Sherlock Holmes: The Eligible Bachelor

Good Lord, what happened??  Did they really run out of steam by this point?  Who thought this story needed to be made into an hour and 40 minutes?!  I remember the story of the woman with the scarred face, and remember liking it, but this story is constructed so badly that I had to wonder what the point was.     

It’s a full 40 minutes before Holmes is even brought into the case.  Then another 20 of him moping around in his nightgown flopping in the mud like a petulant child.  Seeing the great Jeremy Brett reduced to this display was hard!  And the story is drawn out with repeat images of nightmares.  This story seems to relish the idea of witches, casting three old woman who then gossip and talk like the Stygian Witches of some Shakespearean play, but they amount to little in the end.  Thankfully the story does pick up but perhaps too late to win me back.  Even the heaping bucket of popcorn wasn’t slowing the tide of drowsiness coming over me at the end.  I’m glad I watched these in the order suggested by Amazon Prime!  Had this been the last I’d seen of Brett, I would have gone out a very sad fellow!

The Crime

Hettie Doran, immediately upon getting married, goes missing.  Her new husband is concerned, but he has a lot of skeletons in his closet.  A former lover takes a pot shot at him outside a building and another of his wives was committed to an insane asylum, but then mysteriously vanished.  (We find out at the end that she is kept in a disused ruin and ends up being the very image of Sherlock’s nightmare.  This episode goes one step beyond the last one with precognition actually playing a role!)

The Motive

Lord St. Simon is a man who uses women, then discards them.  When his former lover, the drunk actress Flora Miller, meets Hattie, she tells all.  Just Hettie’s luck!  As she was being married to Lord St. Simon, she encounters a man who just so happens to be her former husband, presumed dead.  Lucky because it means her marriage to St. Simon isn’t legit.  She has an escape clause… not that she needs it.  Lady Helena, St. Simon’s second wife, will see to that…

The Mistakes

When Lady Helena’s sister had gone looking for her, she encountered Thomas, a groundskeeper who keeps a pet tiger loose around the house.  When Thomas savagely attacked her, brutally scarring her, he left her on the grounds so it appears she was attacked by the tiger.  She survived and sought out Holmes for help and gets a good deal of sympathy.  

“Is he really going to help?!”

“Oh, yes.  He already is!”  

Had they killed her, they might have been better off, but then the womanizing St. Simon would have claimed another victim! 


When Holmes finds the lady Helena, she has managed to pull down part of the ruins on St. Simon.  She murders him for being locked up for 7 years.  Holmes delivers a great line: “It is unique in my experience to have served the sentence before committing the crime.”  I suspect he will get Scotland Yard to look favorably upon the woman who had been captured all these years.  As for Hettie, she and her real husband get to enjoy the copious lands of St. Simon.  

The Verdict

A real slog of an episode.  There are many slow scenes of depressing looks and Holmes being overly morose.  Ironically, this episode has Holmes reminiscing of the bygone days of yore when he had good cases!  An interesting idea in an episode that sadly lacks a good villain.  “Moriarty combined science with evil!”  Frankly the best bit is when the groundskeeper is about to strike Hettie and Watson shoots him.  While not killed but the shot, Watson then departs with Hettie leaving the groundskeeper bleeding on the ground… when the tiger comes in.  Am I wrong for liking that scene?  The man was a monster and got what he deserved.  I can live with that.  Evil begets evil, after all. 

I’m glad we’re not quite done with Holmes.  With 6 episodes for season 4, there’s no way they can get worse than this!   ML

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