NOTE: The following review contains spoilers.
Death is inevitable. All good things come to an end and more often than not we actually cherish the past with a teary-eyed abundance and unfeigned despair. That’s the thing about tears, they make vision blurry. Everything seems secondary to that devastating feeling of loss that you were only consumed by it. Generally, we think if something had the power to move us to tears, it surely must have been really moving. But moving and good are not the same things or is it?
After a gap of nearly three years, BBC’s acclaimed TV drama Sherlock came back with its fourth season. The gripping drama had caused a serious buzz among the fans with its modern-day adaptation of the world’s most famous consulting detective. The first three seasons along with last year’s Christmas special episode gained huge commercial and critical acclamations.
Unlike the previous episodes of the series this time around the creators banked on inexpensive simulations, after making fans wait for three long years. The only thing that the series never had became the center point. A sudden death of a fan favorite might have done wonders for Game of Thrones but the same strategy backfired heavily for the sleuth series as far as I’m concern.
Killing the strongest female character of the story also made little sense to me. Moreover, the death also didn’t come suddenly, it was pretty evident by the last few episodes that the series is slowly drifting towards dark allies. Mary Watson’s character in the series has gone through a series of changes from the original work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and still became a fan favorite. Mary’s mysterious past has drawn plenty of attention and just when she was getting recognized as the third wheel of the investigative trio the creators decided she must die.
So what did they do with 90 minutes of screen time? Make Mary travel across continents in a long montage only to later reveal it was all for nothing? Take a weird, extremely off-character digression for Watson and having him cheat on his wife? Or have a long James Bond style fight scene between Sherlock and an assassin? Anything and everything as long as it doesn’t involve actual detective investigation. The only case that Sherlock takes up in the entire episode, he solves it in just a few minutes. And oh yes, the episode is full of text messages, this time Watson also joined Holmes’ ranks.
So, why do I think the much-awaited episode is bad? You see, unlike Sia, I don’t love cheap thrills. Over time, my appreciation for Mary as a character grew into affection and it hurt to watch her go like that. It was the good construction of earlier episodes that her departure hurt the way it did. All this episode did is to steal her of a fitting death. Died from a misdirected bullet from an elderly secretary’s gun? You certainly deserved better Mary. We as audiences deserve better.