What a way to end the series. It finished with less of a bang than series two, but there was plenty of excitement all the same.
Sherlock’s way of solving the problem of Magnussen was rather less complicated than the way he tried to save his friends from Moriarty – one bullet versus a whole convoluted secret plan is hardly a comparison – but it certainly was unexpected.
Despite the drama of this moment, the whole ending did feel a little disappointing and anti-climatic as it became clear that there would be no massive mystery hanging over the finale. Then, even as this crossed our minds, we realised we had thought too soon. Moriarty’s voice creeping back into the nation’s consciousness was wonderful – especially after we’d seen a reminder of Andrew Scott’s magnificently psychotic persona earlier on.
Moving backwards, the construction of the whole episode, with its huge twists and turns, was second to none. Sherlock’s near death experience was the right level of tense, and Benedict Cumberbatch was delightful to watch compromised with a bullet through his chest.
Martin Freeman brought out laughter, anxiousness and piles of compassion. A highlight was the baffled way he said the word “dinner!” when getting over the fact Sherlock had a girlfriend, but the way he dealt with the Mary problem was admirable too.
It will be hard to forgive Mary, but if John can then we should all try. Amanda Abbington has certainly stood her ground against the two stars this series and her chemistry with Freeman leaking over from real life made the relationship something special.
Finally, it’s got to be said: Christmas with the Holmes family was absolutely perfect. Dissecting Sherlock’s parents even more to find out who was the “genius” and the “sane one” of the two was brilliant – especially in the light that they’re Cumberbatch’s real parents – and the teenage-like squabbling between the two brothers was just so much fun to watch, as well as actually being significant to the story.
Moffat and Gatiss really outdid themselves with this episode and it will make the wait until the next series even harder for many, many fans.