The Final Problem
"All lives end; all hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock." — Mycroft Holmes
When "Sherlock" debuted in 2010, no one knew what to expect. Tales of Sherlock Holmes have been told and re-told many times over the past few years. And a new iteration, set in the modern era and starring someone named Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, didn't set hearts ablaze.
How times have changed. Now, Cumberbatch and Freeman are household names in the United States, as well as their native England. And "Sherlock" is one of the most anticipated series on both sides of the pond.
After wrapping their third three-episode season in February of 2014, fans were left to wonder when, and if, "Sherlock" would offer a fourth installment. They teased fans with a one-off last winter, before returning with another three-episode season on January 1. That season drew to a close with "The Final Problem" on Sunday.
It was an amazing season, which was never really in question. It had great, gutting stories and wonderful performances. I could probably watch Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Freeman as Dr. John Watson until the end of time and never grow weary. They inhabit the characters beautifully, and the stories are wonderfully told.
But the question after "The Final Problem" is whether that's the end of the story. There have been some talks about a possible fifth season — though when that would occur, and if it even will, are far from certainties at this point. But the bigger question is, should it continue?
Now, don't get me wrong. I love the show and I would eagerly await a fifth season, no matter how long it took to arrive. But after those powerful three episodes — and specifically how "The Final Problem" played out — I'm not sure there's a better way to end it.
"The Final Problem" was one of the better episodes of the series, and it felt a lot like a wrap on the series, not just the season. Again, all "Sherlock" seasons have some sort of wrap up, and there are still places this show could go. But if that was, indeed, the final episode, you could feel like the series went out on a high note.
We'll find out in the coming weeks and months what the future is, but for now I'm appreciating what we had, which was an incredible — and incredibly moving — fourth season that came to a near perfect ending.