I broke down this morning and watched “The Great Game,” the final episode in Sherlock Season 01, this morning. I say broke down because there are only three episodes after this one (ninety minutes each), and they must last me until November or else I’ll be left like the rest of the interwebz wondering how Sherlock manages to get himself out of that one, which if the cliffhanger we end with at the end of this episode is any indication, “Reichenbach” will be any worse.
The great thing about these episodes is that they really and truly are a feast. I’d watched “Pink” and “Banker” at least three or four times and noticed new things on each watch-througgh. I’ll admit it helps that I just came from lapping up “House M.D.” and still have my brain stuck there a bit, and the titular character there is famously based on Holmes. It also helps that I went through a Doyle phase in high school and have read pretty much every Holmes story at some point or another, so I get a geekish glee out of little references. Sherlock refused the knighthood… check. Tetanus and cat scratches… again, check.
I’ve also loved seeing Holmes’ character play with… well, disability for lack of a better word. Holmes describes himself as a high-functioning sociopath in the first episode, and he really is. He can give a convincing portrayal of humanity when it suits him, but most of the case it doesn’t so he doesn’t… or at least he thinks it doesn’t suit him. I can see i>completely why Watson gets so upset with his blase attitude (it barely seems to register that this game has very real consequences. Which in turn put his relationship with his blogger in a bit of peril. (Speaking of Watson? I love Martin Freeman and how our little hedgehog has really grown up over the seasons. He’s made quite a bit of progress over the course of the series, from the chap who was a bit nervous to stand in for a skull.)
The one thing I didn’t like — and I’m afraid this is a bit of a serious point — was Moriarty. There’s been so much build-up over the series in terms of truly diabolical people, folks I’d really rather not cross like the cabbie and the leader of that Chinese syndicate. Even Mycroft pretty much oozed raw power in “Pink.” But Moriarty, the man behind the scenes? He seemed like… well, a kid. All imp, all whimsy, no control or power or even treally anything to be scared of. Actually, he reminded me a bit of the bumbling foresnic tech Stuckey, the one who turned serial killer in the season 10 finale of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Hardly a mastermind. It even got to the point that I suspected we weren’t really meeting Moriarty but another interloper taking his place. I guess we’ll have to see how that goes. Maybe he’ll grow on me. I hope. But really, he didn’t inspire much fear at all for me.
For the interested, a screencap of my recently Sherlockified desktop, along with one of my favorite moments from “The Great Game” (fellow geeks, you need not be Sherlock fans, and I promise you no spoilers, but really, I laughed so hard at the true geekishness…)