One of the big surprises for Sherlock fans in series 3 was the sudden and very unexpected romance and engagement between Sherlock and Mary Morstan’s chief bridesmaid, Janine.
None were more taken aback with the pairing than Sherlock’s best friend, and partner in crime-fighting, John Watson (Martin Freeman), who had always thought of his pal (Benedict Cumberbatch) as being practically asexual!
Of course, as is so often the case in Sherlock, it was all a ruse as Sherlock was simply using the poor smitten female to gain access to her office which she happened to share with series three villain, Charles Augustus Magnussen.
And that made more sense, as after all this is Sherlock, and seeing him acting like a regular human being was just a bit surreal if we are honest!
But one thing to remember is that, whilst we all breathed a sigh of relief at the punch line, there was one person who really wasn’t let in on the joke – Janine, and even Benedict Cumberbatch thinks that was a bit cruel!
Obviously the master of all disguises is precisely that because he has an in-depth knowledge of the character, take Sherlock’s stake-out in a crack den as a glowing example of this, so it does beg the question of how he managed to fool everyone, especially Janine, into thinking he was perfect boyfriend material when he had never before even applied for such a job?
Of course there was his experience with Irene Adler, who we all saw get under more than one of Sherlock’s many layers of skin, but surely this wouldn’t be enough to convince him that a life of marriage was a feasible option?
However he managed to pull it off, the main fact remains that the whole thing, no matter how brilliantly written and portrayed, was cruel – Not just to Janine, but to us as viewers too who thought our hero had become a human all of a sudden.
One person who agrees is Benedict Cumberbatch himself who, in a recent Q&A session, said this of the storyline:
“It’s devastatingly cruel, what he does. He inveigles his way back into her life and impresses her, and turns his ability on to a single focus.”
According to show writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat the decision to write in the ‘engagement’ was made in a nod to the original story where the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle version of Sherlock Holmes sets about tricking, and proposing to Milverton’s maid, in the same callous way as his modern-day counterpart.
So could this mean the possibility of more (or even real) romance for Sherlock in the future? Perhaps the best way to find out, apart from wait the 2-25 years until the next series, is to start reading up on the originals!