May 13, 2015

TV Review—Sherlock Season 3

Sherlock is back! Not just for another season but from the grave. After the season two cliffhanger of “The Reichenbach Fall” the internet went wild with speculation about how Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) had done it. The first episode roars into many possible explanations, with doubt cast on all versions. Although stimulating, the lack of full disclosure is a little disheartening, and does make you wonder whether the writers had worked themselves into a narrative corner.

However, the season does add many new twists, turns, and mysteries. There is also Watson’s (Martin Freeman) relationship with soon to be wife Mary (Amanda Abbington) and her secret past that is climactically revealed.  And in place of arch-nemesis Moriarty we have Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), who provides a villain even more troubling and intelligent.

As with earlier seasons it features high paced, ludicrous plots, source material references galore, and many demonstrations of Sherlock’s abilities in brilliant visual flourishes. While enjoyable it is more exhausting than earlier seasons. Perhaps scheduling conflicts took their toll, or perhaps the writers are becoming a little too clever, even cocky. But the final episode is perhaps the best of the series, and the confidence of the writers is well justified, producing some great television in what has become a very competitive market.

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