My emotions about the Sherlock season 4 premiere can be easily summed up like this:
So much can happen in one and a half hours, and never more was it proven than in this episode.
First, Sherlock was freed, then Rosie came along (“Looks very… fully functioning.” HAHA MYCROFT), and it was all Happy Families.
The cases were all very fascinating, but they zoomed past too fast. I thought Charlie’s case was so sad, though Sherlock put it in the back of his mind immediately after.
Surprisingly, Sherlock has a pretty fanciful imagination himself. I thought he didn’t have any space in his mind for anything that isn’t useful to him (like Lestrade’s name). His story about the carpenter’s spy of a wife Greta Bangsdottir was so funny!
At 32:33min into the episode, I guessed that the burglar was looking for the Borgias Pearl, which would be found inside a bust of Margaret Thatcher.
And then after creeper Sherlock lurks in the home of the last bust to catch the “burglar”, I found out I was wrong! (To be fair, so was Sherlock, because it was meant to be a red herring.)
But even more shocking than Mary being part of some mercenary black ops group was the fact that John was cheating. :-O
And then came the tragedy at the end, brought on by Sherlock’s pride and arrogance in wanting to expose that admittedly nasty secretary mastermind down to her very rotten and miserable core. Unfortunately, while it was satisfactory to hear that judgment being rained down upon her, he shouldn’t have done that while she had a gun on her, and his loved ones close by. And of course Mary would take the bullet for him. (Though I was expecting the secretary to suddenly turn her gun on Mary at the last moment, not for Mary to jump in front of Sherlock.)
I honestly thought perhaps they would be able to save Mary in time, because her last words were so energetic and manic. Surely they would perform last minute miracles. Because Sherlock always performs last minute miracles. But not this time. And John, wracked with guilt over his affair and Mary not knowing, while dying thinking he was a perfect man, naturally can’t forgive Sherlock for causing her death indirectly. People who can’t forgive themselves usually need someone to blame.
At the end, we see Sherlock visiting a therapist, when it has always been John visiting the therapist.
How is John and Sherlock’s relationship going to improve? Well, a lot can happen in the one and a half hours of the next episode. We’ll have to see.
One thing I wasn’t fond of in this episode were the absolutely cheesy graphics. It looked way less polished than usual, especially the aquarium images, for some reason.
By the way, if you didn’t catch the references, here’s an article pointing out the Easter eggs referencing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories, plus the story behind the scenes of Toby refusing to move, which was another funny moment.