Here are my collected thoughts on Sherlock season 4. A note on how this post works: I wrote a little bit after each episode where I talked about my feelings on the episode and speculations for the next. I’ve added dates in so you can see when I wrote them, this is mostly because some stuff turned out to be wrong. Then at the end there is a little summary of how I felt about the season as a whole. Even though I shouldn’t really need to mention this, it will contain spoilers for all three episodes.
THE SIX THATCHERS
Okay my initial impression of this episode was that it’s a bit meh. But there is another problem with this, that being the time since the last season of Sherlock aired. It was a bit ‘meh’ possibly because the things I wanted to happen in this episode didn’t. And if anything that is to be expected. So yeah it wasn’t the most amazing episode of Sherlock I had ever seen but it wasn’t bad either.
The other thing I noticed about this is how much darker this episode was compared to what came before. Even though some are about serious topics (A Scandal In Belgravia comes to mind) they still have humorous moments and that overall makes the show feel not too serious. Everything has changed now. Though admittedly it did start out quite light and funny. I can’t be the only one that wants to see more interaction between Sherlock and Rosie. I think this series as a whole will continue to be more serious, but (and I’m just guessing here) that may be because this could possibly be the last season. It may not be. But you never really know with Sherlock.
The actual episode started off good and ended good but there was something about the middle that seemed to drag on. Just after you find out the episode is really more about Mary. That whole sequence with Mary trying to run away was totally unnecessary when it turned out they were tracking her all along. Also the little interactions between Sherlock and Mary were great. I just love how those two get along.
I LIKED MARY
Okay now I need to talk about the big thing of this episode. That being the fact they killed off Mary. I really shouldn’t have been too surprised by this considering she dies in the books. But still, I liked Mary and I really didn’t want her to die. One of the only nice things about her death though is she dies saving Sherlock which comes full circle from the previous episode where she shoots Sherlock. But still, why did she have to die. However I did notice a moment in the trailer for episode 2 where she possibly appears so maybe she isn’t dead? I don’t know if I would be surprised if she came back. But then again that may just be me really hoping she isn’t dead. I don’t like it when fictional characters die.
THE LYING DETECTIVE
I think my overall impression of this episode is that it was much better than the first. Okay I should probably start at the beginning with Mary. I can’t have been the only one that thought just for a second that she wasn’t dead. Then you get the reveal she is dead and John is hallucinating and it kind of broke my heart all over again. I really wanted her to not be dead and I think I have to accept she is (not willingly though).
The highlight of this episode has to be Toby Jones as Culverton Smith. He does such a good job at being this creepy billionaire. When you go back you notice that he is constantly making references to what he has done but he’s almost right in that he is famous and has lots of money so can get away with what he does. A number of people have compared this character to Jimmy Saville (with the keys to the hospital). I can’t say for certain how good this comparison is but it is very creepy. Especially how he manages to make you believe for just a moment that Sherlock is wrong and he isn’t a serial killer.
I don’t really know if there are the words to describe Benedict Cumberbatch in this. He is so good at playing a high version of Sherlock (I don’t actually know how a person who is actually high acts admittedly). THe whole way he is riding that edge of you thinking he has totally lost the plot and yet there are a few tiny moments where he tries to convince you otherwise. On my third rewatch I noticed a moment where he actually tells John he is in hell which I thought was really nice.
ON MRS HUDSON
We’re going to talk about Mrs Hudson now because she really was the best bit of this whole episode. First you find out she drives an Aston Martin then it turns out not only that she has Sherlock handcuffed in the boot. I love Mrs Hudson because she is so much more than just the landlady. I love that the creators have given her this hilarious back story with being married to a drug lord and being an exotic dancer. And then just the fact she gets annoyed at anyone who asks about it. Una Stubbs really did win this episode.
I loved going back and rewatching this episode because there are so many important things you don’t get the first time through. Like the fact Sherlock notes that the daughter doesn’t look like what she does in the photo with her father. Also earlier on in the episode John’s therapist notes that she might remind John of Sherlock which would be understandable when you find out the therapist/ Euros is Sherlock’s sister. Also the little things like her noticing the difference between “looking away and looking at”. Obviously she would because she’s a Holmes.
Okay can I just also talk about how I was totally right about Sherlock having a sister. I mean you can all see I wrote that before The Lying Detective aired. That whole reveal was great. You totally wouldn’t believe those three characters were played by the same moment. I’m amazed the creators managed to not let that slip before the show aired. Though I have a theory that Sherlock has a secret brother and sister. Sherrinford may actually be a boy (maybe those rumours about Tom Hiddleston were true after all). But looking back I don’t think Mycroft was referring to Euros when he talked about Sherrinford. Also I checked the Sherlock Holmes Wikipedia and though it’s not canon there is another brother and sister (the sister is called Enola which is very close to Euros).
My only problem with this episode was the lack of Lestrade. Though I did read a very interesting theory on why that is. SHerlock planned everything out so that John, Molly and Mrs Hudson were in the right place at the right time. THis also meant he had to not let on to Lestrade that there was anything wrong because otherwise Lestrade would have shut the whole thing down. It is a very plausible theory but I think I would have preferred more Greg. Just saying.
THE FINAL PROBLEM
I don’t think there are the words to express how I feel about this episode. But I’m going to try. First of all, Mark Gatiss may have just won this episode. Everything he did was great. I loved that we got to see Mycroft being vulnerable and a little bit squeamish. He actually dresses up as a fisherman and you totally can’t tell it’s him. Also the fact that he try’s to make Sherlock angry so he will shoot him rather than John. Then at the end he gets told off by Mummy. Also the whole umbrella turning into a sword thing.
That moment where Sherlock scares Mycroft to confirm he has a sister is the best. Actually just that whole scene is so typical Sherlock. It mixes just the right amount of terror and humour. I was actually impressed how they managed to add little humorous moments into the first half of the episode. It really needed it considering how dark the second half was. Mrs Hudson also got another chance to be amazing. Which is really just my favourite thing about the season as a whole.
THAT LAST SCENE
Sian Brooks was amazing in this episode. I mean she was great in the first two episodes as well. You really couldn’t tell she played those three characters. But in this she was somehow even better. And by that I mean she was creepy as anything. Like she may actually be a better evil villain than Moriarty and that’s saying something cause Andrew Scott was great as Moriarty.
The other big thing about this episode was Johnlock. I know a lot of people went into this episode thinking it would end with john/sherlock being a thing but when you really think about it that wouldn’t happen. John has literally just got over Mary dying. He isn’t going to get together with Sherlock. But there are hints it may happen. Sherlock basically says that John is family. Then you have the fact it ends with John moving back into 221B with Rosie. You never know it could happen.
Also Sherlock remembers Greg’s name. Only took him 4 seasons. Then Greg says he’s a good man. That’s character development that is.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SHERLOCK
This season didn’t start off that great. Episode one was really quite disappointing. But I think The Lying Detective and The Final Problem may end up being two of my favourite Sherlock episodes of all time. They were much darker than what we’re used to. I did get stressed out so much at certain points I literally couldn’t watch. But they were better for being so serious. My only problem is that Lestrade wasn’t really in this season all that much. But Mrs Hudson being awesome almost made up for that.
You know how people used to make jokes about Steven Moffat always killing their favourite characters. Well Steven Moffat actually killed one of my favourite characters this time and I don’t think I’m ever going to get over it. I knew Mary dies in the books but she could have been in a few more episodes. But even then it wouldn’t have been enough for me. I just really liked Mary.