Assault on Precinct 13. The Dawn of the Dead. Dog Soldiers. The Alamo.
You remember those movies. The handful of souls hiding behind barricaded doors, trying to survive the frenzied attacks coming straight at them.
Welcome to life in Sherlockian America, January 2014, pre-Sherlock season three.
Maybe it's more like a Invasion of the Body Snatchers sort of thing . . . watching your friends and neighbors getting possessed by an alien consciousness that only means us well: "Come join us! True joy awaits within our collective!"
Sure, they start out like you or I. They don't hand you a gun and say, "Promise me you'll put a bullet in my head if I turn!" No, what they say is, "We won't give spoilers! We'll hold true to the convictions we had before we saw it!"
But then they look at that which PBS dictates we must not yet see. And their enthusiasm takes hold. A simple appreciation of a t-shirt with a quote on it. Reviews that are said to be "spoiler free," yet must tell you something about the shows, or else what would be the point?
So eager to give you their reaction, so eager to share, so hungry to put something in your brains.
Braaaiiiinnnnsssssss . . . .
They're trying so hard to fight it. You feel for them, even as you barricade the doors and windows, avoid clicking on the links, and avert your eyes when you see a certain glint in their Facebook posts. All they want is for you to join them in this new state they've discovered. All they want is your happiness.
You'll love it. Of course you will! You're only . . . human. And the links to get there are sooo simple. Here, try our lovely podcast, these alluring young ladies in the basement of Dracula's castle mean you no harm.
"Must . . . watch . . . Elementary," you find yourself gasping, hoping the cold water of procedural television will shock you out of temptation. And it works, for a bit.
Sixteen more days. And with each day passing, you see at least one more friend leaving the life you've shared without S3E1 filling your very soul. Can you make it? Will you be the same once these sixteen days are over? I know readers of this very column who have virtual compounds of pre-Sherlock enthusiasm who might take a person in for a time, if you could talk them into opening their gate after shooting down a few surges of the Cumberbatch fevered. But then you remember the Governor, and what happened on The Walking Dead.
"We should have nuked Britain after 'The Time of the Doctor' was broadcast," you hear an embittered friend say as he pushes his back against the boarded up door as the fingers start to poke through it's broken edges. "Then we'd have been okay . . . then we'd have been . . . okay . . ."
But somehow you know WGBH in Boston was sure to already have a copy in their evil editing labs, and even leaving the mother country a smoking ruin wouldn't have stopped our eventual occupation.
Yet, even knowing we will one day succumb to joining our friends in that seemingly blissful state of the having-watched, we must, for now, fight on to keep it all out . . . to keep our minds whole and untouched until that last moment.
These are days which test us, my friends. Pre-Sherlock S3E1 America.
Sherlockians under siege.