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Guide to Sherlock, Series 2


The Question -- Can Sherlock love/Be a good friend?

1. A Scandal in Belgravia -- A Meditation on love. We establish that, counter to our common assumptions as a society, love cannot be reduced to sex. Sherlock loves unique human beings, not categories foisted on him by society, and therefore understands them. That is how he expresses his love.

2. The Hounds of Baskerville -- A case study in friendship. In which we find out how Sherlock's friendship with John works. Specifically, John recognizes that Sherlock values his reputation above all else, and accepts that as part of their friendship. And Sherlock knows that John recognizes this.

3. The Reichenbach Fall -- The demonstration of friendship. Sherlock shows the greatest love for his friends by relinquishing his reputation to protect them.


( 2 definitions — Define true madness )
May. 17th, 2012 12:28 pm (UTC)
Good question. :-)

I find your interpretation of "The Hounds of Baskerville" particularly interesting. While I agree with the part of a study in Sherlock's and John's friendship, I don't really see how / when / why Sherlock's reputation is all that important. I saw Sherlock doubting himself rather than other people doubting him, so unless you mean "reputation Sherlock wants to uphold in front of himself" I don't really agree. Maybe you can expand a bit on that idea?
May. 17th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
So, I could amend my statement to "Sherlock needs to be right." But he wants be people to know who he is an that he's right.

It starts out early in THoB. "I'm a show-off, John. That's what we do" - he admits that he wants people to know he's awesome. He forces John to show him the cigarettes, even after he doesn't want them anymore -- he needs to be the winner anyway. He puts his coat collar up to look cool. Even his whole self-doubt issue is in part, I think, because of what he is showing to other people. He tries to make himself feel better by showing that he's still got it, and deducing like crazy -- he wants John to think he's not crazy. I think there are lots of other examples, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately.

I think this is shown most clearly, though, in the conclusion of THoB. Sherlock made John think he was going to die. Totally freaked him out. A lot of viewers were annoyed because they felt Sherlock went unpunished for this. I felt that he WAS punished and that was the whole point of the story. John gets a bit upset when he realizes what Sherlock did. And Sherlock tries to divert the conversation, but NOT by defending his actions very much. John realizes Sherlock is trying to divert him and says "Hang on! You thought the drug was in the sugar." And Sherlock tries to put him off. And John insists -- You were wrong! When Sherlock finally sort of accepts it, John smiles, and all is right with the world. John understands that for Sherlock, being wrong (and being known to be wrong -- especially by John [see telling John that he was a fake in TRF]) is actually just as bad as for John thinking that he's going to die, and completely losing his soldierly composure.

It's that moment of complete understanding that concludes the episode, and that understanding is that for Sherlock being right is more important than being alive.
( 2 definitions — Define true madness )

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