I love this moment. Not just because it’s pretty hilarious; I think this reveals much of what you need to know about Sally Donovan and Gregory Lestrade.
Let’s look at Sally: she’s shown in motion, opening a door and delivering her line at the same time. She creates action, she sets events into motion, and she’s bent on justice. Sure, she functions as the giver of news here, but there’s an implication in what she says: there’s been a break-in and she wants to do something about it. Additionally, she doesn’t wait until Greg has acknowledged her presence: she knows that she is dealing with a pressing matter, so propriety is not her first priority. However, she still adheres to some etiquette (addressing Greg as sir), indicating that she respects him. Now look at her clothing choices: Sally wants to get shit done, and she wears what she wants while she does so. She wears feminine, practical clothing: there’s a beautiful necklace around her neck, and her shirt has this gorgeous pattern that I originally thought was lace-inspired. Still, it’s all stuff she can move in. But her clothing is much less whimsical than Molly’s, for example: notice the geometric lines of the necklace and the practical watch she wears on her left wrist.
Now look at Greg: Greg reacts to things. He’s clearly busy, and finding a moment to put his feet up and have a bit to eat (is that a scone? or in the tradition of stereotypical cops everywhere, is that a doughnut? we may never know)…and to have some coffee, of course. As he speaks, frustrated, harried, crumbs fall from his mouth (which really makes the humour of this moment, in my opinion). Paperwork is scattered on his desk, but besides an inexplicable paperweight/ornament and the cushy chair, the office looks rather utilitarian. Greg’s feet are on the desk in the classic “power pose,” but in his case the position serves to display his shoes, which don’t quite seem to match his already rather rumpled suit (well, rumpled by television standards). Is he wearing brown or black? I can’t really tell, but he’s not the natty dresser Sherlock is, that’s for certain.
She’s the newer member of the force, he’s the greying veteran. He’s in a traditional position of power (both by his pose, his job, and his status as white, male, and older), while she’s somewhat of an intruder (or she could be seen as one). But Sally is the more active one—he’s so clearly exhausted. And when you look at there interactions beyond this scene, it’s so clear that he respects her, and she respects him, and they have a very effective working relationship—they might even be called friendly, if not friends. And I like to think that Sally, Sally who could so easily ignore him or mock him or just do her job and nothing more, I think Sally is responsible for that.
This has been a Sally Donovan and Greg Lestrade (but mostly Sally Donovan) appreciation post.