Friday, January 20, 2017

Eurus, Imus, Weareallus.

"You spell it 'Eurus' and I spelled it 'Euros,'
"You say 'ridiculose,' I say she's a 'geniose,'
"Eurus, Euros, ridiculose, geniose,
"Let's call the whole thing off!"

Feeling a bit like Jim Moriarty these days, getting into that special girl that most people don't quite get, to put it mildly. But, damn . . . Eurus!

We now know where that "high functioning sociopath" line probably came from: Something Sherlock heard spoken by the adults about his sibling when he was a wee lad, and then forming his self-image with those words attached to his bloodline.

There was an article I liked some time ago about how one writes characters smarter than one's self, and Eurus was certainly the ultimate test of that. Like the old line that a sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic, Eurus's accomplishments . . . portrayed without a detail-by-detail recap of how she did it, like her brother liked to supply . . . seem completely unbelievable. Like Jim Moriarty before her (and maybe, in part, because of her), she was operating at a level no ninety minute drama could fully detail. And yet, that was the format at hand.

We've gotten very comfortable with Mycroft Holmes over the last century. His role, the smarter brother with an intellect so powerful that he was the British government in a pre-computer era, is a magical reach in itself. We never got the details of everything he did in that role, but came to accept that it could be anything and everything. We trusted that that in the background, Mycroft was dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s. The fact that he only had a guest shot in two stories and mentions in a couple others meant we didn't have to stare too hard at his astounding place in the world.

Now comes Eurus. In an age when television tends to portray those of learning and intellect as always burdened with comic or tragic flaws to keep them palatable to dullards in denial, here is a woman of seemingly limitless abilities. Compared to a full-on science fantasy like the movie Lucy, Eurus might seem a bit restrained, but her well-over-Mycroft intellect combined with her skills at actually controlling people make the results of her methods something that takes a goodly load of imagination to take in stride.

Get a ride off her island prison to ride a bus in a red wig? A lot of plates to spin to make that happen, yes, but possible? Yes. Put a room together in the middle of nowhere with an unconscious man in it and deliver a bunch of big screen TVs to a burnt-out husk of a house and have them networked and powered? Completely possible. Those Best Buy guys don't ask a lot of questions. In an entertainment field where Batman somehow has a cave full of cutting-edge tech with no one noticing his trail, Eurus's little Mission: Impossible games are not all that incredible.

For those who prefer their mysteries a little cozier, Eurus is not going to fit into the world of Sherlock Holmes. But in an entertainment landscape that gave us the Downey movies, Blacklist, and Hannibal Lechter thirty-six years ago, Eurus is state of the art.

You might even be able to see her reflected in a Doyle-writ line from the long-ago:

"Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must . . ."

. . . have been Eurus.

She's not impossible. And actually a whole lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I like the re-write. Brings some humor back into the situation, which was rather lacking in TFP unfortunately. But now that we have a healed Sherlock, and Mary thank God is finally gone--beyond even videotape resuscitation I should hope--I'd like to see a mystery being solved cleverly and urbanely by our heroic duo--and without being told how to solve it by the insufferable Mary Watson. How, oh how this series became the Mary Watson show is truly beyond me, and incredibly poor judgment on Moftiss's part. Must have been some sort of kowtow to political correctness, feminism, whatever. Better to make John a woman than screw up the chemistry of the couple with this horrid triangulation / castration, the third party who continues to control and manipulate even beyond the grave. Argh. But now I'm ranting, which I hadn't meant to do. Sorry.