The East Wind has arrived, bringing with it a very familiar face. As Sherlock struggles with the problem of how somebody has committed all sorts of shenanigans when still locked inside a maximum security prison, he, John and Mycroft find themselves at the mercy of a deadly enemy. The only option – to play along with their games until they can face The Final Problem. And if that involves solving The Musgrave Ritual at the same time, then all the better…
Yes, I know that every other review might name names, but there’s a chance that people reading this might not have seen last week’s episode. So there’ll be more detail coming – but if you haven’t seen The Lying Detective, then why not pop off and see that first. And then see this one. And then read my review and have your say below.
Still here? Good. Off we go.
It does rather amuse me to see the various “can’t Sherlock and John just go and solve a normal crime” posts on Twitter and the like? Don’t get me wrong, I do understand where they’re coming from, but every television show worth its salt grows and develops the characters as it goes along and Sherlock is no different in that respect. The difference is that with only three episodes a series, that development has to take place in every episode and as Sherlock himself only seems to respond to trauma, that has made the episodes more and more personal as they have gone along. And they don’t get more personal than this.
Eurus is a great creation, someone even more Sherlock than Sherlock. It’s a bit of a shame that her main plan seems to be to relaunch The Crystal Maze (albeit a somewhat more lethal version) or maybe to remake episode four of Death To The Daleks (#stopdontmove – one for the Big Finish fans). Don’t get me wrong, the majority of the scenarios were stunningly effective – especially the one involving everyone’s favourite pathologist – but there was at least one too many of them. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this show, but the game of Find The Murderer just felt like padding…
But there was so much to love in this episode. The opening sequence, although don’t ask me how he arranged that, the break-in, the fake-out – well, both of them… I can see from Twitter how gutted some people were when a certain three words appeared on the screen, but that’s the point of the show. Let’s face it, we know that it couldn’t really happen, just like we were all hoping it still might right at the end of the episode… The truth about Redbeard was delightful – it made perfect logical sense, in hindsight, but I doubt anyone could have seen it coming. And the overall theme of the story – of someone who just wanted someone to play with them – fitted beautifully, especially in the epilogue.
And the double act becoming, for a good while, a treble act. I always love Gatiss as Mycroft, but his performance in that scene – “I preferred your Lady Bracknell” – was magnificent. And as ever, full credit to the rest of the cast, who never fail to deliver, no matter how small their parts are.
And the epilogue – well, if this is the end, that that’s how I would want it to go out. With a closing sequence that had me punching the air and yelling “Hell, yeah!” (in my head – wouldn’t want Mrs Puzzle Doctor to think I’m strange). Roll on Series Five, I hope – I don’t mind how long I have to wake.
And she was smiling in that last sequence… looks like that bit didn’t work, Eurus.