Sherlock Series 3 Finale Preview

3.3 His Last Vow
Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Una Stubbs, Amanda Abbington and Lars Mikkelsen
His Last Vow airs on BBC One on Sunday January 12th, 8:30pm

by Joanna Orland


While series 3 has so far been rather good yet mediocre by Sherlock standards, the series finale His Last Vow has a lot it needs to deliver on to keep the fans as enthusiastic as they have been.  Luckily for the overexcited fans, it delivers that and more.  His Last Vow is as good as each Sherlock series finale before it, with an ending even more memorable than his faked death of series 2.  It is funny, clever, full of twists, surprising, tender and completely gripping.  Even the end credits are fascinating – and you must watch them!

Episodes 1 and 2 of series 3 have set the scene perfectly for episode 3.  Sherlock Holmes has returned from the dead, John Watson has fallen in love and gotten married to a pregnant Mary, the stakes are raised and there is much to lose as well as much to gain.  With Jim Moriarty long dead from the series 2 finale on the rooftop, there is room for a new super villain for Sherlock to face.  Danish actor Lars Mikkelson, known best for his roles in The Killing and Borgen, arrives on the scene as Charles Augustus Magnussen, a villainous media tycoon based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character of Charles Augustus Milverton.

While Sherlock is yet again absorbed in solving mysteries to do with his latest nemesis, at the heart of the story is the relationship between Holmes and Watson.  In fact, at the heart of every episode is the relationship between Holmes and Watson.  That’s what makes this series so powerful.  Now that Mary is thrown into the mix, it’s interesting to see how it is all plays out while still staying true to the relationship at the heart of it all.

In addition to the relationships of high-functioning sociopath Sherlock Holmes, there is still the story of villain Magnussen whom Lars Mikkelson plays in a much darker manner than Andrew Scott’s Jim Moriarty.  He’s not got that camp quality that Moriarty had.  He is much more Bond villain, cold and sinister.  He uses intimidation rather than manipulation.  He is, in one word, terrifying.

In spite of Mikkelson’s excellent and powerful performance, I can’t help but miss Moriarty.  I believe the lack of his presence, nevermind screen time, is part of the reason why a few of the fans have expressed dissatisfaction with this year’s Sherlock.  By the end of His Last Vow, these minds could be changed.  It is a very strong episode that will leave fans desperately wanting a series 4.  In fact, Steven Moffat has confirmed that he and Mark Gatiss have already plotted out their series 4 AND 5 ideas.  It is just dependent on the ever-busy schedules of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  Let’s hope their Hollywood careers are now done because I have officially been Sherlocked.

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