Sherlock S01E03 — The Great Game, Review

Absolutely bloody bril­liant! The third and final episode of Sher­lock was the best of the series.  The first episode was excel­lent and the second okay, but this one didn’t put a foot wrong for the entire 90 minutes.

I have to admit I had my doubts going in. Mark Gatiss recent Doctor Who episode hadn’t  impressed me much and Steven Moffat is rarely out-writ­ten. On top of which I was very dubi­ous about the wisdom of intro­duc­ing Mori­ar­ity so early in the series exis­tence.

I’m pleased to say that I was wrong on all counts though. Gatiss penned the most authen­tic Sher­lock Holmes episode I have ever seen even if it was set in the present day. It captured every­thing from the char­ac­ters to the atmos­phere perfectly. I can even forgive him for that cliffhanger.

As in the last two episodes Bene­dict Cumber­batch and Martin Free­man make an excel­lent Holmes and Watson. Their inter­ac­tion is much more convinc­ing than that of the recent movie. It was nice to see the rest of the support­ing cast return as well since they add a lot of depth to the world of Sher­lock Holmes.

It’s hard to develop a story arc in a 3 episode season and the Mori­arty plot seemed ham hand­edly forced onto the end of the last two stories, but here it fit in perfectly.  Andrew Scott gives us a wonder­fully insane Mori­arty and one that feels like a genuine threat to Sher­lock.

Through­out the episode we are shown that Mori­arty is really a dark reflec­tion of Sher­lock. Mori­arty is what we were warned that Sher­lock could become in the first episode.  Sherlock’s enjoy­ment of the “games” that Mori­arty makes him play is obvi­ous and his casual manip­u­la­tion of people and their emotions is unset­tling.

And yet there is a differ­ence. While Mori­arty revels in his own bril­liance and the chaos he causes, Sher­lock does seem to follow some sort of moral code and clearly has a strong tendency towards order.

There’s really noth­ing bad I can say about this episode and I am already wait­ing impa­tiently for it to return for the promised second season.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?