went to, as she tells him she trained in Paris but taught herself.  He's displeased as the new heads seem to be getting younger.  Making a comment about such things not happening at Harrods.  Thackeray is the replacement for Miss Ravillious as Head of Fashion.

Harry has to give a newspaper interviews and calls it a day when one of them asks about family and his wife, Rose (Frances O'Connor).  A sore subject with him.  She's still in the US along with his daughters whom he tells the reporter have decided to finish their education there.  Kitty (Amy Beth Hayes) has her own cosmetics department now and has two new shop assistants, Grace (Amy Morgan) and Jessie (Sai Bennett) both so giggly and in awe with Delphine (Polly Walker).  Don't recall Kitty and Doris (Lauren Crace) being so flighty.

Rose arrives and Harry is surprised to see her.  He wants to spend time alone with her but she's not having any of it, as she appears to be not only very abrupt with him but has changed, she's more outspoken and it doesn't appear to be for the better either.  She came across as very aloof and condescending in some respects, especially when she meets with Delphine Day.  Who has a reputation for being a nightclub owner and she's written a book.  Rose tells her Harry would be happy to arrange for a book reading of 'The Summerhouse' here as she prefers to go shopping with her.  She met her on the boat over her and seems to be enamoured of her.  As she sees a young woman, Ms Spender?? charge some items to Harry with Rose commenting on how "nothing's changed."

Ms Mardle (Amanda Abbington) asks for time off as she wants to visit her dying brother in Geneva and Grove (Tom Goodman-Hill) is happy to oblige, he's swamped with three children under five and has mountains of paperwork.  Gordon (returns home from school and drops a bombshell on Rose about how he's not going back since he wants to learn the business and will be taking over from Harry anyway.  Rose thinks it's a bad idea but knows Gordon and Harry have already discussed and decided on this when she wasn't here.  She wants her own way there too although she hasn't been here with him but spending time over in the US.  Also Harry doesn't want to spend money on his schooling if he doesn't want it.  Harry was already a bookeeper he tells her at 15.  Gordon starts from the bottom up as he's put under George's (Calum Callaghan) wing in the delivery and transportation department, well I called it that.

Franco (Sean Teale) is head waiter and cousin to Victor (Trystan Gravelle) is now at Selfridges too and is working with him at the Palm Court which is now run by Victor too.  So he didn't get his restaurant in the five years we've  moved onto and prefers to stay here.  He wasn't too happy with Agnes leaving but he tells Franco she dropped him when she left for Paris.  George invites her to his Uncle Gio's (Vincenzo Nicoli) birthday party and she is reluctant to go.  Harry also wants her to design the layout for the book reading and Thackeray is to give her complete freedom with it, he doesn't want to help her or discuss the plans with her. She comes up with a Summerhouse gazebo theme which he thinks is going over the top, but Victor disagrees.

Trouble for Lady Mae  (Katherine Kelly) as her husband Lord Loxley (Aidan McArdle) returns home, for the foreseeable future.  He immediately curbs her spending at the store, infact he ends it altogether and she's really peeved with him to put it mildly.  He goes to the store with her and stops her from making any purchases, as well as being rude and humiliating Harry in front of his staff when he tells him not to speak to Lady Mae in that manner and not in his store.  He won't even settle up her account and Harry's not getting anymore money from him.  War is looming and he wants to get in on some committee in the Lords or government and he blackmails a politician to do so.  As Lady Mae overhears him threatening to expose his affair with a young boy.  Loxley is probably also on the verge of bankruptcy it seems.  Perhaps love is int he air for Harry and Lady Mae as he was so quick to defend her honour and in front of his staff too.  Oh so dashing Harry, ha.

Lady Mae visits with Rose and tells her managing her husband is easy especially if she doesn't love him and thinks it might be different for Rose with Harry.  But Rose is advancing to pastures new as Lady Mae insults Delphine in front of her.  Harry having to tell her she's Rose's new friend.  Seems Delphine does have a repuation and can't tell at this point whether she's a gold digger or just plainly likes trouble and is the wrong type of woman to know as a friend.  She's looking for a business partner to go into her with the club and Rose wants to do it.  She has money of her own even if Harry doesn't approve, she doesn't need his consent.  Not known if their meeting on the boat was accidental or whether Delphine knew exactly who Rose was and thought she might be able to get a few perks and finance if she befriended her.  Rose refuses to spend time with Harry and attend the pictures with him, choosing to go to Delphine's party instead.  Well she could have invited him and if she took advantage of Harry's generosity of having the book reading at the store, why didn't she invite him to her party too?

At the club Rose notices Henri (Gregory Fitoussi) who is drinking and dishevelled to the point where Harry doesn't notice him when he bumps into him.  He was meant to have been in New York in an attempt to be with Valerie but obviously that didn't work out but we'll have to wait and see what his big secret is and what transpired.  Harry sees Rose drinking and being happy at the club and tells Gordon she won't be coming home with him but he promises to get their family back together.  Rose is giving Harry a dose of his own medicine in this episode as she's getting him back for everything he's done, his past (and future) indiscretions by throwing back his behaviour in his face and behaving like him too.  Don't like Rose, true there's only so much she can take from Harry's behaviour last series, but then she's hurting her family, and doesn't even realize it.   Henri leaves as does Harry and walks over the newspaper headline which reads "Archduke Ferdinand Assassinated."  Spelling war for Europe and Selfridges.  Say what you will about Harry and his womanizing ways at least he doesn't want to hurt his children and is a good father in that respects.

Elsewhere Kitty steps out with Frank Edwards (Samuel West) to the club and he tries to have his way with her.  Kitty putting him right about thinking he can take advantage of her just cos she's a shop girl.  She walks out on him and clearly he has got the wrong end of the stick.  Kitty and Frank do seem to make a good couple, they're very matched in terms of what they want and are very straight with each other, at least Kitty is.  Frank's now a freelancer since his book failed and he has to get work wherever he can.  He has to write a piece on five years of Selfridges since he wrote the first one when the store opened and Harry hopes he's not going to go though the same fiasco with that play again from last series.

Agnes saw Victor with Gabriela (Crystal Leaity) and left the party as she and Victor look as though they have unfinished business but then she doesn't seem all that keen on him anymore.  Especially after she saw him with Gabriela who is now his girlfriend.  Not to mention how she wanted to get the store ready for her creation and didn't want his help when she dropped the chandelier.

So where did Harry's bust disappear to anyway, as if he needed another trinket to place around the store. What do you give the man who has an entire store for a fifth anniversary being the question here, since it wasn't supposed to be something that immortalizes him and places him on a pedestal.  It did look that way. All he wanted was some alone time with Rose but that's not going to happen.  Delphine is going to cause trouble between them one way or another, she has gotten through three husbands and the last one left her broke with just the club to her name.  Befriending Rose she could get in close with Harry and get whatever she wants from him through Rose, as she already showed this opening episode.

Lady Mae's husband is creepy no wonder Poirot killed him in the series' final episode Curtain.  Well he killed the character Aidan McArdle played; wonder if we'll be getting a bit of a murder mystery here, just to liven things up.  He's do despicable he's bound to have many enemies.  So what led Henri to become down and out, casually speaking.  Will he arrive back at the store and will he and Agnes be as love struck as last series?  So many questions, so much to see.  Here's hoping this series 2 will be as watchable as its debut.  Still the grand gestures from its star and yes the must-be-included scene in the lift with his entourage, (can't help myself had to get that in at least once this series) as Mr Selfridge aims to tackle loves lost, new tawdry arrivals as well as the more grim and harrowing advent of World War I.  Could call Harry's gilt bust a tad tawdry too! Ha.

Jumping forward five years we've missed the opening of the Bargain Basement in 1911 and it wasn't mentioned here.  It was aimed at "thrifty housewives."  As well as the world's biggest bookshop and a pet department.  Skipped too was the performance of the famous dancers Florence Walton and Maurice Mouvet for a charity ball on the roof terrace in 1913.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Moriarty: The Phoenix Arises from the Ashes?

Contains some Series 3 SPOILERS

In The Reichenbach Fall Moriarty (Andrew Scott) mentions "all the king's men" not being able to put Humpty together again.  Looking back or forward, could this have been some sort of reference to His Last Vow and the appearance of Moriarty once more if indeed he is alive.  You know Mycroft (Mark Gattis) is a King's man, or rather Queen's man, working for the country and so is this some ingenious way of his to bring Moriarty back, was he ever dead, was Rich Brook the one who actually killed himself and not Moriarty since in Sherlock's mind palace, Moriarty appears to him in chains, Sherlock foreshadowing his return perhaps, especially since Moriarty was in chains, if he's dead why would he be chained up in Sherlock's mind palace.  Then there was the line of feeling pain and he feels it all the time, but the key is not to fear pain.
Also Sherlock utters, "I can kill Rich Brook and bring back Moriarty," what sort of an allusion or foreshadowing was this implying?

But is he really dead in which case I'm afraid my little blog piece on Moriarty becomes redundant...
At least I can take solace in having mentioned some twist in the show by which case they can bring him back, indeed if he is back and wasn't the result of machinations on the part of Mycroft to enable Sherlock to return to London and his home!  Then again anyone could have put up his image, even Sherlock himself even if that sounds a bit dastardly.

Then again Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis have both said int he past that Moriarty is dead and won't be back, however they then added, more recently, Moriarty's return, "is not a last minute whim" and was discussed quite a while ago.

In my review of 2.3 The Reichenbach Fall in August 2013 here:
see here I have mentioned "be careful what you wish for" just as Sherlock says this to John in 3.1 The Empty Hearse when John thinks they're on their last legs!  Hmm I must have some kind of ESP or knack for predicting Sherlock scripts, ha.

Mycroft's line to Sherlock in 2.1 A Scandal in Belgravia, "all lives end...all hearts are broken..."  and in His Last Vow he tells Sherlock of being heartbroken if he dies after he talks of the east wind coming.  To which Sherlock replies, "how the hell am I supposed to respond to that?"  Didn't realize there was so much overlap in these scripts all referring to different sentiments and storylines of course, but still connected in some ways since it's Sherlock, who is after all the common strand running through everything.

Well Moriarty seems like we'll catch ya laters!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Sherlock's Humanity and Other Musings (Series 3)

SO how did series 3 humanize Sherlock?  He laughed a plenty.  He doesn't or did laugh that much if at all in the first 2 seasons, if only to show he was being sarcastic or flippant.  But he full on belly laughed in this not once but a few times.  Whilst still being cruel to John (Martin Freeman) and teasing him in the same old way.  Fooling him into believing the timer on the bomb was still going and these were their final few moments together in 3.1 The Empty Hearse.  "Be careful what you wish for."  At least it was a chance for Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) to get John listening to him without any sarcasm from him too.  Even if it was a not- so-nice way to get him to forgive for not telling him he was alive.

Not sure his reason that John might let it slip was a good one since he hasn't let such secrets slip in the past.  Was he inadvertently referring to Mary (Amanda Abbington) perhaps or any other criminal element.  Again since he deduces things about Mary as he did about John in A Study In Pink, like the one where she's a liar.  Which was meant to catch our attention, did you manage to catch it in the reams of words being thrown at the screen?  Though it was made abundantly clear in 3.3 His Last Vow.

More laughs when he dressed as a French waiter, only se French will do and his accent.  Not to mention his pencil moustache which did appear to change shape to how he first drew it on.  Would John really have noticed a waiter.  He may as well have jumped out of a cake. Ha.  What's more, he lets John actually take him down, punch him and head butt him too, would Sherlock really have let that happen to him, even if he was or may possibly be feeling a tad guilty for letting John suffer like that.  Would he feel guilty even after he says sorry?

The throw away line of the agent who died to get them this info being a show off shows he hasn't lost his touch or his real character when it comes to insults and harsh comments.

Sherlock kissed Molly (Louise Brearly)and I don't mean the fan fiction imagining, but the one on her cheek, where he told her he couldn't have done it without her: fooled the world and his best friend too and that Moriarty (Andrew Scott) was wrong about him thinking the one person who mattered the least was the one who mattered the most.  Not John then?  Moriarty probably going on what Sherlock said to Molly and how he behaved around her in their first meeting where Molly introduced Moriarty back in the Pilot.  His treatment of her was so abrupt. Which is sort of what Sherlock was going for to fool Moriarty and give him that false sense of security that John was the only one he could and did depend on, going back to the series 1 finale The Great Game.

Ahh Molly she's not moved on, she's just got a man, Tom, who she's dressed to the nines as Sherlock!  Being obsessive, let's hope sociopaths are not her type, they're very dangerous!  When Sherlock tells John he doesn't want to talk about Tom, would the old Sherlock have mentioned it as a passing comment thrown in the air.  Ticked off Tom or Molly for dressing in that way.  Seeing as from the Christmas scene in A Scandal in Belgravia he was really obnoxious and uncaring about the comment he made on Molly's gift.

Another surprise was Sherlock eating. We may have seen him have tea but not really eat at all.  SO it's shocking he actually eats chips of all food and Mycroft (Matt Gatiss) even mentions fish and chips in their conversation we he tries to get Mycroft to see that he is lonely and alone.  A case of you can be surrounded by people and still be alone.  Mycroft clearly disagreeing.
It was always John whom we saw eating, since the Pilot A Study in Pink.  John went shopping, was worried about food and money for food.  Sherlock was above it all.  As Sherlock in the books wouldn't eat either, stating food interfered with work, the thought processes.

Lots of Dr Who allusions even if they were subtle or unintentional, where Sherlock suggests to Mycroft whether he should "jump out of a cake."  As did Doctor Eleven (Matt Smith) at Rory's (Arthur Darvill) stag do!  The motorbike ride across London, once again going past the Houses of Parliament aka Westminster Palace. The line, "it's not who, but who," when talking about his rats was quite funny. Sherlock: "I prefer my doctors clean shaven."  Do such comments and lines make you think of Doctor Who?  Sometimes they do in some distant other time and space for me.  Let's not forget the wedding reception scenes in The Sign of Three where once again he wouldn't have gone amiss doing a crazy dance in his suit, or when he walked down the aisle through the guests looking for the Vic and slaps his face, that was so Doctor Who.  (Once again Matt's version).  As was Sherlock leaving on his own at the end.  Even with a friend/companion in John he would and could always still feel left out.  Feel being the operative word since it was obvious he was jealous at losing his friend, but also happy at the same time for his happiness.   Adding more weight to his own conversation with Mycroft about loneliness.

Is Sherlock really finding his humanity, being humanized, at least as far as series 3 goes.  If so then that spells a rapid transition in his character and one where he actually has moved on and developed further.  What made me laugh was a tweet on New Year's day by Sue Vertue who said" Sherlock survives?? or did he?" Just made me think in a humorous way that maybe who came back isn't Sherlock, that Sherlock really died and someone else took his place.  Someone who doesn't have the familiar traits of Sherlock, his mannerisms, his not understanding nature or human [nature] as he tells Mary.  
NB they could do this with Moriarty, you know all that Rich Brook stuff from 2.3 The Reichenbach Fall. Yes stuff sounds vague and lazy writing on my part, but hey, he claimed to be an actor, who is/was the REAL Moriarty?  Just some off the page thoughts of mine here.  It's nothing concrete or definitive.

Benedict in an interview for Polish magazine gazeta WYBORCZA talks about Sherlock and his humanity, or rather his "inhumanity." Roughly translated, he says of Sherlock:

"His biggest weakness is probably rather a lack of understanding of the forces resulting from this, that he is a man. He tries to dodge human weaknesses. Trying to be more than that, be like a god, and sometimes loses it as the detective - cannot interact on an ordinary human level. He cannot get involved in love, in family relationships, cannot tolerate differences. Must act alone. It's hard to be a loner, but I feel that he long ago consciously decided to ignore the feelings. And if so, to look at it, it's not a weakness, but a free choice."

This sums up Sherlock's entire character really and shows how Benedict has him down pat.  To show human emotions is to show weakness and he can't afford to do that as we have seen over the past three series.  If he gets bogged down in feelings it will interfere with his work, clarity of expression and thought.  Only Sherlock is able to understand criminal minds and the criminal act since he approaches it from a point of view and thought process which no one else can engage in, part of which is his "mind palace."  The concept of the mind palace does stem from Conan Doyle as he talks of, As Mark puts it, "...a man's mind being like a lumber room.  It doesn't have elastic walls.  There comes a point where for everything you put in, you have to delete something."

Sherlock doesn't need companionship, he was happy as far as we can see, doing his own research, experimenting, writing pointless essays, pointless to everyone except Sherlock himself.  He didn't see the need for anyone or anything to change, that is until John, when he was looking for a roommate.  Not a mate. He was consulting and he was shown at his very best.  As Benedict said, Sherlock is different, and this difference doesn't have to be seen as a flaw or weakness.  To quote Steven Moffat when referring to the original books, "he [Sherlock] doesn't say he doesn't have emotions, he says: 'they get in the way.'"

Humility and humanity are traits more associated with John.  He's the compassionate one, not just cos he's a doctor, but he's concerned with peoples' feelings.  Someone who is very much in touch with the twenty first century since he knows no one gives a toss for anyone these days.  He said it time again and reprimanded Sherlock on his treatment of Molly, Mrs Hudson (Una Stubbs) et al, when he just dismisses them with crass comments.  That's Sherlock.  So it would seem by now ,three years on, some of John's humility should have rubbed off on him, but not much, if any.

Sherlock's character is to be nonchalant, dismissive, abrupt, so it's not really conducive to have him change and especially not now.  I think I'm one of many who prefer to see Sherlock as such and not see him feel with his heart but think with his head.  That's what makes him who he is and why he's adept at what he does in all his genius.  At the end of the day he may have exhibited some form of emotions, but when you think about it, not too hard mind you, he hasn't really changed or evolved.

Okay don't take me seriously here, unless you want to, I'm just thinking out loud!  If you've read any of my articles or blog posts or books etc in the past, you'll know how I like to mention and write about such areas and stuff.  But in the future I sense a knighthood for Benedict, arise Sir Benedict and even an OBE for Martin or Benedict even.

Oh and 'Benedict Cumberbatch is my mind candy!'
Please do not beg, borrow or steal this phrase of mine without consent or acknowledgement!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Revenge 3.2 "Sin" Review

Emily: "It is believed that original sin can only be cleansed by the waters of baptism.  But it is the sin that follow that are so easily not washed away.  And since forgiveness of trespasses is only granted to the truly penitent, pure evil can never be erased."

Hot on the heels of Aiden (Barry Sloane) revealing himself to Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) last episode, he now tells her he can help her bring Emily (Emily VanCamp) down and get her out of Victoria's hair.  Of course she wants nothing to do with him as she can't trust him and for that trust, she needs proof.  Aiden of course dropping hints that Emily and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) were behind them losing their millions and for betraying him too, "in a way you couldn't imagine."  Victoria sailing on the yacht now, which as Conrad (Henry Czerny) later remarks, she didn't want to use but is doing so now.  So Aiden's burned now and he wants his revenge on Emily just cos he can't have her.  I feel his storyline is pointless and they should deal with him already, or at least have Emily deal with him.

Emily takes it upon herself to now go after Father Paul Whitley (James LeGros) another one of Grayson Global's former employees even though he is now a priest and after Nolan warns her not to do that.  Asking how many innocent people she will hurt who get in the middle of her plans, "her best laid plans." all Jack (Nick Wechsler) also tells her much the same, that after she's had her revenge on the Grayson's she should leave, otherwise he's going to give her up, okay he said that last ep but the same sentiment is still there.  Nolan taking it upon himself to bake blueberry muffins after his six months inside, was a funny scene.  As was Emily taking those same muffins over to the Grayson's, with Conrad helping himself.  She threatens Victoria about Patrick (Justin Hartley) and revealing him to the others.  Emily even finds him but he doesn't want to have anything to do with her.

Conrad needs to sell one of Victoria's precious paintings as they no longer have their millions.  Aiden telling Victoria that Emily has them when he finds the deeds to Nolan's new house which she bought for him.  After he looks for her infinity revenge box but doesn't find it, cos she's removed it and left it with Nolan for safe storage.  Though it didn't look that safe to me seeing as it was just hidden behind Nolan's newly acquired painting.  That painting was getting around since Victoria has sold it since she knows it will draw Patrick to it. Who does show up and tells her he left of his own free will and doesn't turn Charlotte (Christa B Allen) in.

Victoria then turning up to see Nolan with a house warming gift, those same muffins which found their way back to him.  At least she didn't say she baked them! Ha. We also learnt hat Charlotte miscarried cos of what he had to endure with Declan dying and she will never forgive Conrad for being responsible.

Daniel (Josh Bowman) and Emily visit Whitley at his church as they wants him to preside over their wedding. He heads to the Grayson mansion eager to break the news which Victoria didn't take too well, not surprisingly she doesn't have many friends, if any.  He even tries to get Conrad to atone for his sins now that he's dying which falls on deaf ears.  Daniel arranging dinner with Margaux (Karine Vanasse) so he can work for her magazine, 'Voulez' but it appears she was the one who voulez Daniel, ok it doesn't quite make sense, but you get the meaning.  She even tries to seduce him by taking off her dress after their dinner, but as we find out later, Daniel picked it up and gave it back to her.  Seems like he wasn't going to cheat on Emily  in the same way she has done.  Emily convinces him to take the job and he convinces Margaux to bring the magazine to Montauk.

Emily earlier running into Charlotte at the same restaurant and her venting over Emily telling everyone about Victoria's affair.  Emily insist it must have been Ashley who blabbed but she's still so angry and doesn't want anything to do with her either cos she trusted her and was let down. To the point where Charlotte confesses to Jack that she feels guilty about Declan's death cos if she didn't act in that way he wouldn't have been there.  Jack has to tell her the truth, that Conrad knew about the bomb.

Victoria surprises everyone by introducing Patrick to the family in a bid ot get out from Emily's hold on her. Conrad bringing up the $5 million that he was paid to stay away by Frank.  Conrad says it wasn't him who sent Frank but Victoria and he's not a gold digger.  Emily taking the opportunity to give Conrad some more drugs causing him to have another attack, this time breaking the glass in his hand.  Patrick leaves since Charlotte also warns him off before he gets in too deep with this family.  She also rejects Conrad and won't be there for him after Jack's revelations to her.  All this leading Conrad to be alone and it seemed Emily's plan was working although it wasn't her plan to go after Conrad full speed ahead just yet, but after Whitley.

Meanwhile, Emily does go ahead and takes compromising photos of Whitley thinking she's doing the right thing.  Until he talks about her father not being able to give her away and walk her down the aisle.  He shows her what he's doing now to help others, the children, the homeless and she has a change of heart, but of course it' to late since she sneaked the compromising shot in with the collection tray.  Whitley is confronted by the pastor (David Moses) and has no choice but to leaves the church, as Conrad wanted to see him now. Emily tells Nolan she was too late to stop it from happening, but she will change it and being Whitley back since he's the only one who can get Conrad to confess.

This new series seems to be taking a long time to get going.  Patrick seems to have ulterior motives and isn't as innocent as he'd like everyone to believe, just a feeling I get.  I mean he's Victoria's son after all and her first born too.  Maybe Aiden is leading Victoria on a merry dance since why go to such lengths to convince her about Emily, he could just tell her that she's Amanda.  That scene with Jack was as though he was going to tell Charlotte about Emily being her sister but he doesn't.  That'd give the game away too soon.

It was good to see Emily struggling with her own conscience for a change, lest she be the one ending up needing forgiveness and a confession for all her sins and revenge.  Even Nolan was against her and he told her he loved her and her father too, but taking down a priest was something he couldn't be a part or wanted her to go through with either.  Don't know what Margaux is about too and really i can't even be bothered with her.  Seems just as boring Ashley leaves, they bring in another replacement who is just a loose end and equally boring.

Revenge 3.1 "Fear" Review

Emily: "Fear. It's a fire that burns from birth in even the coldest heart.  It motivates and paralyzes the best of us or is used as a weapon by the worst.  But when your path is one of treachery and deception, the greatest fear of all is that the truth is absolute."

Emily (Emily VanCamp) in danger of talking about herself there when she says that fear is an emotion that both motivates and paralyzes and can be used as a weapon since she's experienced these emotions and is now using that very fear against the Grayson's for her scheming revenge, such as Conrad's (Henry Czerny) fear of dying, Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) fear of losing her children..

The new season opened with Emily on the yacht who is drinking champagne in her wedding dress and then falls overboard after having been shot twice.  Revenge is back and does what it does best.  Uses a clip from a future episode to draw the viewer in and then takes a step back showing the events which leas up to the shooting, this time of Emily herself.  In season 1 it appeared to be Daniel (Josh Bowman) who got shot on Memorial Day weekend and in season 2, there was a hand shown lying at the bottom of the sea.  Not much to go on yet as to the likely suspects but there are plenty of these.  Especially since Aiden (Barry Sloane) returns hell bent on his own revenge against Emily.

Then there's Patrick (Justin Hartley) Victoria's son who just seems a little more mysterious in a bad way, than he really should be.  Not to mention the return of one of Daniel's old flame it seems, Margaux (Karine Vanasse) as she now has consent from her father to bring their magazine, 'Voulez' to the US.

We are taken back to Daniel and Emily discussing wedding dates but Emily doesn't really want to make any plans just yet.  Daniel is also relieved that Victoria hasn't seen in him in six months either.  She's probably really preoccupied with Patrick which we know she is.  As Charlotte (Christa B Allen) spies her out horse riding with him, but doesn't know that he's her son.  Seems we can't get enough of Patrick's gratuitous scenes without his shirt on, from earlier on since Charlotte comes to see him and he greets her in a towel, which he had to tighten around him a few times!  She gets her claws into him and he leaves.  Though she confides in Emily about thinking he's Victoria's lover.   Charlotte's been in Europe and getting over Declan and the baby, but Patrick tells her he's her brother, coming as a shock to her.  Did she really think he was Victoria's new toyboy love interest.

Emily waits for Nolan (Gabriel Mann) to be released from prison, just as he did for her when he gave her her father's box.  She truly regrets him getting involved with her on her revenge plans but he wants to go all the way to help her get those who wronged both Emily and her father.  Ashley (Ashley Madekwe) confronts Emily and knows she has feelings for Jack (Nick Wechsler) wanting to give Emily up unless she pays her off. Oh just get rid of her.  Which Emily decides to do as she tells Victoria it was Ashley who revealed the news about Patrick being her lover.  So she not only gets Victoria on side as she reveals he's her son and shows he made Victoria change her wicked ways.  Yeah a likely story.

Funny moment when Conrad complained about his portrait as Governor though that will be shortlived.  He didn't even get to make any decisions, ha.  The security for Emily's party is heightened and Nolan is unable to bring in the drugs she needs via the usual way so he makes a grand entrance instead, on a parachute. Daniel introduces Emily to pointless Margaux, yes about as useful as Ashley and Padma put together. Ashley meanwhile mingles with Conrad's doctor Jorge Velez (Diogo Morgado) who just happened to be there too. As Conrad is about to unveil his portrait, which Emily does for him, he collapses as she's spiked his drink, actually it was the bottle of water she gave him, would you drink from a bottle with the seal broken?  He collapses and his doctor tells the family he has Huntington's and Daniel should be checked out too.  This gets leaked to the press which Emily blames Ashley for.  Take that Ashley! ha, with Emily killing two birds with one stone: removing Ashley from the picture and ending Conrad's political ambitions.

Jack returns home and he and Emily kiss but he then confesses he feels nothing for her.  It's only him and Carl now.  Victoria and Emily give Ashley an ultimatum: to leave, telling her to return to Croydon, or face the consequences.  Ashley telling them they're two of a kind but Victoria tells her, "we're family." That won't last long with the hatred they have for each other and was probably said to spite Ashley.

Emily talks with Nolan and decides on August 8 being the wedding date, as Nolan draws the infinity symbol in the sand.  That's when things go pear shaped and she also decides this will be Victoria's day of reckoning. Emily draws a red line through Ashley and Victoria finds a surprise on her balcony.  She thinks it's Patrick but it's actually Aiden who confides he is here to take down "the girl next door."  That must have been music to Victoria's ears.

Emily: "fear is the most primeval of emotions, it can linger as a memory, burnt into one's mind of a parent taken too soon.  Or burrow into one's soul as self doubt over a child's rejection.  But the one thing we all fear the most is the unknown."  Don't know but some of these narrations of Emily's seem to be going round in circles too, isn't fear an emotion that has already been covered.

Credit to the show in trying to move away from the convoluted eps that was season 2 but there's still some pointless characters being added.  Margaux being one of them, is she really there just to seduce Daniel and get him back?  Then Aiden, er, wasn't he wanted by the FBI and then he still returns, is it all just for revenge on Emily, or can he not let her go.  The same with Patrick though he had very little to do and decides to leave town after just one confrontation with Charlotte.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sherlock 3.3 "His Last Vow" Review

Spoilers Sweetie, in the words of River Song!!

An inquiry leads us to meet Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen) being questioned as he reads off info about them in his glasses, looking for people's 'pressure points', i.e their weaknesses.  Lady Elizabeth Smallwood's (Lindsay Duncan) weakness happens to be her husband and Magnussen knows her husband has a weakness for women, younger girls at this point in time, she tells him he didn't know her age and that's a fact.  He sniffs her perfume, Clair de la Lune (which happens to be very common) and then licks her face. Eurgh, enough with the face licking, do we have to see that in everything!!  Anyway he's going to use the letters to blackmail her cos that's what he does, a master blackmailer, aka "the Napoleon of blackmailers" who's a newspaper owner/mogul and a most hated man.  She's driven away in her car thinking that no one can stand up to him, no man or woman and then, the penny drops, hello, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch). Though she doesn't mention him by name.

John (Martin Freeman) dreams of his time in Afghanistan as a soldier and when he met Sherlock for the first time, as he's awoken by a knock at the door, their neighbour who is concerned about her son, he's disappeared and is an addict.  First thought Sherlock, no really, he is/was an addict and John must have thought that too even if only for an instance.  She gives John the address of this den of inequity and Mary (Amanda Abbington) won't let him go alone.  John takes a tyre lever just incase he needs it.  The door is answered by another so-called addict who doesn't reply to John when he's asked the boy.  So John sprains his arm, he's a doctor and he knows how to sprain arms, overpowering him and taking his knife. When he finds him, John also chances upon Sherlock in the next bed and I say chances cos what were the odds that Sherlock would be right there, seeing as John tells Mary Sherlock's vanished.  Keeping tabs on him was he?  Just a thought.

John thinks he's relapsed without him around, well I added that bit cos he really needs to be around to keep an eye on him.  Referring to Sherlock's remark last ep, that John and Mary will make good parents since they have had practice, well John has, of looking after Sherlock.  Anyway John thinks Sherlock has relapsed and has become an addict once again, but he tells him he's undercover, which is apparent.  I mean why would Sherlock become an addict.  They drive to see Molly (Louise Brealey) and she tests him, then slaps him.  Molly really has sociopathic, sadistic tendencies doesn't she.  Sherlock having to mention that the engagement ring is gone.  It had to happen sooner or later and after stabbing him with a fork, Tom wouldn't really stick around for long, besides he's not the real thing!

Wiggins (he was a Baker street irregular) as he's now named 'deduces' everything about John, in what seemed like he was meant to be a protege of Sherlock, not likely although he may think so.  Sherlock tells them still he's undercover which all falls on deaf ears.  Ina bid to make Magnussen believe he's a drug addict and that it will appear in the papers by now.  Getting home he sees Mycroft  (Mark Gatiss) is there since he has straightened the door knocker, his OCD has anyway.  John called him and he too thinks that Sherlock is an addict once more as he brings along Anderson (Jonathan Aris) and some of his cohorts from the fanclub to find the morphine, as Mycroft puts it.  Also Mycroft notices Sherlock's bedroom door is closed so he must be hiding it in there.  Sherlock gets angry with Mycroft and when he finds out he is investigating Magnussen, Mycroft warns him to stay away.  Sherlock refuses and grabs Mycroft's arm, with John having to stop him from doing so, he knows Sherlock will break it especially since he is high. John asks him to leave and Sherlock gives up and goes for a bath.

Was it just me or has that doorknocker on 221B always been straight and not just straight now cos Mycroft's inside!  Maybe it was meant to be a reference to Sherlock being high, but I have never seen that doorknocker crooked.

Out pops Janine (Yasmine Akram) in a bid to confuse, make angry or jealous, take your pick as we're meant to think Sherlock has been 'getting it on' with Janine.  Which is far from the case, as I pointed out to everyone, well, blabbed! Ha.  Clearly that shirt didn't look like one of Sherlock's, a little too high on her wasn't it.  Janine has words with Sherlock in the bath and probably a little more, ha.  John isn't interested in Magnussen but the fact that Sherlock out and out tells him he has a girlfriend.  She tells him he hasn't been home last night.  John still in awe at Sherlock having a girlfriend.  Oh get it over it, he doesn't really!  She's just a plot point as I like to say, ha.  She invites John and Mary for dinner, the four of them at her place. Before leaving she and Sherlock kiss, which will send hearts racing, first Molly, now Janine.  Oh Irene you
needed to make an entrance too!

Speak of the devil along comes Magnussen, as Mrs Hudson (Una Stbbs) runs up looking rather worried to announce his arrival.  His men search them both and find the knife and tyre lever in John's coat.  Sherlock tells him he is acting on behalf of Smallwood, but it seems to fall onto deaf ears.  So very arrogantly, he's more interested in looking for Sherlock's 'pressure point(s)' of which there seem to be plenty but John Watson comes up many times.  Magnussen needing the loo but won't use it cos it's like the rest of the place so in the ultimate slap in the face, insult, he pees in the fireplace.  Sherlock's fireplace of all places as Sherlock must stand by and watch.  Though he's not concerned with that when he leaves, Sherlock will see John later as they will attempt to break into Magnussen's building.  In the meantime, Sherlock has some shopping to do, oh since when? Ha.

They meet and enter his building and as said the only thing that was on Sherlock's mind when he asks John if he saw what he did, obviously I knew he meant he flashed them Smallwood's letters, but John was more bothered about the pissing in the fire place and so he should be!  Sherlock demonstrates how he can get into his office, without being caught.  He has his keycard which he nicked from his guard and put it with his mobile phone, thus the magnetic strip is rendered useless cos of the tech from the phone.  So if he enters it his guards will catch him, but if he enters the corrupted card then his PA will just let him in, we're shown a woman's hand on the keyboard but not whom.  Though hazarding a guess, I went for Janine.  remember it's all about foreshadowing, well mostly and by now we know that Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss always get most of the guests returning.

So no surprises there but his PA is Janine, it pays to befriend bridesmaids at weddings!  Sherlock wants her to let him come up but she refuses in which case he has to do it here and shows her a ring.  By the time they get to the the office, Janine has been knocked out and so has the guard.  Sherlock sniffs Clair de la Lune and finds Magnussen being held at gunpoint with a masked intruder.  He thinks it's Smallwood but it's actually Mary, so now you see that 'There's something about Mary', was right.  Well anyone who said there was, was correct in their observations. Sherlock thinks back to when he analyzed her and stops at liar, several times over.  He should have known it would be Mary as John mentioned that's her perfume too, not two seconds ago.  She wants to kill him for what he has on her with Sherlock asking why she didn't tell him.  He thinks she won't shoot him but she does, she pulls the trigger, Sherlock oh how could you underestimate her! He has all sorts of thoughts and flashes to Molly whilst he's shown lying on that gurney in her morgue and she tells him what he must do, whether he should fall back or forward.

Mycroft appears asking him what is behind him, the mirror of course and as it didn't break, it means the bullet is still inside him and so it's stopping the blood from flowing out which would be the COD, blood loss. So he has to fall back and look Anderson shows up too telling him what he should be doing and asking if it's just the one bullet then.  Sherlock falls back, the second stage that will kill him is shock.  He needs to stay alive, or did I just say that, thinking of Moriarty's ringtone!  Sherlock calls out to their dog, his dog, little Sherlock (Louis Moffat) that is and saying that they had to put him down.  With older Sherlock running down some stairs in his coat, flowing with him all the while.  He ends up in Moriarty's padded cell and Moriarty (Andrew Scott) talks to him about being dead and the pain.  He doesn't like pain but Sherlock did. Eventually he tells him about John, he can't leave John behind and that's what makes Sherlock fight, as he comes back up the stairs and struggles to return.  He must return for John, he can't leave him alone and especially not with Mary.

John tells Lestrade (Rupert Graves) Sherlock must know who did it since he was shot facing forward and he won't tell them who cos he's protecting them, no John, he's protecting you.  Mary appears to Sherlock telling him he can't tell John and he wakes up with Janine there and all the newspaper headlines.  So you see, he was using her which was what I said all along.  You know just sometimes I wish that they would write things to be a little bit harder to suss out.  Not being big headed or egotistical, ha, but it's too easy to work out what happens/is happening.  She tells him Magnussen must be angry cos she broke the news to his rivals and also how Sherlock used her, well they used each other cos she is a publicity seeking whore and got a cottage out of it.  As he ups his morphine, then lowers it when she leaves.  As said does it look like Sherlock would have a girlfriend, not that gullible, not quite yet anyway!  Though in one of the canons, Sherlock did get engaged.

John and Lestrade enter Sherlock's room, only to find it empty, he made his escape via the window.  He gets Wiggins to contact Mary and he hands her the phone.  She's on Leinster Gardens and he talks about the houses.  Then projects her photo from the wedding outside two of the houses which have been demolished for the underground (ooh let's mention the underground again).  They're just a facade, like her, she's a facade too.  He invites her in and asks how good a shot she is, since she could have killed him but didn't.  She thinks he's sitting in the chair talking to her, again, it was obvious it wasn't him.  As he asks her to demonstrate what she can do with a gun.  She throws up a coin and shoots it.  Sherlock creeping up behind her and she thinks it's a dummy on the chair, well if you look at it that way, I jest.  She admits she's not really Mary, well Sherlock does that for her since the real one died and is buried, she didn't become her until five years ago and that's why she doesn't have any friends, as he mentioned in The Sign of Three, her side is rather sparse and she put it down to being an orphan.  He wants to know why she didn't come to him for help and she replies she didn't want John to know and he mustn't know now.  John is in the chair and has heard it all. Think he got that when he sat in his chair that Sherlock put back for him after removing it to see the view to the kitchen.  As John notices the bottle of perfume on the table.  He was meant to see that.  Seeing as he's the one who mentioned that Mary also wears the same brand.

Sherlock wants them to return to Baker Street where they can both have a domestic.  Cue Christmas scene where they have moved on and have all been invited to the Holmes's Christmas gathering.  Even Wiggins is there as he gives some tea to Mary.  She reads one of his mother's (Wanda Ventham) books on Maths which she comments is is rather boring, as his father (Timothy Carlton) lights the fire. He's the sane one in the family.  John turns up and they're not really on speaking terms.  Back to Baker Street where John wants Sherlock to just shut up.  Sherlock asking John what she is now, what she really is, a client of course.  John pulls up a chair for her and she sits there as he tells her that's where they decide if they'll take on the case.   She hands him a flashdrive with the initials A.G.R.A, that's her real name.  She's a spy or more likely a CIA assassin.

Cue forward to Christmas again and Sherlock saying he doesn't like it.  Their mother comments on how someone shot her little boy and if she finds out who it was... John loves Mary and he throws the flashdrive away.  He doesn't want to know who she was or her name, she is Mary.  He's not bothered with her past but with her future, with him.  Mary telling him Sherlock was right, John is attracted to people like her, that's why he ended up marrying someone like her. His best friend is a sociopath after all.  So what does that say about Sherlock and Irene?

Everyone has been drugged as Wiggins is a chemist, and Sherlock tells John not to drink Mary's tea or the punch.  He needed Mycroft, his laptop with all the secrets in it cos he wants to confront Magnussen and get to Appledore: the vault where he keeps his secrets. That will be their ride, his helicopter.  Magnussen refuses to deal since he knows that the laptop will have GPS and by now Mycroft and the police will be here.  He shows them the vault, just a room with a chair where he sits and gathers his thoughts, cos everything he needs to know is in his mind.  Again too obvious.  Which is why he teased him with flashing the letters, to fool Sherlock. That's why I said it would have been easier if Mary had shot him, it was after all, what she does.  Out on the patio, John asks if Sherlock has a plan and Magnussen wants to flick John, as long as it wasn't to lick him!  Sherlock wants him to go along with it cos he's buying time.  John telling him if it's in his mind he hasn't got any proof, but he doesn't need proof, he only needs to publish and the damage is done.

Mycroft approaches and wants them to step away from Magnussen so either he can get him shot or arrest him, but it was the inevitable, that Sherlock would be the one who would end it all, as he shoots Magnussen. Mycroft ordering them not to shoot Sherlock.  Mycroft tries to ensure the bigwigs can't make Sherlock go to prison,  it would be chaos.  But to no avail, well that's gratitude for you, yes you Smallwood!  So he has no choice but to send Sherlock on that mission in Eastern Europe for six months which will prove fatal for him. Not that he wants to lose his brother.  Mary promises to look after John and to get him into trouble.

John won't see Sherlock again so he suggests baby names: William Sherlock Scott Holmes, but he tells him it's a girl.  He still tries to convince him that Sherlock is a girl's name, but he can't fool him into naming the baby after him.  Sherlock leaves and is called by Mycroft asking how he's enjoying four minutes of exile? The TV signals are disrupted as we get Moriarty asking, "Did you miss me?"  Sherlock being the only man who can help them!  SO it's London for you Mr Holmes once again!!  It's like he never left!

Did you like the scene where we actually get to see Sherlock eat!  The hospital canteen he calls it, and Magnussen shows up.  Sherlock thinking he reads files through his glasses but finds they're just an ordinary pair of spectacles.  Think that's where he worked out there is no vault and had to keep the illusion going of not really knowing.  I mean this is Sherlock he had to have deduced that for certain now.  Some people have said he made a mistake, as Magnussen did, that he thought the vault was real, but I didn't get that impression. Also the scene at their parent's house where they both smoke and have another brotherly moment together, before mother catches them in the act. Sherlock saying it was Mycroft, who is called Mike and hates it.

SO the question or tag line will now be #MoriartyLives, but how?  #MoriartyReturns  #MoriartyNeverDied.  Or I like #MoriartyStayinAlive. That will haunt us now for the foreseeable future, as long as it's not two years! Anyway knew he wasn't dead as I wrote in my review of The Reichenbach Fall, it could not be that easy.  Mind you anyone could have sent that transmission, anyone, it's not like we saw Moriarty in person. Could have been Mycroft, Sherlock, even.

Not to mention the fact that Magnussen had a so-called 'mind palace,' hey only Sherlock can have a mind palace!  Mycroft calls it a "memory palace" then what or where were the letters that he had on Smallwood. Since no one got a hold of them, they were only in his mind.  SO was shooting him enough,, did he have the letters stored in his memory too, cos really he wouldn't have destroyed them, or would he.

Of course it would have been more conducive if Mary had just ended it all for him but then we wouldn't have gotten those scenes at the end, where Sherlock had to be the one to kill him, since he was the one really being taunted, but he was a really bad man, even if he kept pointing out he wasn't a killer or a villain.  But he was.  He was the worst kind of criminal, human, the one who hides behind his fancy words without admitting to what he really does and is.  But it had to be Sherlock that's why he asked John if he brought his gun with him, cos in this case, only a gun would do.

As for Janine calling him "Sherl", done that already, ha, in my tweets for the new year!  To quote Moriarty, "I am so good", well paraphrase him then. Ha.

Questions there were plenty, as Mycroft mentions there was a third brother and he died, surely not Moriarty, Noo, well anything's possible in this production, as we do get to move away from the original books!! Ha. So there was a third Holmes.  Other interesting moments, Mrs Hudson being an exotic dancer and Sherlock being the one who sent her husband to death row in Florida.  Well it wasn't mentioned here but I like the reference to series 1.

This ep was based on The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and other mentions too from other books, though I know many refer to them as canons.  The opening scene with Magnussen was meant to be one where we immediately hate the villain and the true abhorrent nature of him and the workings of his mind. Smarmy and yet attempting to be so very above it all.  Sherlock even mentions his "dead eyes" towards the end.  He's entirely focused on one thing and one thing alone, his blackmailing and how he keeps not just mere mortals but countries at his beck and call.  Finding peoples' pressure points, Mary was John's and he couldn't quite be sure if John was Sherlock's as he had to find out, thus kidnapping him in The Empty Hearse to find this out.  How Sherlock would move heaven and earth to save him.  He even returned from flatlining to ensure John is 'saved.'   Apparently Sherlock's pressure points also include Irene, though John was recurring.  But somewhere it had to include Mycroft too.  Blood is thicker and all that.

Reminding me of The Empty Hearse scene, where he tells John to be careful what he wishes for when he wants Sherlock dead.  Thus somewhere we had to get a scene where this actually happens.  Another thought I had was how in Sherlock's mind palace after he was shot, with Molly asking if he needs to fall backwards or forwards, was a kind of allusion to how he jumped off the building to survive his fall.  I know this sounds a bit far fetched; or at least how they both planned his 'demise' back then.

Still some laughs assured in this but not quite as laugh out loud as the other two episodes.  Like John telling Magnussen, "I don't understand," Magnussen replying he should put that on a T-shirt and John saying, "I still don't understand," would be on the back of the T-Shirt.  (With Sherlock's T-Shirt saying, "Fooled you!" Included here by me.  Not that Magnussen would be around to see that one.)

Another point to his episode is how married life is not really boding well for John.  He has his clothes packed in his bag, his shirts folded which he changes into at work, as deduced by Wiggins.  With Sherlock adding he's putting on weight, seven pounds, cos he misses this sort of detective work, John adding it' actually five pounds.  John's war nightmares returning maybe a little disturbing since he was over them, with the help of Sherlock and seeing his shrink, but now that he's getting them back, is worrying since he seems to be regressing back to pre A Study In Pink days.  Maybe his nightmares were trying to tell him something about Mary.

Mary was another addition who was quite a breath of fresh air, she understood both men and that she was willing to go so far to end the blackmailing, even shooting Sherlock, more a last resort, he happened to be there at the wrong time, but he still knew all about her.  She knew when he was lying and even John can't determine that.  She changed the dynamic between the two friends and in a way, also made Sherlock realize his humanity and how he does need a friend, how much of a true friend John really is.  Sherlock forgives Mary and wants John to do the same since she saved his life, she called the ambulance before John did and it takes an ambulance in London eight minutes to reach its destination as he times it, suffering a relapse as Sherlock bleeds internally.

Sherlock needs morphine and as he tells Mrs Hudson she hasn't got any but she ran a drug cartel, she responding, "I just did the typing."  The entire three episodes showed Sherlock: character and detective in a different light with all the people he knew and has built up a relationship with over the years.  Oh and never to be forgotten, Molly slapping him endlessly for being an addict and ruining his life! As Redbeard was mentioned quite a bit, he was actually the family dog.

That scene with Sherlock on the plane was so heartbreaking and gut wrenching.  Here was a man who did all for his friends, kept his last vow, dying to keep it, stepping on board that plane and to certain death and accepting it so, well so graciously, can I say that, just brought tears to my eyes.  Deep down thinking that he is Sherlock, he won't die.  Then we get Moriarty, who perhaps can be called a life saver, ha.  SO many emotions in this episode still, from the funny, to the sad and then look, it was Sherlock as we knew him all over again as he's coming back.
                                                    This is how we felt!!!

Oh and also enjoyed Mycroft's reference to dragons and needing slaying, his "here be dragons" line was no allusion to Smaug of course!! ha.  As Sherlock tells John the game will never be over, there'll always be a new villain and in this case we have the return of one of our very fave ones in Moriarty, or is he just one big tease? It's as if series 3 didn't really happen and we're back to The Reichenbach Fall, in some ways.

In The Adventures of Charles Augustus Milverton, Sherlock is hired by a socialite to retrieve some stolen letters from one his most hated criminals he has encountered. Sherlock disguises himself as a plumber to gain the layout of Milverton's house and befriends the maid for this purpose, he even gets engaged to her.  Read Janine here.  Milverton is actually shot here by one of his Vics and Sherlock and John just stand by and watch it happen.  In one adaptation, Milverton was part of Moriarty's gang, maybe why Moriarty was mentioned here at the end.

Mycroft and John both mention "an east wind" a reference to Mycroft predicting Sherlock's death, whereas Sherlock predicts Moriarty's return, all in his mind palace and John alludes to Sherlock's return. Janine and her cottage, in the book, His Last Bow, Sherlock retires to a cottage on the Sussex Downs and keeps bees, here Janine mentions removing the beehives from her cottage.  As for A.G.R.A being Mary's real name, In The Sign of Four the treasure was stolen from Agra, India.

Roll on series 4 as we anxiously await a new beginning....