Sherlock Discussion: Portal Meets Saw Featuring The Master and President Kanye West

Welcome to this, our latest and possibly final Sherlock discussion. (Please don’t be final.) Join Jaden C. Kilmer (JC) and J.A. Prentice (JA) as we examine The Final Problem, which was sadly afflicted by Russian hackers, who tried to ruin this like they did certain other things. sherlock-the-final-problem

Spoilers lurk ahead. Be wary.

Thrill to discover which of us is wrongLaugh at the wit! Cringe at my attempt to poorly ape classic movie posters! Read on for our thoughts!

JA: Overall thoughts?
JC: You first.
JA: I really enjoyed it. I think this series, other than episode one, has been a massive improvement over Series 3. It worked really well for me, even though the Moriarty connection felt more obligatory than like the natural end to that arc. Also, you know how some people say Galaxy Quest is their favorite Star Trek movie? I think Euros might be my favorite incarnation of the Master.
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JC: I alternated between really liking it and really wanting it to be something else.
JA: I think with anything Moffat does, I have to ignore the part of me that wants it to be something else and judge it based on what it is.
JC: Moffat wrote this one too?
JA: Moffat and Gattiss together, I think. Let me double check.
Yep.
JC: Oh, actually I found a transcript of one of the early writer’s room meetings.
JA: I feel like this is leading into a joke.
JC: Gatiss: “I wanna write a Portal/Silence of the Lambs fanfic!” Moffat: “That’s great Mark.” Gatiss: “And have Sherlock solve it!” Moffat: “…”
That’s what it says on the transcript. Just three dots.
JA: I found the end.
Moffat: “I want to write a villain who has a personal connection to the hero, is hypnotic, charistmatic, incredibly intelligent and dangerous, and has a different sense of morality, but deep down just wants that old connection back.”
Gattiss: “You mean the Master?” Moffat: “Oh, right. This is how I should have written the Master.”
JC: It certainly did feel Doctor Who-y.
JA: It felt a lot more Sherlock than The Six Thatchers, though.
Lots of mysteries and twists.
JC: It didn’t really unfold in a Sherlockian way however. The twists are just there as twists, and not “oh wow, that makes total sense how did I not see that” twists.
JA: They were all foreshadowed.
Euros with the airplane as a child, the warden mentioning the guest, etc.
JC: Because they definitely set up the secret sister arc ahead of time.
JA: They’ve been setting that up since Series 3 at least.
JC: ?
JA: Mycroft mentions another sibling.
JC: In season 3.
Was it a Doctor Who-style off hand line drop or something? Because the Euros thing made me feel like they were making the story arc up as they went along a la the end of Smith’s era in DW
JA: It was an off hand line, but in a very foreshadowing way.
JC: So late-era Doctor Who style then.
I just don’t understand why these guys are trying to mess with the already perfect dynamic between the characters from the first two seasons
JA: They didn’t really in this one. It was very much John and Sherlock with a little Mycroft.
JC: And a secret sister who’s even smarter and cleverer and behind a lot of Sherlock’s personality.
JA: Who is the villain.
That’s like saying Moriarty messed with the dynamic.
JC: Well I think a lot of the brotherly tension came from A) Sherlock being younger and B sherlock being cleverer. It made perfect sense. A soap opera style secret sister is clearly something they thought of when they ran out of ideas.
JA: Sherlock isn’t cleverer.
Mycroft is smarter than him.
Which makes him the family idiot.
JC: Don’t think so, and Sherlock definitely wouldn’t think so. At least not the adult version. But anyway what’s really sad about not just this episode but the last two seasons is there was this great cast that played off each other really well and now half of them are useless and the others feel more and more exaggerated.
JA: Mycroft has always been said to be cleverer. Since Doyle.
If Euros was a good guy, I’d agree about the dynamic. But she’s the antagonist.
JC: I’m not just talking about her though.
I mean Mary, Mrs. Hudson, Molly, Greg, etc.
JA: They’ve all been very underused, I agree.
JC: Or overused, for Mary.
JA: I was about to add that.
I think Lestrade has suffered the worst.
Probably as a consequence of them raising the stakes so much that the police aren’t relevant.
Which is another problem.
JC: It was my next problem actually
But not my final one.
(Pun drum gif here)
JA: Since Series 1, Sherlock’s been suffering from the stakes going up and up because audiences expect it to be a big event. I think that was more a problem with the first episode of this series, though.
Episode 2 was an investigation into a serial killer. Not too crazy.
Episode 3 had the crazy prison stuff, but it ultimately came down to just Sherlock vs. Euros’s mind games.
It SEEMED higher stakes because if the fake plane scenes.
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JC: I think the problem is not quite that the stakes are getting higher, but that they’re trying too hard to outdo themselves.
See: Our conversation about episode 2.
And then this one had great moments and moments where they’re just trying too hard to be clever or dramatic or whatever.
JA: I didn’t feel like it was trying too hard.
JC: I did.
It wanted to be Portal, Saw, Doctor Who, Days of Our Lives, and Sherlock.
Is it too much to ask Sherlock to be about Sherlock Holmes solving a crime? Are Moffat and friends worried we’d get bored with 2 crime stories and 1 story arc story a year?
JA: He solved a crime last episode. And multiples as part of this one.
If episode 1 had been a mystery, this wouldn’t be a problem.
JC: The crimes here were just part of Euros’s puzzle, not the story.
Remember back in our episode 1 talk I said I wanted that filler mystery about the kid in the car to be the actual episode?
JA: Yes.
JC: That’s kind of how I feel about this season as a whole. Episode 2 definitely came closest to that but as we discussed I felt like it was trying too hard as well.
JA: I felt like episode 1 wasn’t trying hard enough, but otherwise, I loved this series.
JC: Yeah Episode 1 has the opposite effect of it being too simple. But also burying a more interesting mystery story.
So wanna segue into the series as a whole? Well, we’ve kinda done that from the start but…
JA: Yeah, but I kind of feel like I said all I had to say on that.
JC: Well what about where it ranks for you in relation to the others?
JA: Higher than 3
Probably at the same level as 1. 2 is the best.
JC: Hm. Well I agree 2 is best but I’m trying to decide if I like this season more than 3
Don’t think so.
JA: Your opinion, as usual, is wrong.
JC: But you’ve said that twice.
And two wrongs make a right.
JA: Damn. You have me there.
JC: I think this one is gonna end up just under 3 for me because 3 had one flat out amazing episode and this one didn’t for me
Even if the other 2 from series 3 were meh
JA: For me, this series had two amazing episodes and one not good one, whereas 3 had one amazing episode and two meh ones.
sherlock-scene-episode-3
JC: Welcome to LAS, where major disagreement means disagreeing on three whole episodes of a series.
Actually not even three, just two
JA: I feel like we’ve finally actually started disagreeing on these discussions.
JC: It was Rogue One. It broke me. I feel nothing.
JA: Mean Streets broke me. And Catcher in the Rye. And Things Fall Apart. Fight me, critics.
JC: OK real quick before the critics come burn you at the stake, numerical score for this episode and the series?
JA: This episode? I’m thinking 9.5.
Series as a whole? My average rating is 8.5.
Which sounds about right.
JC: I’m retroactively downgrading my ratings.
First episode is 6/10
Second is 7.5
Third is 7
JA: Ouch.
Your grade for the first episode is now what I gave it.
Why do you insist on being more negative?
The one time I give something a lower grade, you change yours. lol
JC: lol Well I kinda held out hope that when everything came together the episodes would look stronger. But now the final product is in place and I feel they’re all weaker seen as a whole.
JA: The first episode really didn’t benefit from any later payoff. Honestly, it wasn’t even necessary to the finale.
JC: Yes, let the meh flow through you.
JA: The rest of the series is so good that I don’t even care, though.
The meh does not win this day.
So what’s your overall score?
JC: 6.75/10 is the average isn’t it? Seems a little harsh, so let’s say 7.
The visuals still being so cool got to count for something.
JA: The visuals are always cool.
We thank you for reading and hope you return for our discussion of Sherlock series 5 in four years, immediately after the inaguration of President Kanye West.
All hail President Kanye.

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