REVIEW: Sherlock, Episode 3, "The Great Game" [SPOILER~FREE]

"I'd be lost without my blogger"

Flippin' eck Tucker! Even though this was a short series, the finale was certainly of suitable proportions to make it seem like it the show had been running for years. And so follows a SPOILER~FREE review of The Great Game, the last outing, for the time being one can assume, for Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. I will add that I've also avoided any mentions of characters who may, or may not, return in this episode.

Taking writing duties this time is Mark Gatiss; and although Steven Moffat may very well have helmed a sitcom all by himself, it is The Gatt who provides the audience with a tree~trunk full of larfs, especially in the low~key opening sequences. We find Sherlock correcting the grammar of a criminal and then bickering with Watson in what could be a most delightful spin~off comedy show. This, however, does not last for long and the suburban quietry is abruptly ended. And so the latest mystery(ies) begins...

This time a series of crimes and victims have been set up for Watson and Holmes to solve and save respectively. Of course, it will be no great shock to discover that one person seems to be after our "heroes". For the most part The Great Game plays not unlike Die Hard With A Vengeance (forgive the reference) with riddles to solve and a number of lives (not just theirs) at stake. And it is during these escapades that more of Sherlock's troubled pysche is revealed featuring his insensitivity, unkindness and callousness.

Through John Watson's blog (see episode one) we find out how Sherlock's brain works and why it preserves information the way it does. Watson and Holmes' relationship is still evolving, they're still learning about one another and it is these scenes that are some of the most affecting - Gatiss allows genuine warmth but also hostility in equal measures between them in the most perplexing of situations.

But the scenes that will live long in the memory come towards the end, in the final act. Paul McGuigan's direction in the Planetarium scene is exquisite with some wonderful use of light (and dark) whilst the most fantastical of fights takes place. It's an orgy of "What the hell did I just see?", lights and Nosferatu~style action. Not to mention the familiar tones (well, to Doctor Who fans anyway) of an uncredited voice....

But this is nothing, nothing in comparison to the final minutes. As I said this is a spoiler~free review so I'll stop there but simply say that these moments at the end will have you dropping your tea/coffee/other beverage and staring at the screen in wide~eyed aggogglement as the events unfold with an utterly menacing denouement. I will predict that approximately just before 10.30pm on Sunday the better part of the UK will fall silent in astonishment.

Then there'll be annoyed grumblings when most people realise that there won't be any more episodes for quite some time. Team Gattfat (hhmm, I think Mofftiss is probably better) are gonna be bombarded with demands for more, and quickly. One can only hope this is the case. Sherlock has shown what happens when two wildly talented and creative men get together - crimes can be solved and television can be made of greatness.

ETA: The uncredited voice was that of Peter Davison.

Thanks to the BBC

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