Elementary, my dear television


Bilbo and Khan get drunk.

By Bilbo and Khan, I mean Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, who play those characters in various movie series as well as excellently portraying Doctor John Watson and

Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s detective series “Sherlock.” The show recently returned for its

third season, and while retaining much of the first two seasons’ clever wit, great acting and

Benedict Cumberbatchiness, the new season was a bit slower and more convoluted. It also

started to drift away from the core values of the show, which is never a good thing in a television


Take, for instance, the aforementioned intoxication incident. This scene, in episode two of the

three-episode season, features the two protagonists getting drunk in a London-wide drinking

binge, and then attempting to solve a client’s detective case while impaired. The scene provides

a good amount of humor to the episode, but it strays from the original mood of the series

(realistic and serious with humor primarily provided by characterization) in favor of silliness,

which just doesn’t really work for “Sherlock,” even if this season thinks it does. It also took away

emphasis from the case itself, which is another flaw prevalent in the new season. Episode one,

in particular, features a throw-away case overshadowed by Sherlock’s apparent return from the


I believe that “Sherlock” has started down the slippery slope of quality decline. However, it is still a high-quality detective drama and I look forward to the next season.