The following is an episode review of Sherlock: Series 1, Episode 3 – The Great Game
When a season of Sherlock ends, you don’t necessarily know how long you’ll have to wait for the next one. After this episode viewers had to wait for more than a year to see what happened next. Would it all be worth it? The Great Game is the culmination of everything in series 1. Who is the mystery man behind everything? This episode revealed it all, and it is one of the best Sherlock episodes to date.
In The Great Game, Sherlock’s fascination with criminal cases becomes a problem as the episode antagonist is obsessed with him. A true game for Sherlock to play with is set up, which our protagonist eats up entirely – to the annoyance of basically everyone around him. Ultimately, Sherlock finds a true equal in the series’ antagonist.
This episode is one to remember, in spite of its very cruel cliffhanger, considering when the next episode would release. It plays with our protagonists relationship, and how Sherlock can be disruptive to life-or-death cases, as well as people around him. And it all starts with boredom.
A bored Sherlock can be a really interesting Sherlock, and the scene in his flat wherein he shoots at the wall is brilliant. I love bored Sherlock. He truly is addicted to the thrill of the case, which becomes a problem for everyone, and all too apparent for John, when Holmes steps all over Molly’s new boyfriend, and the case they’re employed on, while neglecting Mycroft’s case.
For once in series 1 the story and the characters are at the same level of quality, and it is absolutely amazing to watch. It is episodes like this one that elevate a show to must-watch television – and make no mistake, Sherlock is must-watch. But you must question whether the ultimate reveal of Moriarty is worth the entire case preceding it, and whether the episode earned a cliffhanger to hold you for a very long time.
Ultimately, I don’t think that a series like this one – containing three film-length episodes – can earn a cliffhanger, when the next season is one to two years away. Sure, you can reveal things in the last minute, but a true cliffhanger like this one isn’t earned. It is markedly different from the endings of series 2 and 3, which are reveals rather than cliffhangers.
It’s also a rather lazy solution to simply throw in a cliffhanger after Moriarty left. If they had chosen for him not to return straight away, they could have teased new episodes, rather than toy with you like this. It felt like the writers didn’t know what to do, and simply just threw in a cliffhanger to end this round of episodes.
But the ultimate reveal of Moriarty is worth all of it. Moriarty is one of the most intriguing archenemies, and you’d be lying if you said you weren’t just waiting for a present day show about Sherlock Holmes to feature Moriarty. Andrew Scott is amazing as the antagonist of the show, and would grow to be so much more than what we thought he was instantly.
-I’m Jeffrey Rex