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Thank you for this perspective! I was devastated by the Tarmac scene, partly because it stirred up some very old abandonment issues. More of my issues come from John’s blasé seeming response to Sherlock’s declaration ( twice!) that this will be the last time they will ever see each other. And while I know the scene comes from ACD’s His Last Bow ( hated that story, by the way, for precisely the same reasons) it still seems far too stilted and cold on John’s part to someone who is not only his “one of the two people he loves most in the world” but who knowingly, willingly has just given up his entire life for your family. No matter how “stiff upper lip” one wishes to appear, to say goodbye without acknowledgement or word of thanks is incomprehensible. John Watson has always been the “one fixed mark” for all incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, but this felt like a betrayal of that relationship to me. Everyone needs a Watson in their life to praise, love and admire them for who they are, and in this scene it felt to me that Sherlock lost that just when he had finally made the most selfless, heroic and praiseworthy sacrifice imaginable. So yeah, issues.

That scene is incredibly emotionally constipated.  But we have seen, once and for all, how John looks at Sherlock when his barriers are down. There’s no question about how he feels.

But there’s another key point I think people are overlooking: JOHN DOESN’T KNOW THIS IS GOODBYE FOREVER.  He asks Sherlock how long, and Sherlock doesn’t give him a straight answer.  John is left thinking he will see Sherlock again!

On another level, truthfully, I am a bit incandescently pissed about the decision the writers made here.  That is just too much self-sacrificial Sherlock.  I’m not clear on why it’s ticking me off to this level, and I’m still trying to sort it.  But I think it has something to do with how single-mindedly the narrative focused on Sherlock this season.  It’s his show, of course, but when he is both the subject of the narrative and the central POV…it had the effect of shutting out any of the other characters.  Their actions still made the plot move along, but…there was too much of a sense that they were all there for Sherlock’s benefit.

I’m on to something here, I think.  I should continue this on another post.

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