It’s the first regular Sherlock episode after we got that pesky cliffhanger out of the way, and I know I was expecting some crimesolving business-as-usual. Instead, we had the wedding of John Watson, framed by flashbacks of varying importance as a murder slowly unfolds. But how does it relate to the contents of Sherlock’s neverending best man speech?
And was this an interesting experiment or a crash-and-burn? Opinions to follow, including spoilers so do watch on iPlayer first.
The Elephant In The Room – Mycroft being Sherlock’s inner judge?
Must admit, I know I was expecting a more straight detective story this week. When they opened on LeStrade about to catch those bank robbers in the act, I wondered if he’d find they’d somehow disappeared away from him, then bring in Sherlock to help him finally bring them in. That wasn’t quite what happened.
There was definitely more of a Holmesian mystery than last week, a classic locked-room case, and I enjoyed the resolution, not to mention the clever yanking of the strings tight at the end. In fact, even as it meandered from scene to scene, perhaps doing almost too good a job of seeming shapeless at the start, this episode was reliably entertaining, giving more or less everyone in the cast a moment and making a point from last week even plainer – Sherlock really does have a support network, and he seems to be growing into people. Hell, out of the two Holmes brothers, Mycroft is now the more antisocial loner.
Drunk Sherlock was funny, as was “The Elephant in the Room”, and the joke about Watson finally “confiding” in Sherlock. Lots of good material, and the shots, set-ups and stylings were all magnificent. As befits Dr Watson’s special day, the direction went all-out this week.
And that Irene Adler cameo was fun too
I think my only real complaint here is context-based, and it’s one I basically made last week: much as I enjoy the self-indulgent character-moments, it’s strange to devote two episodes to them when you only produce three every couple of years and are usually more of a crime show.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, fun to watch, enjoyed all the little moments, not to mention the slowly building cleverness of the structure, but would it have been more balanced and satisfying to do some sleuthing this week and save this script to be the fun, whimsical outing of series four?
Still, hard to argue that hard when I liked the episode anyway. And next week, the new villain played by Haartmann from The Killing makes his proper debut, so perhaps I’ll finally get that serious crime action I keep banging on about. Here’s hoping.