August 21st, 2014

John's expressions around Sherlock

I was looking at some photo sets over at Tumblr today and was struck by something I hadn't quite thought of before: John gets increasingly "open" --you can see much more emotion on his face-- as the series progresses, but you really only see this when he's alone with Sherlock. Some examples:

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This may be old news to everyone, but it struck me today and seemed worth going through because I think it's importance: just as Sherlock is on a trajectory to become more emotionally integrated, more than just a great brain, I think John is on a similar trajectory to become less emotionally suppressed, less stoic - and more honest with himself and those around you. Interestingly, it's precisely the fact that Sherlock is so transgressive that gives John permission to be more fully good in his own way. He doesn't have to be normal (which was poisoning him) but he also gets a front-row seat into seeing the true costs of going too far with that, and it's only when Sherlock learns how to balance that aspect of him that he can be a good.... whatever the two of them are, for John. And it's mostly with Sherlock, at least at first, that John finds the courage to be authentic, and most especially when it's just them -- again, we can only hope, in the beginning. But increasingly others seem to be let into that circle as well. That strikes me as important.