BBC’s Sherlock Series 4 Episode 3: The Final Problem Recap and Review

It’s finally here, the end of this magnificent series of Sherlock. Let’s not fuck around and dive straight in.

The episode starts with a little girl sat on a plane. She wakes up to find everyone asleep or dead, I couldn’t work out which. At the front of the plane, she answers a ringing phone and begs for help only for Jim Moriarty to answer.

The next section starts out like a horror movie. Mycroft is sat alone in a dark room watching a film on a projector. The projector starts to glitch out and strange images flash across the screen before the film burns out. Mycroft is spooked out and knows that someone is in the house with him. He grabs his umbrella which doubles as a sword. He chases a small figure up the stairs and is confronted by a weird clown which bares a resemblance to the infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The clown attacks him with a sword but Mycroft makes it down the stairs. Unable to escape the house, a figure appears on the balcony. It’s Sherlock. Turns out the whole episode was a stunt orchestrated by Sherlock and John so that Mycroft would confess to the existence of another Holmes sibling. John was shot at the end of the last episode but only with a tranquiliser dart. The pair order Mycroft to go to 221B Baker Street and explain himself. Before leaving, John tells Mycroft to close his windows because there is an ‘East Wind’ coming.

Mycroft goes to Baker Street and begins to tell Sherlock the story of Eurus which is Greek and it means ‘God of the East Wind’. There is a 1 year age gap between Sherlock and Eurus making Sherlock the middle child rather than the baby, a fact which John finds so intriguing. The Holmes’ childhood home is mentioned which has a small makeshift graveyard with strange dates on the gravestones which fascinated Sherlock. The reason why Eurus was locked away was because she kidnapped the family dog, Redbeard and hid him where no one could find him, not even Sherlock and he did try. The only clue she
gave to him was a weird song, the lyrics of which didn’t make sense. Then she burned the house down. Eurus was taken away and locked up in Sherrinford which is a maximum security facility on an Island out in the middle of nowhere.

Just then, a drone bursts the kitchen window of Baker Street and lands in the middle of the trio. Sitting on top of the drone is a motion triggered grenade. If any of them move, the drone will blow up the flat. When the motion sensor is triggered, they have 3 seconds to get to safety before the grenade goes off. Sherlock has Mrs Hudson’s routine memorised and they have to wait for two minutes before she is out of harms way. When they are sure that she will be safe, Mycroft goes for the door whilst John and Sherlock dive out of the window. The flat is destroyed in the explosion.

Cut to a boat in the ocean (Where else is it going to be?). The boat is taken over by John and Sherlock who are taking on the roles as pirates.

Cut to Sherrinford which is in both panic and lock-down. John and another bloke, a beardy fisherman, are taken into Sherrinford to be questioned. The Governor comes in and knows that John and Sherlock are  there to see Eurus. He knows this because Sherlock wrote in the sand ‘TELL MY SISTER I’M HERE’, with the right punctuation and everything. The Governor theorises that the fisherman is Sherlock in disguise, not quite. It’s Mycroft. If they were looking at him, they’re not looking for Sherlock.

Sherlock in the meantime has blagged his way into Eurus’ cell. There is a sign on the window telling him to stay 3 feet away from the glass. Eurus has her back to him and she is playing the violin. When he steps closer, her playing becomes more erratic and when he steps back, she calms down. She asks him if he brought the headband that he stole for her when they were younger. Sherlock tries to ask her how she escaped to go to his flat and impersonate Faith Culverton but she seems more interested in the violin. She passes the violin to Sherlock through a contraption in the corner and she asks him to play something for her. It is revealed that she taught him how to play but of course, he can’t remember. They dance around the issue for a bit and Sherlock stops playing. She asks him to touch the glass and talks about Redbeard. Sherlock gets closer and closer. They both raise their hand to the glass but there is no barrier. Eurus takes his hand and says she escaped because there is no glass. She knocks Sherlock to the ground and screams in his face. Two doctors come in but they don’t stop her, in fact, she asks them to stop her in a minute. Something really fucking weird is going on.

John and Mycroft are reviewing the tapes of Eurus’ psychiatric evaluation that Mycroft specifically requested she did not have. There is a reason for this. Eurus has a spectacular gift of mind manipulation. She actually convinced someone to kill his family and then he killed himself. She was locked up under the condition that she would have minimum human interaction and the Governor betrayed those orders. As John listens to the tape, he realises that the Governor is the one talking to Eurus and that she has infected him. Since he is the one that controls the facility, he immediately has armed men enter the room. John escapes and goes after Sherlock. He stops when he see a monitor with Moriarty’s face. Caught off guard, John is knocked out.

Cut to five years ago on Christmas Day. Moriarty is brought to Sherrinford and he is dancing to the Queen song ‘I Want To Break Free’. How very appropriate. Moriarty is taken to Mycroft’s office where he says that Moriarty is a Christmas treat for his little sister. Over the years, she has used her abilities to prevent certain atrocities and in return, she wants things. The year before it was a violin and this year, she wants 5 minutes of unsupervised time with Moriarty. Moriarty is taken down to her cell but we don’t know what they talk about. We soon will.

John wakes up in Eurus’ cell with Sherlock, Mycroft and the Governor. The voice of the little girl appears over the speakers. It’s an active call so Sherlock can speak to her. He tries to figure out exactly where she is but she is cut off. Eurus had help from Moriarty to create a certain amount of both games and tests for Sherlock. The first one is a tough one. She reveals that she has the Governor’s wife held captive. With the pistol that she has provided, Sherlock must choose either John or Mycroft to kill the Governor or she will kill his wife. Sherlock initially hands the gun to Mycroft but he refuses to commit murder. The Governor is begging someone to kill him so his wife will be saved. When Sherlock trains the gun in John’s direction, the Governor asks John if he is married. John says that he was and she has died. The Governor asks John what he would do to bring her back and John takes the gun. The Governor turns around to make it easier for John and he puts him on his knees. After a minute of internal deliberation, John can’t do it. The Governor grabs the gun from John, tells them to remember him and puts a bullet in his own head. This act overwhelms Mycroft and he is almost sick. Her demands not met, Eurus kills the Governor’s wife. She opens a door for the trio and they all move on.

New room, new problem. Sherlock, John and Mycroft are allowed to talk to the little girl on the plane. They don’t get long with her and Eurus cuts them off. She has a new puzzle for Sherlock. A man has been killed with a rifle from 300 feet away. There are 3 suspects and they are all brothers. The only evidence they have to go on is the rifle and 3 up to date photos of the suspects. There is a catch. The three suspects are hanging outside and the guilty person will be dropped into the sea. Through a series of excellent deductions, Sherlock picks the right guy. However, Eurus drops the other two. She drops the third guy aswell but says that it felt the same as killed the innocent brothers. Another door opens and they move on.

New room, new problem. They find an empty coffin with a lid that reads, I Love You. Sherlock deduces that the coffin is for a short woman who is unmarried, distant from her close relatives and most importantly, someone who loves Sherlock. Uh Oh. Eurus gives Sherlock 3 minutes to ring Molly Hooper and get her to say that she loves him or she will blow her house up. Initially, Molly doesn’t pick up but she eventually does and in a scene which heart rending to watch, she eventually tells Sherlock that she loves him with 2 seconds to spare. Sherlock proclaims that he has won but in fact, he has lost. There were never any explosives in Molly’s house and Sherlock has destroyed her emotionally by forcing her to tell her that she loves him. Sherlock freaks the fuck out and destroys the coffin with his bare hands. Seemingly defeated, John offers some words of wisdom and helps him back on his feet.

New room, new problem. This room is empty. Eurus tells him that the game must continue with only two. Sherlock must kill either Mycroft or John to continue. Mycroft begins to taunt Sherlock, telling him to kill John because the game will require brain power rather than sentiment. John isn’t exactly opposed to the idea but Sherlock isn’t fooled by Mycroft’s words. Mycroft confesses his part in this whole episode as he let Moriarty in a room for 5 minutes with Eurus and 5 minutes was all she needed to concoct the whole plan. Mycroft essentially tells Sherlock that it’s OK for him to shoot him, just not in
the head because he’d promise to lend his brain to medical science. I have to be honest, when I watched the scene, I really thought that Sherlock would kill Mycroft. But he doesn’t. Instead, Sherlock places the gun underneath his chin, just like the Governor did, and counts down from 10. Eurus starts freaking out and fires a dart into John and Sherlock before he can carry out the deed.

Sherlock wakes up in a strange room. He can hear the little girl on the plane and John who has woken up in a well. Sherlock figures out that the room he is in is a fake. He pushes the wall down and he finds himself back at his childhood home. Here comes a twist. Redbeard is not a dog. Redbeard was a nickname for Sherlock’s childhood best friend who Eurus trapped in a well because Sherlock never played with her, only with his best friend. Sherlock and this boy would always play pirates, Sherlock would be Yellowbeard and the boy would be Redbeard. Sherlock decides that he is not going to let her kill his best
friend. He finds her upstairs and another twist is that she is the girl on the plane. She is having a massive breakdown. Sherlock gives her a hug and begs her to ‘save John Watson’. John is rescued by the police and Eurus is taken back to Sherrinford. There is a heartwarming moment when Sherlock calls Lestrade by his first name and gets it right.

In the time that passes, John and Sherlock clean and rebuild 221B and continue solving cases. Mycroft tells his parents of the existence of Eurus and Sherlock regularly visits her to play the violin for her. John gets another video message from Mary who tells them of the legacy that they are creating by being together and calls them her ‘Baker Street Boys’.

The End.

I have to say that the writers set this up perfectly. I know that they said that this series would be the last but if they decide to make more then it’s still left open but if they don’t, then its left in such a way that it would be a fitting end. I do remember thinking that the last episode would contain references from the pilot episode and in the pilot, Lestrade told John that Sherlock is a great man and he hopes that one day, he could become a good one. Funnily enough in this episode, a policeman calls Sherlock a great but Lestrade says that he is a good man. All the questions that were hanging around the series were answered in a smart and sophisticated way and we found out how Moriarty came back. There was a point when I thought that he was alive but it was not to be. A shame really, I like Moriarty as a villain. Not even the writers of Sherlock could find an explanation for a bullet to the brain but looking back, that’s probably a good thing.

There are already rumours floating around that a fifth series is imminent and if that is the case, I would love to see more. This kind of television is superb to be a part of and the ensemble truly work. The performance and the eccentric characters is truly something to behold and there is just not a lot of it around these days. They have evolved and are not the same from when they started, especially Sherlock. Having started out as the man who knows everything and is really smug about it, his friendship with John and taught him that feelings aren’t such a bad thing. There is a moment early on when Mycroft wants John to leave because they are going to discuss ‘family’ matters but Sherlock refuses, stating ‘That’s why he stays!’. John himself has been through his fair share from day one and their relationship shows that they cannot be without the other. I hate to go all ‘fanfiction’ but its the truth. Rarely has television produced such a dynamic relationship that is believable and pleasuring to watch.

I close by pleading to the writers. Please, don’t leave us with the likes of TOWIE because that is just cruelty.

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