I can only start in one way for this series. Oh, Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear. Really is the best way to describe this series of Sherlock. Yes it has its good moments, its twinkles of light glimmering away in what is predominantly a series littered with poor moments, or to be more specific poor writing, or even seemingly ego writing of writers who seem to think they are able to do at will what they want to a character that would not do such things.I will, of course, explain further later on. But given I started off on a bad tone I will start with the good points.
The acting, to start off simple was on par as it has been through all the other 3 series and the special one off. Toby Jones, as he usually does to be fair, stealing scenes in episode 2 as Culverton Smith. A well off serial killer who loves to confess to the dying. He came across as someone who was just evil, but superbly evil.
Sian Brooke who plays, and big spoiler here for those who are reading yet not watched it, Euros Holmes. The mysterious third sibling of the Holmes family. She makes Sherlock think, she puts him off his game, and you do genuinely feel that Sherlock has been put off his game. He feels out of his depth at times and his against a more superior opponent. This character, barring one moment at the end, was well written. She was thought out and felt like Sherlock was not able to match her at all. She was telling Sherlock things that she had no way of knowing. But as I said not everything sat 100% with me.
Episode 2 shown out for me as the episode of the series. You felt like Sherlock was in full swing, he was himself, able to do what was needed. The edge of his ego and thinking he could do anything. Felt he could take his body to the edge of death and survive just to fix a broken situation. He would do whatever was necessary to fix whatever needed fixing. Why because nothing got in the way of him fixing it. Now sentiment or been emotionally attached. It was a simple, but effective episode of Sherlock.
However, it was not all plain sailing. Grumblings of character tweaks were been mentioned before the series aired, and they were proven right and sadly they just do not fit. It was established at the end of series 3 he was a high functioning sociopath. These people have no emotional attachment. They only care about the task, or themselves. Fulfilling a fix, not caring about those around them. Shallow in emotion and lack any sort of remorse for their actions as they feel it is necessary. In our podcasts, I mention it, in the context of Dexter, or like serial killers. They do not care they only feel it is their right. The manipulate and twist things to fit the requirement. So for Sherlock to be hurt and emotional about Mary taking a bullet for him would be highly doubtful to be polite. He would only care for people who have been around for a considerable extended period. Years, decades even before they feel anything for them.
In episode 3, Mycroft getting sick and not been handle someone shooting themselves in the head, considering he is also in Sherlocks shoes of been how he is just made his character weak and gone from been a good watch pain in the butt for Sherlock to now just a weak little boy who can watch his own brother get beaten to a pulp at the start of series 3 but can’t watch a man kill himself when it’s necessary in series 4. Considering he runs most of the government spy rings you would think he has seen stuff to make any normal person weep and cry in a pile in the corner.
The final thing is that ending. It felt rushed, out of ideas. How Euros went from playing all these games to it been about she just wanted to play with Sherlock. What is it another Martha from BvS moment again? John Watsons about to drown next thing you know his alive well in a blanket. Euros ends up back where she started only the Holmes parents know where she is. That was the only difference.
Overall the series was just about bearable. Episode 1 was just so disjointed and bad I do not feel it needs to be mentioned too much, considering the amount of critic bashing it got. Episode 2 redeemed some of that back and made the final episode worth seeing to see if they could completely redeem themselves. But sadly that was not to be the case.
To put it simply it is the worst series of Sherlock yet. Given the fact the 1-3 were so well done it was probably going to hard, to say the least, that it was going to be as good. But series 4 should have been so much better. Instead, it does not make the grade in any way, due to the bad writing. The changes to Sherlock’s character which for the person he is would not happen in a short period if at all really made the show feels like the writers believe themselves to be invincible. We got two shows with a cult following we can do this, this and that and people will still watch it. Well I for one did not enjoy this series anywhere close to that of series 1 to 3. So if, and I make that a big if, Sherlock comes back for a series 5, or more likely a few specials over time. They need to keep it simple as they did in series 1-3.