Sherlock: Season 3, episode 3: ‘The Last Vow’ review

sherlock*This post contains spoilers*

What a way to end the season! This episode hits ALL the emotional spots in your body. If it did not, I have to declare you may not have a soul.

Let’s begin with the villain. We are immediately introduced to Charles Augustus Magnussen, a newspaper executive, who has dirt on everyone and uses it against them. Lady Elizabeth Smallwood has had enough of this villain and hires Sherlock to retrieve the letters. We begin to see Sherlock going undercover during the case – going to the extremes of getting high (which pisses off Molly who runs a drug test on him) to getting engaged to Mary’s best friend Janine (who works for Magnussen).


To the hardcore Sherlock readers, does this sound familiar to you? Yes. The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton! Milverton and Magnussen are practically the same person. But they changed a lot of the story, which is good because it needs to be updated to today’s time.

Lars Mikkelsen is such a believable character as Magnussen. He’s just so creepy and gives me a gross feeling. The licking of Lady Smallwood’s face didn’t help my impression of him. His mind palace was a surprise, but honestly, that would make it so easy to dispose of him. The secrets will die with him. Good on you, Sherlock.

Although, it’s tough seeing Sherlock as an actual murderer. Yeah, Sherlock is a sociopath, but he’s never actually intentionally killed anyone (in the books). I think that is the only thing that disturbed me, but then again, he’d do anything for his friend John. But I really felt that was outside his character.

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Anyways, they didn’t just reference that Doyle  storyline. Gatiss, you sneaky writer, you. We find out that Mary isn’t who she say she is. The real Mary Morstan was stillborn. Our “Mary” was actually an assassin who is trying to start a new life with John. I have to say I was shocked to see Mary as a killer. It was extremely unexpected. Poor John is addicted to the wrong kind of people. At first, I was angry about Mary being an assassin and essentially lying to John (and to all of us fans), but with Sherlock having John realize what he kind of people he was attracted to – the crazy ones, I was able to forgive Mary (as did John). Again, Martin Freeman deserves a BAFTA for his role as John Watson.

Even though Mary was not an assassin in the book, I didn’t mind giving her that storyline. Anyone noticed her initials: A.G.RA? *cough* The Sign of Four: The Agra Treasure.

sherlockWant more Doyle references? Mycroft and John has both stated:

There’s an East wind coming.

That was a quote from Sherlock Holmes in Doyle’s The Last Bow. We may know the next storyline for the next season based on this quote.

Another reference? Billy Wiggins, the drug addict that Sherlock finds in the drug house, could be “Wiggins”, the leader of Sherlock’s Baker Street Irregulars or could be in reference to the book’s page boy Billy.

So many Doyle Easter Eggs!


Most Shocking Moments:

When Sherlock was shot, those few moments of Sherlock in his mind palace trying to survive was the most shocking and emotion-filled moments for me. I never felt so much emotion within those few minutes watching Sherlock analyzing his bullet wound, trying to not go into shock, and trying to come back to life. The Sherlock cinematography crew deserves an award for those shots.

sherlock 2Seeing Moriarty in Sherlock’s mind palace was a surprise to see. Not only was Moriarty an enemy in real life but his enemy in his mind as well. Those scenes were intense and it made you miss Moriarty in the series as his rival… but of course, we have that cliffhanger in the end.

didyoumissmeWhat the heck?! Moriatry may be alive. Was Moffat lying when he said Moriarty is dead? That is clearly Andrew Scott. He looks pretty alive to me, but of course, it could also be an early recording of the character. Someone else may be using Moriarty’s image. Or was that not really Moriarty – remember his “other” name was Richard Brook.

sherlock2I will be expecting some theories from you, Sherlockians.

Best Moments:

* Sherlock/Kid Sherlock hugging his dog Redbeard to prevent from going into shock.

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* Mr. Holmes (Sherlock and Mycroft’s father) dressed like the Eleventh Doctor with that red bow tie.

* Everyone finding out that Mrs. Hudson was an exotic dancer.

* Sherlock spending Christmas with his family – with Mycroft being miserable celebrating Christmas.

* Janine mentioned owning a home in Sussex that had beehives all over it. Sherlock Holmes is a huge bee preserver and had a home in Sussex. I love references.

* Mycroft protecting his little brother, Sherlock. This is one of the most heart-breaking scenes and the fact that it shows, Mycroft loves his little brother.


The crime solving portion was pretty good with the exception of it all being in Magnussen’s mind and Sherlock becoming a murderer, it was fun to watch us trying to find out who Mary was and what Sherlock had planned all along. It wasn’t the best crime solving mystery but it still made me think.

Overall, this was a great episode. It was filled with so much emotions from ALL the characters. It also showed us how human Sherlock and Mycroft really are (compared to machines who cannot feel) and how far Sherlock is willing to go to protect John. I cannot wait for next season.

What did you think of this season?

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