This past weekend the American Broadcast of Sherlock’s season 3 concluded, so I’ll give my thoughts on it.
Well, the first 2 episodes of Sherlock were really referential to the fandom as well as much lighter in general. I, for one, like meta-ness like that and really enjoyed them. The 2nd episode, in particular, was the funniest one out of the whole series thus far.
Sherlock and John quickly get into form of solving cases and getting John to just barely want to choke Sherlock out. Mary, John’s fiancee, is a fun character, too. Instead of being worried about all the dangerous adventures, she encourages it. It’s the kind of character that won’t outrage people too much because she doesn’t get in the way of the fun and mysteries.
This season seems to focus much more in the relations between Sherlock, Mycroft, John and Mary. Much of the first episode was about John’s life after Sherlock’s perceived death. Not as much time is devoted to the mysteries, though I will say I did enjoy the second episode when you see Sherlock realize that something is afoot as it happens.
I’m okay with all the character focus. Given the show’s hour-and-a-half long format, they are still able to provide a good bit of fun with the puzzle-solving, but the cases are not as engaging as the first two season’s.
Even in the third episode, when Sherlock confronts the bad guy of the season, it was still more about John than really solving the case. Solving the case just happens to help John. The bad guy, Magnussen, was suitably smug and creepy, however, and I enjoyed watching him work and interact with the people he blackmails. He’s not at Moriarty’s level, but he’s no slouch in being a villain, and he manages to royally get Sherlock mad.
On the subject of John Watson, I really wish he was more integral to solving cases. He is, for all intents and purposes, a sounding board that doesn’t respond back most of the time. His dynamic with Sherlock works, though. He is the human part while Sherlock is the logical part. Together, they make one presentable detective.
The ending of the season though, and there will be exact spoilers here, they do love their cliffhangers. Jim Moriarty is apparently back from the dead, just like Sherlock. If they pull off something like in the first episode of Season 3 again, where they don’t tell you exactly what happens, I will be upset. The opening of Season 4 had better be exactly how both Sherlock and Jim survived. That’s of course assuming Jim did survive and what happened at the end was not some plot triggered by someone else using a face they knew would cause panic.
For a show like Sherlock, that’s about using factual information to solve mysteries, I feel they really should show us how things happened instead of being coy about it. Of course, the writers might not even be able to come up with something satisfactory after 2 years of fan speculation (part of the fun they poked in the first episode).
Overall, the third season was funnier and more human compared to the previous seasons. I found it really enjoyable that hits high points in both humor and seriousness for the series.