The Mystery Of The Sherlock Leak Has Been Solved

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the season 4 finale of BBC’s Sherlock was kind of a letdown. The episode was far from the iconic detective’s best outing, giving us a story with more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese and an unsatisfying conclusion to what’s been a wholly mediocre season. But at least the ratings were strong, right? Well, not so much actually.

Sherlock suffered a rather substantial drop in ratings with its finale and the BBC are not too happy about it. Part of this is due to a lack of interest in the show these days, thanks to its nonsensical plots and a shift to becoming more James Bond-ish over the years. But the ratings also dropped for another reason: there was a leak.

Yes, in a surprising turn of events that might stump even the great detective himself, the finale leaked online days before it was set to air. BBC Worldwide put their best people on the case though and now, it seems that the mystery of who was responsible for the leak has been solved.

In a statement released earlier today, here’s what the company had to say:

“We regret to confirm that one of our employees non-maliciously broke our strict security protocols. As a result of this gross dereliction of duty, the file leaked online. We would like to reassure our partners and viewers, that as a result of this incident, we have completely revised our content security procedures to ensure that this does not happen again and we apologize to Hartswood Films, BBC Worldwide and Sherlock fans everywhere who have been impacted by this leak.”

So, they don’t tell us exactly how it happened then, but at least they’ve found the culprit and it was non-malicious. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that the episode has already aired and the ratings were poor. Even if it hadn’t leaked though, would the finale have performed that much better? Our guess is probably not.

From what we understand, the file that made its way online was in Russian and didn’t have subtitles, which means that it was likely only viewed by a very small audience. Some reports claim that an English version was made available shortly after, but it seems that the primary leak was from Russia and thus, wouldn’t have hurt the numbers too much.

Instead, the poor performance of the finale was probably just due to an overall underwhelming season and the continued downhill path that the series has taken over the last several years. While it’s still far from what you’d call bad television, Sherlock is not the same show it used to be and these past few episodes were a far cry away from the greatness it displayed in seasons 1 and 2.

Speculation points to “The Final Problem” being the series finale, as stars Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch don’t seem too interested in returning to do more. If that truly is the case, perhaps it’s best for everyone that Sherlock makes its exit now before it goes too far off the rails.