Quote from blayman on February 8, 2013, 12:31
So what was it that did it for you in the last 15 minutes of the episode?
Well, one thing was that I honestly was wondering how Sherlock would get the upper hand. I kind of figured he would, but I had no clue how. But it wasn't just that the fact that he DID win, it was the entire build-up to that moment that is some of the most wonderful combination of story-telling, acting, music, editing that I've seen. It was a moment that had to be very well done in order for the reveal to work and they nailed it.
When I was first watching it, before I knew what exactly would happen or what the password would be, it was actually the acting that just had me floored. The chemistry between the two actors is just phenomenal. Errol was saying in the quotes earlier that he can't watch stop motion without analyzing it, and the same goes for me and acting. Thankfully, i can still lose myself in it, but the entire time I was watching I couldn't help but take in their breathing patterns and eye contact and breathe right along with them. I got caught up in it just from their performance. I'm about to get a bit acting geek here, but when you learn acting you learn a lot about breath, not even to "do it correctly" but mostly just to be aware of it, where it's going, what happens, why do we stop breathing. It's a note I'll often get in rehearsal when I'm having trouble with a scene which is "You're holding your breath. Stop it."
Another technique of acting I learned was a variation on the Meisner technique in which you immediately assess what sort of relationship is going on a scene. There are 4 main ones (lover-lover, parent-child, older sibling-younger sibling, younger sibling-older sibling). Lover-lover doesn't necessarily mean lovers, it very much includes friends or any sort of conversation that has intimacy and this is very much a lover-lover conversation. Mycroft might as well not even be in the room. You also study what part of the body people generally lead with and the body language of Sherlock and Irene was also great.
And it's funny, because there are scenes that are explicitly meant to be "sexy" like when Adler first meets Sherlock. However this scene is one that I would identify as the sexiest scene in the show (the second one being the reveal of the boomerang scene). It's incredibly intimate and what's amazing is that Adler is not just being affected by the fact that Sherlock has beat her and that her life is now in danger, but she's also being affected by the fact that she's actually a little turned on by this, that she's actually fighting her emotions in that moment while at the same time Sherlock is very quickly burying his although he gives in a little.
The music is the other aspect that swept me along. The moment I was able to download that track I did. I listen to it a lot.
And of course the reveal. What's so great about it is that you don't care how obvious it seemed or how much you missed. It wasn't a "WHAT?! THAT'S STUPID!" moment, it was a "OH MY GOD WHY DIDN'T I GUESS THAT, THAT'S AWESOME!" moment. They fooled us by misdirecting that it was numbers and not letters, but it was a fun ride to the end and I didn't mind being fooled because in this case I was surprised and I'm rarely surprised in television. It was lots of fun.
Mostly though, it was the acting and the characters. Good lord, those performances were just hypnotic.