Sherlock s2 ep 3

“My best friend Sherlock Holmes is dead.”

Oh, God.  That’s how the episode started, for pity’s sake, and the stakes remained at an all-time high as Steve Thompson took hold of the reins and took us through ninety minutes of intricate puzzle, intellectual warfare and merciless fight to the finish…I’m wrung out.

Beginning with a dashingly confident (and international market-friendly) break-in at three of the most famous places in London, taking in the kidnapping of a modern-day Hansel and Gretel, a bunch of international hitmen ironically trying to keep their target alive, and the key to all doors everywhere, the crimes Sherlock solved this week weren’t just nice little mysteries – not that they ever just are – they were the building blocks for a story of friendship, sacrifice, bitterness and people’s insistence on tearing down anyone who seems clever or special; and what a story that was.  Such a tale of heroism and villainy that “even the king began to wonder.”  Oh, Lestrade.  How could you?

“The Reichenbach Fall” was marvellous.  Like the rest of the series, it brought the original story of Sherlock’s downfall stylishly and entertainingly up-to-date, and turned it into a twisting rollercoaster of a season finale, incoporating the show’s trademark wit and humanity, showrunner Steven Moffat’s love of children’s fairy tales, and a supremely elegant, well-deserved attack on the tabloid press to boot.

And if the writing was great, the acting was faultless with Benedict Cumberbatch superb as ever.  Whether Sherlock was showing off in the courtroom, despairing on the rooftop, or finally being honest in his brief, moving scenes with Molly, he was mesmerising.  But it was Martin Freeman as Watson who broke my heart in both those first few and those last few minutes.  His final plea for ” one more thing.  One more miracle, Sherlock, just for me.  Don’t…don’t be dead.” had me sobbing my eyes out.

I know it could (and will) easily be said that the ending was a cop-out, but it was the cop-out Arthur Conan Doyle eventually made and it’s the cop-out that means we’ll get a season three, so it’s a cop-out I’m more than okay with, to be honest.  It didn’t spoil or minimise the impact of what has been a fabulously smart and polished TV series and a fittingly brilliant flourish of a finish.  So, cop-out or not, Sherlock – see you soon, eh?

19 thoughts on “Sherlock s2 ep 3

  1. CJ Cregg January 16, 2012 / 12:09 am

    For anyone wondering, Steven Moffat has confirmed s3 was commissioned at the same time as season 2. So we’re good.

  2. Tim January 16, 2012 / 12:38 am

    Astounding TV, even if there were a few minor flaws. But who cares when it’s all done with such panache? Cumberbatch and Freeman were fantastic, and I even warmed to Andrew Scott in the end. The confrontations between Jim and Sherlock in the courtroom, in 221b and finally on the Barts rooftop are chilling, thrilling and probably something else really -illing.

    To be honest, The FInal Problem isn’t really that meaty a tale, but Steve Thompson does a fine job here of cranking up the tension while maintaining just a sprinkling of humour. The way Sherlock dissects the entire jury with just a casual glance was hilarious.

    Full review to follow, you know, at my place …

    • CJ Cregg January 17, 2012 / 11:32 pm

      The court scenes were very funny, weren’t they? I loved him critiquing the prosecutor’s questions as well. In other hands, that kind of smarty-pants business would be spectacularly annoying, but Cumberbatch does it soooo well.

      • e January 19, 2012 / 10:02 pm

        Add to that the bits about figuring out the gifts without unwrapping them. But my very favorite part was Sherlock attempting to understand the Deerstalker. You may want to replay those bits if you have them on DVR and listen carefully when he’s in the background.

        • CJ Cregg January 21, 2012 / 6:24 pm

          “Death frisbee?…..It’s got flaps – ear flaps! It’s an ear hat, John!”


          • e January 22, 2012 / 7:47 pm

            I’m now going back and slowly watching The Blind Banker, just to give Steve Thompson a second chance. After Reichenbach, I felt bad for being so harsh on TBB.

            Surprisingly, although I’m not far into the rewatch, there are a few very nice subtleties that I missed first time round. (Although there are non-subtle elements, that I sincerely don’t care for.)

            Specifically, I’m at the bit now in the bank, where Sherlock very proudly introduces John as his “friend”, to the loathesome Sebastian, who goes on to call him a freak and mention to John how much everyone hated him at uni.

            Cumberbatch, of course, sells this to the nth degree, without words, but it also reflects a few themes in Reichenbach — specifically when Mycroft laughs that information could have come from friends from school, and later when John upbraids Mycroft for selling him out.

            These themes of the younger Sherlock’s backstory intrigue me, and it’s something I hope Thompson brings to series three. (Which I don’t expect until mid 2013, honestly.)

            I’m pushing forward with the rewatch despite suboptimal Lestrade levels and the stupidest villain in any story.

  3. Jed Bartlet January 16, 2012 / 10:18 pm

    Better than last week; not as good as the first one. This season, for me, followed the same pattern as the first, although I thought all of the episodes in season 2 were better than season 1.

    I’m afraid I still have real difficulty in seeing Moriarty as the most brilliant criminal mind of all time (or whatever Mycroft called him). Yes, he’s entertaining; yes, occasionally chilling. But not quite menacing enough.

    • CJ Cregg January 17, 2012 / 11:29 pm

      I thought Moriarty really dialled up the menacing this week, to be honest. When he said “you’re just getting that now?” about being insane and when he shot himself – I found that all pretty creepy. I actually screamed out loud. I appreciate this means he’s now (apparently) dead and thus a lot less scary, but he freaked me right out nonetheless.

      • e January 19, 2012 / 10:06 pm

        Agreed totally. I actually quite loved how they made him irrational, but with enough strands of rationality strewn through the whole thing to help the viewer understand where he’s coming from.

        There is one thing of beauty, one thing not ordinary, and that thing must, at all costs, be destroyed and utterly burned.

        It’s not just enough to kill Sherlock, he had to kill the victories as well.

        Of course, if anyone stops and thinks for about 10 seconds, a guy who’s been wanted for decades is probably not going to be a set-up by a criminal mastermind.

        Don’t mind me on that. It’s “fridge logic” and Sherlock (the series) is all emotion, not really logic.

    • Tallulah January 19, 2012 / 9:42 am

      I disagree – I find his youth, his sing-song voice, his grin…frakking terrifyingly creepy and excellent. He’s just like the Joker – a perfect villain, because he does everything out of boredom.

      • Jed Bartlet January 19, 2012 / 1:23 pm

        Hi Tallulah – I’m in a minority with Moriarty, but to me he seemed like a petulant teenager pretending to be frightening. Sherlock, on the other hand – he could scare me.

  4. kiwigods January 17, 2012 / 6:52 pm

    I’m still trying to catch my breath and organize my thoughts. Brilliant.

  5. e May 27, 2012 / 9:46 pm


  6. e May 27, 2012 / 10:02 pm

    What’s the count now? Four? Hawking, Small Island and two Sherlocks?

    • CJ Cregg May 27, 2012 / 10:09 pm

      Yup. Poor BC. A Golden Globe or something would be nice to take the edge off, hint, hint…

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