TV Show Review

TV Review: SHERLOCK, Season 3, Episode 3: His Last Vow [BBC, PBS]

Benedict Cumberbatch Martin Freeman Sherlock His Last Vow

BBC’s Sherlock His Last Vow TV Show Review. Sherlock: Season 3, Episode 3: His Last Vow was the concluding chapter of Sherlock’s third season and is a finale that satisfies in every way imaginable. The stress in the first episode was on Holmes’ genius, in the second one on his personal pain and the third one combines all of these elements and reveals a powerful villain and offers countless twists, which transform every breath-taking scene of ‘His Last Vow’ into a miracle to behold. This third episode increases the stakes, the danger and most especially-the emotional power of the story resulting in both tear-jerking moments and momentary abrupt revelations which will make you let out various loud exclamations of surprise.

All the main actors-Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Yasmine Akram (Jasmine) and Lars Mikkelsen (the villain) do a phenomenal job and each of them stands out above all the others in their own particular scenes which the actors completely steal. Cumberbatch depicts Sherlock in a very touching way at his most emotional and painful moments. Freeman shows us a far more expressive and explosive Watson, Akram shines in her so-far mundane character and Mikkelsen is absolutely menacing in the role of the bad guy. The superb story in combination with the talent displayed by these four wonderful actors and the ever-stylish direction of these series is in short the recipe for this masterful episode.

The story is better than ever-it not only involves the best writing in terms of building dramatic tension but also in creating surprises and involving the audience emotionally. We have a clearly outlined villain in this third episode that is so menacing, we rarely get the feeling that even Sherlock has a chance. The protagonist faces death more closely than ever and his brilliance is not used this time with the sense of solving the mystery; every uncovered secret carries sentimentality and leaves a potent emotional mark on the great detective. Watson and Holmes, in the face of danger and evil greater than ever are forced to present themselves at their worst and best and we feel, they go through the greatest difficulties with the most superb amount of spiritual strength. It’s not so much about the superior size of the episode but about its quality.

In many ways Episode Three includes the very best of Episode One and Two and even more importantly-continues their stories. Episode One was all about Holmes playing everyone in order to win at his game. In ‘His Last Vow’ we witness the opposite scenario. Holmes needs to sacrifice himself in order to win. If there is something cooler and more moving than crushing your enemies with your wits, it is protecting them with it and the price of everything, including yourself.  The ending which sets up the story for the next season is the last of the most spectacular scenes of this wonderful piece of film-making. This is in fact a perfect episode with exceptional acting, a marvelously written story which answers all the questions laid out before the characters in the real world of danger and the ones resting in their hearts.

As a whole, the third season of Sherlock is one spectacular intellectually charged, emotionally effective, visually spectacular ride of the world’s most notorious detective. It is a rare story of Holmes that explores his humanity and juxtaposes it marvelously to his genius. These were three episodes, each of which are original in their story and message and each of which successfully retains the series’ most beloved qualities-the mystery, the humour, the rare but moving human drama.  The expectations for Season Four, regardless of its release date should definitely be high and rightfully so. It has been a long time since a season of a series has ended up so successfully and beautifully.

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Deyan Angelov

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