I’m about to have a few spoilers in this post, so I thought I’d give you fair warning. I have absolutely been in love with the series ‘Sherlock.’ The BBC’s modern interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character was awesome. Then America had to go and rip it off wholesale with the lackluster series ‘Elementary.’ Yeah, this country does that. For real, if anything is popular overseas, America wants its own version. It’s kind of pathetic. Back to the BBC, it helped that they had the incredible acting talents of Benedict Cumberbatch (and his sexiness) as the titular character, with Martin Freeman playing his fun sidekick, John Watson. The first two seasons of the series are absolutely awesome. But then the third came along.
See, one of the best things in the series was the battle against Moriarty. It was the driving force behind Sherlock Holmes and it gave the series its guiding light. The game of cat and mouse between them. Granted, since the series only had three movie-length episodes per season, it wasn’t a very deep exploration of the mind games between them. Still, it shined when it needed to. The ending of the conflict in the second season was pretty awesome. For real, major spoiler here. You’ve been warned. Moriarty is killed and Sherlock supposedly died with him. It kind of felt all wrapped up. But like I said, the third season came along.
I’m going to digress a bit and talk about another favorite show of mine. It is called ‘Death Note.’ I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you all what that is. Alright, for the five people who don’t know what the series is. It’s about a young man named Light, who finds a book called the Death Note. With it, he can kill anyone, so long as he knows their name and face. He uses it to try and become a god, killing off the world’s criminal element en masse. A detective named L is tasked with stopping him. The driving force of the series is the conflict between the two of them. It is an unbelievably-intense mind game that constantly has the two pitting their mind-powers against one-another. There is an argument to be made that ‘Death Note’ has the greatest mind-game of all time. I would make that argument.
However, while the first 25 episodes were nothing short of over-the-top brilliance and hyper-drama, after that episode, the series went almost completely to shit, save a last episode that is so brilliant that it has to be viewed again once it is done. What happened after episode 25? I warned you about spoilers. L dies. In a brilliant movie, Light finally kills L. I won’t spoil how, if you haven’t seen it, but it is the culmination of their mental battle and it feels so unbelievably-cathartic. Though maybe that’s because I was rooting for Light.
Following L’s death, the series lost almost all its forward momentum. Were it not for how good the last episode is, then it wouldn’t be NEARLY as lauded as it is. It got that bad. That driving force made the series work. The series simply couldn’t work without it.
Which brings us back to ‘Sherlock.’ Without Moriarty, the entire driving force behind the series was gone. And the third season was an absolute mess. Not only were the episodes not particularly interesting, but there felt like no direction. A real shame, to see this happen.
A lot of shows have a moment where they lose their momentum. Their mojo, as it were. Most every series does. It’s the express few that can get it back. Some can even not have too much and get more as the series goes on. It’s always a shame when it happens, because it’s very rare to come back from that. For me, I think I’m done with ‘Sherlock.’ It was a good ride, and thankfully it got Benedict Cumberbatch elevated as an actor. So, all’s well that ends well. That’s how it goes.
Until next time, a quote,
“Listen, dammit! You step outside, your risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. And nowadays, you breathe and you risk your life. Every moment now. You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.” -Hershel Greene, The Walking Dead