Whatever Remains: The Holmes and Lestrade Page

"You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles."
-- Holmes, "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"

Okay. So Holmes never fell in love during the stories (unless you count Irene Adler). So he never married (unless you read Laurie King). So it's a slim chance. But then again, he never met a woman like our Beth Lestrade. (No offense to those feisty Victorian women, but even 'Lady Molly of Scotland Yard' didn't get to play with karate. Natural disads there.)

Still, early Sherlockians were far more interested in finding a match for Holmes than today's. "Did Baker Street never have a queen?" was asked and answered in many ways, up to and including Rex Stout's "Was Watson a Woman?" Today it is the female Sherlockians who tend to specialize in this activity, while the males tend to pooh-pooh it. Well, too bad. Most of those people aren't watching this cartoon anyway, so I can make a mushy ol' webpage if I feel like it!

So. Let me present the evidence.


Lestrade looked at Holmes' coffin and remarked to Watson, "Doesn't look like much, does he?" But when she first saw Holmes' revived body move, she remarked, "He's incredible!" (And Maureen made snarky remarks in her head.)

The first thing Holmes saw when he returned to life was Lestrade, calling him by his first name (with worried intimacy) and then immediately reverting to her usual self for a very pleased American welcome to the 22nd century.

Holmes actually flirts with Lestrade in the cruiser ("You brought me back for more than just my good looks and sparkling wit.") and harmony prevails until Lestrade reveals her conviction that the Crypnosis Crisis is being caused by Moriarty. Holmes is clearly nonplussed, and Lestrade seems hurt that even Holmes won't believe her. She retreats behind the wall of wisecracks which will serve her so well for the rest of the series. Lestrade's serious side doesn't emerge often, but it came out again later that day as she asked Holmes whether he missed Watson.

When Holmes and Lestrade arrive at the Yard's main computer, Holmes rushes inside to confront the mysterious intruder. Lestrade follows and becomes a target for the intruder's robot. Holmes tries to push Lestrade out of the way, but she is hit and falls against the wall. Holmes examines her briefly and then turns back to fight the intruder, his face grim and one word on his lips: "Enough."


Lestrade again spends much of this episode defending Holmes against Greyson even as she disagrees with Holmes' ideas. Holmes spends much of the episode trying to deal with the idea that a woman is supervising his activities and a robot has taken the persona of his best friend, and is equally unthrilled by both. When Watson urges Holmes to aid Lestrade, he sniffs, "The lady can take care of herself," and proceeds to interview Wiggins while conspicuously ignoring Lestrade's flying kicks and her opponents' flying bodies.

When Holmes awakens from being stunned before Lestrade does, he can free his hands but grumbles because he does not know how to properly reconnect Watson's wiring. "I suppose I shall have to wake the female," he groans, but when shaking doesn't work, he gently tickles Lestrade's face with an errant lock of her hair. (Facial touching? You know it's a sign.)

After Watson is apparently lost in the Thames, Lestrade tries to comfort Holmes but doesn't make a good job of it, since she didn't know that Watson had just saved Holmes' life and been accepted by him as a being in its own right. She is happy to see Holmes reunited with his friend. The prestige of destroying the crimenotizer allows her to persuade the Yard to take Holmes on as a permanent consultant, and arranges a series of surprises for Holmes, including an elastomask for Watson and 221B's return to its original use. Lestrade's kind heart is shown very clearly here.


More conflict this ep. Holmes has accepted Watson and Lestrade as friends, but not yet as comrades. (And really, this isn't so surprising. It took him several months to let the original Watson in on his actual profession. Later, after knowing Watson for several years, Holmes still didn't feel he knew Watson well enough to let him in on the secret of his brother Mycroft's true position in the Foreign Office. Holmes is naturally secretive.) First case he runs into, Holmes is off to the Moon by himself, without leaving more word than that he'll be back in a few days. But in the course of the ep, Holmes learns to accept both as partners (and Lestrade as his nominal boss). In fact, he has no problem involving them in some very dangerous stuff. (Which, to be fair, he doesn't spare himself. Holmes just tends to do this kind of thing.)

When Moriarty chats with Holmes and Lestrade cuts in with some cogent comments, a little frame-by-frame or pausing your VCR will reveal a very interesting expression on Holmes' face. As he turns his eyes from angrily staring at Moriarty to watching Lestrade talk, he gets an extremely gentle look on his face. (And no, I don't think we're talking teacher-student here. You won't, either.)


Lestrade goes all understated on us when she speaks to Watson of missing Holmes. Considering that in CROO2 she goes all understated about losing her beloved job, I think we can take this as a comment.

When Lestrade then arrives, by following clues independently, just in time to save Holmes and Watson, she doesn't seem particularly surprised at Holmes' survival. So it may be that, as in the canonical EMPT, Lestrade was let in on the secret at some point (after she chased the 'old man' but before returning to the Holocade?). But I don't insist on this point.


This episode is, well, romantic by analogy. It's all about seeing through appearances to the "true man inside". Holmes notoriously appears to be a "thinking machine" who speaks of "the softer passions with only a gibe or a sneer", but that's not true in this ep, is it? Meanwhile, Lestrade shows her own dedication to being "on the side of truth and justice" by pursuing her investigation despite personal danger, loss and disgrace. And Holmes and Lestrade stand pretty close together after she brings Victor back to Nancy, so there you go. (Yes, I can think of something Holmes/Lestrade for every ep. Just you watch.)


A strangely flirty scene in the coachcraft as Lestrade, with "an unusual playfulness in her demeanour", teases Holmes with a case. Holmes is annoyed at first, since he's been called out from his tea and fire (set in his ways!), but Lestrade threatens to call on "Arthur Doyle", which does the trick, and signs off with a devilish look. Holmes then explains to Watson what she has in mind, commenting that "Our dear Inspector Lestrade has all but solved this case."

But the fun turns sour as Holmes and Watson arrive at Lestrade's apartment building to hear fire alarms going off and smoke pouring from her flat window. Holmes leads the charge into the building. When Holmes watches Lestrade jump from her balcony, his lips frame the word "No!" at the same time Watson yells it. You can hear Holmes saying "No!" much better after the commercial break.

Then it's onward to New Scotland Yard's computer core, where Holmes confronts Lestrade on the same bridge where he first met Moriarty again. Lestrade breaks off a piece of the railing (dang, she's strong!). Holmes, looking distressed and saddened, tries to talk her down. She struggles valiantly against mind control and manages to put the bar down, but falls when she tries to walk toward him. Holmes yells out her name. Her programming sweeps back over her, and Holmes steps out of the way of her leap to use Lestrade's own strength against her without hurting or touching her. Lestrade turns to rush Holmes again and Watson stuns her. Holmes' expression as he catches the suddenly boneless Lestrade is largely hidden, but the way the scene is drawn emphasizes the bulk of Holmes' Inverness as his arms come about her. Then he carefully draws her up into his arms and carries her all the way to Grayson's office. (This is a very good scene for the pause button. Beautiful.)

Holmes looks rather pensive as he looks out the window at the end of the scene in the coachcraft on the way to Midgard. Holmes cheers up considerably while talking to Watson once they get there, but notice what he's smiling about: catching the thief and getting Lestrade cured. As the original Watson said in "The Hound of the Baskervilles", "I never saw him laugh but it boded ill for somebody." At this point, Holmes tells Watson, who's worried about the risk of bringing Lestrade back into her assailant's clutches, "Knowing Lestrade, I doubt she'd have it any other way."

(What a comment! Lord Peter Wimsey took five years to work out that if Harriet Vane needed to go into danger, he should let her. But the Master is such a quick study, he works it out in a few months! Granted, he's probably not in love with Lestrade yet, but it's a very promising basis. Of course, this could just be Holmes' notorious coldbloodedness, but it doesn't seem that way.)

There are a number of rather touching scenes of Lestrade unconscious in Grayson's office and at Midgard. Holmes' insistence that Watson guard Lestrade is very striking, particularly the second time when Holmes is pretending to be mad. But as her assailant boasts of making Lestrade destroy her own evidence, Holmes proudly remarks that she still left him enough clues to solve the puzzle.

As Lestrade goes for Holmes' throat in the ensuing melee, Holmes refuses to lay a hand on her at any time. (He's a gentleman.) The pause button reveals him tensing for her attack but keeping his hands at his sides. Fortunately, he's just destroyed the control and she breaks free in time. She comes to her senses looking very young and lost.

Unfortunately, Holmes' expression (and whole head!) are hidden behind the Fox Kids logo as Lestrade apologizes for her actions. He is smiling when she gives him a hand up, though. They stand looking face to face, and with the hospital gowns on we can see how close in height and build they are. (Built is the word. Holmes in that gown -- fwoar!) Holmes then amuses himself by pointing Lestrade at Dr. Smith. (He just loves Lestrade's reactions.) Then Holmes and Lestrade stand shoulder-to-shoulder at an angle (and boy, do they make a nice-looking couple!) as they fill in Watson.

In the last scene, watch Holmes' eyes -- glued on Lestrade. After Lestrade says, "Or less," pause on Holmes' expression. Notice how soft it is until Watson calls him back. Awww.

All in all, this is one powerful argument of an episode for Holmes and Lestrade getting together.


It's Halloween, and this ep offers more tricks from Holmes than treats for romantic viewers. (Well, romantic viewers not watching Tennyson find the girl of his dreams. Awwwww, young love.) Still, Lestrade's continual exasperation with Holmes and her timely entrance are pretty memorable on that front. As for the cuffs and the Watson moments...let's not go there, at least on this page.

All the same, who would have thought we'd ever hear Holmes saying, "Ah, but nothing can withstand our Lestrade. She's a force of nature unto herself."?


Hmmmm. Am I allowed to mention poor shivering Holmes here, or would that be more in the way of a Fwoar! page about the way Holmes gets drawn on this series? All I can say is, Lestrade certainly gets to see more sides of Holmes than most....


This is not only the first ep in which Lestrade is implicitly included in Holmes' "my dears", but the ep in which Holmes follows up by explicitly calling her "dear Lestrade" to her face!! No doubt Holmes' uncommon burst of verbal affection is founded upon the afternoon's narrow escapes from death, and Lestrade's extremely opportune rescue. The look on his face when he hears Lestrade's tread upon the stairs is pause-worthy.

Really, Lestrade does rescue Holmes from some noteworthy predicaments, doesn't she?


Lestrade called the locals on the Moon and gave Holmes backup. Considering she doesn't even appear in the ep, I call that promising.


Lestrade doesn't kill Holmes for taking over her investigation; it must be love.... Then Holmes actually trusts Lestrade to play decoy. Considering that the few times he had the Watson of old play decoy he kept the poor man totally in the dark about it, this is noteworthy.


A very flirty opening to the first act as Holmes cajoles Lestrade into letting the Irregulars participate in the investigation again. Yeah, she's only doing it as a favor to Mr. Holmes.... The interesting thing is that, from the direction that the three approach the Irregulars, Holmes could very well have been showing Lestrade and Watson where his old rooms around the corner in Montague Street were.

Later, Lestrade almost gets killed and Holmes is visibly upset about it. Man, if all those kids hadn't been around, we might have seen something of real interest! (Okay, so we also would have seen her dead, but....)

Meanwhile, it looks like Moriarty has decided that power is more important than whatever feelings he had for Lestrade. He seemed regretful about it, but he also did his best to make sure she bit the dust. (Which is just as well. Ewwwww!)


This is more of a friendship episode for the Big Three than anything else, and a very delightful episode it is. In fact, this would seem to be the first time Holmes formally includes Lestrade among his friends. But once again, our Lestrade stands very close to Holmes at the end, so he does sorta briefly have his arm around her.... Hmm. Somebody give that woman some mistletoe.


Holmes shows that he actually respects Lestrade's driving by having her take the wheel in the climactic chase. The twin evil grins on their two faces are pause-worthy, even in this poorly drawn ep.


The second season begins with a wonderful (and beautifully drawn) Watson ep, the beginning of a whole cycle of Holmes and Watson-centered stories. The downside is that there's not much Holmes and Lestrade here. But the wonderful exchange about the Tech Saboteurs ("Deduce that all by yourself, did you?") and Lestrade's appearance as Holmes' backup lead the way into one of the most significant moments between them. Moriarty takes Lestrade hostage and offers to trade her for the micro-ticks. Lestrade tells Holmes not to negotiate, and Holmes firmly agrees: "No deal." (You know how manyyears it took Wimsey to get even close to this? Oh, right, I already told you.) This leads up to the climactic moment of the ep, as Moriarty throws the antidote into the air, and all 3 friends move simultaneously to catch it. What a beautiful illustration of how this 3-way crimefighting partnership works! (And then Lestrade calls Moriarty "it". Yeah, I think he's off the woman's Christmas card list for good.)


Nothing in particular in this ep, except that Lestrade looks pretty sharp in her security guard costume. And that it's pretty sad that, in a Valentine's Day ep, the only person kissing someone is that rather formidable old lady! Anyway, Holmes and Lestrade seem to be on good terms, although Greyson is obviously giving Lestrade a hard time.


Lestrade and Holmes both look pretty sharp in this wonderfully drawn ep with great 'camera angles', and Lestrade gets in some good moves when she's charging the baddies, as does Holmes with his cane. And he called her "Beth"! He actually referred to her as "Beth", in her presence! (Okay, so he was addressing Watson, but still!)

So, what are the chances?

Of course the original Watson was exaggerating when he said that Holmes _never_ spoke of the softer passions except with a gibe or a sneer. And Holmes did mellow a bit over the years in his attitudes. Furthermore, Holmes always had a soft spot for a few of his female clients and adversaries, and I think that if we examine those ladies he particularly admired, we might learn something of Lestrade's chances.

Irene Adler from "A Scandal in Bohemia"

This contralto from New Jersey scorned the unfaithfulness of a king and married an English lawyer. She is also one of the few persons ever to outwit Sherlock Holmes. She was beautiful ("the daintiest thing under a bonnet"), resourceful, and in general such a strong personality that she partially broke Holmes of his misogeny. "What a queen she would have made!" To Holmes, and to many Sherlockians, she is still "The Woman", and Holmes wore the sovereign she tipped him on his watchchain.

Violet Hunter from "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"

A governess with a "bright, quick face, freckled like a plover's egg," "with the brisk manner of a woman who has had her own way to make in the world", and chestnut hair of which she is very proud. Watson could see immediately that "Holmes was favourably impressed by the manner and speech of his new client". Holmes agrees with Miss Hunter that her new employer is up to something, and assures her that he will come to her aid if need be. Watson notes that she seems to be a young lady who can take care of herself, and Holmes opines that she needs to be.

For the next two weeks, however, Holmes "sat frequently for half an hour on end, with knitted brows and an abstracted air...And yet he would always wind up muttering that no sister of his should ever have accepted such a situation." However, Watson notes that "As to Miss Violet Hunter, my friend Holmes, rather to my disappointment, manifested no further interest in her once she had ceased to be the centre of one of his problems, and she is now the head of a private school at Walsall, where I believe that she has met with considerable success."

Maud Bellamy from "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane"

A young Sussex woman whose fiancee is found dead. She reacts to this calmly, but is utterly determined that his killer be found -- "If I can help to show who did it, it is the least I can do for him who is gone."

She appears in one of the two Holmes stories which is actually written by Holmes. The retired Holmes tells us, "Who would have imagined that such a flower could grow from such a root and in such an atmosphere? Women have seldom been an attraction to me, for my brain has always governed my heart, but I could not look upon her perfect clear-cut face, with all the soft freshness of the Downlands in her delicate colouring, without realizing that no young man would cross her path unscathed." Later, he says, "She listened to a short account from my companion with a composed concentration which showed me that she possessed strong character as well as great beauty. Maud Bellamy shall always remain in my memory as a most complete and remarkable woman."

"Should I ever marry...."

As early as The Valley of Fear, Holmes did have one nice comment to make. "I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind, as you are aware, Watson, but my experience of life has taught me that there are few wives having any regard for their husbands who would let any man's spoken word stand between them and that husband's dead body. Should I ever marry, Watson, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her."

To Sum Up

Holmes is not nearly as taken by appearance as the original Watson. Intelligence, composure, determination, and loyalty are the attributes which seem to most impress him. These are all attributes which Lestrade possesses, and therefore, her chances may well be good.