I wasn’t the only one who felt like this shot was meaningful, right?  The camera practically lingers over a thoughtful Watson watching Iris Lanzer confess that Nell was very special to her.

I want to believe.  I want all these little things to be leading up to it, building up to Mary.  We get to see Joan on a series of failed dates with men, none with whom she can connect, nor figure out precisely why.  Joan explicitly says she doesn’t want a relationship and has to be prodded by Emily to date- first tricked into coffee with Aaron, then later guilted with the unsolicited gift of an online dating site membership.  Or even before any of that there was Ty: successful, handsome, charming Ty, friend of the family.  it doesn’t take much to read between the lines: he was good marrying material, according to her mother, and everybody thought they’d make a good pair.  So of course it made sense to say yes when he asked her out.  And they’ve managed to still be good friends afterward, because that sort of thing is easy to do when you were never really in love.

Her new life also keeps throwing stumbling blocks into her path …  Girls in T-shirts and underwear traipsing through the brownstone, or the hard-to-ignore sound of female moaning from Sherlock’s room.  A beautiful escort who tells her she thinks they could have some fun together with a wink and her card, which still remains inexplicably tucked in her wallet.  Sherlock jokes about Carrie as a failed Sapphic dalliance and no, it was never like that- so why does it irritate her more than any of the other stupid things he says?  And then there’s Moriarty, Moriarty with that painting, Moriarty coyly murmuring that Joan’s been on her mind.  It’s discomfiting because she’s in the cross-hairs of a sociopath, she tells herself.  No other reason.  Hell, even Ms. Hudson gets under her skin.  She’s just so inspiring to Joan, fearlessly living life as exactly who she is meant to be.

Joan and all these little dots she doesn’t, or refuses to, connect, even though they’re getting closer and closer.  Sleeping with Mycroft was to prove a point, to silence the voices in the back of her head, whether she admits it to herself or not.  And so we find her here now, as she watches Iris confess her love for Nell and feels almost wistful listening, even though she still won’t ask herself why.

When will Joan get to meet the woman who finally makes her realize what she’s been in denial about for so long?