Monday, January 16, 2012
Tears for Sherlock
I'm hiding this entire post just in case someone has no idea about the canon of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. While Sherlock deviates, it still follows the basic thread of their encounter and the results thereof. I'd hate for anyone to read spoilers they weren't planning on. So, if you already know the traditional encounter with Holmes and Moriarty, keep reading without fear of any real spoilers. If you don't, it might be safer to wait until you can watch the 2nd season of Sherlock in May so you're surprised. (or you can track it down online like I did)
BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS DEPENDING ON YOUR HOLMES KNOWLEDGE
I don't cry much anymore over movies or tv shows. It's just that a part of me realizes what I'm watching is fiction. So the shock of a trauma or tragedy isn't as strong as when I was an impressionable child or teen. You know how it is. You grow out of that emotional connection to fictitious characters. Now when I watch a movie where someone dies in an amazing way, I usually think, "Wow, that stuntman was amazing!"
Not tonight, however. Tonight, I cried. I wept. Why? Because it was as if I actually watched Sherlock Holmes die. Anyone who knows the stories of Holmes will know how he and Moriarty have a grand face-off and plunge over the falls together. Naturally, this is a little different. No waterfalls. Perhaps it was the lack of waterfalls that made such an impact on me. Or, maybe it was Sherlock being so selfless. We know that he's selfish. I actually never thought I would see him be selfless.
I didn't grow up reading Sherlock Holmes. A dear friend of mine actually introduced me to him when I was in my very late teens. Thanks, Charity! The short stories fascinated me, particularly because there were moments, just a few, where Holmes reacted emotionally in regards to Watson, revealing his genuine affection for his companion. I believe this noticeable emotional reaction happened twice that I can recall, once in The Devil's Foot and again in the The Three Garridebs. These were particular moments of immense stress, where not only was Holmes in danger but more importantly Watson was in danger because of Holmes. And Holmes reacted in fear for the safety of his friend in ways that he had never done before.
Tonight, I wondered why I was crying. It all seemed so real, so true. As if this man named Sherlock Holmes actually existed. Could it be the change in era? Possibly, although I've always been drawn to the Victorian age myself. Maybe having Sherlock in my time, in real time as it were, made a difference in how I perceived his encounter with Moriarty. The reason why is unimportant. All that matters is that I watched Sherlock reach out to others in ways I hadn't seen him do before. He knew that he was in danger. There were moments, fleeting glimpses, when he looked at John and he was sad.
Sherlock Holmes? Sad? I misjudged this version of Sherlock. Probably from the beginning, imaging him devoid of the tenderer emotions. But that's not him. Sherlock just finds it awkward to express those emotions. They annoy him, even, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have them. John, out of everyone he knows, is the most important to him. Why? Because John is his best friend. This is something he's never had before, never realized he needed until there was the threat that it would be taken away, that John would be taken away. He started thinking about the people in his life, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, even Molly, that crazy girl who worships Sherlock no matter indifferent he is to her. They mattered, he realized, mattered so much. To the point where he couldn't let anything happen to them.
It was beautiful and it was horrible and my heart just broke from the sadness of it all. I'm a John Watson fan, through and through, but John will have other people in his life, always. He's that sort of man, the kind that makes connections. For Sherlock, there is only one true friend. It will be easier on John to be without Sherlock than it will be for Sherlock to be without John.
All I can say is that despite the A Scandal in Belgravia which I loathed, the rest of the season exceeded my expectations. Now all I can do is pray that they film a 3rd season (if you can call 3 episodes a season). I need more Sherlock, desperately. He reminds me that sometimes it's alright to cry over a tv show.