“Did You Miss Me?”
Summoned back from his incredibly short exile due to the reappearance, on video at least, of his arch nemesis, Sherlock Holmes is pardoned and returned to Baker Street. But with no sign of Moriarty’s plan, he throws himself into his work, assisted by John and/or Mary Watson, depending on who’s available due to their new child.
His interest is sparked by a strange case of a long dead body found in a recently wrecked car outside a stately home. Not the case of the body – he solves that in about five seconds flat – but in the smashed bust of Margaret Thatcher that happened at about the same time. And then another bust of Mrs T is found destroyed, in a different, unrelated location…
Well, I wasn’t going to write this until the end of the series, but I can see the blossoming of “Where Sherlock Has Gone Wrong” and “How To Fix Sherlock” tweets and articles, so I thought, why not jump on the band wagon. Let’s make this the message of 2017 – if you can’t say something good about something, then don’t say anything. Let’s try and rein in the negativity in the world, just a little bit. Certainly don’t just tweet “SHERLOCK SUCKED” – why not spend a little time backing up your argument as to what is wrong with the television show that doubtless did very well in the ratings and a large number of people enjoyed?
Oh, to clarify, I didn’t think it sucked at all. I really enjoyed it – if enjoyed is the way to describe the ending…
There seem to be an issue out there that Sherlock is developing something approximating emotions. Well, you may have noticed two things. One, the characters have been growing since the start of series one and he’s been changing since the start. Second, Sherlock is played by multi-million dollar fee earning Benedict Cumberbatch, who, presumably, isn’t earning that fee for this. He’s doing it because he enjoys the challenge and the people he works with. If you just want three episodes rehashing series one, fine, but you might need to get someone in a Cumberbatch costume to act them out for you. He’s one of the finest actors out there and he’s going to need a challenge.
Similarly, the notion that Sherlock should be about the crime and not the characters – that’s never been the point of this show. Ever. It’s a dark show and so the leads need dark developments. But if you want a crime show with no character development for the sleuths, then you get Midsomer Murders…
Plot-wise this mirrored a standard Sherlock episode (if there is such a thing – there are only ten previous ones) with the case of the Six Thatchers taking up the first half, surprisingly following The Adventure Of The Six Napoleons pretty faithfully, before it takes a left turn into more personal and darker territory. And of course, this review isn’t going there – spoiler-free and all that.
This episode, despite the personal developments, still had a case at the heart of it (unlike, say, the wedding episode, where it felt a bit tacked on) and despite my hope that whenever you hear a reference to a “lady” that Lara Pulver’s going to appear being dashed once again, it held together nicely. And the mistake that is going to take the series who knows where seemed entirely in character and the developments thereafter kept the characters true to themselves.
I can understand the disappointment with parts of series three of Sherlock. I can certainly understand people’s concerns with The Abominable Bride. I can see the disappointment here with the lack of Moriarty or even Toby Jones. But I saw this as a return to top form for the series – Cumberbatch and Freeman have never been better – and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.