Sherlock ‘The Final Problem’ recap and review
As the east wind comes, this season of Sherlock ends. However did season four go out with a bang or did it just burn out?
The Final Problem seems like it’s going to be the final episode of Sherlock, and I’d be happy if this was the final episode. If I’m being honest, this episode feels like a natural finale to Sherlock as a whole especially with the ending. After this episode, I can’t see this show continuing because I can’t see a way that the show could continue being original or tread new ground. I fear that, if they continued the show, Sherlock would turn into a pricey crime procedural show which was a shadow of it’s former self. I think this episode finished off Moriarty’s story line in a major way, and I feel that there are very few (if any) questions left unanswered after this episode. I really liked that.
This episode focused on Eurus, Sherlock’s sister, and she was incredible. I really liked her character as she was really different to the other two Holmes siblings. She was quite evil but she had something about her which made her character very enchanting and irresistible. I couldn’t take my eyes off her when she was on screen. I think it was partially the acting by actress Sian Brooke, but the writing. I thought Eurus was a really well written character but some of the choices were detrimental to other characters in this episode (especially Mycroft).
Eurus was the lunatic running the asylum and I thought the Sherrinford scenes were amazing. Eurus was playing some sick mind games with Sherlock. The scene between Sherlock and her (where she is ‘in’ her cell) and I thought the interaction was incredible. It was one of my favorite scenes of the episode because the scene was really well directed, well acted, and well written. The interaction was so twisty and throughout the interaction it became clearer that Eurus was in complete control. I didn’t expect the glass moment, but I liked the twist as it was a simple twist.
After that I loved the game Eurus played with Sherlock. I feel like this showed Sherlock at its best and I thought she was a great villain for Sherlock to face. The first game where Sherlock had to choose Mycroft or John to kill the governor. I think it was one of the weakest games she played during the episode, but I liked how full of tension it was. Her mind games were incredible to watch because I could see the thought processes in both Mycroft and Sherlock. However in the first game I thought it was out of character for Mycroft to be worried about getting blood on his hands. I thought that his cowardice attitude seemed weird and I don’t really know why, because during the series we haven’t seen Mycroft in a situation where he has had to kill before. I think I thought it was weird because we’ve never seen Mycroft have much empathy, and since he is a high up Government official, I thought he’d be used to getting blood on his hands. Mycroft’s character seemed to be my main complaint about this episode in general.
Apart from in the first game, a choice of Mycroft’s perplexed me. This was the choice to bring Moriarty to Sherrinford as a Christmas present for Eurus. It granted Eurus (the smartest of the Holmes siblings and a very dangerous person) five minutes unsupervised access with Moriarty. It seemed like a dumb decision by Mycroft. Am I complaining about a Moriarty scene? Not at all. I was very excited when the helicopter landed and Moriarty stepped out. It was probably the most excited I have been during an episode. It was great and I love it whenever Moriarty shows up. He is my favorite character in Sherlock and I thought his connection with Eurus was interesting. I did predict that she would have something to do with Moriarty after last episode, but seeing Moriarty was my favorite bit of the episode. I just think that the choice Mycroft made was dumb, especially as he already knew Moriarty was dangerous and had a thing for Sherlock. I can’t believe that Mycroft didn’t have a recording device hidden somewhere to know what they spoke, especially since he knew Eurus was dangerous and Moriarty loved to play around with Sherlock. It surprised me how dumb it made Mycroft seem.
The second game was alright. This was the one with the three brothers one of whom had killed someone. I liked how Sherlock’s deductions were under pressure and I thought the characters had some well written moments in this section. I liked how Benedict Cumberbatch made his voice shake slightly in this section and it showed how much pressure they were all under. The third game though was the best in my opinion. This game was where Sherlock had to get Molly to say she loved him. Oh my gosh, this part was the most heartbreaking, full of tension, and one of the best parts of the episode. It was painful to watch, but in the best way. I thought it was heartbreaking when Molly said ‘I can’t say that because it’s true’ because of the history between the two characters. I also like Molly as a character and I don’t like seeing her cry because she is the nicest person on the show. I was on the edge of my seat because towards the end of the countdown I didn’t know if she’d actually say it and I thought there were explosives there. I also thought someone would die at the end of the season and I was petrified that it would be Molly because Molly doesn’t deserve to die. It was clever that Eurus actually didn’t set any explosions but the thing she did do was hurt Sherlock by making him embarrass Molly in the way he did. I liked the outburst by him afterwards because Eurus was really playing with him and she knew where to hurt him. I liked how this seemed to be Moriarty’s final revenge as I think he told Eurus some of Sherlock’s pressure points that she didn’t know about.
The elimination round where he had to choose whether to kill Mycroft or John also had e on the edge of my seat. This episode was very good at building tension, and I liked that. This sequence was one of the only parts in this episode where I thought they did Mycroft justice. His character seemed to be his usual self in this scene and I thought his monologue was incredible. Mycroft regained his ‘Ice man’ stature and I liked him in this scene. I wished they had used this characterization a little bit more throughout the episode because a lot of this episode made him look a little weak.
Another thing I want to talk is the huge Redbeard twist. I did think Eurus was responsible for Redbeard’s death, but I didn’t expect Redbeard to be Sherlock’s childhood best friend! This was a huge twist and I couldn’t believe it but it was an understandable twist. Eurus showed throughout the episode how little she cared for human life and it helped to build up the Redbeard twist. It was so sad but it was incredible! Even though, we never really knew Victor Trevor (Redbeard) Cumberbatch’s performance really sold the twist and Sherlock’s pain over finding it out. It made me tear up a little bit. I thought there were some really great shots in the minute after this revelation. Especially the ones with the black background swapping Sherlock with the younger version of himself. It was beautiful and a quiet visual choice. It really aided the emotional moment.
The other twist I didn’t expect which followed the excellent Redbeard one, was the twist that there was no girl on the plane. It was Eurus. I didn’t expect it, and I feel that it was reaching slightly. It felt a little bit weird and I didn’t the choice but it was forgivable. I liked the moment where Sherlock was talking to his sister and she was talking about being on the plane every time she closed her eyes. I thought it was a fantastic moment and really nice. It showed how much Sherlock has grown as a character throughout the series and I thought it was lovely how he treated his sister. It shows how much nicer Sherlock has become since meeting John,and was part of the reason why I think this would be a great end episode for the series.
The finale of the episode with Mary’s voice over wasn’t necessary but I liked it. It was a good conclusion to the series. I thought that Mary’s monologue was well written and concluded the episode in a nice way. However I think there were other ways they could have finished the episode which may have been better. However it closed off the episode and the series in a clear way but it also left it open enough that if the show wanted to continue it could. However I think a series five would focus more on smaller cases instead of a big bad (like Eurus or Moriarty), and I don’t think Sherlock would be as fun as it is without the big bad. That’s why I hope they don’t make another series.
This episode was Sherlock at its finest. It was cinematic and had a lot of great twists and turns. Eurus was an incredible character who was intelligent, manipulative, evil and very irresistible. I loved her mind games with Sherlock. They were so interesting and I couldn’t turn away. The episode was full of tension and the episode was really well acted. There were some scenes which were incredible and I loved (especially the Moriarty scene). However there were a few small things I didn’t love so much, especially some of the Mycroft stuff. Overall this episode is a great send off for a great series. The Final Problem answered a lot of questions and wrapped up the series in a nice way. I really hope that this is the finale of Sherlock because I think the story is over. There is nothing new or original I think the series can add without feeling like a rehash of previous seasons. I love Sherlock and, whilst this episode isn’t my favorite (The Reichenbach Fall is still my favorite episode because it’s a perfect 90 minutes of TV in my opinion), The Final Problem is a great episode which ends the series in a way it deserves.
Chelsea Baines covers Entertainment for MFST, you can follow her on Twitter @ChelseaBaines
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