“Perhaps I will die too, she told herself, and the thought did not seem so terrible to her. If she flung herself from the window, she could put an end to her suffering, and in the years to come the singers would write songs of her grief. Her body would lie on the stones below, broken and innocent, shaming all those who had betrayed her. Sansa went so far as to cross the bedchamber and throw open the shutters … but then her courage left her, and she ran back to her bed, sobbing.”
“I try to believe like I believed when I was five… when your heart tells you everything you need to know.”
Cy Twombly - Ides of March (1962)
But the final hour is called “Heroine” for a reason, as this is also a story about Joan Watson at the end of the day. In a case where Sherlock is at his weakest, and when he is unable to realize that the path to victory is failure because it means acknowledging that failure is even a possibility, it is Joan who sees more clearly. Joan isn’t afraid of Moriarty, but is rather protective of Sherlock (as both his sober companion and his partner), and the confusion that Moriarty’s emergence creates within Sherlock creates surety for Joan. If Sherlock only sees puzzles and Moriarty only sees games, Watson sees actual people: her interest in Sherlock is human, the kind of relationship that Moriarty can’t even imagine (referring to her as a mascot at one point in their lunch date). While the truth about Moriarty robs Sherlock of the most striking, human connection he believed he had ever made, the resulting investigation reaffirms a more powerful connection in his partnership with Joan, the newly discovered species of Newglassia Watsonia a metaphor for what happens when an extremely rare bee miraculously unexpectedly finds a compatible partner.
Jamies Wang, Adult Tenderness, 2009