Without explaining why this episode is set into the 1800s and spoiling everything, allow me to sum up.
The events of the episode begin in the past. Scenes that we’ve already seen played out in earlier episodes of Sherlock are rehashed and wallpapered in 1800s style. Though a bit unclear as to why it is set in the 1800s, the episode then takes us headfirst into a terrifying mystery that John Watson has named The Abominable Bride. A woman named Emilia Ricoletti open fires on a street while shrieking “You” at her victims. In a shift of pace, she then shoots herself and is presumed dead. However, she later is seen murdering her husband (after which Anderson and a mustached Molly chain her body to a table in the morgue). The ghost of Ricoletti continues her revenge as more murders occur – the only clue being the word “You” written in blood on the wall. Creepy right? The real trouble begins, however, when an innocent Sherlock episode set in the 1800s is not all that it seems.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (No seriously – sometimes it gets ugly.)
This is the official creepiest Sherlock episode ever. It also might be the most uprooting. Everything you know to be true about the Sherlock universe is questioned in this episode.
That being said, this episode was thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat (and hiding behind a blanket but who’s counting?) the entire time. Especially when you realize the significance of the case.
Those who were worried that the episode wouldn’t tie into the cliffhanger at the end of Season 3 can rest easy. It definitely has everything to do with the main story arc of Sherlock.
The acting was superb as usual. Nothing much to say here. (Besides that I LOVED the ways that the characters were featured into Victorian England. Things were a tad different but completely in the realm of possibility for each character.)
That being said, I would’ve liked to see a little bit more of a resolution from it. I get that one of the main purposes of the special is to tease us for Season 4, however, a nice ending to the Abominable Bride case wouldn’t have been amiss in my opinion. It was an uncomfortable ending that left us teetering on the edge of a resolution but not quite there.
That’s not to say I wasn’t extremely excited about the teasers that we got… I just would’ve been happier had there been a more clear resolution.
Case File (Content Advisory)
Like I already said, this episode was the creepiest Sherlock episode yet. There’s a murderous ghost who hunts her victims in a foggy maze. Not exactly for the faint of heart.
There’s also a bit of gore involved as you see some blood and the back of someone’s head after an apparent suicide.
Sherlock’s drug use habits are also explored in this episode featuring points at which he uses drugs to help him solve things in his mind palace.
Nothing of the sensual nature though! Hooray!
This episode really has had reviews all over the ball park. Some critics are saying this is the worst Sherlock episode yet and others are saying it’s the best. I personally don’t think it was either. The episodes with Janine annoyed me – this one did not. However, there are still episodes I think I prefer over this one.
4 Out Of 5 Popcorns (For MoviePilot peeps that's 8 stars.)