Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Sherlock, The Great Game

Gatiss and Moffat very cleverly made sure that fans would just be aching for a second season of Sherlock and demand the BBC bringing it back next year for another three episodes of fun and adventure. But, I'll come to the cliff hanger later.
We begin with Sherlock in Minsk meeting with a potential client- it's very clear he stabbed his girlfriend in a fit of anger, no mystery there, so after correcting the man's very poor grammar (Sherlock Holmes correcting grammar, does it get any sexier? He gained major points in my literary crush scale for that one.) he takes his leave and finds himself at home, in his robe and so utterly BORED. So bored in fact that he starts shooting at a smiley face he's painted on the wall. Yet another reason Sherlock makes a bad roommate/tenant.
Sherlock: "The wall had it coming."
To his delight, however, he and John are soon off on a series of puzzles carefully crafted by an evil genius lurking on the sidelines. He gives Sherlock a time limit to solve a series of crimes and holds hostages which he will blow up if Sherlock goes over the limit.
Another great Baker Street Irregulars reference in this episode with the "homeless network" of London being used by Sherlock to gather information. The assassin called "The Golem", was hiding out among them and he was so creepy. There was something very classic Holmes about him- I don't know, he had the right level of exoticism and sinister scariness. The fight scene with the assassin in the planetarium was slightly comical and very awkward. Not my favorite fight of the series, but oh well.
John (about the homeless network):“So you scratch their backs?”
Sherlock: “Then I disinfect myself.”
Now for Moriarty. He only appears for about ten minutes in this episode and never gets any actual screen time prior to "The Great Game," but he is a major talking point for the whole series. I've heard many people that absolutely hate him, but something about him works for me.
Moriarty is like Sherlock's doppelganger, his evil twin, his yin. Sherlock, with his capacities could have very easily turned the other way and become a criminal- Moriarty is like Sherlock in an alternative universe. So, therefore Moriarty has a similar genius and also, I believe a similar level of erratic unpredictability. I think it was really inventive to see a young Moriarty that isn't so suave and collected, he's terrifying because as he says, he's changeable. His giant ego combined with his intelligence and power make him like a child. Just as Sherlock gains a kind of weird pleasure from having a formidable adversary at last, Moriarty is delighted at their meeting. He's thrilled to finally meet someone at his level and sees them as kindred spirits in a way. Oh and they threw in some more slashiness for those shippers as well. Meh. Anyway, there is some reference to "The Final Problem" in the lines I quoted last week. Here's my favorite original quotation from their meeting:
Moriarty: “Don’t be obvious, I mean, I’m gonna kill you anyway someday, I don’t want to rush it though, I’m saving it up for something special- no, no, no. If you don’t stop prying I will burn you, I will burn the heart out of you.”
Sherlock: “I have been reliably informed I don’t have one.”
Moriarty: “We both know that’s not quite true.”
I still have one question (other than 'how will they get out of this one?')- who left the phone for Sherlock? When he opens the envelope he says it's from a woman. Is that just a throw away line or Sherlock being mistaken? I doubt it, I think it might be significant. Is this man, Jim, a "sub-Moriarty," a minion, an assassin, a partner? Is there are female behind this? Moffat has promised that Adler appears next season, but would she be on team Moriarty? The 2009 film says yes, but only under duress.
Well that's my clever thought for the night. I'm still behind on homework, and I haven't done much on NaNo this weekend, but I'm still on track numbers-wise.


  1. LOL @ "the wall had it coming"!

    Yeah, definitely want to see this one.

  2. Yes, it's brilliant! You can watch it on PBS's Masterpiece page currently and the DVD comes out later this month.

  3. Hello, I'm French and the serie has been broadcasted here this month. Amazing ! I like it so much. About your question - who left the phone for Sherlock? - I thought it was Miss Wenceslas from the museum, because she said that she was put in contact with Moriarty and that she was part in the conspiracy. Moreover, she is Czech.
    I am wondering about the quote : "I will burn the heart out of you.”
    Sherlock: “I have been reliably informed I don’t have one.”
    Moriarty: “We both know that’s not quite true.” Was Sherlock in love with somebody ? And in an interview,Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat said :" And we might well be seeing the cold master of logic and reason unexpectedly falling. But in love? Or over a precipice? Who can tell?"
    I can wait for the second series !

  4. I've considered Ms Wenceslas, but she didn't seem to know who Sherlock Holmes was or about any of the other things that Moriarty had going on, so I've been hoping that will lead to something to further the plot.
    Many people believe that it is John that has unearthed Sherlock's humanity or "heart" but the writers also mention an Adler story for next season. She is often considered a possible love interest for Holmes because she is the only woman to beat him at his own game. I don't know how I feel about that, but I am also dying for next season!