SHERLOCK!!! Need I say more?
Warning: the following lines may contain spoilers. If you haven’t seen series 3 yet, proceed only at your own risk!
I got the DVDs of Series 3 last week and watched the three 90-minute-episodes on two consecutive days: brilliant! Benedict manages to walk the fine line between making us hate him and making us love him.
Hate him? Well, I totally sympathized with John Watson (Martin Freeman) when he couldn’t resist the urge to try and beat Sherlock up in the restaurant after Sherlock making such a childish and insensitive entrance back into John’s life. And I would have KILLED the man had I been John when Sherlock made him believe that their lives were over because the bomb couldn’t be defused. (The Empty Hearse) And, come to think of it, using the love of a woman, Janine, merely to get access to Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads Mikkelsen), the main villain of series 3, is pretty cruel, too. (His Last Vow)
Love him? There is so MUCH in this third series that makes me not just adore Sherlock for his sharp mind but fill my heart with warmth and love. This already starts in the first episode when he desperately tries to find and rescue John, who had been kidnapped, and is followed up by the absolutely beautiful best-man speech that he gives at John’s and Mary’s wedding and that had everyone at the wedding and in front of the TV screens in tears (The Sign of Three). I also loved how he convinced John’s former commander Major James Sholto not to take his own life on the day of John’s wedding.
The peak is surely the third episode (His Last Vow), when you see so many different emotions in a man that at times has seemed oblivious to human feelings: he seems genuinely scared of Magnussen, feels puzzled, betrayed (also for John’s sake) and intrigued by Mary shooting him, he struggles with the excruciating pain of being shot and almost despairs when realizing that there is no way to stop Magnussen from blackmailing Mary but shoot him – which he does. Such a selfless, compassionate (!) act, even accepting that he will eventually die for this, since he is being sent to a mission that will likely kill him within six months. Ah – the farewell scene between Sherlock and Watson… Both at a loss for words – something rarely seen.
What’s so absolutely amazing about Benedict’s performance is how flawlessly and quickly he can switch from one emotion to another (or the apparent lack of any). It’s just so much fun to watch him do that. And I haven’t mentioned yet his comedic talent that can be seen in his facial expressions, the delivery of his lines, in his whole posture. One thing must be stressed, however, the show wouldn’t be as good if it wasn’t for the chemistry between Sherlock/Cumberbatch and Watson/Freeman! Martin Freeman does an equally amazing job playing Watson and needs to be given just as much credit to why this series is so loved the whole world over! The supporting cast is also great: Rupert Graves as Lestrade and co-creator and writer Mark Gatiss as Mycroft do some outstanding work, and I also like Freeman’s real-life girl-friend Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson. But since this is an update on why I love Benedict Cumberbatch, the focus has been on him, of course.