Sherlock season 4, episode 3 is the last new material fans will see for a very long time. Was it a satisfying farewell to the series?

The Sherlock season 4 finale is a healthy mix of emotional highs and lows. But was it, as co-creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss describe, “television history?” No. It was not. It was not even the best episode of the Sherlock series.

However, it is what we have to left to unpack as we leave Holmes at Watson in 221B by the fire. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

The final problem

The greatest flaw of Sherlock is when it gets stuck in its own heightened story telling. “The Final Problem” is the perfect example of retelling the past and not giving the audience any new information. It’s not hard to deduce. The episode does not suffer for this. Because it is not about the game at all.

Eurus’ game is well-crafted, brutal, and unforgiving. She is a master. The episode goes above and beyond to prove that over and over. Eurus wants to understand the complexity of human empathy. The only way she can do that is to cut the people open and see what makes their muscles move.

watson

The maze she crafts tests the resolve of Sherlock, Mycroft, and John. One great example of this is the use of Molly Hooper. It should be noted that Molly Hooper deserves so much better.

Using her love for Sherlock as a weapon, Molly Hooper’s life shatters with three words. Unfortunately, all of this is in service to unravel Sherlock with no resolution on her end.

As he smashes the coffin with his bare hands, John and Mycroft are there to reel him back in. They lend a hand to rebuild the walls that are falling down around him. That is until they literally fall at the doorstep of his childhood home.

The final problem is how do you deliver human connection to someone who does not know how to receive it? That desire to feel that her brothers appreciate her for more than her brain. If Eurus’ favorite person, Sherlock, could just take a moment to play her game, everything can end.

The test, it turns out, is for Sherlock to lean heavily on his capacity for emotional connection throwing logic out of the equation. He makes room for John, Mary, Molly, even Greg in his life. Can he find a way to make room for Eurus in spite of everything he just found out?

“You were always the grown up,” says Mrs. Holmes near the end of the episode. Sherlock takes the family into the next chapter of their life. One where music bridges the gap between them and the entire Holmes family can sit together without words getting in the way.

‘I’m a pirate’

The biggest twist, if you didn’t already work it out for yourself, comes when John discovers the bones of “Redbeard” in the well. They are not dog bones, but the bones of Sherlock’s best childhood friend, Victor.

But the best appearance is by far the inclusion of Mycroft’s Christmas gift — Jim Moriarty.

sherlock season 4 moriarty

Moriarty’s obsession with Holmes begins well before Eurus calls him in for a meeting. But did he succumb to being one of her agents? Probably. But Jim likely steered his own course to Sherlock. But the game… well, the game now reeks of Eurus.

Mycroft Holmes

The Holmes brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock, have the most fascinating relationship on Sherlock. “The Final Problem” highlights the complexity of their past and the trajectory of their future.

The most moving scene in the entire episode arrives when Mycroft, John and Sherlock are contemplating the reality of what may be their final moments alive. Hearing that Sherlock appreciated a talent of his, one that is not based on their familial intellect, moves him to a smile. Well before Mycroft sacrifices himself for Sherlock’s partnership with John, he gets the validation that their relationship is full of mutual appreciation.

mycroft sherlock

The minds of the Holmes siblings may be capable of great feats, but no fortress is entirely secure.

Mycroft’s home at the start of the episode is infiltrated by the combination of Holmes and Watson. Later on, his mind’s security system fails. He is a strong, put together person. After years of arranging Sherlock’s safety behind the scenes, it’s time for Sherlock to step up and do the same.

Is there room for more?

Perhaps we will all meet again at Anemoi. In the credits letters it is typical for the editors to highlight certain letters. The final sequence produces just a single word — Anemoi, the meeting place of the four winds.

While the finale ties up loose ends, recreates the scars that affect the duo the most, it does feel more like a beginning than an ending.

Sherlock may or may not return.

Tags: bbc sherlock

With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming up, fans are unsure about how the studio will balance out grittiness with humor. Can DC move away from Marvel’s approach while still being tied to its expectations?

Marvel kicked off the superhero craze with Iron Man in 2008, and began a new cinematic era. Recently, head of Marvel Kevin Feige explained the importance of humor in making people connect with superhero stories:

“I believe that laughter is the way you hook the audience. Then you can scare them (…) Humor is the secret into the audience’s other ranges of emotions.”

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With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming up, fans are unsure about how the studio will balance out grittiness with humor. Can DC move away from Marvel’s approach while still being tied to its expectations?

Marvel kicked off the superhero craze with Iron Man in 2008, and began a new cinematic era. Recently, head of Marvel Kevin Feige explained the importance of humor in making people connect with superhero stories:

“I believe that laughter is the way you hook the audience. Then you can scare them (…) Humor is the secret into the audience’s other ranges of emotions.”

It’s the humor, self-awareness and surprising poignancy of the MCU that makes it great, from the original Avengers to the upcoming Defenders. Comedic moments succeed in making all the characters relatable and real, even when the situations they are in are completely alien to reality.

For a long time, DC’s big superhero success was Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which had a mood that was the complete opposite of comedy. All three movies were intense dramas, and immediately set a high standard for character development in superhero films. And once the trilogy ended, screenwriter (and brother) Jonathan Nolan said “I kind of feel like that chapter for us is closed.”

dc superman sad

But after Marvel’s amazing success, DC didn’t want to be left behind, and kicked off the DC Cinematic Universe; a huge franchise that has since constantly struggled to keep up with the MCU. Before an audience of expectant fans, DC failed to perform, while Marvel released triumph after triumph.

Early on, rumors stated that DC actually set a “No jokes” policy for its superhero movies, even though fans said that they preferred the humor of the MCU, which helped balance out the emotional scenes.

Man of Steel had a bad start, with mixed reviews, fans loving it for its take on Superman’s heroism, and hating it for its dourness. Seemingly unshaken, DC released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice… only to have it unanimously destroyed by critics. It was too dark, too monotonous, too pointless — people were tired of gritty drama.

Suicide Squad seemed to be a response to this criticism, switching gears and going in the complete opposite direction. It was designed to be the epitome of dark humor — although rumors said that it was initially just dark, and much of the humor appeared during reshoots. It might have pulled the franchise out of its slump, if it hadn’t been so terribly executed. Through lazy writing and catastrophically bad editing, plot and depth were tragically sacrificed in favor of laughs… and even those didn’t manage to save the movie.

dc suicide squad

Now, in the face of failure, DC seems to be floundering as it tries to find a perfect balance. The latest Justice League trailer is extremely focused on the humor, almost jarringly so when looking back at the darkness of Batman v Superman.

“It’s fun, it’s funny. It’s different,” Gal Gadot said about Justice League (and even the trailer for Wonder Woman had a few funny moments.) Ben Affleck agrees: “It’s a world where superheroes exist, so there’s comedy in trying to work with other people. People trying to accomplish goals together is the root of all great comedy in my view.”

Geoff Jones, head of DC comics, asserted that DC movies will have “heart, humor, and heroics,” — the first two of which have been absent in some way or another from the previous films. However, Zack Snyder suggests that the comedy/darkness dynamic is more skewed towards the “darkness” in the upcoming movies, because of its ties to death:

“Death is darker than, say, resurrection or team-building. It’s just a darker concept, like when you’re dealing with “Dark Knight [Returns]” or “Death of Superman,” those kinds of ideas. As opposed to, “Oh, let’s build a team and fight the bad guy!” It’s a different energy.”

So, no, we’re not getting a jaunty, comedic adventure with Justice League; that would be disingenuous to the story, after Batman v Superman was so overtly dark. To suddenly make things funny again after Superman has died would just seem out of place.

dc flash

But with all the comedy showcased in the trailers, and humor being promised to us after a series of films where it was distinctly lacking… it feels like DC isn’t really sure where this is going, either. Is it even possible for an ensemble movie, which is in itself already a complicated project, to succeed where solo movies failed?

Imitating Marvel’s approach isn’t a solution, as much as both the fans and the studio may hope. We aren’t going to theaters hoping that DC serves us the MCU — we want to see something original. People may have bashed Batman v Superman for being too dark, but that wasn’t what made the movie bad. Everyone loved Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy’s darkness. No one complained when Logan killed off almost all of our favorite characters.

It’s not the humor we crave — we just want a good movie; one that’s made its mind up about what genre it wants to be.

It’s a difficult area to navigate. Being years behind Marvel in franchise-building, it’s only natural that fans already have high expectations for DC. While the MCU had time to build a series of movies and carefully craft characters before grouping them for Avengers, DC jumped straight into it, and suffered because of its ambition. And Marvel had the advantage that most of its characters had never appeared in live-action films before; DC doesn’t enjoy that luxury. It also doesn’t help that bad press has surrounded almost every one of DC’s latest movies.

dc justice league

It seems like a lose-lose situation. DC has to find its footing before it’s too late, and it gets swept away by the powerful current of the MCU.

Don’t let the YA-7 rating fool you. These shows are must-see television programs for children and adults alike!

In a recent interview on the American Gods press junket, Michael Green stated that cartoons are doing some of the best character work on television. He cited BoJack Horseman, Archer, and Bryan Fuller threw in Bob’s Burgers.

While each of those shows are doing the heavy leg work in the adult sphere, there are several programs in the children’s arena that are producing the same level of quality content.

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Don’t let the YA-7 rating fool you. These shows are must-see television programs for children and adults alike!

In a recent interview on the American Gods press junket, Michael Green stated that cartoons are doing some of the best character work on television. He cited BoJack Horseman, Archer, and Bryan Fuller threw in Bob’s Burgers.

While each of those shows are doing the heavy leg work in the adult sphere, there are several programs in the children’s arena that are producing the same level of quality content.

It’s not just about Saturday morning cartoons anymore. 7:00 p.m., the prime time for TV-G and TV-7 shows, showcases new episodes of children’s cartoons. Targeting the five to 14-year-old audiences, these shows are funny enough for children and yet sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy.

Personally, I watch a lot of TV. Sometimes it feels like too much. The Americans, The Leftovers, Fargo, American Gods, are all heavy, deep, dark shows. I devour the stillness and precise shots of these shows, and yet, the only show I can remember in the past year that made my eyes fill with tears was an episode of Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears.

The episode was about a burrito.

Veteran shows such as Spongebob Squarepants and Adventure Time and flanked by relatively new hits We Bare Bears and Steven Universe. The latter is evoking some deep and powerful conversations, while the former lives in a bubble were the few who tune in are rewarded in 15-minute intervals.

Children’s Cartoons for Adults

’Spongebob Squarepants’

spongebob children's cartoons

May 1, 1999, the Kid’s Choice Awards helped to introduce a yellow sponge to Nick. In his first appearance, Spongebob goes on a quest for the rarest spatula. He returns triumphant and saves the Krusty Krab from a hoard of hungry anchovies.

Eighteen years later, Spongebob Squarepants may have sharper colors, but the underwater adventures are just as enjoyable and hilarious. The classic tropes — “My leg!” — and background humor — Patrick pushing the entire town of Bikini Bottom away from an Alaskan Bull Worm — continue to keep Spongebob a light-hearted delight.

spongebob children's cartoons

The core of what makes Spongebob Squarepants compelling is the emphasis placed on what it means to care. What does it mean to Spongebob that Patrick and Squidward are his friends? What does it mean that he loves his job so much, he cannot stand to watch Jon Hamm’s Don Gruper (yes, that is his actual fish cameo’s name) take away the Krabby Patty.

Spongebob cares with his entire heart, almost to a fault. In two silent vignettes, Spongebob’s attentiveness achieves his desired result, but often leaves a disaster in his wake. A spec on a plate that Spongebob eventually lasers off, but destroys the Krusty Krab in the process. In “Reef Blower,” a classic, Spongebob’s misadventure with a reef blower leaves his yard spotless, but ruins his neighbor’s relaxing day.

While the plots and set up may seem inconsequential, but the heart of Spongebob is what will keep you coming back for more. Even 18 years later. There’s something for everyone in Bikini Bottom.

Where to watch: Nickelodeon
Must see episodes: “Band Geeks,” “Dying for Pie,” “Glove World R.I.P.”

’The Amazing World of Gumball’

gumball children's cartoons

Let’s set the stage. The Amazing World of Gumball features a family where the brother and sister do not get along, the mother works long hours at the factory to provide for a father who remains home, playing video games, and watching telenovelas. They are also rabbits with an adopted goldfish who was once the family pet, but sprouted legs.

Gumball is a mixed-media series where the characters interact with other animated friends and family. Sitting against real landscapes it features a few guests, like fellow middle-grade student T-Rex, who look like cutouts from a magazine pasted on screen. The series follows the Gumball, Darwin, Anais, and their parents through school, work, home life.

While the description may appear ridiculous this series consistently tells an incredible family story. The episodes recommended below highlight the paths the series takes to bring the Watterson family values to light. “The Remote” is a bottle-like episode in which the family fights over the single remote.

gumball children's cartoons

“The Gift” is one of the more touching episodes of the series. The children compete against their peers to buy the best gift for a classmate. But it’s not about being liked by the “popular” child. There is more to this story. The girl’s father owns the Rainbow Factory where most of the student’s parents work.

To impress her is to make an impression about the family as a whole. Including their mother who works at the factory.

Gumball and Darwin can be selfish. What middle-schooler isn’t. But the show also focuses on the parents and shows that even parents want to indulge themselves. It doesn’t mean anyone loves any less.

Where to watch: Cartoon Network
Must see episodes: “The Remote,” “The Hero,” “The Gift,” “The Return”

’We Bare Bears’

we bare bears children's cartoons

A show about three bears living in the outskirts of San Francisco might just be the most relatable show on television. Panda, Griz, and Ice Bear are brothers whose adventures as young cubs are as intriguing as their current adventures.

The brothers have their quirks. Panda wants to be an internet and online dating sensation. Ice Bear wants to be left alone to cook in peace. And Griz wants to try new things, but also suffers from a fear of being left behind.

The show focuses primarily on the three brothers, but includes a list of recurring guests who bring out the best, and worst, in the bears. Chloe, a human girl, befriends the bears. In the episode, “Chloe and Ice Bear,” she spends one-on-one time learning about what interests the friend about whom she knows the least.

we bare bears children's cartoons

Nom Nom, the fame-hungry koala celebrity, rises and falls in the limelight. But online fame is fleeting. So when an allergy attack propels Panda to become the next internet sensation, Nom Nom must work to win the public’s attention.

But then there are the episodes where the bears are younger. They highlight the struggles of their journey and how they fought their way back to each other time and time again. Sticking together through thick and thin, even when they uncover some secrets in each others’ rooms makes this pack one to root for.

Additionally, in “Burrito” and “Yuri and the Bear,” you learn of two instances with Griz and Ice Bear that will bring a tear to your eye.

Where to watch: Cartoon Network
Must see episodes: “Tote Life,” “Burrito,” “Viral Video,” “Chloe and Ice Bear,” “Yuri and the Bear”

’Steven Universe’

steven universe children's cartoons

Steven Universe is the show no one was ready for, but everyone needed. What sets Steven Universe apart from other shows? For one, it tends to be pretty serialized. What Michael Green points to in BoJack and Archer, Steven Universe accomplishes with the same gusto — character development.

And how could it not? Fourteen-year-old Steven, who is the child of the infamous Crystal Gem, an alien, grows up during the resurgence of a 5000 year old war.

Forget high school. Steven is at the heart of a rebellion.

steven universe children's cartoons

But the character work and serialization are not what make the show so popular for adults. Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, the women who protect and help raise Steven, are incredible female role models. The cast include same-sex couples, gender-fluid characters, and no one in Beach City is cast aside for how they look, love, or interact with one another.

Did we mention the music? You’ll want to listen to the Steven Universe music on REPEAT.

Where to watch: Cartoon Network
Must see episodes: “Last One Out of Beach City,” “When It Rains,”

’Adventure Time’

adventure time children's cartoons

Sadly, this final recommendation is on its way out the door at Cartoon Network. Adventure Time is as quirky as it is brilliant. With the Ice King and his penguins hating everyone from above, to Princess Bubblegum, to Lumpy Space Princess, to Lemongrabs, to Jake, Finn, BMO, and more, the expansive cast of Adventure Time leaves no stone unturned.

Jake falls in and out of love, Finn goes off on an epic quest in search of his father, and sometimes there is simply a lonely traveller who loses his way. You never know what you are going to get in any given episode of Adventure Time which is part of the show’s allure.

adventure time children's cartoons

Don’t expect to see the Ice King’s border-line abusive language each week. Don’t look for Finn and Jake to sing a song or for BMO to have a side adventure. But do stick around for touching and dramatic tales of dementia — “I Remember You” — and terrifying landscapes in the Nightosphere.

Adventure Time is unafraid. It pushes the boundaries of it’s TV-G rating with smart, witty dialogue and adventures that leave you questioning whether you watched this on Cartoon Network or FX.

Be sure to tune in before the series ends!

Where to watch: Cartoon Network
Must see episodes: “Marceline’s Closet,” Dad’s Dungeon,” “I Remember You,” “Gotcha”

Which other children’s cartoons should adults be paying attention to?

‘The Last Jedi’ trailer: A complete breakdown and analysis

'Breathe. Just, breathe.' Er, what is breathing?

4:15 pm EDT, April 20, 2017

There’s nothing quite like over-analyzing a Star Wars trailer when it drops — and The Last Jedi is certainly no exception.

As though all the details teased out over the course of The Last Jedi panel during Star Wars Celebration weren’t enough, we finally — finally — got our first look at the next installment in the Skywalker saga in the form of a trailer.

Need a reminder of exactly went down in the trailer? As though you haven’t been obsessively watching it since the second it hit the internet.) Check it out again below, before moving on for our breakdown and analysis.

Read full article

There’s nothing quite like over-analyzing a Star Wars trailer when it drops — and The Last Jedi is certainly no exception.

As though all the details teased out over the course of The Last Jedi panel during Star Wars Celebration weren’t enough, we finally — finally — got our first look at the next installment in the Skywalker saga in the form of a trailer.

Need a reminder of exactly went down in the trailer? As though you haven’t been obsessively watching it since the second it hit the internet.) Check it out again below, before moving on for our breakdown and analysis.

Phew, okay. Are you breathing? Because here we go…

The Fall of the Jedi (Again)

We’ve already had to witness the fall of the Jedi in the Star Wars franchise, but odds are looking pretty good that we’re about the get a repeat in The Last Jedi.

Eagle-eyed fans were quick to theorize that a scene in Rey’s vision during The Force Awakens might have included a glimpse at Kylo Ren’s annihilation of Luke’s padawans. That scene appears to be getting a continuation in The Last Jedi trailer.

Whether we’ll be privy to this scene via another vision of Rey’s Force visions — as the trailer’s opening suggests she might experience one, much like she did on Takodana — or in flashback form, with narration from Luke himself, one thing is for certain… it’s going to hurt.

The First Jedi Temple

Luke’s disappearance, as suggested by Han in The Force Awakens, was likely in pursuit of the First Jedi Temple — though the exact reasoning for that is wildly speculated about amongst fans. Could he have sought it out, per the Shattered Empire comics, to return the Force trees to their point of origin, or perhaps even to discover the forgotten truth of the Jedi Order and why it always seems to be doomed to fail?

Most fans already assumed that Ahch-To might be the first Jedi Temple, and the rampant Jedi iconography that appears to be evident on the island suggests that that is indeed the case. What now remains to be seen is whether Luke discovered whatever it was that he was searching for.

But it’s almost poetic that Rey might find her beginnings as a Jedi at the very beginning of the entire Order. Well, that’s if the Jedi, as a concept, survive through the end…

The Journal of the Whills

There’s no denying that the Whills have become increasingly relevant in the Star Wars universe in recent years. Not only in respect to both Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus as Guardians of the Whills in Rogue One, but also as the opener to The Force Awakens novelization. Surely that can’t be a coincidence?

A common theory regarding Snoke is that he might even be a Shaman of the Whills, and the order itself is older than the Jedi themselves, though just as deeply connected to the Force. With far more varied Force users coming into play in the universe, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume the Whills might play a large part in the ongoing Star Wars lore.

Could Snoke’s obsession with finding Luke and eliminating him go beyond his status as one of the last remaining Jedi, and extend to the possibility of the Journal of the Whills being in Luke’s possession? We’re guessing, if Snoke is connected to the Whills, that there is an incredibly strong case for that being so.

True Balance of the Force

This remains, arguably, great debate of the Star Wars universe: What does true balance to the Force really mean? For Obi-Wan, certainly, it meant the eradication of darkness and the Sith — but is that really balance? Does both the light side, and the dark, require equal representation for balance to be achieved, or can balance be found in one person, in the grey?

Ask any Star Wars fan, and they’ll likely believe something different, and have a fairly good case for backing up their point of view.

The prophecy from the prequels exalted Anakin as the Chosen One, the vessel for balance, but perhaps it was neither him, nor Luke, that was responsible for bringing it about. Taking the trailer’s voice over at face value, balance could mean “so much more” than just the light side and the dark side.

Add in the possibility of the Jedi Order definitively coming to an end, as Luke suggests, and we could see Rey become something akin to a truer balance between the two warring sides of the Force. Because, as we discovered over the course of the Prequel Trilogy, the Jedi Order certainly wasn’t wholly good — as much as they maintained an adherence to their strict moral code.

The Resistance

The Resistance suffered a heavy blow at the hands of the First Order and Starkiller base. With the location of their base privy to those who might have survived through the end of The Force Awakens, it’s little wonder we see them relocate their operations.

But that peace doesn’t appear to last for very long, as they suffer heavy damage at the hand of, presumably, the First Order. Not only does Poe lose an X-Wing, again, but we also see widespread chaos as Phasma and her troops descend on our heroes. Much like Rian Johnson promised, the First Order are capitalizing on the disarray in the wake of losing the Hosnian system and the Republic.

Though we see a suggestion that there may still be a significant fleet at the disposal of the Resistance, could those numbers be dwindling? We can’t imagine they can continue to suffer heavy losses of ships without significant consequences. Is it possible that we could witness their — albeit temporary — defeat during the course of The Last Jedi?

Cast and crew have, after all, promised a much darker entry into the saga than has come before.

What theories do you have, based on ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer?

Want more The Last Jedi speculation? We broke down what we think the cryptic title might mean!