Thoughts on Sherlock Season 4, EP 1

sherlock

I was first introduced into the world of Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis’ Sherlock by happenstance back in 2011, after seeing the second RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie, A Game of Shadows, and browsing through Netflix for more Sherlock related goodness, and there it was.   I watched the first episode, A Study in Pink, and was fascinated by the modernized retelling of the classic story.  They lost my interest in the middle of the second episode however.  While it introduced their Moriarty at the climax, it’s got some pacing issues throughout, and it lost me.

I caught the end of season 2 while I was on deployment for the Navy, with it’s brilliant Reichenbach Falls cliffhanger, and was determined to watch this show again when I returned home, and was hooked after that.  And then, came the waiting.  3 episodes a year, 1 year in between seasons, on average at least.

We saw season 3 in 2014, and all us fans got last year was a special episode, The Abominable Bride, which was brilliant overall, and that which I don’t want to spoil for newer fans coming in.  It was a great season 3.5 holdover to get us through til now, which now we have it, the first episode of which at least, The Six Thatchers.

The episode picks up shortly after the climax of season 3, with Sherlock’s (Benedict Cumberbatch)  exile for the murder of last season’s villain Charles Magnusson (Lars Mikkelsen) by Sherlock, being revoked on account of a possible return from the grave from Moriarty (Andrew Scott-Spectre)

Sherlock deduces that this is a plot that was already in place before Moriarty’s death, and decides to bide his time for the plan to reveal itself in full, as he is the bait for said trap after all.   We then get a clever montage of Sherlock going through various cases, solving them in record speed, along with some great Sherlock one liners.  “Wrong thumb,” and “It’s never twins” were two of my favorites.

Meanwhile John (Martin Freeman) and Mary (Amanda Abbington)Watson give birth to a baby girl and we get some more great comedy out of Sherlock having to deal with an infant.

This section, while entertaining is also problematic as it seems  like a lot of filler, entertaining filler, but filler nonetheless, as though they come up with the basic crux of the plot, the mystery, and realize that that’s only about a 45 minutes long, and they need to pad the episode out to make the two year wait time for this worth it.   Season 3 had a lot of that in it as well.    After a bit of that we get to the main mystery, involving Mary’s secret agent for hire past coming back to bite her once more, which I don’t want to spoil the twists of here.

Overall though the episode was entertaining, but it almost seems like the show is nearly run it’s course, sad to say.  The filler, while necessary here for character development, feels like filler, which is never a good thing, even when it is entertaining filler.     Overall, I rather enjoyed it, but it’s not perfect, but being that we waited so long for this, (three years)  we’ll enjoy it.

Final grade- B+

If you’re new to the show and want to catch up, all three previous seasons are available streaming on Netflix, and if you missed this week’s episode, you can watch it online at:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/series/sherlock-s4/

 

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