Season two of Sherlock continues to get better with The Hounds of Baskerville, which turns out to be Holmes and Watson’s most thrilling, friendship straining adventure yet. With a mystery promising mutated dog creatures and troubled souls, only the two of them can solve the case…if they can survive their way through it first, that is.
While “A Scandal in Belgravia” was a complex, slow paced episode like the original stories, The Hounds of Baskerville is a more fast-paced, single focus story this time around. Based on the popular “The Hound of the Baskervilles” tale, Russell Tovey (of Being Human fame) plays Henry Knight, a guy who comes to Holmes and Watson for help, as he wants closure to the death of his father who was brutally murdered by some sort of hound-like creature twenty years ago in a forest area near Baskerville. As Sherlock is about to go literally crazy due to the lack of any cases worth his time and intellect, he accepts Henry’s case on the suspicion that something more is behind it. Little does Holmes know that this case will prove to be his most terrifying yet, as it begins to rattle him while also placing a huge strain on his friendship with Watson.
As usual, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are on top of their game as Holmes and Watson, and many of the trials here puts their friendship to the test. I always knew it had to happen sooner or later, and the two really pull it off well here. To see Holmes rattled and on edge while snapping at Watson is truly a sight to behold. Russell Tovey (who can’t catch a break being around wolves since his werewolf role on Being Human) does a fantastic job as the troubled Henry, and fits into his character perfectly who continues to be plagued by headaches, flashbacks, and mental troubles throughout the case.
I also liked how Baskerville was portrayed as an mysterious underground military / science facility that is experimenting with genetic engineering, remaking it into a British Area-51 of sorts. I thought this was one of the more interesting updates and helped give the episode a strange Doctor Who / Torchwood feel, which is probably something fans wouldn’t mind seeing more often in the series.
Fans of Holmes and the show are bound to enjoy this episode very much, as it gives the series just the superbly crafted, fast-paced adventure that it needed. With such an amazing story as this, it really makes me sad that the next episode, The Reichenbach Fall, will be the season finale. But considering it’s based off the famous “The Final Problem” story, it should prove to be a finale we’ll never forget.