Holmes remains detached from crime scenes and focused more on understanding them and puzzle-solving than he does caring about the human element, which means he is often out of his depth when dealing with living, breathing people. He can be rude, dismissive, even abrasive in his assessment of people’s motivations and characters; he finds his arch nemesis an unconscionable nuisance but also has a healthy respect for his intellect. Holmes reaches rapid conclusions and then must attempt to explain in sensory detail how he came to them to Watson. In the various episodes, he ranges from having a good-natured lower Fe that likes to poke gentle fun at his friend, and being more arrogant, condescending, and elitist in his desire for praise without caring much about the feelings of those involved. He waits to theorize on crime scenes until he has examined them in minute detail; Holmes is quite proactive in throwing himself bodily into a crime scene, in pursuing villains across darkened mires, somewhat careless in risking people’s lives, and highly enjoys adopting various disguises. In the process, he often takes enormous physical risks that lead to him being stuffed into trunks, hit over the head, having a gun pulled on him, winding up in a struggle in a darkened cellar, or being targeted for assassination. Holmes often has flashes of insight or makes informed speculations about the motives, means, and intended outcome of a crime, as he tries to outwit Moriarty and often leads villains into traps by foreseeing their next move before it happens. Holmes can employ charm when needed to seduce or appeal to a woman, although he never quite means it sincerely (he adopts disguises and pretends to be more inept or gullible than he actually is, even pretending to be hypnotized).

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Holmes has made a career out of detachment. He stands on the sidelines of life and watches, being an expert in all things criminal, but often remaining disguised, distant on an emotional level, and even rude. He refuses to let his emotions cloud his judgment and has compartmentalized them, although on occasion we see his fondness for Watson. Holmes trusts his own logic above other people’s, and often assumes he is right. He can be somewhat arrogant and also, elitist. He displays snobbish tendencies toward the police in several episodes; he fails to consider the amount of danger involved in what he is doing; and he shows off somewhat to impress criminals at times, in his desire to be recognized for his unique intellect.