***SPOILER ALERT. DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEE ALL THREE SEASONS OF SHERLOCK***
The finale of season 3 frustrated me for several reasons. This entire season focused more on character developments than the previous seasons did. I really liked this personally, because I tend to get attached to characters, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that. As the season goes on, you get to really know Sherlock, and understand him.
Which is why, it annoyed me to no end, when he shot Magnussen at point blank range. Throughout all of the series, we know that Sherlock is one to use his mind to manipulate and control situations. He could tell a man was cheating on his wife by glancing at him for a few seconds: “Weight loss, hair dye, Botox; affair – laywer!” [The Empty Hearse].
So in a situation where both he and John are in danger of being shot and/or arrested for high treason, Sherlock decides to be a hero, and save John’s life by shooting Magnussen. Maybe I missed something, but I felt like this was really out-of-character for him. He’s already proved countless times that he can get himself out of dangerous situations by using his mind, so why didn’t he do it this time? Perhaps there was no other foreseeable alternative? Maybe. But at the end of season 2, on the rooftop with Moriarty, it looked like there wasn’t going to be another way for Sherlock to save his friends after Moriarty had shot himself, and that proved to be wrong.
It was probably a way to show that even the great Sherlock Holmes had succumbed to violence, showing the brutality of human nature. Or maybe I’m looking into this way too much and in reality, Moffat just wanted Sherlock to kill someone for ratings. If so, fuck you, Moffat.
Whilst I’m on the subject of Magnussen, I do have one more point. Like it or not, he was a brilliant man. Sherlock had deduced that the vaults were below Magnussen’s house. But as we find out, they never existed. They were only ever in Magnussen’s “mind palace.” He knew that he could trick Sherlock and Mary Watson and countless others into believing he had actual documents. As a villain, he could have done plenty of damage because there was no evidence to show that he had ever blackmailed anyone. Sherlock and Watson would have been arrested, and once again, Sherlock Holmes’ reputation would have been tarnished and dragged through the mud. But instead, he was killed off suddenly. All because Moriarty needed to come back into the picture.
Moriarty is a sick fuck. I can’t think of a single thing about him that I admire. With Magnussen, one could argue that he was rather calm and collected and had thought out everything well. Not to mention his incredible mind. But Moriarty is on a whole other level. In the first episode he appears in, by the swimming pool (the pool of the University of Bristol, if anyone cares) we see how mentally unstable he is. He goes from cool and calm to screeching cold bloody murder. His eyes. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. In the case of Jim Moriarty, that couldn’t have been any more true. Andrew Scott did a fantastic job playing him. I don’t know the highest award there is for a TV actor, but Andrew should definitely get it for playing the sadistic psychopath that is Jim Moriarty.
Of course some of the plot twists were very good. I won’t go into detail because I’ll just be repeating what happened. Moffat and Gatiss do some great things when they want to, but I don’t want to praise them too much, because we’ve all seen what Moffat does with Doctor Who on a bad day.
[Not going to lie, this scene had me laughing plenty]
All in all, I liked season 3. But I hope season 4 brings back a little more of the sassy, cocky, pain-in-the-ass Sherlock we’ve all formed that love/hate relationship with. Plus, I personally prefer his straight-faced and dry humour as opposed to him getting completely hammered and staggering around as he does with John. It’s all fine and dandy but personally speaking, I really want to see him have a go at Anderson again – for old time’s sake.
To be continued; the game is on.