Written by Lauren Shultz
As is very evident in this show, Sherlock Holmes can be insensitive to people’s feelings, to say the least. However, every now and then, he does something that redeems all of his previous misdeeds. Even though this doesn’t happen very often, he does them from his heart, which is bigger than it seems. These are some of the most heroic deeds Sherlock has done throughout the series so far.
- Saving Irene Adler
When Sherlock finally broke the code to all of Irene Adler’s secrets, which were – SHER – locked on her phone, the Woman disappeared. After the contents of her phone were released, she was being hunted down by terrorist organizations, foreign governments, the whole shebang. Sherlock and Mycroft both knew what would happen to her and neither of them cared, or so it seemed. At the end of ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’, Irene Adler is about to be executed. But then Sherlock (in disguise as the executioner) rescues her and helps her escape. No one can know for sure why he did this. Was he in love with her? Did he feel like he owed it to her? Did he feel responsible? We may never know the reason, but we do know that it was certainly heroic.
- Saving Mrs. Hudson from the American agent
In my opinion, this scene is the first time Sherlock really shows his vulnerable side and the true depth of his love for his friends. As soon he inspects the staircase and realizes that someone has taken Mrs. Hudson, he goes into an all-out rage. He keeps his cool until Mrs. Hudson is safe, and then unleashes it on the agent that kidnapped her. For a man who claims to have complete control of his emotions, this seems pretty drastic; but it perfectly fits the description of a high-functioning “sociopath” who will do anything for his friends.
- The Fall
This is inarguably one of the most important and emotional scenes from the show. In what seems to be Sherlock’s final confrontation with his nemesis, Moriarty threatens to kill Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, and John if Sherlock doesn’t “finish his story” by jumping to his apparent death from the top of St. Bartholomew’s hospital. Even though Sherlock has a plan to survive, he still has to convince everyone that he’s a fake and commit suicide. He knows that he is hurting John and that John might never forgive him. But he does what he has to do to keep John safe from Moriarty, no matter how devastating it is to him. All because John’s safety is more important to Sherlock than his own happiness. That’s pretty heroic.
- Killing Magnussen
Both Sherlock and John were shocked when they realized that Magnussen’s “Appledore Vaults” were actually non-existent. All of the documents and artefacts Sherlock needed in his possession to protect Mary and John were all in Magnussen’s head. Because Magnussen knew all of this information that put Mary and John in danger, Sherlock had no choice but to make sure Magnussen would never share it with anyone. Sherlock knew the consequences, but losing Mary and John would have been more painful than anything the British government could have done to him. He was sure that, after he was sent away, he would never come back (not knowing that Moriarty’s resurrection was just around the corner). To Sherlock, he would never see anyone he cared about ever again but it was worth it if it meant they were safe.
- Meeting John
Introducing John to Sherlock was probably the best thing Mike Stamford could have ever done. Both of them were completely alone and struggling. As a few fans have already deduced, John was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when we are first introduced to him in ‘A Study in Pink.’ The beginning of the episode showed John with almost all major symptoms, such as nightmares (which we see at the beginning), isolation (sitting in his room alone with no friends, family, or job to go to and ignoring Stamford when he tries to get his attention), loss of appetite (he takes out an apple but never eats it), paranoia (he keeps a gun in his drawer), and a psychosomatic injury (his limp). He even goes to a therapist to help him transition into civilian life. Then he spends barely ONE DAY with Sherlock and his limp disappears, he actually interacts with people, and they go out to eat TWICE. Sherlock knows exactly what John needs and practically cures his PTSD without John even realizing it.
But Sherlock didn’t just befriend John to help him. Even though he never admitted it, Sherlock was lonely. Lonely enough to tell Stamford about it and ask about sharing a flat with someone. If anything, John is exactly what Sherlock needs too. In this situation, they are each other’s heroes.
Information about PTSD from http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/post-traumatic-stress-disorder?page=1#1
Think that there’s another Sherlock moment that deserves to be on the list? We’d love to hear it! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!