A quick word on The Sign of Three... I really enjoyed that episode. It was cute and I loved seeing the Watson's wedding. Sherlock's best man speech was great... and long... and I like how everything fit together in the end.
It just goes to prove that my favorite episodes from Sherlock continue to be the middle episode of each series.
Now onto his Last Vow...
What I liked: I loved seeing more of the Holmes-family dynamic. I think it was brilliant to cast Benedict Cumberbatch's parents as Sherlock and Mycroft's parents. And I loved seeing the dynamic between the brothers.
Another thing that I really enjoyed, was when Sherlock got shot. That sounds morbid... but I thought it was super cool how we saw his thought-process. We got to see how certain information was personified by certain important people in Sherlock's life. I loved how they showed us how he got from point A to point B. In real life, it only took a couple seconds, but showing all the different steps was super cool. It reminds me a bit of the McGee and Me (an old Christian show) episode where McGee takes us through a day in Nick's mind, and shows what goes into Nick's decisions.
Of course, Sherlock did it without the cartoons, the costumes, and the fun music.
Also, they introduced Wiggins!! In the books, Wiggins is one of the Baker Street Irregulars. In Sherlock, the Irregulars are replaced by Sherlock's homeless network. Wiggins becomes one of the network when he's picked up by the Watsons and brought to the hospital with them at the beginning of the episode. He shows a knack for deduction and is later brought to Christmas dinner with the Holmes'. Am I the only one who can see a possible Bill Wiggins/Molly Hooper relationship panning out? After all, her engagement is off... and Sherlock will never have any feelings for her... and Wiggins is such a good deductionest... I've never been a fan of Lestrolly (Lestrade/Molly) or Sherlolly (Sherlock/Molly), but Molly/Wiggins (Molliggins?) I can see working.
Also, way to go Molly for slapping Sherlock for what's wrong. "How dare you? How dare you throw away the beautiful gifts you were born with? Say you're sorry."
There was a Biblical reference in the show... The east wind, in the Bible, is often a symbol of God's judgment. (For example, a strong east wind blew back the sea so Moses and the Israelites could pass through on dry ground, and then later, the east wind blew all of the Egyptians into the ocean, killing them.)
And how about that ending!! Wow! Shocker. I now have a little bit of hope that they will, indeed, tell us how Sherlock survived. After all, they can't keep from us how both Sherlock AND Moriarty survived. They have to explain one or the other, preferably both. (I can imagine a scene where the two of them are having tea and apples, "So, how did you survive?" *glare of penetration* "Oh, you know, blah blah blah..."). That ending is what's going to keep me watching the show because...
...unfortunately, to me, there was more to not like in this episode, than there was to like.
Mostly this had to do with Magnussem and certain decisions and portrayals of characters.
Magnussem is the most despicable villain I have ever come across, and it wasn't because of his evilness. It was because of his vulgarity. Even the Sherriff of Nottingham from BBC's Robin Hood isn't as vulgar as Magnussem.
He is a master blackmailer, with a file for everyone in his brain. He has stuff on people that could get them sent to jail, killed, saved. But they have to work with him, let him do whatever he wants. For instance, Magnussem licks a woman's face with the tip of his tongue to taste her perfume, and later he flicks Watson's face repeatedly, and laughs. If Watson didn't comply, Magnussem would reveal to the world that Mary was actually an assassin, and she would be sent to jail.
That's not villainess. That's bullying. Bullies scare people, and often hurt people, but also, they usually get their just deserts.
It was as if Magnussem was a child, who promised to throw a temper tantrum if he didn't get his way. The parents (the people he was blackmailing) didn't want to stand up to their child, because they didn't want to deal with the screaming and tantrums.
Spare the rod, spoil the child.
While I don't agree with physical punishment, a little discipline, and some boundaries never hurt anyone.
My biggest problem with this episode, other than despicable Magnussen, is the blurred moral lines.
The Sherlock series has never really been huge on moral principles... Seriously, out of the nine episodes, two of them end with the villains going to jail, two of them don't have conclusions for the bad guys, and five episodes end with the villains being murdered.
In this episode, John, who is a doctor, sprains a man's arm to get information out of him. He is supposed to be a "good guy."
Sherlock, who is the "hero" of the show (no matter what he says at the end of the episode), is found by Watson in a drug-den, high on something presumably illegal. Also, instead of letting his smarter brother who probably had a plan, deal with Magnussem at the end, Sherlock decides to shoot the villain dead.
Mary Watson, a nurse, a pregnant-woman, John's wife, and an all-around cool character, is found out to have been an assassin who not only "disappeared" by taking a new name to avoid jail, but also shoots Sherlock. She has lied to her husband, and everyone else, and wants to keep on lying, but Sherlock tricks her into explaining things to John, who then gets angry at her.
Even Mycroft. Instead of sending Sherlock to jail for killing a man in cold blood in front of multiple witnesses, he sends Sherlock off on a fatal undercover mission. That's all good and fine... but then Moriarty shows up again, and Sherlock is called back after only four minutes. My idea is that they'll bring him back, Sherlock will best Moriarty in some way, and then for his heroic act of saving all of London, he'll be pardoned. For murder. ("Murder most foul!")
Isn't there anything anymore that has the bad guys being bad, and the good guys being good? Instead, movies, TV, and books appeal to our "fangirl" feelings and make us love and root for those who are sinning.
A good example of this is Patrick Jane from the show The Mentalist. He's a very charming character, handsome, with a tragic past, a great brain, and a cool name. His wife and daughter were killed years ago, and the show is all about how he is trying to track down the murderer so he can have his revenge.
In a recent episode, he found his wife and child's murderer, and he strangled the man to death in a park. Then he went to a foreign country and "disappeared" so he wouldn't have to face judgment for his crimes.
"Revenge is mine," says the Lord.
Another example is the book Heist Society by Ally Carter. In this book, a group of teenagers steal paintings in order to appease a blackmailer. They break into buildings, steal things, and lie. I forget exactly what happens, but in the end, they are not punished for their actions. They are free to go - and even the main characters father (also a thief) is released from prison to just go on stealing things...
What about the characters in shows that have affairs, or sex outside of marriage, or look at women inappropriately? In Sherlock, Lestrade checks Molly out, even though he's already married. He's a policeman. The Bible says that even if you look at a woman lustfully, you are committing adultery with her in your mind.
And we're supposed to root for these people? These are our current heroes? These are the people we're supposed to look up to and say "I wanna be like that."
As television shows and books and movies become more and more ungodly, and as sin becomes more and more just a part of life, Christians start to get tolerant.
Our society today is all about tolerance.
Love the sinner - love the murderer, the homosexual, the prostitute, that one guy who swears all the time. But by no means tolerate the sin. By NO means, tolerate the sin. Intolerance is not judgment. Judgment is God's. But if we, as Christians, watch something like Sherlock, like the Mentalist, like Star Trek, and just brush aside and shrug off the unbiblical messages that are being sent out, then shame on us. Shame on us. Sin is serious. We are all going to be judged for our acts when we die.
The message that current entertainment is sending out is evasion. Evade judgment. Evade accountability. Do what you want. Just do it. Who cares who it hurts, just so long as you're happy, just so long as you're getting what you want.
In this latest Sherlock episode, Sherlock gets a "girlfriend." On her side, it's a serious relationship, but on his side, he's just using her to get at Magnussem. When she finds out, she sells her story to the tabloids and makes a lot of money (just a side note... that cottage she bought in Sussex downs with the beehives? In the book, Sherlock Holmes retires to Sussex downs to raise bees. I don't think we've seen the last of her).
Sherlock even goes so far as to propose to her. This makes me angry. Us girls have enough emotional problems without getting them further mixed and messed up by men.
But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Sound familiar? *cough cough* the present *cough cough*
The short of the matter is, we will be judged eventually. We can't avoid it.
So, would you rather live for this tiny blip of 80-odd years that you will be on earth, or would you rather live for eternity - eternity with the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty and gracious God?