Together again at last: 'Moriarty left a final message to you on that wall, Holmes. It says, "I know you killed RoboCop." What could it possibly mean?'
The series’ third season is its most entertaining yet, thanks to great performances from its leads and supporting cast.
SO, how did Sherlock survive? Given the drastic circumstances of the last season’s finale, with Holmes taking a dive off a building after being manipulated by the insidious Moriarty, this was arguably the most highly anticipated season of Sherlock so far. And what a season opener we got.
Taking place two years after his supposed death, it reveals that Sherlock has spent all that time hunting down the rest of Moriarty’s criminal organisation. Returning to London to help his brother Mycroft foil a terrorist plot, Sherlock discovers that Watson has gotten over his death (well, sort of), and even has a girlfriend.
The first episode of Season Three, The Empty Hearse (a play on the title of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Adventure Of The Empty House) dwells a lot on the rekindling of Sherlock and Watson’s friendship, and it certainly was a \reunion to savour.
Benedict Cumberbatch is as usual excellent as Sherlock (I think this is his funniest take on the character yet), but the star of this season for me is Martin Freeman.
Watson’s reaction to seeing Sherlock again counts as one of the most emotional yet surprisingly funny moments in the entire season, and Freeman’s performance during that scene is one of the high points of the series.
This season also brings about an added dimension in terms of the relationship between Holmes and Watson. As we all know already, it’s hardly an elementary friendship; the two share a bond that transcends friendship.
However, that relationship is about to be tested by a third party, namely Watson’s wife, Mary.
Mary is the real enigma in this season. She is the glue that binds the two together, and acts as a sort of conduit between them. It’s a dynamic that gives the show a whole new dimension, and takes the pressure to hold up the show off the two main leads.
Mycroft also has a bigger role this season, and the increased bickering and reluctant cooperation between the two Holmes brothers is yet another dynamic that makes this season arguably the most entertaining one yet.
For all the increased screen time the supporting cast has, however, it is still the indomitable duo that dominates the show, and the season’s second episode, The Sign Of Three, is a must-watch just for the way the two consolidate their close friendship via (no spoilers here) a series of cases, a hilarious night out, and what could well be the greatest speech in the history of television.
Probably the only thing I have to complain about this series is that each season only lasts three episodes.
Sure, clocking in at about 90 minutes each, the episodes are almost like full-length feature films, but it’s frustrating to have to wait almost a whole year for a new season only for it to end within three weeks.
Still, if you have not yet started watching Sherlock, this season is as good a starting point as any. And for those who have been watching it from the start already, get ready to get not just Sherlocked, but also Watsoned this time around.
Sherlock Season Three airs on Thursdays at 10pm on AXN (Astro Ch 701 / HD Ch 721).
An incredible ride for Benedict Cumberbatch