Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Hounds of Baskerville (Sherlock 2 Review)

Sherlock is back, and boy, am I glad!!! Since Season 2 of Sherlock was scheduled to air here in the United States this month, I've long been telling myself (and others) that watching this would be my graduation gift to me. (Do I sound like Kuzco on The Emperor's New Groove? "It's my graduation gift to me! I'm so happy...!")

Well, I was disappointed with what I'd heard about the first episode ("A Scandal in Belgravia"). I started watching it, but with the warnings I'd been given and the "viewer discretion is advised" note at the beginning of the episode, I opted not to finish it at this time. I did see how the cliffhanger ending of the first season was resolved, however, but don't worry - no spoilers here! If you want to find out, you can watch the first five minutes (and the whole episode, if you wish) of "A Scandal in Belgravia" online for free until June 5th on the PBS Masterpiece website! After that, well, I can't recommend or not recommend the rest of the episode to you. Just be warned that from what I've heard and the small amount of the episode I've seen, it appears that there is quite a bit of sexual content.

(Update: I ended up watching "A Scandal in Belgravia" after all - here's my post about the movie and the short story it was based on.)

But "The Hounds of Baskerville" - now this is an episode I can rave about!

My Thoughts

After reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles back in December and seeing a play based off of the book at Corban University a couple of months ago, this was the episode of Season 2 I was most excited/curious to see. And with the solid characters-foundation supporting the creativity I have come to love about this show, I was not disappointed!

It may seem out of place to quote this, but the phrase that comes to mind in defining my reaction to this episode is "deliciously scared" (from the first Anne of Green Gables movie, as Anne and Diana are walking through the "haunted" woods). Once again this show had me alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) peeking between my fingers as I covered my eyes and covering my mouth to hold back my shrieks and squeaks of fear.

For those of you who don't like horror or super-violent movies (like me), don't be alarmed! What I love about this show, generally, is that it isn't about gore - it's about the mystery and suspense (the chase). And there are some great "chase" scenes in this particular episode!

The creators of the show have taken a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery and made it into something entirely new - as they are so good at doing! They build on the timeless brilliance of the duo of Sherlock and Watson, keep a few tidbits from the original story, and then fit those tidbits into a modern-day setting like putting pieces of a puzzle together. Some of those tidbits this time include the name "Baskerville" (now a military compound rather than a "cursed" family) and the Grimpen Mine Field (rather than the Grimpen Mire).

Combine the fun references to the original story with a clever plot, those thrilling "chase" scenes, a good mix of excitement and seriousness, and (most importantly) Sherlock and Watson - and you've got the kind of mystery movie I've been craving more of ever since I saw "The Blind Banker" (yes, I watched the first season's episodes out of order the first time I saw them). I loved seeing how far Sherlock has come in showing that he does indeed have a heart and *gasp!* feelings (maybe...). One of the great things about this show is seeing the character development - and Sherlock Holmes is one unique character! He still has a long way to go in genuinely caring about others, as he is very much absorbed in his work to the detriment of his relationships, but he obviously values his friendship with Watson. Watching them interact in this episode is surprising and intriguing. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman do such a great job at bringing Sherlock and Watson to life!

If you want to be "deliciously scared," "The Hounds of Baskerville" might just be your ticket to an hour and twenty-ish minutes of thrills and chills!

A Few Quotes
  •  Knight: "How did you know it was disappointing?" Sherlock: "Is there any other type of breakfast on a train?"
  • Watson to Sherlock: "Funny doesn't suit you - stick to ice."
  • Sherlock: "...if I wanted poetry I'd read John's e-mails to his girlfriend."
  • Watson: "Mycroft's name literally opens doors."
  • Sherlock: "Get out. I need to go to my mind palace."
Want more Sherlock?
  • Did you miss "The Hounds of Baskerville" when it aired on Sunday? Me, too! But I watched it online for free - and so can you! (Now through June 12, 2012 on the PBS Masterpiece website.)
  • The Sherlock soundtracks are now available - both Season 1 and Season 2! (I have the Season 1 soundtrack, and while it's not for every occasion, it's pretty epic/cool stuff! Listening to it right now as I put this post together...)
  • The DVD of Season 1 is available for purchase, and Season 2 is available for pre-order on (releases May 22nd)! (Having Season 1 on DVD so I can watch it over and over and over again - yep, that was a fabulous Christmas present from my parents about a year and a half ago!)   
  • Don't forget - "The Reichenbach Fall" (the third and final episode of Season 2) airs this Sunday on PBS Masterpiece!
(Images are from the PBS Masterpiece website.)


Bluerose said...

I watched the first episode last week, and I was a bit shocked. Other than that, I can tell I will probably enjoy the others.
I have the 2nd one DVRed, but I'm debating reading the book first, since it's in my TBR pile.

Thanks for talking me into watching them! :)

Amber S. said...


I'm sorry you were shocked by the first episode! And I'm sorry if my previous recommendations of the show and my excitement for this season left you unprepared for the content. :(

However, I did really enjoy this episode, and I hope you will, too! (And the first season is so good!) You certainly don't have to read the book before you watch it, but I think it does kind of make it more fun. :)

Happy you're joining me on this Sherlock journey!