In this scene from "A Scandal in Belgravia," Sherlock Holmes completes his evolution into "the most human human being" that John Watson has ever known. We see Sherlock suffering, as Adler executes Moriarty's plan to neutralize "the Holmes boys," as she calls them, knowing he put Mycroft in this position. It is perhaps occurring to him, as My croft pointed out in the first episode of SHERLOCK: they belong on the same aide.
|Sherlock checking Adler's pupillary light reflex.|
Sherlock Homes prevails prevails precisely because he is not a sociopath.
That is the essential fact driving Sherlock ineluctably to the the ledge: he is not a sociopath. He can empathize. He compartmentalizes his feelings in order to ignore suffering and inflict pain for the sake of larger and suitably worthy goals. But he is not without feeling or the ability to understand feelings in others. Journey to Reichenbach Four: The Savage Dance, explores Sherlock Holmes experiencing Molly Hooper's pain, which he caused after attacking her on Christmas Eve, which provokes from him an act of compassion. But she is not the enemy.
The great poker player Barry
Greenstein once wrote that to be successful, a player needs both empathy
and a total lack of compassion at the table. The player must know
others' feelings in order to bluff, wheedle, intimidate and manipulate
the opponent's chips into his stack and take every last chip from every
player he can, even if he knows their baby needs milk and their wife a
cancer treatment. As another poker legend Mike Caro says, you can lend
them money away from the table, but during the game, there is no such
thing as mercy.
Sherlock takes everything from Adler.
"Everything I said, it's not real. I was just playing the game," she tells him, hoping if she reveals her true feelings for him, he might spare her.
"A Scandal in Belgravia" is a film in itself, a story that can stand on it's own. But it actually ends when Sherlock leaves Adler with Mycroft after she had begged for mercy, acknowledging she won't last six months without the protection of her camera-phone's contents. Sherlock exits, coldly remarking to, "Sorry about dinner."
That's the end. The next thing the viewer sees, is not a continuation of S02E01, it is the start of "The Reichenbach Fall."
|The real opening scene of The Reichenbach Fall.|
The game is on: The Holmes Boys Stalking Moriarty