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YMMV / Sherlock S4 E3 "The Final Problem"

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Eurus escalate Moriarty's obsession with Sherlock in their meeting?
    • Did Sherlock mean his second "I love you" to Molly? If he did, was it romantic or platonic? Mark Gatiss has said it was written to be ambiguous. Benedict Cumberbatch has said in the moment Sherlock isn't even sure, but that Sherlock destroying a coffin over her is very telling.
    • We saw that previous season Big Bad Charles Augustus Magnussen knows about Redbeard as a Sherlock pressure point. Who would have told him this but Eurus?
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    • What if Mycroft has been acting like an idiot this whole time (especially arranging a visit between Moriarty and Eurus and becoming almost completely incompetent whenever Eurus is involved) because she reprogrammed his mind the way she has everyone else at Sherrinford? What if he's become too intimidated by her to turn on the full force of his intellect and has been conditioned to do what she says?
  • Ass Pull: One of the most consistent criticisms of the episode is that the very existence of Eurus, not to mention her being even smarter than Mycroft , strains credibility to a truly ridiculous degree.
    • Another criticism is hinting at Moriarty's return in The Stinger after spending an entire season cementing the fact that he's really dead. Rather than a Shocking Swerve, some fans instead see it as just taking the piss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Eurus. There's a division that love her character due to being the complete sociopathic sibling of the Holmes family but others absolutely detest her because of her Freudian Excuse.
  • Broken Base: This is the most polarizing episode in the series as a whole, with the episode's ratings hitting an all-time low for the series:
    • Some believe that it was an intense, emotional roller-coaster of an episode and served its role as an exhilarating conclusion for the darkest and most tragic season of Sherlock. The ending of the episode is considered to be both a satisfying uplifting wrap up of the series, in case it is indeed the end, and a positive affirmation of the immortal status of Sherlock Holmes’ legend.
    • Some believe that it is by far the worst episode of the whole series. Why? The series makes a drastic genre shift to what may be considered an out of place Saw rip-off with newly arrived Holmes sibling Eurus serving as an improbable antagonist. She shatters viewers' suspension of disbelief regarding what is humanly possible, even by the show’s already borderline-superhuman standards, with her superpowers including instant brainwashing of anyone she meets and predicting terror attacks in an hour based on Twitter patterns. Like most antagonists of the series, she is obsessed with Sherlock and uses her alleged intellect to construct a clichéd slasher maze full of sadistic choices. This whole incredibly complex and well-prepared long-range plan, based on numerous unpredictable variables, was forged by her and Jim Moriarty in five minutes, breaking the suspension of disbelief even further. Unsurprisingly, both Sherlock and Mycroft look severely underpowered and helpless in this episode, for no reason playing by the villain's rules for quite some time. Mycroft specifically turns out to be an imbecile by letting a dangerously-psychotic genius mastermind have an unsupervised conversation with another dangerously-psychotic genius mastermind, who both openly obsessed over and directly threatened his little brother. Ultimately, Sherlock defeats his sister through equally magical abilities and empathy, revealing the horrible truth about what happened to Redbeard in the process and learning about the undercooked motivation of Eurus. Unsurprisingly, lots and lots of blatant plot holes appear. Perhaps it is also not surprising that some people saw it as a bad fanfiction rather than a genuine episode.
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    • Not to mention how emotionally oppressive and uncomfortable to watch it was. Witnessing Molly Hooper being humiliated again by being forced to confess her love to Sherlock by an equally-humiliated and unwilling Sherlock was an especially gruelling experience for quite a lot of fans.
    • Mary's narration at the end is seen as either a touching way to cover the ending montage, while others found it Narm and out of place. A fan edit was made removing the narration, which had many people feeling it made the ending a lot better.
    • Some fans think that despite the episode’s plot being a mess, its emotional moments, especially the ending, as well as completed character arcs for Sherlock and John were more than enough to make up for its other shortcomings.
    • Yet another group liked the episode fine despite its flaws, but disliked the Grand Finale-like ending, feeling it came out of nowhere after the whole Eurus story, thus ruining an episode that could have been fine on its own if not for it being treated as the very last.
    • Other than the argument of whether or not it was a good finale, the fact that John and Sherlock are not explicitly in a relationship did not go over silently. One half of the fandom is enraged that the creators queerbaited them for the entire series only to not go through with it at the end. The other half point out that the creators never said the relationship would happennote , and that a few people looked too deeply into John and Sherlock's relationship. The argument of whether the Johnlock ship is more appreciated than the show itself is a whole new war entirely.
  • Creepy Awesome: Considering the big surprises of Series 4, Eurus. This fits considering she's Sherlock's sister.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Eurus gets a mix of this or downright Base-Breaking Character due to her big Moral Event Horizon moments but with her tragic backstory.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The last time Sian Brooke, who plays Eurus, the third Holmes sibling, worked alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, in a production of Hamlet, she was his love interest.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Did Mycroft really think nothing bad would happen sticking two psychopaths like Eurus and Moriarty alone in a room together for five minutes unsupervised? (Why didn't he just lie to Eurus about being unsupervised? Even a super-brilliant mind can't tell if the light is off on a camera because it's not recording, or the light is just turned off.)
    • Even putting aside that, why would Moriarty help with a plan that ends in Sherlock hugging his sister, reconciling with her and helping her with her issues? Even if that part was Euros' own doing and she didn't tell Moriarty about it, it still raises more questions.
    • Did the warden really think nothing would go wrong having people regularly interact with a noted hypnotist like Eurus?
    • Is Sherlock really incapable of seeing there's no glass in Eurus's cell even though he has these amazing skills of deduction?
    • When Mycroft realized Sherrinford's security had been compromised, why did he decide the best way to deal with that would be for him, Sherlock, and John to visit Eurus personally, with no backup, instead of having Eurus moved to some other location where none of the security had been brainwashed by her?
    • Why does everyone go along with Eurus's Sadistic Choice mindgames, when she's clearly untrustworthy and unreliable (and so can't be bargained with)? (Particularly: why is everyone so convinced that killing one innocent person to (possibly) save another is a sane and reasonable response?)
    • Why did no one look in the apparently fairly large well on the grounds of the Musgrave estate?
    • How did Sherlock actually stage his "haunted house of clowns" event at Mycroft's house?
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bizarrely enough, Eurus. It's obvious there was a lot wrong with her, but it's pretty obvious from her Villainous Breakdown and even reaching the Despair Event Horizon that within her sick and twisted mind, she just wanted to be loved by Sherlock.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: John Watson being shot in the head at the end of the last episode? It was only a tranquiliser and — to the utter surprise of nobody — he is fine.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Eurus Holmes crosses it very early on when it's established that when she and Sherlock were children, she murdered his childhood friend Victor (AKA Redbeard) out of petty jealousy at their friendship by drowning him in a well, and then tried to murder Sherlock as well by burning down their house. And this is many, many years before the events of The Final Problem, during which it's established that she previously drove a psychiatrist to commit Murder-Suicide and raped and killed a nurse, forces a man to murder his own family, plays Deadly Games with her brothers (inflicting horrific Mind Rape on them in the process), and nonchalantly executes several hostages even when her games were followed to the letter, all with sadistic glee and a sickening smile on her face.
  • Narm:
    • The way John and Sherlock burst out the windows of 221B Baker Street, John especially with his goofy expression.
    • Eurus and Moriarty communicating through some sort of dance. They weren't being videotaped at the time, so it can't have been to mess with people's minds.
  • Shocking Moments: All of the episode, from Eurus's Mind Rape of the brothers (and John) to the reveal of Redbeard.
  • Special Effect Failure: The absolutely awful CGI flames when Sherlock and John jump out of the windows of 221B as a grenade explodes.
  • Squick: Eurus asking Sherlock if he's had sex. And the discussion that follows.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Gavia Baker-Whitelaw of The Daily Dot accused the episode of sexism based on its portrayal of Eurus.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The reveal that Eurus Holmes just wanted to be loved by Sherlock falls a bit flat considering that she killed his best friend when they were all children because she wanted Sherlock to play with her, has been acting like a psychopath for most of the episode, played Deadly Games with her brothers, horribly murdered a nurse after either seducing him or raping him (her wording was unclear), forced a guy to kill his family and executed numerous hostages. Her redemption basically amounts to saving Watson from a trap that she herself put him into.


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