I recently found out that TVB Pearl is showing BBC's Sherlock. Okay, you are two years behind us here but at least you show some good taste. Except they showed the first episode on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Who on earth is going to watch it? What a waste.
Back here we just finished Series 2. I wasn't in the UK when Episode 2.1 aired and somehow I'm not bothered to find and watch it... possibly because I watched 2.3 live and was somewhat disappointed by it. In fact by now I've completely forgotten the plot except the last 10 minutes. But after seeing some clips on youtube, I eventually watched it.
And this is what Steven Moffat can do. At his best, nothing, absolutely nothing on TV can beat him. Or Hollywood.
10 remarks on Sherlock 2.1: A Scandal in Belgravia
1) Small connections.
You think those little cases at the beginning were irrelevant funny jokes? True Moffat believers would have seen that coming. (Sorry, I didn't.)
2) Dress 3.
Irene Adler choosing her dress and decided to go naked. The day before I watched this, I was watching an episode of Coupling (another Moffat production, hugely underrated), where Jane chose "Dress 3". I don't mind recycled ideas, as long as they are brilliant.
3) The direction.
One highly acclaimed aspects back in the first series is the innovative camera work and directing, with on-screen text showing the SMS messages or what's going through Sherlock's mind. Not surprisingly it is retained, but there are other excellent work: the cutting between the car backfire noise and the smoke alarm, a freezed murder scene overlayed with Irene's room, and the cutting between "God save the Queen" and Christmas songs with Sherlock's violin. Though I suspect most of this is already specified in Moffat's script.
4) More little connections.
The cigarette lighter from the official to set off the fire alarm. The fire alarm to reveal the safe. The naked scene to let Sherlock know the safe's code (and that he does know where to look.) Bond Air. How the murder case relates to the main plot. And "because I took your pulse". When Moffat writes well, everything come together in the most unexpected but the most satisfying way.
"How did Sherlock recognise her from... not her face?"
"And exactly how many times did he fall out of the window?"
6) Poor Molly. Poor poor Molly.
7) The climax.
I think quite some people may have guessed the passcode of the phone before seeing it (I don't know whether I would - I had already seen the resolution...) Though they rather cleverly used mostly numbers in the failed attempts to mislead the audience while at the same time did include a B to show it can be a letter. For those who didn't see that coming, they must feel like they have just witnessed the most clever moment in TV history. Yes, this is again what Moffat can do. Except he does that regularly. Last time it was "something borrowed, something blue" in Doctor Who.
You think the ringtone is just another way of sex-ing up the story? Even that serves a final plot point. And plenty of things for Benedict Cumberbatch fangirls to scream at.
9) The music.
Irene's theme, particularly how it is timed to the reveal of the passcode and the "beheading". Stunning.
10) The end.
Quite some people don't like the addendum, considering it unnecessary and worsens the episode. History proves that such additions by Moffat usually turned out to be well-received (e.g. Doctor Who: Forest of the Dead). Ok, Sherlock infiltrating terrorists in Karachi is a bit silly, but after what we've seen in this episode, we all want Irene to survive, don't we?
So here it is.You think you are watching detective stories? No, not just that, it is comedy, tragedy, romance, everything. I always assume that Steven Moffat is an evil genius. Thank you for the final proof. A shame that his work is not more widely known.
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