I’m seeing a lot of debate over the train carriage scene and whether or not Sherlock was just being manipulative. But remember that we’ve seen Sherlock fake emotions before. In fact, in canon, “the stage lost a great actor” when Sherlock Holmes became a detective. Except (and maybe this is only due to Ben’s brilliance) I’m not really that impressed with Sherlock’s acting. It’s campy and over-the-top and very much a parody of true emotion.
No one in this scene was taking him seriously. The victim’s wife wasn’t buying his story, and I don’t think she was buying those crocodile tears either. John, if you remember, looked embarrassed and uncomfortable the entire time.
And again, here:
This is how four-year-olds cry when they want attention. Who does he think he’s fooling?
So now let’s look at when we’ve seen real tears. First, in HoB:
His eyes are redder, his whole face is involved–it’s not just tears, it’s emotion. But of course, he’s outright terrified here, so let’s see a softer version:
There’s no one to act for here. John can’t see him. No one can see him. If he was faking it, he could put the emotion in his voice and spare us the tears (as we see him do in some of the imagined flashbacks). This is not over-the-top emotion either…if anything, he’s struggling to hold back.
So now let’s look at the carriage scene:
I don’t even think it needs further saying. Compare these tears to the images above, the ones where we know he’s being fake versus where we know he’s being genuine. I don’t see over-the-top, petulant, manipulative farce of emotion here. I see something very real.
Which of course doesn’t negate the big hairy pile of dicks move of proceeding to laugh at John for his words, but I’m with those who said that otherwise the moment would have been too awkward for our excessively British, unable-to-properly-discuss emotional matters Baker Street boys.
Sorry for the long post, just had this on my mind!