A Study in Pink » The Reichenbach Fall
The last part in particular is sad, because it shows just how much Sherlock has emotionally grown. In A Study in Pink he couldn’t understand why a woman would still mourn for a child lost 14 years before, and he looked for John for guidance after he quite calmly told Sherlock “Not good”, rather than the disgust that every single police officer was probably brimming with. Add to the fact that even then Sherlock knew there was something different about John and actually looked a little regretful in the scene where John pretty much states he doesn’t need to use his imagination about what he would say if he were dying and you see just how much Sherlock grows in John’s company.
In The Blind Banker we see Sherlock being choked to death and the only thing he says is “John”, either for him to help or as his last words, something he did in the pilot as well. The look of horror on Sherlock’s face when he sees what’s happened to his windows when he was coming back to tell John he’d broken the code rather than go off and solve it all on his own as he had done the entire episode, and how Sherlock, who isn’t the best at comfort, does his best to reassure Sarah that it’s alright rather than go after the criminal.
In The Great Game Sherlock gives John his own little bits to do,
although it is to do Mycroft’s bidding which Sherlock dosn’t want to do anyway, but the fact that Sherlock is letting John into his world and having join in with his deductions by trying it himself, shows just how much Sherlock trusts John and how valuable he has become to his entire being.
And then there’s Sherlock’s entire reaction to John’s presence at the pool scene, his “what the hell John?” as he thinks that he’s been lied to and there is nothing but pure hurt on his face when he thinks that John is Moriarty. And the fact that throughout the rest of the encounter with the man he’s been so excited to meet he suddenly doesn’t care about Moriarty, only that John is okay and that they get out alive. When they think they’re safe Sherlock loses his composure and rips the bomb-vest off him and can’t even string together words correctly, so overcome with the situation that he can’t actually think straight, a skill Sherlock highly values.
(Hell, you can even say that Sherlock’s seemingly out of character comment of “People have died,” is entirely because he finally understands why the hostages are important, to have that little bit of empathy over the sitaution because that’s John there standing there with tons of explosives and a sniper rifle on him like a hawk and Sherlock can’t do anything but watch and think what if that happens to John?)
In A Scandel in Belgravia Sherlock says how “fire exposes our priorities” to figure out where Irene had put her phone, her “heart”, and to retrieve it. What happens after that? A CIA agent threatens to shoot John (Sherlock’s heart) in the head and Sherlock freaks out, repeatedly saying he “doesn’t know”, something that he has tremendous difficulty saying because Sherlock values his intelligence above all, and the fact that John is in danger is the spark that makes him figure our Irene’s code.
Not only that, but when Sherlock is probably in one of the lowest and darkest points in his life, he still watches John leave (as he always seems to, just in case) and, when he realises that it wasn’t Mycroft who sent the car, goes after him. Sherlock chases after him because he cares, and assumes that where ever John is going can’t be good.
And sure, in The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock isn’t exactly the greatest of friends here. He is feeling doubt about his own senses, something he has always trusted before, and lashes out at John, as well as using him for scientific experiement which, considering John’s PTSD and the fact that they’re in a military base, could have ended far worse with John seeing and imagining things other than the supposed dog. But it’s also the only time where we see Sherlock making a proper effort of apology, and we get the to hear Sherlock say “I don’t have friends… I’ve just got one.”
But another part about is what Sherlock sees when he’s been heavily influenced by the H.O.U.N.D gas — he sees Moriarty underneath the gasmask. Why? What is it about Jim Moriarty that scares him so much? Because he has nearly destroyed Sherlock’s heart through the use of Irene, and his moral and emotional conscience and, essentially physically representation of his heart, John. Had he never met John and Irene never come into his life, Sherlock probably wouldn’t be scared of Moriarty than he would be thrilled to play this game with him and to have someone else understand just what it means to be bored. But no, Sherlock had those things in his life, and for the first time it was possible to hurt him through his emotional attachments, and seeing how deeply Sherlock actually feels, Moriarty repeatedly uses them against him in a very painful way.
And oh, The Reichenbach Fall, the are near enough no words that others have not said before me. Everything that Sherlock has ever cared for, his work, his intelligence and the people close to him are being pulled away, one by one, and Sherlock is cynical enough that he believes that John will follow suit. Whether or not it was Sherlock who gave him the message about Mrs Hudson or Moriarty did it doesn’t matter, because in the end John leaves him after everything. Not for the reasons like everyone else, such as thinking that he’s a monster that kills people and kidnps kids for credit, but because Sherlock didn’t seem to care, and was proclaimed to be “a machine” by John. And Sherlock thinks he’s been proven right that emotions get in the way and that people only betray you and firmly believes that “Alone protects me,” only for John to respond that no, “Friends protect people,” before storming off, leaving Sherlock alone.
And then after the whole fiasco with Moriarty, Sherlock is left atop that rooftop alone, having seen someone so mentally unhinged shoot himself in the mouth so close to Sherlock’s own face, being forced to either kill himself or at least fake his death to protect his friends, he goes to call one last person, who he probably doesn’t expect to see again, and then suddenly John is there, trying his best to find and protect Sherlock but is just too late. And then he has to destroy every good memory he and John have shared with one another and further ruin his own reputation to protect him, all while probably trying to make John see that he’s lying, that he’s not actually dead, and that he cares.
And his final words, because even though Sherlock himself doesn’t die there is no doubt that a little part of him does, are not anything clever, or pointing out who did it, but a simple “Goodbye, John.”
In his last moments in his life, all Sherlock can think about is this one person, not his work, not how he’ll never be bored ‘cause he won’t exist anymore, but on John Watson, the one person that is far more important that all that.
That is how much Sherlock has come emotionally. And it kills me to think about how much this pain will have caused him and John both, since they’re so close to each other but have been ripped apart like this.