This post contains SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Like many others I have been anxiously awaiting the return of Sherlock. It has been a long two years for fans, to be sure! Tumblr's cup has runneth over with theories, speculation, and near deranged frenzy to find out what really happened to everyone's favorite sociopath, as well as how Watson had been coping.
January 1st dawned bright, smelling of new, promise, and the premiere of season three. What we received was... strange.
Men once renowned for their deduction abilities are now just mustachioed foodies.
I went through a variety of emotions that continued to ping pong around during the second episode. The show is still well written, and astonishingly well filmed and directed as one could expect. The acting, sets, costumes... well, there's nothing to complain about. The characters though, they've become a bit odd. I keep asking myself if it's simply character development, which is perfectly reasonable and realistic because people DO change over the years, or is the show just being written differently?
Parts of the episodes are undeniably tumblr runoff. How could they not be? Participants of the Sherlock fandom on tumblr cannot escape the cries of love between Sherlock and John, the desired sexual tension between Sherlock and Moriarty, or the fact that we are all Molly and we tremble when He is near. But no, I enjoy these aspects, actually. I think that in this day and age of connectivity between fan and creator, it is benevolent of them to hear our collective wants, the depths of our souls, and throw us some well orchestrated, hair ruffling bones.
Women and men alike cried out around the world, and were silenced in the wake of fanfic fodder.
No, the tumblr fan service was well received by this particular viewer, even if it was a bit surreal. What I find strange about season three is its lack of tension. The first two episodes, at least, are almost entirely light-hearted, with laughs, jabs, and jokes around every corner. I would never have used those words to describe the first two seasons. Across the episodes I had many internal moments of asking myself, "Is this really the same show?" The answer is obviously yes, but I think it's also no. Clearly the dynamic has changed between Sherlock and John in the aftermath of Sherlock's pretend suicide and the fact that John is now married. So I ask myself, with those facts in mind, does it make sense that the show has a lighter tone? I don't actually think so.
Take, for instance, the scene where Sherlock reveals himself to be alive while in the restaurant. It doesn't make sense to me that Sherlock would be in hiding from John, and pretty much only John, for two years and then expect that he wouldn't be angry upon this sudden reappearance. If he didn't think it would be a big deal, then why not reveal himself sooner? I get that Sherlock is socially dense and absolutely clueless regarding interpersonal relationships, but this felt a bit far to me. I expected something more emotional, but what I got was a slapstick event that, while admittedly very funny, just felt wrong. The only upside is that it gave the audience a well-rounded look at Mary, and she's pretty great.
Adorable third wheel, but really more like a third leg. She makes the duo stronger.
Of course, by the end of episode two I was practically crying because of dumb-founded, sweet, sentimental, sad Sherlock. Is he a robot incapable of feelings, or is he secretly part Vulcan? He swings wildly between the those options from the first and second episodes, and the inconsistency leaves me wondering if there's something that I'm missing or if it's questionable writing.
Season three has still been enjoyable and full of mystery, I just wonder if it was the right decision for the show to incorporate so much fan service. It has been fun but ultimately seemed more like a fan fiction story than an official storyline. Perhaps the final episode will change my mind! What are everyone else's thoughts?
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