The final episode of "Sherlock" season three - "His Last Vow" - was more than everything true fanboys could ask for, balancing each aspect in equivalence.
(Warning: contains massive spoilers)
"His Last Vow" can be described as marvelous episode with major twists, an impressive and shrewd villain, and of course the good old super-sleuth back at his brilliant best, as seen in previous seasons.
Sherlock Holmes faces the cold villain in Charles Augustus Magnussen. Touted rightly as the 'master blackmailer', Magnussen - a newspaper proprietor -sneaks into the lives of the elite.
Sherlock finds out Magnussen is going against his elder brother Mycroft Holmes, as he reasons to John Watson: "He attacks people who are different and preys on their secrets."
The blackmailing letters of Lady Smallwood makes Sherlock fake love with Janine, only to resurface in his obdurate self. However, a major twist that left most viewers gasping was the undercover assassin in Mary Morstan (aka Mrs. Watson) who shoots Sherlock.
Drama and tense moments follow as Sherlock fights for life in his subconscious state with imageries of Molly Hooper, Philip Anderson, Myrcoft and finally, Jim Moriarity as the looming phantom.
The detective's error in deduction is what haunts him as he remembers his previous encounters with Mary and discovers his failure in deducing her actual identity.
However, Mary's identity as not just an assassin but as a victim of Magnussen tends to weave the plot to further complexity.
Writer Steven Moffat presents us with a no-frills treatment but it could hardly be ignored that after all, it is Sherlock's vow to Mary and John, "I swear I will always be there, always," that replete the episode.
The detective shows his caring side as he tackles Magnussen, who has been indirectly picking on Mary to get to Mycroft. But herein, the mastermind villain plays his cards well revealing he has nothing to hide but just his accurate memory, and thus making Sherlock a treacherous target in the government's eye.
Sherlock, finding himself in a fix, shoots down Magnussen to put an end to the chain of events. But the shattering fact of his exile looms as Mycroft sighs, 'What have you done, Sherlock?"
However, a crisp plot, strong dialogues and unpredictable turn of events, laden with enough drama, do not conclude before giving the biggest twist of all - Moriarty's resurrection from death. And thus assuring fans the detective will be back.