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

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