The final episode of Sherlock season 3 was seen in Finland on Sunday. I wasn’t overly impressed, but despair ye not, for I seldom am.
I was disappointed in the lack of suspense, speed (other drugs were included, which I saw as a positive reference to original Conan Doyle’s creation), and sloppy script. Too much detail, not enough detective story. A wedding, a bachelor party, analysing relationships,…
I really don´t think the series needs more kissing scenes for Sherlock. The female audience undoubtedly appreciates Benedict Cumberbatch´s smooches, but I don´t think the story needs any.
Overall I couldn’t help but worrying the series is evolving towards a sitcom or soap with its romantic relationships, too many jokes and gimmicks. There is a looming danger of hybris that comes with the huge popularity of the series. I put my trust in the writers getting their act together, and not daring to go sitcom on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Don´t get me wrong: I enjoyed immensely the touches of mortality and humanity added to Sherlock´s character, such as being lightweight in relation to liquor, and able to seduce a bridesmaid.
I was nervous about the new character, Watson´s future wife, but Mary, played by Amanda Abbington, was absolutely charming. She is her own woman, clever and independent. Appears she has a history, as well. I am looking forward to seeing more of her doings in the future.
My compliments to the make up and costumes dept. by the way! A nice policy is the appearance of Mary, as well as all the other characters (excluding Sherlock himself): The characters are not strikingly beautiful or overtly Hollywood-handsome, but they are attractive and good-looking in a normal sort of way, which makes them credible. Take Mycroft, for example. (And what a lovely actor Mark Gatiss is. Can´t wait to see him in NtLive Coriolanus in a couple of weeks.)
Let´s talk about strikingly beautiful faces. Let´s talk about Benedict Cumberbatch: Now there is a face that has nothing boring in it, a face that stays in one´s retina long after the lights are out. In all its weirdness. There´s a lot going on in that face. Luckily Mr Cumberbatch can be handsome and sexy also in a more traditional way, as those of us who have seen Star Trek – Into Darkness know.
Now this got me thinking of cheekbones. In the last edpisode of this season Mads Mikkelsen´s brother Lars (look at the two brothers´ facial bone structure, it´s identical!) as the blackmailing Mr Magnussen is much colder and more analytic baddie than Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott. I was irritated by Moriarty´s speech mannerisms, and had the urge to slap the TV Molly Hooper –style every time he opened his mouth.
Moriarty is evidently making a come back next season. I would rather see someone else. Someone mysterious and unexpected, please. Maybe someone Danish again, or even Swedish. Germany as well has an ample store of frightening-looking actors.
The writers chose not to tell us how Sherlock did it (stage his death, that is). It was disappointing, but understandable. We are now, after all, dealing with one of the sharpest minds in fiction, so I prefer no explanation to a poor explanation any day. Much more elegant.
Having said that, I do think the viewers and fans deserve a prize for their patience next season. Or the one after that.
What was genuinely innovative was to take the Youtube How did Sherlock stage his death -scenarios into the script in the first episode. Very good idea, that.