REVIEW: Sherlock: The Lying Detective

Sherlock - Reviewed

The following is a spoiler-filled episode review of the Sherlock: Series 4, Episode 2 – The Lying Detective

In The Lying Detective, which is loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Dying Detective, Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) meets the daughter of entrepreneur, Culverton Smith (played by Toby Jones), who claims that her father is a murderer, but she doesn’t know who he killed because Smith used a drug on her to make her forget about his confession.

So, it’s no secret that I was really disappointed with The Six Thatchers last week, as I thought it was a deeply flawed episode. I’m happy to say that The Lying Detective is a much better episode, and that I think this is the Sherlock we’ve missed. It answers some of the questions from last week, and I’m really happy about that.

Watson acknowledged that people had just let go of the fact that Sherlock had murdered Magnusson, and I think we needed that moment. We also needed to know what Mary meant by ‘go to hell,’ and we did get that. Those moments were satisfying, as was John’s final conversation with imaginary-Mary in front of Sherlock. We needed him to confess to both of them, and that moment made me more emotional than The Six Thatchers did.

I was generally really happy with all of the performances this week. Benedict Cumberbatch was strong as was Amanda Abbington, and Martin Freeman was particularly terrific in his scene with Sherlock and imaginary-Mary. Toby Jones played a really unsettling new villain, who was even more captivating and terrifying than Magnusson. Sherlock-newcomer Sian Brooke was also really convincing as, well, pretty much every female character we were unfamiliar with.

It was pretty obvious that the woman on the bus from The Six Thatchers was more important than just a fling for Watson, but I really didn’t connect the dots when I watched the episode for the first time. I think ‘Sherrinford’ was a really clever red herring. I guess we don’t really know if there is a brother called Sherrinford, but Eurus made it sound like she was the last of Sherlock’s siblings.

I think the episode was extremely entertaining, I found the first thirty minutes of the episode to be properly fast-paced, and I really loved all of the visual tricks in the episode. There were a couple of things that made me scratch my head in confusion – like how Sherlock would know that John would leave his walking stick in his room – but I’m excited to see our main characters back at it, with a new problem that is going to give us an intriguing and exciting final episode. The East Wind has arrived.


– Jeffrey Rex

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