Sherlock Season 4 Finale Draws Mixed Fan Response

An East Wind blows hard

by | January 16, 2017 | Comments

Sherlock star BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (Courtesy of Laurence Cendrowicz/Hartswood Films & MASTERPIECE)

Sherlock fans are already feeling bereft of their beloved Baker Street Boys based on social media posts after the season 4 finale. Many praised the episode, “The Final Problem” — in particular, several fan-favorite moments punctuating the episode — but there were also detractors.

Spoilers ahead! Do not read on if you have not seen season 4, episode 3 of Sherlock. 

The episode began with an unfamiliar young girl on plane. Everyone’s knocked out. A phone rings. She answers it, begging for help. “Hello!” a voice says brightly. “My name’s Jim Moriarty. Welcome to the final problem.”

Sherlock Mycroft Holmes played by MARK GATISS (Courtesy of Laurence Cendrowicz/Hartswood Films & MASTERPIECE)

Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) orchestrate an elaborate scene to scare the wits out of Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) and force him to confess that they have a wicked younger sister: “Eurus is coming and someone’s disabled all of your security. Sleep well!”

Sherlock calls a family meeting back at 221B Baker Street where Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs)  is everyone’s hero.

And Mycroft is decidedly not running the show.

Then a drone shows up and blows up 221B Baker Street and spoils all the fun, but we’ll always have the memories…


Then Sherlock, Mycroft, and John have to resort to piracy to reach the impressive prison fortress Sherrinford, home to Eurus (Sian Brooke)?



Once inside Sherrinford, Eurus attacks Sherlock and proves that she is the one in charge. Then…

Moriarity shows up! To Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” and the sounds of crowds (and social media) cheering. Thanks, Andrew Scott for bringing to life such a delightful villain.

“Smell all that insane criminality,” Moriarty observes, then asks about the prison’s cannibal population. “People leave their bodies to science. I think cannibals would be so much more grateful.”

“5 years earlier” comes on the screen much to fans’ dismay.


Turns out Eurus wanted an audience with Moriarty. He’s her Christmas present. She says his Christmas present is Redbeard and creepy necking through glass ensues.


Back to present day.

The prison governor, Dr. Watson, Mycroft, and Sherlock are imprisoned. Eurus wants either Mycroft or Watson to kill the governor or else she’ll kill the governor’s wife. The governor kills himself when neither can do it. Eurus, of course, still kills the wife.

“She’s literally taken over the asylum…” Like the Joker in Arkham.


Sherlock must “save” Molly Hooper by forcing her in a three-minute phone call to confess that she loves him. That done, he kills a coffin.

(Actress Louise Brealey leaves a “goodbye” message.)


Moving on in this insane maze of limited location budget, Sherlock must shoot either Mycroft or John.

But Eurus knocks out all three when Holmes threatens to kill himself. When he wakes he has to deal with the girl on the plane, while John is in a well filling with water.

We learn that, as a child playing pirates, Sherlock was Yellowbeard and his best friend Victor Trevor was Redbeard. And Eurus was sent away because she killed a child, not a dog.

Then Sherlock goes maybe a little bit off the rails. Eurus is the little girl on the plane? (John Watson is drowning.) Sherlock appeals to the little girl on the plane. (John Watson is drowning.) Sherlock explains that Eurus’ mind has invented “the perfect metaphor” about being alone on a plane she can’t land. (For the love of procrastination, John Watson is drowning!) Sherlock finally asks the little girl to help him save his best friend.

A light shines on John Watson as someone throws down a rope, which he grabs. Wasn’t he chained? Someone’s going to have to get their boots wet.

Greg shows up.

In the end, all is well and “It is what it is,” Watson says.

Mycroft confesses to his parents that their daughter is alive, and his livid mom calls him “idiot boy.”

Sherlock plays dueling violins with Eurus at Sherrinford.

Mary has the last say, in her final recorded message imploring Watson and Sherlock to get back to work over a images of the renovation of 221B Baker Street.

Final fan reactions ran the gamut.  Mostly “Series finale? Say it isn’t so!”

But the grumblers were out in force.


And one final thought on the “The Final Problem”:

Has Sherlock‘s time come to end? Take our poll, then share more of your thoughts on whether there should be a season 5 in the comments.

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