Previously on Elementary: The Red Team.
Destined for self-annihilation? Let’s see about that.
In comes Kathryn Drummond (played by Kati Matchett), profiler with the FBI, and old… friend of Sherlock’s. Well, I say friend.
When on liaison with the Yard in London, Kathryn met Sherlock. Kathryn slept with Sherlock. Kathryn profiled Sherlock without his knowledge and under false pretences as to her observational skills. She managed to deceive him and then write a devastating assessment of the state of his mind and psyche.
Sherlock doesn’t like her very much.
Since she correctly predicted his drug addiction, Sherlock is afraid that she was right about the rest of his potential fate: he’s afraid that he will spiral out of control, that he will lose mastership of his life and, more importantly, his incredible intelligence. He’s afraid that it will, in fact, drive him mad. He once told Joan that, once you start training in the art of deductive reasoning, you won’t be able to stop. Once you see everything, you can’t stop looking. His work continuously leads Sherlock into the backwaters of the human mind, the abyss that yawns beyond sanity and self-control. What if Sherlock’s scared that he will plunge into his very own abyss?
Intellectually, he knows that his fate is his own to make; and that he would never destroy a family like that. As much as he needs to be right and can’t stand it when he’s not, he’s willing to accept and admit mistakes. (That isn’t to say that he might not threaten someone with false accusations to manipulate them—but he’d do it to serve the case and the victim, not purely himself.) And yet, he also knows that there are things you cannot control if you are caught in the progression of events, if you can’t see what’s going on with you. He’s already lost sight of himself once, when he slid into the depths of his heroin addiction, who’s to say he won’t again, and on a much bigger scale? The answer is—
Joan. She tries to dispel Sherlock’s doubts repeatedly, but it doesn’t catch hold until she says something that sounds so simple, but carries the full weight of the change in Sherlock and Joan’s relationship, and the decisions she’s made lately. If Kathryn Drummond hadn’t come along, if she hadn’t learnt of the article, ‘The Deductionist,’ she wouldn’t have told Sherlock this yet; but it was time.
You even made a friend, something that Kathryn claimed in her article was virtually impossible. (beat) Me. I’m talking about me.
She said that she stayed because she was worried—and she was. Just not only as a sober companion and a doctor, but as someone who has come to care for Sherlock the excited consulting detective puppy, not Sherlock the patient.
And both of them quite simply accept it.
After bringing her breakfast, Sherlock has now also taken to waking Joan and laying out her clothes for her (though maybe not the underpants, thanks, Sherlock), but it’s not played for tension between the leads. Asking her if he should select her undergarments as well wasn’t innuendo, just impatience. Setting up Sherlock as someone who does have sex to satisfy his body’s needs works well to contrast his relationship with Joan with that. Otherwise, it could just be construed as Sherlock, as an asexual man, simply not being interested in anything that moves. But like this, we know he’s perfectly capable of making advances when he wants; and Irene tells us that he does fall in love, though since he lost her it’s unlikely that he will form romantic attachments of any sort soon, or possibly ever. Be that as it may: they’re just not interested, because it’s possible for a man and a woman to share space and have a close relationship and not want to jump each other’s bones; and because that’s not all female characters are there for.
For that exact reason, Joan doesn’t need Sherlock’s help sorting out her flat. She figures out what’s really been going on and solves the situation to her own satisfaction and in no uncertain terms. There.
Plus, now she’s got a new spatula, because Sherlock is her friend, too. And a toothbrush. Sherlock, what did you do?
Next: A Giant Gun Filled with Drugs.