His Last Vow spoiler free review
Last night thanks to the lovely people at the BBC I got to watch an early screening of His Last Vow at BAFTA. As you would expect the vast majority of the episode is embargoed which is completely understandable as I would want nothing to ruin your enjoyment but a lot of the really brilliant things I’m not allowed to talk about.
But fear not whilst I adored The Sign of Three this was my favourite of the three - strong story, killer villain and a real emotional rollercoaster. Quintessential Sherlock and my favourite of Moffat’s scripts.
So here’s a few tidbits:
- The episode is written by Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran who directed the Doctor Who 50th episode
- It’s based on The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton and follows the canon pretty closely so it’s worth you reading the story before Sunday or at the least having a flick through this wiki entry
- For anyone who’s been a bit dismayed at the favouring of the characters over the cases this episode is tonally much more in keeping with series 2. It’s all case, all business.
- Lars Mikkelsen as Charles Augustus Magnussen is an utterly terrifying villain. Dead eyed, completely still, softly spoken and prone to utterly humiliating his victims he is a truly horrible specimen. There was one point during the screening when I could barely look at the screen while he was being vicious. He’s truly unpleasant.
- CAM has the coolest evil villain lair I’ve ever seen.
- Lindsey Duncan guest stars & is glorious as ever.
- There’s lots and lots of canon references to please the Doyle purists.
- John is finding the domesticity of married life really rather chafing…
- Louise Brealey once again gets the best moment of the episode for me. Molly’s role is smaller in this episode but her moments are lovely and so emotionally true.The sheer degree of character development that we’ve seen this series for Molly who is really a secondary character is staggering. So beautifully played by Louise.
- Anderson and his wife feature in a cameo.
- Theres Something About Mary…
- We find out what Redbeard means.
- Sherlock takes his vow very seriously
- The interaction between Sherlock and Mycroft in this episode is profoundly moving
- We get to see a younger version of Sherlock and he’s played by Louis Moffat
- We find out Sherlock’s full name.
- The episode is an absolute emotional rollercoaster and proves without question again that Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are the best actors in Britain working today. They are extraordinary in this.
- This isn’t Reichenbach. It will break your heart, it did make me cry, it will leave you feeling utterly exhausted like you’ve been put through the emotional wringer but it’s a different beast alltogether.
- Make sure you watch right until the end. I cannot stress this enough. Because just when you think the episode is over. Well, those last 60 seconds. Oh goodness those last 60 seconds.I wanted to stand up and applaud…
Quick edit to add two more things I just thought about:
- Fans of a rare pairing will be delighted. Brief on screen time!
- Throw out your preconceptions about the ending. All the speculation you’ve read? WRONG!