16 Times Sherlock Drove Us All Crazy

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The infamous pool confrontation in “The Great Game”. (Photo: BBC)

When The Pool Standoff Fell Flat

Here is a deep, dark secret about Sherlock. It is terrible at cliffhangers. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. The show is great at setting up cliffhangers. These finales ratchet up the in-episode tension to almost unbearable levels. And then the episodes stops, and fans spend an average of two years wondering how the cliffhanger can possibly get resolved.

The sad part is, is that when the cliffhanger does get resolved? It’s almost always disappointing. The show never really answered the question of how Sherlock faked his own death, but that wasn’t the first time Sherlock whiffed the follow through to a hotly debated finale. At the end of Season 1’s “The Great Game,” we see Sherlock, John and Moriarty locked in a life-or-death confrontation at a community pool. Mutually assured destruction seemed imminent. The season ended with Sherlock prepared to blow everyone up to defeat Moriarty. How will they ever get out of it?

Well, quickly and unsatisfyingly, to be honest. The stalemate ends because Moriarty gets a phone call. Yes, really. His phone rings, and thanks to that conversation, Moriarty decides that he’s done with threatening the Baker Street boys and basically just wanders off. It’s the lamest sort of conclusion to their confrontation. It feels like, in the middle of its multi-year hiatus, Sherlock got bored with its own cliffhanger. No one seemed to care anymore how it got resolved, only that it got resolved ASAP.

The thing is, is that no one really thought that this Sherlock-Moriarty faceoff would end in a fight to the death or anything. Viewers just wanted a way out of things that made sense. And while this scene is funny – Moriarty’s “Staying Alive” ringtone is 100% amazing – it’s also pretty lazy.

Number of eyerolls: 7