The word "liar" was spotted upon my first viewing of "The Empty Hearse." The way Private Life was interwoven with "A Scandal in Bohemia" for "Belgravia" was not lost on me when considering the potential that The Crucifer of Blood held for "His Last Vow." But they still led me down the garden path on this one. Or to put it more to the point, Steven Moffat owned me for eight-nine minutes tonight.
"His Last Vow." Christ.
When the arguments about Elementary come up, as they occasionally do, I get written off as a Sherlock fan by many a defender of the procedural's place in our view of Sherlocks. And in the past, I've looked around at the true Sherlock fans I have encountered, their talent, their zeal, their marvelous attention to detail, and thought . . . no, I would not put myself in their class. There are some real masters of Sherlock fandom out there; to call one's self a fan next to them seems . . . well, like bragging.
I'm just an old Sherlockian war horse, still plodding along from the eighties. And yet, Sherlock just keeps reminding me what it was like to be young and excited about Sherlock Holmes. Enough old and familiar bits are there that I recognize my old friends these stories, and yet they keep finding ways to make me feel what Conan Doyle was pressing first-time Victorian readers to feel. It's the telegram-then text-message-now translation, just done with entire stories.
Oh, yes, they're playing pastiche. An indulgence of Mycroft. Billy Wiggins, of course there's a Billy Wiggins. Moriarty doing guest mental or imaginary story guest spots, and even . . . well, we'll leave that for now. But they're playing pastiche so bloody well.
That's what gets me about this series. I'm not really looking to be a fan. I'm not expecting them to succeed when I sit down to an episode, and the longer their streak runs, the more I expect failure. But they keep applying the paddles to my aged Sherlockian heart and shouting, "CLEAR!"
And so, with the end of season three, I guess I will accept being called a fan of Sherlock. It seems silly to have to be identified as a fan of quality workmanship in any arena, like someone is just saying, "OHHHH, you like good things, thoughtfully crafted!" Well, yes, I do.
So fan I am. Thank you, Moffat, Gatiss, et al.
(And after this season, it seems that we Sherlock fans have our own version of "muggles" to throw around, should we start getting snooty about our love of the good stuff. I'd really rather not be one of those sorts of fans, so I'll be using said word as a dashboard "Check Engine" light. If you have no clue as to what I'm talking about, good for you, gentle soul. Don't worry over it.)