Sherlock Sunday 3: A Scandal in Belgravia by Steven Moffat (Motif and Metaphor)

Every time I watch this, I’m astounded all over again at how beautifully this is constructed. (It’s also beautifully directed and acted, but let’s stick to writing.) Rewatching it this time, I was struck by how damn funny the first half is, how light and snarky the dialog and plot are. And then it grows darker, heartbreaking things happen, there’s a magnificent climax and then . . . This is SUCH A GOOD STORY. We could talk about the doppelgänger antagonist again, about writing relationships and not just romantic ones, about characterization and arc, but one of the things this story is especially brilliant at is metaphor, the meaning in the subtext. Metaphor and its stepbrother, motif, sound too grad-school to be any fun, and they too often become heavy-weight story-killers, but handled deftly they can add layers to a story, set up echoes, and generally pull everything together into a unified whole. And Steven Moffat is nothing if not deft. So lets talk about motif and metaphor and the woman who beat Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading