Sherlock Season 4 Episode 1 Review: The Vow

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Tanmay Jhalani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


So the first episode of the popular BBC TV Series, Sherlock, Season-4, has been released in India on 7th of this month, and as has been the case with each season, it has triggered the debate amongst the viewers that whether the episode was worth all the hype and wait.

As a diligent Sherlock viewer, I would try to present a dichotomy of the first episode and help the readers draw an opinion over the above-stated debate. This comes with a SPOILER ALERT for all those who haven’t seen the episode yet, and are willing to do so.

Write then, the first episode (The Six Thatchers) begins from where The Abominable Bride leaves, with Sherlock been acquitted of the charges of murder, and solving cases like a cake-walk as ever. What’s different, is that you get a glimpse of a more humane side of the abnormal detective, in the sense that he keeps his close friends and aides Dr. Watson and Mary closer to himself. All this, ‘coz of the vow he had taken to protect the couple from any danger they or their baby Rosie could face. Dr. Watson, on the other hand, is showing his naughty side, as he is supposedly cheating on his wife, and secretly texting a young and beautiful fellow bus passenger since some time. In midst of all the case solving, Sherlock cannot help but have premonitions of something big coming his way. Maybe it’s Moriarty. Maybe it’s not. But he is seeing things.

All of a sudden he is handed over a case of identical thatchers being destroyed all over the city, with some accompanied by murders. Sherlock gets to the root and finds out that a certain Mary Watson’s past is somehow involved in this case. At the end of the tunnel, Sherlock and Mary do manage to solve the case. But in doing so, Mary takes a bullet for Sherlock and fails to sustain it.

The episode culminates with Sherlock gasping at the site of Dr. Watson holding the dead body of his wife Mary in his arms, biting his own teeth, screaming in pain, and cursing Sherlock for failing to keep his vow. The climax scene is a video message by Mary to Sherlock, asking him to make her a promise; a promise to save John Watson.

So all in all, viewers get a big upset, as there are no definite signs of Moriarty’s return. But on the other hand, you see new sides of Dr. Watson; first the cheating husband, then the mourning one. You see new characters to the story, like the passenger woman. But most importantly, you see the most fragile side of Sherlock, with the death of Mary and agony of Watson. It surely provides the queue for a great season ahead.