Many nights I put myself to sleep taking my favorite protagonist through adventures I can only dream of having. She’s young, beautiful, gracious, but most of all brilliant. She exceeds the intellect of the Einstein’s throughout history. She creates life-saving technology, pens best-selling novels, gives guidance to world leaders, and solves unsolvable crimes.
When Yahweh God offered King Solomon anything he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom. Brilliance, the proper genius, is my highest unattainable goal. Maybe that’s why I love the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The new BBC series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman excels in bringing a 19th century character into the modern technology of the 21st century. The edgy photography, superior writing, and brilliant acting have made this series to be an instant hit. Only three shows per season and we addicts have to wait far too long between seasons.
My protagonist is oftentimes a female Sherlock Holmes though she is kinder than this self-described high functioning sociopath Sherlock. She’d never belittle others with, “Dear God, what is it like in your feeble little brains. It must be so boring. Look at you lot, you’re all so vacant. Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing.” Then to the mortician who Sherlock despises he adds, “Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
In episode one, after four victims of apparent suicides, yet all died of the same poison, Sherlock deducts a serial killer. He loves the brilliant killers, “They’re always so desperate to get caught.” Why? “Appreciation. Applause. At long last, the spotlight. That’s the frailty of genius, it needs an audience.” Now I’m beginning to wonder if I should pray for brilliance. Can humans handle such a gift? Solomon proved he couldn’t.
A Study in Pink offers this puzzle: “Who do we trust, even though we don’t know them? Who passes unnoticed wherever they go? Who hunts in the middle of a crowd?” When Sherlock finally comes face-to-face with the killer in a game of chess with one move, one survivor; I find my favorite lines.
Sherlock sits across the table in a vacant classroom late at night. He refuses to move until he studies his opponent. “You didn’t kill four people because you’re bitter. Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is a much more vicious motivator.”
I would have never put love and vicious together. Synonyms like brutal, ferocious, savage, ruthless, heartless, and barbaric stand in stark contrast to love. Yet, I marvel at the power of these words to illicit a vivid picture in my brain. Right now, I’m momma-bear ferociously protecting my babies from harm. Yes, love can be vicious. Sherlock has once again challenged my intellect and renewed my passion to learn.