Sherlock: Every Episode Ranked Worst To Best

Which Sherlock episodes are all-time classics, and which fail to impress?

BBC

The dust has finally started to settle on The Final Problem, which was one hell of a closer to Season 4 of Sherlock.

The episode was greeted with a wave of criticism both good and bad, and also kickstarts a long wait - perhaps even a permanent one - until Season 5. For now, fans are left to pick apart what has been the most controversial batch of episodes so far.

But the question is, how do they compare to previous episodes? With plenty of time to mull over all 13 episodes, especially the latest three that tie up a lot of loose ends and present even more, it's a good moment to rank every episode of Sherlock - deducing which ones were total failures, and which stand as absolute classics.

(Be warned that there are massive spoilers ahead for every episode of Sherlock.)

13. Christmas Special: The Abominable Bride

BBC

Everything about this episode feels unnecessary and overly confusing. What was advertised as a standalone, gothic adventure seeing everyone's favourite modern iterations of classic characters actually inhabit the Victorian era they came from was a tantalizing prospect. And on that front, The Abominable Bride succeeds: it's a well-directed tale, and a nice change from the familiar world of Sherlock.

But when we found out that the entire thing was a delusion in modern-day Sherlock's head, and became a confusing, dragged-out imitation of Inception that raises more questions than it answers, a lot of goodwill was lost.

This approach frustrated audiences and made the Victorian elements feel like a silly gimmick to appeal to fans, rather than something to entice newcomers and the general public.

The bait-and-switch between time periods is not deserved, after the audience has begun to enjoy a very distinctive piece of festive entertainment. The Abominable Bride is a very unsatisfying return after a long wait between episodes, and a complicated way to bridge the gap between seasons 3 and 4.

Contributor
Contributor

Aspiring Director, Screenwriter and Actor. Film is my passion, but I indulge in TV, Theatre and Literature as well! Any comments or suggestions, please tweet me @IAmOscarHarding