By Benetton Bumbersplat (Ada Li)
After a three year wait, minus the Abominable Bride special, Sherlock fans rang in 2017 with the first episode of the fourth season. So many mixed emotions and thoughts occupied my mind while watching this season. The quality of the three episodes did not justify the long wait in my opinion. Somehow, this season of Sherlock lacked the charm from other seasons that I fell in love with. Who else misses trying to solve cases with Sherlock and hearing his deductive explanations at the end of each episode? I found myself a little disengaged at times, something I never experienced while watching previous seasons.
High hopes for this season were partially due to the ending of the third season, with Moriarty’s face on every television screen in London repeatedly asking “Did you miss me?” Fan theories exploded as people tried to determine whether or not Moriarty was still alive. The fourth season answered that question and added an important piece of the puzzle to the story: a female character named Eurus, sister of Sherlock and Mycroft.
With this season, creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss tried to show how Sherlock is stronger and smarter than his siblings even though all three of them are highly intelligent. The focus of the show shifted to drama and action in order to drive the plot forward. Unlike the first two seasons, where each episode focused on a specific case, this one contained multiple side stories that connected to one another. That was fine, but sometimes certain parts felt rushed in order to fit everything in. On top of that, it seemed like the creators tried so hard to mislead viewers with information that didn’t make any sense for the sake of plot twists.
The last episode especially felt rushed and the twist at the end seemed out of place. The episode opens with a girl waking up on a plane where everyone else is asleep. This girl and her plane dilemma is essential to understanding Eurus’ game for Sherlock. After taking over the asylum and locking up Sherlock, Watson, and Mycroft in her cell, Eurus gives them a series of tests to complete in exchange for phone time with the girl. Each test draws Sherlock closer to the truth behind Redbeard’s death and the reason why he doesn’t remember his sister. What Eurus did to Redbeard as well as flashbacks to Sherlock’s childhood indicate that Eurus thinks logically and lacks human empathy. The viewer eventually learns the girl on the plane is actually Eurus and represents her loneliness. This is where I felt the disconnect. Why would Eurus ever feel the need to connect with another human being?
This season ends with a time lapse of Sherlock’s flat being rebuilt as he takes on more cases with Watson while Mary narrates. Sherlock and Watson run out of a building as the screen fades to black, giving off the feeling that this might be the last season. Maybe that is a good thing because of this season. Whether or not a fifth season will come, Sherlock will always be a show with an elegant yet simple way of storytelling that draws in anyone who is ready to play detective.