Written by Stephanie Bell
Oddly for a show about an apparently unemotional logic-machine, themes of love and romance are quite common in Sherlock. We, of course, know that our favourite consulting detective is not prone to dramatic protestations of love—rather, his relationships are platonic but fiercely loyal and loving in their own way. And while the high-functioning sociopath has trouble showing his feelings, John provides him with an example to aspire to. So in honour of Valentine’s Day, and of Benedict’s and Sophie’s marriage this weekend, here are our top five “romantic” moments from the show.
- ‘We both know that’s not quite true…’
When Sherlock and Moriarty confront each other at the swimming pool in ‘The Great Game,’ Moriarty has strapped explosives to John’s body. Sherlock and Moriarty engage in a high-stakes battle of wits with John’s life hanging in the balance. John motions with his eyes for Sherlock to shoot the booby-trapped vest. Moriarty leaves, prolonging the game of cat and mouse. Sherlock is not comfortable showing emotion, but in thanks to John, exhibits a rare moment of vulnerability. “That thing that you offered to do, that was… good.”
In ‘The Empty Hearse,’ while John fumes over Sherlock’s shocking reappearance, Molly steps in to help Sherlock with his cases. After their day together, they both realize it’s not quite working out. Yet their affection and respect for each other are evident in the touching scene in which they part ways. This is one of Sherlock’s most unabashed displays of fondness for another person, as he kisses Molly on the cheek and takes his leave: “I hope you’ll be very happy, Molly Hooper. You deserve it.”
After Mary shoots Sherlock in ‘His Last Vow,’ he is on the brink of death. He recovers and tricks Mary into admitting to her crime and her sordid past, while John listens, hidden in the shadows. Understandably, John is outraged at his wife’s deception. It takes him a few months, but he not only forgives Mary, he destroys the evidence of her life as an assassin, giving them and their unborn child a fresh start. “The problems of your past are your business. The problems of your future are my privilege.”
- Irene Adler keeps her head
Series Two’s ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ contains many flirtatious and frankly erotic moments between Sherlock and his intellectual sparring partner, Irene Adler. But Moffat and Gatiss save the best for last (a scene so good it crept onto our Sherlock’s Most Heroic Moments list too!). Irene’s wheeling and dealing of the notorious secrets on her smartphone land her in Pakistan about to be beheaded by a terrorist cell. A familiar face comes to her rescue at the last minute. When she texts Sherlock goodbye, she hears the text tone she customized on his phone, revealing that he is disguised as the executioner. “When I say run, RUN!”
- Sherlock’s Best Man’s speech
Though he sometimes behaves callously, Sherlock is devoted to John Watson. At John’s and Mary’s wedding, Sherlock delivers a wide-ranging, eloquent and surprisingly emotional best man’s speech. He talks about his response (real or imagined) to being asked to be John’s best man, about their most challenging cases, and finally, his gratitude and love for his friend who is beginning his life with Mary. And naturally a case is solved somewhere in-between. He has the crowd in the palm of his hand. “John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship.”
What are your favourite Sherlock romantic moments? Give us some love in the comments below!