This New Year day we had the triumphant return of Steven Moffat’s Sherlock. The show, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the modern day version of the detective duo, is back in its second series
The premier of the second series is called A Scandal in Belgravia and it starts when the last series left off, with Holmes and Moriarty facing off against one and another. The cliff hanger resolves, in a roundabout way, and the second series starts.
This episode is essentially about one person, Irene Adler. The femme fatal, played by Lara Pulver, is a dominatrix who has discriminating photos of a young female member of the royal family. Sherlock is hired to find it. This show is not about the mysteries, the three or four of them, or about the ongoing battle with Moriarty, it’s about the one man nobody though capable of falling in love actually falling for a woman.
For those who tune in to see a mystery unfold you will be disappointed. The first couple of mystery is equivalent to a child’s riddle, and the ‘main case’ is little more than guessing the password for a camera phone. Not a task fit for an epic detective but for a police tech team. Then, as the ‘mystery’ unfolds, it gets convoluted and confusing, touching back on the Second World War. This multi-layered year long case becomes a chess duel between Moriarty and Mycroft with Sherlock little more than a pawn.
The real passion of this episode is the ongoing flirtation between Irene and Sherlock. They way they talk, the way she affects him and the emotions he undergoes. Cumberbatch brilliantly displays the fears and uncertainty that the legendary detective undergoes during his flirtatious courting of the woman and he misery he witnesses through her apparent loss. I didn’t like the acting approach of Pulver, I found her approach tired and needlessly over the top and this version is to reminiscent of Moffet’s other powerful female River Song. The similarities are insane, the flirtatious know it all who ends up coming to their man for rescue in the end despite knowing more than him at all times. Irene is giving her man nicknames and leaping fearlessly from the windows of second story buildings. Cumberbatch and Freeman were brilliant in there rolls.
So in conclusion my dear Watson, what we have before us is a great character piece but rather weak in the mystery department. It is the weakest episode of the four but still a great episode.