The violin scene at the end of The Final Problem is truly one of the most impactful moments (if not the most) in all of BBC Sherlock. I honestly am still speechless that Moftiss wrote something so profound. Eurus was beyond communication with the outside world after the events of this episode, back to the untouchable genius in her glass cage. But Sherlock. Sherlock, this incredible and kind man, who had lost so much to this woman, understood her and still reached out to help. He wasn’t encouraging her to play her own song, he was initiating a duet–so she wasn’t alone, even in her music. It was a conversation, it was understanding, it was connection. This man went beyond words, where others had failed and stopped trying, and showed her that she wasn’t alone. Sherlock has become- or perhaps he always was- one of the best men I’ve ever seen.
So they would’ve talked lots and maybe she asked him if he had a girlfriend and he said no but ended up telling her about Molly and was all ‘yeah she really loves me I don’t know why’ and Faith/Euros was all 'do you love her too?’ And he didn’t say no but was all 'I would never let myself feel that, but she’s really important to me etc’ and the Euros was thinking all 'fuck yeah I’m gonna make him admit it when I put him in my torture chambers’
A lot of these posts “””defending””” Molly Hooper after that last episode are really rubbing me up the wrong way, because I swear NONE of y’all have given a single shit about Molly until now. I’ve had to endure 3 years of people saying it’s “pathetic” that Molly slapped Sherlock because he “didn’t return her feelings” (WHICH IS NOT WHY SHE HIT HIM OH MY GOD), and I’ve had to listen to people say her silly crush on Sherlock is embarrassing or that she needs to grow up and move on. Even when she’s been praised, she hasn’t been praised as an engaging and interesting character, as the sweet, kind and intelligent young pathologist she is, she’s been praised because she allegedly serves as a prop to further a relationship between two gay men. Which - guess what guys, IS NOT PROGRESSIVE.
But oh, now that her feelings have finally been vindicated, now suddenly it’s poor Molly and Molly deserves better. But listen. I’m the first person to say that Sherlock’s got major problems with writing women. Ask me about Mary’s fridging sometime. And yes, I wish to God Molly had more screentime, but this idea that her final scene is about glamorising abusive relationships or that Molly was nothing but a prop is killing me.
Do you know what I saw when I watched that scene with Eurus and Molly?
I saw a character who had undergone tremendous growth over the past four seasons. Originally intended as a one-off, but so spellbindingly brought to life by Loo Brealey that she was made a non-canon recurring character, Molly has grown from timid, mousy and submissive to a woman more than willing to stand up for herself, whose kindness is her strength and whose love was the undoing of Moriarty. She’s smart - she’s the literal embodiment of medical and pathological knowledge in Sherlock’s mind palace. She proved you can be soft and strong, that vulnerability doesn’t have to mean weakness, and that you can stand up to someone and demand better treatment in a gentle voice.
And, God forbid, she’s also in love with a man. But she’s never been given the opportunity to say so. Her feelings, which have been a strength and a weakness, are visible enough to us and everyone in the show, but she’s never said it out loud.
Now, truth in fiction is a rare substance. It always takes a tremendous amount of pressure for two people to be completely honest with each other, especially if that truth concerns feelings of love. The question, “what will it take to make Molly tell Sherlock she loves him?” is answered in this scene. And the answer is: Sherlock needs to say I love you first.
And do you know who was in control in that scene? Molly. Every single step of the way. At any moment she could have told Sherlock to stick it up his arse and hung up. There would have been no repercussions for her. Sherlock tries in myriad ways to get an I love you and she blocks him every time, says “leave me alone,” tells him she won’t let him make fun of her, tells him she’s not an experiment. She hasn’t been treated well by Sherlock and John this season, is still grieving over Mary, is probably suffering depression, and she’s sick of Sherlock’s nonsense. She’s willing to help if it’s urgent, but she’s done playing games.
She tells him she can’t say it because it’s true. It’s always been true. She’s always loved him. Do you have any idea how long we’ve waited for her feelings to be validated? At last, no, it’s not a stupid girlish crush, it’s not infatuation, it’s a beautiful, selfless love that she cherishes for him. She loves this man. She saved his life. She stood up to him. She refused to tolerate shabby treatment from him. She was happy to be his friend. She moved on and found a new man, but when Sherlock came back, she had to be honest with herself, and she decided it would be better to be alone than marry a man she doesn’t really love. She is so brave, and so selfless, and she’s never once made her feelings his problem. That’s why she begs him - don’t make me say it because it’s true, it’s always been true.
And then, still feeling like this must be a game somehow, she challenges him to say it first. Go on. If you want me to make a fool of myself, then you have to go first. I’m not jumping until you do. Molly can see through him; he can’t manipulate her like he did in S1. She’s not that person anymore. And he’s not that person anymore, either. Eurus didn’t rig Molly’s flat with explosives, and Sherlock didn’t win when he supposedly saved her life, because it wasn’t about that. It was about torturing Sherlock emotionally, and where once he manipulated her without a second thought, hurting Molly now is like vivisection to him. Eurus - Molly - both get him to admit “I love you” - twice. Once, because he was trying to save her life - the second time because he realised it was true. As a friend, or something more, who even cares, he loves her and he realises just how much.
And still, Molly is in control. She can hang up, if she wants. She contemplates it. But then, almost kissing the phone, perhaps having recognised the note of sincerity in his voice, she whispers, I love you.
Too often an unrequited crush ends when a character suddenly finds a new man or woman, falls in love, and gets over their old feelings, and has a happily ever after with this random new person. But I’ve always found that maddeningly dissatisfying, and even though it comes from horrific circumstances, I’m so glad that Molly’s feelings were validated, not because Sherlock returned them, but simply because those feelings are hers, and they are real, they’ve always been real, and it hurts, god it hurts, but at least she was able to be honest. The cut has been made, the truth is revealed, and now she can begin to heal. She doesn’t have to keep those words festering inside her. Molly loves Sherlock, and it took him telling her he loved her to admit that.
And Sherlock’s a wreck afterwards. He caresses those words “I love you” and thinks about how he always believed caring was not an advantage. He thinks about selfless, kind Molly Hooper, who had always loved him, and saved him, whose love was her strength, whose love was doomed, who would not suppress or deny her feelings, but merely kept them to herself to spare him discomfort and then -
He thinks about Molly in that coffin. He thinks about losing her. He thinks about what he’s just said to her. He thinks of how he’s hurt her.
He loses control. Always, he’s pretended to be pure intellect, has always clung to rationality, but in this moment he is nothing but emotion. Rage, pain, fear, sadness, needing to destroy this coffin, smashing it to pieces, screaming in agony because of how much he feels for this woman.
Molly loves Sherlock. We’ve known for a long time. And I truly feel that Molly being allowed to own those feelings, because they are hers, regardless of whether they are reciprocated or not, is far more powerful than sweeping them under the rug and pretending they never existed or that she got over them just fine. This is how she feels, and no she won’t tolerate poor treatment because of them, and no she won’t put up with him playing games, but yes - she will be there when he needs her, because that’s just who she is.