After 2 years of eager waiting, my favourite detective is back. There was a Christmas special that was aired last year which bridged the ending of Season 3 and what is to come in Season 4. I always feel grateful that Sherlock is 1 hour long. Does it work this time though? Let’s see.
STORY – The story begins where “The Abominable Bride” ended. Sherlock is brought back to the MI6 for questioning and what does he think about Moriarty’s cryptic message. Mycroft has doctored Magnussen’s murder so that it looks like one of the soldiers had killed Magnussen and not Sherlock. That allows Sherlock to roam free and delve into the apparent return of Moriarty. Well that’s at least what I expected. The story goes into the case of a strange murder of the son of a wealthy family. That part was heart-wrenching when we get to know how the son died. On taking this case, Sherlock unravels a much more deeper plot behind a missing bust of Margaret Thatcher and brings back the mysterious past of Watson’s wife, Mary. The six Thatchers is identical to the story of the six Napoleons. That’s where the story starts to digress. I can’t speak for everyone but I hated that they brought back Mary into the centre again. It felt really unnecessary and over-stretched.
DIRECTION – Rachel Talalay brought the slow-burn effect in this episode. The usual rush was gone. It was almost like we were being guided because of the 2-year gap. It was fun until the Mary part began. It almost felt like Spectre, where they go to far-off places just to reveal that they could have resolved it earlier. I mean, Sherlock follows Mary to the middle-east I suppose. If you are following her for so long then just stop her instead of going so far and wasting so much time! The thing that should be learnt from the entire Sherlock TV series is the use of jokes. They don’t make you laugh and distract you from the seriousness of the situation. It feels like a sprinkle of water in order to freshen you up. Yes Marvel, I am talking to you in particular. Loved the twist ending though. It was almost similar to the Study in Pink, where the most common person was the villain and not just because of villainous purposes, but because of how the society treats such characters. I also liked the fact, how they balanced Watson against Mary by not giving him the moral high-ground and also fleshed out Watson as a grey character instead of the symbol of virtue that we think he is.
ACTING – In the 1st scene I was slightly taken aback by his eccentric behaviour and I was like,”Why is he doing like that?” and then I remembered that he is not Doctor Strange here. He is Sherlock Holmes. It’s fun to see him play these intelligent characters with such finesse. Suits him perfectly. Martin Freeman brings a new shade to Watson with each season. Be it for his acting or the writing but you can deduce the jump from one season to another, just by following Watson. He is the most relatable character and Martin Freeman makes him more relatable. Returning roles of Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves, Mark Gatiss, Louise Brealey and Amanda Abbington are always fun to watch because their characters grow with each episode and also adds to the character of Sherlock.
FINAL VERDICT – I absolutely hated the fact that they stretched Mary’s character to the 4th season. A bit glad that hopefully it’s over, unless they pull a ‘walking dead’. I really wanted this episode to dig deeper into the Moriarty case as there are only 2 more episodes to go, but that’s just me. I had a few gripes about how some major things went off unexplained. Like how they killed off Ajay. You don’t just barge into a room an shoot someone in the back. If you’re suspicious then you shoot em in the knee-cap, especially when there are 3 people with guns drawn at each other. The other was how they didn’t address the fact that Mary drugged Sherlock to get away. You can’t always blame Sherlock for everything. All in all, I was in between liking it and being a bit disappointed but still a nice way to start the New Year. Happy New Year everyone.