Attention: This article contains heavy spoilers for Benedict Cumberbatch starrer SHERLOCK (season 1, season 2, season 3, The Abominable Bride, and season 4) that airs on BBC. If you haven’t caught up with the show, I recommend you a binge watch and then come back.
Okay! Let’s talk about Sherlock. Everyone in their life must have heard about Sherlock Holmes even for once. I have been a huge fan myself since I was a teen. The iconic detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has to be the most popular one in the world. It is also the most popular character to be played across TV and films.
We have two Robert Downey Jr. Starrer Sherlock Holmes films, an American version of Sherlock ‘Elementary’ and a medical version ‘House’ and the Benedict Cumberbatch – Martin Freeman Starrer ‘Sherlock’ I am talking here about. Also there are large numbers of other films, shows as I said this character is one of the most popular to be played onscreen.
All the above mentioned TV shows and films are acclaimed in their own game. Then why I am particularly about Sherlock! What makes it peculiar then the others! Let’s see!
It was year 2010 when I first came across the show. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss this show was the 21st century version of the legendary detective. We are talking about a Sherlock Holmes who owns a website. So I was curious to know what the hype was all about. First episode in, and I was hooked. Probably everyone was. The different approach paid off very well. The witty-clever show knew exactly where to deliver the punches. The acting, dialogues, direction everything was near perfect (if not perfect!). The show instantly became a TV phenomenon and grew a huge fan base around the globe. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are officially my most favourite Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on screen representation and this is the best one can get from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, well in my opinion, ever. It is redundant to make a comparison here but all the other competitors somehow look mundane in front of this one. The witty high functioning sociopath just outshines all.
The series has just ended its fourth season. This could also be the last season ever due to the hectic schedule of the two leading actors. Though we hope not!
So let’s have look at what the show had to offer and what made it so great that it’s now being considered a cult!
The show had four seasons consisting of total 13 episodes (including a standalone episode). Now I am going to rank each episode based on how good or bad it is. So it begins:
13. THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE:
Okay! So why is it the least good episode Sherlock had to offer! Perhaps the ‘back to old school’ approach did not work, at least not for me. Also The Abominable Bride pales in comparison to other episodes when it comes to memorable moments. Except the scene where John tries to have a conversation with a person just with hand gestures, and fails miserably (“I am glad you liked my potato”).
12. HIS LAST VOW (S03E03):
Though this is not at all a bad episode. The episode begins with the villain Charles Augustus Magnussen, who according to Sherlock the ‘The Napoleon of Blackmailing’. There are great moments in this episode such as the past revelation of Mary and the epic scene of Sherlock almost coming back from dead (again!). What disappointed me most was how Sherlock handled Magnussen. He just shot him right in the face. I mean come on! That is not the Sherlock I know. Do some deductions; go to your mind palace. That’s how you solve your cases, not by blowing someone’s head off because you are out of ideas.
11. THE SIX THATCHERS (S04E01):
this was opening episode was season four after taking a hiatus of almost three years. The fans were going crazy and the expectations were sky high. THE SIX THATCHERS somehow failed to deliver. Maybe due to the burden of expectations! The episode started off well but lost its pace in the later part. The Margaret Thatcher reference in my opinion was pointless. And the death of Mary didn’t have the impact it should have had.
10. THE SIGN OF THREE (S03E02):
After the not so satisfying season three premiere, I was hoping Sherlock would kick back. Indeed it did, but not quite much. It was a mess of an episode for me. There were too much going on. Although there were some funny scenes such as Sherlock’s reaction when John asked him to be the best man, Sherlock trying to do deductions being drunk. Apart from these it didn’t have much to offer.
09. THE EMPTY HEARSE (S03E01):
After the epic cliff-hanger of season two, there were endless theories of how the clever detective with a funny hat survived the fall. Everyone had been waiting for an explanation. But instead of that, the episode just showcased the possible scenarios but not what actually happened. This manipulation somewhat left me frustrated. There were good moments also. The scene where Sherlock confronted John after two years of his fake death was outstanding. It was heart-warming and also funny in the same place.
08. THE BLIND BANKER (S01E02):
After the sensation the series premiere created, the hype was too high to meet up with. The Blind Banker was a decent episode, but not as epic as the first episode.
07. THE HOUNDS OF BASKERVILLE (S02E02):
Honestly there is nothing wrong with this episode. The reason I am giving this episode 7th position is that the rest are more SHERLOCKY! The season two premiere had raised bar so high that it was hard for THE HOUNDS OF BASKERVILLE to up the game any further. The episode did offer some of the best deduction scenes though like the scene where Sherlock tries to figure out what H.O.U.N.D. was simply brilliant! (“get out, I need to go to my mind palace”).
06. THE FINAL PROBLEM (S04E03):
Shit! Where do I even start about this one! This was certainly one hell of an episode. Twist after twist, shock after shock, it kept on going. But then there were flaws, probably most in any episode of the whole series. The episode opened with Sherlock and John manipulating Mycroft to get to know about Euros, Sherlock’s secret sister. Then there was an explosion in Baker Street. Sherlock and John somehow jumped from window and survived without any injury. Then they broke into Sherrinford. Why breaking in! Mycroft owns (he’s the British government! ) the goddamn place, right! Then the detective show became a less violent version of a SAW movie with Hollywood A-listers. Sherlock forcing Molly to say “I love you” was downright unfair, even if it was for her own good. Also Euros being ok with Sherlock killing Mycroft but not with Sherlock killing himself didn’t make any sense, not for me. The Redbeard twist was one of a kind though. On the whole if this is the end of Sherlock, THE FINAL PROBLEM doesn’t deserve to be the farewell episode.
05. THE LYING DETECTIVE (S04E02):
Definitely the best episode of season four. Cumberbatch literally gave his best of Sherlock in this one dark episode. After Mary’s untimely death and John’s grief, Sherlock going to new heights in order to save John was a treat to watch. Culverton Smith is creepy and better than Magnusson. Also the introduction of Euros Holmes came out of nowhere.
04. A STUDY IN PINK (S01E01):
this series pilot made Sherlock an overnight hit. This is where it all began. From Sherlock beating a corpse to making deductions about strangers just by looking at them, everything looked so new and brilliant. The best possible opening for a gem of a show. No need to say more.
03. THE GREAT GAME (S01E03):
The final episode of season one. Puzzles, definitely Sherlock’s area, right! Well THE GREAT GAME had it all. Puzzles, ticking time bombs, literally everything one can expect from the show. And last but not the least, Moriarty, the coolest villain ever to be on TV. An episode filled with non-stop nail biting tension. This is where Sherlock topped its own game.
02. A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA (S02E01):
After the explosive season one, season two came back with A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA. Back with a bang! This episode introduced Irene Adler (The Woman). Acting, direction, dialogues, background score, everything was perfect about this one. When someone asks you about Sherlock’s best scenes, you just can’t not talk about the ending scene of A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA. The scene where Sherlock deduces Adler’s feelings towards him gives me goose bumps every time I watch it. Yes, I AM SHERLOCKED too.
01. THE REICHENBACH FALL (S02E03):
Here we come at last, the best episode of Sherlock. THE REICHENBACH FALL has to be the one. This is arguably one of the best episodes of any TV series ever. The epic problem between Sherlock and Moriarty and the epic conclusion to it delivered an edge of the seat thriller like no other. The Sherlock and Moriarty confrontation scene is easily the best one of the series. The dialogues were written superbly. I don’t think I need to say more about this episode. If you are reading this, you probably know what I am talking about.
PS: I am not a critic. I am just a genuine Sherlock fan. This article is based entirely on my opinion. Others may not agree with me and I respect that.
Since the makers haven’t announced a new season, here’s to an iconic show that may never return.
“Oh please, there’s just one more thing, right? One more thing. One more miracle, Sherlock, for me, for us. Don’t….. be….. over!”