First, I need to point out that yes, there's risque stuff in this ep. But it didn't particularly bother me, and I'm not entirely sure why. Because it's British? Because it seemed to be done as tastefully as a story involving a bisexual (lesbian?) dominatrix could be? (That sentence contains three words that I'm pretty sure have never appeared on my blog before -- highlight them to read. I hid them so my kids can't stumble on them while I'm writing this.)
I think maybe it's because I had several blogging friends tell me that it was icky and horrid, and so I was expecting overwrought love scenes and/or nudity. And while there IS a scene where Irene Adler (Lara Pulver) is entirely disrobed, all you see is her bare back or bare legs or bare arms, and then her curled demurely up in a chair. The visuals are about what you'd get out of a shampoo or shower gel commercial. As for the content... no one in bed, no groping, just a lot of implications and innuendo. Sherlock Holmes does not wind up in bed with Irene Adler. (Whew!) Would I let my kids watch it? No! But I wouldn't let them watch any of this series until they're adults and able to discern the differences between fiction and reality, between actions we should emulate and those we shouldn't.
Second, I need to tell you that Cowboy and I laughed so hard during this episode, especially the first half, that we had to pause it several times because we couldn't hear the dialog. We had to rewind this scene and watch it twice because it was so funny.
I'm still fuzzy as to why Sherlock was wandering around in a bed sheet to begin with, but no matter -- it was completely hilarious. I love how stubborn he gets for no reason. Probably because it reminds me of me.
And this was even a festive episode! Involves an awkward Christmas party and everything. How jolly.
I found this episode to be so much more morally complex than the last couple. The whole idea of temptation, of how we are affected by what we choose to do and not to do -- kind of a rare thing to find in today's society where anything goes.
Unlike the vapid, fluffy Irene Adler from the RDJ movies, this incarnation is a perfect antagonist for this Holmes. Sherlock is so used to knowing everything about everybody, and his repeated inability to know what's going on with Irene frustrates and intrigues him. Irene seems equally fascinated by him, mostly because none of her usual tricks work with him. She has to go to great lengths to deceive him, though she succeeds at last.
I quite loved the plot twists in this, though that's all I'll say so I don't spoil anything. They felt inevitable when they happened, but not obvious beforehand. Everything a good plot twist should be! So I'll just leave you with this gorgeous image (have I mentioned the awesome cinematography, framing, music, production values as a whole? Stunning!) and the sad fact that I probably won't be able to watch the next ep until next year. Sigh.