I made the mistake of snooping around tumblr to look at the Andrew Scott tag.
Oh. My. God.
No, if Andrew wins a BAFTA it won’t be because “Martin already won it”. It’ll be because he fucking won it on his own. He didn’t get a nomination because “Martin has one”, so why the hell would he win the award because Martin has one? He earned his nomination based off his performance that has nothing to do with Martin, just like Martin earned his nomination for his performance that has nothing to do with Andrew. They just so happen to be in the same category because they’re both supporting roles on the same show. It happens. All the time.
I’ve long since said Andrew’s performance as Moriarty is completely under-rated and I can prove it in one question: Why did Jim Moriarty shoot himself?
I’m willing to bet if I rounded up fifty Sherlock fans and asked them that question, I’d get several different answers with several different arguments working out why ranging from “he wanted to win the game and get the final word in by taking himself out the way he wanted to go”, to “he was literally bored to death with life and didn’t want to die alone without connecting to the one person that understands him completely”, to everything in between. Hell, I could ask those same people do they think Moriarty is still alive and I promise not all fifty people will say “no”. It’s not filming technicalities that creates this assortment of opinions. It’s the subtle details, the personalized nuances, and the embellished delivery of the material Andrew has embedded in his Moriarty that does this. The character of Moriarty in general dwells in the depths of abstruse ambiguity and he has tapped in to that beautifully. Think about it - who is James Moriarty, really? When is he wearing “the mask” and when is he showing you his true colors? When is he performing and when is he not? When is he telling the truth and when is he lying? What are his intentions? What is his purpose? What is it all for? There has not been a day that’s gone by since the airing of TRF in the UK that I haven’t thought about his character, and gone back through the episodes to see what I missed, what I read right, what I read wrong, what I still have questions for, etc. It’s one thing to give a solid and moving performance, but to also give one that leaves you thinking about it long after it’s over that prompts multiple interpretations of what otherwise looks straight-forward is the mark of a fantastic actor. His performance will leave me guessing what exactly my favorite criminal mastermind was up to for quite some time. Moffat and Gatiss called Andrew a “genius” for a reason, and please remember Moriarty wasn’t originally going to be revealed in series 1. His audition was so good they changed their plans and made room for him.
If you think Martin should win out of the two of them, that’s cool. If you aren’t interested in Moriarty as a character, that’s cool, too. But saying Andrew would win simply because “Martin already has a BAFTA” as if he has no chance on his own, or he won’t because “his Moriarty wasn’t very good”? Please. He was hilarious, he was disturbing, he was downright tragic by the end of it if you ask me, and damn it - he kept it all sexy. That is how you earn a BAFTA nomination with a little under fourteen minutes worth of footage for a character that carries the weight of a twenty year obsession that has consumed him in every way possible. Andrew Scott worked hard for that shit whether the audience could tear itself away from Martin and Benedict for longer than two minutes to notice or not. The BAFTA panel acknowledged this, so maybe it’s time for everyone else to wake up and realize the fact he’s given one of the most complex and emotionally-driven performances for a Moriarty since, well, ever. He deserves that nomination just as much as anyone else on the ballot, if not more so, to be honest.
In my mind, the I.O.U. that Moriarty kept showing to Sherlock was both the literal I OWE YOU, as in he had promised to burn him, and he wouldn’t back out of his debt—but I also took the O in the I.O.U. as a hole. As an empty space.
I BLANK U
It was a bit like a fill-in-the-blank. Which then became, to me, an: I -KILL- U? No: I-AM- U. Moriarty is Sherlock. Sherlock is Moriarty.
Sherlock had proven him right. That’s what Moriarty had been hoping for all along, I think. That’s why he had the gun. He was prepared to kill himself, should he need to. Why else would he have a recall code? Without one, he would have guaranteed Sherlock that jump. That’s what he wanted, wasn’t it? No. He wanted his equal—he wanted proof of it. He was teasing Sherlock with that recall code on the assassins, giving him the chance to redeem himself. He was gleeful, at the end, because he’d been hoping for it (for Sherlock to catch his slip-up, make him believe that Sherlock Holmes wasn’t ordinary after-all), setting it up, prepared to die to prove them the same and win.
That was very much how it appeared to me in the apple (at the core, too). At the core, they are the same to Jim Moriarty:
I BLANK U. I AM U.
Or else this is irrelevant and my English Major is showing, but I felt like bringing it up.
I think it’s also interesting to note the physicality of the O itself, how it was a BITE. It was consumption and fuel, and very much a threat, and a very personal I-have-my-mouth-on-you from Jim. It was a bit perverse. It wasn’t sexual, but it was an intimate claim.
Hey, inevitable—destruction (that sounds hilarious out of context)! I don’t know if you’re reading this, but I believe it was you who asked for some thoughts on how I approach the Sherlock and Moriarty dynamic as part of a manifesto you’re working on. I came up with a list of things I keep in mind when I discuss/think about/stab myself in the heart over them, but realized there was one subject everything on my list basically fell under: Carl Powers. That one thing encompasses everything that I think is important to note about them, and serves as a reference point to why they act the way they do towards each other. I tried to keep it brief and not fall in to the deep end of the feels pool, but lol lbr. Look at who we’re talking about. Thus, this is really lengthy, so I decided to put it here because it would be easier than a message. There was literally no other way to condense this. I needed every one of these feels to explain this. Every single one.
Also, I approached this from a Moriarty pov because I think fandom follows him through John’s perspective most of the time, and so it becomes really easy to make him this evil maniac since that’s basically what John thinks about him. I’m trying to offer an alternative, more fleshed out view, which just happens to be my own of him. This doesn’t mean it’s “right” or “fact”, but it’s what I go with. I’m fully aware Moffat just might bulldoze through this in series 3. Actually, I expect it, but for right now, from what I can see and from what they’ve given me, this is what I got out of it.
You might want to get some snacks. There’s a tiny novel under here.