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Sherlock has broken the internet — and it happened with a hug

For Sherlock fans, Series 4’s second episode, “The Lying Detective,” was the one they’ve been waiting for for years, because it sees Sherlock Holmes and John Watson finally share a hug.

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The moment happened when Watson, played by Martin Freeman, broke down and confessed to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock that he had been speaking to another woman behind his wife Mary’s back (before her death in the previous episode.) Watson, riddled with guilt, was in need of comfort, and while many fans would have expected Sherlock to react in a completely different way (given the difficulty that he has previously shown with expressing feelings) he surprised us all by embracing his friend and colleague.

And the internet has gone crazy.

The episode of the hit BBC series drew in 6 million viewers, winning its time slot and beating competitor Endeavour‘s 5.1 million. Fans took to Twitter to share their joy over the emotional moment — and it’s clear that a lot of people have been waiting for this for a long time.

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This hug was much more than just a fleeting moment of emotion — it was also an important step in the development of Cumberbatch’s character.

Could this moment be the breakthrough that Holmes needed to come to terms with his emotions? Does this mean he will be more willing to embrace his softer side? Could this new change in Holmes’ attitude subsequently affect his approach to his work?

More: Benedict Cumberbatch gets candid about his “obsessive, deluded” fans

We’ll have to wait and see how Series 4 plays out, but the new dynamic between the characters, coupled with through-the-roof ratings, could help ensure that the series makes it back for a fifth series.

However, it’s possible that more main characters will be killed off, something Cumberbatch seemed to hint at during a recent interview.

“This new series goes to a place where it will be hard to follow on immediately,” he explained. “We never say never on the show, but in the immediate future we all have things we want to crack on with, and we’ve made something very complete as it its.”

What did you think of the hug between Sherlock and Watson? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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