Since my other post was already long, and my “Wolverine” review was so horrendously long that few people probably read it, I decided to put this little “Sherlock” tidbit in its own post. I want to mention the titular detective’s relationship with Molly just a bit more.
And I want to say I am not talking about it as romantic. Yes, I’m a sort of Sherlolly shipper (for those who don’t know fandom speak that means a supporter of a romantic relationship) but I know it’s not canon so I’m not expecting it. I think Moffat could go either way with it at this point and there’s no real indication of anything from the first two seasons. But I think their relationship, whatever its status, is an important one for Sherlock. Molly Hooper is the person he steamrolls and abuses most constantly. John, Mycroft, and Mrs. Watson take his crap up to a point but then they snap at him and give him crap for giving them crap. Molly doesn’t do that: she’s gentle and she tries to be nice. When she’s finally had it up to here–and it takes until the Christmas party for that to happen–she doesn’t yell at him. She just breaks. Quietly, angrily, defeatedly. She reproaches him and that’s it.
It’s in “The Reichenbach Fall” that Sherlock’s relationship with Molly changes once again. Their exchange in the lab is rather pathetic (I mean the first definition here) and makes me feel bad for her. When she says she doesn’t count, I was rather shocked (if pleased) by Sherlock’s reaction. He kind of
bats his eyes blinks in bewilderment, as if he’s like, “what do you mean?” To be honest, it almost felt out of character, though I can’t really explain why, I mean his “what could I possibly need from you?” seemed more like him (maybe since I ship Sherlolly I’m overcorrecting). Maybe it’s because he takes Molly for granted, which doesn’t preclude his caring for or valuing her. But his shock at Molly’s words happened [EDIT: and as we have seen from Series 3, they shocked him into better understanding his own behavior and Molly’s value as a person].
Molly herself has definitely improved. She doesn’t expect anything from Sherlock anymore, she’s not trying to start a romantic relationship, but she stills sees the good in him and wants to help him however she can. Molly has become wary: that’s why when Sherlock comes to her for help, she doesn’t really respond to his “You were wrong, you know. You do count” as she used to. She asks “Tell me what’s wrong” and asking “What do you need?”–protecting herself so she doesn’t get used again. The fact that he is asking for help puts me on the fence as to whether Sherlock actually means what he says when he tells her she counts. He could just be acting again, trying to play on her feelings–but hopefully their exchange in the lab showed Sherlock that that approach won’t work anymore.
I hope with all my heart he means it, and considering his confusion and his attempt to be truly nice where he’s previously failed (their exchange about the crisps) I think he probably did mean it. I just think he’ll need to do more to win her emotional trust if she’s ever to be a friend like John or Mrs. Hudson.
I know some people don’t like Molly, and I can understand that–as a character she has growing to do. But I like her because she’s just a genuinely nice, good person wanting to see the best in everyone, and because in some ways she reminds me of the myself.