Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s renowned character in BBC’s TV series is labeled as a ‘high-functioning sociopath’. While he fames his way out of being the best ‘consulting’ detective there ever is, and uses his science of deduction to solve mysteries as effortless as we routinely breathe, we blame him of being only a Homo Sapien.
Although he considers love and emotions as ‘weakness’, BBC’s Sherlock proves that he is only a human with all the emotions and feelings that we all possess and here’s how we know:
1. Sherlock leaves John’s wedding early
S03 E02 “The Sign of Three”
Sherlock doesn’t leave a stone unturned to become an actual person in this episode. He saves a life, gives his best man’s speech and even flirts around with the bridesmaid. Nevertheless, towards the end when everyone gets on the dance floor and enjoys themselves, Sherlock finds himself alone in the middle of a big crowd. He sees everyone with someone and with this notion that he doesn’t have anyone to dance with, he tugs up his collar, starts walking and never looks back.
This lets us peek in his emotional side and how he is alike all of us. After solving a great puzzle, instead of longing any pleasure, here was Sherlock in his own shoes, so much so that he couldn’t stand alone in the crowd and had the urge to leave.
2. When he gets to know that Irene Adler is dead
S02 E01 “A Scandal in Belgravia”
John has been the closest relationship Sherlock ever had with humans and no matter how they decline being a ‘couple’, they do share the same place to live, same social life and are involved in the same work. We all thought john is the closest Sherlock can get to humans, until Irene Adler came along with her captivating spell. Even though there was nothing fishy above the water, we all know that there was some chemistry boiling between them. When Sherlock got it confirmed that Irene was dead(which later turns out that she was faking it), Mycroft offered him a cigarette and not-so-surprisingly, Sherlock took it portraying that cigarette is his way of coping with the loss. When he complains, “This is low tar”, Mycroft says, “You barely knew her.” Which enforces the idea that even though Sherlock didn’t know her well, he was still affected by her death to a great extent.
Back at home, he played mourning tunes which he hadn’t played before on his violin to soothe his pain.
Which tells us that the world’s famous detective too has a little heart that has the capacity to ache when affected by some pain.
3. His mind-palace in ‘His Last Vow’
S03 E03 “His Last Vow”
While investigating Charles Magnussen’s apartment for clues, John’s wife Mary shoots Sherlock and he slowly falls to the ground. During the slow-motion fall, he struggles to stay alive by going into his ‘Mind palace’, where he meets Molly, Mycroft, his childhood pet dog Redbeard and a lunatic man is chained underneath his mind palace who turns out to be Moriarty. While he is almost dying laying on the hospital bed, the doctors try their best to bring him back to life; while in his mind palace, Moriarty keeps mocking him. But, while doing so, he says something that pulls the right strings of Sherlock’s heart. He tells how John’s in danger and this is the exact moment when Sherlock pulls himself from death and comes back to life because john needs him.
Sherlock portrays himself to be all mind and no heart, but here, at this very episode he tells how when he is bonded to someone, he gives everything away (even death) to keep them from vulnerability. And that’s how he is so much of his heart and so little of what he makes others believe.
4. When Irene Adler loses and wins
S02 E01 “A Scandal in Belgravia”
“Don’t let your heart rule your mind” is what Sherlock had advised after she lost at the intellectual game by letting her heart rule her head. After being ‘SHER-LOCKED’ and after losing to Sherlock’s cold and tough game, she makes us all hinge to the emotions she had felt then. It’s easy to lose at the intellectual games of the Holmes brothers, but it is far more difficult to win at the end of the emotional games with them. Even though she had lost everything, she won Sherlock’s heart when he came to rescue her, save her from the execution and helped her fake death, letting her into an unsuspecting world. After all, in love, there is only winning and no losing.
All this portrays the emotional part of the character who made us think he was a heartless sociopath.
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Update: You can read the part 2 here.
Title image: Teengazette