Saturday, February 8, 2014

TV Review: Sherlock season 3

I'd like to write about the third season of the BBC Television series, Sherlock with a minimum of spoilers.  But suffice to say that my feeling on this season is that I'm so happy that they did such a good job!

Now, I haven't watched the show much since finishing the second season a couple years ago, and I was very eager to see this new set of episodes after that long wait.  And the funny thing was that I was disappointed in the first episode.  It was a bit of a letdown.  But by the end of the third episode, I've decided it was an awesome season.  The show has stayed at top-knotch quality, and I am thrilled for that.  The third series is a sentimental series.  It is a series about men, about deep friendships.  It is about challenges, passion, forgiveness and love.  It's about redemption.  

Displaying strength, fortitude, patience and pride, John Watson is the star of the third series.  Fans of the show already love Sherlock; the program has showcased his talents extensively; the primary fun comes from his antics.  But this season highlights John Watson, both through his own performance and through the lense of Sherlock.  

Sherlock is cold, calculating and has a super-human intellect.  He is always one step ahead of his adversaries and ten steps ahead of everyone else.  His intellect comes with a maniacal drive to win the game, and to take any risk to do it.  These strengths are very alluring, both as a viewer and to the people within the show.  He represents an ideal of manhood, confident and brilliant, and always successful.  

The downside of that, of course, is that he is a huge ass, inconsiderate and cruel.  In episode 2 of season 3, he delivers a self-depricating description himself with his usual brilliance.  This moment is part of the turning point of Sherlocks character in season 3.  Turning him into, I daresay, a more warm and fuzzy detective.  While I would normally be bothered by this cuddly turn, the execution is so good that I enjoy it. I think the reason Sherlock's warming works for the show is that it is wrapped in a sense of gratitude toward John Watson.  Sherlock shows guilt for having put John through the trouble of his company, and he is grateful for John's patience, trust and forgiveness.     - lots of interesting Sherlock Fan Art out there      

As a man, John Watson is powerfully moderate and civilized.  And this show seems to suggest: quintessentially British.  There is a scene in season 3 episode 3 in which an antagonist is belittling England as a whole.  Saying that they are the most 'domesticated' people in the world, that England is a proving ground for his economic manipulations.   He suggests that if he can get away with something in England, he can take it to a 'real country.'  He says all this while pissing into the fireplace at Baker Street as his hosts look on-- to further illustrate his point.  

Without saying too much more: John is able to stand by and do nothing while this incredible insult is levied against him and his entire people.  Like in many scenes, John is not clear why this is happening, and why he needs to wait, but he does.  He trusts that Sherlock has a plan and a response, and that when it is time for action, Sherlock will let him know.  It is this trust and tenacity that allows their team to function.  And for us to enjoy all of their merry adventures. 

John Watson is capable of swallowing his pride in heaping amounts.  Next to Sherlock, he sometimes appears weak, given Sherlocks tendency to walk all over him.  However, this season brings their relationship into focus, showing that while Sherlock may walk over John, he walks over everybody all the time, and this treatment is not personal to John Watson.  What is personal is John's ability to tolerate it.  He is the smaller man, the less commanding, less ingenious.  And he is frequently placed in a position to look like the inferior man.  But he is not weak:  his ability to be tolerant and forgiving of Sherlock's incredible inability to get along with people is shown to be a great strength in Season 3.  

In addition, these qualities of Johns are not limited to Sherlock.  He is capable of selfless forgiveness toward the other people he loves as well.  His greatest moment does not involve Sherlock at all, and I will leave it to you to watch.  

Four stars.  


P.S. as a fun aside, have a listen to the opening theme of Sherlock (provided above) and the Final Fantasy Airship theme, below.  

also, congrats to us on our 300th posting.  yay!

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