Well, this January, we get a new season of BBC's Sherlock.
Yeah . . .
I know the last season of that show upset a lot of its most ardent fans with what it did, and the little teases of this new one promise new threats and putting our heroes through some real heartbreak . . . things could get worse.
And, right now, those possibilities almost seem a little mean. Some days, I feel really badly for Mark Gatiss and Stephen Moffat,because, whatever happens this January, they lose with somebody . . .
Mary Watson turns out to be evil and dies, they lose.
Mary Watson turns out to be good, has a baby, and lives happily ever after, they lose.
Sherlock Holmes has serious drug problems, they lose.
Sherlock Holmes has no mental issues at all and is a healthy genius-level intellect, they lose.
It feels like series four of Sherlock is that famed Star Trek test, the Kobayashi Maru, in which a young Star Fleet cadet is put in a scenario where they must rescue a distressed vessel, the Kobayashi Maru, and there is supposed to be no way they can win. No way. The test's very purpose is to see how a cadet reacts when there is a "no-win scenario."
Only one cadet . . . one very distinctive cadet . . . beats it, because as he states it, "I don't believe in the no-win scenario." But in a way, he's just putting off facing that test by playing it as a false scenario, a game one can cheat at. For as one man who is called the test's designer explains, "The purpose is to experience fear. Fear in the face of certain death. To accept that fear, and maintain control of oneself and one's crew. This is a quality expected in every Starfleet captain." And that test's creator, according to at least one version of the tale, is a certain descendant of Sherlock Holmes.
Series four of Sherlock may be the Kobayashi Maru, in a lot of ways, to its fandom . . . a really painful test to take.
And yet, this morning, I think we're all going to be ready for it, being a little experienced with a test a little like the Kobayashi Maru right now.
Good luck facing the no-win scenario today, my friends. This is the time we work out, we get a little stronger, a little more determined, and after January, show what Sherlockians we truly are.