Sherlock – The Great Game

In the final episode of Sherlock, Holmes and Watson have to battle their way through several mysteries to stop a bomber who appears to have a personal interest in Sherlock Holmes.

It is almost a good thing that The Blind Banker was the weaker of the two episodes of Sherlock that we have seen so far, this leaves room for The Great Game to live up to the expectations built by the first episode and make up for the disappointment of the second episode. The pace of The Great Game is fantastic; after the opening scene where Sherlock complains of his boredom (a subtle nod to The Blind Banker, perhaps?) the many stories kick off and don’t let up until the closing moment.

The interesting thing about this episode is the fact that there are two conflicting investigations that run concurrently. Holmes appears to ignore the case brought to him by his brother Mycroft, but jumps at the chance of investigating a case brought to him by the London police. While seeming to send Watson off to investigate Mycroft’s case Holmes throws himself into the investigation to find a bomber with a mission. Of course, the two cases collide in the end, with some interesting results. There are plenty of tense moments through the episode that keep the audience guessing, and as usual we are working to sole the case alongside Holmes and Watson.

As usual the two leads are wonderful in this episode, everything that can be said praising these actors, has been said before, but it is encouraging to know that Cumberbach and Freeman have not let their performances slip. Through subtle and almost throwaway comments the audience learns more and more about their favourite consulting detective, and gain more clues about the mystery that is Sherlock Holmes.

Of course, the wonderful thing about this episode is the revelation and identification of the sinister Moriarty, whose presence has lingered in the background of all the episodes to date. It is this revelation that leads to possibly the best cliffhanger seen in a long time.

Sherlock is the best new series to appear on TV in the past few years, and after just three episodes we have wonderfully rounded and developed central characters – albeit with many more mysteries to be revealed – with intricate relationships to each other and their surroundings. There are many many more Sherlock stories that the BBC can choose from, and audiences can only cross their fingers and hope that these are mined and developed into fantastic stories like those we have seen so far. The series has ended, triumphantly, on a cliffhanger that has audiences begging for more, here’s hoping the BBC delivers.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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  1. I think Moriarty was unveiled too soon – in the books he is a shadowy string-puller for a long time, which ramps up the tension – but I did like the very explicit way they painted him as the polar opposite of Sherlock. They are very similar men with very similar talents but totally opposed views.

    If you’re interested, I have penned a review of the season just finished over at my blog – I would welcome your thoughts and comments on what has been a very promising debut!

    • geeksyndicate /

      I guess the creators wanted to hook the audience and the bbc into the character in case they didn’t get a second series. Although I would have been pulling what little hair out I have it would have been cool if they had keep the Moriarty speaking through his victims for the rest of the episode and save the big reveal for the second series. I didn’t mind the portrayal of Mortiarty but felt he was better when he went ‘Dark’ if that makes sense as it did risk being a little too similar to John Simms portrayal of the master.

      Also it would be easy if Moffat and Gatiss decided that this wasn’t Moriarty and in fact another person he was speaking through, one of his assistants. I don’t think they will go down that road but it’s a possibility.

      • It was a very Master-ish portrayal, wasn’t it? And a very good comparison to draw too. For me, the Holmes/Moriarty rivalry is very similar to the Doctor/Master one – in each case, they could be twins in all but blood, and one could so easily have turned out to be the other if things had turned out a little differently.

      • geeksyndicate /

        The first Master in Dr who played Roger Delgado definitely had that Prof. Moriarty vibe going for him. I still always think this was my fave clash between Holmes and Moriarty on screen and it really highlighted the similarities between the two men.


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