I’m coming just fresh off watching the last episode of Sherlock Season 4 and I’m about to spew my thoughts all over m’blog, sooooooo warning to you all if you have not watched, turn your eyes away!!!
I am so disappointed, guys, so so disappointed. I was iffy from the very first episode, but I trusted in the writers. I held so much hope until the very, very end when I could no longer. I literally cannot remember the last time I was so disappointed by a story. In fact, I think this is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve ever experienced.
I love Sherlock. I love so so much. I’ve watched the first three season a countless number of times and each time I watch, I am awed by the sheer brilliance of the show and the writing. I’m literally crying right now with how angry and disappointed and upset I am.
It’s hard to believe that the show was written by the same writers it always has (Mark Gatiss and Steve Moffat) because the season 4 seems like it was written by completely different people and, by the way, has switched from genres from a brilliant mystery to a mediocre thriller/action film that is more in keeping with Mission Impossible and Jason Bourne. (Don’t get me wrong, I love those movies, but if I wanted to watch Jason Bourne, I would watch Jason Bourne and not bother with Sherlock.) I’m just… aghast. I want to ask HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? How did the show take such bad turn? How did an amazing show with brilliant writing and characters turn into a blah action movie? Where did the heart of the story go?
There are just soooooo many problems. Not just little problems, but huge, gaping-wide problems that I cannot possibly ignore. Right now I’m thinking, I WAITED THREE YEARS FOR THIS??????? Because it was utterly ridiculous. Nothing made sense. It’s like they decided to ditch what they had and just start pulling things out of the air.
Anyways, here are my problems with this fourth season. My mind is all over the place right now, so this may not make much sense and I’m having a tough time organizing my thoughts, so again, super sorry that this might be an all-over-the-place type post.
Same Plot, Same Arc
The first episode of the fourth season, The Six Thatchers, felt so repetitive. Like, didn’t we already see this same storyline in the last episode of season three, His Last Vow??? Why are we rehashing this? *COUGH COUGH FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF KILLING OF MARY COUGH* Which leads me to my next point…
Mary is a Plot Device
Mary is killed for the sake of moving the plot forward. Her death felt so out of place and it had absolutely no emotional resonance for me because the whole time I was convinced it was a giant charade or a joke or some weird dream–all of which would have been better than her actually dying.
For some reason, John blames Sherlock for Mary’s death. Apparently the reason for this is because Sherlock’s arrogance got her killed? I got absolutely no hint of that when I was watching. I don’t know if that’s just me, but I didn’t think he was being especially arrogant. He was just being Sherlock and yes, Sherlock is and always has been an arrogant jerk–why should that change all of a sudden?
And of course, she leaves a post-mortem video of herself telling Sherlock to “save John” or whatever so that Sherlock can redeem himself for her death.
(I actually read an article to with Mark Gatiss and he flat out states they killed her so that they could get back to John and Sherlock solving mysteries like they used to. To which I say… Why did Mary have to die for that? Can Sherlock and John not do that with Mary around? What’s the problem? Ugh, anyways….)
Out of Character
John Watson has an affair with a random bus lady. She smiles at him. That’s all. And then suddenly they’re texting and everything and he wants more even though he’s married and has a child. WHAT?????? That made no sense–no sense–at all whatsoever. John Watson? Cheating? Really??? It’s EXTREMELY out of character and there is no reason given for it, except that he “made a mistake” and is “only human.” Which I do not accept as legitimate reasons. I am totally for flaws and understand that all characters–all humans–have them. But your flaws have to be in keeping with who you are as a person. John Watson was established as a very heroic, loyal, good man with strong morals–why would he suddenly cheat? It makes no sense at all. On the other hand, I would understand if he were to accidentally trust the wrong person or something (I’m sorry I can’t think of any good examples!) because that is a mistake/flaw that fits in with his character. And the worst part of this all? I thought it was leading up to something more. I thought it was all part of a plan the writers had. It was all a trick to make us believe that John was a cheater! But he wasn’t really! NOPE! Also, I don’t get why Eurus dressed up as Flirty Bus Lady and flirted with John. What was the point of that? Hahaha??? Just to freak him out about it later? I seriously don’t understand.
I also felt that Sherlock’s character had shifted somewhat in a direction that didn’t quite make sense to me, though this was done much less abruptly? Again, Sherlock is very much as established as a cold creature that values logic and reason above all things and disvalues emotions–this is emphasized many, many times throughout the show and is shown very many times. So why then, in this season, is he suddenly a very emotional person? Why are people saying that Sherlock is soooooo emotional??? Again–WHAT???? Since when???
I do agree that Sherlock definitely cares about his friends and his brother and he does have a capacity to feel, but what happened to cold, hard logic that he values above all else? I don’t mind Sherlock growing as a character and learning, but this seemed like a sudden shift miles and miles away from where we were. Now he suddenly cares if people die. And he cares because they are people and not because he lost the game. Which is the complete opposite of who he was in previous seasons? Hello, high functioning sociopath? Where did he go? (And nope, I don’t buy the whole “traumatic experience” deal was what caused him to block out all his emotions and become a sociopath. I do buy that the mystery of Redbeard being the root of why Sherlock likes and wants to solve murders.)
Umm… Weren’t we all waiting for Moriarty? Wasn’t that the whole point of the cliffhanger at the end of season three? I was truly expecting him to come back and really tie the fourth season together, but I just kept waiting and waiting… and nope. Never came back. Except in these weird videos that were pre-filmed apparently. I do admit, that’s a good loophole, but come on. What we really wanted was for Moriarty to show up, not dead, and have a show down with Sherlock. What happened to that?
Ummm… What happened to Molly? And Lestrade? They were on screen for about a minute during the entirety of the season. I don’t expect them to steal the show or anything, but come on! Can we get more than a mere glimpse of them? It’s like they went from amazing side characters we’ve come to love to strangers to the show.
Really? REALLY?? A crazy sister that no one knew about?
The absolute best part of the entire season was how they so cleverly subverted expectations. Much like they did in A Study in Pink, when Sherlock assumes John has a brother, it’s a completely brilliant move when they reveal that Sherlock’s secret brother is actually Sherlock’s secret sister. It’s an awesome twist because we are all so convinced that there is a secret brother that we never once even thought to consider that it might not be a brother at all, but a sister. I loved that part. But sadly, that was the only part that I loved. It all took a dive, way too soon.
Apparently, Eurus, Sherlock and Mycroft’s secret sister is insanely clever but also super super crazy. I don’t know how many times I can say this but… REALLY?? That’s the best that you could come up with? A crazy woman?
Also, we got no hints–not even one–of her cleverness. Mycroft just keeps telling them all how she is so, so, so clever, but not once does she ever demonstrate her cleverness. Just her psychotic-ness. A classic case of a whole lot of telling and absolutely no showing.
Like I said before, Sherlock seems to shift from a mystery to an action/thriller. The reason I love Sherlock is for the mystery. I love seeing him figure out clues, make deductions, get excited about solving a mystery. There is none of that here. We get a very very little amount in the first episode (which surprise, surprise, was the most compelling part of the episode), but it lasts all of about twenty minutes or so before it turns into a EXPLOSION-GUN FIGHT-ACTION sequence.
All the villains, every single damn one of them, were so incredibly flat. I swear, in The Lying Detective, Culverton Smith was so disgustingly unbelievable as a character and person. He seemed soooooo fake. It’s the whole “evil villain” routine again, with no motives, no reason, or character development whatsoever. He is simply there to be a villain for Sherlock. And of course, he’s a crazy person, too, who’s super super creepy–to the point where I’m surprised people didn’t realize earlier that he’s a serial killer because he’s acting super super creepy????–seriously, no one even suspected???
And Vivian Norbury… Where did she come from??? ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. This was very not in keeping with Sherlock‘s usual reveals. They have always been a WOW HOW DID I NOT SEE THAT COMING? IT’S SO OBVIOUS NOW moment where once everything is revealed, it all seems so obvious! Nope, not here! Here I’m just confused. Like, oh they say this random little old lady committed the crime… Oh, okay. I guess that’s what happened then? There were no clues leading up to the reveal. We were simply being told that she was the culprit and force-fed the information. Oh, and by the way, the reason Vivian Norbury did what she did was because she was tired of being over looked and wanted people to know that she’s brilliant and all. (While this is a legitimate reason, they did not sell it well at all–and therein lies the ginormous problem).
And of course, I’ve already gone over the psychotic sister. (Random note: Does Crazy Sister have to look Crazy now that she’s in a cell and all locked up? Crazy hair and weird eyes?? Really? She looked fine before when she was on the bus or pretending to be a therapist. Must she look like a Crazy Person now that we know she is Crazy Person??)
Like I said, so flat. Every single one of them. All of them fit into the category of Crazy Villains who do the things they do because they’re Crazy and Evil.
The Third Episode
Wow, this was it for me. I was hoping and hoping and hoping everything would come together, but it failed so hard. This was the episode that absolutely crushed and devastated me. The whole episode seemed surreal. I actually laughed out loud and wanted to scream, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? because it was so freaking ridiculous and unbelievable. It was so stupid, which is something I’d never thought I’d say about Sherlock because the show was so, so brilliant and I admired it so much.
This last episode was basically Saw. Yup, like the creepy horror movies. Psycho Sister traps Sherlock, John, and Mycroft in a room and makes them kill people and tries to get them to kill each other, plays mind games with them, threatens to blow people up, makes them do things just for the fun of it. All sorts of freaking ridiculous nonsense.
If I wanted to watch Saw, guess what? I would rent Saw and watch that instead of turning on Sherlock.
These are the major problems I had with season 4. I know I had lots more minor problems as well, but I’ll forgo ranting about this time. Overall, The Final Problem was the worst episode in the history of the universe and The Lying Detective was probably the best one out of the three, and The Six Thatchers was just kind of blah.
I’ll admit The Lying Detective had some really great moments and twists that blew my mind, but ultimately, it was not nearly enough to make up for all the terrible, terrible aspects of the rest.
Anyways, sorry for ranting so much and I know I sound angry in this post, and honestly, it’s because I am angry. I’m so upset and disappointed, which is something I never thought I’d say about Sherlock. I had so much faith in the show that it never even occurred to me that I would be disappointed.
It seems like season 5 is up in the air and despite everything I’ve said, I’ve still got a tiny little seed of hope left that maybe–just maybe–the show will redeem itself and give back the Sherlock we love. That said, I’ll be a lot more wary now going into the show if there even is going to be a season 5. And if there’s not. Wow. This was just the worst thing that could have possibly happened. But enough now!
Well, thank you for reading and I’m sorry for all the rage!!!
PS~ Here are some articles that I found with reviews of The Final Problem! Again, they are spoiler-ridden, so don’t read if you don’t want to know! (Though presumably, all of you reading have already watched the episodes). Anyways, these articles are much more eloquent than me, though I have parts I agree and strongly disagree with, but I’ll leave that up to you guys!