If you had to narrow it down, what are your top 3 reasons/signposts/clues johnlock will begone canon?
Oh, wow. This is hard. I’ll give it a shot. People need less convincing of Sherlock’s feelings, and the entirety of The Sign of Three is a solid sell on that regard, so let’s focus on John.
1. John is continually left confused about Sherlock’s sexuality for the entire series, even when the audience is no longer confused in HLV. There’s no reason for John to think Sherlock is heterosexual and has had sex, when we are told he did NOT have sex with Janine, unless it’s a romantic obstacle.
Furthermore, there’s no reason for John to be confused about Sherlock’s sexuality for FOUR OR FIVE YEARS when he’s that close to Sherlock. Early on, maybe it was plausible, but it isn’t anymore. The writers could make all sorts of “jokes,” all the same ”jokes” about them being a couple, even if John totally knew Sherlock was straight or something.
They didn’t do that. Because they’re gonna fuck when John figures it out.
2. Honestly the climactic sequence of The Network game. John is feeling depressed remembering when he thought Sherlock was dead. He goes off to his possible death and remembers the first time he met Sherlock sandwiched between the beginning and end of Irene’s “you’re a couple” speech that Sherlock overheard. I don’t know ANY other way to read this than, “I’ve been hopelessly in love with Sherlock since I first met him, and he knew it, and he rejected me. I’m married and these feelings have still not gone away. I am not concerned for my safety.”
Some people have tried to suggest that the writer of the game just ships Johnlock, but Gatiss himself was involved because he had to be filmed as Mycroft, and they had to sign off on the old footage that was used. It’s kind of silly to think they’d approve it if they didn’t, you know, approve of it. It’s also VERY telling that it’s the one sequence that was NOT new footage: they intentionally called attention to it by using these specific clips, and to call attention to John’s mental state.
Gatiss knows subtext and has said over and over that he used The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes as a template for Sherlock because he likes the subtext in it. I don’t know how many times he can talk about it in interviews before people will believe that how knows how to read it and writes it intentionally. So does Moffat: he has his “Captain Subtext” character on Coupling and his punched-in-the-face-with-subtext thing in A Scandal in Belgravia. And Thompson, christ, is a fucking subtext sorcerer with a +10 Pen of Subtext that glows pink and crits your subconscious whenever he writes a line of mind-in-the-gutter dialogue. Never meet Thompson in person without a mirrored magic-reflect helmet or he’ll wandlessly, wordlessly conjure a series of abstract images and change your sexual orientation. He’s dangerous.
3. At the beginning of The Empty Hearse, when John still thinks Sherlock is dead, he enters 221B and pauses at the bottom of the stairs. We hear him remember the “you invaded Afghanistan” conversation, then the music he thinks Sherlock composed for Irene, and HE ALMOST CRIES. He says he’s come there because he can’t get married without putting Sherlock behind him. If someone can read this platonically they deserve an Olympic medal for mental gymnastics.
Past that, I don’t think we ever get a set of foils for John and Sherlock that aren’t romantically involved. I can’t recall any platonic foils whatsoever.