"Sherlock" The Great Game (TV Episode 2010) Poster

(TV Series)

(2010)

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Brave move, which works a treat!
frodopain9 August 2010
As an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, I was excited about the proposed Sherlock 2010, but also wary. Holmes interpretations over the years have varied tremendously, and I've always been disappointed by any which lose the essence of the character...his brilliance, arrogance and indifference to the trivial which his mental gifts impose on him. I personally feel that this script-writing, combined with Cumberbatch's astute delivery do the job with aplomb.

My favourite Holmes actor has always been Jeremy Brett and Cumberbatch is the only other who has come close in terms of capturing Sherlock's sheer aloofness and 'quick-wittedness'.

This particular episode is a complex one, which requires some concentration but the rewards make it well worth it. Enjoy!
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8/10
Running down the Big Villain
Quinoa198422 August 2012
In this first real brush with James Moriarty, the notorious arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes going back to the original stories, The Great Game presents a kind of plot that is perfect for a Sherlock Holmes story: what happens when the 'Game' of it becomes the whole point, and that a mystery wraps into a riddle and then another mystery, all leading to a painting that may (or may not!) be a fake. At the start of the episode Sherlock is bored with the cases he's been having and is then rocked into one by an explosion that rocks his own 221 Baker street home. Then there's the big 'plot' of the thing, where people keep turning up with phone calls, frightened voices, and bombs attached to them. Will they go off or will Holmes follow the game to where it needs to go and crack the codes and so on?

He does, and the fun in watching this episode/film is how Holmes realizes that the man behind all of this is Moriarty, which makes him have to turn up the stakes for himself (more than usual anyway, which are already petty high), and it becomes one of the better stories for this Sherlock a) Cumberbatch is so good, b) Freeman matches up (or tries to keep up) with his co-star, and c) when Andrew Scott finally appears as Moriarty, he really brings it and makes a big impression. I love this Moriarty as a man who is super-intelligent, but also wants to see Holmes as something more extraordinary, not just another ordinary person. Moriarty is a freak, but so is Holmes, and they complete each other in that odd way of nemeses. That scene alone, the climax of the thing (and how it does a twist, and then maybe another twist, in the showdown), is worth watching the episode all on its own.
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Thrilling but incomprehensible in places
pawebster9 August 2010
Despite gluing my eyes to the screen, and my ears to the speakers, I lost the plot in several places while watching this. I have a number of unanswered questions, but I won't go into them for fear of spoiling the enjoyment of those who haven't seen it yet.

However, it is no secret that Moriarty (not credited) reveals himself in this episode, which is exciting.

In fact the whole thing is thrilling and the fact that I am baffled half the time doesn't put me off.

Cumberbatch is excellent, and so is Freeman, whose role as Watson is harder to make interesting.

Watch this series - it's great.
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9/10
gee, I hope they are making more of these
blanche-210 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Only three episodes? They need to make more. I just read that Cumberbatch is going to be doing Frankenstein on stage in London - I hope he's just on hiatus from "Sherlock," as I'm loving every minute of it.

In this episode, Sherlock is bored and has taken to shooting holes in his wall. His brother Mycroft has a case for him, the murder of a civil servant and the theft of plans for a missile, but Sherlock appears to brush him off.

Then comes a case that really excites him, beginning when a bomb blasts through 221 Baker St. The bomber kidnaps innocent people, who then have bombs strapped to them. They call Sherlock and give him a case which he has to solve in a given number of hours, or the person dies. If Sherlock solves the case, the police can go and pick up the innocent victim.

This is the episode where Moriarity finally appears, and there's a stand-off by a swimming pool at the end. And of course, Sherlock never forgot about Mycroft's case.

I figured out part of this, but not all. For those who have trouble understanding the British speech (they don't body mike or filter out sound), my suggestion is to do what I do, closed captioning! My sister lived in England and can interpret, but if she's not around, I use the captioning. Otherwise, it would drive me crazy.

I love the modernization of Sherlock Holmes. It's fabulous. But we need more episodes - NOW.
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7/10
The Great Game
bobcobb30110 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A good episode here that had about an extra 25-30 minutes it did not need. We got the gist of the game, we knew what they were going for, and they definitely should have wrapped things up much faster than they did.

The villain was good, but the cliffhanger at the end was a little bit of a letdown. No need to do that when the series is already short to begin with.
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Season 1: Roundly entertaining and well made police procedural which makes for perfect Sunday night viewing
bob the moo22 August 2010
Much has been made of this updating of Holmes to a modern age and I think that a lot of praise for this has been a little bit based around the fact that the show has generally done well and didn't fall on its face. I'll not join it in this gush of praise over the modernisation though because frankly the show is not hugely different from a lot of other crime shows at the moment. What we have in Sherlock is a brilliant detective who has a "difficult" character but is put up with because he can solve weekly crimes like nobody else. If that sound familiar it is not a million miles away from the main characters in Psych, Monk, The Mentalist, Lie to Me, House and many other shows in the "quirky but brilliant investigator" genre at the moment. I don't say this to belittle the show but rather just to observe that Sherlock is another show in a very crowded genre.

It is this crowded genre that means it deserves praise though, because it does standout and it is enjoyable whereas several shows in the genre do seem to be going through the motions without any reason to watch them over their cousins. Sherlock is of course given a boost by who the character is but it could also have been a millstone around its neck. To its credit the very first episode makes the update easy. Instant messaging and access to information on the internet is brought into it but never to such a point where it is forced into the viewer's face. More importantly, the level below this superficial update focuses on the deductive powers of the detective, the crimes and the relationship with Watson. All of these things are well done and are the reason why the three episodes are enjoyable. It is also telling that the second episode (The Blind Banker) didn't have as good dialogue between Sherlock and Watson and wasn't as enjoyable as a result.

The Doctor Who effect on the tone is present but not to the point where it makes it silly or just loud for the sake of being loud (which that show often can be). Instead it seems to make it energetic and accessible but without making it into a 5pm tea-time family romp. It does have a bit of darkness to it and in particular the first episode does very well to build tension (although the "pill" confrontation isn't as good as I had hoped) but it needs to do it more often. The reveal of Moriarty is OK but not great; his character is probably the most obvious bit of Dr Who in here since he is in the mould of the new flamboyant Master. He didn't quite convince opposite Sherlock but it will be down to the writers in the second series to use this character well to produce some great mental battles. Certainly Cumberbatch is up to the task and I found him very good in the title role, just the right amount of superiority without being annoying or remote while also conveying the intellect side well. He works well with Freeman, who is also very good despite essentially doing the same sort of character he did in The Office and since. With these two working well as they do the show is already done but the supporting cast are generally strong as well.

Generally Sherlock produced perfect Sunday night viewing. It is an engaging show without taking itself too seriously; it is fast paced with humour without being silly or overly loud and it has elements of the New Who in terms of accessibility without taking too many of the negative aspects of that show with it. I found it very easy to enjoy and am one of many looking forward to the second season when it inevitably comes.
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8/10
The Game is On
ericksonsam6021 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In this season one finale, Sherlock Holmes constantly finds himself in a race against time. A mysterious Moriarty comes up with case after a case for Holmes to solve as he threatens to kill people that are strapped with explosives. Along the way, Mycroft wants Holmes to find the missing Bruce-Partington missile plans after the body of his associate ended up on the railroad tracks. In episode's climax, Holmes gets into a confrontational showdown with Moriarty.

The plot is compelling from start to finish. Like most episodes, it moves at a lighting pace that also helps capture the fast-paced world of London. "The Great Game" earns its title as plays like a series of puzzles creating plenty of suspense as well as intrigue. It is like a series of cliffhanger serials rolled into one (add the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger). Not to mention that it has nice Sherlock and John camaraderie as well as lots of chases, punches, and explosions.

We also get to see Moriarty for the first time, played with brilliance by Andrew Scott. This Moriarty isn't a Professor but rather just a cunning psychopath. In his mannerisms, he comes across as if he is someone that has extreme ADHD as he enjoys playing games with Holmes. There is a rather frightening childishness to him. He is a criminal mastermind of the twisted kind. Think of him like The Riddler or The Joker to Sherlock Holmes's Batman.

This last episode of the first season marks a high point for the series as the show would only get better and better after this.
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9/10
Great drama: intrigue, tension and mystery abound
grantss30 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sherlock Holmes is bored - there are no intriguing murder cases to solve. Then a nearby flat is blown up and Holmes starts to think something may be afoot. His brother Mycroft visits and tries to get him to solve a suspected murder case involving an MI6 officer and find the top secret missile plans he had. Holmes is not that interested. The bomb case gets more intriguing, and deadly, when Holmes is contacted by a would-be victim of the bomber. Unless Holmes solves a certain case within 12 hours, the bomb attached to the person will be detonated. Time is of the essence.

Great, intriguing story. Tension-filled, with the tension and pacing tightly controlled to great effect. Great sense of mystery, but with a time limit, making it even more interesting.

Some good humorous moments too.

Best of all, we get to meet Holmes' arch-nemesis for the first time...
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10/10
One of the best TV-Shows that I've ever saw.
ido-shle6 September 2011
"Sherlock" is an excellent series. As the series progresses, it gets better, until the amazing climax at the end of this episode. the director has done a great job, he hasn't used too much effects, and instead he has used some amazing editing things like camera movement, unusual camera angles and very nice focus games. All these effects did the series, and this episode especially, so good. I want to point out that the music was amazing, too. the cast did their job on the best side. Cumberbatch gave us an excellent role, which I liked it more than Downey Junior's Sherlock Holmes. I hope that Cumberbatch will do the transition from TV to the big screen. The third episode's plot was very good, the director keep us suspense until the last minutes, with the amazing finish. What can I say? please give us more episodes, and not just 3 more. Elementary, my dear Watson.
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10/10
Two brilliant characters meeting each other
axel-koch30 May 2014
With the season finale "The Great Game", Sherlock returns to the successful formula of its pilot and makes use of Paul McGuigan as a director, one of the two series creators as a writer, Rupert Graves and Mark Gatiss as supporting actors, and a villain worthy of receiving Sherlock Holmes' attention – and guess what? It works perfectly.

Reintroducing the world's only consulting detective as he interrogates a British murderer in a Belarusian prison and gets more irritated by the man's incorrect grammar and manner of speaking than his actual crime, "The Great Game" starts superbly already and offers one of the best pieces of writing to be found in it: "I'll get hung for this." – "No, not at all. Hanged, yes." What follows doesn't disappoint either and both the development of Sherlock and John's relationship and the crimes they try to solve are a delight to watch. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman show exceptional acting talent in their characters' snide repartee and their actually taking quite a liking to each other. However, there is someone dwarfing them: Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty. Although, when Sherlock's arch enemy makes his first appearance in one of the series's all-time best moments, he's just office romance Jim. The Irishman later returns for an even greater scene in the history of Sherlock and gives an unequalled performance that I'd be perfectly fine with if it were the only one I'd ever see again for the rest of my life.

And even if, as Scott stated himself, this swimming pool scene I was alluding to in the previous paragraph was rushedly written by Mark Gatiss, the result is brimming with witty writing and one of the best ideas the Sherlock creator have had for relocating the classic story into modern times. As has been established, he and Steven Moffat practice such re-writing of the Arthur Conan Doyle story on other occasions as well, and for "The Great Game", the two have come up with some jewels – "I'd be lost without my blogger" instead of "I'd be lost without my Boswell" or Holmes' network of homeless persons instead of the Baker Street Irregulars, to name a few.

The main plot underlying such little references is just as good, merging multiple entertaining cases into a bigger picture that culminates into what I'd venture to judge as a perfect final showdown. Yet all of the 90 minutes of running time are outstanding filmmaking, amusing and suspenseful, well-written and well-directed. One minor drawback of "The Great Game" are its scores of supporting characters, often but rudimentally evolved ones that echo the likes of less original television crime programmes.

This spectacular final episode of Sherlock's first season makes amends for its offering no more than three feature-length episodes and manifests the series as true high-quality entertainment. And though it truly is a finely crafted one, it's not that much the cliffhanger at the end that has your excitement for the second season go sky high, but what the series has accomplished overall.

My detective scribblings: • Una Stubbs is such a lovely little cast member – her facial expressions when being ignored by Sherlock, John, and Lestrade are just wonderful acting and make you want to cuddle her, don't they? • The thought of a woman just sitting in a car in the car park wearing a bombing vest is actually quite a spine-chilling thought if you contemplate it. • Character information: John's lying and Sherlock's astronomy knowledge are about on the same, abysmally low level. • "She was going places. " – "Not anymore." I was somehow expecting Sherlock to put on a pair of sunglasses and transform into Horatio Caine after that statement. • You could argue that the planetarium fight scene John and Sherlock vs the Golem is plainly ridiculous, but I'm a big fan of it anyway: the cinematography, editing, and astronomy trivia heard in the background make it an ingeniously crafted scene and a lot of fun to watch, in my opinion. • "Meretricious." – "And a happy new year." Lestrade has just earned himself an award. • Making his hostage John say "gottle o' gear" makes Moriarty all the greater and really had me bursting into laughter. • Exceptional editing by Charlie Phillips in this episode, I personally loved the transition between Sherlock and John at the train tracks and the two walking to Joe Harrison's flat. • Best line of dialogue: "Stop inflicting your opinions on the world." – What a classy way to insult someone.
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10/10
I can't follow half of it, but couldn't care less, this is magical.
Sleepin_Dragon31 July 2018
The height of brilliance is how I'd describe The Great Game, it's a deeply complex and multi layered story, that on the surface is quite hard to follow, partly because the show is so energetic and pacey, that it moves from one conundrum to another. It all seems to make sense in the end during the first proper encounter between Holmes and Moriarty.

It's eighty minutes of tantalising, gripping non stop energy, and ten minutes of the best TV viewing of all time, Cumberbatch and Freeman are excellent, both so impressive in their roles, but the magic comes from the full introduction of Andrew Scott, his characterisation of the normally sober Moriarty must rank as one of the best performances of all time. Scott is breathtakingly good in the role, drowning in charisma and personality, he played the definitive Moriarty, talk about elevating the show. That showdown scene was simply perfect.

I loved it. 10/10
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2/10
Andrew Scott was just painful
chiguy176 September 2018
I'm not familiar w Andrew Scott, so I don't know if he's a capable actor in other roles, but in this episode, his portrayal of Moriarty is just laughable. Not a single line was believable. Perhaps it was his attempt at conveying insanity/instability, but all he managed to do was to portray a silly, poorly conceived character with a completely amateurish execution. He by no means represented the criminal mastermind nemesis of literature. I don't completely agree w the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, but at least he's a skilled actor. It was seriously as is Andrew Scott had never acted before and was trying to be funny. It was just painful.
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8/10
More case than characters, but still great Sherlock fun.
CinematicInceptions17 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Although this is my least favorite of the nine Sherlock episodes that have been released thus far, it is a great way to end the first season. For me personally, the cliff-hangar at the end had a relatively small effect on me since I saw episode four about a week later and didn't have a full two years to dwell on it. But that's an unimportant fact, along with that of the heliocentric solar system. This episode has arguably the best case of the first season. This, I think, was important for the success of the show since The Blind Banker wasn't a terribly interesting case. However, it is evident that Gattis and Moffat were still working out how to make a perfect case for this show when they wrote this episode. The five mini- cases that are set for Sherlock aren't exactly confusing, but it does sort of detract from the overall conflict. The fast-forwarded cases aren't helped by the outside case with the missile plans that Mycroft brings forward to Sherlock.

Despite the slightly haphazard formatting of the episode, the case with the bomber is very good. Even when the audience gets confused about whatever mini-case Sherlock and John are on, the frequent calls from the bomber keeps them wondering what his motives are and how things will turn out. The individual cases are kind of interesting too, but so little time is available for each that Sherlock solves it within minutes of the case being presented.

Sherlock's emotional status is really brought to light in this episode, especially when compared with John's standardly emotional personality. His arrogance, though it has come forward in the two previous episodes, is truly showcased here as he is forced to drive his incredibly deductive and potent mind at lightning speed. Sherlock's lack of emotion comes in to play as well in his conversation with John about whether Sherlock cares about the people he helps and his confrontation with Moriarty at the end. In some ways, Sherlock's philosophy on this point makes sense, because caring about the potential victims won't help save them. But as the audience, we are left to question Sherlock's humanity, because he seems to care for John and Mrs. Hudson and, in a twisted way, Mycroft. So he can't be entirely incapable of sympathy.

There is only a little action in this episode, mostly with the scene at the planetarium with the Golem. I wasn't very impressed with this scene because of all of the weird lighting and background noise. Plus, the whole fight seemed like it belonged in an old horror movie. Apart from that sequence, there really isn't any excitement like in the previous episodes, though there are some rather gruesome concepts in the mini-cases if you find that enticing.

We get lots of minor characters in each of the little cases: Miss Wenceslas, Connie Prince's family, Andrew West, the people strapped to the bombs, and the Golem. There are also some returning faces like Sarah, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, and Molly. We get small amounts of character development from Lestrade and Molly, but nothing to speak of from Mrs. Hudson. The acting from all of the returning actors is on par with what we've seen so far, but I felt like the bomb victims that spoke to Sherlock were poorly acted at times.

Of course, we can't forget the biggest new character, Jim Moriarty, possibly the best fictional villain of all time. The producers absolutely nailed his introduction at the hospital and the pool, and Andrew Scott was amazing in his performance. He isn't like the Moriarty from the original stories, mostly because he's "soooo changeable." If you really liked Heath Ledger's Joker, it's almost a given that Moriarty will intrigue you.

The execution was on the same level as the other two episodes, though there is less deductive camera-work in this one. This is mostly because Sherlock's mind is kicked into such a high gear that even 48 fps can't show the audience what he's thinking. All other technical aspects are satisfactory in my eyes, but pick out what flaws you want to.

If you were let down by episode 2, I would still recommend that you try #3 since it has a lot of what 2 lacks. The conditions you watch it under don't matter provided that you can focus on the full 90 minutes. It should leave you hungry for season two. If you liked any of the first three episodes, definitely continue on to episode 4. Overall Rating: 8.3/10.
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5/10
Who cast this villan???
bilal_riaz4029 March 2020
All going well till end when this ameture actor came with annoying voice and stupid face expressions.. you ruin the show with this cheap actor..
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Logical Circularity
tedg15 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This comment applies to the three, presumably the only three episodes of the BBC Sherlock! (The trend seems to be to modernize famed detectives and so denote with an exclamation point.)

I come to this because I come to any version of Sherlock because of the historical place he holds in cinematic narrative. The original stories reflected the ontological wars in Victorian England. On the one hand were the reductionist scientists who supposed that everything was reducable to logic where its causes can be mastered. This view of science, propelled by Darwin and Freud, extended to human behavior. Humans were machines who could be fathomed. Opposed was an equally ambitious and frail notion driven by belief in the supernatural, in the essential inscrutability of the soul.

This contrast hosted the notion of discovery by a narrator when cast into fiction. So powerful is the meme and its descendents that we can rarely escape it.

So when a modern Holmes appears there is the opportunity for another fold, one which recognizes that the form within affected the containing form.

The first episode starts off briskly, primarily occupied with establishing the world and the key participants. Lestrade, Holmes and brother and our on screen reporter Watson. Here he is a blogger, rather than the more obvious film student. Holmes is less a master of deduction than of observation, and that is a disappointment. We have the chunk a chunk music from the Guy Richie film and associated action. It is very well written, including the twist of Moriarty's on screen identity.

The second episode is something of a failure. There is an international gang of smugglers, and some cryptography, but only because Holmes doesn't know the characters of the most used written language in the world. The story is a hodgepodge of references to the original stories and a few screen versions, but they don't seem placed for the viewer's enjoyment. Instead, they seem mere fodder for the writer.

The third episode pulls us into "Se7en" territory, with serial challenges between criminal and detective. My opinion is that this is something of a lost opportunity. It doesn't do the puzzle episodes nearly as well as the original film, and it involves the cost of removing the logic from the narrator. In these stories, the master criminal is always a few steps ahead of the fellow we have invested in. That is the nature of modern noir, but the dissonance of using Sherlock as the token is severe.

But I will advise you watch all three of these. Moriarity is revealed in the last few minutes of the third episode, and in the last few seconds we are presented with a decision. The confusion, the missteps, the inappropriate cinematic devices, the hackneyed characters... they are all forgotten in that last sweep. I cannot believe that the pitch to the producers was to make three episodes of frustration just to have ten seconds of release. But that is what has happened here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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8/10
Enter Moriarty
Lejink16 July 2012
The climactic episode of the first series of "Sherlock" at last introduces the great man's nemesis James a.k.a. Jim Moriarty and eaves us with a real cliff-hanger of an ending with Watson forced into being a suicide bomber as the two square at either ends of an eerily-lit indoor swimming-pool. Having watched the second series first, that scene actually fizzled out rather, but returning to this particular entry, what went before was enthralling.

Cleverly set out as a series of mini-mysteries for Holmes to solve in time to save other suicide-bomb kidnapees, these are cleverly unravelled before Watson's own kidnapping acts as the prelude to the main protagonists' confrontation.

As per usual, the story nods to the original Conan Doyle source material in subtle but still noticeable ways. Cumberbatch is excellent as always in the lead, but is more than matched by As Moriarty. I however remain a little unconvinced by the supporting actors playing Watson, Lestrade and Mrs Hudson and. Absolutely dislike the jealous black female cop who thins it appropriate to call Holmes by the name "Freak" but the crackling between Holmes and Moriarty more than makes up for that, which added to the sharp writing, witty dialogue and ingenious plotting make this one of the best TV series of recent years, which the second series more than lived up to, I might add.
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10/10
Hi friends
dhruviekandhari22 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
My review for the Finale "The Great Game" of Series 1 of Brilliant Series "Sherlock".This one was a true adventure and captures the thrilling moments beautifully.The plot is superbly adapted and again the emotional part does take it to new height.It has all the aspects that A Grand Finale must have including Relations,Feelings and Psychological Games And more importantly,It Sets up a hard hitting ending that sets up for Series 2.This has the mind games and disturbances and this episode is very fun and shows brilliance,indeed I must say that it is the best episode of the amazingly made 1st series of "Sherlock" and of course as the title suggests it is "The Great Game" including the clever written dialogs and Superb performances and after watching this u will be shocked and there will be a look of surprise and tension on ur face.Benedict and Martin Standout in this beautifully Crafted One Final Act and this is a never before seen incarnation if a new character.Watch the episode to noe who.10/10 by my side and watch this thrilling roller coaster ride.The Game Is On
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10/10
The last is the best
zamalekfan198113 January 2020
I became a fan of Sherlock Holmes after seeing thus episode A lot of suspense in one episode
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4/10
Confusion
Authoric8 November 2020
I know confused. This had too many cases for one episode. This was also dark and still rather dull. 5.8/10
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5/10
Holmes' ignorance
atrickyone16 February 2020
Just about watchable ..... aside from the cringe-worthy acting of the villain at the end.

Also, having made a big deal early in the episode about Holmes' ignorance of many areas of knowledge, he then goes on to display some remarkably detailed minutiae of one of those same areas in one of the mini-mysteries scattered along the way. Oops.

It helps if you like Benedict C., who's a good actor even though his Holmes is borderline insufferable.
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6/10
Different direction
profbrane5 April 2018
This story diverges even further from the original stories, basically borrowing only the name and the basic plot of the "The Bruce Partington Plans". This story veers away from the intellectualism if the original of the original stories towards the sensationalism of modern television.
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9/10
A great episode
licktheenvelope29 April 2021
This episode is my 3rd favourite in the series behind "the reichenbach fall" and "a scandal in belgravia."

Sherlock is facing Moriarty for the first time and his brother Mycroft has given him a case that Sherlock sends Watson off to solve in the meantime.

You will read reviews saying Andrew Scott is over the top ... but if you know people this single-minded and 'on the spectrum' as Moriarty in real life you will know this type of archetype is an exaggerated true-to-life character in the same way as Sherlock himself.

It's true that the show is more extreme than the original stories but that is to be expected and IMO this works very well.
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9/10
Yummi Finale
Littleman9526 January 2021
A very interesting ending of the season. We are finally getting to the real Sherlock Holmes! The real game will start now!

I was really stunned about Andrew Scott, he did a very good job in this episode!
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6/10
Nothing's Quiet on Baker Street
WeatherViolet7 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This begins in Minsk, Belarus, as Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) visits a prisoner accused of stabbing his wife, and pleading for Sherlock's help lest he be hanged, but Sherlock, instead, returns to London's 221B Baker Street, at which Doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) returns, asking whether Sherlock took case, and why he shoots the walls, to which Sherlock replies, "An open and shut domestic murder, not worth my time."

When John leaves to visit Sarah (Zoe Telford), Landlady, Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), arrives upstairs, Sherlock telling her that his debate with John boils down to matters important and unimportant to know, to which she replies, "a little murder ought to cheer you up," immediately before a bomb blast interrupts the neighborhood.

John returns from Sarah's the next morning after watching a televised report about the blast, to find Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) visiting his brother, Sherlock, to attempt to persuade him to investigate missing top secret Bruce-Parkington missile plans, and the body of his associate Alan West (San Shella), a murder victim discovered upon railroad tracks.

Sherlock puts Mycroft on hold to visit Police Headquarters when Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) summons Sherlock. With Sergeant Sally Donovan (Vinette Robinson) in attendance, John accompanies Sherlock, who deduces evidence of stationary from Czech Republic with a woman's handwriting, as memories from "Study in Pink" blog begin to surface, with a new pink cell-phone delivering cryptic messages from the bomber, who transmits a series of clock-ticking puzzles via hostages whom the bomber then murders.

Sherlock, characteristically, rattles off dialogue, such as "Secret society dried melon seeds sends five pits to indicate another bomb blast," before arriving by Speedy's Cafe and into Mrs. Hudson's basement flat, where Sherlock, John and Lestrade discover trainer's shoes of a twenty-year-old murder case involving a youth from Sussex.

A woman hostage then calls from an automobile, pleading with Sherlock to solve another puzzle, which leads Sherlock and John to the Police Laboratory, at which Molly Hooper (Loo Brealey) enters with Jim (Andrew Scott), of IT Unit upstairs, announcing their office romance, but Sherlock tells her Jim is Gay, which upsets Molly, and John says it's unkind.

Sherlock then deduces that a young Carl Powers came from Sussex twenty years ago, reluctantly left shoes, drowned in pool accident, after having a seizure in water, leaving clothing in locker, with no sign of shoes until now, because the poison introduced into medication takes effect in pool, and the killer kept his shoes.

Sherlock sends John to Mycroft to discuss missile plans, then discovering that Alan West was last seen with fiancée at 10:30 last evening, before the crying woman again calls, before the Bomber calls, saying Sherlock solved last puzzle in nine-and-a-half hours, and this time he has eight.

Sherlock visits Mrs. Monkford (Caroline Trowbridge) at scene of another crime, discovering one pint of blood, in a Janus Cars rental, and questions owner, Mr. Ewart (Paul Albertson), to ask about Mr. Ian Monkford, whom he deduces fled to Colombia, a case involving an insurance scam.

A call from an elderly woman hostage gives Sherlock twelve hours to solve the next puzzle, before Connie Prince (Di Botcher), a television makeover show host is believed to have been murdered. John visits her brother, Kenny Prince (John Sessions), under the guise of a reporter before Raoul de Santos (Stefano Braschi) the House-boy escorts Sherlock to the scene to investigate as a photographer, they to determine that Tetanus had somehow entered her system after the murder. Sherlock then asks John to research Connie Prince's background.

The body of Alex Woodbridge, a museum security guard, is discovered on the banks of Thames, after Sherlock deduces the location, and also figures a Dutch Masters' painting valued at 30,000 pounds a fake. Sherlock and John take a taxicab to Waterloo Bridge, where Sherlock hands a fifty-pound note to a beggar, to invest in Homeless Network, his eyes and ears all over city.

John investigates Alex Woodbridge's background to discover that the gallery attendant, an amateur astronomer, has received a message from Professor Cairns (Lynn Farleigh) at the planetarium, while Sherlock disguises himself as a security guard to investigate Hickman Gallery and Miss Wenceslas (Haydn Gwynne), its Curator, to suspect the painting a fake.

In a darkened alley, Sherlock and John chase the giant Golem (John Lebar) to the planetarium, which he wrecks before murdering a witness, before the team arrives at Hickman Gallery with Lestrade, for Sherlock to interrogate Miss Wenceslas regarding the painting of the Van Buren Super-Nova, which occurred in 1858, so how could it have been painted in 1640?

John and Sherlock then burglarize the flat of Joe Harris (Doug Allen) once Sherlock suspects his involvement in stealing plans for missile defense program to pay a drug debt, and tying Joe to one of the murders, upon discovering a Bruce-Parkington memory stick.

But the climactic showdown scene is set at indoor poolside, where the arrogant bomber confronts John and Sherlock the consulting detective as a consulting criminal and arch-enemy, who would gladly kill again one day.

The cast is rounded out by Lauren Crace as Lucy, Alison Lintott as Julie, Matthew Needham as Bezza, David Ryall as Lord Huxley, Jeany Spark as Homeless Girl, Deborah Moore as Crying Woman, Rita Davies as Blind Lady, Nicholas Gadd as Scared Man, Kemal Sylvester as Tube Guard, and Peter Davison as Planetarium Voice-over.
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1/10
What was that?
jeff-197831 May 2018
This episode is terrible. In fact, the last three episodes of season 4 are bad. It's as if the writes we're watching Dr. Who fri three weeks, then given a case of Red Bull and a laptop.
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