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12 January 2014 @ 11:09 pm
Sherlock: His Last Vow  
And thus concludes another season.


These days I approach anything Moffat has written with a mix of anxiety, skepticism, and preparation to be offended. So after last week's episode which still ranks as my favorite Sherlock episode of all time, I was ready to be dreadfully disappointed. But as my expectations were almost on the floor, this episode actually delivered in a few ways. In fact, Moffat was practically showing restrain in how he treated the characters and even more so the "witty" rapid-fire dialogue he tends to love his characters sprout. So I wasn't exactly blown away by this season's closer but I wasn't frothing with rage either which is...good.

I can't decide if I want to put the reveal of Mary Morstan in the Like or Dislike list. I think I have to wait until her ultimate fate on the show is revealed as canonically Mary doesn't have a good ending. I will say that I'm actually pleasantly surprised that Moffat didn't end up writing her as completely a villain or completely a Mary Sue. Yes, I was a little worried when she started on the snark dialogue with Sherlock when he lured her to his secret lair, but ultimately she's a woman with a shady past who has done terrible things and who was trying to make a new life for herself. But she's not a villain. She's someone who made certain choices that were now coming back to haunt her because of the company she now keeps. That's about as multi-layered a female character as I've ever seen in Moffat's hands.

I'd actually read the original ACD story that featured Milverton so I very much enjoyed the various connections to the original story and how it deviated from there. All in all, this might be my favorite of the Moffat-penned episodes.

Oh and as a random additional question: the OTHER one? Is Mycroft talking about another brother? It's like they want to make this Skyfall/Sherlock thing real.

And now, for the last time (until next time!)....

Likes
1) Charles Augustus Magnusson - the man was slimy, horrid, petty, a bully, cruel, and heartless. And I loved watching every minute of it. The way he invaded and contaminated a person's space was SO DISGUSTING. The urinating was bad but the licking of the face was just awful. I was amazed that even as I loathed Magnusson, I loved the way Lars Mikkelsen was able to fully capture such a repugnant character. Unlike Moriarty, he's not batshit crazy. He's, as he kept saying, a businessman: cold, calculating, and ready to barter a deal. He represents the lowest of human nature in that he uses people like objects in a way that makes logical sense which feels a larger offense than someone who is just so nuts he just likes screwing with people. I could actually believe that Mycroft would have an uneasy alliance of sorts with Magnusson because the latter clearly plays the game and can actually be counted upon to play his part when needed. Also, the reveal that he has his own Mind Palace was great.

2) Christmas with the Holmes - I take it back: I love the Holmes parents. I liked the throwaway comment that showed that Mrs. Holmes is a genius and clearly that's where Sherlock and Mycroft get their mental prowess. Also, I kind of adored seeing how Mycroft and Sherlock regressed (well, Sherlock's always regressed) to being such kids when home with their parents. Particularly Mycroft bitching on end about having to do holidays with the family and OH GOD WHY IS IT ONLY 2 PM WHY WHY WHY?? And their reaction to getting caught smoking. Clearly Sherlock never grew out of his go to answer whenever he got into trouble. "It was Mycroft!"

3) Janine's parting line - The whole use of Janine nearly went on my Dislikes list but her last line sort of ameliorated it for me. I know Sherlock using her as his fiancee is parallel to the original story but I really disliked that he called her an opportunistic, grasping, tabloid whore. For one thing, her selling her story was IN REACTION to his behavior. Which yes, is perhaps not classy but he made it sound like she was already those things before he started falsely dating her which we never saw and thus, I was less than pleased. He should be glad that's ALL she was going to do. However, I do give Moffat credit for giving her a line that very much humanized her when said Sherlock should have just told her the truth and they could have been friends. Because YES. At the end of the day, Sherlock used her and she in turn decided to use him. It could have gone differently if Sherlock had made a different choice.

Dislikes
1) THE DRAMA. SO MUCH DRAMA - I'm not sure what was up with the music or perhaps it was the way they were cued with the scenes but more than a few scenes felt incredibly melodramatic. Particularly when Mycroft was seeing Sherlock as young!Sherlock shortly after shooting Magnusson. I mean...really? It was sappy enough for me that we had young!Sherlock who dearly loved his dog (Redbeard!) but did we have to have that insert at the end? Also, the whole sequence of Sherlock going to his Mind Palace after being shot was a bit over the top for me. I'm just not the right audience for level of melodrama, I guess.

2) Molly's broken engagement - Please. Can we not return to her pining after Sherlock? Please?

3) Miss me? No. - I actually groaned when Moriarty appeared at the end. I really hope to God that somehow the actual Moriarty won't be in season 4 but rather maybe someone from his network trying to carry on his work. I'm sorry but I thought Moriarty went out on a high note with that spectacular suicide and better acting from Andrew Scott in "The Reichenbach Fall." Having him come back to no doubt ham it up another season is not something I relish. I want more non-bonkers, quiet villains like Magnusson.

So farewell once again, cast and crew of Sherlock. See you in about two years, I guess?
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formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 15th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC)
"The Great Game" commentary is ridiculously entertaining. My favorite part is still Mark Gatiss talking about how he used to swim in that pool and what his younger self would have said if his older self had told him he'd one day be writing for Sherlock and Doctor Who.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 15th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC)
I rather love his dead on impression of Martin Freeman. And Benedict getting very chatty about something, and Martin and Mark being all '...' about it.