Season 2 Episode 1

A Scandal in Belgravia

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 01, 2012 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
514 votes
  • Stayin' alive

    If you decide to resolve that big cliffhanger of your previous series simply by a phone call, normally, you ought to be prepared for a "witless use of cliches" tag on your work. But if it's Moriarty and his ringtone is the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive, I just can't bring myself to hate it. In further compensating addition, the three of them staying alive also leads to the best one of the, as of then, four instalments of Sherlock.

    Before the actual crime story commences though, Sherlock and John's status quo gets re-established: despite the fact that his writings are fairly bland, the latter's blog has made the detective duo an internet phenomenon, giving rise to droves of paparazzi pursuing them (mysteriously only doing so for as long as the plot requires it). Yet as it happens, I've always enjoyed "A Scandal in Bohemia" more than "The Adventure of the Creeping Man", so I appreciate writer Steven Moffat putting that thought to the torch. Then, after some amusing minutes of Sherlock: The Sitcom, "A Scandal in Belgravia" arrives at its crux, Irene Adler. Portrayed erotically and rememberably by Lara Pulver, a very welcome addition to the first-class cast of Sherlock, "The Woman" quickly joins in breakneck fast tete-a-tetes with Benedict Cumberbatch's ever brilliant protagonist, even causing the poker-faced consulting detective to mumble (though I surmise that her words weren't the only constituting factor in that).

    The biggest plaudits here belong to Moffat, who has concocted the ingenious screenplay that lies at the heart of the episode and equips the cast with all the instances of quick-witted dialogue, while coming up with an intriguing plot and clever pieces of humour as well (the ambience of Sherlock: The Sitcom never quite melts away). Not once in the episode's 90 minutes does a scene feel artificial or incongruous and even if the adaption of Arthur Conan Doyle's works has become less serious as opposed to the first series, there is the needed suspense remaining in big scenes. The foremost aspect of "A Scandal in Belgravia" naturally comes in the shape of Sherlock Holmes: his mind at work is a delight to watch and so are his relationships with John, his housekeeper Mrs Hudson, his brother Mycroft, and the aforementioned Miss Adler.

    "A Scandal in Belgravia" further impresses with artful shots of London in the winter, skilful directing and editing, and a score that's particularly lovely with "Irene's Theme". Frankly, it's Sherlock at its highly enjoyable best.

    My detective scribblings:

    - During the slow-motion shooting at Irene Adler's residence, weren't you also expecting Sherlock to put on a pair of black sunglasses, jump in the air, and kick one of those Americans in the face?

    - Also: is Irene Adler Spiderwoman? How else would she possibly have left Sherlock's flat?

    - The scene with Sherlock in his bed is immeasurably funnier if you take it as him having had one over the eight for the first time.

    - Sherlock is the quintessential person to say "You must be fun at parties" to and, as seen in this episode, that statement is a 100% correct.

    - New in store: Sherlock Holmes playing your favourite holiday songs on the violin! "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", "Auld Lang Syne": they're all included in this huge one-time-offer compilation!

  • 2x01 - A Scandal

    This was brilliant. I liked Irene and how she's able to keep up with Sherlock. John's face at meeting her was hilarious.
  • BBC's Sherlock

    I love this episode...except for the silly ending...still I LOVE this episode! Great job, BBC!
  • Awestruck! A Holmes that makes me smile and cry

    Before I start, let's just say that I only signed up for this site to leave this single glowing review.

    After all those likes of American series, mostly uninspired and without any emotion whatsoever, Sherlock is a serie of the top shelf... And this episode was the tipping point that convinced me of its brilliance. What's there not to love : awesome actors, highly original story and those twists! And I am forgetting originality and a heap of other superlatives.

    And this episode... I starts out with a bang, or doesn't it? Sherlock seems to be bored and suddenly there's "The Woman". I won't spoil the story but you'll be both moved and grinning from ear to ear seeing the story unfold. And the ending of this episode! An enormous grin re-appeared thinking about it.

    Seriously, I hope this goes on for a couple of seasons, addiction has a new name and it's called " Sherlock"...
  • the best they could do for an intelligent powerful woman was to make her a dominatrix??

    Really? In this day & age the only way the writers could think to make a powerful/intelligent woman worthy of Sherlock's intellect & time was to make her a dominatrix?

    Or did you just want an excuse to show boobies & naked women - while pretending it was somehow empowering & ok?

    Furthermore, Sherlock claims that he knows she loves him because he measured the physiological changes that occured (increased pulse, widened pupils). Those are indications of arousal - but physical arousal does not necessarily equal love.

    I'm also pretty sure both of those symptoms could be faked by an experienced sex worker.

    I loved this series, but am seriously disappointed with this episode and Irene's portrayal!
  • We were jossed, but well worth the wait

    Ok, so a million fanfic writers out there went "NOOOO! We've been jossed!" as the anticipated explosion Just Didn't Happen, but fortunately, that was just a temporary disappointment.

    From then on out, it was All Epic.

    Made of Win.

    Awesome to the nth degree.

    From the sheet in the palace, to John finally getting the chance to pound Sherlock's face in, to the naked Woman, to Awesome!Mrs. Hudson, to the rather surprising ending - it's all good.

    And considering I was quite prepared to hate Irene "The Woman" Adler for moving in on John's turf, that's pretty impressive.

    They managed to carry off the impressive balancing act between the three main characters (of this episode) very nicely, leaving no doubt that Sherlock and Irene were "emotionally compromised" while still showing Watson as Sherlock's all-important right hand and best friend.

    The "net phenomenon" was hilarious, the meeting with Ms. Adler likewise, and the fightscenes were epic, showing off BAMF!Sherlock at his best. Would have liked to see a bit more of BAMF!John too, but he had his moments as well - especially as the "interpreter" of human emotions between the other main characters.

    I loved the feeling of "settled domesticity" between the principals, and the bromance - there's a lot of fans out there who ship Sherlock/John, and I think the writers are walking the line very well between confirmation and denial, leaving clear openings for Something More without going beyond canon or making any crass or obvious points that might offend a part of the audience.

    All in all a VERY strong opening for the new season, with lots of great moments and little nuances that will definitely require a second viewing soon.

    The ONLY thing that makes me rate this as less than a perfect 10 is the "missing" explosion at the beginning of the episode.

    So sue me - I'm a hurt/comfort kind of girl... ;)
  • One year and four months...Worth the wait.

    Good story, solid performance, I certainly see this UK series as a match for the US one...Irene Adler has the female SH is a good addition...Episode filled with a lot of unpredictability...I would like to see more the side where SH hunts Moriarty and not the way around...It just seems like even though SH is portrayed exceptionally well, he is in the hands of PM...

    I like the english humor in showing the CIA man as a bunch of idiots.
  • Disappointing resolution to last series cliffhanger - the rest was fun!

    Well, of all the theories that we had about how Holmes gets out of the cliffhanger from the last mini series, made me wonder if it was going to be disappointing for the rest of the episode. Thankfully I was proved wrong, this is the best re-imagining of Holmes around, and the other two are very good (Guy Richie film and House, if you need to know). This version of Irene Adler is well cast and well written and Gatiss is better as Mycroft than Stephen Fry (I also wondered if Richie and Moffat compared notes, game of shadows shows Fry naked and this has Camberbach is naked...)

    A fun episode, cannot wake for the take on the Hound of the Baskervilles next week
  • Has Sherlock met his match in a new woman?

    This has to be one of the best episodes so far. It is not the best out of the four but I would say it comes in second place.

    I must first point out that I was slightly disappointed with the beginning. We wait over a year for a new episode and on a cruel cliffhanger I will add and we end up with a rather disappointing ending to the first season cliffhanger. This was the only thing I could find fault with the episode.

    The rest was pure gold.

    The episode introduces Irene Adler and I like modern version of her. I thought that the way they portrayed the attraction between her and Sherlock was brilliant. I would, if the series goes on after this season, like to see her back.

    I won't spoil everything but by the end of the episode you will be hooked again. I can't wait for next week's episode. By the end of the episode you will start trying to think like Sherlock and believe me when I say that there are a few twists that I found to be well hidden and brilliant.

    By the end of the episode you will be saying 'Good Boy Sherlock!'. I was.

    Till next week my dear Watson.
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