I am going to give you the two magic words that will make the last episode of the second season of Sherlock watchable.
Are you ready? You're gonna want these -- get a pencil and some scrap paper or something. Got it? Okay, good.
Or, if you prefer:
Like any good fairy tale -- remember those words, folks -- the villain makes the piece. Without Vader, Star Wars falls apart (ceases to be, actually, I think) and the Doctor is better with his Master -- yeah, well, this Sherlock has a fuck-tastic Moriarty.
Yeah, okay, I'll grant that Cumberbatch and Freeman and Gatiss turn in reasonable performances -- Freeman's is actually inspired at more than one point -- but Scott is the beating black heart of this thing. He's freaky, he's scary, he's violent, he's crazed, he's unreliable, and he is fucking convincing.
This isn't a villain you want to have tea with (Al Swearengen, anyone?); this is a villain you'd hide behind the couch from (think John Simm's Master at his nutsiest.)
So you've got that, right? Glue your eyes to Andrew Scott and don't fucking let go or you will miss the best, juiciest bits of this show.
Apart from that, Reichenbach Fall is a hot mess -- we're back to Scandal territory here and it's painful. The story kinda makes sense -- at least the bits with Moriarty have the charm of complete and utter insanity -- and you know what's gonna happen in the end, so, really, it's just a matter of making sure we get from A to B in an hour and a half.
I'm not going to bother going through the motions of a plot summary here and if you really think you can be spoilered on a story that was first published in 189-blahdeblah, then...wow, I really have no help for you. But there are some nice character moments -- Watson at Sherlock's 'grave' is palpably painful and Molly, once again, gets some truly awesome screen time.
Does the whole thng work? Well, do you want to be convinced by it? Then you will be. I think Gatiss and Moffatt have signed themselves up for more trouble than they really need for the third season -- already contracted for, or so I hear -- and I'm really not looking forward to seeing how they get themselves out of it because all the options I can think of at least are messy and unfortunate.
Still, through all this, there's my happy place: He didn't screw up season 6. He didn't screw up season 6. He didn't screw up season 6. :)