Sherlock is a show that has unfortunately been starting to decline. Ever since Moriarty died in season two, things just haven’t felt the same. Sherlock Holmes has recently developed a heart; whether that’s a good thing or not is still up for debate. Needless to say, season four was still good in its own right. It has just turned into a different type of television show. The most recent season was a whirlwind of emotions, but it faced the ramifications of having one of the most incredible seasons in television history happen during its second season. Now, it just feels like the show runners are trying to do whatever they can to make the following seasons just as great which is somewhat of an impossible task.
One of the ways that Sherlock attempted to entice their viewers was by promising a showing of everyone’s favorite character who just happens to be an incredible villain: Moriarty. Sherlock gets to come back home after killing Magnussen in season three because everyone believes that Moriarty has essentially come back from the dead. The only person everyone thinks can defeat Moriarty is of course Sherlock Holmes. Unfortunately, none of this was the actual case. The person causing chaos all throughout the U.K. was in fact Sherlock and Mycroft’s sister, Eurus. While this caused some disappointment, there was still something truly fascinating about the edition of a Holmes’s sister.
One of the biggest curiosities began with showing that Eurus was smarter than both Sherlock and Mycroft put together. A woman too clever for her own good, she was locked away after doing some truly horrible things such as killing Redbeard and lighting her house on fire when she was only a small child. We saw her playing various roles throughout the entire season, yet we all brushed it off because bigger things were happening (i.e., Mary dying, Sherlock almost dying, etc.).
Sherlock has been known for having all the women in the show be better than men without giving them that recognition. Mary was one of the best spies in the world. Molly is a doctor who is always there for her friends. Mrs. Hudson stood up to her horrible husband, is a great owner of property throughout London, and isn’t afraid to kidnap Sherlock and put him in the trunk of her top of the line Aston Martin. The only woman who was somewhat appreciated for her skills was in fact “The Woman” Irene Adler who was defeated by Sherlock and hasn’t been around since (except for the occasional text message). These women go unappreciated by the men who think they are smarter than everyone else. It isn’t until Eurus demands for these men to pay attention because she is sick and tired of being forgotten about.
Eurus is the twist on the quintessential damsel in distress who has been locked away in a tower. Refusing to be forgotten about, she takes revenge on those who she knows best: her brothers. With the help of Moriarty before his death, which brings on the best five minutes of the entire season with his flashback cameo, she gives deadly tasks to Sherlock, Watson, and Mycroft. While throughout the episode it is easy to believe that she is doing this because she’s simply out of her mind, it’s in fact so more than that.
Eurus is still human, yet she has been treated like an animal. Just like a lion in a small cage at the zoo, she’s bored, lonely, and longs for more. Sherlock has to break himself down just to realize this and that’s when he rescues her from herself. They form a strange bond. Sherlock understand Eurus because he was a less extreme version of her before John Watson waltzed into his life. He appreciates her intelligence and wants nothing more than for her to feel understood. As it was said before, Sherlock has developed feelings of empathy. His heart has grown. While this is fantastic for him as a human being, it’s horrible for the audience who misses their favorite high-functioning sociopath.
Eurus has an insane mind and scary capabilities. For once, there was an episode with a female villain who did more than use her body to make her way through the world. (Though, don’t get me wrong, I do love Irene Adler.) There is a lot to be questioned still. What does this mean for Eurus? Does a little bit of care truly subdue her the way they showed it to be at the end of the final episode of the season? What did she and Moriarty actually discuss for five minutes? Is this woman just going to go back to being locked away with the occasional visit from her family members? There was too much information for the ninety minute episode to get through. This is probably why everyone was thinking there would be a secret fourth episode.
Sherlock isn’t the same as it once was. It never will be the same most likely. It doesn’t mean that the show has gone in the wrong direction. There is just something to say about a show reaching its best too early on. Eurus was supposed to add a dynamic that I think was almost accomplished. While everyone thinks that this might have been the last season, the show has already been renewed by PBS for a fifth season which I have taken as a good sign. The story will continue, but will this female Holmes aspect become part of the regular story? An even better question: do we want it to?