Sherlock: His Last Vow

3.3 His Last Vow
Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, Andrew Scott and Lars Mikkelsen
Originally aired on BBC One on Sunday January 12th, 8:30pm

by Joanna Orland

The screening of this episode which I attended was followed by a Q&A with actors Amanda Abbington and Lars Mikkelsen, writer / co-creator Steven Moffat, producer Sue Vertue and director Nick Hurran

This article will contain information about the BBC series Sherlock episode His Last Vow as well as information from the Q&A session.  THERE WILL BE SPOILERS so if you haven’t yet seen series 3 episode 3, tread lightly when reading this article.  I do not want to ruin this episode for anyone as it is the best of this series, mostly due to its clever twists and surprise moments.

Journalists and die hard fans of Sherlock arrived to the preview screening of His Last Vow wearing deerstalkers and displaying a lot of hyperactive enthusiasm.  One person flew in six hours from Israel just to attend the screening, with his Q&A question being “Can we hang out after the Q&A?” to which Steven Moffat politely answered with a vague “Maybe”.

Now that John Watson is living a life of wedded bliss, he is being all neighbourly when he heads over to his local drug den to find his neighbour’s son who has gone missing and is known to be a heroin addict.  As he finds the boy, lo and behold, he unwittingly finds Sherlock in the same drug den.  Sherlock is as high as a kite.  Steven Moffat discussed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s version of Sherlock as he originally was known to be fond of substances, especially early on in the writings before Doyle realized that children were also reading these books.  Sherlock sobers up, with many laughs along the way, and his next case awaits.  Enter Mikkelson’s Magnussen.

With Jim Moriarty long dead, it’s about time that a new demented scary villain emerges and it is in the form of Danish actor Lars Mikkelson who plays Charles Augustus Magnussen based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character of Charles Augustus Milverton.  Lars is well known to fans of Scandinavian mystery series The Killing and Borgen, and he does prevail as a pretty creepy baddy in His Last Vow, but still… he is no Jim Moriarty as played by Andrew Scott as we are reminded in a later abstract montage sequence of sorts.

Magnussen is a media tycoon and all around evil guy with a really neat pair of Google glasses.  He is a right dickhead and even literally pisses in Sherlock’s fireplace.  But… he is still no Moriarty.  All the while as Sherlock is obsessing about Magnussen, Watson is trying to solve the mystery of how Sherlock has got himself a girlfriend in the form of Janine, Mary’s bridesmaid.  The audience was gasping and cringeing at this couple nearly as much as John Watson himself was flabbergasted!  This was truly hilarious to witness.

But as it turns out, it is all a ruse and Sherlock is still the high functioning sociopath that he always prevails to be.  He has been using Janine all along to get into Magnussen’s office, where he finds Watson’s wife Mary in a compromising position and she surprisingly shoots him in the chest, which is when we have the great montage of Sherlock trying to evade death from his mind palace.  He survives, and eventually Watson realizes that Mary has deceived and betrayed him, although she’s one of the good guys – if she’d wanted to kill Sherlock, she certainly would and could have.

Forget Keeping Up With The Kardashians – Flash forward to Christmas with the entire Holmes family which needs to be its own reality show entitled I’ll Be Holmes For Christmas!  Hilarity ensues at Mr. and Mrs. Holmes’ home over the holidays, resulting in Sherlock drugging his entire family in order to steal Mycroft’s laptop in exchange for documents from Magnussen.  Holmes & Watson visit Magnussen at what appears to be the Apple Mac headquarters in Cupertino, only to discover that there are no vaults or documents within them – Magnussen keeps all of his information in his very own mind palace!  Those weren’t Google glasses after all suckers!  By the way, where can I get myself one of these mind palaces that everyone has these days?  Google Mind Palace – coming soon to a brain near you.

Anyway, Sherlock destroys Magnussen’s mind palace by shooting him in the head.  Yes, shooting him in the head.  Simples.  Then as punishment, Mycroft enlists Sherlock in the army rather than sending him to prison which is how it would play out if this series were based in the reality that has the inferior Google products. Sherlock says his goodbyes and the credits roll… but wait.  It’s not over.


As the audience was about to clap over the end credits and I was just thinking for the millionth time of how much I miss Jim Moriarty, the words “Did you miss me?” were uttered repeatedly on screen, accompanied by visual mayhem.  “Did you miss me?”.  Who could it be?  #MoriartyLives

The audience went CRAZY!  Forget the self-proclaimed Cumberbitches out there, Andrew Scott clearly has a very dedicated fanbase.  The crowd erupted into cheers, hoots and applause.  It was beautiful.

Steven Moffat refused to explain how Moriarty lives, perhaps it’s not even in the flesh.  My erratic (nearly wrote erotic) theory is that perhaps Sherlock has digitally brought him back to life in order escape his own punishment?  Who knows, but at least Moffat has said that he and Gatiss have plans for series 4 AND 5 and are just trying to work around the stars’ schedules.  So this is now an open letter to the movie producers of the world:

Dear Hollywood people,

Please do not hire Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman for any work so that they can make more Sherlock.

Yours truly,

The Sherlock Holmies (I’m trademarking that)

2 Responses to “Sherlock: His Last Vow”

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