The much awaited season of Sherlock aired on 1st of January after almost two years, not counting the special episode of last year titled ‘The Abominable Bride’ which takes place inside a fictional 19th-century mind-palace of Sherlock. The first episode of the fourth season is loosely based on The Adventure of the Six Napoleons sees Sherlock investigate a murder connected to the breaking of a batch of six busts of the French military leader. Only here it’s Margaret Thatcher instead.
The episode begins where we left off in season three, with Sherlock being pardoned of the murder of Charles Magnussen in a top-secret meeting with Mycroft and four other members, where they edit the video implicating Sherlock in the crime.(Moral of the story: It doesn’t hurt to have a brother in an elite political position). Sherlock is convinced that Moriarty’s last message must mean that he has prepared for something big. Hence, in the months that passes, Sherlock solves case after case in his apartment till in the hopes that he’ll stumble upon Moriarty’s final plan. At this time, Mary gives birth to a daughter who the proud parents name as Rosamund Mary.
When Sherlock stumbles upon the case of a minister’s son’s mysterious death, is when the mystery begins. The case is easily solved, however, the mystery behind a smashed bust of Margaret Thatcher found in the same house makes Sherlock suspect that maybe this has something to do with Moriarty. In the following days, four more busts are found, the last of which end with a murder. With the help of his hacker friend, Sherlock’s tracks down the sixth bust, and confronts the thief that turns out to be someone from Mary’s past.
The cast is as usual stellar with leading acts from the leads. The familiar tropes of Sherlock’s sarcasm and twitter obsession, John’s amusing and dry observations and Mary’s spunk don’t fail for a few laughs. And the way the cases are entwined with each other, small pieces that fall into a bigger puzzle, which is a trademark of the show, even while retaining a freshness makes this one of the most anticipated shows from Britain. Sherlock makes it up for its absence with the episode even as the moral complexity of each character is revealed and explored.
John Watson is not the man we thought he was, he is as flawed as Sherlock, albeit in different ways. Sherlock recounts an old story of the Death in Bagdad and it is heavily implied by the fuzzy flashbacks and the footage cut to water that some part of his past may have come back to haunt him. Maybe it has something to do with the third Holmes brother who was only mentioned once in the passing by Mycroft.
So, who’s the villain?
Now that Charles Augustus Magnussen is dead and Moriarty is — well let’s be frank he’s never getting out of Sherlock’s life in one way or the other (I’ve seen a friend of mine wear his ‘miss me’ costume for the Halloween and it actually spooked people, no kidding!) — the the new villain is Culverton Smith played by Toby Jones. He appears in one of Sherlock’s short story The Dying Detective(and a personal favorite) and is extremely manipulative and shrewd murderer. Now as to what role he’s actually playing in the TV series will be clear only in the second episode where he is the primary focus. He also has a blink and miss appearance as a photo near a bus stop which may imply that he is somebody important.
Though the episode ends with a tragedy, it is evident that the show is now moving in a new and hopefully better direction as Sherlock continues to live up to expectations.
Written By: Tara Roy