The second series of Sherlock kicks off with a take on ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’, the case which introduced us to Irene Adler, one of the few people to have ever outwitted Sherlock Holmes in the original stories, and, as we soon find out, in this television series too.
I’m not entirely sure what we just watched, but I think it may be a masterpiece. It’s rare that a mystery can have so many disparate elements actually work in some fashion, never mind come together at the end into a coherent whole. Up until the last ten minutes I was getting ready to complain about how the first twenty minutes had no bearing whatsoever on the actual Adler case — and then suddenly it worked.
I’m sure I’ll find something to complain about by tomorrow (well, aside from the bit below). Until then I’m happy to enjoy my favourite part of ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ – the relationships; Sherlock showing his softer and protective sides with Molly and Mrs Hudson, Watson trying to convince everyone that his friendship with Holmes isn’t that close (and losing his latest girlfriend in the process), Sherlock and Irene’s twisted romance. It was all very interesting to watch, especially since this episode took the character of Irene further than the original short story did.
While in the story Watson was sure Sherlock didn’t love Irene in the conventional sense, I’m not convinced the same is true in Sherlock. I hope he doesn’t — Sherlock is more fun when he’s cold and detached — but it would be okay if he did. The end of the episode was quite sweet, after all.
I only have two problems with this episode. The first is that I still cannot stand Moriarty. The childishness takes the threat right out of him, even with explosives and guns involved. And really now, he blew a raspberry. I’d find Watson more frightening than Moriarty any day. The second problem I have is with Irene traipsing around naked; not because I’m a massive prude (I was hoping Sherlock would lose his sheet entirely), but because Sherlock should surely have been able to get some sort of reading off a well-kept woman working as a dominatrix with half a pound of makeup and Louboutins on, not to mention her choice of residence and the company she keeps. As adorable as his confusion was, it was also ridiculous.
All in all, a great episode that builds on the best bits of series 1. The transitions and cuts were flawless, the incorporation of text messages and blog posts was fantastic, and Sherlock in the deerstalker hat was a great shout out to his styling in previous incarnations of the character. Next week brings us Sherlock‘s take on perhaps the most well-known short story, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. I cannot wait!
What did you think of ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’? Let us know in the comments below!