“I don’t shave for Sherlock Holmes” – John Watson
After what has been a rather dull Christmas period with regards to TV, the long awaited return of BBC’s hit drama Sherlock was a more than welcome. The episode began with one of the several false explanations as to how Holmes (Cumberbatch) managed to fake him own death, a cliff that Sherlock fans have been hanging off of for two years. Some may still be hanging as no concrete explanation was given; it was outlandish to think that there would be a miracle solution that a fan hadn’t already come up with. This however was possibly more satisfying than being given a definitive answer, and by the end of the episode the question that everyone had been asking for those two years didn’t really seem to matter anymore.
The second most anticipated aspect of this episode was the reunion of Sherlock and newly moustached Watson (Martin Freeman), this was slightly easier to predict. John’s temper, quite rightly, gets the better of him and Sherlock ends up rather bloodied by the end of it. Watson’s tash doesn’t last too long either.
Once again the audience is treated to the familiarly stunning effect where the camera helps to tell the story through the mind of Mr Holmes himself. Displaying his deductions and incredible ability to get anywhere in London in no time at all.
One component which was nervously awaited of this returning episode was the introduction of Watson’s soon to be fiancée Mary (Abbington). Mary’s character in the eyes of many had the potential to come between our favourite crime solving duo, but she didn’t, she in fact aided in the uniting of the two friends. Phew. Abbington does a fantastic job of integrating in with the existing arrangement. It feels like she’s been there right from the beginning, which is an amazing thing for a new character to achieve in their introductory episode.
Writer Mark Gatiss who is nothing short of a Conan canon expert has now, it seems expanded his knowledge into fan fiction and it’s safe to say that Gatiss has probably spent the last two years scrolling through tumblr getting to grips with the insanity that is the Sherlock fandom. There was so many elements of this episode that seemed directly dedicated to the fans. Even those of us who were in despair at the loss of Andrew Scott, and his exquisite portrayal of Jim Moriarty were indulged. Scott returned ever so briefly, for a giggle and an implied snog with Sherlock, which metamorphosed into yet another fake explanation of Holmes’ fall.
The likelihood that you haven’t already watched this episode is very low, as the average viewing figure was 9.2 million. If however, you are part of the small percentage of people who didn’t switch on, then get yourself to a computer and watch it. Even if it is just to see Watson’s moustache.