Well thank heavens for that, a return to form. Last week's episode of Sherlock was roundly debunked as a bad James Bond wannabe, with too many action scenes, too many loose ends and too many murderous old ladies in sensible shoes. But we should have known better than to doubt the mighty Sherlock. Neither loose ends nor wicked pensioners are allowed to exist around him for long.
Last week, you'll remember, Mary Watson was gunned down by one of those horrid grandmas inside a massive fish tank (they were going strong on the James Bond thing). Mycroft suggested that there might be a third Holmes sibling and Mr Watson sent the Twitter universe into melt-down by having a cyber affair with a smily young girl on a bus. Oh, and the secretary did it.
To cope with the death of his wife, Watson began the episode talking to a therapist and definitely NOT talking to Sherlock. Sherlock responded by turning his kitchen into a meth lab and turning himself into a ghostly white smackhead. So far, so Sherlock. And then the episode got good.
Enter Toby Jones as this week's evil villain: a beloved television personality with terrible teeth, charitable instincts and a personal relationship with the Queen. This was Jimmy Saville as murderer, in what must have been a painful watch for many of the producers at the BBC.
Alongside a broken friendship, a self-destructive detective and a truly revolting villain, The Lying Detective boasted a clever and winding storyline to keep our eyes popping in disbelief. Where there is criticism to be found, it's in the idea that Sherlock -- the man who can tell the size of someone's kitchen and whether she lives alone by the light cast on a piece of paper -- didn't recognise the same face when it appeared before him wearing different wigs. How likely is that?
Nevertheless, Sherlock's reputation as a class act was restored by this episode, which was a testament to the brilliance of creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. The British public are unlikely to fall out of love with Arthur Conan Doyle and his mad detective, damaged sidekick and the unexpected star of the show, stubborn Mrs Hudson, just yet.
Sherlock: The Lying Detective is on BBC iPlayer now
|What||Sherlock: The Lying Detective|
|Where||BBC1 | MAP|
08 Jan 17 – 07 Feb 17, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM