Sherlock Season endings


Forum Revolutionary
Apr 4, 2015
So, I've been re-watching Sherlock again, all 3 seasons, and I can finally see why some people criticize it. Till recently, I considered it a brilliant series, and I still love it, but I've realized it's not faultless. And the fault is a biggie. Is it just me, or is every season ending a cop out? All of the season conclusions end with a Deus Ex Machina or a shameless cop out.

SPOILERS if you haven't seen it yet:


Season 1, meeting Moriarity: They are saved by a call Moriarty receives from The Woman (deus ex machina and lots of luck).

Season 2, Sherlock tricking Moriarty's organization into thinking him dead: (everything was carefully prepared ages ago and Sherlock had help from about a million people). Cop out of the highest order. A sort of "hindsight deus ex machina" as well, IMO.

Season 3, beating Magnussen: Magnussen is never "beat" in the intellectual sense. Sherlock did not outwit him and actually lost. Killing him is a big cop out, and is out of character for Sherlock IMO.

Christmas special: well, there's no bigger cop out than everything being a hallucination/dream. There's also deus ex machina as it is Mary who in the dream "discovers" (offscreen, no less) the baddies' location and basically hands Sherlock the case.

Disclaimer: I will say that all those endings are indeed impacting and very entertaining, but plot-wise, yeah, the creators tend to get too clever for their own good, and by the time the conclusion is due, they don't know how to finish and fail to tie it all up into a proper knot. I still think the build ups are excellent, and even the endings, if not observed too closely, are very dramatic and can be OMG moments. But the actual climax, the big victories of Sherlock, are not really deserved by him, which is a shame because he's supposed to have the wits to win, and we are shown exactly that in every episode, until the last 3 minutes of every season ending.