Thoughts on “Sherlock’s” “The Final Problem


My big analysis: It leaned in on all of the problems with the series, but executed them really well.

As a result it’s exceptionally well done for what it is but never as good as “Sherlock” at its best. Better than “The Blind Banker”, “The Empty Hearse”, and “The Six Thatchers”. Worse than everything else. People compared it to “The Reichenbach Fall”. No way. “The Reichenbach Fall” was superior in every way, as it is to most things.

It was okay, but after the great return to form with “The Lying Detective” I was a bit disappointed.

I’d be unhappy with this as a finale. Here’s hoping season five is actually about Sherlock and John solving cases.

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6 Responses to Thoughts on “Sherlock’s” “The Final Problem

  1. Zippy says:

    Yeah Sherlock has turned into way too much navel gazing, at this point. Producers are often seduced into grandiose self obsession (in the show/story). Person of Interest was a fun TV show with a good plot device until they turned the plot device into some grandiose self obsession about artificial intelligence. The most successful series/shows (I won’t say “best”) seem to resist this “inward turn”, keeping the plot device in the background as the foundation to generate stories. Stargate, as an effective (in terms of longevity) if mediocre example.

    In a serial, never turn the McGuffin into the story, and don’t demystify your wizards.

    • I’ll always have something of a soft spot for it, because when it’s good, it’s SO good. Even “The Lying Detective” was pretty great, if not perfect. And season three had the excellent “His Last Vow”.

      Sherlock had a run from “The Great Game” in season one to “The Reichenbach Fall” that was damn near perfect. If it can go back to that format – as it did with “The Lying Detective” – maybe they can put it back together. I guess we’ll see.

      • Zippy says:

        Sherlock is definitely worth “saving”, if they can manage it, and I don’t think it is too late.

        I think what happens more generally is that artists/creators produce a winning formula, can’t resist the temptation to make it “deeper” or “more authentic” or something, and then sabotage their own work with the inward turn.

        Happens all the time — Bones ruining the genius lab-rat character Zach by trying to take him too seriously, then recovering by bringing in a series of quirky “squints” that we aren’t supposed to take too seriously or know beyond the level of work colleagues, and then flirting with screwing some of them up in the same way repeatedly. But the producers/writers found a way around their own flaws on a fairly badly written show by keeping the squint/intern queue busy enough that it was impossible, within the allotted time, to screw all of them up too badly.

        Anyway there are probably countless examples of entertainers screwing up their own work by taking it too seriously and taking that inward turn, thereby losing the very elements that made it entertaining in the first place.

      • “Bones” is undoubtedly something of a guilty pleasure show. It’s not very well written, and I don’t watch it very often, but I do find it entertaining enough while it’s on.

        Obviously the best cop (lawman, I guess?) show was “Justified”, but you already knew that.

  2. Aethelfrith says:

    Oooh, this episode really left a bad taste in my mouth. The only way it could have worked is if the entire Holmes family were a bunch of secret idiots.

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