Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Review of Sherlock's 4x03: "The Final Problem"

Written by Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss
Directed by Benjamin Caron

Sherlock: "John stays!"
Mycroft: "This is family."
Sherlock: "That's why he stays."

Sorry for the delay but I've needed a little time to digest this one. Is it me or has this current season not only not been the show's strongest but at the same time been it's most controversial? No more so than this episode itself which has generated a lot of dissent online from a certain fanbase but let's look at the episode itself, shall we?

First of all, after her behind the curtain antics, the Wizard revealed herself as Eurus Holmes and she decided to up the ante with both of her brothers and Watson by luring them to Sherrinford, which turned out to be the place that Eurus was incarcerated in rather than an extended family member as previously assumed by us all.

On rather fine and demented form here by Sian Brooke, Eurus seemed intent on making up for lost time by taking over the very place that she's spent her life imprisoned and placing her brothers along with John in various life and death situations. Not really for them though. Just a couple of tertiary characters here and there, although there was at least a few moments where either Mycroft or John were some proper peril though.

I have to admit, it's more the psychological battle between the Holmes siblings with Watson caught in the middle that was more fascinating than the actual games that Eurus kept playing throughout the episode. The subplot with the girl in the plane was tremendously dull and predictable and there was something slightly unsatisfying in seeing Eurus go somewhat unpunished for her crimes within the episode itself.

I did however get a kick into seeing the Holmes siblings as kids and the Redbeard stuff took a far darker and interesting turn than I expected it to do. Then there was also the return of Moriarty but don't worry people, he's still dead. Instead we got flashbacks to both him and Eurus meeting five years prior, which to be honest worked reasonably well.

However the biggest thing I took away from this episode was the final five minutes. There was certainly a feeling that things could really go either way for this show. Either this episode served as a series finale or a clearing of the decks for a less chaotic show should it return in the near future. To be honest, I'm perfect fine with either one at the moment.

- Molly got a bit of a bad role in this episode but I did love Louise Brealey's comments on her character's situation when confronted about it on Twitter. Hudson and Lestrade didn't have too much to do in this one either. Paul Weller also played a Viking here too.
- One more appearance from Mary in this one too as Sherlock and John are now living together, looking after baby Rosie. Surely that alone should've sated the more fanatical Johnlock shippers.
- There were so many references to various things in this episode - Victor Trevor, Rathbone etc but the whole island prison also smacked of The Sea Devils as well.
- The BBC have yet to confirm if the show will be returning. It might be a while before that happens.

The Final Problem kind of works as a series finale. It also kind of works as a clearing of the decks for a less muddled future. It also serves as a means of moving the show away from characters like Mary, Moriarty and despite only meeting her this series, possibly Eurus. It also succeeded in restoring Sherlock and Watson's friendship and bringing things back to basics. As an episode though, I did feel it could've been better than it actually was but it still had it's moments though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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