May 2, 2018

[TV] Sherlock: Series 3 (BBC) Review

The Sherlock television series remains to be one of the more striking adaptations of the classic detective series for various reasons both good and bad. But needless to say that it remains quite memorable not matter how polarizing the show can be at times. And it has only helped the career of lead actor Benedic Cumberbatch, who seems to be just about everywhere now.

This third season had a lot of people rather anxious to see how things would resolve given the heck of a cliffhanger that we had been left at given the end of the second season. But the fact that the show continues on reassures you that our favorite detective remains alive, but whether he is also well remains quite the conundrum in itself.

Across three episodes the series sarts to expand on the stories around the characters, or at least the character journey of Dr. John Watson. Sherlock remains Sherlock, whether we like it or not.

Synopsis: Sherlock is a British drama television series created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for the BBC. The show is naturally based on the adventure of Sherlock Holmes as penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The third series/season consists of three episodes. In The Emptry Hearse we somewhat resole how Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) was able to survive the events of "The Reichenbach Fall" in season 2 and has him immediately getting involved in a case upon his return. We also meet Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington), the woman that Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) has been dating as of late.

The next episode is The Sign of Three where John and Mary are set to get married and Sherlock's efforts to deliver the Best Man's speech that he crafts around past adventures and mysteries. All this links to a case of sorts at the wedding itself that unfolds during the night. The finally there's "His Last Vow", which has Sherlock facing off with the supposed Napoleon of blackmail.  And his latest victimm is Watson's new wife Mary given the dark secrets in her own past.

What I Liked: This season ended up focusing on Watson's life together with his wife Mary. As "rushed" as things may seem across a single season consisting of only three episodes, we really have Mary in the thick of things, which reinforces that her life is a lot more complicated than people may realize based on her initial characterization. And I rather appreicated this arc that was handled well enough within a limited scopre of television time.

And of course Sherlock remains to be quite the scary intellectual and more and more the show is taking steps to remind us that his intelligence may come at a price of sorts. He's not exactly the most well-balanced person out there and that creates opportunities to doubt his sincerity in matters, which still helps advance the storty along.

What Could Have Been Better: The shift to Watson and Mary in terms of story focus was not without its opportunities and the second episode set during their wedding felt almost like a "bottle episode" despite the elaborate flashbacks. After all it kept our main characters in one place during the "present" of the show whether we liked it or not.

And there is the concern that in many ways Mary was immediately presented to be more interesting than her husband Watson for one reason or another and in many cases it almost felt like Freeman was taking a step back in terms of his portrayal of the character to leave things rather underwhelming.

And the explanation for how Sherlock escaped his death? Yeah that could have been better as well.

TL;DR: Sherlock is still an interesting enough show but this third season wobbles a bit as it's never easy to remain as consistently clever as the show has presented itselt to be. There's still more good than bad but you can feel the train slowing down, in a manner of speaking. Thus the season gets a good 4 revelations about Mary out of a possible 5.

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