"Sherlock" gets a new arch nemesis and his name is Charles Augustus Magnussen. He is coldly and creepily played by Lars Mikkelsen in "His Last Vow," the third and final 90 minute movie episode in the third season of the brilliant BBC television series broadcast on PBS.
Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) aptly describes Magnussen as being like a shark. He has dead black eyes behind the lenses of his menacing spot-free spectacles, shows great economy of movement and calmly maintains complete confidence in any and all situations. He is a powerful blackmailing journalist with a treasure trove of secrets concerning people in high places. When Sherlock accepts the case of one such high placed individual seeking to retrieve some letters, he finds Magnussen to be a very personal threat and not even warnings from Mycroft (series creator Mark Gatiss) can pull him away from protecting everything dear to him.
This episode is hands down one of the best in the series. However, you better keep a sharp focus on the goings on because this is extremely fast moving and highly complex stuff. Highlights include a brilliantly conceived look into the inner workings of Sherlock's mind palace, John (a particularly strong Martin Freeman) breaking bad in a dope den and then later being unable to conceive of Sherlock having a girlfriend.
The tone and style are exactly what they should be and intense character interaction brings forth many shocks and surprises as well as some warm moments of humor within a story full of treacherous twists and turns. You'll want to see this one more than once to fully grasp it all and the ending will leave you salivating for season four. Fortunately, this third season hits DVD on February 11.