I’ll not give away any spoilers although every Sherlock fan will have seen or heard about the episode by now but even without that, I can give my reasons for turning a quick 180 on this show.

Manic beginning

It certainly was a different side of Sherlock in the first few minutes of the show. The usual disdain for anyone else was there but it wasn’t backed up by the only redeeming feature - a brilliant analysis showing he was the only adult in the room. Instead, the character showed he was the only child in the room and I outgrew Romper Room a half century ago.

What happened to the cold calculating Holmes days after he returned (it takes the time to doctor videotape)?

Boring middle

The middle section of this season opener was more like the usual opening five minutes of a normal episode with fast cut solutions to mysteries the viewer is not invited to participate in because the plot doesn't include enough information to either guess the solution (rightly or wrongly) or feel any empathy with the victims.

That's normal but it seemed a bit less interesting than usual.

The big reveal was interesting and the family was made to look real enough while Sherlock was as uncaring as usual, but everything seemed a bit off - if nothing else, Sherlock seemed to actually fake sincere sympathy better than ever before, almost well enough to seem as if he actually felt something.

Surprise find

In the next part it turned out that a super agent with supposedly top training never thought that someone might decide to put a tracker on them - never mind that it couldn’t be done the way it supposedly was, this is fiction after all so what matters isn’t that the technology doesn’t exist to fit an almost invisibly small tracker bug inside an already miniaturized USB thumb drive.

It also skipped over the question of just how knowing where someone had been on a many-legged trip allowed everyone else to be waiting for them and obviously for long enough to make friends and establish themselves in the final destination.

Nor did it make the brilliant Sherlock look any better to discover he had let himself be followed around Europe by a sinister looking fellow when the master of 221B knew the person he was himself following was in grave danger.

Foul ending

But the ending really came close to destroying the franchise at least for me. The idea that a lot of armed so-called experts stood around watching while a cornered rat with a gun was worked up to the psychological breaking point of shooting someone was beyond ridiculous, as was the self-sacrifice which proved disastrous for everyone involved. Ignoring the superhuman feat it required - the old Holmes mysteries required readers to suspend belief and ignore some things, but seldom if ever relied on the completely impossible.

Where’s Jim?

But perhaps the most disappointing of all was the fact that after the setup last season where Sherlock said he knew exactly what Jim would do next, it turned out that he hadn’t the slightest idea what was going on.

The biggest question left by this episode was what happened to Moriarty's plot?

Where’s Sherlock?

I, and presumably many other people as well are fans of Doyle’s great detective not because of his and watson’s domestic entanglements but in spite of them. As with all Christie’s great mysteries, it is the mystery and the amazing solution which grabs mystery fans, if we wanted soap operas there are plenty of those. Where's the great totally uninvolved solver of mysteries?

Benedict and Martin still shine

I want to make it clear that I have no criticism for the actors involved in this travesty, they did their parts making their characters seem real, although I wasn't a great fan of Cumberbatch's Richard III either from a day before.

I generally enjoy his work and very much enjoy Freeman in his many other roles, although in this episode I found his supposed affair totally unbelievable.