Monday, January 20, 2014

Sherlock Series 3 Review (2014)



Full spoilers ahead



With no Sherlock to be seen at all in 2013 and the ending that was Sherlock's mysterious death-defying stung and Moriarty dead, you can't help but be anxious for more. Sherlock Season 3 was here and gone in once again its three movie length episodes. It just didn't come back quite as good as expecting.

Opening with The Empty Hearse, two years have passed since Sherlock's 'death' until oh brother Mycroft has Sherlock coming back to London a terrorist network. As it should be we need explanation for Sherlock's ruse and we are given several, one of which includes some sort of romance with Moriarty. Show runner Mark Gattis has stated the truth is in the episode but as an audience we are never specifically told the who, what and where with confidence of it being nothing but the absolute truth.

Watson now two years on has moved on, (girlfriend) moved out (of Baker Street) and grown a moustache. The re-uniting of Sherlock and Watson is great, Sherlock drawing a fake moustache, his French accent and then John's truly deserving reaction.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman slide back into there roles like it was only yesterday even though the two have been of exploring the silver lights in Hollywood. It's easy to remember why you loved these guys if you haven't re-watched an episode recently.

After the first episode ends however you may wonder if your version was cut of or out or maybe you were drugged by tiny little fossil fairies and missed the sleuthing. But no it's an hour and a half of Sherlock and John re-uniting and it may be for the benefit or new viewers or just because it felt necessary to the writers to spend so much time on it. Either way I like my Sherlock with a mix of mystery or some kind of actual plot.

Enjoyable to the moment you realised that was all it, The Empty Hearse was an average beginning to the Series, in part possibly to expectations built by nearly two years of patiently waiting.

Unfortunately things didn't get much better in episode two The Sign of Three, the only Sherlock episode to be reminiscent of a Judd Apatow produced production.

John marrying Mary, (Amanda Abbington) oh the tongue twisters! But that is the biggest twist The Sign of Three gives as the actual mystery become easily predicable and doesn't at all tie into the mysterious figure seen at the end of the first episode. As such the episode doesn't manage to build up any hype for the finale or prove to be an entertaining mystery. It is however rather in an odd-ball type way very funny. See Sherlock's bewilderment in his speech and his drunken nonsense. So I ask why it couldn't have been at all possible to to merge the first two episodes? Thus leading for more villain building time. Seemingly more important now looking back after seeing how great Charles Augustus Magnussen was in the third episode; His Last Vow.

Charles Augustus Magnussen serves as the only real villain the entire Series and he is a sickening one at that. Lars Mikkelsen is the complete opposite of Andrew Scott's Jim Moriarty. Calm and collected yet seemingly ill with power and sporadic. Licking peoples faces, peeing in Sherlock's fire place and the horrendous flicking of John's face, all of these simply because he can and he wants you to know he can and will.

Martin Freeman gives a stellar performance in revelation of Mary's past as some sort of Spy/Hit-Girl. The moment when he gives her the speech in Sherlock's parents place is beautiful.



His Last Vow is quite the redeeming factor of Series 3 even with Magnussen's short lived greatness. I say was because the last couple minutes of  the episode omits entirely what came before it. The return of Moriarty or some kind of prodigy turns Sherlock's plane back around and the game is once again on. Not the game of living and dealing with the consequences of murdering Magnussen as it should be though.

Sherlock Series Three's changed might be due to Mark Gatiss becoming show runner or maybe this was the way it was always heading. Moffat or Gatiss (show runners) once said it's a show about a man who just happens to solve crimes.

Series Three wasn't terrible but it was disappointing and full of a lot of questionable decisions. It's enjoyable but not the magic that was Series one or two. Although additions like John's Wife Mary Morston could be very interesting going forth and even little quirks like Tom Brooke as Bill Wiggins the junky with analysis skills was enjoyable. The talk of a third brother may be interesting and of course Moriarty going forth should be fun if done right. Until then though I'll find myself re-watching episodes like A Scandal in Belgravia to pull me over and hope for a return to form in Series Four.

+ Magnussen
+ The Comedy
+ Performances

- Lack of Mystery
- Short Lived Magnussen
- Nothing Matters
- To Much Fan Service

Overall: 7.0/10

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