|John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch)|
Series 3 started with a bang. Episode 1 jumped in (literally) with the first of two (maybe 3) fake scenarios of how Sherlock Survived the fall. It kept the audience on edge throughout keeping their eyes peeled and watching every move intently to try and keep up with the quick pace of the scene. However, it was soon revealed that this scenario was in fact a fake and was devised by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (the writers) after they saw the explosion of fan's theories on the Internet to how Sherlock survived.
This theme of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss providing scenes which would count as 'fan service' occurs a lot during this episodes and in my opinion gave us some of the best scenes. For example in the second fake scenario there is a near kiss between Moriarty and Sherlock to whom which many of the fans want to be together.
|Moriarty (Andrew Scott) and Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) Near Kiss scene|
Another example of 'fan service' would be the long awaited reunion of John and Sherlock. The scene was exactly as fans wanted and speculated it to be and maybe even funnier. With Benedict Cumberbatch reaching the height of his acting skills by bringing a comedic side to the generally stoic character of Sherlock by posing as a french waiter serving John and indirectly spoiling John's plans to propose to his partner Mary. John however did not let Sherlock back in with open arms like he expected, but instead in several small scenes afterwards John comically punches Sherlock every time Sherlock tries to explain himself.
The relationship of John and Sherlock however developed and reached a new peak and was probably one of the best parts of the series in a whole. With scenes such as Sherlock saving John from the bonfire and Sherlock's reaction to being asked to be the best man to John's wedding showing us a heartwarming insight to how much they do care for each other. The best example of this would definitely be the loved best man speech at the wedding. With Sherlock starting with what sounds like a obnoxious speech and then turning around to a sentimental speech that showed a different side to Sherlock and made us all fall more in love with him.
This series also introduced us to new characters as well as showing us new sides to old ones. John's partner Mary (played by Martin Freeman's real life partner Amanda Abbington) is introduced in this series. Instead of Mary holding John back from going on cases with Sherlock (like many people believed would happen) we find her pushing John and Sherlock to spend more time together which made us all instantly fall in love with the character. However, her character played a dark twist in the story and managed to shock the audience by shooting Sherlock. Like many of the characters in this show she had a dark and secret past which was later found out and in someway it maked us forgive her for what she had done.
Another new character in the series was Charles Augustus Magnussen (played by Lars Mikkelson) who was the main villain in the finale episode and "the one man Sherlock Holmes truly hates."
With documents of everyone's "pressure points" stored in his mind palace he was by far the scariest villain yet in Sherlock and succeeded in making my skin crawl.
Talking about villains i come to my main problem about this series. In my opinion with episode 1 and 2 there were no big solid cases for Sherlock and John to solve and in turn there were no major villains. Yes these episodes may have took a different route with more comedy and being more of character development episodes, but i do feel that they lacked what we all have come to love about Sherlock which is Sherlock and John racing to solve a big crime and trying to stop the villain's plans.
However, this may be resolved next series because of the shock return of Moriarty in the cliffhanger of the last episode. Hopefully this means we shall see the return of a major villain creating many cases for Sherlock and John to solve in series 4.
In conclusion I think this series of Sherlock reached a new high and was at it's all time best. With golden nuggets put in especially to please fans and being the most comedic series yet! In all I give this series 4 stars out of 5.