Purists of Doyle’s works are in a tizzy about this BBC produced show that takes the iconic character of Sherlock and plops him on the streets of 21st century London. Little did anyone know, purist or not, just what a grand success this Masterpiece Theatre series would be. sherlock series two

Sherlock, Series Two (2011) BBC TV Review

Following in the aftermath of a face-off with his arch nemesis – one that did involve guns and a bomb – Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is bored. He’s so bored that he paces and plays his violin for hours on end. Every single case that comes his way is turned down even if his friend and flat mate, John Watson (Martin Freeman) sees potential in it. Then Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) – Sherlock’s staid, elder British government brother, summons him. Ordered to the royal palace, it would seem that a member of the royal family has gotten themselves in a bind. There are compromising photos of the nameless young woman with another woman known as “The Woman.” This woman makes her living as a dominatrix. Seeing her photo and her website intrigues Sherlock enough to change his mind about the case.

‘SHERLOCK,’ SERIES TWO (2011). Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return for the second series of the BBC TV show. All text © Rissi JC

The alluring Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) knows of the by-now famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to Dr. Watson’s popular blog. Because of this, the photos were simply a means to catch the selective private detective’s attentions. Irene has other things in mind for Sherlock Holmes. Irrespective of the promise he makes that the photos would be in his brother’s hands by the afternoon, the clever Irene bests him. This sets up a game of battling wits that sets Sherlock on a case to prove he isn’t about to lose his first case.

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever seen a show that is as intellectual as this. Sherlock takes murder mysteries to a new level. Leading up to my seeing this, there was a great many passionate writers who wrote about the first episode. Lots of people had a strong and vocal dislike of the episode. Something that I did let play with me a bit. Growing up in a conservative home, I still take issue with profane, needless material or blatant profanity. Right after I bought the set, I made up my mind that I’d either watch the entire episode or not at all. The point of this rambling is that I chose to watch the episode and right or wrong, good or bad, I am going to be honest and say that it may be my favorite episode of the three in this Sherlock series two lineup.

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‘SHERLOCK,’ SERIES TWO (2011). Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman return for the second series of the BBC TV show. All text © Rissi JC

Steven Moffat is the writer, who I hear is genius. Known for his work on another popular British serial, he’s no stranger to television. This series has got a great things going for it. Not only is it insanely witty but I love that the supporting characters are also important. Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) is still in these; as is the cute coroner, Molly (the girl totally crushes on Sherlock; how DARE he be so darn mean to her!). Watson and Sherlock are still fabulous together which is a credit to the actors who portray them (seriously Benedict is just terrific). But gosh, Watson has patience to live with Sherlock! It’s great to know that he isn’t about to sit back and always take Sherlock’s “abuse,” instead he knows when to walk away. It’s also not fair to assume Sherlock is uncaring because he is.

Uncharacteristically, I had read nothing about the ending so it takes me by surprise (in a good way!); I also “knew” that it isn’t all it seems because it was after all, Sherlock Holmes. The final episode was just brilliant. I loved that we experienced such a wide range of emotions; happiness, laughter, sorrow, danger, and edge-of-your-seat-suspense, and it all works. That is good writing. The final episode, “The Reichenbach Fall” may be the most clever of the three but the first is the funniest while the one sandwiched in-between seems more lethargic. sherlock series two

The last twenty minutes of ‘Reichenbach’ is intense but intriguing and dramatic, and it’s difficult to see Watson’s reaction to it all. Behind-the-scenes, I love the filming. It seems to give us a picture inside Sherlock’s uncanny mind and every scene seems to set the mood for every emotion. Writer’s pay tribute to the iconic Sherlock and his signature hat, and in dressing him in a long overcoat. The thing I love most seeing him in our modern world is watching him send off text messages! Gotta’ love that. Everything about the show is just fabulous! I could go on forever about how well and “prefect” everything is during these three hour-and-a-half films but I do have to stop somewhere. Just know that the script, acting and characters, filmmaking and stories are phenomenal. If you aren’t already among the masses who watch this… give it a try!

Let’s talk: What did you like about season two? What didn’t you like – which season was better? Which episode was your favorite, and why? Comment below.

Content: E1 shows a nude Irene with a full shot of her back side; later she uses her hands to carefully cover everything. We see her in a suggestive outfit entering a room housing a “client.” She once uses her whip to get Sherlock to be “submissive” and there is some suggestive dialogue between them. [She remarks that she could have him “twice” and Sherlock is made fun of for his naïve sexual experience.] There’s remarks about Watson and Sherlock being gay much to Watson’s mortification; once Watson stumbles upon a car in which two people are having sex [the car is rocking]. There is some violence including with guns; two men commit suicide [there is blood] and another takes a dive off a skyscraper. One man is murdered by what a boy perceives to be a terrifying creature [there are flashbacks].There is some profanity [bas*tard] and abuse of God’s name. This is TV14.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Eeeeh. I'm not sure about this Sherlock series. There's something about Benedict that just… I don't know, I don't really like him.

    Good review, though! :) I should have my snow white review up tomorrow or wednesday

  2. Ruth – you got it! :-)

    *high five*

    Rachel – really? This series is just awesome! A lot of Sherlock purists were really skeptical but it won most of them over. Me on the other hand well, I was curious from the beginning! This is what "real" humor looks like. :-)

    Most everyone thinks Benedict is good-looking but I just love him as Sherlock – he is spot-on brilliant plus he is fabulous in anything he stars in.

    AWESOME! I am dying to know what you thought of it, girl!!!

    Natalie – well said. :-)

  3. I loved this series. "Reichenbech" was probably my favorite; I loved Belgravia, BUT I really felt ilke the mature content was much too heavy. It was a beautiful, brilliant episode, but it was laced with sexuality and such, which really put me off. I have to agree though– it brought out a whole new side of Sherlock!

    "Riechenbech" just brought everything in the series together to one focused, intricate point, while still being true to the book and characters. I. Loved. It.

  4. You and me both, AnnaKate. (YES!!) I just loved that final episode – it took me by surprise (I'd not read about the cliff-hanger) and that was awesome.

    See… honestly, "Belgravia" wasn't as horrible as I anticipated – not saying it was good either. I am sure some of the British slang went over my head but what I did "get" wasn't nearly as bad as I expected so I am glad I watched it – sadly, I will likely pick up on a lot of things I missed the second time. :-/ It was darn clever though!

    Most of the people I know who read the books say this is how Sherlock should be seen and I am glad to know that – and am glad that you feel like this modern adaptation is true to the books. That is fabulous!

  5. I loved the first episode too!!!! The content is disturbing, but the plot, in my opinion, makes up for that…

    On the other hand, I was totally disappointed with their "Hound of Baskerville"… Didn't care for it at all…

    And then the third episode… I thought the end of the first season was intense… This one was even more so!!!! I TOTALLY can't wait for the third season… ;)

  6. Episode one seemed really clever and I loved that. The plot more than made up for anything 'bad' in my opinion. :-) I really liked 'Hound' but it was probably my least fave – it was still insanely clever though.

    OH. MY. GOSH! I know what you mean about E3… wow was it intense but sooooo good. Loved it.

    I read somewhere that S3 was coming next summer but then someone told me that it would be 2 years before it was back, so I am not sure which is accurate! LOL! Either way, it cannot come soon enough!

    Lovely that you stopped in, Tory. :-)

  7. I'd have minded the 1st episode much less if they hadn't degraded Irene in that way and made Sherlock entirely too human. The sexual innuendo was enough to make me uncomfortable which is a real shame because the rest of the episode without her in it it made of awesomeness! I love the interaction with John and Sherlock, just the little digs at each other and how John always hears hit me when Sherlock speaks to him but it's usually in subtext! :-)

    Hound was my favorite but then I'm very much drawn to that type of psychological manipulation in films so it makes sense that I would love it.

    I'm glad you finally got a chance to watch the new season! Ooh, reminds me, I need to buy it!

  8. In the first season, I liked 'A Study in Pink' as it set up the characters nicely. The rest of the season was OK.

    In the second season, I liked the 'The Hounds of Baskerville' most.

    These 2 episodes were more in the Doylean mold.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the second season was too melodramatic and emotionally overwrought. Just my 2 cents though :)

  9. Carissa – I totally "get" the outrage at E1, I do, but… honestly I didn't mind it like I thought I would. In fact it was quite clever and wound up being second only to the finale which was BRILLIANT.(Who'd have thought a show like this could have such a cool show-down!? LOL!)

    I love Watson and Sherlock's little digs at each other – they are just HILARIOUS! Love that about these two crime fighters – they bicker and disagree but at the end of the day, they'd die for each other.

    Funny, 'Hound' was my least favorite but it was still excellent. :-)

    Me, too! I hope you get the DVD's soon – now I've seen S2, I really need to go back to the beginning and do a re-watch! Really glad you stopped by!

    Buddy2Blogger – really? I thought S1, E1 was the slowest of them all… It seemed too confusing in the beginning to be really good but then it did get better and by then, I loved it!

    I can see were someone might find these a bit… over-dramatic but I think this is one of the cleverest series on TV right now. They are mysterious but this is honestly what "good" humor is – and I love that alone.

    So glad you stopped by to share your opinion! I enjoy discussing what everyone else thought. :-)

    Anyone else who wants to share their '2 cents' is most welcome: Type away

  10. >> Unfortunately, the rest of the second season was too melodramatic and emotionally overwrought.

    If you're going by the canon, yes. The "real" Holmes is about as emotional as a doorknob. Much as I enjoy "Sherlock," the longer it goes on, the less like the original it tends to be, which is a bit of a shame — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was far more brilliant than Moffat, however talented, will ever be.

    "Hound" was my favorite. But I think appreciation of that kind of hinges on how familiar you are with the original material; only when you know the "real" story does Gatis' genius bleed through.

  11. Charity:

    "The 'real' Holmes is about as emotional as a doorknob"

    I like that Sherlock is "emotional" in certain situations – it makes him seem more human and yet he is still… Sherlock. (Gosh but he makes me mad with Molly sometimes! And then the one time he was going to be nice to her, writers cut! The very nerve of them!)

    Thanks for stopping in again, Buddy2Blogger.

  12. buddy2blogger: well? it's true! Who is smarter, the guy who flies the plane or the one who invents it? ;)

    Rissi – I like that the only time Holmes is emotional in the books is when Watson is almost killed. He has this great moment where he says, "If you had shot Watson, you would not have left this house alive!" <3

  13. That is a great strategy. I like that Holmes is willing to stand up for his friends even when we think he isn't much of a friend – he actually is! He was willing to die for them! That is telling.

    Love that quote!

  14. Just watched the last episode again. So sad! The bit that really drove the ending home for me was when the camera focused on the blood mixed in with the rain on the sidewalk. I almost cried. But of course he's still alive. :)

    I think episode 3 is my favorite, even being as sad as it is. I just didn't like Irene Adler. I find her incredibly annoying.

  15. It is… but then things turn right in the world again. :-) Unfortunately for Watson, they are still horrible! Feel so sorry for him – after all, Sherlock is his best friend.

    Me, too. I definitely think I liked E3 best of all. Irene didn't annoy me but what did surprise me, was that the episode didn't offend me like I expected of it.


    (Think the all-caps give away my enthusiasm!? LOL!)

  16. Glad to hear you enjoyed the series Rissi! I've heard people complain about the first episode but I thought it was clever and enjoyable. My favourite was the third episode just because of all of the emotions and the stakes involved xD

  17. No one was happier than I, Li considering I went into this way skeptical.

    I absolutely loved the first episode. Could it have been done differently? Sure! But it was phenomenal – and as you say, clever.

    Right there with you: The final episode was unforgettable. I will definitely need to re-visit all of S1 and 2 prior to S3 which will hopefully (*fingers crossed*) be around next summer.

  18. I just read your review fully because I am planning on seeing series 2 soon and wondered what you thought. You said Watson stumbles upon two people in a car and I wondered which episode that was?

    1. The scene you question is in episode 2. We never see inside the car, just see John's reaction and hear voices. Hope that helps. :)

      This series is SO clever, hope you're enjoying. :)

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