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Sherlock: The Lying Detective

Firstly, if you are reading this before seeing the explosive first episode of season four, the brand new season airing. Then STOP! Turn around. Go watch it, then come back here. Because I am now going to talk fully about the ending of the premier. So if you don’t want to know who died, yes D I E D, last episode walk away. Last spoiler warning, read this at your peril,

Mary Watson is dead, not much of a spoiler to those of us who read the original books I admit. Those of us who have pretty much been waiting for her to die from the first second her character was introduced. Firstly, I must say I really hate that she is a spy. Watson deserved a normal relationship after all he has suffered. Secondly, I hate even more the whole storyline of let’s burn the data chip and not care about Mary’s past. Followed by ooops, actually, yeah, let’s care about it after all, because it is going to be her cause of demise.

Don’t even get me started on how terrible her actual death scene was! With Watson (A trained war medic who has seen it all!) falling to pieces as soon as he saw her shot. Didn’t even try to stem the bleeding, or keep her alive until help arrived. No CPR, nothing at all other than some inhuman yowling. Not to mention a wound that couldn’t possibly have allowed her to choke through a few lines, and die on cue before Watson got to respond. Where she was hit probably wouldn’t even have killed her at all, taking into account either her heart is in a really strange place (IE the middle of her chest) or there was some bad planning. To be honest given how badly the scene was taken, I was expecting blood bags, body vests, and a ‘Hi Husband’ I only faked my own death.

Now, we can start on the new episode. Life moves on, in a fashion. John Watson wants nothing to do with Sherlock, blaming him for breaking his promise to keep Mary safe. Molly takes care of Rosie a lot of the time, John isn’t doing so well. Drinking at times, blaming himself for not being there for Rosie when he is dealing with his own pain too. Thinking about the woman he cheated with a lot. Seeing a new counselor trying to put it all behind him. When in reality he is just shutting the world out, as well as anyone who could possibly help him get through this. Hallucinating Mary to keep himself vaguely sane.

Mycroft is fretting in his own way over his little brother. Having him followed when he leaves the house, having Baker Street watched at all times. Ringing Watson to see if Sherlock has made contact.

Sherlock Holmes is falling apart worst of all. Drugs, far more than ever before. Constantly high, using huge amounts that are slowly killing him. Scaring Mrs Hudson with shots fired and bouts of sheer craziness. Fixated on a female client (Faith) who has come to him with an impossible tale of her father (Culverton Smith), a celeb of sorts. Saying he told her that he wanted to kill someone, but making her forget who. With a series of weird drug treatments at his work along with several other people.

Holmes becomes obsessed, going after Smith. Deciding he has to be a serial killer, even posting it on his blog. Smith decides to do a big ad campaign over it, a commercial about being a cereal killer.

Mrs Hudson forces John (and later Molly at John’s insistence) to look Holmes over, seeing exactly what a bad way he is currently in. Bringing them into a crazy and complex case about all of their lives and that of Mr Smith. As we discover the details behind Mary’s death and her final message. With a twist in the tail, I admit that I didn’t work out even with all the clear hints during the tale. Showing perfectly the brilliance that the writing team can achieve when they do things right. Showing glimpses into the emotional states of all those involved. The deep brotherly bond between Mycroft/Holmes and Watson/Holmes that in the end can and never will be broken.

9/10 stars, can’t wait for the finale.

Sarah Beth James