Happy new year, everyone !
I hope you spent an amazing festing season with the ones you love. Mine was great if you're wondering. And this year is off to a good start for the little fangirl that I am. Indeed, the Sherlock special, called The Abominable Bride, aired yesterday on BBC One (also aired in some theaters around the world, sadly, France wasn't concerned) and I managed to watch it live. I didn't think I would write an article this week but yes, Sherlock, here we are again. Don't blame me, you don't know how painful it is to be a fan of this show ! They always give us THREE little episodes and then leave us with terrible cliffhangers for like... 3 YEARS ??! No but seriously ! THREE. YEARS. How exactly are we supposed to survive ?! I never knew what patience really was until I watched this show. We seriously deserve a medal. This just shows how GOOD the show is, if it wasn't so brilliant and perfect, I don't think so many people would have kept on watching it.
Yestarday's episode was one of the grestest things I've ever seen and I just needed to write something about it, for my mental health.
However, there will be a lot of spoilers so... if you haven't watched it and want to, you're warned.
The Abominable Bride is an alternative version of our favorite detective and his doctor's first meeting... in 1895 ! Mike Stamford, aka TheRealHeroOfSherlock, is back to introduce Doctor Watson (the johnstache is back!), back from war in Afghanistan, to a Victorian style Sherlock Holmes. So it's like a return to his roots for the consulting detective, with a lot of references from the original books and from series 1 to 3. They now investigate the existence of a supposedly dead woman, Emelia Ricoletti, serial killer responsible for some men's death, including her husband. How is it possible, you may ask ? Is she a vengeful ghost or... is it a trick ? That's what Holmes and Watson are trying to deduce in this episode.
We get to see other main characters, such as Mrs Hudson, the duo's landlady, detective inspector Lestrade, Mary Watson, John's wife (I love her btw, no matter what other people think, she's clever, independent, strong and funny) Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older brother and... Molly Hooper aka Hooper who is now a confident man who hates Holmes. I think this is telling us a lot about what's next for Molly in season 4. She used to be the the shy pathologist living in the shadow of her love for Sherlock. However, in season 3, we get to see her becoming more self-confident and this episode just confirms it, which is SO. GREAT.
(We even get to see Victorian style Anderson!)
Jim Moriarty is also back. Did you miss him ? I wasn't expecting to see him and when I did, I screamed. I'm such a huge Moriarty fan !! :D And Andrew Scott is just PERFECT portraying him ! Nevertheless, he only appears in Sherlock's mindpalace. And God, what a brilliant scene !
During another last scene where they are fighting, he basically tells Sherlock that it will always be the two of them, that he'll never be able to get rid of him. He almost kills him but Watson suddenly shows up to save the day. It's symbolic. It means that he will always be by Sherlock's side, he'll never be alone. And that's beautiful. Specially when you understand all the references from the original books, what was supposed to happen but didn't.
Solving the Ricolatti's case allowed Sherlock to solve Moriarty's one.
Moriarty isn't the only big surprise. Somewhere towards the middle of the episode, we get back our modern Sherlock just where we left him at the end of His Last Vow : in the plane. Mary, John and Mycroft join him and we understand that the whole bride's story was taking place in his mindpalace. To solve Moriarty's mystery, he needs to go back and solve the case.
We then understand that Sherlock relapsed into drugs.
This is heartbreaking. Knowing that during all this time, Sherlock wasn't okay and nobody even noticed. Sherlock is a genius who will do anything, even willing to die, to prove he's clever but this state of mind is in part the sign of a feeling of loneliness. Before he met John, Sherlock didn't care about anything but his work and used to be an addict. John reminded him where the edge was. If everything changed when the doctor moved in with him, he kinda lost him to save him (in The Reichenbach Fall), then it all became different. Afterwards, he knew he was about to lose him forever after what he did to Magnussen for John's happiness once again. I don't really know what happened to him but we can suppose he did it out of sadness. We just need to know more about his past, understand the reason he became like this.
Watson : "What made you like this ?"
Holmes : "Oh, Watson. Nothing made me. I made me."
He's a complex, fascinating and touching character, that's why he's definitely my favorite but now I just feel so bad for him. Am I overeacting ? I know this is fiction but... Uurgh.
We can also wonder : was Redbeard, Sherlock's dog, real ? Or was he a figment of his imagination when he was high ? We can see his name on Mycroft's notebook. We'll know later I suppose.
I get the feeling the series are becoming way more darker than before. The atmosphere, the story, the relationships between the characters, Sherlock himself, everything is darker than what it used to be. Nevertheless, I know John and Mycroft will be there for Sherlock.
Speaking about Mycroft, I love him. He cares about his brother so much and no matter how difficult their relationship might be, he will never let him down. He better not die in season 4 (some people are talking about that and I REFUSE, he can't die, he's immortal, he will live forever, okay, there).
Mycroft : "I was there for you before, I'll be there for you again. I will always be there for you."
As for Moriarty's death, Sherlock tells John he's coming back yet he's undoubtedly dead. I think that means he will live through another main villain, Sebastian Moran for exemple, that will sort of "replace" him. Except that no. NOBODY can replace Andrew Scott's Moriarty. However, we can think that Emelia Ricoletti's "death" was a clue to Moriarty's one so maybe it isn't hopeless.
Women do have importance in that episode. It basically tries to raise awareness against women being mistreated, ignored or even abused in a male dominated society, not only in the Victorian era but also in the modern one, since everything just happens in modern Sherlock's mind. We witness injustices women used to endure... and still endure today. Sherlock realizes how rude he has been to some of them, especially to Molly Hooper and Janine Hawkins, even though he has lately changed with Molly. They're here fighting for their rights and THEY have the power.
Watson : "But these ennemies, how are we to defeat them if you won't tell us about them ?"
Mycroft : "We don't defeat them. We most certainly lose to them."
Watson : "Why ?"
Mycroft : "Because they are right. And we are wrong."
So yes. That's it for this sort of review. There are so many other things I'd like to talk about but I don't want to spoil it any longer. To conclude, this episode was a bit painful yet brilliant (as usual). Definitely one of my favorite ones. I absolutely LOVE the way they linked the original age to ours, giving us an explanation to Moriarty's return while focusing on a new adventure. And the ending was perfect, Victorian Sherlock telling John he's always been out of his time and by leaving the window of the flat, we get back buses and modern cars that we know today. I understand it as the fact that the Sherlock Holmes character doesn't need to be necessarly affiliated to the Victorian era. He can live during any period, even the XXI century and that's what the show is basically proving us. So yes, in one word, it was BRILLIANT.
If the whole fandom is now hysterical, I just remembered we'll have to wait another year until season 4. And I'm not okay with this. Not okay AT ALL.
I'm going to rewatch it today.
This time, I'll have handkerchiefs.
Trailer here : https://youtu.be/7hjPxUfV32Q
Thanks for reading !