Sherlock – Series 3.03 – His Last Vow – Review
SPOILERS – Absolutely do not read further if you have not seen episode 3 “His Last Vow”
Thus ends another season of Sherlock, and by far it was the most ambiguous season to date. I’m not sure if we ever got a real answer to how he actually survived the fall, unless we are under the assumption that the story he told Anderson was in fact the real one, but in the end I’m not sure it really mattered. John’s comment in episode one, that it’s not important how Sherlock did it, but why Sherlock did it is a good metaphor for this season in general. I was not so impressed with the mind blowing mysteries this season, the twists and turns, but instead enamored with the emotion of the episodes. One of the strong aspects of this show has always been John Watson. The humanity, relateability, and compassion he brings to the show are necessary for the viewer, but this season we got to see just how important it was to Sherlock as well. This season gave us new aspects of our characters and added elements with which we weren’t quite as familiar.
This final episode as a whole felt slightly disjointed, but ultimately worked and answered a lot of the questions from the season and included a fairly big payoff at the end. The mystery of the episode was an improvement on the previous episodes, strengthen by a magnificent performance by Lars Mikkelsen who was absolutely chilling. While it still wasn’t the strongest element of the story, I generally enjoyed the storyline and it worked to really play up the most important part of the episode, which was the relationship of the characters.
This episode was all about moments, little moments that worked together to complete the episode. What the moments relied on was the character development we’ve gotten through the seasons, and more importantly the relationships. If there was one focal point of the episode it would have to be John Watson, who has been the strongest aspect of the season.
John shined in this episode, as he dealt with the betrayal of Mary, once again losing Sherlock, and coming to terms with the fact that he chooses the people in his life because he craves that lifestyle. Ultimately though, what is magnificent about John is his capacity for forgiveness. He forgave Sherlock for essentially being alive for two years without a word, and in “His Last Vow” he forgives Mary for lying to him, without even finding out what it was she did in the first place. For John Watson the details are not necessarily important, but the people he loves are the people he loves no matter what the details are. I think some people will be upset about his forgiveness of Mary, but I for one am glad he did forgive her, and even more that Sherlock was wiling to do something drastic in order to save not only John but Mary as well. The dynamic of these three worked really well this season and I’m glad we’ve still got Mary kicking around for a little while longer.
The relationship between Mycroft and Sherlock was also greatly fleshed out this season and I for one found this to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the season as a whole. I may be biased as Mycroft has always been one of my favorite characters, but his admission that losing Sherlock would break him was a wonderful moment, made only more perfect by Sherlock’s reaction. It’s always been clear that despite his cool attitude Mycroft cares a great deal about Sherlock and I was glad to see that explored even deeper this season. I would really like to see the reverse explored next season.
But what this season really broke down to was the relationship between John and Sherlock and how much their two personalities have really become one. Sherlock cannot be Sherlock without John and John cannot be John without Sherlock, and together they work so marvelously together. This season has show us that the reason this show works so well in the interplay between the two and that the family they’ve built around them, be it Mary, Molly, Lestrade, Mycroft, or Mrs. Hudson, only enhances their relationship.
This season has been short of course, but filled with character development, humor, tense character moments, mystery, and most of all heart. And it ended on a doozy, with the reveal that Moriarty is back. And so we end this season just like we ended the last, wondering how he survived it. I’m sure we’ll have another long hiatus to work through these issues. I enjoyed this episode and enjoyed the season. How about you? What did you think of the ending? Is Moriarty really back? How did he survive it? Did Sherlock really get high? Will he ever care about Mycroft? What will John on Mary name the baby? Will Molly just pick a good guy like Lestrade for once?! Ponder all these and more below in the comments. It’s going to be a long hiatus!
Sherlock – Series 3.03 – His Last Vow – Review
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