Few modern updates on a classic formula and character have worked as well as BBC’s Sherlock has. Based on the iconic detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock reimagines Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch), Doctor Watson (Martin Freeman), and many other characters from the classic mystery stories in a modern London setting.
The series launched many actors to stardom and was among the best-reviewed shows on TV by fans and critics alike when it first came out (via Rotten Tomatoes). Furthermore, Sherlock kept up this momentum with a shocking Season 2 finale that saw Sherlock Holmes presumed dead by everyone who cared for him. While the first and second seasons of the show were generally well received, sparking massive popularity for the series, some fans began to think that Sherlock was losing its edge throughout its third and fourth seasons. In particular, many felt that the ending of the series was especially anti-climactic and poorly planned.
Fans feel the show went downhill after Season 2
On the r/television subreddit, u/ShuckForJustice asked: “What TV show did you love but had an ending so bad that it retroactively ruined/changed your experience of the show?” The top-voted comment gave a pretty definitive answer. “Sherlock. I just find it hard to think of the show without being reminded of that awful finale,” said u/dantes tole my wife.
The finale of Season 4 of “Sherlock” sees the youngest Holmes sibling, Eurus (Sian Brooke), being revealed as alive and mentally unhinged from years spent in an island prison. As she makes Sherlock, Watson, and Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) fight for their lives in one sadistic game after another, the heroes are pushed to their limits.
“They clearly stopped giving a **** right after The Reichenbach Fall,” another user weighed in. “When they basically took the p*ss out of all the online theories and then didn’t confirm at all how Sherlock survived.” Though Sherlock miraculously survived his fall from a skyscraper in Season 2, the writers never confirmed how he did so, instead offering several possible theories themselves in the Season 3 premiere.
Other users chimed in to confirm that the second season finale was the height of the show for them as well. “Yep, after The Reichenbach Fall is when I checked out,” said u/The Real Dr Sarcasmo “The series was wonderful up until then.” It’s an unfortunate blight on the legacy of the show that so many fans were disappointed by how it continued after Season 2 and ended in Season 4. However, with the possibility of a fifth season of “Sherlock” in the works, the show may live to deliver a more satisfying ending yet.