Heartwarming / Elementary

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     Season 1 
  • In "Pilot", when Sherlock told Mantlo, "No, he [Saldua] was insane. And you took advantage." Sherlock was deeply upset at that point, angry and sorrowful, in a way that absolutely showed that this Sherlock was driven by one thing: a desire for justice so strong that he was willing to empathize with a insane murderer if that insane murderer was himself a victim.
    • Said insane murderer was a man literally begging his doctor to help him recover. He was a man who'd done and been through traumatic experiences (came from an abusive household apparently), had hurt people, and he was desperate for treatment. He was, as Holmes put it, not a murderer but a weapon. While there is a desire for justice behind Holmes' actions, it's not hard to draw a line between Holmes' fury over how Mantlo used Saldua and with his own mental instability. Holmes also has his own problems and self-destructive behavior, and as much has he snarks about "junkie jail" and "addict sitters", when he needs help, it is available to him. Something that Saldua also needed and did not get.
  • The look on Sherlock's face when Joan shows up to bail him out.
  • At the end of the pilot, Holmes and Watson are watching a baseball game. Holmes, impatient and hungry, tells her the outcome of the game before leaving. She doesn't believe him, but the game shows that he was correct. She walks downstairs and sees Holmes waiting for her by the door and he helps her put her coat on so they can go eat.
    • He does the same thing in "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs." It means a lot more that time.
  • After bickering over personal boundaries and Holmes setting a violin on fire, the episode ends with Sherlock quietly contemplating his violin before playing it as Watson is in her room reading.
  • Sherlock sending a bottle of a fancy restaurant's most expensive wine to a poor couple to celebrate him proposing to her (or as condolences for him). Fortunately, she said yes.
  • After a private detective, who's an old friend of Captain Gregson, refuses to reveal important information pertaining to the case of the week, Holmes takes the detective aside and threatens to reveal his meth addiction, which would mean getting kicked out of the business. When the detective relents, Holmes then recommends that the detective seek treatment at the same rehab facility Holmes himself just left. Doubles as an awesome moment.
  • In "Child Predator", Watson brings Holmes coffee and he tells her that he isn't asleep, but merely reviewing the facts of the case in his head. Watson asks "You're talking to me? I thought I was just a cavernous expanse between two ears." Holmes' response: "Don't be so sensitive, Watson. The service you provide is very valuable." That's a big compliment coming from him.
  • From "Rat Race":
    • Gregson reveals that he's known about Sherlock's drug problem and stint in rehab all along. After all, he had to run a background check in order to keep Sherlock on a consultant. While he wasn't happy that Sherlock didn't tell him upfront, he still believed in Sherlock's capabilities and promised to keep the matter between them.
    • Holmes manipulating the killer into sending a text message to Watson from his phone, knowing that the killer would probably write in English rather than use the text speak Holmes is so fond of. At first glance, it's just a Crowning Moment of Awesome, but it becomes Heartwarming when you realize that it means Holmes completely trusted Watson to figure it out. (And this is not a man known for his faith in the intelligence of others.)
  • From "You Do It to Yourself" Sherlock sits with Watson at the end for Watson's friend to check into rehab.
    • Sherlock and Gregson get a couple hastily married (One of them is an illegal immigrant) as thanks for helping them with the case (And partly because said immigrant was heavily abused by the victim).
  • From "Leviathan", Sherlock blatantly and shamelessly praises Joan for her work during dinner with her family.
    • Even if he does later play it off as 'everything I said was a lie'. This Sherlock is a lot of things, but a good liar (to Joan, anyways) he is not. Besides, Joan makes it clear that she expected Sherlock's reaction.
    • Joan's mom telling her the real reason she was against Joan being a sober companion is that she could (correctly) tell that Joan wasn't very happy with the job, but that Joan's mom can tell that she's happy working with Sherlock.
    • Sherlock wakes up Joan with a breakfast in bed tray. He even looks proud of himself as he waits for her to react.
  • "M." Oh, God, "M."
    • Sherlock opening up to Joan about Irene. Although he was more or less justifying his intended torture and murder of M once he found him.
    • Joan and Sherlock's moment together and the Meaningful Echo.
    • Joan deciding to stay with Sherlock even though it's no longer her job.
  • "The Red Team":
    • Holmes eating soup while staring at the new team pet, Clyde, and making a poetic speech about the long life of tortoises with a sad look.
  • "The Deductionist":
    • Joan talking to a visibly upset Sherlock. "You got clean. You picked up your career right where you left off. You even made a friend, something Catherine claimed in her article was virtually impossible. Me? I'm talking about me."
    • Sherlock wakes Joan up in excitement over a lead Gregson has, and he even opens up her closet to pick an outfit for her. The following scene at the hospital shows that Joan in fact, did wear the clothes Sherlock selected.
  • "A Giant Gun Filled With Drugs":
    • At the end of the episode, Sherlock confesses to Joan that Rhys gave him a baggie of cocaine, but he didn't use it. When Joan offers to talk, he decides that it's much more appropriate in a group setting, meaning that he's deciding to attend a group therapy session and asks Joan to join him.
    • Sherlock yelling "Watson? Watson!", clearly upset, after he hears over the phone that a gun is being fired in their apartment.
  • "Details"
    • Detective Bell and his brother Andre reconciling after Andre is shot. Especially heartwarming as Andre is a ex-criminal and the brothers had a strained relationship.
      • Especially when it was revealed that despite the fact that he was shot in the back and didn't see his shooter, he wrote the note in blood that Marcus didn't shoot him because he knew his brother wouldn't do it.
    • Holmes asking Watson to stay with him, offering to pay her a stipend and let her stay in his home. Even more heartwarming when he says it's not an act of kindness; he claims that he's better when she's around him. Had Word of God not already said Holmes/Watson would never happen, this would be a good amount of Ship Tease.
    • Sherlock testing Watson's self defense skills (relevant, after the events of the previous episode) becomes heartwarming when he admits that if anything happened to her, he would never forgive himself.
  • "Possibility Two:"
    • Sherlock essentially takes a backseat during the entire episode to let Joan solve the case on her own, only prodding her when needed.
    Sherlock: I wanted you to trust your own instincts... I expect my colleagues to do the same.
  • "Deja Vu All Over Again":
    • Holmes coming to bail Watson out when she gets arrested for breaking into a suspect's car.
      • Then later attempting to cheer her up after she goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. due to her previous imprisonment.
    • Watson's other friends staging an intervention because they think Sherlock is a Bastard Boyfriend and they want to bail her out. They were wrong, and accidentally upset her in the process, but knowing her friends are actively proactive in trying to help her is still a testament to how good friends they are.
  • "Snow Angels":
    • According to Clyde the Tortoise's official twitter, Ms. Hudson crocheted him a little tortoise sweater to keep warm during the storm.
    • After questioning a homeless veteran on potential leads in their case, Sherlock advises him to sell the stolen phones the man found for a higher price and gives him enough money to rent a hotel room for the night to escape the blizzard.
  • "Dead Man's Switch":
    • After spending the entire episode making various excuses as to why he won't go to his one-year sobriety anniversary, Sherlock tells Joan that he can't accept the chip because he doesn't think he earned it - he relapsed on his first day in rehab. Not only is he incredibly vulnerable in that moment, but he says that while he'll tell his mentor Alfredo later, it didn't feel right to tell him before he told Joan.
  • "A Landmark Story":
    Sherlock: When I pursued Moran, my entire life I had made one meaningful connection. That was with Irene Adler. You were preparing to take on a new client, I had every reason to believe I would be returning to my solitary methods of old. Since then, we've turned into a partnership. It's an arrangement I find very rewarding. You're an interesting project and I enjoy watching your progress. The thing that's different about me, empirically speaking...is you.
    Joan: That is one of the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.
  • "Risk Management":
    • Sherlock and Joan finding the very much alive Irene Adler. Sherlock is so moved, he can barely speak. MAJORLY subverted when we learn the truth about Irene.
    • Joan and Sherlock's conversation in the bathroom.
    Sherlock: Watson, you know that there are risks entailed in the work that I - that we - perform. We cannot do the work without undertaking those risks. But know this: as far as Moriarty is concerned, I will never allow any harm to come to you. Not ever.
    Joan: You can't promise that.
    Sherlock: And yet I have.
  • "The Woman":
    • Related to his flashbacks, Sherlock showing Irene ancient carvings from The Roman Empire that he'd discovered in the catacombs beneath London. Once again, Harsher in Hindsight after The Reveal about Irene.
    • When Joan asks if she should leave when Irene comes to live in the brownstone after being missing and presumed dead in order to give Sherlock space, Sherlock responds that she didn't have to because it's her home.
  • "Heroine":
    • Holmes telling Watson that the reason he didn't steal the Vicodin is because she'd be disappointed in him, not because he'd be disappointed in himself or was afraid it would cloud his mind and make him unable to work.
    • Holmes sticking up for Watson and giving her her props for taking down Moriarty when he couldn't even do it.
    Holmes: You know, she solved you. The [[Ironic Echomascot]]. Watson. ...But, um, given your repeated claims to have eyes and ears everywhere, you said "There was only one person in the world that could surprise you." Turns out...there's two.
    • Moriarty's genuine concern for Sherlock when she thinks he's overdosed. She even wants to help him get clean. It's a little twisted, but sweet in its own way: Whatever else she is, she's obviously given her heart to Sherlock.
    • Similarly, Bell's genuine fear and concern when he thinks Sherlock's relapsed, to the point where he literally kicks the door down to get to him.
    • Sherlock naming a new species of bee after Joan.
      • The very obvious, genuine delight Joan expresses when she learns this.
      • Even more heartwarming because they'd had a serious argument earlier in the episode. The bee scene isn't just a Friendship Moment; it shows that they've reconciled.
      • And the metaphorical element. The bee showed him that even something that seemed isolated and alone could connect with someone normal.
     Season 2 
  • "Step Nine":
    • In the kitchen, Joan replying to Mycroft's comment (Sherlock doesn't have any friends) with Yesterday I would've told you he doesn't have a brother. But he does.
    • In their own weird way, Sherlock and Mycroft attempt to repair their strained relationship. Mycroft blows up Sherlock's things and considers it a clean slate to start over.
    • Mycroft and Joan have a heart to heart about Sherlock as Mycroft hopes to repair his relationship with his brother after coming down with severe illness that made him rethink his life.
    • A small moment in the beginning, when Sherlock carries Watson's suitcase up the stairs at his old place. It may seem insignificant, but considering the relationship between Sherlock and Watson at the start of season 1, it shows it's come a long way.
  • "Solve For X":
    • Sherlock advances Watson 20,000 dollars, four times what she asked for. Also, he's genuinely concerned that her dead patient's son may be taking advantage of her. And then he asks to go with her to the cemetery, to pay his respects for her patient. Especially since his death is what eventually led Watson to work with him in the first place.
  • "We Are Everyone":
    • Moriarty's letter to Sherlock. Even though we know she is manipulating him again, it's very poetic and sad.
    • Watson's speech at the end when Sherlock stops reading Moriarty's letter to look at her, saying she feels really sad for him, that he is an amazing person and she shouldn't be the only one allowed to know him.
      • And then she starts writing the famous Dr. Watson's chronicles of Sherlock Holmes.
  • "Poison Pen":
    • Sherlock tells a boy who poisoned his father (for sexually abusing him) and got away with it because someone else chose to take the rap for him that he'll be watching him and will catch him if he kills again... and then offers to be there for him if he needs someone to talk to about the hell he went through.
    • Joan buys a platypus skull as a gift for Sherlock.
  • "An Unnatural Arrangement":
    • Sherlock solves a minor case that was given to Joan, irritating her for "stealing" her case before she could gain valuable experience on her own. So he gives the biggest vote of confidence in her abilities imaginable, by letting her have a shot at the few cases that even he hasn't been able to solve.
    • Sherlock implies he has intense respect for Bell by referring to the other detectives that he's worked with as "Not Bell".
    • Sherlock encouraging Captain Gregson to try again with his wife and using his partnership with Watson as an example.
    • Gregson making amends with Cheryl at the same moment Watson opens the chest with a glowing smile and Sherlock observes from a distance.
  • "Blood Is Thicker": When Mycroft tells Sherlock that their father wants him to return to London and might cut him off if he doesn't, Sherlock is initially defiant before Mycroft reminds him to think of Joan. When Sherlock talks to Joan about the situation, he says that he values what they have in New York (expressing respect for Gregson and Bell), but is willing to move with her to London if she thinks it's the best option. Joan's response (re: Sherlock's father): "Screw him."
  • "On the Line" has two heartwarming moments at the end.
    • As a result of Sherlock solving the case, Tim Spalding is reunited with his wife Kathy, who'd been kidnapped several years earlier. They Never Found the Body, but they did find her bloody clothing, leaving Tim (and the audience) to suspect the worst.
    • At the end, Gregson gives a Rousing Speech where he defends Holmes and Watson from the cops who have been criticizing them.
  • In "Tremors", Holmes is undergoing review due to an incident that put Bell in hospital with a gunshot to the abdomen when he recognises that the attorney interviewing him is a fellow addict. When he brings it up to her, she originally thinks he's trying to threaten/blackmail her, but in fact he just wanted to show solidarity with someone else on the wagon. She later returns the favour by telling him she's going to an sponsor meeting and inviting him to go with her after the review ends poorly.
  • In "The Diabolical Kind," a furious Moriarty begins her Roaring Rampage of Revenge with a completely non-fatal prison break, just because Sherlock wouldn't approve of her killing the guards.
    • Also, Moriarty's rampage was to save her daughter, whom she admitted that she gave up for adoption at birth because she (VERY correctly) figured that she would make an unfit parent, and yet her maternal connection with the child never fully faded.
  • "All in the Family": Sherlock rounds off his yelling match with Detective Bell with a (shouted) "The Reason You Are Awesome" Speech.
  • In "Corpse Du Ballet", when Joan reveals her biological father is homeless and schizophrenic, Holmes decides to help her pass out supplies to the homeless.
  • Sherlock's repeated kindness to animals - he's protective of his bees, he adopted Clyde from a murder victim, and rescued a pair of cocks from a fighting ring.
  • Sherlock and Bell going to grab a coffee at the end of "The Hound of the Cancer Cells."
  • In "A Race Against Time" Sherlock's response to Joan being held captive.
    Mycroft: I know why you're upset. You're not sure what you can do what needs to be done without her
    Sherlock: My very good friend might be murdered by your very bad friends.
    Mycroft: I think she is the person you love the most in the world."
  • "The Grand Experiment" has a bittersweet one at the end combined with Tearjerker: After being forced to fake his death and go into exiled hiding, Mycroft bids Joan and Sherlock goodbye. Joan is upset and leaves the room and while Sherlock continues to insult his brother, Mycroft leans forward and hugs Sherlock.
    Mycroft: I love you, brother. This year has been a gift.
    • Earlier in the episode, Mycroft's treacherous handler shows up and tries to threaten Joan into telling him where Mycroft is. She foils him by revealing that Everyone, the hacktervist group she and Holmes are in regular communication with, are on the screens and watching. In less than 20 seconds she was able to ask Everyone for help, and they gave it even though it meant showing their faces (and thus identities). It's a big change from the group's first meeting with Holmes and Watson.
     Season 3 
  • "Enough Nemesis To Go Around"
    • Sherlock on why he came back to New York after leaving MI-6: "I belong here."
    • After the frosty reception Sherlock got from Joan and Gregson, he has a nice conversation with Bell, who seems happy enough to see him, and Sherlock returns the favor by solving a puzzling murder for Bell.
    • Joan comes around to the brownstone, and Sherlock calls for Kitty to open the door. She tells him that she's still freeing herself from when he tied her to a chair. A minor CMOF, but once the show starts exploring Kitty's background it becomes an incredibly major sign of the trust she has for him. Even just a few episodes later, she had a highly negative reaction when Marcus merely touches her arm, so allowing Sherlock to completely restrain her is a pretty big deal.
  • After Watson suspects Sherlock of arranging for her boyfriend to get a job in Denmark so he could have Watson to himself again, Sherlock rebuts that the guy completely understands the nature of their relationship, so he would never do anything to jeopardize that. Watson even says she feels like hugging Holmes, which he says is a rash idea.
  • In "Rip Off", Captain Gregson has been reprimanded for striking Chris Stotz, a fellow policeman who also happens to be the ex-boyfriend of his daughter Hannah, who is also in the force. Gregson had hit him in retaliation for striking his daughter, but Hannah is adamant that her father apologize for the assault, because she doesn't want to be perceived as a battered woman in front of her peers, and needing her Police Captain father to protect her. Gregson of course is conflicted, not wanting to apologize for the assault but also not wanting to put Hannah in a comprising position. It's during this that Kitty comes to offer Captain Gregson support, having been a victim of abuse herself, she knows what Hannah has gone through but she also fully supports Gregson's decision to protect her. In the end, Gregson is forced to apologize to Stotz, but is pleasantly surprised to find that Stotz is leaving the force, after having been talked to by Gregson's English woman friend. It doesn't take long for Gregson to figure it was Kitty, and he's visibly thankful to her when he meets her later.
  • In "Terra Pericolosa" When Holmes apologizes to Kitty for giving her mundane chores because he was trying to keep her from associating with a young man that was trying to court her, as he feared she was not ready for it and was trying to protect her. Instead of getting upset about Holmes not trusting her to take care of herself, Kitty explains that she knew what he was doing but that she didn't say anything because she didn't think she was ready either. In her own words, she says that Holmes's actions made her feel "very protected and very loved." D'aaaawwww....
  • Sherlock's incredibly vulnerable speech in "The Eternity Injection," regarding the effects of sobriety, and how it's not triumphant or dramatic, but frustrating and exhausting and dull. And Joan just listens, responding in the best way not only as a sober companion but also as a friend: asking him if there's anything he'd like her to do for him, and saying she'll be there for him. Also doubles as Tear Jerker.
  • Several in the two parter: "The Illustrious Client"/"The One That Got Away"
    • Joan immediately leaving her first day at her new job to help Kitty out because in her own words, she was someone she considered family.
    • After Kitty has tracked down and kidnapped Del Gruner, the man who raped and tortured her, she's about to begin her torture of him when Sherlock arrives. Sherlock, being familiar with the situation, tells Kitty that no matter what she does that she will always be special to him and she will always be his friend. This causes Kitty to spare Gruner's life. However...
    • Kitty is forced to flee after burning Gruner's face with a corrosive, but calls Sherlock to give him a platonic Anguished Declaration of Love.
    • The final scene of the episode reveals how Sherlock managed to resist the temptation of heroin from the last season. It was thanks to Kitty.
  • In "Hemlock", Joan spends a late night at the brownstone and is woken up in a familiar way by Holmes-with food and clothes. Not only is this a touching reminded of how close they were as roommates, Joan is surprised she left clothes-and Holmes explains she didn't. He bought her new ones, just in case, and she thinks they're great. This is the platonic version of keeping your ex's favorite food in your house just in case they drop buy-at once slightly presumptuous, overly foreward-minded, and deeply caring: Sherlock to a T.
  • After Holmes consistently calls Detective Bell by his title and surname, despite being asked not to, since they're doing work together after hours, he ends "The Female of the Species" by calling him "Marcus" and saying it was a great pleasure to work with him.
    • Earlier that episode, Holmes outright says that he and Bell are different than most people. This gives a clear idea of the respect he has for him.
    • Throughout the episode, Holmes is quietly supportive of Watson, bringing her food and keeping her company, but respecting her wishes and not pushing her to talk unless she wants to or encouraging her to come back to working cases until she decides she's ready.
    • In a creepy way, Moriarty killing off Joan's nemesis when the latter makes a threat to kill Joan. As Moriarty puts it, Joan's too vital a part of her game to lose. Even if it doesn't involve any actual feelings like normal people, sociopaths like her still have people they care about.
  • He does it in a typically Sherlock way, but Sherlock helping convince Joan's mother to see a neurologist after Joan encounters her mother's developing memory issues. Especially heartwarming after he spent the entire episode trying to convince Joan that her family's problems are not her problems, and she should cut the cord of obligation between them.
  • "Under My Skin":
    • Sherlock fires Alfredo as his sponsor so he can be his friend. And he humiliates the car alarm company that fired Alfredo by stacking a car elevator full of their cars, but only after arranging for Alfredo to have a solid alibi.
     Season 4 
  • "Hounded": After questioning a homeless man on potential leads on the episode's case, Joan helps him get to a homeless shelter as the night was going to get cold. When she returns to the brownstone, Sherlock doesn't even blink at the extra time she took to help the man get settled at the shelter.
  • "Turn it Upside Down": Sherlock discovers that his father intends to use a ring formerly belonging to his mother as a bribe. After explaining his focus on "umwelt" to Watson by revealing that his mother, too, was an addict, he offhandedly offers the ring to her. As this article puts it:
    The context isnít romantic; their conversation about Morlandís cruelty and Sherlockís struggle with addiction is the opposite of pillow talk. But the image is deliberate. Heís low to the ground, offering the ring to a standing Joan, and that framing is deeply recognizable regardless of contextóitís an offer. Itís an offer here, too, though not of marriage: marriage is a product of passion. Itís something even rarer for Sherlock: an offer of intimacy.
  • In "Murder Ex Machina", Sherlock meets a woman named Fiona Helbron, with whom he eventually begins a romantic relationship. As Fiona is "neuroatypical" (her word for being on the autism spectrum), Sherlock does considerable research on the subject in an attempt to be a more suitable partner. In "Ready or Not", she breaks up with him because she feels that he is treating her differently on account of her condition. Later in the episode, he invites her to his home and informs her of his previous relationship with Moriarty, explaining that while he did make an extra effort with her, it wasn't because he saw anything wrong with her. It was because he doesn't normally see the point in romance, but considers Fiona worth that extra effort. This prompts her to take him back.
     Season 5 
  • After realising how hurt Sherlock was by her radio silence for the last two years, Kitty gives him a heartfelt apology, tells him that she sees him as family, and makes it official by making him her son's godfather. Also, Sherlock's Adorkable anxiety about getting something wrong during the ceremony.
    Sherlock: Would you believe I've never been a godparent before?
    Kitty: Don't take this the wrong way, but yeah, I would.