SHERLOCK: The Final Problem {Roundtable}

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Sherlock ended this season on a case filled with psychological terror and still gave the team an ending that feels like we saw the final episode. But in the middle of that, Eurus put Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), John (Martin Freeman) and Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) through their paces.

1. Red played a role in this whole series – from the red herring to Red Beard. What do you think about the use of color as a way to focus a shorter season? Would you not have wanted so many red herrings for cleaner mysteries?

Melissa: It did start to feel like twists for the sake of twists by the second episode, but I feel like this episode redeemed the season.

Cay: I was interesting to get all the background about Sherlock, Mycroft, and Eurus as kids, but I overall thought the complexity made the episodes harder to follow (certainly not a new things for this season, though). I didn’t catch the references to Red, was too busy just keeping track of what was going on!

Roz: Given that Sherlock mysteries like to always confuse, I liked that there was something to focus on in each episode. The number of bait and switches did get a little trying by the end, though.

2. Eurus played a very interesting game – and a very long one. What do you think of her now that we found out when she felt ignored and how she responded to it?

Melissa: This played out roughly how I expected when we first met Eurus last week. I suspected she was taunting her brothers through Moriarty, desperate for their attention. (see last week’s roundtable) I figured early on that she was the girl on the plane and that the “game” at Sherrinford was meant to gain Sherlock’s attention, to impress him. After all, she was already in contact with Mycroft, so it couldn’t be about him. I was waiting for Sherlock to refuse to play by Eurus’ rules – messing with Molly’s emotions put him on the edge, but threatening John pushed him over, as usual.

The final bit with Sherlock returning to Sherrinford and teaching Eurus to play his song on the violin was very sweet, and very Sherlock.

Cay: The girl on the plane was stressing me out! I couldn’t figure out how it could be possible, but it never occurred to me that it was all in Eurus’ head, either. Between that and the killer clown prank that John and Sherlock played on Mycroft at the beginning it was pretty much all my worst nightmares in one show. As I mentioned before, I did like the home-coming part of the episodes and that Eurus and Sherlock can have a relationship, even if only through music.

Roz: I hate to admit, but I felt like for the lone daughter and having to deal with both Mycroft and Sherlock, she was a bit justified in what games she played on both her brothers. I think she was a scared girl and to express that with the little girl on the plane was creative, but stressful.

Her whole plot with Moriarty to play with her brother again was something that tied so many of these cases together in the end.

3. Everything in context, do you think Sherlock will stop being the junkie looking to be clever now that he solved Eurus? Or are Mary’s last words what John and Sherlock will always be?

Melissa: It’s more like he solved Redbeard. Eurus may have been behind Redbeard’s disappearance, but I think it’s pretty clear that losing his best friend is what stuck with Sherlock, not losing his little sister. His relationship with John, so much closer than his relationships with anyone else, including family members, is meant to be a parallel to his friendship with Redbeard. He has protected John, worried about John, saved John, even tried to be a better person to meet John’s high standards of human behavior. John is the new Redbeard, the friend whose loss has haunted Sherlock for decades.

In any case, I think Sherlock will always struggle. And he may use again if he thinks the means justify the end (see: Saving John). I’m more curious about what Mary meant when she referenced who they would eventually become. And that montage showing us that life goes on and all is well on Baker Street. And the aftermath of the Sherlock/Molly “I love yous”.

I have to say, this felt like a proper send off for the show. Sherlock and John are a team again. The Holmes family is reunited as best as they can be. Redbeard has been solved. Unless they decide to pursue a permanent romantic relationship for Sherlock (doubtful), I’m pretty sure this is the end.

Cay: Sherlock isn’t normal by any stretch. His mind works much differently than most people and he struggles socially. I would be surprised to see him give up drugs entirely – the risk taking but also the need to escape, is unlikely to change as it is so ground in his psyche. On the plus side, it looks like he will always have John to help save him from himself. Mary definitely had them both figured out.

Roz: I doubt Sherlock will ever stop doing what he’s been doing because he needs a fix, and his crime-solving fits that.

For the ending, I think both men will always be as they are together. They suit each other very well in the end.

Sherlock, Season 4<br /> MASTERPIECE Mystery! on PBS<br /> Sunday, January 15th at 7pm ET<br /> Picture shows: Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH)<br /> For editorial use only. Not for use on social media.<br /> Courtesy of Laurence Cendrowicz/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE


4. Pick a team: Free Will or Predetermination. Why?

Melissa: Both. 🙂

Cay: I think a lot of what we are/have is pre-determined, but what we do/how we use it is not in most situations.

Roz: I want free will, but I think there’s plenty that is pre-determined in our lives.

5. Does Molly deserve better than Sherlock?

Melissa: Hell’s yes she deserves better than Sherlock!

Cay: I honestly can’t see why she hasn’t run screaming already…

Roz: She does for sure, but I think she won’t see it that way. She is quiet and unassuming and I think always figured she’d have a forceful personality as a lover. But she’s better than all that conditioning and Sherlock’s ideas of love.

Roz lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been a long time California girl. Despite her better judgment, she enjoys shows about the shallow sides of her home city, but will also find time to watch iZombie, Jane the Virgin, and much more. With a love of history, she also watches anything that is grounded in real life, including Victoria and black-ish. Having worked with children, she also follows shows she knows they watch (reminding her of those days of yore for her in the process). Contact her at roz@nicegirlstv.com.