After three long years, Sherlock Season 4 is finally here. We are reintroduced to the characters we know and love, except this time there are a few differences.
The first difference audiences will notice is that, in the time we’ve been away, we’ve seen Martin and Benedict in other major roles and, to be honest, it’s a little confusing. I found myself thinking, “Hey, what is Doctor Strange doing here?”
Secondly, Mrs. Hudson has, somehow, become one of the biggest sources of comedy in the new season. She is sassy, crude and full of great comebacks, possibly my favourite part of the show.
The new season kicks off with “The Six Thatchers”, which is, without saying too much, a really weird episode considering that it has next to nothing to do with the two episodes that follow. It is dull and frankly, after waiting three years, we deserve better.
The second episode of Sherlock Season 4, “The Lying Detective” caught my interest. I could smell the plot twist and feel it in my stomach. Without spoiling anything, a new character is introduced and, at this stage, we are unaware of what role they would play. The episode has hints of regular mystery, a large helping of serial killers, with the aftertaste of a plot twist just waiting to hit.
And it does and the third episode runs with it and it speeds away, leaving the audience trailing behind.
“The Final Problem” starts with Sherlock using truly alternative methods to get a confession out of Mycroft. It is excessive, and somewhat unbelievable, even for Sherlock, but we accepted it. They go off to seek out this new character and establish exactly what is happening. This episode resembles a SAW movie and kept me on edge. I was tense, I was worried and I was uncomfortable with the decisions that needed to be made.
Within the last few minutes, Sherlock jumps to conclusions that no one can follow, we could not even pretend to follow. Loose ends are tied up and a monologue of Mary talking about her “boys” is how the season ends. It feels final. It could be final. I think with Benedict and Martin’s schedules filling up so quickly, the creators want to make sure that should they never get the chance to film another season, that it is concluded. Annoyingly, we still have not gotten an explanation for how he survived the fall from the rooftop. So for this reason alone, I hope this isn’t the end.
Overall, Sherlock Season 4 is, as it always is, enjoyable. However, for me, it doesn’t measure up to the standard of Sherlock that I am used to. The acting is fantastic, but the storyline seems as though it was written by a completely new person who had gotten the idea that the fanbase had been saturated with Sherlock’s sleuthing and quirks, and needed more of a thrill. Sherlock’s conclusions and deductions are occasionally too stretched, and it is filled with so many plot twists that my insides were knotted by the time it ended. The focus had shifted from Sherlock’s intelligence and deductive abilities being applied to interesting cases, to Sherlock being emotionally challenged and forcefully humanised.
I think the next case he needs to solve is the one where we were robbed of the Sherlock Season 4 we looked forward to watching.