The Definitive Ranking of Every Sherlock Episode (So Far)

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6. The Hounds of Baskerville (Season 2, Episode 2)

The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most well-known story. Unfortunately, the Sherlock adaptation of the famous mystery is solidly middle of the pack. As the show’s first real foray into telling a horror story, it does some things very right, and some things… not.

Writer Mark Gatiss is one of the best there is at setting a moody, creepy atmosphere. Russell Tovey does a solid guest turn as client Henry Knight, but the mystery of the dodgy government facility and its hallucinogenic fog is fairly lame. The set-up and investigation of this story takes an awfully long time. The bad guy is pretty obvious from the jump, and most of the secondary characters are two-dimensional. The only really fun parts end up being about the rabbit that glows in the dark.

Despite the flaws related to its plot, Hounds remains a fairly interesting character study. It turns out that it’s kind of fun to watch Sherlock grapple with the idea of fear. Whether that means doubt in his own abilities, or the realization that maybe some things are just inexplicable, it’s a side of Holmes we rarely get to see. It’s unsettling, and incredibly compelling at the same time. Plus, the whole thing is basically worth it for Sherlock’s angry fireside rant about why people suck and he doesn’t have any friends. His awkward apology about to John the next day is just the icing on top.

The CGI hound is laughably bad though, and strips away some of the actual fear from what we’re watching. (This episode would have been so much better if they’d realized we didn’t actually need to see the monster at the end.)