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Honestly, of all those explanations in there, the one that rings most true to me is the S&M one.  Because it doesn’t just explain this episode.  It explains the entire pattern of their behavior toward each other for the whole series so far.  How they can physically assault, manipulate and lie to each other, and smile and laugh afterwards.  How that one phone call at the end of Reichenbach feels different from everything else.  How there’s something so OFF about Scandal between the two of them, like John has been cut out in a way that’s somehow Not Okay but you can never quite put your finger on it; there’s just this vague feeling like Sherlock is cheating on him somehow.  How John draws the line in Hound about the drugging, but in a way that’s weirdly calm and unoffended.  (Is he setting a hard limit?  Doesn’t that ring true there?)

And suddenly it makes the end of Hearse a dance rather than an offense—the two of them finally falling in step in the tango again.

Yeah.  If you go for that one, everything hangs together.

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