Sherlock (both the person and the show) is a total jerk to Molly Hooper, and it is 100% not okay
We need more Sherlock in our lives because we want to continue watching the (mis)adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. But also we really need to see Sherlock, the person, apologize to Molly Hooper because he is a total jerk to her and it’s about time someone called Sherlock out on it.
Since the beginning of the series, it’s been clear that morgue pathologist doctor (note: pretty sure I just made up that profession) Molly Hooper has feelings for Sherlock. She’s even gone so far as to try and communicate her feelings to him a few times, each time met with disaster — all Sherlock’s fault, mind you. As the seasons progress, Molly seems to come to grips with the fact that she and Sherlock will never have that happy ending, and it sure does appear that while she might still have lingering feelings for him, she has moved on. Molly isn’t going to wait around for Sherlock to call her up.
And that brings us to the events of “The Final Problem,” where he does call her up, and states, “I love you.”
The Sherlock Season 4 finale, “The Final Problem,” sees Sherlock (and Mycroft and John) all held captive by Eurus as she plays literal mind games with them. They have to kill people in order to save others. It’s intense. One of these mind games is that Eurus has provided a coffin, and Sherlock has to figure out who goes inside the coffin, should Eurus kill them. Unbeknownst to Molly, she is the victim. In order to save Molly, Sherlock has to get Molly to tell Sherlock, “I love you.” Sherlock also can’t tell Molly that Eurus has rigged her flat to blow up should Molly not say, “I love you.”
GOT ALL OF THAT?
So, in order to solve the game, Sherlock calls Molly and over the course of two and a half minutes, yes, Sherlock does get Molly to say, “I love you” to him. Sherlock also has to say it to her, too — because she won’t be the first to admit her feelings. Because Molly doesn’t realize this is all part of a game, and her life is in danger. For all she knows, Sherlock has really just called her up out of the blue to say “I love you,” like he does that sort of thing.
During this phone conversation, Molly is visibly shaken because the man she has loved for the last decade is finally professing his feelings for her. AS ANY LADY WOULD BE. She doesn’t KNOW this is a rouse, and she doesn’t KNOW Sherlock is lying. Yes, Eurus is doing this to toy with Sherlock’s emotions, but she torments Molly in way worse ways. Now Molly thinks Sherlock loves her, and honestly, that is just cruel.
Though everyone survives Eurus’ game, there’s no resolution to this subplot. And that’s why it is very surprising to see Molly literally skip into Sherlock’s apartment at the end of the episode, as if nothing is wrong. Obviously by this point, she knows that Sherlock’s not really in love with her…right? According to showrunner Steven Moffat, yes, Molly knows this was all a game.
And according to Moffat, Molly “got over it.”
Um. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Not to play the woman card or anything, but this really doesn’t feel like a situation that Molly would just, “get over.”
That’s actually not what most normal people do, especially most normal people with feelings, especially ~romantic~ feelings. If Benedict Cumberbatch professed his love to me, and then a day later was like PSYCH, I would be so not okay with that. I would not go skipping into his flat after that. I would probably put a plague on both his houses, actually, among other things. I would not just “get over it.” Maybe in like, three years I’d “get over it.” But not by episode’s end.
And, according to Moffat, how did Molly get over this?
Bro. Molly was not fine. Molly was probably really sad and upset and didn’t just go get drunk and find a random dude at the bar and take him home and sleep with him. Molly is by no means the main character of the show, but we’ve been following Sherlock enough to know some stuff about her. One thing we know is that it would be totally out of character for her to just get drunk with a random dude at the bar and take him home (and sure, yes, she might not have the best judgment, she was dating Moriarty, but come on).
It’s honestly just insulting that Molly’s feelings are pushed aside so quickly, and then completely written off. The scene between her and Sherlock on the phone is a very powerful scene, because it feels like their relationship has been building to this point. Molly finally says, out loud, that she loves Sherlock. Sherlock says it back to her, but lol, he’s joking. And she just gets over it.
This is no way to treat a character, and this is no way to treat a strong, capable woman. Molly deserves better, and if we manage to snag that Season 5 of Sherlock, the one thing we need, above all else, is justice for Molly Hooper.