Sherlock: "No, very very close, but no. You got carried away. The game was too elaborate. You're enjoying yourself too much."
Irene: "No such thing as too much."
Sherlock: "Oh, enjoying the thrill of the chase is fine. Craving the distraction of the game, I sympathize entirely - but sentiment? Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side."
Irene: "Sentiment? What are you talking about?"
- And this is the thing, Irene is Sherlock and Sherlock is Irene - so Sherlock understands her on a level that other people don't. He understands that she is actually capable of sentiment, because HE is... because that's what his weakness is and so therefore that's hers.
Irene: "Oh dear god, look at the poor man. You don't actually think I was interested in you? Why? Because you're the great Sherlock Holmes? The clever detective in the funny hat?"
- The description Irene gives of Sherlock is JOHN'S description of Sherlock...or well, the media's description BASED on John's words. It's John that thinks Sherlock is great, not Sherlock. Yes, he's a narcissistic bastard, but he's not out for fame - Sherlock wouldn't just assume someone was interested in him, because before John NO ONE was interested in him (people only love Sherlock when they see him through John's eyes). Sherlock Holmes is used to being hated - it's why he loves John - and it's also why when someone DOES take an interest in him, he takes notice.
Sherlock: "Because I took your pulse. Elevated. The pupils dilated..."
- Just a scientific point here, from my friends the scientists - everyone has different resting heartbeats, and it is actually possible for someone to have a naturally elevated resting heart rate. In order for Sherlock's pulse-taking deductions to be accurate, he would have had to have taken her pulse in a variety of situations so that he had something to compare it to.
Sherlock: "...I imagine John Watson thinks love's a mystery to me..."
- I love how Sherlock brings up John here. Solely because it's through John's eyes (his blog) that people think they know Sherlock Holmes, and that's why you should always consider your sources. ;)
Sherlock: "...when we first met, you told me that disguise was always a self-portrait, how true of you. The combination to your safe: your measurements. But this? This is far more intimate. This is your heart - and you should never let it rule your head. You could have chosen any random number and walked out of here today with everything you worked for, but you just couldn't resist it, could you? I've always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage. Thank you for the final proof."
- We all do silly things. Did Irene honestly love Sherlock? I think she was intrigued by him, because he was her, only just different enough to be interesting... and I think, Sherlock was right, she loves to play games, and "I am sherlocked" is a funny punch line. She went with amusement rather than intelligence... the very thing that Mycroft accuses Sherlock of doing. A random number would have been too boring, just like Sherlock was too bored to realize that the cases he didn't take were connected.
Irene: "Everything I said - it wasn't real. I was just playing the game."
Sherlock: "I know, and this is just losing."
- And Irene loses her chance at fortune. But that's not why this line is important. "Everything I said, it wasn't real." - Irene is telling us that she didn't love Sherlock, and Sherlock is telling us that he knows that - but he's also telling us that she still got too involved, she still showed her hand in the end. Because she gave away how much fun she had playing with Sherlock - she had as much fun as he did. It wasn't necessarily love for each other, it was love for the adventure personified in each other.
Sherlock: "There you are, brother. I hope the contents make up for any inconvenience I may have caused you tonight."
- Sherlock actually calls Mycroft "brother", and it DOES THINGS TO ME. Despite everything Sherlock just said about love being a disadvantage, he then uses a term to address Mycroft that stresses the CONNECTION between the two of them.
Sherlock: "If you're feeling kind, lock her up. Otherwise let her go, I doubt she'll survive long without her protection."
Irene: "Are you expecting me to beg?"
Irene: "Please. You're right. I won't even last six months."
Sherlock: "Sorry about dinner."
- And Sherlock wins this round...so, if you're following the score of skirmishes, it's Sherlock 1: Irene 2 - it just so happens that Sherlock has won the game that matters most... well, matters most to Irene, Mycroft, and Moriarty.
- And Sherlock makes Irene beg, which I know people had a problem with, but I think it's just Sherlock wanting her to admit to the loss.
- "Sorry about dinner" - I want to analyze this line to death, but I feel like my brain is failing me at the moment. Sorry you never got to know my heart? Sorry you never got an answer as to whether I'm straight or gay? Sorry that I have to cut our acquaintance short for you are in league with my enemy?
I love the overhead shot of Mycroft waiting outside of Speedy's. It's gorgeous.
John: "You don't smoke."
Mycroft: "I also don't frequent cafes."
- This is an interesting line... because why is Mycroft smoking? So that Sherlock (who isn't even looking out the window) will not think it's Mycroft? To give that opening line? Or because Mycroft is going out of his way to humble himself to John.
- Also, why meet John at the cafe? ... Mycroft wasn't actually around for John's comment to Irene's sidekick earlier in the episode about how he'd prefer to meet Mycroft in a cafe. Though, that's probably not the only time he's voiced that complain. I think Mycroft is trying to be on John's very best side here, because he knows he screwed the pooch a bit on this one, and he's realized that he doesn't actually know Sherlock's heart as well as he thought he did... but John does.
Mycroft: "My brother has the brain of a scientist or a philosopher, and yet he elects to be a detective - what might we deduce about his heart?"
John: "I don't know?"
Mycroft: "Neither do I. But initially, he wanted to be a pirate."
- Firstly, Gatiss does a brilliant thing with Mycroft's face here - because you can SEE him remember, and it's a bittersweet memory at this point. You can see that the last time that Mycroft's relationship with Sherlock wasn't strained was when Sherlock was a five or six year-old, running around with an eye patch and plastic hook hand and telling Mycroft to walk the plank... and Mycroft didn't appreciate it then. He probably, as a 12-13 year-old, found it annoying - not realizing that was actually a golden time in their brotherhood.... and you can see all this in a flash of a second in the way his smile falls as his eyes stare into the middle-distance of memory.
- Secondly, what can we deduce about his heart? I think it's as I was saying earlier - Sherlock wants to be happy. Adventure makes him happy. If knowledge made him happy, he'd be a scientist or a philosopher... if puzzles alone made him happy, he'd be Mycroft. Sherlock needs adventure in order to be happy (at least right now)... and do you know who loves adventure? Passionate people.
John: "He'll be okay with this - witness protection, never seeing her again - he'll be fine."
Mycroft: "I agree, that's why I decided to tell him that."
John: "Instead of what?"
Mycroft: "She's dead. She was captured by a terrorist cell in Karachi two months ago and beheaded."
- I love the fact that Mycroft is still protecting Sherlock here - it's extremely big brothery. Despite his distaste for Sherlock's lifestyle, Mycroft does want Sherlock to be happy.
- I also love John's reaction. Again, subtly acted, but it Irene's death affects John quite a bit too. She is Sherlock after all. I think John had been thinking her invincible a little bit. Not to mention the fact that she was killed in the middle east, where John himself was nearly killed (albeit in a different fashion, but still by terrorists.)
John: "It's definitely her? She's done this before."
Mycroft: "I was thorough, this time. It would take Sherlock Holmes to fool me, and I don't think he was on hand. Do you?"
- Before I say anything of meaning... I'm fascinated by the way Mycroft says "thorough" ("thera") do all British people say it like this? Because... well, I think I've only ever heard "theroe" before. Anyway, yeah... maybe I'm crazy and I've just never noticed the VAST different before.
- It's interesting that Mycroft does admit that Sherlock COULD fool him. There's a part of me that actually wants Mycroft to have been fooled by TRF too, I'm just going to admit that here. Mycroft, canonically, is smarter than Sherlock - but I like the fact that they've made it slightly more ambiguous, or at least made it clear that Sherlock could offer Mycroft a challenge if he wanted to.
- Finally, Sherlock was able to travel to Pakistan without anyone noticing... I wonder how he pulled that one off!
Mycroft: "So, what should we tell Sherlock?"
- Again, this is about bowing to John's authority on all matters Sherlock, and I love it. Mycroft has recognized that he is not actually the one capable of deducing Sherlock's heart - that despite the fact that it might still be the blind leading the blind, John gets it right more than Mycroft does. John approaches and understands Sherlock in a way that Mycroft can't. I think this is a huge growing point for Mycroft, but also, I think it's a testament to how much a part of Sherlock's family John has become.
There's a slight continuity mistake between the final two shots of that scene and it drives me crazy. Now you all must suffer it with me.
Of course, John choosing to lie is interesting... because John is a horrible liar, and he must know it... at least on some level. But, maybe he actually thinks that he pulls this one off. Sherlock, even if he didn't already have more information than John, would have seen through the lie in a second.
John: "...but... well, you know..."
Sherlock: "I know what?"
John: "Well, you won't be able to see her again."
Sherlock: "Why would I want to see her again?"
John: "Didn't say you did."
- I love the way John talks to Sherlock. It's subtle, but he lets Sherlock know that no matter how Sherlock feels, John will understand and accept it. If Sherlock was upset about not being able to see Irene again, John would understand, and if Sherlock honestly hated Irene, John would understand.
Sherlock: "Is that her file?"
John: "Yes, I was just going to take it back to Mycroft. Do you want to-"
John: "Listen, Actually-"
Sherlock: "But I will have the camera phone."
- Sherlock knows that John's going to tell the truth there, and he doesn't want him to. Now, Sherlock already knows that the truth is in fact, a lie.... if John thinks that Sherlock knows that Irene is dead, then there will be weeks of John being concerned about Sherlock's feelings. John's story is much better. They can just carry on with their lives.
John: "There's nothing on it. It's been stripped."
Sherlock: "I know, but I'll still have it."
John: "I've got to give this back to Mycroft, you can't keep it. Sherlock, I have to give this to Mycroft. It's the governments now. I couldn't-"
- There's one thing about using "please" sparingly. It gets a lot more attention and response when you do decide to use it.
- And of course, I've got to point out that "If she had left him, he would have kept it. People do. Sentiment." Sherlock IS admitting to having sentiment for Irene, in what capacity, he doesn't say. Personally, I think it's respect for a game well played.
John: "Did she ever text you again, after all that."
Sherlock: "Once, a few months ago."
John: "What'd she say?"
Sherlock: "Goodbye, Mr. Holmes."
- It breaks John's heart right there to lie to Sherlock, but he already made his decision.
Sherlock: "*chuckles* The Woman. THE Woman."
- So, in the end, is Irene saved by Sherlock, or did she save herself? Sherlock owed her a favour, it was Irene who called and saved him and John at the beginning of this episode - whether he or she knew it or not. If not that, it did show that she had gained enough of Sherlock's respect, sentiment, love?, that he WANTED to save her. What did Irene say? "I like to know people will be on my side exactly when I need them to be." Even if she didn't know he was going to rescue her, she was still counting on that part of her plan coming through... Sherlock Holmes was going to be instrumental in gaining the protection that she wanted from Mycroft (if not the money) and in the end, he still was. They tied. She escaped the Americans, and anyone else who may have been after her, and Sherlock insured that his brother didn't come to ruin. They were an even match.
And of course, throughout this episode, we got to explore Sherlock and Love... the people he loves, the people who love him... and how that love has nothing to do with sex, but has everything to do with fascination, intelligence, adventure, a sense of home, and respect.
Option: view and download the entire rewatch in .pdf form