Posted by: markfender | January 12, 2016


If you will excuse me, I must go into my mind palace where I didn’t watch this.

sherlock-specialfinal885435In the grand tradition of BBC, Sherlock had a Christmas special in which the characters returned to their origins in the Victorian era. So, isn’t that kind of like throwing away the premise of your entire show?

But it was never going to be that simple with Sherlock. Because, besides the well-realized Victorian era stuff, it turns out that Sherlock is just in his mind palace, where he’s imagining the whole thing. Which is, well, dumb. Because these mind palace things seem to gain more and more supernatural abilities as the show goes on. I didn’t mind the concept when it was first introduced in Sherlock. It lets them use fancy cameras to show Sherlock’s deductive process and that just usually means some cool visuals (The notes floating around in this episode, for instance). But now I guess it’s just a super power that lets the showrunners do whatever the hell they want by just shouting “mind palace!”

But that wasn’t the worst part of the episode. The worst part was the absolutely heavy-handed Victorian mystery. Besides lots of hints about the role of women in the Victorian era (including an utterly odd Molly dressed as a dude), the bad guy turns out to be…the suffragette movement. Because women don’t have a voice in politics, they come up with some elaborate plan to gain one. All of which is man-splained by Sherlock while the women stand around silent – uh, isn’t that like the very thing they were complaining about?

I’m totally cool with a gender-based plot. I’d even watch a whole show about a secret group of suffragettes spying on the world of men in order to gain power. But this show has all the subtlety of Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones and goes way too broad to make its points.

And speaking of broad, we’re also subjected to a lot of Moriarty prancing. Which is tedious in its own way.

This is probably the worst episode of Sherlock ever (Even worse than the Hound of the Baskervilles episode, which had so little plot it had to spend 45 minutes watching a guy be scared). While Freeman and Cumberbatch are still good in their roles and there’s some snappy dialogue as one would come to expect from the fast-talking Sherlock, everything else about it was disappointing.

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