Page 2: Ranking every ‘Sherlock’ episode from worst to best
The first two series set the bar high, but somehow “His Last Vow” managed to be an equally as compelling finale. The reveal of Mary’s real identity was almost more shocking than the explanation of Magnussen (although the truth about his glasses was a revelation). The combination of the final cliffhanger, and Magnussen’s death, made his episode memorable, while the Holmes’ family Christmas and the interactions between Sherlock and Mycroft provided some much needed humour.
“The Sign of Three” is without question the most comedic episode of Sherlock to date. Mary was a welcome addition to the Sherlock and John bromance, and managed to compliment their friendship without disturbing it. Watching Sherlock grapple with his duties as John’s best man provided an opportunity for comedy that had gone unexplored, and the mini-mystery was cleverly interwoven with the wedding storyline. And let’s not forget about Sherlock’s (perfect) best man speech.
This was the episode that started it all. A stunning introduction, “A Study in Pink” was a fantastic balance of humour and drama, and established the visuals that were to become such an integral part of Sherlock. The introductions of John and Sherlock hit all the right notes, and set the tone for the remainder of the series. The mystery was intriguing, the characters were even better. This is an episode that stands out from all the rest.
The puzzles set for Sherlock in “The Great Game” allowed him to showoff his intellectual prowess in a way we had not experienced before this point. And while these feats were impressive (or heartbreaking), it was Sherlock’s demonstration of his love for John that made the episode what it was. In true Sherlock style, series 1 ended with a seemingly insurmountable problem, on the kind of cliffhanger that would become very familiar to Sherlock fans.
“The Reichenbach Fall” is everything a Sherlock episode should be. The case against Sherlock was so masterfully built that it was almost entirely convincing. The ultimate showdown between Sherlock and Moriarty was impressive, but not nearly as impactful as the realisation that Sherlock would literally die to protect the people he loves. And in a stunning twist, the shock of the episode was not Sherlock’s death, but Moriarty’s.
What is your favourite ‘Sherlock’ episode?