Sherlock 103: The Great Game

Sunday 15 January 2017

In the season finale, we start off in Belarus with Sherlock doing what he does best: riling up an accused murderer. We're then whisked back to London only to never hear about the Minsk murderer again.

The start of The Great Game is admittedly quite shaky, setting the tone for the rest of the episode. While it is an intense finale, it's not so good when looked at individually. Things are all over the place and you really have to dig deep for the plot as it's not obvious from the start. There are several different crimes going on - a decades old murder, a theft, and an art forgery to name a few - and these things aren't clearly connected. Even when things are made clear right at the end, we still don't get that many answers.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the face off between Sherlock, Watson, and Moriarty at the pool. I just wasn't fully on board with the journey we took to get there. The idea of rigging suicide bombers was very gripping and dark, making you wonder what on Earth was going on and if these innocent people would be okay. There were connections between each individual case but I preferred to view them as individuals as it was much simpler; we can't all have Sherlock's brain. Some clues, again, were a bit obvious and I think done to make the viewer feel better about themselves and as if they're as good as Sherlock. Not true, of course, as Sherlock would never stand for that. He's still an incredible ass and I still do not know why Watson puts up with him.

Issues from the pilot, such as weak female characters and turning homosexuality into a joke are still rife, and I can't look past them. There's no need for stereotypical 'gay jokes' when the show does have some funny moments. Sherlock and Watson have plenty of banter, so why do the writers feel the need to make a joke over how everyone thinks their gay? And that Jim was gay because he took care of his appearance? Stop, please.

While the acting was still good for the most part, I took issue with Moriarty. Not only was his arc incredibly predictable, he was annoying and over the top. Okay, he's the villain, but he's so obvious about it and it's clear that he's been written as the 'crazy one', which is offensive in it's own right. This is why there's so much stigma towards mental health: making the bad guys sinister yet random and quirky, trying to play them off as psychotic, delusional or schizophrenic. Not cool. At all.

Problems aside, I definitely enjoyed this first season and will be continuing on with the show. Just don't expect me to accept its faults and praise it too highly. 

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