This review contains major spoilers
I think we all need to take a minute to breathe because The Final Problem was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster and we are all a mess. The Lying Detective left us all worried as John Watson (Martin Freeman) was shot by Eurus – the third Holmes sibling that recently escaped a high-security institution known as Sherrinford. We needn’t worry as it was shown to be a sleeping dart and John is fine and well. However, I do feel that this was glossed over a bit too casually as they made it seem almost pointless to include it in the previous episode. The Final Problem was written by both Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
The Final Problem focused on Sian Brooke as the main antagonist Eurus Holmes. Sian Brooke was a wonderful addition to the cast and brought Eurus to life as someone with all intelligence and no emotion. Aspects of Eurus’ personality resembled the Consulting Criminal – Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott). Our hearts were in our mouths for a good couple of minutes as we saw Moriarty step off a helicopter until we realised that this was, in fact, a flashback to five years ago. It does make you question whether Moriarty was actually working for Eurus but that’s just another thing that we will never find out.
This episode answered a lot of our questions about Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss) yet it left us with just as many. The Saw-like puzzle found Sherlock becoming more human as he realised that his emotions actually allow him to be better than Mycroft and Eurus. He may not be as smart but he is stronger because of his emotions. The moment that Sherlock realised the importance of emotions is when he had to force Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey) to tell him that she loves him. Louise Brealey was incredible as always and Molly deserves better than being left as a background character that is madly in love with someone who isn’t capable of loving her back.
Moffat and Gatiss had channelled their inner Rathbone with this action-packed episode. Sherlock may not have had a case to solve but it was probably the biggest puzzle of his career. What happened to Redbeard? We soon learnt that Redbeard was not a dog, but a little boy who had the same role as John. Sherlock remembered Redbeard as a dog to cope with being upset with the horrific truth of his friend’s death. A friend is what humanises Sherlock Holmes, a friend makes Sherlock Holmes stronger. The John Watson that we have come to know and love was faced with the challenge of listening to his heart or his head. Does he shoot to save a life or does he not shoot but allow two people to be killed? It turns out that the head of security shoots himself in the hope of saving his wife but his wife is shot by Eurus anyway.
I have already said how incredible each member of the cast and crew is and there’s not much else to say. However, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Mark Gatiss made The Final Problem so difficult to watch because their acting was so realistic that it made you feel as though you were a part of the problem. The atmosphere was so tense that it felt like you couldn’t breathe. The writing was superb as always, including lots of laughs as well as incredible tense moments that made it difficult to watch yet you couldn’t look away.
It is a possibility that series 4 will be the end of Sherlock due to the happy montage of Baker Street being rebuilt with a voice over from John’s late wife – Mary. Sherlock seems to have gone full circle as Sherlock and John are back in Baker Street doing what they know best. I would love to see how Moffat and Gatiss move on from series 4 but if there is a series 5, it won’t be anytime soon. Series 4 has been an exhilarating rollercoaster that was so carefully planned and thought-out that no one could have guessed the twists and turns.
Is this just the beginning?