I told all my clients: last one to Sherlock is a sissy.
When I first saw this scene I was surprised that Mind Palace Moriarty listed Irene as one of the people who would cry over Sherlock’s death (I figured it would make more sense to include Molly in that slot). However, after mulling it over, I concluded that there’s a deeper meaning to it. When you consider who these people are to Sherlock or what they symbolically represent, this list has a pattern.
First, Jim mentions Mrs. Hudson. Mrs. Hudson has always been like a surrogate mother to Sherlock and, up until S3, she was the only mother figure in Sherlock’s life that we knew about. So you could say that Mrs. Hudson is symbolic of parental love and affection. Next on Jim’s list are Sherlock’s actual parents; they are the literal representation of parental love.
Then, the camera angle changes—this change further emphasizes how everyone is paired off (Mrs. Hudson/Sherlock’s parents, Irene/John)—and Jim lists Irene who, as many others have pointed out, is often the symbolic representation of romantic love and sex. So, if we continue the pattern of symbolic love followed by literal love, what does John represent?
I love this, it’s so neat, and it slots neatly into LSiT’s locked-room mystery reading of Sherlock’s heart first explored in the Subversion & Sherlock entry for TBB. It also gives a sort of answer to my concern about how Sherlock doesn’t rouse at the idea of John crying ‘buckets and buckets’ at Sherlock’s death (too close to his attitude over the Fall), and only fighting his way back to protect John from ‘that wife’.
If there’s an ongoing metaphor of the locked-room being Sherlock’s heart, I’d say (in many ways) here it is: Sherlock’s locked room, quite literally, with Moriarty standing in for Sherlock’s poisoned, locked-up fears and desires, or maybe feared desires. If Irene is one aspect of the things Sherlock’s locked away (sexuality), Moriarty is the other (sentiment): in both cases, Irene isn’t afraid of the one, Moriarty embraces the other. Moriarty says that pain, heartbreak and loss are all good: ‘you don’t have to fear it’. Then the symbolism of platonic and romantic attachment slots right in. Further, it makes sense why Sherlock’s lying dead: in the extended metaphor of the locked room and the assassin begun in ‘The Blind Banker’, the ‘assassination’ is really falling in love, and the ‘victim’ is Sherlock, who’s already falling and doesn’t know why (doesn’t know what hit him, quite literally).
Now he’s lying dead in the darkest pit of his sentiment, and he cannot move, simply thinking of John; loving John has finally killed him, after all, and it’s ‘all good’. Death and love aren’t so different, and Sherlock doesn’t have to fear it. He’s made peace with love and death at the same time. Except John— he can’t make peace with John’s death, or even him being in danger. John needs him, and if John needs him, Sherlock will provide. He escapes his own locked room— the closed loop of his own impotent anxieties, worries and feelings— to struggle out in defense of the person he loves, who exists outside that magic circle, who inspires him to selflessness. Even now— especially now— John Watson keeps him right.
Remember when that’s so raven, hannah montana, and the suite life of zack and cody did a mashup episode and it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to you.
"So, you’re unattached, like me."
the way he says it here is even more obvious than in asip, like pilot!John isn’t getting all flustered, he isn’t muttering to himself, he’s not as guarded or cautious, he just flat-out SAYS, clearly, that it’s GOOD that Sherlock is single because he is too.
Like if you have any doubt about the writer’s intentions, or you think Martin was ad-libbing in ASIP, watch this, there’s no mistaking this at all
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