The critically acclaimed TV show Sherlock, is a drama series depicting the hypothetical modern lives of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson and their various colleagues. The original book series is set in the late 1800s to early 1900s. The series is well known for its private detective theme and cliché lines such as “Elementary, my dear Watson,” (which in fact was never written in the series).

The first episode of Sherlock aired in 2010, and the show is known for its astounding actors (such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), intriguing plot twists and the fact that three episodes air every two years. After seasons two and three aired in 2012 and 2014, viewers anxiously anticipated the release of season four in 2016. Unfortunately, season four was postponed until January 1 2017, and that day has finally come and gone.

The first episode of season four was titled “The Six Thatchers.” It essentially tied up a few of the loose ends left by season three. Although they did not resolve the mystery of how Moriarty programmed screens across London to project his face with the infamous line “Did you miss me?” after his suicide, the show answered questions about Mary’s mysterious past. They in fact killed Mary, which was quite unexpected, as she and John had just had a child together. It was an enjoyable episode to say the least, however, as the actors hadn’t played these characters in years, and the acting was slightly forced. The plot was deemed to be a bit boring, and the mysteries within the show were too easily solved by Mr. Holmes. The episode still met most of its expectations, but hopefully the following episodes will have more depth to them.

The second episode, however, titled “The Lying Detective,” was absolutely outstanding. It blew the first episode out of the water, and shattered the idea that season four had gone downhill. The writing was done impeccably, as the story line took a turn for the worse, leaving viewers shocked and on the edge of their seats. Although the previous episode could be labelled as “flat” or “simplistic”, this episode was anything but. The show co-writers Mark Gatniss and Steven Moffat introduced new characters such as serial killer Culverton Smith, played by Toby Jones, and Eurus Holmes, played by Sian Brooke. The introduction of these characters gave the plot a much needed twist that could imply drastic changes for the final episode. Moffat had called this episode “the darkest one we’ve ever done,” and he wasn’t lying. The episode demonstrated the harsh realities of drug use and death, making it undoubtedly the grimmest of them all.

The final episode,”The Final Problem,” left viewers baffled. The writers dove head first into the previous unanswered cliff hangers, as well as completely changing concepts created in season one. Sherlock’s sister, Eurus turns out to be an asylum patient, but is so fantastically intelligent that she actually is in control of the entire establishment. The show also included the tease of the return of Moriarty, which excited audiences, but left them disappointed as his scenes turned out to be a flash back. They confirmed his death shortly after, as Eurus had been in control of his face being projected across London. The writers revealed the true meaning of Redbeard, as he turned out not to be Sherlock’s childhood dog, but his childhood best friend murdered by his sister. Although the episode was phenomenal, it seems as if something had been left unfinished. The episode did not end on a cliff hanger; however it felt slightly rushed and lacking. A bit more detail would have been useful to further demonstrate the events, as some scenes were too direct.

Overall, the show met and surpassed standards. Everyone will have their complaints, but the show is worth watching nonetheless. Gatiss and Moffat hinted at the idea of a season five, but it’s most likely that Sherlock has finally hung up his deer-stalker hat for good.

Feature picture courtesy of The Independent