The season 4 finale of Sherlock aired on Sunday night and it wasn’t exactly a resounding success. Firstly, Russian hackers leaked the episode online before its release resulting in the smallest audience in the show’s seven-year history. Secondly, a large number of people were already feeling let down by this season and didn’t embrace the latest instalment with quite as much gusto as usual. Finally, the finale wasn’t that great an episode.
It hurts me to say it – I adore the show – but the finale simply wasn’t of the quality that I have come to expect of Sherlock. However, it wasn’t that bad.
If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I suggest that you close this page now because the following will contain spoilers.
Previous seasons of Sherlock have always had a big, bad villain at the end. Somebody that tests Sherlock and really allows him to stretch those clever, brain muscles. Normally, the entire season would be leading up to that but the writers called an audible this year and changed up the structure.
Unfortunately, people don’t tend to embrace change.
The first episode served to clear up some of the plot holes from the previous season and then they killed off John’s wife. I loved the second episode – it felt very old-school Sherlock and included Toby Jones’ villain that had been marketed as the season’s big nemesis. However, it turned out that a previously unknown Holmes sibling was to be Sherlock’s final foe.
A lot of unbelievable things happen in Sherlock but by virtue of excellent writing, you find yourself completely believing it. At the end of the second episode I was completely ready to believe that Sherlock had a secret sister but the third episode simply did not lay out a convincing argument for it at all.
The sister herself wasn’t a particularly good villain, either. A mixture of casual cruelty and a campness that paled in the wake of Moriarty, made her seem like a throwaway villain. The question of how she escaped her island prison and wreaked havoc in the Holmes boys’ lives was never really answered, and it turned out that she only ever really wanted a friend.
It wasn’t a normal episode of Sherlock. However, I don’t think that it was supposed to be. Everything about this episode seemed like the closing of a book to me. The creators, Moffat and Gatiss, have reported that they have a fifth season plotted but have not yet decided whether or not to produce it.
My opinion? Don’t. As a strange, final episode, The Final Problem works. John and Sherlock are raising a baby; Sherlock is more human than ever; all is well at 221B. Euros Holmes felt like the show was grasping and I don’t think that there needs to be a further four and half hours of Sherlock made it that manner.
What did you think about the final episode of the season? Should they continues to produce episodes of Sherlock? Let me know in the comments.