Friday night saw the premier of the latest Sherlock ep, The Abominable Bride. Set in the Victorian era, Sherlock and Watson confront a criminal who seemingly rose from the dead to go on a killing spree. Lestrade is spooked, Watson is mystified, Mary is eager to get in on the action, and Mrs. Hudson is making tea in a passive-aggressive sort of way.
But all is not what it seems! Indeed Sherlock’s interest in the Abominable Bride is mostly academic: he’s using an old, unsolved mystery to figure out how Moriarty might have survived, as seen at the send of Series Three. He *might* have come up with an answer, but that’s for us to figure out in the next series. The whole episode is a drug-induced fantasy that takes place between the time Sherlock hears about Moriarty and the time Mycroft, John, and Mary bring him back to consciousness.
So, what did your totally impartial reviewer think?
Let’s start with the “meh”: A cabal of murderous feminists who have their aims explained by Sherlock rather than the very capable Molly Hooper or Mary Morstan? Meh. Three instances of trying to bring Sherlock around in the modern day? Once would have sufficed. So meh. Morbidly obese Mycroft surrounding by piles of food? Meh.
But enough with the meh! On to the fun! The Victorian setting was great, with rich detail and a clever reimagining of how Sherlock and Watson meet. I was in from the start! The wordplay was, as always, sharp and the central mystery, even if it was a macguffin, was engaging and slightly confounding. It was great to see familiar faces pop up, especially Andrew Scott’s Moriarty who is in fine, scenery-chewing form! The modern day bits were also surprisingly effective, especially the ways Mycroft and John react to Sherlock’s od’ing. Not surprisingly, Benedict Cumberbatch was swoon-worthy.
Yes there are some issues, but on the whole, I thought this was an exciting, worthy entry to tide us over until Series 4. I feel like a lot of the criticism I’ve read tends to deal more with the fandom side of things rather than taking the episode as it is. But those are my two cents. How about yours??