Liss and Ana Talk About Elementary

comic strip style graphic with text reading: 'In lieu of an image from the latest episode of Elementary, here are cartoon reenactments of Ana's and my faces while we watched it:' followed by a cartoon of me saying 'The fuck?' and Ana's dolphin avatar saying 'Ee eeee?!'

[Content Note: Fat hatred; violence; rape culture. Spoilers from the most recent episode of Elementary.]

Liss: Okay, so this was definitely the best episode so far this season, and felt the closest to what I loved about season one. All the stuff about bullying and the need to process, and Sherlock making himself available to another survivor of abuse, was brilliant.

Except for Joan's "you said before you'd been bullied, but I wasn't sure if that was true." Whut? Why would Joan disbelieve that? And THUMBS DOWN for playing into the "lying about surviving abuse" trope. Jesus Jones.

But. BUT. I barely made it to any of the good stuff, because Iain and I nearly turned off the episode after the first five minutes, since it contained (in an episode about bullying and abuse, without a trace of irony) MORE FAT HATRED.

The dead guy is fat and therefore he couldn't have put on a vinyl (or latex?) bodysuit by himself WHAT WHAT WHAT?! No. I am familiar with the fact that vinyl clothing is more difficult than average clothing to put on, but BEING FAT DOES NOT RENDER SOMEONE INCAPABLE OF DRESSING THEMSELVES EVEN IN TOUGHER-THAN-AVERAGE-TO-PUT-ON CLOTHES. Nope. No. Uh-uh.

This is, inconceivably, even stupider than Agents of SHIELD's bad typist=fat fingers claptrap!

And then IT GOT EVEN WORSE when it turned out that the "no larger than medium" suspect was the one who actually put the vinyl suit on the guy after he was already dead. Really?! REALLY?! Are you shitting me right now, Elementary?! Because it would be UNFATHOMABLY more difficult to get a skintight vinyl suit on a DEAD BODY than it would be to get on yourself!

So, a fat man can't get his own live fat self into a vinyl suit and would totes need help because of his "girth," but a man several sizes smaller than he is can, TOTALLY ON HIS OWN, get the same fat body into a vinyl suit, even despite the difficulty of moving around deadweight of any size and the impossibility of sliding a vinyl suit over limp limbs. Sure.

Basically: According to Elementary, thin people are fucking superheroes, and fat people are weak, incapable, helpless lumps. Awesome.

Fuck you, writers of Elementary. Fuck you.

Ana: Lady, I wish you could have seen my face during this episode. I was full-on SCARY FACE. What did I just watch?! WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WATCH?!

OK, let me get the good stuff out of the way. I liked the middle. THE MIDDLE. The bits with Joan talking to Sherlock about letter-writing and bullying and how he became a detective were nice. I did get the line about "I wasn't sure if that was true" (though I wouldn't have if my neurons had been even a LITTLE under-caffeinated), because it was a reference to a time when he bonded with a suspect (I believe the one where the abused kid turned abuser… the Balloon Man episode, IIRC) and then Joan said something to compliment him for his great bonding skillz and Sherlock intimated that she was a goofus because it was All A Lie. BUT, if you didn't recall that (and really, WHY WOULD YOU), it sounded suuuuuuuuper weird in that context and like people lie about bullying all the time. She should have, you know, referenced that better in her dialogue. Lazy, bad writing.

Liss: Yeah, I didn't remember that at all (and neither did Iain), and HA HA I generally tend to remember little details about things. (Cue Deeky calling me a lint trap.) Anyway.

Ana: Right. But the beginning. HOLY. SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK WAS ALL THAT. Lady, I didn't know that people like us can't get our clothes on. Did you know that? I certainly have NO EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER wearing clothes that are too tight or don't fit my body well. I definitely need a team of helper gnomes every morning to load my fat ass into my skinny jeans. THANK GOD FOR MY HELPER GNOMES. And I guess my girthier relatives who REGULARLY WEAR WET SUITS FOR SCUBA DIVING, and yes sometimes the wetsuits are GASP ALREADY WET, just magic themselves into the wet suits with the gravitational power of FAT because apparently FAT PEOPLE CANNOT DRESS THEMSELVES.

But, you know, a thin guy can dress us. While we're dead. Into a wet suit, I mean LATEX SUIT, that is impossibly hard to get on without talcum powder and baby oil and the helper gnomes.

In short: WHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT. Seriously, I was just told that fat people who play S&M cannot wear their clothes without help. And apparently no one orders S&M gear online. (I mean, I understand why the opportunist CEO didn't, but they didn't START with that. They just assumed that this guy walked to a local store? Really? Oh, but if he'd ordered online then they couldn't use FAAAAAAAAAT to narrow down suspects. So our FAAAAAAAAAT is literally a plot device for the writers now. That's not dehumanizing AT ALL. Fuuuuuuuuuuck.)

Liss: And, again, I feel obliged to point out, as I have here and on Twitter, including directly at the writers of Elementary, that they are writing basic misinformation about fat people, which are things that everything else about the character of Sherlock suggests he would know.

I mean, we're meant to believe he remembers infinitesimal details about decades-old murder cases and has at the top of his mind all sorts of esoteric details about obscure stuff, but we're also meant to believe he's never stumbled across ANY PIECE OF INFORMATION ANYWHERE that might suggest to him that fat people are human beings? Neat.

Ana: YES. And then the ending. OH MY GOD, IS THAT REALLY THE ENDING?!? REALLY?!? I just watched a show where a billionaire white dude is bailed out by a working-class nanny? I am supposed to be happy about this thing? That he would have gotten off with 18 months MAX (and probably not even that), with his million-dollar attorney and she's going to jail for like FOREVER? And she was CLEARLY upset about having her identity revealed, and her employer (and the BOY IN HER CARE) trying to frame her, and about "Sean" turning out to have thought she was guilty all along, and I'm supposed to be happy because a survivor of abuse confessed to a crime she didn't do while potentially too upset to reconsider her confession??! WHAT THE FUCK.

And let me just get back to that: Graham was PLANNING TO FRAME HER. He didn't just kill his dad in a fit of Saving My Brother or Protecting Himself; he carefully and premeditatedly planned to frame a woman who had only ever taken care of him and his brother. He planned to send her to prison for ETERNITY rather than tell the police to toss the house for the iPad. And I'm supposed to be HAPPY that he got away with this?? I am not happy. I AM NOT HAPPY.

Liss: YES YES YES. I get that we're supposed to feel like that's somehow okay because she really killed her father and so she's serving time for that crime, but that's predicated on the premise that the Billionaire Child shouldn't have to serve time, as he was protecting himself from a monstrous abuser. But whooooooooooops SO WAS SHE. She killed her father because he was abusing her, so in what way am I meant to understand that she needs to serve time now for killing her abusive father, so a kid who killed his abusive father doesn't have to serve time?

I guess because abuse is just a Fact of Life for girls and women, but a Life-Fucking Event for boys and men. Male people shouldn't have to tolerate abuse; female people should understand that abuse is a right of people abusing them. I have to say, if you'd told me last season that Elementary would be basically providing A PERFECT DEFENSE of the gendered double-standard in Stand Your Ground defenses, I would have not believed you! But here we are.

Ana: Yep. And, oh, hey, hi there? Hello? CBS? I AM A RAPE SURVIVOR. I was being raped at Graham's age. You know what I did not do, as a rape survivor? I did not frame a murder on an innocent woman. I am calling SHENANIGANS on being a Rape Survivor getting you a Frame 1 Murder on 1 Loved One Free card.


I mean, what the fuck?! Way to exoticize rape into A Special Kind of Evil to the point where being a rape victim means being an exotic perfect angel being who can FRAME PEOPLE WITH IMPUNITY. THAT is definitely going to help us dismantle rape culture and take victims seriously, ahahahahahahahahaha oh wait NO IT WON'T. So once again we have this bullshit framing where rape victims have to be proven with video evidence (and even then, victim-blaming blah blah blah) because if you believe anyone who says they're a rape victim, you're giving them a Frame With Impunity card and you wanna be careful who you give those out to.


And you know who else is horrible? The entire New York criminal justice system for APPARENTLY going ahead and prosecuting a woman that none of the detectives believed was guilty at that point. That's stellar and TOTALLY NOT an abuse of the criminal system. "Welp! We have a stronger case against the kid who bought the murder weapon online, but let's go with the Obviously Emotional Confession from the woman who didn't have access to the murder weapon because THAT SEEMS EASIER and ALSO SHE'S TOO POOR TO AFFORD AN ATTORNEY."


Liss: Me too. That was some real garbage. All the sad faces in the world. RIP the show I loved, once upon a time.

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