wealhtheow: cartoon of old-timey lady saying, "this debate lacks any sexual intrigue so I am not even paying attention" (sexualintrigue)
[personal profile] wealhtheow
I liked the first episode of Sherlock's season three although now that I think about, I can hardly remember the plot. There really wasn't one, was there? The question of who nearly killed John and what was going on with the bomb was pretty much just dropped.  Now that I've seen the third episode of season three, that mystery has been solved, though not through any effort of Sherlock or John's.  Apparently they just weren't that curious about who tried to kill John and sent taunting text messages. Not nearly so interesting as solving ghost boyfriend cases, I suppose.  Well, they just had to wait for the information to drop into their laps, because Magnussen casually confesses to setting John Watson up to burn.  It felt sloppy and random, and emblematic of my problems with the rest of the episode: very little actual investigation, lots of dramatic but not well-thought-out moments.  I found "His Last Vow"  very disappointing. I loved, loved, loved the Mary Morstan reveal, and thought the actors did great jobs with wonderful material.  The dynamics between Sherlock, John and Mary have been lots of fun the whole season, and remained my favorite part of this episode. 

What I didn't like was the plot, or lack thereof.  Basically this was a twist on "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton," with Mary in place of the housemaid (a great twist!).  But in hopes of stretching this out to 90 minutes, Mary's murder attempt is stymied and instead we have to wait an hour for Sherlock to do what he should have let Mary do in the first place.  Sherlock's plan was dumb, but luckily Magnussen met him with an even dumber plan.  The episode's finale depended on all characters behaving counter to their proven types: for some reason Magnussen doesn't check Sherlock or John for weapons or wires (even though he's done so in the past!), doesn't keep his men around (even though he had a hulking manservant or two with him in all other instances!) and by taunting Sherlock and John with his mind palace-as-vault, basically tells them that his working brain is the only thing that poses a danger to Mary.  Killing him is the obvious solution to all of their problems, and I was astounded that it took so long to happen.  Not least because John killed a man for much less provocation, for a man he'd just met hours before, in the very first episode.  The episode seemed to be setting John up to be a killer once more, as he storms a drug den and incapacitates someone over a minor disagreement, then tells him that as a doctor he's surprisingly dangerous.  And yet John, who has a gun, knows how to use it, has killed in the past, and has every reason to want Magnussen dead, remains utterly passive.  Sherlock, meanwhile, doesn't investigate Magnussen at all, doesn't try to find any other way into his home besides being invited in, and basically just does no detective work in the slightest.  It was like he'd transformed into a really crappy spy instead.  Ugh!

Whatever, as silly and poorly put together as this plot was, I know I'll watch any future episodes.  I really enjoyed 3x02, after all, so there's hope yet.

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wealhtheow

July 2014

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