|Index||4 reviews in total|
The plot of this episode was not very "elementary". There were not too
many suspects to build much complexity. Moreover the conclusions drawn
by Holmes were not very well justified. He built up his improbable
hypothesis just on the basis of a "nail with a blackened tip" which was
very unlikely of Sherlock Holmes.
What I admired in this episode was the nostalgia of Conan Doyle that was introduced. Agent Lestrade of Scotland Yard...221b Baker Street of London, the "sanctum sanctorum" of Sherlock Holmes...and Mycroft, Sherlock's brother with no ambition and energy. But the nostalgia will not be enough to survive the entire season if the successive episodes continue to be as dull and drab as this one.
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu were brilliant in their roles as usual, though Watson did not have any significant part to play in this episode.
This series had been as enticing as the BBC one and I earnestly hope that the writers improve their stories and maintain their level of excellence that they had portrayed in the former season.
I would give it a 7/10 just for its nostalgic element.
It may be pure entertainment, but the whole point of Sherlock Holmes
dramas is that the clues are small and easily overlooked. So the rest
of what is one screen needs to be at least passingly accurate.
But the trouble with this episode is that I have never seen so many astonishing errors of geography or simple fact within the first five minutes of any television show. Ever.
Its dire. Highgate Cemetery is a famously Victorian overgrown urban cemetery in the middle of north London. Not some sunny country graveyard near a little rural church. Then we see they burying a vast American- style casket instead of a British coffin.
Cut to New York where Holmes tells of the carrier (or homing) pigeon that nor only delivers messages but - astonishingly - takes replies.
Leaving aide the assault and battery by Ms Watson on a suspect (can you really do that in America?), quick change of scene to London where the most bizarre taxi ride ever starts from the Whitehall end of the Mall in St James Park, goes down towards Buckingham Palace, before off-screen somehow doubling back before crossing over the Thames at Westminster Bridge, passing Parliament and ending up at New Scotland Yard barely 100 yards from where the journey began.
We then have New Scotland Yard relocated to the Thames (the river they have just driven over and away from), including an office from where you can see Tower Bridge... which is miles away!
After that the whole drama falls apart as it becomes impossible to take seriously. The fact that a key character is named after an English mountain range - Langdale Pike(s) - barely makes a ripple.
I will not even go into the ludicrous plot itself. Series 1 was quite good at times, but as this opening episode to Series 2 clearly shows that the writers have run out of ideas and are just going through the motions.
Shame as the main acting partnership is actually quite good...
The internal dynamics of starting a new season have changed in the last
few years. Inspired by artists like JJ Abrams who prefer to almost
completely reinvent their shows from season to season, often even
die-hard fans are gob-smacked by the changes.
Not so here. The producers and writers wisely kept the essence of what worked (great scripts, great acting and a great relationship between Miller and Liu) and simply took it up a notch.
Fans of the series were given a special treat going into Season 2, Holmes in his old stomping ground (England) and even an "Inspector Lestrade" to complete the transformation.
Throw in a plot based on the startling new technology of 3D printing, and, folks, we have ourselves a winner.
Although just as engaging and entertaining as the rest of the series, this plot has far too many holes to meet the standard set in the first season. Holmes' conclusions are too fantastic; his methods are highly questionable; his assumptions often factually incorrect; and his last source of information is pure magic. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come... But since this episode appears to merely set up future intrigue with the introduction of new old characters and an open-ended investigation regarding a larger conspiracy, the weak plot is almost forgivable, provided these implied story lines are developed further. I give the writers an "E" for effort, but a "D" for creativity and quality.
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