Ooh, now we’re getting to my favourites!
The Hounds of Baskerville
Summary: An unstable young man named Henry Knight hires Sherlock to investigate a 20-year-old case: his father’s murder, by what he claims was a monstrous red-eyed hound. Sherlock suspects the real culprit may be connected to Baskerville, a top-secret military research facility near Knight’s countryside village.
Why it’s ranked here: I love this episode. It’s funny, it’s scary (for Sherlock, anyway), and it’s based on my favourite Arthur Conan Doyle story, which always helps. No earth-shattering plot twists or intense showdowns here–just your fun, everyday murder investigation with a side of character development and creepy forest-dwelling monsters.
Some highlights: First, the scenery. This is the only Sherlock episode that takes place largely outside London, and the camera crew made the most of that. The stark beauty of the moor and the eerie forest contrasts nicely with the high-tech, whitewashed labs in Baskerville. Which makes it all the more creepy when the “monster” shows up in both places…
Speaking of monsters, Sherlock was brilliant in this episode. That hardly needs saying, I know, but “Hounds” showed off so many different sides of him over its 90-minute run: withdrawn tobacco junkie Sherlock, scared (!) Sherlock, nice apologetic Sherlock, World’s Worst Friend Sherlock, and, of course, brilliant detective Sherlock. This is the episode that introduces his “mind palace,” one of the show’s more fascinating concepts.
John also deserves a mention for putting up with “Spock’s” antics in this episode. Apart from the mean things he said to John at the hotel, if one of my friends pulled a prank on me like what Sherlock did in the labs, I think it would permanently strain our friendship. Poor John was scared to death! And with him, that takes some doing. Yes, I know, it was all part of the investigation, but still…it’s no wonder Sherlock only has one friend.
Oh, and as a Doctor Who fan, I quite enjoyed seeing Alonso again. Unfortunately, his luck doesn’t seem to have improved much since he was plummeting to his doom on Space Titanic, but at least he got some closure at the end of the story. In all seriousness, Russell Tovy did a great job in this episode.
“Rule out the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.” It’s lines like these that make me think Sherlock would get along with the Doctor. Even though the Doctor probably falls under his definition of “impossible”…