I will stand by The Final Problem as a really good episode. Though after having time to think back on it, no, it’s not as great as I thought it was. I do, however, think the fandom reaction to it has gone past ‘a bit much‘ and well into insane.
And you know what, I get it to an extent. But we’ve gone way past that extent by now. A lot of the things people complain about are pretty minor. Some aren’t, for sure. Sherlock playing the violin with someone who basically murdered his best friend was… odd. Teasing Moriarty like that eased felt low, and there were much more screw ups in this one episode than the rest of the show combined (particularly the chain thing). It’s also the perfect example of why TV shows should only move forward. Because this episode has raised more questions than it answered. But not about what’s to come, but what about what already happened. So the other episodes are now cast in a shadow they can’t avoid until future episodes shed light on it.
With that being said: still not a bad episode. Like I said, most of the ‘huge problems’ fans can’t shut up about are pretty small. Plus, you guys need to learn the difference between ‘plot hole’ and ‘plot convenience’. And compared to Moffat’s last attempt at a finale, this is freaking gold. The stuff that’s good in this episode is on par with some of Sherlock’s best episodes.
Euros is the best villain since Moriarty. She’s smarter than Sherlock, colder, she can manipulate him, and the history they share is interesting in theory. I know the whole ‘Euros is jigsaw‘ thing is meant to be a joke, but honestly, this is the best Saw movie ever. Mainly because it focuses on emotional and psychological torture, not just non stop gore. And the emotions in this episode hit the mark every time. I got chills when Sherlock smashed the coffin.
But most importantly: it. fucking. tried.
If Mark and Steven fail here, they do so attempting to make an honestly good finale to a show that by now has god like expectations. They tried to tell a smart, compelling story that took it’s characters to new places and leave the stage set for other stories to come. Did it fail? Maybe. Maybe not.
But this is still the same two writers who wanted to add a modern spin to stories they loved back in 2010. This is the same group of actors who could not be better for their parts. This is the same film and editing crew putting their all into every shot. This is the same group of people who want to make Sherlock fanfiction to the highest budget and quality they can. You can tell in the final scene that all anyone wanted was to tell a good Sherlock Holmes story. They never wanted to stab the fandom in the back.
Fail or not, to quote another Moffat story: Better to fail in doing the right thing than succeed in doing the wrong.