Let’s talk about Sherlock’s Season 4 and how absolutely awful it was


SPOILERS for Season 4 of Sherlock.

The first two seasons of Sherlock are as close to perfect as can be. The performances, the stories, the direction, the connection to the source material, all of it was superb. Those first two seasons are a big reason why the Cumberbitches became obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch. Those first two seasons were almost legendary, especially given the massive cliffhanger at the end of Season 2, which turned into a massive internet conspiracy. Personally, I was okay with Season 3, the introduction of Mary Watson and the storylines around the Watson wedding and how they explained Sherlock’s “death” and more. Did I think the Charles Magnussen story was incredibly stupid in the end? For sure. But I still wasn’t prepared. Even with the Christmas special of The Abominable Bride – which sucked so hard – did not prepare me for Season 4.

So what happened with Season 4? They just rode the train off the rails completely. The first episode, The Six Thatchers, looked dated and totally ‘80s. The story was frenetic and stupid. The performances were all over the place. And the end? Mary taking a bullet for Sherlock and then John blaming Sherlock for it? Because in the world of Sherlock, women simply have no agency, I guess. The second episode, The Lying Detective, was probably the strongest episode of this very weak season, but again, that’s not saying much. Am I the only one who doesn’t have to be convinced through storytelling that Toby Jones is extremely creepy? He could be playing a saint and he would still make my skin crawl.

But the pièce de résistance of this crapfest of a season was absolutely last night’s episode, The Final Problem. I kept referring to it as “the final solution” in my mind, which is a terrible Nazi reference which they should have been prepared for. The Final Problem, as it turns out, is that Sherlock and Mycroft have a sister who is a brilliant psychopath. She left her underground prison cell to play games with Sherlock and Watson, then returned to jail as a way to bait them to come to her or something. At the end of the episode, the lesson was that she just wanted a friend. That’s why she did all of those terrible things. Incidentally, it was the most British thing in the world for everyone to be horror-struck when they believed she killed Sherlock’s childhood dog, but then when we discovered she actually killed a small child, that’s when people were like, “Oh, she just needs a friend, you guys!” Dog-killer = horrible monster. Child-killer = sympathetic villain.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Season 4 could be (or should be) the last season of Sherlock ever, or possibly the last season we get in many, many years. If they end it now… I won’t be mad. The ratings were terrible and I think interest has waned. I think they were even prepared for that, which is why we got that cheeseball montage at the end. So, congrats Gatiss and Moffat. You ran this thing into the f—king ground and destroyed all of that goodwill.



Photos courtesy of IMDB/Sherlock.

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121 Responses to “Let’s talk about Sherlock’s Season 4 and how absolutely awful it was”

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  1. Lennox says:

    Right?? I’ve tried really hard to think of a single redeeming feature of last night’s episode and I’m stumped. It’s sad that what was a good programme has turned into this.

    • Amelia says:

      What episode? What are you talking about? There’s no season 4!

      Hmm. Isn’t it a shame that Sherlock ended after the first two seasons? It was such a brilliant programme, but at least they called it quits before the writing went to shit, and it all turned into some second rate spy thriller.

    • hermia says:

      Little Sherlock dressed as a pirate and the Moriarty/Queen scene were the only things I remotely liked.

    • Londerland says:

      I liked the “put your hand on the glass” bit. I mean, as a conceit. I don’t see how it would possibly work in reality – Sherlock would have noticed the lack of reflection, and also, were the staff master glassworkers to do this? And also, if she had everyone in her spell at the prison, why would she need a fake cell front? If they would do anything she asked (as appeared to be the case) and transport her on and off the island at her command, surely they’d open the door when she asked too?

      Oh god. One bright spot in the whole damn show and I’ve ruined it for myself.

    • Megan says:

      I turned off the TV about half way through. It was such crap I really don’t care how the episode/series ended.

    • Sensible says:

      I have had a problem with it since the introduction of Moriarty…the characterisation is comedic to me and completely unscary. Kills it.

      • Cirien says:

        Agreed. It feels with Moriarty, they’re trying to establish a Joker/Batman feel, which makes since Batman is based heavily off Sherlock. But where they fall flat is not realising that Moriarty isn’t the Joker- If anything? He’s Lex Luthor

  2. shelly says:

    After season 3 turned out to be such a load of rubbish, I decided not to bother with season 4.

    A work colleague who is nuts about Cumberbatch confirmed that I probably made the correct decision. She said it made her cringe, because it was so bad.

    Its a shame really because the first two seasons were quite entertaining.

    • BritAfrica says:

      She was right, you didn’t miss anything. I fell asleep through the boxset – that’s how bad it was!

      All that nonsense with Mary being alive/dead made me more than ready to call ‘time’. Then, as if episode 2 wasn’t bad enough, the sister ‘materialised’ with all the ensuing stupid antics and idiocy which sent me straight to sleep.

      This is Doctor Who all over again. BBC, please bring in fresh writers for both shows or end them. Moffat is not God.

    • Diane says:

      Completely agree 100%. I absolutely LOVED Sherlock the first season and it got progressively worse every season. I quit 1/3 of the way through the last episode that ran last night and hit ERASE. It almost felt insulting like they were going overboard trying to be artistic when all I wanted was a good Sherlock mystery. Instead I got four LSD trips.

  3. AG-UK says:

    I lost interest ages ago I watched the first and wasn’t that interested and I didn’t watch episodes 2/3 and you are right the first 2 seasons were fabulous. I think the writing got lazy or they too loss interest?

  4. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    I stopped watching Sherlock after the wedding episode, it lost its magic there and then for me. The problem was more Moffat, his ego got to big and he bent over backwards to please the internet nerds – he’s leaving Dr Who and thank god for that. Dr Who got better once he stopped writing for the show.

    As for the cast – Bendy lost interest in it once he made it big and started getting HW roles. Freeman aways seemed into it and i get the impression would continue to do it.

    Shame really as it was a great show that could have gone on for a long time with the right writing and directing.

    • Ravine says:

      Agree about the ego. Every show Moffat produces inevitably rockets up its own a$$, worshipping its central character to an absurd degree and clubbing all logic and character consistency to death upon the Altar of Self-Aware Cleverness. Besides Who and Sherlock, he also wrote a series called “Jekyll” that exemplifies all these tendencies. It’s so, so aggravating, because he’s capable of writing good stories (“Blink” is a classic for a reason), but when put in charge of a series, all he cares about is showing off.

  5. Lulu says:

    Moffat has done the same to Dr Who so not really surprising … lol I love Toby Jones I enjoyed him in the Dad’s Army remake too .

    • SusanneToo says:

      When Russell T Davies ran Doctor Who, Moffat written episodes were some of the best. When Moffat took over DW at least half or more of the episodes each season were iffy. He seems to need a controlling hand rather than absolute freedom.

    • Megan says:

      I loved Toby Jones in The Dectectorists. It is one of my all time favorite TV series. He is so charming and delightful as Lance.

  6. Pansy says:

    Well, to be honest, my teenage kids and I rather liked it. We thought Cumberbatch did such a great job–there were lots of Sherlock freak outs AND we see him show emotions couple of times this season! The bro hug made me all teary eyed for real.
    That said, I do feel like there were more….far fetched ideas this season. They are always pretty out there, but then they bring it round in the end and you’re like “Ahhhhhh.” Not this time.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Glad to see someone who enjoyed it! Yes, it was very flawed and not on par with the first 2 seasons, but I actually thought that this was better than season 3 and the special, especially in a sense that I now have hope that we’re getting back on track, in case there’s every season 5?
      But I thought BC was really good.

  7. Miss Jupitero says:

    At least the rumour that TommyAnnE would be the third Holmes brother Sherringford did not come to pass.

  8. hermia says:

    Horrible all the way. From the ludicrous death of annoying Mary Watson to the silly idea Sherlock would risk death not knowing whether John would turn up on time to save him. Last night was a kaleidoscope of horse manure.

  9. Sixer says:

    That’s what Mr Sixer said, Kaiser!

    “Bloody hell. I know we’re more sentimental about animals than we are about people but no need to broadcast it to the world via our most popular TV show.”

    I thought this season was pants but I honestly thought the fan service of season 3 was worse. I shall not indulge the Sixlets by watching it live with them if there is a season 5.

    • Cee says:

      Ha, I actually did say “Why do you care more about your dog than a little boy?!” outloud.
      I love my dogs and even though a child killing an animal makes my skin crawl it’s definitely worse if said killing is of a child, especially if it’s done because “my brother doesn’t play with me or let me be a pirate with him and his bff Trevor. I shall kill him to teach him a lesson”.

    • lightpurple says:

      I was screaming. Are they NOT going to tell the boy’s parents what happened to him? We’re supposed to be more upset that Mycroft hid his sister’s whereabouts from their parents (and how would this have fallen to Mycroft who would, at most, have been a teen-ager when this all happened? What were the parents doing at the time? ) then we are about the actual death of a little boy whose body was never found?

      • hermia says:

        Besides, the little girl clearly mentioned drowning so why did no one think to look inside a well near the house?????????

      • Londerland says:

        @Hermia – I KNOW RIGHT?!!? There’s an exposed well on the property and in a fevered hunt for a missing boy, nobody checks it?! Even when she’s started referring to the missing boy/dog as “drowned”, NOBODY LOOKS IN THE WELL, so that even thirty years later John is able to find the kid’s skull still in there?! FFS.

      • hermia says:

        @Londerland. She must have hypnotised them all, lol. That was another stupid thing: if she could indeed do what she liked, why bother going back to prison? Why not stay in London and create havoc in Sherlock’s life by engineering all manner of horrible deeds? It was because she only wanted him to notice her and get a hug from big bro. If that’s what Moftiss think of women, well, they can sod off.

      • Londerland says:

        @Hermia – oh but she was HAPPY to go back to prison once she was reunited with her favourite brother Sherlock! Good little obedient Euros. Clearly had nothing else she wanted to do in the world at all. Sherlock is all that matters…ever.

        Even making Euros a woman was a really suspect choice, at least coming from Moffat. The third Holmes sibling had to be super crazy, so they made her a woman because WIMMINZ BE CRAZY! and also basically witches with the power to control minds and disappear at will, make glass vanish, etc, etc.

        Unstable, antisocial geniuses with penises get government jobs, power, money, celebrity, fame and worship. Those without penises get locked up.

        (Also WTF was that “you’ve had sex” line about? Like, the writers think that Sherlock is so sexually fascinating to women that even his own insane sister can’t help thinking about his penis??)

        (Sorry, I realise I’m spamming the comments here but I’ve rather a lot of steam to let off.) 😄

      • hermia says:

        You are sooo right! I think they meant to convey he had sex with Irene Adler. They had to tick all the boxes. Cringe.

      • Cirien says:

        Lightpurple: I believe that it was “Uncle Rudy” who first came up with the idea that Euros had survived the fire at her first institution- ( was there a fire?) and was moved to a more secret facility.

        Frankly the idea that the actual psychopath in the family- as opposed to the brothers- who had killed a childhood friend, set fire to the family home, ( I think) set fire to her institution, and murder-screwed someone to death, was only doing it because she wanted Sherlock to like her, and therefore could be saved by having contact with her family, ( which is what they’ve implied at the end) was ridiculous!!!

        (Also can we stop shitting on Mycroft please??? Between Mrs Hudson calling him a reptile, because what he doesn’t have human relationships, and his parents calling him “limited” and “idiot boy” when it’s clear that he had to look after his brother from a young age, is fucking annoying)

      • bluerunning says:

        @Cirien- Yes! Thank you! Why was everyone crapping on Mycroft? And especially this episode- what even was the POINT of Mycroft? He did nothing but seem vaguely pathetic! And frankly, Mycroft must have been more of a parent than his actual parents, right? He’s the only one who could keep up, maybe even stay ahead, of his two brilliant siblings, so the parents were almost redundant? And you would think, with the combined intelligence of Mycroft and Sherlock, they could do a bit better… Mycroft stood in a corner and scowled while peeing himself, while Sherlock ~dramatically emoted and John threw himself on the sword while screaming “soldiers!!!!!” until someone finally hugged the psychopathic sister.

        Your psychopathic sister killed a boy as a child because you ignored her, then murdered at least 4 people right in front of you, but no worries, she just needs a hug! Also- was the girl on the plane just a recording? An actress? They were actually holding conversations, right?

        And what was the point of the Molly Hooper bit? To show that Sherlock has ~emotions now? Look at how much character development he’s been through, he feels ~remorse? Yeah ok.

        Ugh. Just Ugh.

      • Timbuktu says:

        Yes, I thought that the boy twist was unnecessary, especially since Sherlock easier on says “no one sends a child away because of a missing dog”, and Mycroft responds “indeed”, and then tells the story of the fire.
        At that point, why the hell would Mycroft not just tell the truth? He must have know it was only a matter of time – hours or maybe even minutes – before Sherlock was told about his friend, but chose to continue the ruse? For dramatic effect?

      • Tanya says:

        What was scary was their parents’ reaction. They were more pissed about Mycroft’s “lie” regarding his sister than the fact that she’s a murderer, arsonist, and God knows what else.

        Talk about obtuse psychos.

      • Timbuktu says:

        well, in their defense, they KNEW she were an arsonist and although they didn’t find the boy’s body, I assume they also knew that she must have killed him. So, those revelations were not new to them and they had a lot of time to cope with those thoughts. The only new information for them was that their messed up daughter was alive.

    • Sixer says:

      We do have the reputation of hearts bleeding more over animals than people but that was just totally egregious!

    • Hodgekiss says:

      @Londerland – re. the ‘have you had sex?’ line: I think the music Sherlock was playing on his violin was the Irene Adler theme he composed in A Scandal In Belgravia when he was moping about after meeting her. Eurus presumably deduced, upon hearing it, that it was about someone he had sexual feelings for or had slept with. They mentioned the Sherlock/Irene MAYBE THEY HAD SEX!!! point a few times this series, I dunno why.

      • Londerland says:

        @Hodgekiss – I don’t know if it was the same music, but good catch if it was! I got that it was to show Euros’ intuitive powers, that she’d hear things in the music and know something about Sherlock – that made sense (comparatively). I just felt that (a) it was a creepy thing for a sister to say about a brother (even a psychotic sister!) and (b) it just further demonstrates this series’ attitudes toward women.

        They’re a bit obsessed with Irene Adler, aren’t they? Funny she hasn’t come back. I expect (if there’s a fifth series) as soon as they can find an excuse to get her naked and keep her that way, they’ll do it.

      • Bee says:

        The idea that Sherlock lost his virginity to whip cracking dominatrix Irene Adler is pretty fun though. She was a great character, they dropped the ball not bring her back.

  10. Amelia says:


    • Cee says:


      • Tiny says:

        I’m so annoyed. There isn’t a single female character that has any semblance of purpose beyond fridging/being used as a plot device for the men.

      • Anitas says:


        Yes, this is a very blokey show which I fear is partly why it’s so popular. Even Mary was written in a way to continually prove she was “one of the guys”, which is why I really disliked her character and was glad to see her gone.

    • Londerland says:

      Amen! I’d watch The Molly Show.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Agreed and so does Mrs. Hudson. And needed more of the lovely Rupert Graves.

      • Becky says:

        I did like the bit where Mrs Hudson was listening to Iron Maiden while vacuuming.

        I found the sister character infuriating (maybe that’s a testament to the actress playing her).

        The whole storyline was so implausible, the upside were the performances.

    • Escaped Convent says:

      I really don’t understand what the hell they were doing with Molly. And then they just leave it there?! Complete and total rubbish. Moffatt and Gatiss should be ashamed. They had a great thing, and they ruined it.

  11. Cee says:

    I am so disappointed. Episode 3 was awful, just awful. I wish the series could go back to the format it had in Series 1&2 with, you know, actual cases and not Sherlock Holmes’ Personal Soap Opera Featuring Doctor Watson.

    Benedict Cumberbatch was very good (his Sherlock is the best in his repertoire of characters, imo) but the whole Eurus Holmes as the explanation for EVERYTHING since Series 1 was lukewarm. The whole Molly shtick was pointless and a bit cruel. Poor Victor Trevor and Mycroft Holmes, keeper of the world.

    I’m not looking forward Series 5 after this.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      “and not Sherlock Holmes’ Personal Soap Opera Featuring Doctor Watson.”

      You win the internet and I totally agree with you 😀

    • Timbuktu says:

      This! 100% this! I’ve been saying this since season 3. Sherlock Holmes was always about entertaining riddles. It was never a psychological thriller – at least, not one about Sherlock. The show shined when it did the same. But for some reason, after only 6 episodes, they decided to “shake things up”, “go darker”, “explore the unexpired” and I think that’s where the lost their touch. Had they had full-on seasons with 20+ episodes each, perhaps after 2 years, it WAS time to shake things up, but after 6 episodes? Absolutely no need. They could have created 2 or 3 more seasons easily using the same formula and no one would have gotten bored. Instead, they created this mess.
      My only hope is that they have finally tied up all the lose ends (however sloppily) and if BC’s star no longer rises, maybe in 2-3 years they can revisit the series and make a season 5 like in the good old days of Seasons 1 and 2?

  12. grabbyhands says:


    I recorded all three episodes and was going to watch based on what the general reaction was. It looked bad after the the first episode got such terrible reviews, but the second one seemed to have redeemed itself and most of what I’ve read about the final episode was good so I’ll probably watch at some point.

    What’s really giving me life right now is the collective meltdown of the JohnLockers (the Sherlock version of Larries) who were convinced that the leaked episode was fake because “the writers always intended that JohnLock was endgame”, and that the aired episode would prove this, which of course, it didn’t.

  13. Londerland says:


    Yeah, it was still compulsive viewing but God, it was not good. Not at all.

    There’s no deduction anymore, it’s just a series of escalating shocks or cliffhangers or stuff the writers think will look cool, and no actual puzzle. They keep setting up insane questions (how did Sherlock survive the fall? How could he have known that Moriarty would insist he jump, far enough in advance to plan the fake death? How did John survive getting shot last episode? How is Moriarty still alive? How did Euros engineer anything at all from inside prison??) but the solution is always BS. We’re just expected to go “oh, supervillain genius is SO clever they worked it all out in advance, they’re just really smart, the details don’t matter”. But they absolutely do.

    The “how”, the deduction, is central to Sherlock Holmes. Take that away and all you’ve got is a grumpy tosser in a bad hat bantering with his friend (who has a child he apparently feels comfortable abandoning all.the.time).

    Additionally – even the central relationship has become utterly stale. Just a constant series of conversations about how John completes Sherlock and vice verse. Even Mary knew it, that’s why her beyond-the-grave messages were full of guff about the men, and what, shouldn’t she have been telling John “go home, get a life, get therapy, get over your war and TAKE CARE OF MY F***CKING DAUGHTER”!!!??

    And what was with the “let’s torture Molly again with emotional abuse” scene? The f*ck, Moffat, you sexist ass? You needed to torture Sherlock with a puzzle and you literally couldn’t come up with anything that interested you more than “let’s force Molly to humiliate herself AGAIN”? I’d say he just can’t write women (which is true) but it’s not even just the women anymore – they are treated the worst, but EVERYONE in Sherlock now only exists to revolve around Sherlock&John. The mysteries don’t matter. Nothing else matters.

    Even the prime motivation for poor insane soooooper genius Euros was that Sherlock wouldn’t play with her as a child. It’s ALL ABOUT SHERLOCK.

    They’ve said this won’t be the last series, but if they do another, they need to get Moffat and Gatiss to step back from the keyboard and let someone else have a go.

    • Tiny says:


      • Londerland says:

        Oh but it’s okay because the crappy ending montage showed her walking into the flat all happy smiley! So it’s all okay!!!! *rage*

        Seriously. Give me a scene where he f*cking explains. Otherwise, Moffat, you prick, you know what you’re doing? All you’re doing is torturing a woman and abandoning her. You’re saying “this character has value when she’s suffering, but ONLY then. If she’s not crying I have no use for her and don’t care about her”.

      • TeamAwesome says:

        This. The first thing I said afterwards was I’m gonna need a scene where he explains things to Molly.

    • Josie357 says:

      And the worst of is it, I read online that they threw the Molly scene together because the original scene wasn’t any good. “We had a bad idea — let’s play off Molly still loving Sherlock, THAT will be good!”

      What arses.

  14. CidySmiley says:

    Honestly the wait for the new seasons are so long and everyone is always disappointed at this point. I also think B.C. and Martin Freeman are kind of… checked out of Sherlock. Like when they talk about it they dont seem all that interested.

  15. Sunnydaze says:

    I vaguely remember the first 3 seasons but I watched them all at once. When I learned there were 2 years between seasons I immediately knew I’d lose interest….I can barely resume a show after a few months between seasons. Probably won’t watch season 4, but I wonder if they hadn’t waited so long perhaps I would? Either way I’ve forgotten everything and have no desire to go back and watch for reminders. I don’t remember it being THAT good.

    • Jag says:

      Agreed! I can’t even remember if I watched Season 3. I think so. But I’m in no rush to watch Season 4 after reading this and everyone’s comments. It’s too bad because it was a great show.

  16. Skippy says:

    Exactly, season 4 was dreadful. I didn’t like season three either.
    How sad that a super series was totally ruined. I ended up only liking Mrs. Hudson, Molly and Greg. But I am really happy to have the dvds of seasons one and two to enjoy occasionally.

  17. Jade says:

    The live ratings are down, but the average live audience has shrunk in the UK. It’s the consolidated that matter. The 1st one went up 2 million+ in the consolidated, so I imagine it will be around the same for this episode, and that puts it just off the end of Series 2. Down but not by a whole lot.

    That aside, Sherlock’s benefit to the BBC is the money it generates in licensing for other markets. I thought the acting was quite good this season and there were some great scenes, but it was disconnected as a whole.

  18. Lasagnawasgreat says:

    Your point about the dog vs baby being killed are spot on.
    I remember the Making a Murdered discussion when some idiot went after a few commenters about how Stephen Avery is a piece of sh*i n should die in prison because he killed a cat or whatever it was.
    I’m like ok wow. He should die in prison because of some animal n not because he may or may not have raped n killed a woman?

  19. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    When you realize that Toby Jones is supposed to be like Jimmy Saville…he’s supposed to be creepy.

    I don’t get why people think Mary is so “annoying” and such a terrible character but having her end the series with her montage CD was a bad call.

    • Tiny says:

      The worst part of episode 2 was the promise of what could’ve been.
      The creepy analogies to real life events, the mind games, the essence of old episodes….
      It was a solid episode all around.
      And now this.

    • Cee says:

      I loved Mary. Was sad to see her go.

      What was the point of Toby Jones except make it all about Sherlock killing himself slowly for John to snap out of it and talk to him again.

    • Ramona says:

      I read somewhere that they killed her off because the actress who plays her broke up with Martin Freeman or that the timing of her firing is at least suspect. Anyway, heres hoping that was the shows finale.

      • Londerland says:

        If that’s why she had to go, they should have kept Mary and killed off John. That would have shaken up the formula a bit. It would still have been *a* Watson…and why should it be her who has to quit the show instead of him?

        Oh, right. Women, disposable, fridges, got it.

      • hermia says:

        Mary Watson dies in the original ACD stories too. But I despise the way they wrote the character, as it’s only a plot device. A woman who did everything to protect her family then did not bother to mention her daughter once in all the annoying messages she left for John/Sherlock???????

      • CL says:

        Amanda Abbington said in an in an interview in her first season on the show that she took the part so she could die in her partner’s arms. It was always known that she was going to die.
        It was hard to watch their scenes together knowing they’d broken up

  20. Anitas says:

    I admit I found it entertaining, even if I do agree it’s a terrible episode in a terrible season.

    The whole dog thing was hilariously bad. This is a woman who just shot the prison manager’s wife and made him shoot himself, threw three people off the cliff and was about to crash a plane into London, but we were supposed to be really shocked by the fact she once killed Sherlock’s dog.

    Watson being chained to the well but when they throw him a rope, he just climbs out… Idek.

    My rage moment came when they talked about Eurus as having the ability to enthrall whomever she came in contact with and make them do whatever she wanted, and Watson had that pained expression on his face. My husband said “So that’s why he cheated – she made him do it!” He sure got an earful. Even if it wasn’t explicitly stated, I’m sure other people made that connection and it really pissed me off. Such a sexist cliché, a scheming bitch puts a spell on an innocent man and makes him stray. There’s nothing he could’ve done! A nice copout for Watson, so he can go back to being squeaky clean and self-righteous the way the viewers love him. F**k off with that shit.

    And yes, Mary coming from beyond the grave just to gush some more about her favourite two boys. Give me a break!

  21. spidey says:

    Passed its sell by date a while ago.

    • third ginger says:

      Sad. SHERLOCK has the problem of so many hit shows: what to do next? Once they set about “humanizing” Sherlock, Moffat and Gatiss [brilliant guys] seem to have painted themselves into a corner. And the evil sister as the reason for everything?! Not convincing even in a show known for twists and turns.

  22. Cee says:

    it’s aimed at Tumblr.

    EDIT: I was replying to a message that’s now gone lol

  23. Joanie says:

    Wow, I’m surprised to see all the hate. I thought Season 4 did a great job of moving the series forward. It’s not a procedural – it was never going to just be case after case each episode. It’s a series, and after a while, Sherlock was going to become the ‘case.’ They’ve been hinting at that since Series 1.

    That being said, I didn’t like the rushed ending. I’m no Mary hater but I thought using her voiceover in the end was a mistake. Of course, when you consider how much Mark Gatiss loves Amanda Abbington, it’s not surprising, although misguided. I’m glad that Sian Brooke did such a great job as Eurus – she was certainly better in this show than she was as Ophelia opposite Ben in Hamlet last year (although they made Eurus look a bit too much like Samara from The Ring). I flat-out shrieked seeing Moriarty again. I also enjoyed seeing Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton make a brief return.

    I did *not* like the exploding drone. First of all, who was piloting it? We never got an explanation. Secondly, the awful CGI of Sherlock and John jumping out of the windows was silly and unnecessary. Thirdly, those were second floor windows. How did they do it without breaking a leg or ankle? Silly nonsense.

    Moftiss do enjoy their drama. Overall, the performances were good enough for me to enjoy it. Honestly, if it all ended here, I’d be satisfied…but I heard that Series 5 is written.

    • Tanya says:

      OMG! Thank you. Sian Brooke did a far better job as Euros than she did as Ophelia. She surprised me because I found her rendition as the latter as melodramatic and stifled. Also, I screamed “Samara”, especially when she jumped at Sherlock.

      • Joanie says:

        @Tanya Totally re: Ophelia. Maybe Sian is just meant to play women with teeth? I mean, let’s face it, Ophelia gums her food. Not a tooth in that whole head. She’s a doormat who speaks. Eurus, on the other hand…yowzers. Fangs for days!

  24. original kay says:

    I lost what little interest I had long ago.

    NOW! Elementary is shaping up to be a heck of a good season, with the season long arc coming together nicely! and as always, excellent acting by JLM and Lucy. Love Elementary!

    • shelly says:

      I agree OK also I think JLM is closer to what a modern take on Sherlock Holmes would be, a bit odd but still a man of the World, not played like a weird stroppy teenager by Cumberbatch.

      Like I said earlier I really enjoyed the first two series of Sherlock. I’ve expunged series 3 from my memory bungalow (as Sherlock would no doubt refer to it)
      And series 4 will not be crossing my threshold.

    • Wilma says:

      Was just about to post this. Elementary is one of my favorites. I love that they never use ineffective or lack of communication as a way to move the plot.

    • lightpurple says:

      I have always preferred Elementary.

  25. Bonzo says:

    I made it through the first episode but watched the Globes last week and missed it again this week. Except I’m not really *missing* it, so won’t bother to catch myself up. It’s never returned to the glory of the first two seasons.

    Victoria seems to be another soap opera like Downton, except without the humoUr. Amiright? Or should I give it another chance?

    Sixer, have you seen the Israeli drama Hostages? Found it on Netflix and am enjoying it. Reminds me of Occupied. I’ll look at that dancing one you recommended when I come up for air (busy work week).

    • Sixer says:

      Is that the one about making the doctor kill the prime minister? If so, yes, loved it! I liked the one that Homeland was based on, too. Much better than Homeland. I forget the title though, sorry.

      • Bonzo says:

        Yep, that’s the one I’m watching. I think the forerunner you’re referring to is Prisoners of War. I have that slated for my next Hulu binge.

  26. CarrieUK says:

    I loved it! But I don’t really mind random stories plus Sherlock was so hot this series I didn’t really care 😂

  27. seesittellsit says:

    Dreadful, simply dreadful. After the Irene Adler episode that began Season Two, beginning with the massacre of “The Hound of the Baskevilles”, one of the most innovative and cleverly brought off stories in the original Holmes oeuvre, the series quickly deteriorated into over-plotting, silly plot gadgets, holes one could drive a truck through, and writers who are by now so economically insulated against failure that they can afford the self-indulgence that is an insult to viewers, an insult to fans, an insult to the art of script-writing, and an insult to Baker Street Irregulars worldwide.

    • shelly says:

      By Jove seesittellsit, I think you’ve got to the heart of the matter old girl…(Nigel Bruce will always be my favourite Watson)

    • Sarah says:

      The third episode of the second season is probably the best of the series.

      The show’s way over the top but please ACD’s writing was very inconsistent—he misnamed his own characters, ffs–and full of plot holes you could drive a truck through. The two characters ACD created are what were great, not his actual stories. His writing was subpar a lot of the time.

  28. Dippit says:

    Watched the first episode of this series with my husband and neither of us were impressed. I have episodes two and three taped but, especially after reading some things (including this), I doubt I’ll bother watching them.

  29. Jools says:

    I watched this episode. Was stunned into silence at its awfulness and quickly watched ‘the empty hearse’ aka Sherlock’s return as a palate cleanser.

    And I realized some of what was missing.

    First of all: the humor! ‘Sherlock’ used to be funny! I used to giggle and snigger like mad. No longer.

    Second: the character of ‘Sherlock’. They made the mistake of letting Sherlock in on the joke. His obtuseness was the joke. Even though he was brilliant, he didn’t ‘get’ people. That was the twist. They completely changed who he was.

    Third: No Mycroft! Yes Mycroft was in it. But he wasn’t Mycroft. He didn’t get the chance to be unbelievably smart, working out what was happening. He was just there. Whining.

    Fourth: The love. No one was nice to each other. No one loved each other. John and Sherlock used to be like brothers. Have a jokey rapport that leaked with love. Not anymore. They basically tormented Mycroft in his home, then took great pleasure in abandoning him.

    In the past John might of been the nice one, trying to bring out Sherlock’s humanity. Not in this episode.

    Fourth: Villain. As a viewer, I never recovered after she killed the Warden’s (innocent) wife. I couldn’t come back from that. The child, drowning alone in a well -that was like a horror film. I don’t care that now you can play violin together. Nope.

    Also, I didn’t feel the actress playing Euros made the right choices. I wanted to see a bit more crazy. Or less of an affect. You know who does lack of affect well? See Tilda Swinton in “The Lion the witch and the wardrobe.” Bish is cold.

    And no one did crazy like Health Ledger as the joker. Or the master, Anthony Hopkins.

    sigh. I guess its time for Moffat (writer) to get back to ruining my other favorite show. Doctor Who.

    • hermia says:

      Moffat is done with Doctor Who. The one airing this year is his last season, so don’t despair. 🙂

  30. SusanneToo says:

    I will put in a plug for one of my favorite movies – Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes(1970). It’s funny, clever and melancholy all in one. Robert Stephens, Colin Blakeley and Christopher Lee were great Sherlock, Watson and Mycroft, respectively. And you can also see where Moffat borrowed some of his Irene Adler storyline. I highly recommend it.

  31. Nicole says:

    I liked the episode! It was dealing with all of the underlying in Sherlock that drives him. It pulled the layers away not just Sherlock but Mycroft as well. I liked this season! It dealing with relationship bonds..episode 2 is not about solving the crime…it is about
    the bond Watson and Sherlock! I think you have to be a diehard Sherlock fan way before
    the series to understand and love this season

    • HyacinthBucket says:

      I liked it, too. The “escape room” sequence on the island was creepy and claustrophobic. And yes I’m a Sherlock fan since I’m a kid, some 45 years or so. I saw the struggle of the different instincts of the man in the season, too. And in Ep 2 they got the relationship between Holmes and Watson quite well. Mary was only the catalyst. There is a lot of emotion going on in Sherlock Holmes in the original stories, which can be felt but is outspoken in only one story.

      I think they got it right.

      And who missed Jimmy Savile in Ep.2?

  32. M.A.F. says:

    I didn’t even bother to tune in. I was put off by season 3.

  33. frankly says:

    John’s chained to the bottom! Throw him a rope and all the chains will dissolve!

    And they never, ever found that dog/boy or knew that he had drown in a well, and that’s why Sherlock had all the ties and fears about deep water all his life because he had no idea that any well or water was involved in the death of the dog/boy.

    She made up the code in the song so 25-ish years later after she had escaped from an insane prison island you could go find her in her room and she could lead you to the well? So, even if they had solved the song code at the time of the Redbeard incident they would have gone back to her room? And then she would have told them about the well? That’s the plan? Did I miss something there? I might have – at that point I was pretty checked out of the whole debacle.

    Aside from the feeling that if I wanted to watch an episode of Black Mirror I would just watch Black Mirror, there were so many blantant, huge plot holes. Usually I’m charmed enough to let those slide, but dang, that whole thing was a mess. That’s just the beginning of the WTF problems with this episode.

    • Londerland says:

      “So, even if they had solved the song code at the time of the Redbeard incident they would have gone back to her room? And then she would have told them about the well? That’s the plan? Did I miss something there?”

      No, I think that’s it. She wanted Sherlock to figure the riddle out, to come to her room to play, and then she would tell him. Because that makes sense.

      (It struck me as well that it was a *total cheat* that the little girl on the airplane looked nothing like the little girl playing Euros in flashbacks. When it’s eventually revealed that the girl on the plane wasn’t real but was a metaphor for Euros, stuck in her insanity and loneliness, it seems only logical that they should have had her resemble Euros physically, but she didn’t. They didn’t have to show us the kid, they could have just had her voice on the phone, but no, they had to show us a child in peril because they’re sadistic sods – but the fact they look totally different makes no sense.)

      Also: Mr and Mrs Holmes have to be the worst parents in history.

  34. Timbuktu says:

    Well, I hated episode 1, I liked episode 2, it was almost like return to seasons 1 & 2, which, I agree, were brilliant and the best.
    I hear all of you on episode 3. Plot holes the size of continents, yes. Treatment of women, yes. The crazy resolution – she just wanted Sherlock to love her – yes. I always wonder – can no one around them really point out these flaws that are so universally recognized after the show airs? Do the creators not listen? Do the actors never speak up? If I were in their shoes, I’d bend over backwards and hire additional writers if I had to to create a strong female character. I honestly don’t understand their tone-deafness.
    But I thought that the suspense was excellent, I forgot to breathe a few times, and BC looked and acted great. So, I’m afraid I rather enjoyed it overall. My biggest hope, however, is that they are finally done playing mind games with Sherlock and if they ever get around to season 5 (which I think they might if BC’s star starts waning), they can just go back to the way things were in seasons 1 and 2?

  35. Timbuktu says:

    The more I think about it… Not only do I object to the way they used Molly, but the dialogue itself was entirely stupid. So, a guy you’ve been pining for calls you up out of the blue on a bad day and goes “say you love me”. And your response is “say it first”? Yes, the dream of every unrequited love: to hear the guy say “I love you” not because he means it, but because you asked him too. Smh

  36. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    All of Season 4 sits on my PVR unwatched. I couldn’t explain why, but I guess subconsciously I feared what all of you have discovered. Thank you for sparing me. My sympathies for your sacrifice.

  37. Hazel says:

    Would it be so hard to go back to the source material & adapt that? Why try to out-clever Sir ACD?

    • Ally8 says:

      Because they can’t come up with a half-decent plot on their own. They can’t even properly adapt an existing oeuvre without removing essential components. Instead, they stick a beloved brand name on their sloppy rewriting and call it genius. I always find it hilarious that Gatiss cast himself as the “smarter than Sherlock” character. Yeah, right.

  38. nmoley says:

    So what did Moriarty have to do during those 5 minutes with the Sis: was he making silly recordings?

  39. Emily C. says:

    “The Final Problem” is what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle named what was supposed to be Holmes’ last story. In 1893. No, they should not have changed the name. It’s widely considered one of the best Holmes stories.

    What they shouldn’t have done is take the character of Sherlock Holmes and make a Cumberthing of him. In my opinion, this show has been egregious from the outset. Holmes was a man with some issues, but at heart he was deeply kind, and that was regularly shown in the stories. I have no time or use for anyone who warps the character the way Cumberbatch and this show did.

    • Ally8 says:

      This. Moftiss ride on the coattails of an establish oeuvre and just chop it up and add a layer of gloss, imagining they have improved it. They just embarrass themselves by the comparison. They should have had the guts to call their detective something else to begin with, then their drivel would have had to stand on its own scant merits, rather than “ooh, modernizing!” schtick. The first couple of episodes of season 1 had charm, but the ineptitude in crafting a proper mystery story (messing with Conan Doyle’s perfection with slapdash plotting) quickly became the dominant impression.

      I agree with you. Holmes’ lack of gentlemanly kindness always struck a catastrophically jarring note in this ‘adaptation’; it was an essential element of Conan Doyle’s work, the stories’ charm, and the Holmes-Watson dynamic.

  40. Albert Tatlock says:

    A wonderful show ruined by typical nonsense. Started going downhill when they made it about Mary Watson (not unlike Doctor Who turning into ‘The River Song Show’or ‘The Clara Show’. And Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, supposed fighters of crime and evil-doers, had no problem with Watson’s wife being a mass murderer. Can’t see the Watson of the original stories shacking up with a killer somehow. Then an evil sister turns up? This garbage is like something out of Dynasty or some other terrible 80s soap. And as good as Andy Scott is, the Moriarty overkill was beyond a joke eventually.

    Mind you, this was the pair who were arrogant enough to think they could abandon the classic Daleks design and re-invent them as garishly coloured dustbins. Of course the classic Daleks were returned, with no word of explanation about the vanishing ‘Paradigm’.
    Oh, and whatever happened to Harold Saxon?….

  41. Mary says:

    I absolutely hate to admit that this last episode was not on par with all the others. It did seem rushed and unraveled to the point that it did not feel like we came to the end of the show. Something was missing, like the ending. With all the others each episode ended but continued the story.

    I love all the actors and believe they did their best until the end. I would like to see more episodes but more similar to the previous seasons. If not I still have all 3 seasons to rerun to my hearts content.

  42. lyla says:

    Ugh, I felt sorry for Molly and Mycroft. Poor Molly Hooper. She was reduced to a babysitter this season and now this. PS – For being a single parent, John seems to have a lot of free time. Shouldn’t he be raising Rosie? Who’s taking care of her anyways? It can’t be friends or family – he’s on the outs with his sister and Mary’s family is non-existent, and his closest friend is Sherlock…so…who’s looking after little Rosie? I mean why did they even write her into the story? And why was everyone so mean to Mycroft? I get why Sherlock would have been mad, but John was kinda of an ass to him too. And the parents got upset that Mycroft faked their daughter’s death more than the fact that said daughter murdered a child and just recently caused the death of five others? Ummm…okay…the Holmes are seriously messed up. Yes, they were so very British – being more upset that a dog was killed than a child. And why did they have fake headstones at their house? And why did no one look for the missing little boy? No one bothered to look in the well after she started referring to him as drowned Redbeard? That makes no sense. And isn’t Mycroft suppose to smarter than Sherlock? He kinda just froze for the entire episode. And lastly, Mary’s videos are mainly for Sherlock. No loving messages to John? Nothing for her only daughter?

    • hermia says:

      This +10000
      Also,, considering Mycroft was told Eurus had been in London, shouldn’t he have assumed the security of the prison had been compromised even after being told it wasn’t? He was the one saying her sister hypnotised people, so he should have assumed she had taken over the prison, and acted accordingly (which meant getting the army over there, not himself, Batman and Robin). And he’s supposed to be super clever? Yeah, right. And now Gatiss is saying people who did not like the episode are not clever enough to understand it. Okay.

    • Cirien says:

      She probably killed more than five. She burned down the first institution remember? ( and yes it wasn’t explicitly stated, but come ON- she burns down the family home and then the facility where she’s staying also burns down too?)

      She’s a textbook Psychopath, so the idea that all she needed was her brother to be “saved” is ridiculous- and Sherlock shouldn’t have been smiling, what she was doing was emotional blackmail, Does the family now have to visit her all the time to make she doesn’t go on another killing spree?

  43. Tippet says:

    I really liked The Lying Detective, but The Final Problem was terrible. And I’m a die-hard Sherlock fan. The only redeeming thing was Louise Brealey’s performance in the two minutes of screen time she had. She was phenomenal and heartbreaking in the phone call scene. Otherwise, thumbs down.

  44. Amberica says:

    Eh. I liked it. But to each their own.

  45. Anare says:

    I was going to watch Sherlock but turned on the first episode of Victoria instead.

  46. Ally8 says:

    The Guardian has a great write-up. I particularly enjoyed this pithy point: “Of the three episodes to air this year, two began with mealy-mouthed semi-apologetic explanations of plot holes from the previous episode.” Well, if that doesn’t just sum it up.


  47. EM says:

    I’m glad I stopped watching Moffat’s bad writing on screen at the end of season 2.
    The fact that they turned the character of Holmes into a TV sterotyped psychopath was a disappointment.

  48. Spiderpig says:

    There was good stuff in this series, but all the good stuff was related to “case of the week” elements. All the dead son in car stuff from ep 1 was fantastic, the statues/pearl stuff was okay; it only went downhill when it became all about Mary.

    Ep 2 would have been fantastic if it was a straight story about a terrified daughter begging Sherlock for help catching her famous father who is secretly a serial killer/Jimmy Saville clone, and if they’d gotten rid of all the Euros and Save Watson bits.

    Ep 3… um, the Lady Bracknell bit was nice? Cute little loving moment between the brothers. And them instantly prioritising saving Mrs Hudson from Death by Bad CGI?