Did the highly-anticipated fourth season of the BBC Drama live up to our expectations?
Three years after the lacklustre third series, and a year after the underwhelming christmas special ‘The Abominable Bride,’ Sherlock returned for its fourth series. The first episode aired on New Year’s Day and was viewed by 11 million people in the UK alone. While many were excited to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprise their roles as Sherlock and Watson, this three-episode arc left many fans disappointed and angry by the series finale.
The series starts with ‘The Six Thatchers’ and takes place immediately after the events of the Christmas special. W This episode was not the strongest opening to a series, but did provide an emotional and shocking start that would set the tone of Sherlock and Watson’s relationship throughout the series.
The second episode ‘The Lying Detective’ was by far the best episode of the series, starring Toby Jones as the main villain, Culverton Smith, a wealthy philanthropist with a creepy and off-putting demeanour. This episode was at times confusing and the passage of time between scenes seemed rushed, but overall it was a subtle return to the format of episodes from previous seasons and had quite an emotional impact and plenty of suspense and intrigue for the audience.
The last episode of the series ‘The Final Problem’ is by far the worst episode of Sherlock to date. This episode is oddly reminiscent of both the Saw and Shutter Island. The premise is quite uninteresting and while the stakes are meant to be high, the result is an episode that the fans and critics did not care for at all. This episode is meant to facilitate Sherlock’s character arc to become a more emotional and less sociopathic person, but the plot just comes off as heavy-handed and frustrating.
Along with the storylines, the editing in some of these episodes seems amateurish and hastily thrown together. The passage of time in these episodes was not well represented and led to confusion and disbelief on more than a few plot points. The series especially departed from what made the past series so popular and entertaining.
The last episode, though, ends off with John and Sherlock once again living together and solving crime, which is what the fans wanted from the beginning. While this series was a letdown, it set up the possibility for future series to return to the show’s selling point: Sherlock and Watson once again solving unsolvable crimes together from 221b Baker Street.
(Image: Digital Spy)