I won’t be exaggerating when I say that His Last Vow has shaved off at least half a decade, if not more, from my lifespan. Not even Sherlock jumping off of the hospital’s rooftop affected my brain and heart activity as some of the things in this episode did. It all begins as always with fun and games, this time with a little extra on the fun with Sherlock hooking up on ‘life enhancing’ drugs. He says he is on a case, but I am sure Molly Hooper’s resounding slap(s) has surely cured him of that delusion. Yes, you read right, Molly slaps Sherlock, and not just once. I must say, time and time again Molly surprises me, but I shall leave the intricacies of Molly Hooper’s mind palace to another blog post and get on with the review.
A client comes along, bearing gifts for Sherlock in the form of Charles Augustus Magnussen, so how can he resist? Instantly, Sherlock is thrown into Magnussen’s world, but he is not alone. Remember the time you fell in love with Mrs. Watson; yes, Mary, charming, adorable, utterly understanding, and for once someone who loves Sherlock? Turns out she isn’t the miss-goody-two-shoes that we thought her to be. In Magnussen’s own words, she is a ‘bad, bad girl’, and he seems to have irrevocable proof. Mary is all set to handle the blackmailer on her own, but in comes Sherlock, and bang, bang! Down goes Sherlock.
I won’t go into the details of how excruciatingly painful it was to watch Sherlock plunge down the path of death once again, but it was nothing compared to watching him claw (dead literally) his way back from death to life just because John is in trouble. To have someone care for you so much that he would come back from the very dregs of death to protect you, you are a lucky man, John Watson.
Once john learns of his wife’s possible ‘escapades’, there comes a moment when you think that the Watsons are doomed now, as their marriage lies in shambles. But John is a stronger man than that, and together he and Sherlock take on Magnussen in order to protect Mary. Sherlock promises him Mycroft’s laptop brimming with state secrets in exchange for a visit to Appledore, Magnussen’s mansion which has an underground ‘basement’ that contains all the ‘dirt’ he has on various high profile people. However, turns out, Magnussen has a mind palace of his own, which is actually his ‘vault’ in which he preserves all the blackmail-worthy sensitive information. When push comes to shove, Sherlock shoots Magnussen in the head, this irradiating the very vault that could have put Mary in danger.
Sherlock is immediately rounded up and arrested for committing treason and is about to be sent off on an MI6 mission into Eastern Europe, when there is a national broadcast of Jim Moriarty making a comeback with a funny yet chilling ‘Did you miss me?’ chant which ensures the return of Sherlock Holmes to Britain in order to face the man that made him take the leap.
My only complaint is that when Magnussen first visits Sherlock at Bake Street, both Sherlock and John are searched for weapons, but when they visit Appledore they are not searched, and John manages to smuggle in a gun without breaking a sweat. That security breach seems a little silly to swallow, and something that someone of Magnussen’s intelligence would never overlook. Lars Mikkelsen is simply magnificent and bone-chilling as Charles Augustus Magnussen, and is a contrast from Moriarty’s playful psychopathic tendencies.
The fact that Mycroft still thinks of Sherlock as a little boy who needs to be look after and rescued is simply adorable, and a testimony to the fact that Mycroft is not without a heart after all. Moriarty’s return made me jump up and down like a little girl who was promised a real pony for her birthday. Come on, admit it, despite being deadly and vicious he is adorable. A lot of people are questioning his survival, and deem it to be a plot hole. Seriously? If Sherlock could come up with 13 alternative routes of preventing his death, do you really think it is too far-fetched to think that Moriarty, who is Sherlock’s intellectual equal, wouldn’t have thought of a couple of them himself?