The Boston Symphony was performing Beethoven’s Ninth. In the piece, there’s a long passage about 20 minutes during which the double basses have nothing to do. Rather than sit around the whole time looking stupid, some bassists decided to sneak offstage and go to the tavern next door for a quick one. After slamming several beers in quick succession (as double bassists are prone to do), one of them looked at his watch. “Hey! We need to get back!”
"No need to panic," said a fellow bassist.
"I thought we might need some extra time, so I tied the last few pages of the conductor’s score together with string. It’ll take him a few minutes to get it untangled."
A few moments later they staggered back to the concert hall and took their places in the orchestra. About this time, a member of the audience noticed the conductor seemed a bit edgy and said as much to her companion.
"Well, of course," said her companion. "Don’t you see? It’s the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the bassists are loaded.”
The recent CBS story regarding nine Swedish women who received uterus transplants undoubtedly caught the attention of transgender women throughout the world. Anyone, with even the slightest awareness of the advancement of medical science, understands that eventually there will be few things left in the realm of impossible. The idea that a transgender woman will one day be able to carry a child in her womb is no longer just an idea. It is a reality of the future.
If this becomes a thing I think I’d like to donate my uterus to a trans woman.
A woman of color plays a lead character. There’s a trans character who’s treated respectfully. The white British dude is the immigrant with an accent, not the Asian woman. The cast is diverse. The story is interesting and fun. Moriarty is a powerful, complex female character with diverse motivations. Lucy fucking Liu is in it. There’s kick-ass mystery solving shit going on. There’s a pet turtle. Elementary is a gift to us all.
In a sudden shocking moment, I saw Clara Oswald, (The Impossible Girl/puzzle to be solved/proud leaf owner), evolve into a RTD style fully fledged, three dimensional, actual human being with her own agency, and her own very important part to play in the tale.
The best part of the episode, in my opinion, was seeing Clara face off (geddit?) against the lead droid/robot/cyborg. Jenna must have had about ten whole minutes to herself. She certainly was gifted a massive chunk of the episode to carry, and not only did she lift the show, she brandished it heavyweight style above her 5’1 Victorian-attire-clad body.
Suddenly Clara becomes clear. We know her. She’s brave, but very scared. Her bravery seems to kick in with the adrenaline, and until then she staves off the rising terror with sarcasm and snappy banter. If you want Clara Oswald at peak condition, at her very very best, you threaten to hurt a friend. Because she never runs out on the people she loves. Even if they seem to have run out on her.
The flashbacks to Clara’s first day teaching at a school made all the difference to my interpretation of her. Seeing Ms Oswald have her usually in-control and optimistic persona challenged as we see her becoming ruffled and losing patience, makes her so much more human. Although she is often labelled ‘bossy’, I see a young woman desperate to be taken seriously, and to break away from her reputation as ‘sweet little Clara’. She means business, she has ambition, and I respect that in a woman.
Think of all the little girls watching Clara this episode. Maybe they want to be braver. Maybe people laugh at them because they’re girls whenever they try to take control. (I think a lot of us have been there). Maybe there are young women watching that are fighting to maintain their kindness and compassion but also navigate the professional world.
From Claudia Boleyn’s Deep Breath Review (x). Wonderfully written, as usual, and sums up most of my opinions of the episode. Check it out! (via isntthatwizard)