|Episode Length||90 minutes|
|Genre(s)||Crime, Drama, Mystery|
|Creator(s)||Stephen Moffat & Mark Gatiss|
|Leading Actor(s)||Benedict Cumberbatch
Summary and Review of the Episode
After last week’s opening episode, many fans left depressed by the loss of Mary Watson to husband John and others including the super-sleuth of Sherlock Holmes. This episode begins with John discussing his feelings on the therapist’s couch as he is still grieving, struggling to sleep and mentally picturing Mary’s reaction to the world he is viewing and talking to that vision.
It is clear early on that since Molly turned away Sherlock on behalf of John in last week’s episode, that the detective has been locked up in his apartment on Baker Street. Asked whether Sherlock has attempted to contact again, John informs his therapist that it would be obvious if that had been the case. The sound of an Aston Martin trailed at high speed by the police both in car and helicopter interrupts the session as the pair go outside to see the commotion before the title card sequence.
The viewer is then treated to the prickly media mogul villain character of the week, Culverton Smith who has gathered several of his close associates around his boardroom table at the top of a London based skyscraper. He’s got something on his mind and he wants to confess it, but in his opinion, revealing a dark secret is the worst thing you can do to a friend — if they don’t accept it, you can’t take back the secret. His way of making this possible is by using a memory affecting drug including on his own daughter Faith who he has brought to his table for this event. Despite her concern for this, she accepts the drug however we see her attempt to establish the clues as she cannot locate who her father says he wants to kill.
We return to the present timeline as it is foretold that this event occurred three years ago, and now Faith has turned to Sherlock to assist her unravel the scent of her father’s crime, she is unaware whether he has committed the crime yet or not as the key information is not there. Sherlock’s grief for Mary’s sacrifice has taken his toll, his kitchen now a meth lab and home to a fellow drug junkie.
However, the sleuth still attempts to work his mind on making deductions based upon Faith’s story. Seeing that she is desperately vulnerable, Sherlock agrees to take her case. Realising that this is the first-time Sherlock has left the building, his big brother Mycroft deploys a drone to track Sherlock’s movements playing one step ahead, Sherlock paves a route which allows him to write “F**k Off” to the computer Mycroft is closely monitoring. Mycroft contacts John about this event before John attempts what little sleep he can achieve while Lady Smallwood inquiries about a sibling of both Mycroft and Sherlock’s with Mycroft convinced that all is okay as he can monitor his family members.
Sherlock is enthused by Faith’s case as it was just one word which meant so much, and explains that most names have two parts to them. Taking the case on, Faith’s payment for Sherlock to look further into it, is by handing over a gun she has hidden in her handbag in which Sherlock throws far into the middle of the River Thames which causes him to have suicidal thoughts of his own in deep grief over the selfish act of Mary in last week’s episode. A memory stirs in the detective’s mind but once his eyes focus on what reality he can make out Faith has disappeared.
Whilst still heavily under the influence of drugs, Sherlock believes that the one word Culverton said was “anyone” this triggering the thought that he is in fact a serial killer due to his eccentricity showing traits of a mix of Donald Trump and Jimmy Savile. We as viewers are brought back to the scene before the title credits which appears three weeks after this previously seen series of events.
Shocked John sees that it is Mrs Hudson behind the wheel and pleads with John to examine Sherlock as she cannot take his drug infused antics, reluctantly the former army doctor agrees as Mrs Hudson opens the small boot of the sports car unveiling a handcuffed Sherlock. Still taken aback John, asks about how he was found as it is revealed he only started planned this session recently and had not mentioned it to anyone, Mrs Hudson says that Sherlock had told her a fortnight ago, annoyed about the fact Sherlock can work out his every move John lays into his friend. Despite Molly’s advice that Sherlock’s health is poor, the sleuth and John are picked up by a driver for Culverton Smith who is now aware that Sherlock is on his tail and plays charm offensive.
They meet at a hospital that the media magnate has donated to and embarrasses Sherlock by encouraging him to be a story teller in front of the children who are currently within care at the hospital. Showing that John is better at putting the story together and creeps out the audience by asking the detective how he would go about catching a serial killer out. Once he has Sherlock and John alone, Culverton takes the pair to his favourite room of the hospital, the mortuary, he explains in a monologue the reasoning for supporting the hospital, to help hid his crimes of killing people.
John attempts to get to the bottom of Culverton’s motives but the billionaire asks who he is likely to believe, him or Sherlock who has been drugged up in the last month. It is confessed that in the embrace between him and Sherlock, the detective used the tycoon’s mobile to text Faith so that she could discover the truth about her father’s crimes. Once Faith arrives on the scene Sherlock is shocked that it is not the same woman who came to 221b Baker Street, confused he attempts to stab Culverton with a scalpel but John blocks him and beats Sherlock up for his betrayal of the vow of keeping Mary safe.
While Sherlock lays wounded from the drug abuse and now John’s anger in Culverton’s hospital rather than being sued, the mogul is interviewed by Lestrade. John reports back to Baker Street to see that Mycroft directing government agents is attempting to clean up Sherlock’s mess but after being riled by Mrs Hudson. John also frustrated at Mycroft for, among other things, being disrespectful to Sherlock and lying about the third Holmes brother.
Soon after Mycroft and the spooks depart and the landlady reminds John that contrary to popular perception, she says, Sherlock is not all about thinking and rationality. He gets emotional, he lashes out, he shoots the wall. And when he can’t figure something out, he stabs it. John finds the envelope containing the DVD video that Mary had pre-recorded before her death, the viewer now sees the whole video in context. As we know, she told him to save John — but the only way to do that, she said, was to get John to save Sherlock. She told the sleuth to pick a fight with a bad guy and put himself through “hell” so he really would need John to save him.
As this is going on, Culverton has got into Sherlock’s private ward and a brief dialogue between Sherlock and Culverton ends with Culverton getting delight that the sleuth is willing to be killed by him. After turning up the drug dosage and suffocation, John bursts into the scene pushing the villain aside Sherlock reveals the IV was just saline, and he was only doing it to finally get Culverton to confess. Culverton thinks he’s still won, having previously removed “all” recording devices from Sherlock’s clothing, but Sherlock reveals the final one — in the head of John’s walking stick.
After Culverton is interviewed again by police this time being more willing to confess to his crimes, Sherlock and John are back in 221b discussing the case but interrupted by a text alert from Sherlock’s phone which comes from Irene Adler, the dominatrix has wished the super-sleuth a Happy Birthday and John encourages despite her antics that Sherlock should show some response to her before it’s too late. Realising that the pain of losing Mary will always haunt him, John breaks down again and the pair talk out the emotions felt including about the woman that John had been texting with, which clears his conscious and visions of Mary.
The viewer is returned to the therapist’s living room where John is being quizzed by the therapist whether he got an answer about Sherlock’s missing sibling, John surprised says he never mentioned that part of the tale to her before she answers that Sherlock must have mentioned something when they met up, still confused John is surprised when she unveils herself as the fake Faith who went to Baker Street but she also has another alter-ego as the woman that John had been texting. Knowing her initial is E, John and the viewers find out her name is Euros named after the Eastern wind, revealing her parents were always fans of strange first names, Sherlock and Mycroft to name a couple, uncovering herself as the missing sibling before appearing to shoot John after it is revealed that Sherlock uncovers the note which was handed to him by “Faith” and finds in ultra-violet ink, “Miss me?” meaning that the Moriarty chase was all a red herring.
This episode ends on a stupendous twist and cliff-hanger ahead of the final episode airing next Sunday. Once again, the work of Moffat and Gatiss has not failed to disappoint their audience leaving them in an intense lead into what will happen next. This episode certainly has won over the critics of the first episode and certainly was a delight. Toby Jones playing the grotesque Culverton Smith and Sian Brooke playing Euros/Fake Faith and E also amazed viewers.
For those wishing to watch the episode (again) before next Sunday’s episode: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b088ppll/sherlock-series-4-2-the-lying-detective