Holmes is ruthlessly logical (whatever Watson may say about his emotions) and treats people like pieces in a puzzle, a component in a cog, something to be solved, without any regard for their feelings or sentimental attachments. He uses deductive reasoning to solve crimes, but mostly does so “for the fun of it” – the outcome matters less to him than the challenge of putting things together in a detached manner. He is witty and creative in his thinking, at one point convincing a woman who wants him to sire her child that he is actually “oriented in another direction” (gay) and she would have better luck elsewhere, and not being too offended that he is, in fact, her “last choice.” He spends his free time stinking up their room with eccentric habits that will teach him greater methods of deduction, such as identifying tobacco by the ash and keeping track of his files by the inches of dust that has accumulated on them. Holmes is quite busy and proactive when on a case, eager to leap into action, and meticulous about the kinds of details he picks up from the environment. Even when stuck behind a door, to conceal their presence from intruders, he notices the newspaper lining in the bird cage, which tells him to travel to Scotland in search of more information in the case of a missing man. Once there, he poses as a woman’s husband to throw off suspicion, and insists on bicycling to each castle around them to see what he can learn from the environment. Holmes uses this information to form intuitive deductions, such as when he sees four midgets at the cemetery and remembers the case he declined as boring early on the film (he erroneously dismissed it as a case of their wages being too low, so they found a better job in another circus), and reinterprets it as them now being involved in a greater mystery that together with canaries and dead men and the fact that a dead man’s ring has turned green (and the creature Watson saw in the lake) meaning there’s a scheme and/or a submarine being invented. Holmes is quite clever in piecing together things once he has seen them and in making small future predictions, but he can also be caught off guard, such as when he failed to realize the woman traveling with them was posing and had adopted someone else’s identity, to fool them all. (He does not clue her in on how long it took him to recognize this.) Holmes has very poor emotions. He has no interest in a woman’s grief, and tells her to stop sobbing, because she might blow their cover. He claims Watson is his sexual partner to squirm out of having to father a child, without thinking how it will make Watson feel, or that it might hurt his reputation. He remarks that when his fiancé died of influenza a few days before their wedding, he merely saw this as proof that women are unreliable and cannot be trusted. When he comes to care about someone, he’s incapable of talking about it, and merely tries to get her off the hook instead. After a personal loss, he cannot communicate his grief and retreats to be alone.

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Holmes is detached almost to his own determent, unconcerned with anything emotional, and detached from everyone and everything around him. He’s curious about everything but wants to study and analyze it without becoming emotionally involved. He is not social, choosing to duck out of parties and refusing to attend operas or ballets because they are “tediously dull!” He doesn’t know how to handle his own emotions, much less anyone else’s, and his short story about the loss of his fiancé and how it has made him distrust women prove that he has withdrawn to protect himself from getting hurt – however, it happens to him a second time, after he develops unspoken feelings for someone else. Socially awkward and negative, he often has bad things to say about people, is skeptical of everything and everyone, assumes things will go wrong, and that you cannot trust women (cynicism). But his 4 wing is somewhat reclusive and arrogant, both pleased not to be of the common horde and aware that he is different from other people. In some painful ways, such as feeling mild embarrassment over the lack of women that could speak up for him in his life and ducking out of talking to Watson about it.