Sunday, April 21, 2019

Want to be like Sherlock Holmes? Evolve.

Sometimes, something in your past is just going to remain there to haunt you.

"Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old lovers are the worst," Trevor senior said in "Gloria Scott," because the ghosts of old lovers are the ones you tend to bring back yourself. Not nearly as bad, but still pretty pesky are the ghosts of our old hatreds, because your friends are going to bring those back to haunt you, as they should now and then.

And, since the internet remembers everything, my joining of Doyle's Rotary Coffin and embracing the motto "No Holmes Barred," as well as the Baker Street Babes' "All Holmes is good Holmes," is more than a bit tarnished by my very public stance on the first half of CBS Elementary's run. I was, sadly, having too much fun on the side of the haters on that show, even if I kept it pretty confined to this blog and didn't go out to Facebook or Twitter trolling folks. (I'm not a complete arsehole.)

Ghosts are a good thing, in the way old Trevor and I are haunted, I think. They remind us that we should probably attempt to be better people in the days ahead than we were in the past. We don't know if Trevor senior became a Justice of the Peace as a result of his feelings for his lost loves and possible part in their loss, but for the sake of this metaphor, I'm going to think so.

My best example of personal evolution, however, comes from our friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Remember his statement in The Sign of the Four, "Women are never to be entirely trusted,  -- not the best of them"?  Yes, Sherlock Holmes said those very stupid words. But did he continue to live them, the rest of his life? The answer is a resounding "NO!" I once did a book-length study of Holmes and his relationships with women titled Sherlock and the Ladies, and what I found over the course of his life, is that Sherlock Holmes evolved when it came to women.

You can even see it in The Sign of the Four itself, as Holmes advises Watson not to tell Mary Morstan too much at one point in the case, and utters that "not to be trusted" line, then later talks about how he is so impressed in Mary Morstan that I was considering working with her, if Watson hadn't announced he was marrying her.

So when Sherlock Holmes makes Kitty Winter his partner in crime in "The Illustrious Client," it really demonstrates how far his journey took him. He actually trusts Kitty and doesn't even seem to turn on her when she adds some extra crime to his crime.

Kitty Winter has long been a favorite Canonical character of mine, and her appearance as a character on Elementary, and even as a partner to Sherlock Holmes (See? I didn't call him "Mr. Elementary!" Progress!) softened me up on the show a bit, just as the continuing appearances of Clyde the turtle have. (And with Clyde now in the movie Holmes and Watson, how could I hate any show that gave us Clyde?) Just wish they'd give us a little more of Ms. Hudson, too. 

I'm really looking forward to blogging about the final season of Elementary as a test of my own personal evolution, and glad it made it to season seven to provide such a test. Going to still have to live with my past as a hater, and I deserve that, ghosts and all. 

The world changes all the time, and locking ourselves into a single position, while often perfect for reaching a short term goal, is not healthy over time. Sherlock Holmes got it, and hopefully we can do the same.

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