I was rereading Lee Shackleford’s Holmes & Watson, as one is prone to do, and it hit me. For those who don’t know, Holmes & Watson takes place after Holmes returns from the dead. The whole play is basically the emotional fallout, with Watson struggling to understand how Holmes could have left him for three years and Holmes struggling with Watson’s anger as well as his own emotion. After Moran almost shoots Watson, Holmes leaves Watson this message:
My dear Watson. It is twelve-thirty now and the depression you had predicted upon me is in full force. But even here in the depth of hopelessness I feel an obligation to making certain that Colonel Moran no longer poses a threat to my life. Or, more importantly, to yours.
As far as parallels to the BBC version go, Moran is CAM here. Sherlock sacrificed himself so that CAM wouldn’t pose a threat to people like Lady Smallwood anymore, but John was clearly at the forefront of his concerns.
So I am going to confront him now, and quite frankly do not expect to return. Since this may be our last communication, I feel I should explain the… very simple matter which I have allowed to become so complicated.
“John, there’s something … I should say; I-I’ve meant to say always and then never have. Since it’s unlikely we’ll ever meet again, I might as well say it now.”
But unlike the BBC version, this Holmes speaks on. This is what I think Sherlock wanted to say on the tarmac, more or less:
I said before that in the last three years I had been around the globe. What I did not say is that in those travels I met countless thousands of people – men and women of every caste and creed, and in general I found the inhabitants of our world to be a seething mass of cowards, bullies, hypocrites, and warmongers. After three years of this it finally occurred to me that the problem with the world is not that there are too many unsolved crimes. The problem is that there are too few people like John Watson. Courageous. Honest. Considerate. Trustworthy. Once I realized this, it seemed logical that I should return to the company of the only person I… the only person who is like you. And to hope and pray that you would welcome me back as your friend.
(A beat, then)
Whatever happens to me now I hope you will remember me as… your greatest admirer, Sherlock Holmes.