I was just having a conversation with Becky, about the nature of Sherlock and John’s relationship, and it ended up very long, but kind of explains exactly what I think they are, so I thought I’d share.
I don’t think the show will ever take Sherlock and John’s relationship to the next level (making it a romantic one that is), but I do believe that what those share is more than just friendship.
In my head they are soulmates, not in the romantic way, but in the way that they are two halves of a whole. They don’t function properly without the other. It doesn’t matter much what kind of relationship they share (if they are friends, lovers, family), that is immaterial, they just need the other person in their life in some way.
And I think that’s largely the point of the show, and even all of these references to them being gay and the never-ending innuendos. What they share is so profound that other people have a hard time seeing them as not being a couple.
Someone commented on an Irene Adler photoset (one of her saying John and Sherlock were a couple) and that person said that they ARE a couple, just maybe not in the conventional sense. And that’s exactly what I think too.
Their love transcends ordinary limits, it goes above and beyond what we have words and boxes and titles to explain. Which is another reason I don’t think they won’t ever need to say “I love you” out loud. It is already imprinted so firmly in everything they do. It comes so natural, in a way, that they probably don’t even see it happen. It’s instant. It’s looking at someone and knowing, without realising it, that here is a person you’d kill and die for.
So yeah. I think the best word for what they are is soulmates. I don’t think anyone on the show (not the writers, or producers or anyone at all) are trolling us with any of the references. It’s simply a way of saying “what these two have is beyond words, so of course people will label it wrong, of course they will assume and be wrong”. It is our way of explaining what we don’t immediately understand.
And in the latest episode, The Reichenbach Fall, I think John finally realises that he will never love anyone the same way he loves Sherlock. He might find a wife and settle down, but it will be different. Nothing can measure up to what him and Sherlock share. It is the one relationship that ends up defining John’s life. It is the one relationship he’s had, I believe, where he never thought about it. It just was, because it had to be.
What we see in the scenes at the therapist, is John coping with the loss, of course, but probably also finally realising what he never thought much about before. He starts (a bit too late) to come to terms with what he feels about Sherlock. He realises it will be near impossible to go on without him.
The next 3 years will be hell for them both.