thistie replied to your quoteWe didn’t want to introduce [Mary Watson] and then…

Am still not entirely convinced and not be salty about it, but will take this into consideration. X

I can totally get feeling ambivalent. I think I see what they were going for, but also the complications it hits in conveying that to the audience.

I think it’s clear their goal was for Mary’s death not to just be a way of driving John and Sherlock apart but of driving them to be better. Her legacy and desires sort of govern series 4 posthumously, and her presence to the team is still very great, as evidenced by both John and Sherlock still seeing and responding to her. The point is trying to be that she is the core of this legend, that she is who tells them to be great and be the legendary Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

But for one thing, that’s one of two main arcs of series 4 that don’t quite mesh. The other arc of series 4 is the Eurus stuff, which is a very very different concern. They dovetail thematically as being the two women who drive Sherlock and John to be better, Mary bringing out their best and Eurus showing their worst to work away from and exposing the emotional growth Sherlock has had, which is tied together in Mary’s closing speech. But in terms of plot motion, they don’t really intersect very well at all. There’s little in concrete events that demands Mary’s legacy be the question when investigating Sherlock’s secret sister. And so though thematically she’s still very present and her closing speech ties it together nicely, The Final Problem does feel at a distance from her agency and her legacy.

Plus it’s just a fine line. Fridging is a common issue and you can’t read Mary’s fate in isolation from it, now matter how well-meaning or well executed it is. 

The line between her dying for John and Sherlock’s angst and her dying on her own terms and leaving a legacy defined by the two men is pretty slim and I can see why people would say basically nonexistant. This show is defined by men, and having its strongest woman die and in the process drive further relationships is just gonna innately look like fridging when the rest of the main characters are men. And while angst isn’t the sole purpose of her death, it is a very prominent result that does look like every fridging ever.

I don’t hold it against Moffat or Gatiss and I do think they did well given the choice to kill Mary, but I really don’t think that was the right choice in the first place. I love many elements of it. The Six Thatchers is an utterly fitting note for Mary to go out on, if such a thing needs to happen. It’s in-character and it fits her arc utterly perfectly, and I genuinely adore it. And I adore her legacy in the following two episodes, they are all my favorite bits of those. But frankly, the show would be better with her still there in the flesh.