Sherlock S3 Ep3 – His Last Vow

The season finale of Sherlock, “His Last Vow” was an improvement over a very frustrating and under-mystified season. And while it was good watching it still came up short on the mystery part. So my fellow Bakersfield Irregulars let us talk about what worked and what didn’t.


If you need your face licked this is your man.

Now, as thrilling as the episode was it still lacked the mystery element because right away we are treated to the villain blackmailing the future client of Sherlock. No real mystery in that, in fact Sherlock is basically hired to steal the black mail, not solve a theft or a murder. The best mystery of the season so far belonged to who the Ghost Bachelor was, but even with that it was a subplot to a day in the life. But my hat goes off to Lars Mikkelsen in his performance of the human shark that is Charles Augustus Magnussen.

The other interesting bit, though entirely frustrating, is Mary Watson, played by Martin Freeman’s real life partner, Amanda Abbington. Mary was a nice almost-left-field play in that we find out that she’s actually ex-special ops and she has her eye on whatever black mail Magnussen has on her. The downside is that you feel the first two episodes were merely done to anchor her into the series simply for a plot device rug pull. Something Moffat does a lot with women characters, using them as chess pieces to further a story, see Doctor Who.

I’m still on the fence on whether Mary is the woman Watson deserves because he has to surround himself with damaged things and things with secrets. This, I feel, has more to do with the way it gives Watson a self-sabotaging psychological problem.

The build up to Magnussen in the first episode plays into my problem with Mary as a plot point. Just because we saw him at the end of the first episode doesn’t exactly anchor him in as a mystery. Especially so in that he had nothing to do with the second episode. The more I look at this episode the more I feel that the first and second episode were spun off of the idea from the plot of this one in a way to give the season a sense of cohesion and continuity. Maybe that’s what has been wrong with this season in that the episodes have little mystery and a lot of mundane filler because they were in service to attempt a bigger picture. If that is the case then, take it back to the drawing board for season 4.

The highlights of the episode were Sherlock talking himself through a near death experience and his handling of Magnussen at the end. If a man that is black mailing you doesn’t have the physical evidence then you ignore him or kill him because you’re a “high functioning sociopath.”


This was my face at the end of episode.

And of course the reveal that Moriarty is allegedly back. Take it with a good helping of salt because while Andrew Scott reprised his role as Jim Moriarty in Sherlock’s mind palace we only so a gif of Moriarty saying “Did you miss me?” So the jury is still out on whether he miraculously survived his self-inflicted gunshot wound to the roof of his mouth or not. If he is back, of course, then Moffat and Co. really need to come up with a better explanation than they did with Sherlock surviving his suicide. Also more mysteries.

So as a whole the season was peppered with bits of intrigue but was a let down over all.

What did you think of the mystery?