The third and final episode of the season is entitled "The Great Game," and with good reason! The whole plot was one great, big "game" to Sherlock, and he certainly was challenged and forced to hone his skill. The series of "moves" he had to counter were complex and quite crazy, and while it was almost a pleasure to see Sherlock's mind in action, it was most definitely not a pleasure to see innocent people forced to be pawns in this game.
I think that is what made this episode the least enjoyable of the three, in my opinion--the horror of lives being terrorized and lost. It was dreadful to see the poor people involved in this plot, and to see how callous Sherlock had allowed himself to become. Towards the end I once again got a glimpse of Sherlock's heart, but it was very well hidden seemingly due to the fact that he couldn't let himself become attached. He declares that caring about people doesn't help him save them. And while (in his line of work) he obviously has to keep focused in order to be of any help, I think what makes it hard to watch is the fact that he really does see it all as a game. When speaking of his real arch-enemy, he notes, "I can't be the only person in the world who gets bored." It is very sad that Sherlock has this perspective in regards to crimes (and solving them), not really considering (for the most part) how they truly affect others.
I'm glad I didn't try to watch this episode before the others, because I think the attachment I had already formed to the characters helped me want to keep watching the conclusion of the series. I cared about Sherlock and Watson (guess I wouldn't make a good consulting detective like Sherlock, then!), and I wanted to see them succeed and triumph over evil.
Without giving too much away (hopefully), the reason for my first cry of despair in this post is that the ending is not really conclusive. In fact, it's a terrible, terrible cliff-hanger ending, which I hope will be explained in Season Two coming next year! I have no idea how the final confrontation can safely be resolved, but I guess that's why they call it a mystery...
To end on a happier note, there were a few funny and entertaining references to blogging in this episode that I'd like to share! In this episode, Watson has a blog where he posts about his life (which, if I recall correctly, was introduced or at least foreshadowed in the first episode), now including information about Sherlock. Hope you get a good laugh out of these:
- Sherlock to Watson: "Put that on your blog. Or better yet, stop inflicting your opinions on the world."
- Sherlock to Watson (with humor): "I'd be lost without my blogger."
- Sherlock: "How quaint." Watson: "What is?" Sherlock: "You are."
Ultimately, the new PBS Masterpiece Sherlock Holmes series drew me in and engaged my mind and even my heart. The characters had depth, the plots had a lot of intrigue, and the music was just so fitting for such a mystery series. ;) The series is well-done (particularly the first two episodes), and I think PBS Masterpiece has created another winner!
And don't forget--you can watch all three episodes online through December 7, 2010!