Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Sherlock"- Season Three, Episode Three - "His Last Vow" - It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

As James pointed out, I missed the point that Sherlock showed positive on the drug test. And although that changes my theory about Molly's behavior, I stand by my pipe scale.
Loved the beginning.
Okay with the middle.
Did not like the ending.

James makes some very good points, but some of them could be argued either way. And that is what it's all about.
Thanks James.

To be honest, I still am not sure how I feel about the latest episode, "His Last Vow".

I loved the beginning.
Liked the middle.
And not sure how I feel about the end.

The first third to one-half of the episode, for me, was the most Canonically convincing yet.
I loved the references to TWIS, and how that story line was handled.
Also the introduction of CHAR or C.A.M.

The addition of Wiggins, or Billy if you prefer, was fun without being to silly or slapstick.
What little humor there was in this episode, for the most part, was handled appropriately. More like the way funny moments would happen in any one's life. The tit-for-tat when, John and Mary were leaving their apartment, and when all were leaving the drug den, and again when John finds out Sherlock is dating was well balanced and not over-played.

The acting all around was once again top notch. Again, for me, this was the best I had seen Benedict Cumberbatch in all the episodes. Martin Freeman could do not wrong. And I still love Amanda Abbington as Mary. (Although I don't like Mary as well.)

The question of whether or not Sherlock is still a virgin was answered, however, still leaving some questions unanswered. "His Last Vow" perhaps suggesting he won't go down that path again.

Magnussen was almost played more like the reptilian Moriarty, and at times his character would almost go over-board, but they had the sense to pull it back before it went to far.

It was fun to see Holmes' parents given a little more weight in character.
However, other than John and Mary's confrontation by the fireplace, the whole cottage Christmas was lost on me, especially once the drugging took place. It definitely turned into a 'BLUE' Christmas.

Molly's reaction to Holmes being found in a drug den, although proven clean, was almost to much until you realized that it was probably played as repressed emotions coming out about unrequited love, while watching Holmes take on another girl friend, and her loss of the boy friend.

I liked the fact that Janine handled the abbreviated engagement the way she did, while still telling Holmes off about his behavior with her emotions.

There were times, when watching the last third of the episode, and James stated the same, that I felt I was watching an episode of 'Elementary'. The resolution became overly complicated and convoluted.
But, darn, for the life of me I don't know how it could have been done differently once Mary was shown to be a female James Bond.

Holmes couldn't let Mary kill C.A.M. because he knew Watson could not live with that, but he also knew Watson needed to know the truth about Mary.

The whole figuring out how Holmes was not going to die after being shoot was a little to Guy Ritchie for me and went on a hair to long.

The ending seemed escapist also. Meaning they got to a place where the ending was, again, very convoluted and they couldn't figure out how to get out of it. So they suggested Moriarty wasn't dead, and the murdering Holmes was needed to save England.

I still don't know where the connection is between the drug den and the case against Magnussen. It either was never stated or I missed it.

The explanation about Janine's connection to both Mary and C.A.M. was to easy, it makes one, or should, wonder if Janine was in on the blackmail all along. Mary's bridesmaid works for Magnussen, and Mary did not know that? Or was Mary using Janine so she could get access to him?
Was everyone using poor Janine?????

I know! It's kind of a rambling review, but that's how I feel about the show.
It was, for me, at times the best episode. While at times having a few shortcomings.

So, to be fair to my confusion, I give the first part of this episode

The middle I give;

and the end .

so over all about 

unless I change my mind and think about it more.

Over all I think I found it a strong episode with some well done connections to the Canon.
My dislikes are very minor. and the parts I liked, I liked a lot.

The ending has me disappointed about the beginnings of the next series, but I am willing to hope I will be surprised.


  1. Sorry, John, but this episode was so bad, i was stunned at the closing credits and didn't bother to watch part three of the documentary that followed. First off, Cumberbatch was using. The urine test was positive and that's way Molly was slapping him. Plus, when Sherlock and John get back to 221B and Sherlock attacks Mycroft, John says that Sherlock is high. The drug use was done in a light and breezy way. It's all right Sherlock's shooting up, it's for a case. As the episode was broadcast here in America the same day we found out Philip Seymore Hoffman died of a heroin overdose, Sherlock's flippant attitude on the subject seems in even more bad taste.

    We're supposed to believe that C.A.M. is so brilliant that he even has a mind palace to rival Sherlock's, but he doesn't have security search them when John and Sherlock arrive at Appledore? What, the search the previous day at Baker Street is still good for the next few days? And just think of this whole blackmail concept--Magnussen has all this blackmail material only in his head. How can he prove any of this? He can't, but then he doesn't have to--as a media mogul he can make up anything he wants about anyone. He said that himself. So even bother with the mind palace? What's the point of amassing all this information if you can't prove it?

    Let me ask you: if this exact same script was used for "Elementary", don't you think that a certain Peorian blogger would be howling over how bad this show was and picking apart every inconsistency? This episode and "The Empty Hearse" are stupefyingly bad. I don't know what Moffat and Gatiss were thinking when they wrote them.

    1. Well,I think you are right about the drug thing and maybe I took the wrong meaning out of it. You are right. I need to watch that part again.
      With that said, although I missed the positive thing, I still loved the first third and thought it better paced than most. I made it clear that I was still not sure about the rest of it, and you have given me some good points to think about.

  2. Nice review, John.

    I agree about Cumberbatch's acting. He showed a new range of acting skills in "The Sign of Three". This one is back to his usual masterful Holmes.


    1. Thanks. Although I missed a couple of points, I still stand by most of it.

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  4. I think we may all agree that Cumberbatch and Freeman always give 100% in front of the "Sherlock" cameras. It kind of goes without saying, so no quibbles there. Lars Mikkelsen performance is creepy. But it's the material the actors are given and the story they're put in that is awful in a way that "The Blink Banker" only scratched at. Moffat and Gatiss seem to think that they can throw any old crap up on the screen (or not give it to us as in the case of how Sherlock faked his fall; I beginning to wonder whether if they really did work it out, or did some fan come up with the right solution and Moffat went "Bollocks! Now we got to come up with something different." and can't) and the faithful viewers will swallow it hook, line and sinker. I will eventually by the Series Three DVD and watch them again, but it will be a chore, not a joy.

    "A Scandal in Belgravia" works even though the plot doesn't make sense, because the story works on an emotional level and the script does not insult the audience's intelligence. But Sherlock murders Magnussen to protect Mary's CIA-assassin past that Magnussen can't prove because he has no proof? And then brother Mycroft manages to sweep the whole thing under the rug, sending Sherlock on a possibly lethal undercover mission, but wait--Moriarty's back, never mind, all is forgiven? Horse pucky, as Colonel Potter used to say.

    1. Well, I watched it again last night, and I still pretty well stick to my review. You were right about the drug test being positive.
      I do think he was using it for the case, and. . . maybe because he doesn't like his life without Watson. But if Holmes took it flippant manner, none around him did. But Holmes does that anyway.

      I am not convinced there were no vaults, and find it hard to believe Holmes and Watson would just take his word for that.
      We saw him go down a spiral staircase twice. And we saw him look at pictures. And like you said, he would have no power if he did not have documents.
      I don't care how smart he is, he would not be able to remember all that was shown in the vault. And some where along the line, someone would ask for proof.

      As far as being searched at Appledore, Holmes and Watson were greeted by two guards as the got off the helicopter. And those two guards are shown walking Holmes and Watson up to the house. I think we can assume they were searched again as they got off the helicopter.

      Was the episode perfect? Heck no! But I did love the beginning, was okay with the middle and did not like the end.

    2. Oh. And like you were surprised I hated the last 'Elementary' as much has I did, I was as surprised this one bothered you so much.

    3. So, we just assume that the guards were so poor at their job that they missed the gun sitting in Watson's coat pocket? Sorry, I don't buy it.

      The Canonical Holmes did not use drugs while on a case. The fact that Cumberbatch and Miller do is testimony that they are addicted and not dabbling. The real test is what Moffat and Gatiss will do with this established show fact in Series Four. Will BC deal with the issue or will it be swept under the rug? Having drug user/protege Wiggins around is not healthy for an addict.

      Say what we will about the over-reliance of the recovery arc in "Elementary", the issue is handled in an adult and realistic manner. Kudos to them for it. By the way, the incident where Mary shoots Sherlock in a way that doesn't kill him was a major plot element in "Solo" (2013) William Boyd's official James Bond pastiche where Bond is shot in the chest by triple-agent Blessing Ogilvy-Grant, in the one non-lethal spot where he could be shot and survive, to prevent Bond from being murdered by someone else--she saved his life by shooting him. Can Moffat and Gatiss construct a script not full of "homages" to other movies, shows and characters--and without using Doctor Who logic? And enough with Baring-Gould's 'Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First Consulting Detective" already!

    4. Good point about Watson's gun and inept guards. You get what you pay for.

      I don't like the drug issue continuing in either show, whether handled well or not. It is a shame they still need that plot line.And, like you said, you don't have to like Elementary, maybe just respect how they are handling some things.