Review: Sherlock, Season 3

The consulting detective is back with a bang in Sherlock, season 3 - but will we now have another 2 year hiatus to look forward to?


The current season of the new version of Sherlock is the third made up of three feature length episodes. It has been two years since the epic finale of series two. Many new followers have jumped on the Sherlockian band wagon  – God knows how they have avoided spoilers by watching from this point…

Ever since the new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) started, now called Sherlock, I have been hooked on how they would bring such a classic character and series of stories alive. As a child I did read some of the original novels of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and watch the black and white films featuring Basil Rathbone. I have watched many programmes through the years that have had a  creative helping hand from Mr Steven Moffat, and I think he is a genius writer and show runner.

The format for each series has stayed the same: three episodes at a one and a half hour length. Seasons one and two were originally aired in 2010 and 2012, the second season ending with a massive twist of a cliff-hanger leaving the audience confused. After an agonising hiatus, season three has finally been broadcast .

The first episode of this new series, The Empty Hearse, was shown on New Year’s Day 2014. The opening five minutes tantalised us with a possible explanation of the solution behind the cliff-hanger from series two. The explanation revealed answers, just more confusion and doubt, however I like that they retained a certain myster,y and chose not to reveal everything. Moriarty (Andrew Scott), the main enemy from the first and second series, was gone. This led us to a new chapter, and of course, new enemies. The first episode of season three had to re-establish the relationship between Sherlock and Watson (played by Martin Freeman). The time span of two years was kept in the episode, and it had been believed that Sherlock was dead. Watson had moved on with his life and was now in a loving relationship. Sherlock and Watson patched up their friendship and the story continued. Unfortunately, it did feel that it took nearly half the episode to get to the action of the story. To sum up episode one, Sherlock realised how much he cared for Watson when he had to rescue him from danger (Watson had been kidnapped to get to Sherlock). Continuing on the emotional side of things, Sherlock realised that he would have to share Watson’s attention with his new love, Mary.

Episode two, The Sign of Three, moves on some months from the first one. Watson has nowproposed to Mary and is to marry her. This episode is set mostly at the wedding, but is told in flashback sequences throughout Sherlock’s speech as the Best Man. I found this episode the funniest of season three. There were some parts where it was hard to figure out why they were included in the story-telling, but if we stuck with watching the episode we were rewarded with why they were there. We learnt a bit more about Watson’s past, and were treated to some great scenes between Sherlock and his brother Mycroft, played by the fantastic Mark Gatiss, who also writes and co-created Sherlock. The episode ended with the wedding party dancing into the night whilst Sherlock left early (but not before deducing that Mary was pregnant, of course). Another new development to threaten the friendship of Sherlock and Watson?

I was left wondering how they could possibly top off and end season three, given the epic mystery that rounded out season two. His Last Vow shows the relationship between Sherlock and Watson seeming to be strained. It is a month on from the wedding, and Watson is settling into married life. He has to help a neighbour retrieve her son from a drugs den, where he happens to also find Sherlock, claiming to be undercover on a case. Sherlock’s friends are worried for him, thinking he is on drugs. He reassures them it is for a case only. It also turns out that Sherlock has a girlfriend (!), but the truth comes out that this is a ruse in order to get to the villain of the episode.

There are many twists and turns this episode, leaving us realising that a certain character is not what they seem. A new villain arises, one that could hold power over Sherlock and his loved ones. At the end of the episode it seems that Sherlock may have been knocked from his pedestal after becoming a murderer, but a surprise twist opens up an old threat from the first two seasons: has Moriarty returned? Did no-one die on that rooftop that day after all? This leaves us with yet another big cliff hanger, and I think it is now guaranteed that there will be a fourth, and maybe even a fifth season. Confirmation from the BBC is yet to come, and so as an audience we wait yet again for the next series. I highly recommend that if you haven’t watched Sherlock that you should check the series out. We can’t wait for new episodes!

Discussion feed

Up next in tv