Sherlock S4 E3 – The Final Problem

By Domoni


The Final Problem was the finale that could be a finale. With the future of Sherlock unclear, they wrote an episode that could wrap up the series and not leave us with an excess of questions. Though it does not end the possibilities for further episodes or specials down the road, the loops have been closed and the questions we have been asking received their answers. This review will contain spoilers.

In the first episode of season 4, we first met Eurus Holmes. Though at the time, we had no idea she was the secret sister of our favorite sociopathic sleuth. In her original appearance, she was simply John Watson’s distraction and flirtation. In episode 2, Eurus reveals herself to John and sets up the conclusion to the big game that she had been planning for years. With her game, we finally got the answer to the great trolling. Is Moriarty dead or alive? Sadly, he is indeed dead. Though a 5 minute conversation between the two brilliant minds set up a chain of events that has John and the Holmes brothers playing through a game that could kill or spare many.

I have to say, this scene stole the entire episode for me.

Since the beginning of Season 1, we knew Sherlock to be one of the most brilliant minds alive. You learn early on, that Mycroft is the more clever of the two brothers. My favorite consulting criminal, Jim Moriarty, could easily compete with either Brother.  Though when he dies in Season 2, that shouldn’t be something they would have to worry about. Until the end of Season 3 when his lovely face flashes on all possible screens in London with the now famous line, Miss Me?  Suddenly, there is someone with an intelligence that eclipses all three of these men. Time to unravel the mystery of Eurus Holmes.

The missing sister was so brilliant, yet insane, that she had to be locked up where she could never have the opportunity to inflict harm on the world. What she did as a small child was so traumatic, that Sherlock changed all of his memories to forget her. When Mycroft took his position of power, he supervised the prison his sister was in. Though being Mycroft, he could not resist using her brilliance as a tool. This meant he had to at times offer her treats.  Her Christmas present 5 years past, was 5 minutes alone with Moriarty himself. In those 5 minutes, she was able to orchestrate all of the insanity that took place in this episode and much of what happened in the last. All to get her beloved brother to play with her.

Once all of her players were on the board, Eurus walked them through multiple life and death decisions designed to make Sherlock remember what exactly she had done. This also brought out the opportunity for Sherlock to completely face who he is even though he has tried so hard to deny how much people actually mean to him. This revelation  brought about by the most heartbreaking moment involving Molly Hooper, the girl who loves Sherlock despite the awful way he treats her.


Everything about this episode was perfect for me. This will go down as my favorite episode by far. As the case is solved, we get a montage of Sherlock and John rebuilding their lives. Mary reads her letter over the images of the friends working on crimes as well as Sherlock building a familial connection with his sister and then including their entire family.  As the credits begin to role, Sherlock has fully evolved into the brilliant man with heart that Doyle created so long ago.  If this is the end of the consulting detective and his blogging pal, it went out beautifully.

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