I wanna talk about this scene for a second. Not for for the “shippy” vs “not-shippy” debate (people are welcome to see what they like in the dynamic) but because of one line in this scene that stuck out at me. Not the “I am better with you Watson” line, though that is important to the development and growth of Sherlock and his relationship to Joan, whatever you may interpret that to mean. I want to talk about this line:
“This is an important decision and I encourage you to discuss it with others. Explain what you have been to me and what I believe that you can be to me. A partner.”
This brought tears to my eyes. Until that moment I never realized that I needed to see this on television; a man asking a women that she seek out opinions other than his. This is a man (a Sherlock Holmes even!) admitting that what is best for him might not be best for a woman in his life. This was a man realizing that his perspective might be skewed by proximity. That he is not the ultimate authority to those around them.
For a Sherlock Holmes character this is nothing short of astounding, but even simply as a lead male character in a mainstream network show this is nearly unprecedented. It’s such a simple thing really, a TV character admitting that he might not be the ultimate authority in the life of the woman that he cares for, but the fact that it startled me with such intense emotion means that this simple admission is not something that we get to see in our media. I honestly can’t think of another single example, feel free to illuminate me.
(p.s. sorry for the crappy screenshot)
This scene took my breath away.
It reminded me of a different show, one that I think got cancelled (Body of Proof). The scene was between two men, and they were discussing body image, weight and vulnerability. One dude was a bigger guy, the other a small stereotypical nerdy type. There was not one joke, not one “man up” moment. One of them cried, the other supported. I was shocked, and I am saddened at how striking moments like this on television are. I would love to see these kinds of interactions be standard, not subversive.
I once said that Elementary was a bad show…I was wrong.