Sherlock: His Last Vow (Season Finale)


By Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Caution: spoilers ahead!

In the season finale, our villain was finally uncovered. Although the previous episode was filled with hilarity and moments worth quoting until the end of time, it did lack a certain ambience of doom and foreboding danger. Our only other encounter with this villain was in the season premiere where Watson was plucked from the streets and almost burnt alive in a bonfire. The second episode showcased Watson’s wedding to Mary. So how does it all come together? Well, it all comes down to Watson and his attraction to psychopathic personalities; Sherlock (obvious), his landlady Mrs. Hudson (she used to be an exotic dancer and helped her husband run a drug cartel) and finally Mary. Mary has been revealed to us as a former intelligence agent. Although I took the news to be a bit ‘safe’ and somewhat infuriating, what I didn’t predict was how it was going to be handled and how in the episode’s conclusive moments I would realize the storyline played out perfectly.

In my review of the season premiere I mentioned a Charles Augustus Milverton as our possible super villain. And the season finale presented us with Charles Augustus Magnussen (called it!). Charles is notorious for blackmailing people with information he has collected over the years. In this reincarnation of the character, Charles ran a newspaper; the perfect and most opportune way to reveal something about someone without really needing any solid evidence. Charles’ most recent interest is Sherlock Holmes and as an extension, Mycroft Holmes and his knowledge of Britain’s secrets. As Charles put it; Mycroft’s soft spot is Sherlock, Sherlock’s soft spot is Watson and Watson’s soft spot is Mary therefore blackmail Mary – get to Mycroft. In the first half hour of the episode we were presented with the scenario of wholesome yet daring Mary, untarnished by Sherlock’s wacky world – about to shoot Sherlock in the head. An interesting aspect of this was Sherlock’s mind palace, it seems the sociopath correctly calculated whether to fall forward or backwards, how much blood he would lose and whether or not gravity would work in his favor in order to increase his chances of surviving. The reason Mary shot Sherlock? She too is a sociopath who used to work for an intelligence agency, but adopted a fake name and married Watson in order to get away from it all. Turns out she shot Sherlock the only way she could to incapacitate him but not kill him. But why go through all this trouble? Because Sherlock was hunting down Charles and Charles is the only person with any and every bit of information on Mary’s past life.

Now remember, Mary Watson may not be who she says she is but one thing is for sure; she is in love with John and she is also carrying his unborn child. Complicated? Definitely. Naturally, a wounded and internally bleeding Sherlock made it his mission to first tell Watson from the horse’s mouth that Mary is not who she says she is and then take Mary on as a client. Martin Freeman is the perfect mixture of emotional, damaged and understanding as he fights through his character’s mixed emotions of being betrayed by the woman he loves. An interesting conclusion was met with Sherlock’s deduction that Watson is attracted to a certain lifestyle. He was wounded in a war, returned home to live with a sociopath under a former cartel-running landlady and of course he would fall in love with an assassin. It was all beautifully constructed but difficult to remedy. In order to meet with Charles and destroy any traces of Mary’s previous life, Sherlock promised him Mycroft and all his secrets. Sherlock’s plan was to infiltrate this man’s home and find all the information he used to blackmail people with; infinitely concluding in Charles’ arrest and Sherlock’s triumph. However, Charles had no evidence. Charles Augustus Magnussen has a mind palace of his own. A mind palace much like the one that Sherlock uses in every episode, a palace that he used in the season finale to escape dying at the hands of Mary Watson. So this evidence did not exist and Sherlock and Watson found themselves at the cusp of being arrested for treason and almost selling state secrets.

As no one puts Sherlock in a corner (while simultaneously threatening his best friend and best friend’s wife) Sherlock took the only plan of action that was clear to him and shot Charles straight in the head. How much use is a mind palace without a living person to access it? Oh, and did I mention that Sherlock shot this man in front of the armed forces yelling at him to “STEP AWAY” after speaking the line “I never said I was a hero, I’m just a high-functioning sociopath”. It wouldn’t be Sherlock without dramatic flare. Instead of being locked away in jail for eternity, Sherlock was instead sent off to a six-month European mission; that Mycroft calculated would inevitably result in Sherlock’s death. Mycroft’s conclusions are never wrong. Last season had us crying in emotional shock at Sherlock’s suicide; this season’s finale presented us with a very different, yet equally as final conclusion to Sherlock Holmes. He would never see Watson again. As Sherlock’s plane took off leaving Watson behind, a note-worthy moment occurred. All the televisions in England were hacked by the one person directly linked to Sherlock and his abilities; this person was on every television asking one question over and over again “Did you miss me?” Yes, Moriarty. We did. Season four you better come quick because this is one mystery that definitely needs solving.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

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