Sherlock – The Six Thatchers (Review)

The Six Thatchers (Review)

When I was a freshman in high school I stumbled across a new television series that helped me come to terms with a side of myself I would have otherwise despised. I’m not ordinary, I do a poor job at showing affection to the people I love, and I prefer to be introverted though I seem to be drawn to extroverted activities. These were qualities I shared with Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of a modern day Sherlock Holmes. And I can’t ignore that like most other hardcore fans; I was absolutely engrossed with the famous detective’s relationship with sidekick, John Watson.

Being a “Sherlock” fan consists of a lot of waiting and disappointment. During the short period of time three new episodes are released, viewers are bombarded with answers to foregoing questions that instigate newer, more complex mysteries. The show coaxes the viewer out of reality and directly into the world of 221 B Baker Street. One must constantly be watching the entire screen, listening to the quietest of background noises, reading body language like the great detective himself. The first two seasons introduced Holmes by illustrating detective’s thought process in full detail, from simple deducing to the visual process of his “mind-palace.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works are translated into modern day times in an untraditional way. The sexual undertones between Holmes and Watson carry the narrative of the show.

Since the very first episode it’s clear there’s more to their relationship than meets the eye. Because they live together they are often mistaken as a couple. “I am not gay,” John repeats in different tones to his accusers. “Well I am,” Irene Adler, Sherlock’s female counterpart in series two retorts. “Look at us both.” However Sherlock rarely addresses his own sexuality yet remains to be particularly drawn to John. It’s true, crime-fighting shows aren’t generally romantic. Two protagonists with conflicting personalities don’t always have to have an affectionate relationship with each other. But imagine the same setting with a male and female crime-fighting duo. An imminent love story would be in the works.

Fans were initially disappointed with the premiere of the third series, upset that the characters weren’t acting like themselves and the show had moved on from Sherlock and John’s relationship with the introduction of Mary Morstan, John Watson’s fiancé. However the second two episodes and the 89 minute special that followed brought back a flicker of hope that the show would live up to its claims of being groundbreaking. The writers add to the mystery, get their fans to think with riddles via Twitter and the actors are banned from slipping the slightest of spoilers to the press.

I can’t ignore the romantic tropes, the heart-wrenching interactions I’ve witnessed between Sherlock and John as I sit down with my bowl of ice cream to watch the premiere of series four. Could this finally be the year the series actually breaks the ground they’ve been digging at?

But “The Six Thatchers” was a trainwreck. The plot is too complex, the characters do not act themselves, and there is only darkness to follow the first twenty minutes. Hopefully, that’s exactly what the writers were driving for.

The episode is well-crafted and raises more questions than answers. It is exactly as the teaser trailer declares: this is not a game anymore. And just when you think you understand what is going on, you find you have been missing that one element that triggers the twist. I firmly believe that absolutely nothing can be determined from what we’ve seen of series four so far and that’s what makes the show so great.

A new year brings new hope and beyond 2016. I sincerely hope the writers are not queerbaiting fans as some believe they are. I hope the incoming episodes break “Sherlock” history as the previous three following the third series premiere. I will be watching closely and reporting back on what comes next.

Luckily, you can catch up on the previous episodes on Netflix, and for the first time ever, “Sherlock” is being broadcast in America along with the United Kingdom. The next episode “The Lying Detective” premieres on January 8 at 9 p.m. ET.

-Written by Leah Rosenthal

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