Ranking the best of 'Sherlock' as we (patiently) wait for 2016


The Sherlock Nation is already painfully aware that it’s a very, very long time until anyone will see new episodes. A long, long time as in 15 months to be exact when a Christmas special rolls around in 2015, followed by three new episodes in 2016 for series 4.

Thankfully, the folks over at DigitalSpy have created just the thing for those suffering from separation anxiety that will keep everyone talking until 2016. It’s hard to believe that as much as <em>Sherlock</em>, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have been a part of our collective mind palaces for almost 5 years now, there are only a total of nine episodes that exists. That’s almost as hard to believe as the fact that there are only 12 episodes that exists in the most brilliant of comedies of all-time, <em>Fawlty Towers</em>.  Of course, it makes the wait even more excruciating when you hear co-creator/writer, Steven Moffat, refer to the forthcoming series as devastating and series star, Benedict Cumberbatch, say that from what he’s read so far of the proposed storyline, series 4 will be ‘phenomenal‘.
 
Sherlock-John-Watson-BBC

So, what better way to pass the time than to binge watch the 9 episodes over and over while ranking them from 1-9. It’s impossible to rank them from best to worst because even the use of the word ‘worst’ should never be uttered in the same sentence as <em>Sherlock</em>. How about just rank order them 1-9 as far as which ones are your most favorite. According to Digital Spy, their 1-9 rankings are as follows with a bit of their explanations as to why. How about you?

  • 9. ‘The Blind Banker’ (Series 1, Episode 2) – citing the fact that the episode “centers as it does on a hokey and politically dubious yarn about a band of Chinese smugglers on a murderous treasure hunt”, makes this their obvious choice for #9.
  • 8. ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’ (Series 2, Episode 2) – it may be the best known and best loved of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, according to Digital Spy, “The Hound of the Baskervilles remains a bitch to adapt”.
  • 7. ‘The Empty Hearse’ (Series 3, Episode 1) – as they say, following “The Reichenbach Fall” is unfair to any episode that follows. “…the hypothetical ‘How Sherlock did it’ sequences and nods towards the show’s ballooning fandom are breathlessly entertaining flourishes but don’t have much re-watch value”.
  • 6. ‘His Last Vow’ (Series 3, Episode 3) – the episode was “…convoluted, an ambitious emotional powerhouse and disturbing” all in one. It’s easy to see why it took home a couple of Emmys this year. Let’s see…Sherlock has killed a man and is going into exile, John is about to become a father, and Moriarty is back from the dead (maybe). It neatly gave us a series ender that will something to think about for the next 15 months.
  • 5. ‘The Great Game’ (Series 1, Episode 3) – this dark and strangely compelling series one finale has everything. A climactic poolside confrontation, the beginning of a very deranged portrayal of Moriarty by Andrew Scott thus establishing the key idea that Moriarty is a dark mirror image of Sherlock and provides the first real test of Sherlock’s and John’s relationship that in its’ early stages.
  • 4. ‘The Sign of Three’ (Series 3, Episode 2) – Considered the show’s most character-centric and comedic to date, which means as a fan you either hated it or loved it. There was no in-between. The highlight of the episode is Sherlock delivering a perfect, characteristically tone-deaf yet ultimately moving best man’s speech at John’s wedding, which weaves together flashbacks, character comedy, emotional revelation and a present-day mystery.
  • 3. ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’ (Series 2, Episode 1) – Laura Pulver stars as Irene Adler, he first person we’ve ever seen Sherlock unable to “read”.
  • 2. ‘A Study in Pink’ (Series 1, Episode 1) – Quite simply, a masterclass in economical character introduction.
  • 1. ‘The Reichenbach Fall’ (Series 2, Episode 3) – No explanation needed here.

 
The Reichenbach Fall

For my money, there is no arguing about the #1 spot. “The Reichenbach Fall” is a good as television gets. I might have to bump up “A Scandal in Belgravia” to the #2 slot. It does feature the great Laura Pulver as Irene Adler after all. It’s a tough call, however, as “A Study in Pink” does have the greatness of Phil Davis as a serial killer who forces his victims to commit suicide.

That’s the great thing about a series like Sherlock. I’m betting you could binge watch them over and over and every time you finish, you would come out with a different 1-9 order. What do you think?

  • Nicolle DiVito

    I didn’t realize there were only 12 epsiodes of Fawlty Towers. I learn something new every time I read your posts. Thanks for the work!