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Sherlock, Series Four (2017) – 221 B Baker Returns Packing a Brilliant Swan Song


For a number of years, Masterpiece Mystery! has been entertaining fans and viewers with a contemporary adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Originally created by a man named Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle, the consulting detective Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson are an enigma that have never been seen quite like this.

TV SERIES REVIEW | Sherlock, Series Three (2013)


The game is nearing its starting point. Or so that’s what Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) says when asked how he’d know the first sign. Returned to England after nearly being exiled for his actions murdering a government protected figure, Sherlock is needed to untangle the enigma that is Jim Moriarty. Only problem is, he’s dead. So Sherlock must discover who’s behind the “resurrection” of his mortal enemy and furthermore, why someone is playing the game.

Everything at 221 B has changed, and yet, somehow, remains the same. John (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock continue to occupy their time with cases as they await the arrival of John’s baby. Upon her arrival, Sherlock along with John and Mary (Amanda Abingdon) are quickly caught up in the Morierty mystery. Or so that’s what the deductions predict until they don’t.

Were I a person of few words or if I were asked to describe this series in one word, I’d reply as follows; brilliance. As is my usual choice, I watched this on DVD, and without regret watched the three episodes in a weekend. As they aired on PBS, I saw a lot of hate for this series on Twitter which made me wonder what caused so much dislike, but not one to be put off, I still eagerly placed disc one into my Bluray tray.

As we all know I cannot end with one word, so below are some of my other thoughts which require entire sentences.

I assume this isn’t an arc that closely follows the canon. However from my minimal reading, I have discovered that many of the issues the writers have given this Holmes follows Doyle’s Holmes. True, these things may be amped up to bring them into the 21st century, but they do plague Holmes. Because of this and a myriad of other reasons, I admire the heck out of this show. It earns my (TV show) respect time and time again without breaking a sweat. Or if it does, it doesn’t show it. This season is possibly its best yet.

FILM REVIEW | Doctor Strange (2016) – A Mind Bending Conspiracy of Shapes (Plus Benedict Cumberbatch!)


The one caveat I will say is, I will confess to missing the “cozier” cases John and Sherlock solve in the early days. This kind of complicated arc that overwhelms entire seasons seems to be a trend in TV shows, and usually I detest it. It takes away from the characterization and tends to inspire lazy writing. With this, because the series’ are so compact (three installments), these problems don’t show to say nothing of the fact that this writing is anything but lazy.

Since I cannot get off the script talk, let’s talk about it. All three episodes are tightly compacted and leave so many dangling threads throughout the entire show. What we think might be insignificant at the time winds through to the end of ‘The Final Problem.’ Everything comes full circle. This writing will make you laugh, cry, white-knuckle it and leave you with bittersweet emotions. That’s how good this writing is, which is, I’m afraid the best I can honor its skill.

Naturally, the acting is (again!) flawless. The depth these actors put into these characters never ceases to amaze me. Led by (the in demand) Cumberbatch right through to () as Mrs. Hudson, everyone is at their very best. While I wish I’d seen more of Molly (if that scene in the final episode doesn’t rip your heart out, I don’t know what will), I do discover my plus million reason why I adore Mrs. Hudson. As I type I’m fighting the urge to say more, but suffice to say, this woman rocks!

While there’s been no final word on the status of this show, this “feels” like an ending. Should it return for a fifth season, I will be front and center awaiting its arrival. If not, this is a satisfactory and “whole” ending that, in this fan’s eyes, doesn’t cheat us out of anything. It’s a rare storyteller that can do that.

There’s an East wind coming for The Boys of Baker Street. And the only person who can fit the pieces together is Sherlock Holmes.


Photos: BBC
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10 comments:

  1. I had multiple problems with this season. I liked 1 & 2 a great deal. 3 was alright and Abominable Bride was 95% perfect. The issue comes into play when the "conspiracy" takes over the show. It's as if the writer(s) are saying, "Look at how clever we are!" rather than sticking to what actually made the show good (and a hit). It was already clever in the way it updated classic cases and characters for the 21st century. It was already good about giving us underlying and complicated emotions. And it was good at building mysteries for Sherlock to unravel.
    I agree the acting remained strong. There were endearing moments but as a whole, this fourth season was lazy, uninspired and arrogant.

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    1. Nothing wrong with that. We all take something different away from stories. I'm glad you did find some good in earlier seasons, and enjoyed The Abominable Bride. :)

      Ordinarily, I don't like shows moving away from their "cozier" case-by-episode protocol, but in this case, this show seems to be able to do just about "anything," and I cannot help but love it. The writing is so brilliant and clever that I forgive it its errors. I fully confess. ;)

      The complicated emotions are fantastic! I love how the characters evolve, in particular Sherlock. His character is brilliant. Glad you liked the acting! These actors sure did an A+ job with their characters. :)

      Thanks so much for coming by to share your thoughts.

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  2. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Sherlock so much it hurt! I loved Mary, and Sherlock, and Molly and really the whole season screamed perfection. Personally I think there needs to be another season because in a way yes it felt like the end but at the same time, no. It felt like to me the closing chapter of John and Sherlock's life with another one waiting about their new life as parents (I would love to see that on Sherlock's side haha) and as Sherlock's almost "new character" and his relationship with Molly.
    But season 4 did indeed pack a punch and everything - especially the sister - was genius and such a nice surprise!

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    1. I am right there with you, Kara. I have SO much admiration for this show. It's brilliant. It's smart. It's... well, everything I could say, it does so well.

      The one thing I feel like this series does (to perfection) is Sherlock's character. He develops SO much over these four seasons. The writer's humanize him without losing the core of WHO he IS. And I admire that like none other.

      I've loved Molly since day one, so see her and Sherlock find better footing.

      Well said. Glad you too enjoyed. :)

      Delete
  3. I'm glad you enjoyed the new season, Rissi! I do disagree with you though, on one very significant point -- where you said the show saved itself by not being lazy. I think it was lazy, and destroyed itself. :/ Granted, they did a great job making the writing seem smart and not lazy on the surface, but in comparison with first season, there were almost no explanations given for how things were done (mainly in the last ep) lapses in character, and frankly, and insulting number of plot holes. I won't get into it though, unless you're actually interested to discuss. That's just where I'm coming from, as a person who disliked the season very, VERY much.

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    1. Nothing wrong with that, Sarah. I know LOTS of people didn't like this season, and I think most fans (from what I can tell) do feel insulted by this season. I didn't, but then again I'm willing to admit if I were to watch episode one (which I have seen multiple times) right before this final episode (only watched once), perhaps I would notice problems. That said, I also don't think my opinion would differ to the point of disliking this season.

      Sorry you didn't care for it, and if you ever want to discuss anything further, you're most welcome too. :)

      Delete
  4. Initially, I disliked this season, but I must admit- it's definitely grown on me a lot! The storytelling, amazing acting, awesome character development... And yeah, Mrs. Hudson IS wonderful, isn't she?!

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    1. Cool. I'm glad you found yourself enjoying this season more as you've watched it (again). I have a feeling I'll have ever more admiration for it when I re-watch. Either way, I know one thing: I 100% enjoyed my first watch.

      Mrs. Hudson IS Mrs. Hudson, and this series she cemented her place as one of my ALL-time favorite TV characters. :) Loved it!

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  5. I just fell in love with Sherlock end of last year so I was lucky enough to bingewatch all 4 seasons pretty fast without waiting for years between :) And I did love season 4 so much! I agree that I also miss the 'cozier' cases from earlier seasons, even though I did adore the plot overarching the entire season, because it was pure brilliance. I loved it as an ending, but I do still hope there will be more ;)

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    1. YAY you, that's the best way to go about watching Sherlock, Lindsey. :)

      *high five* My thoughts are the same as yours. This season is, without question, brilliant. Glad to know you liked it as well. As you say, I too felt this has a "ending" and could be complete, but I'd never argue should the writer's decide to give us another season! :)

      Delete

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