5 Best ‘Sherlock’ Moments (So Far)

Published 6 months ago by , Updated February 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am,

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Sherlock Gets Shot – “His Last Vow”

Best Sherlock Moments Sherlock Shot 5 Best Sherlock Moments (So Far)

While investigating Charles Augustus Magnussen’s apartment for clues, Sherlock is stunned to see John’s wife Mary holding the criminal at gunpoint. While the revelation that there’s more to Mrs. Watson than meets the eye would be substantial enough, this scene throws in one of the show’s trademark shocking developments by having Mary shoot Sherlock as her own unique way of asking to be a client.

We later learn that Mary intentionally shot Sherlock in a nonlethal area, but at the time, the detective and the many viewers had reason to be concerned for Holmes’ life. As our hero struggled to stay alive, we were treated to an in-depth look at Sherlock’s famous “mind palace.” Viewers had caught a glimpse of this memory technique in action during “The Hounds of Baskerville,” but this time we got to see the inner workings of Sherlock’s mind – and it was a spectacle to behold.

The stylish sequence has a distinct cinematic feel. As Sherlock’s fall to the floor is shown in slow motion, his brain races to find a solution to his predicament. With the guidance of allies including Mycroft and Molly, the detective is able to determine whether or not there was an exit wound, remain calm amidst the surprise of being shot, and even retain consciousness thanks to a brief cameo from Moriarty (in a bit seemingly pulled out of a horror film). Masterfully constructed, this sequence allowed fans to see how Sherlock is able to make his deductions as quickly as he does and show that despite his superior intellect, Mr. Holmes is nevertheless dependent on those closest to him to overcome the odds.

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Sherlock Reveals Himself – “The Empty Hearse”

Best Sherlock Moments Sherlock Reveal 5 Best Sherlock Moments (So Far)

After the jaw-dropping season 2 finale saw Sherlock fake his own death (unbeknownst to John), the biggest mystery the show produced was how the detective survived his apparently fatal fall. But that (smartly) took a back seat to the psychological effect Sherlock’s reveal would have on John, who is still coping with his loss when we first meet him in the third season.

The scene in question is mainly about Sherlock Holmes making his return to London, but it’s also noteworthy for the traces of character development for John. A soldier suffering from PTSD in the pilot, John is prepared to propose to his girlfriend Mary. This shows that he has perhaps overcome his addiction to a dangerous lifestyle (something detailed greater in “His Last Vow”) by making the choice to settle down with a wife, raise a family, and work a normal job. It’s a long way from his “Oh, God yes,” when Sherlock asked if he wanted to see more dead bodies.

Sherlock is by and large a drama, but the show also has a comedic gene, which is used to great effect here. Creating an impromptu disguise as a French waiter, Sherlock’s meeting with John is first played for laughs before Dr. Watson realizes what is actually happening. The sequence manages to balance the two tones without being jarring – giving viewers an opportunity to feel sympathy for the emotional John while laughing at Sherlock’s ineptitude at grasping basic human feelings (despite the personal growth he had in season two).

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NEXT PAGE: Sherlock’s Human Side

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18 Comments

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  1. Great show all around.

    • The best Sherlock moment was in Season 2 Episode 1 when he was in Buckingham palace without any clothes. Just a sheet. That scene is just the greatest scene in all of Sherlock.

  2. “A Scandal in Belgravia” is the best episode, IMHO.
    I think that’s the episode that’s got me the most on the edge of my seat. The chemistry between Cumberbatch and Pulver is just mesmerizing!

    • +1 I totally agree

  3. I’d definitely say “A Scandal In Belgravia” was the best episode, it all went a bit downhill after that.

    I liked the moment in the “Hound” episode where John slipped out the word “Aspergers?” when trying to answer a question about Sherlock’s personality, confirming that the writers were basing their version of Holmes in part on the clinical diagnosis given by psychologists a decade ago when retroactively diagnosing famous figures and fictional characters (Einstein having Aspergers Syndrome, Caesar being bipolar, etc).

    The heroin den also was a nice little nod to the character’s addiction to the drug in the original books, where Sherlock would be found injecting heroin into his arm or smoking opiates, although maybe I was the only one to make that connection.

    I still think the movie sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows portrayed the better Reichenbach Fall though in comparison to the BBC show. It had more tension, was more of a shock when Holmes pulled himself and Moriarty over the ledge and down into the river.

  4. Also wanted to point out either the SR staff or other readers to look out for news on a one-off episode.

    The BBC announced in mid-January that they were actively trying to bring the cast and crew together in the hopes they could begin filming a Christmas special in May since ITV utterly destroyed BBC in the Christmas Day ratings war last year, thanks in part to the Downton Abbey Christmas special featuring Paul Giamatti and BBC executives are hoping that Sherlock’s popularity and ratings will grant them a win this year during the same period.

  5. I watched them all at once before S3 premiered here in the US. They all sort of blend together for me… But I love that moment when he chews out Molly for her special Christmas gift and being dressed up for SOMEONE and that someone ends up being him! He’s sees that he’s been this huge dick to her and he kind of apologizes awkwardly.

    For some reason I really like that moment. You see his analytic mind in a different context than a crimescene, he chews out Molly, then feels sad. That scene kinda humanizes Sherlock for me. I don’t know why.

  6. I have not been able to get through the sign of three. His “speech” is rubbing me the wrong way. Very irritating!

    • I actually enjoyed his speech although I could see myself doing the same thing.

      I’ve performed on stage many times but the thought of standing up and giving a speech in front of a room full of strangers with all attention on me would turn me into a wreck that acts the same way Sherlock did.

  7. [WARNING: THIS ARTICLE FEATURES SPOILERS FOR ALL SEA*ONS OF SHERLOCK] error to be fixed

  8. You forgot when Greg Lestrade rolls in an obvious hangover, smirking at a couple of drinking noobs who thought they could hang, britians gracious forgiving system of drunk tanking them, esp John W and Sherlock H
    knowing their heads are utterly pounding and aching, upon request if he could whisper in the booming hard walled room, to which he delightfully made a “f- you”
    in the form of “NOT REALLY!!” leaning in to Watsons ear, best Sher moment to date, hands down.

  9. My favorite scene is from A Scandal in Belgravia with Sherlock and Moriarty in Sherlock’s apartment. I was waiting for that moment from the beginning of the series and it paid off in spades.

  10. My favorite episode is by far “A Scandal in Belgravia”. The chemistry between Sherlock and Irene Adler is just sizzling. Second favorite is “The Reichenbach Fall” as Benedict Cumberbatch really demonstrated a wide spectrum of emotions and yet never faltered from the character. The showdown with Moriarty on rooftop is (IMHO) one of the best acting performances. The wedding speech was a pain to watch the first time, but I watched the episode again and skipping all those “cases” in between the speech, it was actually a fantastic speech. Well delivered. I think what makes the Season 3 a bit jarring is Sherlock came back with a lot more emotions than the first two seasons combined. He is so “human”, especially how he lectured Major Sholto.

  11. I submit the best man speech could go on a ‘best of’ and ‘worst of’ list…its so bloody hard to watch! At times you’re just praying it ends…maybe it just feels TOO real.

  12. Not even an honourable mention for the absolute best moment in the entire series to date?

    Sherlock returning to Baker Street to discover Mrs Hudson has been roughed up by the CIA and getting his bad-ass on. From his initial deduction to what has happened when he enters 221b to his equal parts compassion for Mrs H and contempt for Nielson all the way through to “That was right on my bins” and “It’s all a bit of a blur, Detective Inspector. I lost count”; Every single moment of that scene encompasses what makes this show so fantastic.

    • Ah yes! Totally sums up “I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.” :)

  13. I love the pilot episode best. Sherlock summing up John’s whole life and that crazy cabbie. It was just one wild ride!

  14. From “A Scandal in Belgravia”

    Watson: “I always hear ‘Punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking… but it’s usually subtext.”

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