The genius of Sherlock is the man himself. He craves for murder, mysteries, scandals so that he can solve them. He is highly critical of others as he simply fails to fathom why no-one else can understand things so quickly the way he does. He wonders what it is to be like in their funny smaller brains.  In his own words,  he’s the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant and all-round obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. But he’s the most human among the rest. When John tells him that he’s a hero, he replies…

Don’t make people into heroes John…
Heroes don’t exist, and if they did.. I wouldn’t be one of them…

‘The Abominable Bride’ begins from where it ended on the third season, i.e. Sherlock on a plane to an undisclosed location, asked to return by Mycroft as the dead Jim Moriarty appears on every screen in London, saying “Miss Me??”. Call it a hallucination, a drug-induced faze or simply a dream but the wheels of the clock move backwards to the 19th century Victorian London and we meet Arthur Conan Doyle’s, Sherlock Holmes. Wait !! No, it’s still Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock but in the Victorian era. Sherlock meets Watson, they solve cases and during one of those instances, the most inept officer in the history of Scotland Yard (Of course, It’s Lestrade, who else !!) comes to them with a puzzling case where a dead bride comes back to life to kill her husband. As the most ardent fans would guess, Sherlock claims to have solved the case without explaining its intrinsic details. Months later, Sherlock and Watson get involved in another case, where they encounter the ghastly bride once again. Pure deduction takes over, the science behind the horror is explained and the truth is revealed at last.

To be honest, it primarily caters to the Sherlock obsessed fandom. The name of this episode is an ode to The Case of Musgrave Ritual (Ricoletti of the club and his abominable wife). You get to see references to old stories, there are nostalgic vibes about the bromance between the duo and even the “Elementary…My dear Watson” quote appears on its way. Criticisms will galore at the numerous attempts to spoon feed the content to the viewers. There shall be a comparison with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’. Some probably won’t like the way the timeframe alternating between the past and the future. But this has to be the only way where the things of yore can meet the time ahead. Let me be clear, I liked the way the time oscillated between the two Sherlocks. The mind palace became spectacular with Jim Moriarty being back in it. It must be said that Sherlock considers Moriarty as his true equal, though they are arch nemeses. So when Sherlock decides to get a little help from the deep insides of his brain, who else can be a better choice to knock in!

In the end, again it’s the brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch which shines through. Martin Freeman, a star himself after the stupendous success of ‘The Hobbit’, is equally good. The usual suspects of the Sherlock cast are wonderful as always, particularly Una Stubbs as the affable Mrs Hudson. Andrew Scott is terrific as Jim Moriarty. Though flawed, the makers Moffat and Gattis as always, pass with distinction.

The film chooses a very powerful message to impart. There was a time when women weren’t allowed to vote. Over the past many centuries, they have been struggling hard to get the most basic rights. Through ‘The Abominable Bride’, the message is passed loud and clear – The silent grudge of the most powerful gender shall give rise to the most ferocious rebellion. If not today or tomorrow, but soon the predators, the molesters, the ignorants brutes will have to be accountable for their actions.

In one word, exceptional !!!

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