Synopsis: After two years, the famous detective arises from the dead to stop a terrorist attack- but not so smoothly. He expects a warm welcome from his partner in crime, Dr Watson, but does he get it? How did he fake his death? And why?
The episode starts of with a heart-stopping recount of Sherlock surviving the fall- or at least, we are fooled into thinking so until we are shown it was just Anderson’s theory. There was even dramatised soundtrack for it! It was heart-warming to see the way Mark Gatiss had cleverly poked fun at the die-hard Sherlockians and their oh-so extravagant theories of how he survived and choosing Anderson out of all people to represent the fan-base! There is even a second theory that appears half-way through but with a bit more of the sultry fan fiction you tend to see on the internet. This connection with the audience does wonders for the show; it let’s us know, as fans, that our voices are being heard.
Intriguingly, we see a bit of a character swap between John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. John not contacting Ms Hudson at all suggests lack of sentiment and emotional distancing from hurt. Watson is, also, usually a very flexible person able to put up with all of Sherlock’s quirks but this time, it took him quite some time to adjust with Sherlock being round and wasn’t very accepting. Sherlock on the other hand, boy did they humanize him. From rekindling old relationships with friends (sentiment) , to sibling rivalry; being more open about his feelings- especially in the scene in the train with John. And was it just me, or did he look so happy in the episode? Mostly with a smile. And the most humanizing thing about him? He has parents! Actual normal parents. Even John seems baffled by that fact. He seems to care much about Mycroft’s loneliness. Mary said Sherlock didn’t know about humans or nature and he agreed- but I disagree. Realising the instinctive need for collaboration with others by saying being different isn’t a reason for Mycroft to isolate himself- referring to Sherlock as well- how is that not understanding of human nature? This is all character development but I feel like they developed him from non-human to superhuman (I say “super” because of his gifted ability) a bit too fast. He is still arrogant, show off and impatient Sherlock Holmes but maybe they should’ve left the parents for another episode; when we are a bit more familiar with him being humane. .
Coming back on to Mary, played by Amanda Abbington, Martin’s real-life girlfriend, I really wasn’t sure whether I’d like her or not or whether she’d disrupt the dynamic duo. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that, as of yet, she didn’t interrupt in their process and is an interesting addition to the cast. If anyone didn’t catch Sherlock’s deductions of her whizzing about, here they are: linguist, only child, guardian, short-sighted, part-time, clever, nurse, liar, disillusioned, lib, dem, bakes own bread, cat lover, size 12, romantic, appendix scar, secret tattoo. Is it intentional that linguist, clever, liar and disillusioned are traits displayed by Sherlock? What do you guys think?
The episode wasn’t intense at all. There was comedy in every scene; Sherlock being beaten up three times by John, the show still ribbing John about being gay and my favourite?
Mycroft: He’s got on with his life (referring to John)
Sherlock: What life? I’ve been away.
The terrorist attack in the episode isn’t as intricate as some of the previous cases but this episode was devoted to answering questions left with Reichenbach Fall which, in itself, is a mystery. Also, we are introduced to a new “fan” of Sherlock’s causing hell in his life again. Of course, we see towards the end the actual strategy used to survive the fall. Anderson may have been right when expressing his disappointment with the lack of extravagance. I mean, really? An inflatable mattress? But the sheer simplicity of it is what makes it so brilliant I suppose. Why did he not include John if the roads were sealed and he was the only real witness? Is it to protect him? Is it to give him a chance at life? Nope. It was simply because he would blab to the world about it *chuckles to self*. In addition, the code word for the plan “Lazarus” stems from the story of Saint Lazarus who was the subject of a miracle by Jesus who restores him to life after being dead for four days. Genius.
And last, but by far the least, the cinematography. If I ever meet the cinematography team, I am so giving all of them a hug. We are introduced to the famous “mind palace” in Hounds of Baskerville but the train analysis was just show-stopping. The ETA and, ofcourse, the floating texts on screen so we are aware of what the characters are aware of is just utter brilliance as always. And the use of fast-paced scenes combined with slow motion? That is my favourite, producing the effect of time warping and bit like the Matrix even.
Overall an extremely satsfying episode. I wasn’t sure if they could reach the bar set by Reichenbach Fall, but was I wrong; they set it even higher. I hope the next episode will expand more on Sherlock’s “fan” and Mary, as well as, should we be worried about Molly’s fiancé , Tom?
Verdict: 9.5 of 10 kicks
Let me know what you guys think in the comments and if I have missed out anything 🙂
- How Star Trek Into Darkness is the only way to explain BBC’s Sherlock (flipthetruck.wordpress.com)
- TV: SherlockLives- How?? (shameemalantra.wordpress.com)
- Sherlock Returns with a New Year’s Celebration (redringsofredemption.wordpress.com)