Benedict Cumberbatch (Desolation Of Smaug) and Martin Freeman (Civil War) continue to be great as Sherlock and Watson in the BBC’s modernization of the Conan Doyle stories. Sherlock’s first season appeared in 2010 and was an instant hit, much to do with its: great cast, storylines, directing and acting performances in conjunction to great writing from Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (The League Of Gentlemen). The idea behind the series was to make it modern. Watson has an online blog and Sherlock has a smartphone. Hardcore bookies will roll their eyes but it works. That being said, in the books, Sherlock was never fearful of being a modernist. He embraced the change.
Season 2 gives us more Moriarty (Andrew Scott) and introduces us to Da Vinci’s Demons’ Lara Pulver, a dominatrix who makes her main goal in life to be a thorn in Sherlock’s side by becoming his rival, trying to flirt with him and playing mind games via his main adversary…love. Fans of season one returned in their hoards for season two. This series is complex and you must follow closely to understand. It’s not one of those shows that can be on in the background. It’s a show where audiences need to pay one hundred percent attention because the tiniest details are what cracks the case, it’s all in the small print.
A Scandal Belgravia is my favourite episode of season two. In essence, Irene Adler (Pulver) has incriminating photos of a princess. Sherlock and Watson must retrieve these photos. But not before Sherlock is forcibly taken to Buckingham Palace. After working the case, he soon sees that she is more dangerous than he first thought. She has photos that the CIA are after in an encrypted camera phone which has links to a government conspiracy. He has to uncover with his powers of deduction, whether The Woman can be trusted and more importantly, if she’s in partnership with the even more sinister Jim Moriarty.
She uses her sexuality as a weapon to fight against Holmes. This was most obvious during the scene where she hosts Holmes, completely stark naked. Her lack of clothes made it impossible for Sherlock (Cumberbatch) to analyse her. We see this when her face is surrounded by question marks thus halting Holmes’ genius powers of deduction. As the episode ends, we see Adler is weaker than we first thought. She’s Moriarty’s pawn and the architect of her own demise. Her emotions and her love for Sherlock ruined her plan which puts her at the mercy of the world’s only consulting detective.
In The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Sherlock and Watson head to Dartmoor in Devon to investigate the mysterious beast that dwells in the wilderness. The episode starts with a boy scared out of mind running across the moor, with a giant hound in pursuit. This is a Sherlock Holmes case, so typically, nothing is ever what it seems. Then Sherlock has an entrance to match his eccentricity. His whole body is covered in blood whilst holding a harpoon. Struggling with cigarette withdrawals, he’s a mess; all while he claims his brain is the equivalent of “an engine racing out of control.” It’s a snapshot of Sherlock’s “mind palace”, a recurring theme throughout the ninety minutes.
Henry Knight (Russell Tovey) runs to the world’s consulting detective for help, and desperate for a case, Sherlock agrees. But not before unpacking the mind of this desperate individual through his trademark methods of deduction which often result in the pure ridicule of the recipient. At 221b Baker Street, Knight is a broken man suffering from insomnia and frightening flashbacks to the day his father was killed by the a beast on the moor. This was the beast with blood-red eyes that tor his father apart in front of this fear-stricken child.
Moriarty (Scott) comes close to stealing the Crown Jewels just to prove a point, and allows himself to be apprehended by Scotland Yard. Sherlock gives evidence against Moriarty has intimidated the jury into letting him walk. A number of events lead to Sherlock being arrested for the abduction of children. Subsequently, he goes on the run with Watson with the episode ending on a high note. Season two is filled to the brim with sensational performances, intelligent lines, audacious storylines and otherworldly direction. Full of mystery, intrigue, corruption and jaw dropping moments, season two is truly as excellent as its predecessor.