You know, I really like this show. I really do. Last week's episode was awesome. I would never deny that. But I have to say that this season finale, 'The Final Problem', kind of takes the shine off the whole season, if not the entire series.
It's not that it is bad, especially by the standard of current network television, but at several points it just kind of careens off into being an episode of something sort of good that also isn't necessarily an episode of 'Sherlock'.
To wit, this wouldn't be a bad episode of, say, an anthology series based on 'Saw' (if there were an anthology series based on 'Saw'). It wouldn't be a bad episode of some suspenseful high-tension drama show like 'Hannibal', where people pursue a serial killer, and have to face some traumatic personal and emotional challenges. It's not even a terrible level of 'Batman: Arkham Asylum', if you want to look at it that way. But what 'The Final Problem' is, at it's core, is by no means a good episode of 'Sherlock'.
Yes, this series does demand a certain level of suspension of disbelief to really be enjoyable, but some of the overly-complicated stuff in this episode is really quite unforgivably unhinged from reality. Let me quickly demonstrate how tenuous a grasp on the rational this episode has:
Near the end of the episode, Sherlock's parents discover that Mycroft has been lying to them about the fact that their daughter Eurus is actually still alive. And, being good, caring parents, they lose their minds and are outraged at the deception. Except, if you think about it, they themselves have obviously been willing accomplices in Mycroft's life-long deception of Sherlock. They actively cooperated with a scheme to prevent Sherock from remembering that Eurus ever existed! How can they judge Mycroft for something they have been willing to do with Sherlock? In fact, they are functionally twice as bad, because they've been lying to Sherlock about Eurus and Victor.
Just tugging on that one logical thread makes the whole thing collapse. And there are a lot of loose threads in this episode. This can be a real problem when you know that your series is being watched by a bunch of obsessive thread-tuggers.
But, really, the biggest issue with this episode is the ending. It wraps up way too quickly, and it does so in a manner that really doesn't make any contextual sense. We are to believe that Sherlock "finding" Eurus "alone on the plane" and being willing to "play with her" is enough to convince her to shut down her complex, life-long, murderous head games? Except Eurus is supposed to be, like Sherlock, a high-functioning sociopath, so any emotional appeal like this should fall on deaf ears. A cold-hearted, institutionalized sociopath lady who mentally manipulates people into murder (and who kills Governor's wives in cold blood) should probably not find herself utterly shattered by a brotherly Sherlock hug.
Anyway, I will try to forego my lengthy point-form deconstructions, but I did have to mention the following:
so sherlock is over, and these are my thoughts on the finale in order of appearance:
since when the show is a horror movie and why was there a fucking clown.
the motion sensor was activated after the drone had landed and mycroft obviously knew enough about those explosives to realise that’s how they work, so why the hell did they wait for that to happen instead of immediately running away? oh wait. the drama.
they actually put that horrible cgi explosion from the trailer into the episode… why. later, in the very end, i will be reminded of it while watching sherlock and john run in slow mo.
why couldn’t mycroft, an important government figure and a relative of eurus, officially check up on her instead of the whole dress up game? and then he obviously shows us that he can fire or order around anyone in that prison which makes their shenanigans even less relevant. it’s really sad to see non-existent problems beings “solved” just to use screen time and mindlessly entertain the viewers. detective stories are supposed to be reasonable.
okay, i’m sorry but i’m not buying that “enslaving” bullshit. i want to know how she does it, because all we were given is some pieces of weird bullshit that wouldn’t faze anyone in their right mind. it reminds me of the cabbie from the pilot episode that supposedly talked his victims into killing themselves. but in the end we learned that he just threatened them with a fake gun. ah those good old times when the show had its wits and integrity still intact…
they sure like to deliberately make sherlock obtuse. i just don’t buy him missing that there’s no glass when he’s close to it and there’s still no reflexion. and shouldn’t the music sound muffled too or did the fiddle had its own voice modulator installed? interesting.
i know moriarty being alive would make no sense, but the show is guilty of occasionally doing that already, and he’s such a believably smart and psychotic character that’s interesting to watch that i would have gladly used my suspension of disbelief card.
i thought the girl on the plane was an idiot because she kept giving useless answers to important questions, but the reveal in the end explained it. 1-0, touche. then again, surely eurus would be imagining herself as the young version of herself and the sole reason they used another child actor is to keep the mystery up, which is a pretty cheap trick. 1-1.
now the real idiot (or more like a dumb plot device) here is undoubtedly molly. she fucking knows what sherlock does and in what kind of situations he sometime ends up being, and he obviously sounded nervous and agitated from the get go and eventually resorted to fucking begging, so why the hell couldn’t she trust him and just say what he asked her to? oh i know why. the drama. again. also her making sherlock “confess” his love for her she knows he doesn’t have literally came out of nowhere and had fanservice written all over it. and that conversation was so unrealistic and forced for the sake of plot progression it honestly made me cringe. god i wish they were more subtle with molly and her sad love for sherlock and all the irene adler mentions before it instead of jamming them into the storyline and reinforcing their awkward attempts to bring to life sherlock’s absent libido. they even made him destroy that coffin in a melodramatic fit, which was ridiculous because compared to the other experiments the molly incident surely warranted that kind of emotional outburst the least, no one had died after all. but wait, some fans are gonna love using that as proof for sherlock’s romantic feelings for molly, so that’s why it happened.
mycroft goading sherlock into killing him was painfully obvious, considering he’s the one who has been quite vocal about his brother not being a pragmatic automaton but a quite emotionally driven creature, and that he would never kill john, regardless of his intellectual capabilities.
so the lesson here is that you should pay more attention to your little sisters?..
you can’t just switch psychopathy on and off. but of course eurus was able to. in once instance she’s a cold blooded murderer that doesn’t understand the difference between killing someone innocent and someone guilty, in general she has a spontaneous child murder on her record, but oh no, the episode is almost over and we can’t possibly kill john watson (like we couldn't blow up molly or shoot mycroft, but had no problem axing mary, a character that no one gave two shits about, dead or alive, or moriarty, who had basically been the best character; good job on fucking up twice), the fans would rage, so let’s make our villain a crying scared little girl that longs for brotherly love and make her suddenly change her evil ways, so we could wrap this shit up and move on.
and why did they put her back in the place she can easily break out from? what even has changed? can’t she make the staff into her bitches again just by talking to them (eternal eyeroll) like she did before? yeah she’s not mad at sherlock anymore (because he gives her attention now! how cute), but she’s still a mentally disturbed person and the cage must get boring when you have a fiddle as your only source of entertainment.
so yeah, i basically wrote a fucking essay or more like a hateful ode to the show, but i don’t actually hate it, i still adore first two seasons, tolerate the third and i have been relatively entertained by the last one, this episode included, even if i undoubtedly think the show hasn't been clever for a long time and it's finale was less a detective and more a weird left-field saw tribute without everything that actually makes saw enjoyable. i'm writing this as a former fan that for the last few years has been mostly disappointed by the show they once loved, that’s all. i’m also bored and writing this kept my mind busy. that makes this otherwise useless “review” worth it, i guess.
That sure fizzled out at the end. Dramatic and exciting in parts, but I'm not sure that any of it made a bit of sense. Remember when these guys used to solve crimes?
Trust me, you're better pretending Sherlock ended after season 2 finale.
so can saw sue for copyright infringement or?
The game's afoot! This is going to be insanely crazy! I can't wait! I'm so hyped right now, especially after having been playing #Sherlocklive! The game's on. Pleeeeease, Sunday, come already!
I agree with a lot of the criticism this episode received: it was unorthodox (not having a proper case/deductions and happening mostly in an island), the ending felt very rushed/convenient, plus Eurus being almost a supernatural being and yet another recording of Mary (though I get they were playing on the "miss me" and Moriarty).
However, other than that, I was really impressed and moved by this episode. I was just speaking with a friend the other day about favourite TV episodes and moments and we concluded that sometimes there are scenes that work in a certain way, a combination of the story, the acting, the music, it simply creates pure art. I immediately think of shows like Breaking Bad, Lost, Person of Interest, where some things just click and you are immersed in what you're seeing. This, to me, is Sherlock breaking that coffin when he reaches his breaking point, it is Moriarty's flashback entrance, it is Sherlock having to shoot someone and Mycroft getting ready to die... and probably my favourite here: Sherlock playing the violin with his sister, Eurus.
Most people don't consider that Eurus actually had a mental illness since she was born and did the things that she did because of it, her brain doesn't work like most of ours. That plane was her mind palace, which is chaos compared to what we've seen before, and she is so clever that what Sherlock said in the previous episode (doing things without knowing because he couldn't keep up with his brain at the time) seems to be a constant truth to Eurus, who is both preparing this cruel evil plan and suffering at the same time. It did feel like a bit of a stretch when she was simply in her room, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.
As for the backstory that was explained, I was pretty satisfied. It was already sad when we thought Redbeard was a dog, but it being Sherlock's best friend made it so dark that it explains better why he would have been traumatized and forgot all about this time of his life. Combined with the fact that it was the first riddle, the first "case" investigated by Sherlock that went unsolved, it explains a lot about his attitude regarding running around being a detective. And of course his best friend now, Watson (even regarded as family in this episode) was down the well. (Throwing the chain at him was lazy, I have to admit - it would have been better if the water had stopped falling and then we saw the police)
As for Moriarty, I never expected him to be alive. For a while I thought "the final problem" would be a posthumous case he prepared from beyond the grave, but this episode shows us that it was all Eurus. I don't appreciate baiting the audience like that (in particular with that intro, "I'm Moriarty, welcome to the final problem") but it was good to see him being Moriarty in that flashback entrance scene and I personally liked the presence he had in this episode, with his face haunting Sherlock, Watson and Mycroft on top of the already crazy situation they were involved in.
All in all, this might just be one of the best TV episodes I've seen. Perhaps it would have fit in better if we didn't have this "series finale" feeling and continuation was assured, because the jump to the final montage was rather quick... but I just really enjoyed it. I don't believe this is the end, though we might have to wait longer than usual for the east wind to come our direction again.
I am sorry to say but this show is completely idiotic. From the effort sherlock put into making think Watson he was dead to the complete unrealistic Moriarty actor (he may be a good actor but he has no place playing M)... to the Eureus story. They took soemthing that could have been good and turned it into something ... meh... at beast. I grade it 3
So they threw a chainsaw first, and then the rope ?
If this is the last episode of the series, I have to say that it totally worth it, I laugh, I cried, I deduced with Sherlock. Memorable!
Their little "games" are getting old (for me). It's always like that. I want something new! This episode only got.me excited within the last 20mins of it. It's like they tried too hard to make a "complex" episode, but didn't quite get the intended effect.
THE FINAL PROBLEM-13-
So...Everything (since the start) happend, because Sherlock didn't want to play with his sister...
That was absolutely amazing, from beginning to end. Crazy, strange, exciting but absolutely brilliant. The most intense hour and a half of my life. I can't barely feel my legs right now. It was the best psychological episode so far. I got Saw vibes. Sawlock. I was waiting for Moriarty's video saying "Hullo, Sherlock. I want to play a game" in that Irish accent.
Why does it have to be clowns? Poor Mycroft! In the first five minutes, he was in every scene of every horror movie ever made. This episode taught me that security is not Mycroft's strong suit. That and that I want his umbrella sword gun. The ultimate combo weapon.
This episode was beautifully shot. That first scene was magnificent and so was Moriarty's great flashback entrance. Gotta love the guy. And Mycroft, he was amazing today. And Mrs Hudson gets more badass every week. She's a fucking legend. "Would you like some tea?" Mycroft nods. "The kettle's over there". she's a boss. I could hear the microphone hitting the floor.
Every time Andrew Scott is on screen I'm mesmerized. I can't keep my eyes off the screen. His Moriarty is just so perfect. I get goosebumps every time he's on screen and that nervous giggle. Jim Moriarty and that red screen are going to haunt me forever. But I don't care, it's Moriarty. I really missed Andrew. And Queen, Oh my God! I'm hyperventilating again. That's the villain I love.
I worked out that Redbeard wasn't a dog, but I thought he might have been a fourth sibling after the "why does everyone stop at three" hint last week. And the symbolism. Redbeard being Sherlock's first Watson was lovely. I'm horrified by the fact that he died alone in that well. I love how Watson's limb and cane in season 1 was connected to the pirates.
Sherlock a pirate. Who would've thunk it? Now I want Ben to in Pirates of the Caribbean: The vengeance of Redbeard.
Hats off to Moffat and Gatiss for making such a delight for my eyes. Hope I'll be here in 3+ years. Until then, the game's still on!
the episode was so boring i had to skip through... the entire scene with eureus ... had no hold over me... it bore me to death
Definitely not the greatest season finale from Sherlock. After "The Lying Detective", I was expecting much more.
So, the thing is, this was done brilliantly, but I think that it is too good a finale to keep going, perhaps even ruining the series if continuing it further than this point. Although I'm not denying the endless possibilities that Gatiss and Moffat could turn to, and also noting that I would like to see Eurus explored, which I'm 65% sure the writers will be wanting to do (possibly releasing new stories in 2019, if we're to guess), I just don't think it would work anymore. I think this is a good example to give when trying to explain the Romanian saying „Ce e prea mult, strică”, which roughly translates to Robert Browning's "Less is more".
WHAT THE HELL MOFFAT! Now pls don't screw doctpr who too
Probably the best Season Finale in the history of TV shows
Lots of sizzle, not much steak. But a nice epitaph for a show that has probably seen its last episode.
Don't think too hard with this one and suspend disbelief and you will probably like it. I liked it even with the unnecessary complexities.
I certainly hope there will be more seasons because this episode left me wanting more, much more.Brilliant actress who portrayed Eurus, I am a huge fan of this character and would actually like to see her and Moriarty more (together).Very well written, suspense, tension and heartwarming dynamic between both Sherlock and Watson and Sherlock and Mycroft.
If only this whole season had not relied so much on that plain cringe-worthy posthumous Mary video.
What the hell is the problem with some comments here? This episode was amazing!
The lying detective was one of the best episodes of the show. This one started to build on it, and kept it going during most of the episode, it was going to be even better, Eurus' character was amazing, and then... that ending. That was complete fucking bullshit. Way to ruin a superb episode and an even greater character. The character was so hyped, she was the ultimate adversary and villain and then what ? She's just a little girl crying on the inside because her brother had another friend, bouh bouh bouh. Come on ! That was sooooo bad !
And to top it off, after that, the Mary video at the end of the episode, that was puke inducing.
The episode starts great though, with the haunted house play at Mycroft's. Not sure it was really necessary, but really well done and fun.
Then some family stories. The little girl is perfectly creepy. Which one is pain ? One of the greatest lines of the show. Also even if you don't lock up a child because a dog goes missing. But what about another child ? She should have been taken care of before burning the house.
The grenade scene was maybe a little too much but yeah, ok. Mrs Hudson listening to Iron Maiden was a nice touch.
Then they get to Sherrinford. The deception was fun, but 100% useless as Mycroft seems to have the authority to do whatver he pleases there anyway. Why would they bother doing that ? But again, fun enough.
The Moriarty scene was splendid, he was just perfect! The recorded tick tock video not so much though.
And then come Eurus. First Sherlock not noticing there is no glass ?? I don't buy it. But anyway, great performance, but pretty incoherent too, like they didn't bother to finish the character and her story. She goes through all this games and it seems as if she's experimenting, trying to see how normal human works and if her brother works he same. Like she really doesn't understand. But if she's that great at manipulating/enslaving people she must already have a great understanding of what makes the tick. She also would have had a lot of time to experiment on the guards if she was in total control of the prison.
She also started that not too long ago because she was changed after Moriarty's visit. But then how did she become so dangerous ? Sure she's a whole other level of intelligence, but that's not enough. If she was locked up as a child, she would have been missing access to books, news, internet, etc. As smart as she was she would have been missing basic knowledge about almost everything.
Not a big fan of the Molly bit, that was here for drama, and then totally occulted.
It's obvious from the very beginning that the girl on the plane thing is not happening at the same time or for real. It just doen't work. But the way they solve that, argh...
The song as clue was really really difficult. No wonder nobody found it. However if it worked perfectly in this situation, it would not have when they were children. And also did not give any indication whatsoever of where he would be.
I hate to agree that it sure was a satisfying episode for a season final... it was great. The episode was brilianty, as always, but this one was different, darker.. but we learned a lot about the Holmes. Despite being a good ending for this amazing series i hope there are more, cause this this show is too good to end just yet.
So what happened when Sherlock's sister had a gun pointed on Watson in the end of last episode ? They never seemed to mention it.
Quite extra, even for Sherlock series.
I hope it isn't the very end >_< Absolutely amazing!
Absolutely brilliant from beginning to end! This was more intense than a theatrical film and if this is truly goodbye than I am completely satisfied!