By Dustin Cabeal
This is the episode to beat this season. I don’t know if the show will or can, but this is the episode to beat. It happens every series of Sherlock; there’s always that one episode that’s just better than the rest. This episode is brilliant.
Say what you will about Steven Moffat. I know a lot of people criticize his run on Doctor Who and other shows. Even Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts I’m sure have their beef with the show and how the characters are portrayed. He’s not perfect, and no one is. The fact that he’s able to produce so many great episodes with so many average episodes is actually a blessing. Think of your favorite writer, was there anything worse than their first dud? Didn’t everything that came after go deeper and deeper under the microscope?
This episode is brilliant for several reasons, but none no clearer than the opening and the closing of the episode. Why? Because it’s a perfect circle. I happened to have the episode on repeat and so when it ended and started again… my mind was blown. I probably wouldn’t have even caught it if it wasn’t for that and I’m glad I caught it.
I won’t post any spoilers about that part of the episode, but I’m sure there’s plenty of speculation online if anyone else has caught the details that I have.
The episode is called “The Laying Detective,” but another title could easily be “Saving John Watson.” That is what the episode is about, and it is great because not only is it true to both characters, but by the time it’s revealed what’s really happening, it’s even truer to both characters. With that first episode of the season, it was a little too on the nose with the characters. Too much fanservice, not enough done in service of the characters, but this episode is the total and complete opposite. You just want to shake both characters and tell them to knock it off.
I would love just to reveal everything about this episode, but it won’t do it any justice. The visuals continue to be stunning, and you can tell that there’s quite a large budget for this season. With that has come impressive episode direction which is what makes Moffat’s script brilliant. The director is bringing it to life. In less talented hands, this show isn’t nearly as impressive, but it’s the visual style tied to the writing and acting that has perhaps left its mark on people more than anything else.
Again, this episode is the perfect circle. What that means for the series will be seen next week, but if you do watch it, make sure you rewatch the opening instantly. Complete the circle.
Sherlock S.4, E.2 – “The Lying Detective”