The third and last Sherlock episode airs on Sunday. I’m so excited, but also a little sad because it’s the last one we’ll get for who-knows-how-long. 😦 Still, it’s something to look forward to this weekend. Wasn’t there something else on TV this Sunday too? I forget. I’m sure it wasn’t as cool as Sherlock anyway. 🙂
Since I won’t be posting about that episode, as it will be February and time to move on to other things, I’ll do a little lead-up post now. The episode is called “His Last Vow.” This is a rather ominous reference to the vow he made to Dr. and Mrs. Watson in the last episode, but it’s also a reference to the Conan Doyle story, “His Last Bow: An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes.” It is a very simple story about Holmes using his talent for disguise to catch a German spy. Here are some facts about the original story, in preparation for the BBC version:
1) It was yet another attempt to finish off the detective, this time not by death but by retirement. Just like “The Final Problem” and a later story called “The Adventure of the Second Stain,” it failed.
2) However, it may be one of the last Sherlock Holmes stories actually written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There is some doubt whether the last collection of stories, The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, is completely genuine.
3) It’s one of only three stories in the canon that are told by a third-person narrator rather than Watson.
4) Holmes impersonates an American in this story (and his use of American slang is terribly overdone). I wonder if they’ll use that detail in the Sherlock episode…
5) Watson returns to the army in “His Last Bow” – this time to fight in World War I.
6) While explaining the situation to his German captive, Holmes alludes to all his most well-known foes from the early stories, including Moriarty, Irene Adler, and Colonel Sebastian Moran.
I almost wish “His Last Bow” had been the last story. It has a feeling of completeness to it–Watson going off to war again, Holmes returning to his bee-keeping retirement. Their friendship and teamwork are also highlighted particularly well in this story. It’s bittersweet, but leaves both characters in a good place. Still, I suppose it’s better not to have a final end to Sherlock Holmes’ adventures–that way they can go on forever.
We know for certain that “His Last Vow” will not be the last Sherlock episode. In fact, we can be pretty confident it’ll end on a cliffhanger at least as bad as the last one. But it may resemble “His Last Bow” in other ways. We shall see.