You may have noticed that my blog has focused on Sherlock a lot lately. Those of you who know me know that this is my favourite television show and I am obsessed with all things Sherlock Holmes. As Sherlock is now over for another two or three years (or possibly forever), I have ranked every episode of Sherlock from my least favourite to favourite. I love every episode for different reasons so this was quite difficult for me. I have only seen each episode of series 4 a couple of times each so this list may change once I’ve watched it more but this is where I stand so far. This is just my personal opinion and I am by no means slating any of the episodes as I do love them all.
- The Blind Banker
This episode is from the first series and is the second episode. The story follows Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) as they investigate a series of cyphers representing numbers in an ancient Chinese numeral system. The Blind Banker was written by Stephen Thompson and took on concepts from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Valley of Fear and The Adventure of the Dancing Men. The reason that this episode is my least favourite is because it doesn’t seem to have the same spark as the rest of the episodes, I have never been able to enjoy it as much of the others.
Favourite quote: “No, I’m Sherlock Holmes and I always work alone because no one can compete with my massive intellect.”
12.His Last Vow
This episode is the final episode of the third series and was written by Steven Moffat. His Last Vow is an adaption of Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and the story follows Sherlock and John as they take on a case about stolen letters, leading to a conflict with Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen). This is another episode that I felt didn’t have the same spark as the others although there were some brilliant plot twists that I won’t go into detail about.
Favourite quote: “Did you miss me?”
- The Abominable Bride
This was a special one-off episode that aired on television as well as selected cinemas around the UK. This episode shows the characters in an alternative timeline: Victorian London. The story follows Sherlock and John as they try to solve a seemingly supernatural case. I really enjoyed the gothic horror theme and different style that it took one, in comparison to other episodes.
Favourite quote: “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
- The Empty Hearse
This episode was the first episode of the third series and was written by Mark Gatiss. The Empty Hearse saw Sherlock return after surviving The Reichenbach Fall and is inspired by The Adventure of the Empty House. The story focuses on Sherlock and John’s reunion whilst solving an underground terrorist network. This was a brilliant return for Sherlock and brilliantly explained how Sherlock faked his death. I love the fact that Sherlock is so fast-paced yet has lots of laughs and this episode masters both.
Favourite quote: “I don’t shave for Sherlock Holmes.”
- The Hounds of Baskerville
This is the second episode of the second series and was written by Mark Gatiss. The episode is an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles and follows Sherlock and John as they take on the case of Henry Knight, who 20 years earlier witnessed the brutal killing of his father by a “gigantic hound”. The part that stood out most to me was Sherlock’s “mind palace” sequence as it proved Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliance (not that it needed proving).
Favourite quote: “Get out. I need to go to my mind palace.”
- The Great Game
This is the final episode of the first series and was written by Mark Gatiss. The episode introduces the main antagonist Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott). Sherlock, Watson and Lestrade scurry through the city of London to solve a 20-year-old masked murder, an insurance fraud business, a celebrity poisoning, and assassinations surrounding a forgery scheme.The episode ended on a great cliffhanger to keep us wanting more from series 2.
Favourite quote: “I’ll burn the heart out of you.”
- The Six Thatchers
This is the much awaited first episode of series 4 and was written by Mark Gatiss. As Sherlock waits for Moriarty’s next move, he takes on the case of finding someone who is going around and smashing six busts of Margaret Thatcher. This episode was absolutely heart-wrenching as we saw Mary jump in front of a bullet to save Sherlock’s life. Although some may not have liked this episode, I thought it was a brilliant start to series 4 and was a perfect set up for the following episodes. I have written a review of this episode if you are interested in reading it.
Favourite quote: “If you ever think I’m becoming full of myself, overconfident or cocky, would you just say the word “Norbury” to me, would you?”
- The Sign of Three
This is the second episode of the third series, my personal favourite of series three. The Sign of Three was written by Stephen Thompson, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and primarily focuses on the wedding of John Watson and Mary Morstan. I felt that this episode was most similar to series one and two as it focused on one murder case that actually solved during the wedding.
Favourite quote: “Let’s play a game, let’s play murder”.
- The Lying Detective
This is the second episode of the fourth series and was written by Steven Moffat. The Lying Detective follows Sherlock as he faces one of the most chilling enemies of his career – Culverton Smith (Toby Jones), a man with enough fame and fortune to cover his evil schemes. This episode was incredibly emotional to watch and is one that I could watch over and over again. Check out my review if you are interested.
Favourite quote: “Stop talking, it makes me aware of your existence.”
- A Study in Pink
This was the first ever episode of Sherlock and the one that got me completely hooked. A Study in Pink sees John Watson return to London where he meets the only consulting detective in the world – Sherlock Holmes. The two soon find themselves trying to solve serial “suicides”. This episode was written by Steven Moffat and aired 25th July 2010.
Favourite quote: “Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
- The Final Problem
This is the third episode of the fourth series and possibly the last ever episode. The Final Problem was written by both Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and was quite the emotional rollercoaster to watch. Family secrets finally come to light as Eurus has been playing a very long game. Check out my review if you want to know more. I thought this episode was incredible was brilliantly created.
Favourite quote: “Hello, I’m Jim Moriarty. Welcome to the final problem!”
- The Reichenbach Fall
This is the third episode of series two and was written by Stephen Thompson. The Reichenbach Fall follows Moriarty as he plans to turn everyone against Sherlock in order to kill him. We saw Sherlock fall to his death yet we waited three years to find out how he managed to survive the fall.
Favourite quote: “I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.”
- A Scandal in Belgravia
This is the first episode of series two and was written by Steven Moffat. A Scandal in Belgravia is based on A Scandal in Bohemia – a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes confronts Irene Adler, a dominatrix who has compromising photographs taken with a female member of the royal family.
Favourite quote: “All lives end… all hearts are broken… caring is not an advantage… Sherlock.”
What are your favourite episodes of Sherlock? What did you think of series 4? Let me know in the comments.