Sherlock: 'Perfect' finale not the end says Moffat - reviews

BBC 'desperate' for a 2014 Christmas Sherlock special as critics hail final episode of season three as best yet


CRITICS have described the final instalment of the latest series of Sherlock as "perfect", after the BBC One flagship show finally "delivered the goods".

The third and final episode, His Last Vow, sees Sherlock (Benidict Cumberbatch) and loyal companion Watson (Martin Freeman) do battle with yet another of Sherlock's arch-enemies, Charles Augustus Magnussen, played by The Killing and Borgen actor, Lars Mikkelsen.

In a reworking of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, Sherlock goes to extreme lengths to defeat Magnussen, a newspaper owner with a soft-spot for blackmail.

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"After the bromantic lull of last week's wedding episode, in which the mystery plot was half-drowned in sentiment," says Ellen Jones in The Independent, "there was reason to fear Sherlock had gone soft - we should have had more faith."

Lucy Mangan writes in The Guardian that she is willing to forgive minor flaws in the first two episodes of the latest series, for a finale led by characters "so finely calibrated, by turn so careful, so showy, so heartbreaking, so hilarious, and always so attuned to each other that together their story is even greater than the sum of its astonishing parts. Yes. I consider that the bargain of the bloody year."

Mangan adds: "I've been sitting here a long time trying to imagine what anyone could find to object to in it and I can't think of anything."

Josh Wilding agrees in The Daily Mirror, describing Sherlock as "simply one of the greatest TV shows of all-time", but Neela Debnath, writing in The Independent, has reservations.

She argues that His Last Vow was a "disappointingly desperate finale" that was wrapped up a little too neatly and quickly".

She says: "At the risk of trying to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with plenty of plot twists, the conclusion of His Last Vow seems to have done the opposite."

Fans of the show will be pleased to hear that Sherlock and co will be making a return.

The Guardian reports that Steven Moffat, the show's writer and executive producer, revealed at a preview for the final episode that everybody's favourite super-sleuth will return for a fourth series.

And if The Sun is to be believed then a new episode could air on Christmas Day.

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