“Just saving her time. Isn’t that kinder?”
- Sherlock Holmes, The Great Game
Let’s talk about this little quote here.
Sherlock “Mr. Sentiment-Is-A-Chemical-Defect” Holmes thought it was kinder to tell Molly that Jim was gay. Now people always point out that Sherlock always said heart-breaking things to Molly because he wasn’t aware of her feelings for him.
Okay, point taken.
Now, let us fast forward to A Scandal in Belgravia. Personally, it was hard to watch the Christmas scene because it drowned me in the sea of second-hand embarrassment. However, this is the episode where the audience gets to see Sherlock being aware of Molly’s feelings for him.
We saw him stricken by that awareness. He was about to turn away.
It was the perfect time to be “kind” to Molly Hooper.
But what did he do?
He regressed, continued to look down and said “I am sorry.” (Side note, let us appreciate John’s double take because, hey did the world’s only consulting detective just said sorry?) Then, stepped forward, wished her a Merry Christmas using her full name…
…and kissed her.
Yes Sherlock, you were being kind, but not “kinder”.
Why? It was the perfect opportunity Mr. Holmes.
Later on, we’d see him saying “Sentiment is a chemical defect found on the losing side”. He was very much aware of this particular sentiment but why did he not take that Christmas scene to save Molly’s time?
Okay fast forward again to a few frames and there is the morgue scene and for the first time, we see the “egocentric" Sherlock Holmes, wondering if there is something wrong with him. Of course the whole conversation between him and Mycroft and the fact that he did just identify Irene Adler - the woman to whom he had developed feelings for (what they are, no one truly knows except Sherlock) - as the dead woman could be used as evidence that it was what got him wondering.
But since we are talking about feelings, before finding out about of her death, there was one other woman who made him become aware of feelings. I am not saying that it is the reason, but this awareness brought by Molly certainly factored in him finally wondering.
But wait, there’s more.
"All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock."
Mycroft shares this wisdom to his little brother. This tidbit becomes more relevant when Sherlock later says “I’ve always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage. Thank you for the final proof.”
There, the equation is complete. Mr Holmes now has all the proof he needs that being a robot is better.
Now all he has to do is be “kind" to Molly Hooper!
But he never showed that “kindness”, did he?
The next time we see him and Molly, he was back to being snarky, accusing one of Molly’s boyfriend and telling her not to pursue any romantic relationships for the sake of national security.
This is Sherlock’s brand of kindness - always about other men surrounding Molly, never counting himself in.
He never dealt with it for the whole of series 2.
I’m guessing, he never wanted to. Deep inside, he doesn’t want to save Molly’s time, because it is her time spent on him.
He does not want to lose that time.
Remember this line:
“I’d say you better break it off now and save yourself the pain”
Sherlock said this to Molly after Jim left.
'Save yourself the pain.'
He could have repeated this during the Christmas scene. But no, he said sorry and kissed her.
He could have replied with this line when she said, “Are you okay? Don’t just say you are, because I know what that means—looking sad when you think no one can see you." But instead, he said "You can see me"
He could have told her this at the darkened morgue when he told her that he thinks he is going to die. Instead, he said “You.”
Even, when he just came back from the dead. Even when Molly had finally found Tom, when she is finally wearing a ring and promised to someone else, he can’t even be kind. Instead he says,
“I hope you’ll be very happy, Molly Hooper. You deserve it. After all not all the men you fall for turn out to be sociopaths”
Now, this is Sherlock being kind to himself. This is him reminding himself that he is a sociopath and Molly deserves better than that.
This is him saving himself.
And my now my heart hurts even more for him. Thanks…😓