Monday, January 13, 2014

Sherlock season three, episode three: His Last Vow delivered a jaw-dropping final five minutes SPOILERS GALORE

Tim Liew
January 12, 2014

Sherlock finale delivered jaw-dropping conclusion

Sherlock resorts to extreme measures to defeat blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen in the series finale, His Last Vow.

[Warning - major spoilers] Steven Moffat provides a fitting ending to series three, as a twisting, intrigue-filled plot sees the defeat of one nemesis followed by the return of another.

‘I’m not a hero, I’m a high-functioning sociopath’

The first two episodes of this third series have proven divisive among the show’s fans, as more humour and the introduction of Mary marked a shift from plot-driven stories to more relationship-based ones.

Now we know why Moffat and Mark Gatiss pursued this route. The lightness of the opening episodes was needed to offset the darkness of the finale. Yes, there are humorous moments, but none of the whimsy particularly evident in The Sign of Three.

Ultimately Sherlock’s final, shocking act is a product of his vow at the Watsons’ wedding to always be there for them. It’s an indication of the extent of his friendship that he does not hesitate to sacrifice himself for them – an emotional reaction which neither Mycroft nor the pre-fall Sherlock could have countenanced.

The power of information

In many ways, the creepy and charmless Magnussen is an even more chilling nemesis than Moriarty, both being mirror images of what Sherlock might have become.

From his position as a media mogul, he acquires compromising evidence on people, which gives him the power and wealth to gain even more information and therefore influence. That’s a notion which strikes a chord with modern-day concerns about surveillance and personal data.

By contrast, John finds his power by burning the USB drive containing details of Mary’s past. In doing so, he unburdens them both.

For Magnussen, knowledge is power. For John, the absence of knowledge is freedom.


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