Many flocked to theaters nationwide on Monday evening to view the season four finale of the popular BBC television series, Sherlock.
The show, which is a modern take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective series, follows the beloved, sociopathic detective, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), and his sidekick and best friend, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), as they tackle case after case in present-day London.
While the “The Final Problem” aired on TV screens Sunday night, the show is offering viewers a unique opportunity to see the series’ latest episode on the big screen, including 15 minutes of bonus behind-the-scenes content on Monday, January 16 and Wednesday, January 18.
Whether you watched the show since the very beginning, binge-watched it over winter break or are viewing it for the first time, “The Final Problem” serves as a mini-movie that is easy to follow for all viewer types. If you are new to the series, the bonus content that airs prior to the showing offers a mini recap of prior events to catch you up on the latest case Sherlock and co. are attempting to solve.
As for the actual episode, be prepared for an emotion-inducing thrill ride that will have you still trying to wrap your mind around everything that happened as the credits roll. Show creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat promised season four would have a much darker tone than previous years, and that was certainly the direction it went, with tragedy and heartbreak occurring in the very first episode of the season, leading into what is arguably the most emotional episode of the series in the season finale.
(For those who want to remain completely spoiler-free, turn back now.)
The plot of “The Final Problem” follows Sherlock, fresh off of previous episode “The Lying Detective” where it’s discovered that he and brother Mycroft have another sibling, a fellow genius who is just as unique and complex as every other character on the show. When Sherlock goes to meet his newly discovered sister, Eurus Holmes, chaos ensues as viewers find out Eurus is on the opposite side of her brothers when it comes to good and evil.
The season finale is jam-packed with heart-stopping situations as Sherlock, his brother Mycroft and Watson, try to reign in the Holmes’ exceptionally psychotic sibling as she puts Sherlock through the emotional ringer.
Eurus gives Sherlock a series of cases to solve, but the main impact of the story is not in Sherlock’s problem-solving deduction skills, but the emotional turmoil he goes through when solving them. With each solve comes repercussions as Eurus tests her younger brother, bringing many twists and surprises into the mix.
Cumberbatch gives a moving performance as Sherlock, with the ability to tug at viewers’ heart strings as Sherlock’s world gets turned upside down. This view is a much different side of Sherlock than what has been shown in previous seasons. In addition, Freeman’s portrayal of Watson remains the steady, perceptive presence at his friend’s side, making the actors a duo riveting to watch.
Throughout the 90-minute run-time, the pace of the episode never slowed. Each revelation sends viewers through a roller coaster of emotions. At times, it almost seems like there’s too much happening all at once, not giving viewers enough time to digest before the next problem arises. But the episode really places the audience at the heart of scene, and therefore invokes them to feel the emotions Sherlock and John are put through as well. At the episodes end, everyone in the theater began cheering, unaware if they were applauding the end of a season or the end of a series.
The show is known for making its fans wait two years between season’s release, and with its stars’ increasingly demanding schedules, filming has become even harder. Gatiss and Moffat stated that while the episode seems to wrap up any loose ends to the storyline, they are always open to bringing it back, and they do have ideas on where the storyline could head in the future. Whether a next season will happen, only time will tell.
BBC Sherlock’s “The Final Problem” will show again in theaters for a final time on Wednesday evening.
Photo courtesy of BBC