I just finished Sherlock over the past few days and oh my goodness, it is, truly a masterpiece. This is a show that made television history, took London by storm, and has a huge and patient fanbase that waited for years and years just for Season 4. I myself watched Season 1 when I was really young, like maybe when I was seventeen years old, and stopped there. Yet, it remained at the back of my mind and I never really forgot about it. Something that captured me as a young audience, though I do not quite know how to read between the lines and analyze the complicated crimes, was Sherlock’s deductions. That was the thing that kept me captivated and drew me back in again as a fan 4 years later.
I’m 21 now, and amazingly enough, started Sherlock Season 2 just after my 21st birthday. Having left for such a long time, it did not feel hard to come back at all, but this time taking on a storyline with a more mature perspective, I begin to see what a complex character Sherlock was and the different layers and layers of personality Benedict Cumberbatch injected upon this character in order to bring it to life.
Perhaps the overriding theme that I found most attractive was Sherlock’s character development, his humanness, we can see how much the character has grown since Season 1 and I am so proud of him. We can see how he might react differently to the same things. One of the most touching scenes was when Sherlock said, “Taking your own life…interesting expression. Taking it from who? Once it’s over, it’s not you who will miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.” and then you realise he said that because he saw how his beloved John grieved over Mary’s death, and then you realise this is an example of how pain changes people. The writers did not just add that line in to show Sherlock’s compassion in saving the suicidal woman, but it shows Sherlock’s empathy and his lessons learned from pain.
Many people watched Season 4 and said it was absolute shit, disappointing, whatever. Due to the bad reviews, many fans avoided Season 4 fearing that it might spoil the whole show for them. Many are satisfied with the ending in Season 3. I highly doubt there’ll be a fifth season, so I’m going to talk as if Season 4 is the last one. I loved Season 4, even though it does not queerbait as much. It does not ship #JohnLock as much, and yes, the friendship between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is so ruined it is almost painful for me to watch. But Season 4 made me realise it is Sherlock who has fallen so deeply in love for John, maybe even more than he himself realises. More than what John realises. He blames himself for Mary’s death, stating “she gave my life a value, a currency which I do not know how to spend.” and that part just broke me. Sherlock is SO HUMAN in Season 4, a side of him the audience yearns to see for so long. Therefore, I personally liked Season 4 and I think it is worth watching.
Let’s talk about queerbaiting. Some people might see John and Sherlock as strictly platonic, but I do really think Sherlock has feelings for John, although I’m not sure if it is reciprocated. BBC Sherlock is full of gay subtext. It hints at Johnlock strongly. In Season 4, those feelings that Sherlock has kept buried inside him for so long, finally resurfaced when it is tested to its limits.
Season 3 is like the end of an era because John got married. Sherlock’s back, but things changed after 2 years. Season 3 &4’s visual effects and camera technique is so good. It is literally a work of art and visual feast for the eyes. I’ve seen the behind the scenes and production for it and it is so awesome!!
Word of warning though: Season 4 has also hurt me in so many levels. It practically haunts its viewer, episode after episode, with dark themes and very traumatic things happening to Sherlock. You’ll feel very sorry for him. Watching S4 hits me with a wave of nostalgia for S1 & 2. The light-heartedness of crime-solving in S1 & 2 seems like a very long, long, time ago; in a far, far away place…almost like visiting an old home. Watching Sherlock in Season 4, for me, was like looking through a mirror.
“It’s not a pleasant thought, John, but I have this terrible feeling from time to time that we might all just be human.”
I think precisely why I can relate to it is because I realized I’m a lot like Sherlock. Sherlock was an emotional child, with his dog Redbeard and everything, and then he loses a sense of what really happened to him, cos adult Sherlock later finds out that his dog doesn’t exist at all. It is a perfect example of burying one’s emotions until you are emotionless, and the things we have learned to keep quiet about have seemed to fade over time. Being quiet and reserved when I want to be, and I don’t deny that I like that side of me. Even better, I have managed to build up a bubbly and outgoing facade that makes everyone who meets me almost positively sure that I am an extrovert. I talk a lot, I tell everyone ‘everything’ about myself, but no one believes that ‘everything’ is only the tip of an iceberg, because ‘everything’ seems so much. Sometimes we don’t necessarily open up to people because we are not sure how mature they are, or how much they can empathize, or if our pain would ruin them.
In the final episode, Sherlock had to dig into his past ghosts and fears and we suddenly realize Sherlock’s got all these layers and layers of emotional context buried underneath him for all these years. They were so quiet, we were almost positive it didn’t exist. I was taken by surprise as I realized that the strongest aspects of Sherlock is not his brain, but his heart. He labels himself as a sociopath, thinks like a machine, is a heartless, apathetic character but Season 4’s character growth and revelations tell us that he’s actually more human than anyone else.
The loneliest people are the kindest, the saddest people smile the brightest, and the most damaged people are the wisest.