"If people knew how to make a mutant super-dog, we'd know."
--Sherlock episode 2
Sherlock series 2 episode 2 Hounds of Baskerville recaps. Woof.
- The last episode was advertised as Sherlock and Love and this episode as Sherlock and Fear – another of those pesky unexplored emotion for the logic-machine that is Sherlock. The first scene however is more about Sherlock and Boredom. With no case since that morning and no cigarettes and one Dr John Watson to take it all out on, needless to say Sherlock is a real treat to be around. It’s a testament to how used they are to living together that John doesn’t even get up from his chair when Sherlock starts tearing the living room apart.
- And now it's Sherlock and Addiction. And also the answer to why there was a Cluedo game with a knife visciously stabbed through it on the wall in episode 1.
- John is looking remarkably tanned and fit. Almost as if he’s spent the last year in the New Zeeland sun instead of a rainy, foggy London...
- I thought it was rather inspired to make the line “Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound” be what mysteriously draws Sherlock to the case. Yes, it turned out to be the use of the word “hound” that awoke something in Sherlock’s memory, but for a while it seemed that one of the most well-known phrases from the original books was echoing through the decades and resonating in 21st century Sherlock’s brain.
- Sherlock and Driving! Huh. Somehow I'd think that'd be something he would have deleted. Then there is some standing around looking out on the moors with
HeathcliffSherlock looking all HeathcliffySherlocky.
- John enjoyed pulling ranks. Someone else who apparently enjoyed John pullings ranks: Mr Sherlock Holmes.
- Mycroft's eyeroll at his little brother's antics was pretty fabulous.
- OK. Henry Night officially has the worst windows for someone with nightmares.
- So was the whole subplot with John noticing a morse signal saying U.M.Q.R.A which turns out to be the local dogging - dogging, get it! - community just there to get that joke in?
- First time we see Sherlock actually drinking the alcohol in his hand. I bet he gets all giggly and silly when he's drunk and when John patiently points out that he's perhaps had too much he protests wildly and tries to proves him wrong by making complicated deductions about everyone in the bar including what turns out to be a coat rack. Not that I've given it much thought.
- Another first for the series: the use of the word “Aspberger's”.
- Some lovely acting from Martin Freeman in that scene when it's John's turn to come face to face with Fear. A scene that also proves that scary scenes are scarier when you don’t actually see anything. All you need is to establish the fear itself, and then the mind takes care of everything else. Which also happens to be what the whole episode is about.
- Just yell "Riddikulus!" at the Moriarty-Boggart, Sherlock!
So I liked this episode. A lot. This episode has two themes: One is Fear, and the other is John’s and Sherlock’s friendship. The episode is slower than the others have been, case-wise, and a lot of it revolves slowly, leisurely around the fact that John is the only friend Sherlock has, at least in Sherlock’s mind, and probably the only one he has ever had. How much Sherlock needs John is shown in how their relationship is much more of a partnership in this episode than in the last, and there's also that scene where Sherlock admits he wouldn't be as good without John there to, what was it, conduct him?
I liked the fact that Sherlock saw Moriarty’s face when he has at his most vulnerable. It could have been a good subtheme, that when a drug lets us see into Sherlock’s head with all its defenses down for the first time, we learn that Moriarty is the one thing Sherlock actually fears. During The Great Game it seemed that Sherlock admired Moriarty more than feared him and viewed their interactions as an interesting game, but this episode squashed that theory. Underneath it all, Sherlock fears Moriarty. Which makes sense. He did hurt his Watson after all. And just like we learned that John is the only person Sherlock has mentally marked under Friend, Moriarty might be the only thing he has marked under Fear. Of course, with some drugs in his system Sherlock also seems to have marked Big Glowy-Eyed Dog under Fear, so that subtheme didn’t really pan out in the end.
And now it’s just the traumatic episode that is going to be the Reichenbach Fall left. Having been quite thoroughly spoiled on the ending, I am already bracing myself for it and then what I suppose will be another year’s waiting for the next series.