It hurts, all this. ~ Sherlock Holmes

All this hurts. ~ Sherlock Holmes, Elementary

All this hurts.

On the TV series, Elementary, Sherlock Holmes explains to Agatha why he cannot donate his sperm so she can have a baby with his DNA and, hopefully, his gifts.

Sherlock: You’re right. I am… remarkable. That’s precisely why I can’t help you.

Agatha: What does being amazing have to do…

Sherlock: No no. I didn’t say I was amazing. I said I was remarkable.

The things that I do, the things that you care about, you think I do them because I am a good person. I do them because it would hurt too much not to.

Agatha: Because you’re a good person.

Sherlock: No, it hurts, Agatha. All this. (points outside, to the world) Everything I see, everything I hear, touch, smell; the conclusions that I’m able to draw, the things that are revealed to me…

The ugliness.

My work focuses me. It helps. You say that I am using my gifts. I say I’m just treating them.

So I cannot, in good conscience, pass all of that onto someone else.


Season 3, Episode 18

There is a startling truth in this, an insight … which hurts.

It’s not that I don’t see the beauty. I do. “All this” is, also, amazing.

But on both a universal level, and a personal one, “all this” has also felt… off kilter. Not right. Unjust. “All this” needs to be set straight. Askew hurts.

And so, I photograph, to capture the beauty others might not see. I write: sometimes to express the beauty, or, so it seems.

Not always. Often there is far too much anger and hubris in my writing, too much hurt for it to be about beauty. In this passage from Elementary, I sense what lies underneath my activity, using my gifts, is a battle with the ugliness, the out-of-kilter, the unjust… the hurt.

I have allowed myself to think I’m battling on behalf of others. Really, it’s a battle within myself. Not for myself. Within myself.

This passage provides a deeper exploration of Johnny Lee Miller’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, especially the character’s substance abuse issues. It implies a reply to the question people sometimes ask of the addict: “You’re so smart, and have so much going for you. How did you ever let yourself become an addict?” Because there are just two ways to deal with such a hurt: become numb. Or work through it and focus on something else. No matter which path is taken, the pain ultimately remains. If I focus on the hurt, I will eventually choose numbness.

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