Sherlock’s existence alone was the only thing that could subdue John’s PTSD. Now that he is gone, John’s tremors have come back.
“Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.”
It was Pepper alone who stood by Tony when the whole world called him crazy. It was Pepper who went crazy worrying that her boss would go and get himself blown up, and it was Pepper who saw the heart, the emotionally charged side of Tony that he covered so, so well.
“You’re all I have too, you know.” In the end, the last person standing faithful was Pepper because she cared so much about the kind-hearted and determined side of Tony that no one else would care to look twice. Slowly, carefully, Pepper won the heart of our briliant little billionaire; the heart she slowly helped him learn he had. And in return he made it into a promise with a small, heart key necklace, a forever.
Sherlock is being strangled at Soo Lin’s flat; pretty badly too. It looks like he passes out for a few moments and can barely talk afterwards. The attacker simply stops for some reason. Why? Because John, sarcastically bitching outside, has just said that he is Sherlock Holmes. Good luck for Sherlock that John is a Grand Master of Snark and the Black Lotus is entirely populated with total morons. It saved his life.
Tony insulting Cap by telling him that “the only thing special about him came out of a bottle” is a far more devastating insult when you remember Tony is a recovering alcoholic.
Moriarty’s ringtone is “Stayin’ Alive”, which goes off right before Sherlock is able to make a decision. Considering Sherlock’s “plan” was seemingly to shoot the bomb-jacket and take the whole building down, the ringtone (and call) were the distraction that lets Moriarty and Sherlock, well, stay alive.
When Moriarty shakes Sherlock’s hand at the end, Sherlock cocks his head in a slightly puzzled manner, looking at him in confusion… at least, that’s what you realise when you notice that Moriarty used his right hand to shake hands with him, despite being left-handed (as we see earlier in the episode, with the teacup). Moriarty left his main hand free to grab his gun and kill himself, and Sherlock has just enough time to notice that.
After Sherlock is locked up in contempt of court, John faithfully bails him out again, all the while bitching that he told him not to get clever. But while Sherlock might have got himself locked up simply for his smart mouth, later John almost cheerfully gets arrested himself for assaulting a police officer.
It’s a perfect demonstration of the old proverb, “A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a best friend will be sitting next to you saying, “Damn…what’ll we do now?”
Tony does spin out of control and fights his best friend because he’s a drunken mess… except he’s dying. He already gave Pepper his company and is now entrusting the Iron Man suits to the one person he can trust: Rhodey. Tony brawling with Rhodes isn’t just a dispute between friends. Tony was testing Rhodes to see if he was willing and able to use the suit to fight his best friend if need be. In one go, Tony was training, teaching, and evaluating Rhodes’ suitability. Brilliant. War Machine was planned by Tony, who thought he was going to die.
All of which lends new meaning into Tony’s line to Rhodey earlier in the movie: “You gotta trust me. Contrary to popular belief, I know exactly what I’m doing.”
Sherlock’s out of character “Laterz” at Buckingham Palace is not only a passive-aggressive sign of contempt (and parting shot at Mycroft, who almost got him to behave himself)- it may also refer to Sherlock’s secret guilty pleasure of watching what John freely admits in The Great Game to be “crap telly.”
Black Widow has never been so clearly rattled by anything as the prospect of going up against the Hulk. As an espionage agent, her modus operandi is to manipulate her targets into underestimating her and then revealing their plans to her in their own overconfidence—a move that works well against Russian gangsters, Asgardian Norse gods, and genius billionaire playboy philanthropists alike. In actual combat, Natasha is a master of human-level martial arts and firearms. And the Hulk terrifies her because none of her tactics work on him. The Hulk can’t be manipulated or reasoned with, and worse, his actions are completely unpredictable. Guns don’t work on him, nor hand-to-hand combat without superhuman power. No wonder she’s freaked out by him even as a seasoned agent: her only option is to run like hell. Her eventual acceptance of Hulk/Banner as a teammate is arguably the bravest thing she does in the movie.