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Story by Charlotte Dekle

There’s an iconic scene in the iconic BBC television show “Sherlock” in the iconic episode “The Hounds of Baskerville” that has become somewhat of a meme. The scene depicts the titular sleuth venturing inside his mind palace to decipher the cryptic secret of a government laboratory that he stumbled upon. In typical Sherlock fashion, he dramatically puts his fingers to his temples and gesticulates wildly, swiping away pictures, the national motto of France, Elvis’ Hound Dog and other phrases in Arial font to solve the puzzle.

When I initially watched this scene, I was in awe. My 12-year-old brain could not compute such genius. My reverential viewing pattern continued through all three seasons when this similar mind palace conceit returns. My support of this series bled into my real-world interactions when I defended the quality to multiple groups of people in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary. Do not get me wrong, I still view most of the show with a devout nostalgia and still find many sequences effective.

But in hindsight and at the end of a long day in France, I began to re-evaluate this scene.

I should have assumed that my tastes would evolve as I aged. For with age comes knowledge and with knowledge comes new worldviews. But this change in me seemed so glacial that I did not know it would come until it did.

So, in France, when this episode popped up on a French cable channel, I excitedly turned to my suitemates to express my love for the so-called genius episode. The episode was in French so they were going off of my recollection for the plot. When this scene began, I was clenching my fists with excitement. My suitemates, who were not dogged Sherlock-ians, did not see the genius of the scene. They found it funny, and surprisingly, I did too.

Logically, the scene was exactly how I remembered it. The shots were the same, as were the cuts and Benedict Cumberbatch’s erratic hand motions. But emotionally, the scene did not feel the same. It felt cheaper, a facsimile of the one from my youth. Maybe I am more cynical now, but I did not wish to be. 

Hindsight is a double-edged sword. I am slowly creeping towards adulthood, which I suspect will be a running theme in this year’s column space. With adulthood comes freedom, which I have always craved. But with this freedom comes more intellectual curiosity and cynicism towards things I once enjoyed. 

There was no feeling I wanted more than the one that the scene made me feel. Nostalgia is devastating sometimes. This show made me happy, once. Many things did. But as I am hurtling towards 18, I do not feel as if I have changed at all. I still feel like that bright-eyed 12-year-old who had never taken Math 3+. But if you are reading this Mr. McGough, I did not mean that last sentence. At least I show growth in the sense that I can laugh at something I once admired. Obviously, this admiration did not dissipate completely, I am writing this column in Arial font.

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