*Warning: This post will contain major spoilers from the episode. Please read at your own discretion.*
[Those unfamiliar with “Sherlock” can find a brief introduction here.]
How do we define a hero? Is it simply someone who does good deeds for society? Or is a hero someone who not only upholds the common good but is also humble, compassionate, and personable? Is a hero necessarily someone we can identify with and see becoming our friend?
We like to see a little of ourselves in the people we admire; there’s a little part of us that aspires to be them. We want to believe that our heroes make mistakes from time to time, that they can recognize the little people who support them; that they are indeed human. No matter how extraordinary their talents may be, we do not want to give praise to someone who does not fit our ideals.
Therein lies the problem with Sherlock Holmes. He may aid the police with a few cases now and again, but this is more for his own benefit than that of
his the common man. He lives for the thrill of a case and challenging his intellect, not for seeing a family finally being happily reunited. Holmes is also far from personable. He receives his gifts with an air of disdain, he constantly berates those who dare get close to him (Watson, his only real friend, included), and is not shy about showing off his brilliance. The man is rude, outspoken, and stubbornly unaware of societal norms; he is far from the picturesque hero. So when brought into the media spotlight, Holmes’s reputation quickly gets the better of him.
[This introduction was to go before my review of “The Reichenbach Fall,” but due to its length I have placed it into a separate post.]
It should come as no surprise to my readers that I am not a huge aficionado of the literary arts. It is not that I don’t see the merits of good literature or that I dislike reading as a hobby. Perhaps years of being given “required reading” in high school contributed to my aversion of the printed word. Or perhaps I would like to use time (or a lack thereof) as an excuse: between coursework and television there is little time in between to curl up with a nice book. However, that doesn’t mean that I am averse to changing this habit; it could be that someday in the future this television blog becomes a literature blog instead.