Okay can we also just.
Think for a second how after Joan comes to Sherlock and tells him that she thinks the husband in her case was responsible, he points out that the case has now escalated from missing person to murder, and then asks her if she would like him to take over. She says no, and then he leaves her to it.
He leaves her to it.
It didn’t seem remarkable to me at first, but after thinking about it, what is normally the first response in tv shows when a woman is entering an increasingly dangerous situation? The man steps in, points out the danger, and tries to assert control to “keep her safe”. Shows nowadays will “subvert” this by having the woman scoff about having to be protected, proving herself to be badass in one way or another, and the man may or may not leave things to her.
Sherlock, however, doesn’t insist on taking over, nor does he make Joan “prove herself” as capable of handling the danger. He asks out of concern, and then respects her decision to continue working on it alone.
Another situation this could have cropped up in is after Joan’s life was in danger in A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs. He knows his work is dangerous, and he knows he absolutely does not want to lose Joan—but instead of trying to segregate her from more dangerous situations, he decides to teach her self-defense techniques so that she can keep herself safe.
There are just so many little signs of how much he respects her and thinks of her as capable and equal and it’s so wonderful. What a supportive friend. What a great show.