Instant reaction post: “Sherlock” S4, Ep3 ‘The Final Problem’

Sherlock upends the board in 'The Final Problem'
Sherlock upends the board in ‘The Final Problem’

From the brief smattering of reactions that I saw on the internet, this season?series? finale has got really mixed reviews, with tons of people who hated it and tons others who loved it.

I thought it was stunning.

So many twists and turns, so much tension as Eurus made Sherlock, John and Mycroft jump through emotional hoop after emotional hoop after moral conundrum in pressure cooker situations, and ALL THE RED HERRINGS. The ultimate reveal of Redbeard, the riddle and the little girl on the plane was very rewarding — to know that Eurus’ perilously intelligent mind had managed to create all these elaborate schemes and scenarios simply because she was jealous and wanted her brother to notice and play with her. (I was taken aback when Sherlock suddenly mentioned pirates when they were hijacking the two fishermen’s boat to Sherrinford, because he had never shown an interest in pirates before, and it was very incongruent. Now we know why.)

Sherlock forced to make Molly say "I love you", and in the process, bares his soul in 'The Final Problem'
Sherlock forced to make Molly say “I love you”, and in the process, bares his soul.

Sure, it was upsetting that Molly’s only (and possibly series last) appearance in the episode was to be manipulated into being emotionally vulnerable while unbeknownst to her, she had an audience watching her humiliation. And the fact that young Eurus killed a little boy was very disturbing, and even more so that it was brushed aside so quickly. (How did Victor’s parents react?)

But the actress who played Eurus, Sian Brooke, was amazing at portraying her chilling amorality. (Fun fact: She was Ophelia when Benedict played Hamlet in 2015.) And I like that we saw Sherlock’s growth in the series from an unfeeling though moral sociopath to a man able to connect with his too-far-gone sister instead of condemning her to rot forever, unlike what Mycroft did. Mycroft has always been the “smart” and “sensible” brother, but this episode showed just how he had become too clever for his own good that he had become stupid instead. How he could have given Eurus access to Moriarty, the most dangerous criminal in the world, is beyond me. (Andrew Scott’s appearance in the episode gave me a shock at first — I was exclaiming “HOW DID HE SURVIVE???!!!” — before it was revealed that it happened five years ago. Ohhhhh.) So to see their parents label Mycroft as the child and Sherlock as the grown-up reverses the roles that Mycroft has always put himself and Sherlock into. For all Mycroft’s connections in the government, Sherlock is the better brother in the end.

Mycroft in ‘The Final Problem’

The final part did seem rushed after the climatic reveal, and it’s a pity we only got to see Lestrade for that little bit in this season?series? finale. (I also wish we could have seen Irene Adler one last time. Has Sherlock had sex? From what Eurus deduced after listening to him play the violin — probably.)

But overall, the episode was all I could have hoped for and more, and Sherlock and John watching Mary call them her Baker Street boys is a touching and fitting end to the series, should everyone not be able to free up their schedules to shoot another season again.