The last two episodes of Sherlock had pushed the character to the limits. First it seemed like his cold nature had been cracked by Irene Adler, a woman that Sherlock started caring for. Next it was doubt about his ability that almost drove him over the edge. In the final episode of the season, Moriarty (Andrew Scott) returns to destroy Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) once and for all.
Moriarty makes an attempt to steal the royal jewels, not to actually take them, but to get caught on purpose. This forces Sherlock to testify at his trial. When Moriarty is acquitted, Sherlock starts to look bad, as if he thinks he’s better than everyone else.
When two children are kidnapped, Sherlock is called in to help. That’s when the police start to wonder if Sherlock is actually committing the crimes to make himself look good when he solves them. It’s all a part of Moriarty’s plan, but will Sherlock be able to stop him?
Moriarty may have been an annoying character throughout the two seasons, but he’s a lot more toned down in this episode. He finally shows just how much better than Sherlock he actually is. By this time, Sherlock has become quite famous. This only makes it easier for Moriarty to bring him down. It doesn’t take much to turn the public against a man who constantly comes off as egotistical and arrogant. Sherlock slowly comes apart, unable to stop Moriarty when he really needs to. It all leads up to a tense standoff on top of a hospital roof, and an ending that may not be surprising, but is quite sad.
This series is the best thing I have ever watched on television. Through the six episodes, at about 9 hours running time, it has been consistently exciting, tense, intelligent, and funny. Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock is perfection. Completely cold and calculated while still displaying a bit of emotion just under the skin. The two seasons play with both sides of the coin, giving Sherlock a little more to work with in season two. Each previous episode made him a little bit more human, until we can finally see that he’s no different from any of us. With a third season on the way, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’m interested to see how Sherlock is portrayed after all that’s happened.
Those who are familiar with Sherlock Holmes will know where the episode is headed. That’s a bit unfortunate, but the path there is so wildly different that it’s still quite entertaining. If they ended it here, it would still be satisfying, but there are plenty of questions that can be answered. How does Sherlock’s brother Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) fit into this final problem? What about John Watson (Martin Freeman), or Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), Sherlock’s landlady? How do they feel about what’s happened?
I’m not even sure how they’ll top this second season. It was spectacular. It’s hard to even think of what there could be left for Sherlock. He gets so much pleasure from solving mysteries, but he’s finally tackled the biggest one. How can he get any joy from new crimes when they’ll be less challenging than anything Moriarty delivered here? At the very least, it’s nice to know that exciting, intelligent television can still be produced, and it’s created an interest in Sherlock Holmes that I didn’t really have before. So while I go back over the episodes whenever I can, I’ll also be able to enjoy the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I guess the only real mystery left is when we’ll be getting more Sherlock!
Under the marquee – Will