And like that season 3 of Sherlock comes to an end, but oh, Mr. Moffat, you crafted a helluva season finale!
It took me forever to find time to watch the episode, happily I remained spoiler-free, and it was so worth it… I had been looking forward to this moment all week, and as I settled in to watch the episode, I reveled in every moment!
This time around Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) take on a business and media tycoon in the Rupert Murdoch vein, Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen).
It seems Magnussen is nigh unstoppable when it comes to amassing power and knowledge, and he knows exactly what pressure point to exploit on politicians, celebrities, anyone who gets in his way, or holds him back from gaining more power.
Sherlock is hired by Lady Smallwood (Lindsay Duncan) to warn him off, or perhaps negotiate for the information he has so he can’t blackmail her.
That, however, serves only as a leaping off point for an episode that is filled with gut-punching revelation after revelation, betrayals, discoveries, and everything we’ve come to love the series for.
I won’t give away any of the revelations here for those who haven’t seen it yet, but there is trouble for John and his wife Mary (Amanda Abbington), a reappearance of a face from the wedding, in the form of Janine (Yasmine Akram), and in the final moments of the episode the revelation of some serious trouble for next season…
The writing and the performances are the finest they’ve been this season, and this is undeniably the standout episode of the trio, there are laughs, heartaches, pain, and sometimes all of them happen at once.
Like all episodes, this one is about payoffs, little things that have happened throughout the course of series 3 are called back on, and you realize everything has been there from the get-go just waiting for you to notice them. If you caught some of them you feel rather clever, if you find you missed one, you smack your forehead, it seems so obvious now!
I love that we see Watson craving a bit of action and goes to help a neighbor, we see a side of Sherlock we never expected to see, we learn some terrifying secrets, see some Holmes family interaction, and not just with Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), more of Sherlock’s mind palace and finally Holmes does the unthinkable for Queen and Country.
This episode was brilliant, and it never seemed to let up, it was a solid 90 minute rollercoaster, and the revelations in the final moments… WOW!
Perhaps we’ll never know what exactly happened at the end of series 2, and despite the not knowing how, I cannot wait to see the return next season of Holmes’ greatest nemesis!
What did you think of this episode and this season in?