2017.5: Sherlock Season 4 (BBC HD)
Oh dear. Sherlock was such fun, once.
What a nonsensical, self-indulgent mess this was. Perhaps it just became too big to fail and with nowhere to go, went up its own arse instead. It appears that writer/producer Steven Moffat has done to Sherlock what he did to Who. Its so utterly over-confident and ignorant of storytelling basics that it beggars belief; it’s almost a modern tragedy how something so precious and beloved, so clever and witty and imaginative can become so… boring. Halfway through last nights final episode and I was actually bored, waiting for it to finish.
Lets look at the basic storytelling issues. Consider that in seasons one and two the show was sharp and made sense with twists and turns that felt honest and earned. Lets look at what season four left us with. We are expected to believe Holmes had a sister but doesn’t remember her, and no-one, not even his parents, ever mentioned her or any sign of her left for our super-sleuth to have ever noticed in four seasons. And she lived in a top secret super-prison off the coast that she turns into an evil lair like some Bond villain, and yes, actually had a visit from Dr Moriarty for a Christmas present. Handily, although its out on an unmapped island off the coast somewhere, it’s a prison that she can nip out of easily so she can catch a bus in the first episode to flirt with Dr Watson, or, in episode two, spend a few afternoons analysing him by posing as his therapist. Or in this third episode pilot a drone with a high-tech grenade/bomb to take out Sherlocks pad. If she’s loose around London playing with Sherlock and company for two episodes, why retreat back to her prison cell in episode three to play Hannibal Lecter? Indeed, did she pilot the drone all the way from her prison cell? And if she’s just toying with her brother, why risk blowing him up to kingdom come? Maybe because a big explosion looks good in trailers?
And we are expected to believe that while she is doing all this, in her fragile state of mind she’s actually a frightened little girl on an aircraft, and that ultimately love conquers all? Oh, Sherlock, what happened to you?
Which is exactly the real crime here. It isn’t about telling a self-contained logical story about the world’s greatest detective detecting. The crimes are secondary to the in-jokes and the over-acting. Episode one should have been a warning, with the overwrought death of Mary that gave her a bullet in the chest and another few minutes to chat about everything before dying, and then a few more minutes talking on a dvd message, and then in the second episode hanging around as a ghost to chat some more. Enough, already. Its nonsense and far removed from the tight storytelling of season one.
Horrible waste of time and talent.