Sherlock: Season Four (Review)


By Tiffany Mong
On January 1, 2017 our favorite detective duo, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson returned for three episodes! With the exception of the special last year Abdominal Bride, this is the first multi-episode ark since 2014. Like me, you may have found yourself needing a refresher about where it is we left off exactly with the Baker Street boys!
Previously, in the episode titled “The Last Vow” Sherlock Holmes went up against the blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen. It all started when Lady Elizabeth Smallwood approached Holmes to help retrieve letters for her that Magnussen has. But Lady Smallwood wasn’t the only one he has dirt on. Come to find out Mary Watson hand’t been entirely truthful about her past with John. In order to keep Mary’s past a secret, Holmes had no choice but to kill Magnussen. The episode ended with Moriarty flashing across a television screen with the words “Did you miss me?”
Caught up now? Good! Season Four begins with the episode “The Six Thatchers” named for the mysterious case of six unique head statues of Margaret Thatcher being smashed. Sherlock is anxiously awaiting whatever Moriarty’s next move will be. In the meantime, he decides to take on the case – and once again aspects of Mary Watson’s past start to reemerge. One of the main teases of this season was that a death would occur and there would be a much darker tone. If you’re like me, you were anxiously awaiting the death of this mystery character only to be slightly disappointed that it occurs in the first episode. Secondly, even more disappointed to have it be Mary Watson. Despite this major fatality, the episode has pacing issues and seems to drag on tremendously. However, this episode does set the tone for the remainder of the season and it’s all up from here!
Next up, we have the “The Lying Detective”. Here we meet our new villain, Culverton Smith. John Watson, dealing with the grief of losing Mary, seeks out a new therapist. Sherlock is visited by the “daughter” of Smith who claims he confessed to her and some colleagues that he intends to murder someone. After speaking to Smith’s “daughter” Faith, Sherlock publicly goes after Smith. When things begin to look grim for Sherlock, John Watson comes in and saves the day. At the end of the episode we discover that the therapist is actually Sherlock’s sister, Eurus Holmes. This episode was truly one of my favorites, despite Culverton Smith not being the greatest foe that Sherlock has encountered. But the way they illustrate how Sherlock sees the world and the twists and turns throughout the episode just truly captivated the screen.
Lastly, “The Final Problem” is truly another fantastic episode. Sherlock faces his biggest challenge yet… family. Mycroft Holmes tells the story of the sister Sherlock didn’t know he had, Eurus Holmes. Using mind techniques over the years, Mycroft erased any knowledge of Eurus from Sherlock’s mind. Like the Holmes boys, Eurus was also gifted with deduction by far greater than her brothers. We also finally get the story behind “Red Beard”. Throughout the series, there has been small mentions of a childhood dog of Sherlock’s called “Red Beard”. However, we find out that Eurus is the reason behind the disappearance of this dog. Only to find out that “Red Beard” was not a dog at all, but Sherlock and Mycroft’s other brother, Victor Trevor. Not only did she kill her brother, she also set fire to the Holmes estate. This is what landed her in the mental facility Sherrinford. We also have the much anticipated return of Jim Moriarty, but not the way in which we expect – he’s still dead (unfortunately) but before his death, he had filmed things for Eurus to use for revenge on her brothers.
Overall, Season Four was a great addition to the overall series; my only wish is that they wouldn’t kill villains off so quickly. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Jim Moriarty come back from the dead somehow – I’m very curious to see how future seasons will play out (or if there will be any more). With the demanding schedules of both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it’s hard to say if or when we could get more Sherlock. Until then, the game is on!

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