The man of Bakerstreet has returned! After a climatic season finale back in 2010 where it appeared as through the master detective leapt to his death to the horrified gaze of his beloved companion John Watson, Sherlock returns from the dead to once again solve the unsolvable mysterious that plaque London’s streets. Hardcore fans in both Britain and America of the BBC show (known as Sherlockians) have anxiously awaiting nearly two years for the series to continue. As any viewer would recall in the last season, Sherlock’s arch enemy Moriarty has successfully ruined Sherlock’s reputation. Sherlock is then labeled as a fraud in the eyes of press and public, and just as it seems Sherlock has a chance to foil Moriarity’s evil plot, his rival traps him in a seemingly unwinnable stalemate. With the lives of those closest to him at risk unless Sherlock ends his own life, the great detective sees no other alternative but to comply. In a scene that would both devastate and haunt fans forever, Sherlock said his final goodbyes to his dear friend and jumped to his doom.
Or did he? Of course you can never be to sure with things when dealing with someone like Sherlock Holmes. The final scene of series two has John Watson standing at his friend’s grave, lamenting over their friendship and pleading with Sherlock to “stop being dead”. Naturally, Sherlock himself is not too far away who is watching the entire teary-goodbye from a distance before walking away to an unknown location. The series ended on what could be considered one of the biggest cliffhangers ever, resulting in every fan, including myself, have been forming their own theories as how the genius detective could have possibly faked his suicide. Now after such a long wait, the ultimate question has been answered.
The episode takes place nearly two years after Sherlock’s untimely demise, exactly mirroring the same wait length that fans had to suffer through. The world seems to have moved on from that fateful day. Well some people any way. Even with a new job, new girlfriend and stylishly sporting a new mustache, John Watson (played by Martin Freeman) is just barely getting back on his feet. The loss of his friend has been hard to put behind him, but John is eager to move on with his life. As he prepares to pop the question to his girlfriend Mary, a certain someone decides now is a good time to return to London.
Of course, their first meeting in two years goes as well as you can expect. A couple of bloody noses and some choice words later, Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) informs John that his return is at the behest of his brother Mycroft who needs Sherlock to investigate a possible pending terrorist attack against Parliament. Naturally, curiosity and intrigue is like cat nip for Sherlock and he’s on the case with his good doctor in toe (whose really just there to get some answers out of Sherlock surrounding his absence.)
Even after two years, what made the show great in the first place has only gotten better. I will be the first one to say that wait was indeed worth it. The quick wit, clever dialogue and pure genius deduction is still as fresh as it was in the first episode. As Sherlock himself would put it, we the fans have surely missed this. The thrill of the chase, the blood pumping through our veins at the height of the hunt. It’s still very much a roller-coaster ride with everyone trying to play catch up Sherlock’s reasoning. And it’s still just as satisfying as when the viewer catches onto the same deduction as Sherlock at the same time.. Benedict Cumberbatch was born to play Sherlock, in my opinion. This is the role where he absolutely shines and has the greatest time playing. It’s a great thing for a viewer to see an actor really get into the role his playing. It makes the experience of seeing Sherlock in action all the more fun because we believe that is Sherlock we’re seeing on screen. I have to give huge credit to the show creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. These two have brought a timeless character into the modern age and have made him frankly awesome all over again.
And as a Whovian (yes, I’m more than aware on how odd that word sounds to some people lol), I’m very familiar with Mr. Moffat’s track record of creating series that get you chopping at the bit for more. The first two seasons were merely the beginnings of Sherlock and Watson’s relationship, giving not just the audience a chance to get used to the duo’s dynamic, but for the two characters as well. At the start of this season, you truly do get the feel that their friendship is real and solid as any other friendship which makes their interaction upon their first meeting all the more entertaining. The reunion of the two was just one of the moments that fans were excited to see, and let me just say, that it did not disappoint. It was everything that fans had hoped it would be and more. In fact, from that moment on, it was just like getting back on your favorite bicycle and enjoying the rest of the ride.
And of course, the ultimate question remains: how did Sherlock fake his suicide in front of so many people? How did he do it? As I have said, there have been many many theories as how it could have been done created by fans. Moffat and Gatiss themselves have said that they have seen most of these theories and have found them all to be quite possible. Did Sherlock have help? Did he use a stand in? Or was it all a ‘magic trick’ as were his final words?
While I wouldn’t dare give it away in this review, I will say this much. Since Moffat and Gatiss are well clued in to practically all the theories that out there now, they do make special acknowledge to the fans dedication to the show. Expect theories and prediction abound in this episode. The answer to the ultimate question is given (in some form or another) and is up to the fans on what they want to believe. So let us go back to Bakerstreet my friends! The wait is over and there are mysteries that need to be solved!