Others call him a psychopath “, and in The Hounds of Baskerville John Watson suggests to Lestrade that he believes Sherlock has Asperger syndrome. This manifests itself in very poor people skills and the extremely rude manners which Sherlock shows toward everyone he deals with.
At times, he also seems to exhibit sensory sensitivities, associated with autism spectrum disorders, and occasionally exhibits swimming behaviors (pacing, hopping, spinning, rocking, making origami from serviettes, flapping a hand) when excited, upset, stressed, concentrating deeply, or overwhelmed. He is also disdainful of the “typical” affectionate relationships he sees other people sharing, referring to them as “sentiment ... a chemical defect found on the losing side”.
Furthermore, Sherlock does not seem to understand the deep emotional impact his actions have on those who care deeply about him. He is rude and appears to be inconsiderate towards others, including John (often leaving him behind and asking him to do menial, domestic tasks such as shopping).
Sherlock states the highest compliment he can give is saying that Mary deserves John as a husband. He considers only four people as his friends: John Watson, Mrs Hudson, Molly Hooper and DI Greg Lestrade, whose first name he never remembers.
Mycroft, from the outset, is shown to care and worry deeply for him whilst at the same time-sharing a mix of mutual contempt and respect. When Irene is believed to be dead, Sherlock is visibly affected, with John saying “he's writing sad music; doesn't eat; barely talks” even suggesting he may be “heartbroken”.
In the following series, Sherlock briefly has a mental image of her in his Mind Palace when thinking of who would know John's middle name, but quickly retorts “Out of my head, I'm busy”. At the end of Series Three, seeing no other choice, he shoots and kills Charles Augustus Rasmussen, a corrupt and unethical newspaper owner who is threatening to release incriminating material he has on Mary Watson.
Instead of going to prison, Sherlock is sent to do dangerous undercover work in Central Europe; this is interrupted by the shocking revelation at the end of Series Three of Moriarty's survival. In the same episode, shortly after he deduces Mary's pregnancy, Sherlock explains that he is the one who taught John to dance.
In The Empty Hearse, Sherlock works out which paths to take to shave time off the countdown to save John. In solving cases, Sherlock uses a technique known as the Method of Loci, which he calls his “mind palace”, which enables him to efficiently store and retrieve information for deductions.
Sherlock also has a history of recreational drug use ; solving dangerous cases, as he puts it, “as an alternative to getting high”. The speech Sherlock gives is somewhat awkward, with his demeanor showing how uncomfortable he is with making a speech in front of strangers, and his apparent lack of understanding when a number of deeply moved guests begin to sniffle and was extremely touched John abruptly hugs him.
Trying to prevent anyone, specifically the press, from getting a photograph of his face, Sherlock disguises it with a modern cap styled after a classic deerstalker. However, he seems to have accepted the fact that the hat is now his trademark since he puts one on before greeting the press about his miraculous return to The Empty Hearse.
Sherlock explains that this is why John chose to put his trust in him, a sociopath who solves dangerous cases as an alternative to getting high, and fell in love with Mary, a former secret agent and assassin. He is willing to use deadly force and shows impressive physical strength; in the episode A Scandal in Belgrade, when a confused Sherlock, who has been rendered ill by Irene Adler's poison, gets out of bed to search for her and falls, John is able to lift him from the floor to return him to bed.
John was not too surprised when she didn't show up to his wedding, noting a free bar would have been a bad mix with Harry around. In A Scandal in Belgrade “, Lestrade says he and his wife have settled their problems, but Sherlock flatly informs him that she is (as of Christmas that year) sleeping with a P.E.
Unlike Donovan and Anderson, Lestrade had complete faith that Sherlock was innocent of any wrongdoing, proving just how much he trusted him. Later in the same story, Lestrade is one of three people identified by Moriarty as Sherlock's friends (the other two being John and Mrs Hudson).
In The Sign of Three “, Lestrade's faith in Sherlock is shown to have escalated to comical levels, and he drops all pressing matters to comply with his requests (which proves to be embarrassing when Sherlock's request for help was revealed to be motivated by nothing more than a desire for assistance in writing his best man speech for John's wedding). After a traumatic case involving the Holmes' psychotic sister, Euros, which was ended when Sherlock made a genuinely emotional plea to her as he acknowledged her condition, Lestrade noted at the case's conclusion that Sherlock was “a good man”, able to recognize the human element that he had once lacked.
Although she repeatedly insists that she is not their housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson fusses over Sherlock as if she were, and he takes it for granted that she will provide dinner for him. She is often horrified to see Sherlock keep human body parts in his kitchen appliances (refrigerator, microwave) for experimentation.
Despite his impatience at her concern for him, Sherlock has shown to have a great deal of affection for Mrs. Hudson; for example while he often tells her to shut up when he considers her input an annoyance, he is quick to reprimand his brother Mycroft for attempting to do the same. In A Scandal in Belgrade, Sherlock pushes a CIA agent out of a second-story window multiple times to punish him for torturing Mrs. Hudson; later in the same episode when John suggests Mrs. Hudson leave Baker Street for her own safety, Sherlock appears appalled at the notion and informs John 'England would fall' should such a thing happen.
Sherlock later makes a jab at her past, when explaining the secrets held by the people John knew. In the hallucinations of The Abominable Bride “, Mrs. Hudson is shown upset that she has no speaking role in Watson's stories and Sherlock suggests he “give her some lines” as she “is perfectly capable of starving us”.
Later in the episode, when Mycroft has agents turning over the flat to explain Sherlock's recent actions and finds a DVD the recently deceased Mary Watson recorded for Sherlock, Mrs. Hudson orders all the agents to leave her and John alone to watch the recording unless they wish to prove that they “have no human decency”, subsequently ordering Mycroft “Get out of my house, you reptile!” When a bomb is 'delivered' to Baker Street via drone, putting Sherlock, John, and Mycroft in a position where they will have three seconds to flee out of the room before the bomb explodes, Sherlock uses his knowledge of Mrs. Hudson's routine to calculate when would be the safest time to leave the room so that she will be unharmed by the blast, as she was initially hoovering directly beneath them.
Mycroft Holmes (played by the show's executive producer, co-creator, and writer Mark Gates) is first introduced when he abducts John and offers to pay him to spy on Sherlock. Molly Hooper (Louise Really) is a 31-year-old specialist registrar working in the morgue at St Bartholomew's Hospital with an apparent crush on Sherlock.
Due to her work position and crush on him, Sherlock frequently exploits her to let him examine or perform experiments on victims' bodies, such as in Sherlock's first scene in A Study in Pink “, beating them with a riding crop in order to study postmortem bruising. In “The Great Game”, she was in a relationship with an IT employee named Jim, later revealed to be Moriarty, who was using her to see Sherlock up close.
Sherlock only finds out how deeply infatuated she is with him during A Scandal in Belgrade “, when he acidly deduces that the Christmas present at the top of her bag is better wrapped than the others, and must be for someone she loves, and then discovers it's for him; she received a very uncharacteristic kiss on the cheek and apology for this. In The Empty Hearse “, while John is recovering from the hurt and shock of discovering Sherlock is still alive, she accompanies Holmes on some casework.
In “The Abominable Bride”, Molly appears disguised as a man (also named “Hooper”) who runs the morgue, and is extremely irritable towards Sherlock ; John sees through her disguise, identifying her as a woman trying to get ahead in a “male world”; he remarks that the perception of such things is something that Sherlock is awful at. In “The Six Thatchers”, John and Mary ask Molly (along with Mrs. Hudson and a reluctant Sherlock) to be a godparent for their daughter Rosie.
During the episode, Molly babysits Rosie on several occasions as John and Mary assist Sherlock. In The Final Problem “, Sherlock's deranged sister threatens to detonate a bomb in Molly's flat unless he can phone her and get her to say the words 'I love you' without revealing that she is in danger.
After this scene, Sherlock proceeds to break the coffin that was supposed to be hers in a very agitated state, thus showing how much he cares for his friend. Molly was originally intended to be a one-off character to introduce Sherlock, but Really impressed Moat and Gates and they “couldn’t resist bringing her back”.
In the second series, he continues in his role as consulting criminal, giving Irene Adler advice on how to manipulate “The Holmes Boys”, having given them both nicknames. Moriarty features extensively in the second series finale “The Reichenbach Fall”, where he simultaneously breaks into the Tower of London, HMP Bentonville and the Bank of England, using some sort of master key code.
He then pretends to be an actor named Richard Brook and manipulates journalist Kitty Riley as well as the general populace into thinking he has been forced by Sherlock into portraying Jim Moriarty. Moriarty appears in the third series in either flashbacks, alternative scenarios, or Sherlock's “mind palace” vignettes.
However, in the closing moments of the third-series finale, His Last Vow “, Moriarty's face appears on televisions across Britain repeating the statement “Did you miss me?”. Sherlock, who had just been sent on an intelligence mission that was guaranteed to result in his death, was immediately recalled to face his nemesis' schemes once more.
Rosamond Mary Elizabeth Morgan (Amanda Abington) is a former assassin and a part-time nurse in John's practice whom he met following the apparent death of Sherlock. She had another boyfriend prior to John, but is now good friends with him (from her perspective); unknown to Mary, her ex retained an unhealthy attraction to her, forcing Sherlock to intimidate him before the wedding by describing himself as “a high-functioning sociopath... with your number”.
She understands both of them very well and respects their close, brotherly friendship; during The Sign of Three as the three of them sit in the flat at Baker Street planning the wedding, she realizes how much Sherlock, who is averse to change, needs to know that John still cares deeply about him and will always be his friend, and how much John also needs to connect with him, and insists that the two of them go out on a case. During the show, Mary is shown to have an unusually excellent memory and the ability to understand a skip code; clues which help Sherlock realize that all is not as it seems with Mrs. Watson.
It is later revealed in His Last Vow that Mary is in fact a former intelligence agent, who went freelance and eventually on the run, and might not be English. Despite all the lies she told him, she genuinely loves John and says she only sought to escape her previous life; she was prepared to shoot both Sherlock and Charles Rasmussen to ensure John never learned the truth; though, as a world-class sharpshooter, she was able to shoot Sherlock in such a way that he would be hospitalized but would not die.
(a freelance special forces unit) attempts to track her down, blaming her for betraying their squad during a failed mission in Tbilisi, Georgia which resulted in his capture and torture. Sherlock works out the traitor was government official Vivian Nor bury, whom he and Mary confront in the London Aquarium.
Although Holmes follows Mary's 'advice' by putting himself in a dangerous situation that John will have to rescue him from, John only moves to save Sherlock when he finds the DVD himself and realizes what his friend is doing, musing in the aftermath that he is not the man Mary believed he was even if he wants to be. At the conclusion of the third episode “The Final Problem”, John receives another posthumous DVD from Mary, in which she notes that the two of them are, effectively, junkies: one who solves crime to get high and the other a doctor who never came back from the war, but that what truly matters is that the two of them maintain the “last refuge for the desperate” at 221B Baker Street.
Mary smiles as she reflects that they will always be her “Baker Street Boys”, answering the strange cases that nobody else can solve when people truly need help. Euros Holmes (San Brooke, and by India Watson as a child) is Sherlock and Mycroft's “secret” sister.
Euros is indirectly referred to in His Last Vow ;” when discussing Sherlock, Mycroft declares “I am not given to outbursts of brotherly compassion. In The Final Problem “, Mycroft explains that Euros is their estranged younger sister, and the youngest child of Mr and Mrs Holmes, who possesses a transcendent intellect greater than even that of Isaac Newton.
Later in life, upon Mycroft's recommendation, she was transferred to Sherrinford, a maximum security psychiatric facility located on an island. Despite the dangers she posed, Euros was occasionally consulted for her amazing intellect, predicting the dates of three major attempted terrorist attacks on Britain after an hour of browsing on Twitter, in exchange for 'treats' (including five minutes of unsupervised conversation with Moriarty).
Having taken control of the Sherrinford staff through her manipulative and intellectual prowess, Euros traps Sherlock, Dr Watson, and Mycroft in the ward, and forces them to play “games” that exploit their senses of morality under high-stakes and high-pressure. Simultaneously, Sherlock realizes that the phone calls with a scared girl on a pilotless plane he has been provided with as a reward for solving Euros' puzzles are a metaphor for her loneliness as a child, and finally provides Euros with the brotherly love she had been so desperately wanting.
Her image and Anderson's appeared in a montage during The Empty Hearse, when a news reporter asked why the police let the accusations against Sherlock go so far. Philip Anderson (Jonathan Arms) is originally a member of the Metropolitan Police's Forensic Services.
In The Reichenbach Fall “, Anderson is the second person at The Yard to be deceived by Moriarty into thinking Sherlock may be involved in the recent theft and kidnapping. He appears in the mini-episode “Many Happy Returns” where it is revealed that he has lost his job with the police and is trying to convince Lestrade that Sherlock is not only alive but also is still solving mysteries across the globe.
Irene Adler (Lara Puller) is featured in A Scandal in Belgrade as a dominatrix, known professionally as “The Woman”. Irene is brilliant enough to impress Sherlock, and managed to deceive him; however, she also ends up falling in love with him, which proves to be her downfall.
Having taken a picture of the information for “Bond Air”, she was targeted by Americans, who were working with the British government to trick terrorists into thinking that their bomb would blow up a plane and take the lives of hundreds. She was also sought out by Mycroft for incriminating photos of herself and one of her clients, a young (and female) member of the House of Windsor.
She is mentioned again in The Lying Detective “, when her text alert noise comes on during Sherlock and John's conversation. Charles Augustus Rasmussen (Lars Michelsen), who is shown briefly in The Empty Hearse and appears prominently in His Last Vow “, is a powerful businessman who controls a media empire.
Like Sherlock, he uses the mind palace technique to store the information in his head, keeping no hard copies or physical evidence with him unless he specifically needs to have them obtained. Sherlock prevents his doing so and frees everyone from his power by shooting Rasmussen in the head, having failed to successfully trap him.
In “The Six Thatchers”, Mycroft arranges for the video footage of Rasmussen's death to be doctored, so it would appear that he was shot by “some overeager squad die with an itchy trigger finger”, clearing Sherlock of his murder. Using his wealth and unassailable power, he is able to use his charity-funded hospital as a way to go into patient's rooms and then kill them, taking inspiration from H. H. Holmes.
She is the personal assistant of Rasmussen, the villain of His Last Vow, in which it is revealed that both Mary and Sherlock independently befriended her in order to get access to him. He had kept her at arm's length the entire time, not wanting her to be involved too much; he even pretended that he worked night shifts, so he couldn't engage in any sexual encounters with her.
Pretending to propose to her, Sherlock succeeds in getting into Rasmussen's penthouse; however, Mary had rendered Janine unconscious moments before. During their final encounter, Janine admits that she has made a lot of money since then by going on talk shows about her relationship with the famous detective, and had bought herself a nice cottage in Sussex.
Janine also appears in a cameo in The Abominable Bride “, as a member of the sorority conspiracy Sherlock discovers. They are introduced in The Empty Hearse when John comes into the flat at Baker Street to find an older couple seated in the sitting room, speaking to Sherlock.
Mr. and Mrs. Holmes are shown to be patient and accepting parents to their highly intelligent but socially impaired sons. As he stands between them, working on this visual aid, his mother simply looks up at him and continues talking as if she does not even notice his unusual behavior.
Despite her great love for her boys, Mrs. Holmes is shown apparently not to fully understand, or not fully care about Mycroft's role in international security; when he complains that she has gotten potatoes on his laptop, “on which depends the security of the free world”, she simply tells him that he “shouldn't leave it lying around if it's so important”. Lady Alicia Small wood (Lindsay Duncan) is a member of the Cabinet Office and a colleague of Mycroft Holmes.
She first appears in His Last Vow (although under the first name of Elizabeth), where she leads an inquiry onto the activities of media magnate Charles Augustus Rasmussen, though he eventually blackmailed her into ceasing the investigation via her husband's sexual letters to an underage girl. Lady Small wood reappears in The Six Thatchers “, in a meeting with Sherlock, Mycroft, her secretary Vivian Nor bury, and Sir Edwin.
In the meeting, she reveals that footage of him executing Rasmussen has been digitally altered to make a police sniper appear to be the shooter instead, effectively letting him “off the hook”, rather than officially pardoning him. She reappears later in the episode when she is brought into questioning by Mycroft following the connection between her code name, “Love”, and the code name, “AMO” (the Latin word for “love”) used in a rescue operation in the British Embassy in Tbilisi which resulted in the British ambassador and several private military contractors (led by Mary Watson) being massacred.
She is later proven innocent, when it is revealed that her secretary, Vivian Nor bury (who had been selling secrets), was behind the mission sabotage. Small wood later appears in The Lying Detective “, when she and Mycroft are tracking Sherlock when he is leaving his flat under the influence of drugs.