PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS BLOG CONTAINS SPOILERS OF SHERLOCK S4E3, THE FINAL PROBLEM.
Guys, because my review of The Lying Detective became ridiculously long the other day, I am reviewing The Final Problem in three installments. Three, you say? Yes, I really do mean three. The first one was about Molly Hooper. The second is this one, a review of the plot and character development of the episode, and the third will focus on TJLC. Don’t know the acronym? Stay tuned.
Much like my reviews of the earlier episodes, this will be a rambling list of things I loved about The Final Problem followed by a list of things I wasn’t wild about.
Things I loved:
Of course Mycroft’s umbrella is a weapon.
Mycroft: “This is a private matter.”
Sherlock:” John stays.”
Mycroft: “This is family!”
Sherlock: “That’s why he stays!”
I loved how often they referenced Oscar Wilde. First, by quoting “the truth is rarely pure and never simple,” and later by mentioning that Mycroft played Lady Bracknell in a secondary school performance of The Importance Of Being Earnest. Just a bit of unsolicited advise: if Mofftiss want to convince us the characters on this show are straight, don’t reference Wilde. Also, maybe try to leave out jokes about cavity searches.
Unfortunately, this episode featured no scruffy Sherlock whatsoever. The delicious stubble was a thing of the past. However, there was some thick Scottish accent action I really appreciated.
Of course, I was overjoyed to see the return of Moriarty, even if it was only of a temporary nature. I was also quite pleased with the plotline about Euros and Moriarty scheming together to bring Sherlock down, although I was less happy with the way they went about it. So here comes the bit about things I didn’t love: It seems The Final Problem lacked in cleverness, and made up for that lack with unprecedented amounts of cruelty. Basically, about half of the episode was a well-executed sequence of psychological torture, and I think that’s both unpleasant and unnecessary.
I was in tears when Mycroft started saying mean things about John in order to make it easier for Sherlock to choose which one of them to shoot. I love the way the relationship between the Holmes brothers has developed over the seasons, from arch-enemies to playing Operation and deducing hats together to self-sacrifice. I also love how the almighty Mycroft was brought down a peg what with his gross miscalculations regarding both Euros and Moriarty.
Yet, there were some obvious plotholes here that were never resolved. Apart from the Molly-situation I addressed in an earlier post, wasn’t John chained to the bottom of a well? If so, how was he pulled out of there with a rope? And isn’t it overly sentimental to explain away psychopathic tendencies by citing childhood loneliness? What child hasn’t known loneliness? Yet most of us haven’t gone all Silence Of The Lambs. Also, wasn’t Sherlock weeks away from dying of a drug overdose in The Lying Detective? Even the superhuman consulting detective can’t have recovered from serious addiction that quickly… And why did they show us a scene between Sherlock and John’s previous therapist Ella if that plotline wasn’t going anywhere? Why did Euros stalk John on the bus? Are John and Rosie living at Baker Street with Sherlock or what? If Moriarty knew about Redbeard all along why did he never use that info to mess with Sherlock while he was alive? I need answers, damn it.
It’s already been over a week since the episode aired, and as you can see I’ve had time to reflect and be critical. Nonetheless I think it’s worth mentioning that I tremendously enjoyed The Final Problem, and no other television show has ever meant as much to me as Sherlock does.
I do need a shock blanket, though.