For all that's been said about Sherlock season three's middle episode, usually the position for the weakest of the show's three episode seasons, I found myself surprised as the episode drew to a close.
Not by the solution to the mystery, which was actually stronger than non-spoiler comments from previous viewers would have had me believe. Not by the continuing focus on the Sherlock and John bromance. Those things weren't unexpected. Surprising at the level they were, but not a complete surprise.
No, what came at me from out of the blue as Franki Valli and the Four Seasons sang "Oh, what a night!" was something I had never felt from any production of a Sherlock Holmes tale ever before, and a true surprise at that . . . the feeling that Sherlock Holmes actually lived in the same world I do.
This episode is of a different caliber, a more mundane caliber, with Sherlock Holmes turning his powers toward things the rest of us are familiar with, being surrounded by the things the rest of us know so well. After all the talk of past attempts to "humanize" Sherlock Holmes by giving him weaknesses, I found myself completely amazed to find the one show that had portrayed him as "a man who wants to be a god" had found the most direct route to doing such a thing.
Humanizing Sherlock Holmes doesn't take a drug addiction, which, thankfully, will never be a part of the world for so many of us. It takes alcohol. And bridesmaids. And unlikely friendships.
And a silly pop song from 1975.
Bravo, Sherlock. Bravo. Bring on "His Last Vow."