Before diving into the post-Sherlock finale reactions on the web, I have to ask myself this question: While everyone seems to know a James Bond thing or two, how many of those commenting are going to recognize a Batman story when they see it?
The Joker locks Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon in Arkham Asylum and puts them through a series of puzzles that will inevitably tie somehow to the secret origin of the Batman.
That, of course, is not a specific Batman tale, but one close to so many told over the years. And tonight, it felt like Moffat and Gatiss were giving Sherlock Holmes both his Joker and his origin story. Of course, Moriarty had to come back to be wacky-insane, because we couldn't have two of those. And somehow I felt like Holmes's Joker being female was Moffat and Gatiss somehow metaphorically portraying their trials at the hands of a largely female fandom. (Something we might have seen a touch of in "Abominable Bride," as well.)
My own loyal companion, the good Carter, hasn't read as many Batman tales as I, and is not the sort of person to have seen a truck-with-tentacles movie in the afternoon prior, as I am. Those factors might have been why she didn't care for any of tonight's offering except the final, fabulous tribute montage. Me?
I'm addicted to the sensational. And this was sensational.
With as many complaints as I've heard about the last two seasons of Sherlock, I will take any one of those six episodes (and the Christmas special) any day in place of "The Blind Banker" from season one. It was cute, a satisfactory mystery is so hard to pull off. And there are so many mediocre ones out there. I'd much rather see someone explore the character of Sherlock Holmes, even if they don't quite get it exactly aligned to my perfect view of the man.
I mean, does Sherlock Holmes need an origin story? No. A man with talent pushing his gifts as far as he can with all educational means available is origin enough. But a sister whose name means "the East wind" who is smarter than either Holmes we've met before? I'll give that a go, to see how it plays out. It's entertaining enough, and why do I sit down in front of the television set?
Well, not to get any exercise, that's for sure.
The lovely ending tribute to Holmes and Watson ending this episode spoke to the eternal spirits of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and it was a warm assurance that even if this series does not go any further, we will still have another Sherlock and another John and a familiar address on Baker Street where those in trouble will head for help. It may not be Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, but that's okay. The men they played have been with us, and will be with us, for a long time to come.
There will be good, there will be bad. We will clap with delight and groan in eye-rolling disdain.
But, hey, Sherlock Holmes!
And I for one, am glad to have had three more of these. And will be taking a trip to the theater to see this one again on the big screen tomorrow night.