A Study in Pink sets the stage for all of our future expectations. Nothing in this show is done by accident, and the way it is all handled is masterful. Seeds are sewn in this first episode that will never cease to matter throughout the duration of the show.
Take the first meal Sherlock and John share together at Angelo’s, where Angelo insists that the pair must have a candle for their table:
It seems like sort of a “joke” in a way–something that could easily be brushed off if we didn’t all know that TJLC is real. And the candle thing continues to be a theme. Illumination itself is a subtle theme throughout the show, with all the color-coded lights and the fact that Sherlock dubs John his “conductor of light” in “The Hounds of Baskerville.”
I noticed something recently when watching what is surely one of the favorite scenes of all Johnlockers: the reunion of Sherlock and John at The Landmark in the episode “The Empty Hearse.” This is the night Sherlock returns, supposedly from the dead, and interrupts John’s (rather lackluster) attempt to propose to his girlfriend Mary in a rather half-hearted effort to, in his own words, “move on” from Sherlock.
Notice anything missing from John and Mary’s table?
There’s a lamp, sure, but no candle. Maybe that isn’t terribly unusual. But look at the other tables in the restaurant:
Most have candles.
It doesn’t stop there. When Sherlock catches his first (heart-stopping; you can clearly see that in his face, just as it has been pointed out that if you isolate certain audio tracks in this part here you can hear Sherlock’s thudding pulse) glimpse of John after two years away…
how does he see him?
There is a candle placed strategically between them, clearly visible from Sherlock’s vantage point.
This isn’t the only throwback to Angelo’s on this night. If more is needed, I’m including this little bonus below. The writers have done this *so many times,* where certain words and phrases come back again. It isn’t an accident and it isn’t lazy writing. We’re talking about the combined efforts of two very good writers here, and though John’s nerves on this night aren’t exactly hard to pick up on, we get this cherry strategically placed on top: