Sherlock wrapped up in style as the final episode of the BBC detective drama aired last night and sent shockwaves of excitement throughout fans and critics. It's barely believable that after months of excruciating anticipation, the third and final episode of Steven Moffat's drama has come and gone.

Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch Martin Freeman
It's Unanimous: The 'Sherlock' Finale Was A Big Hit.

Though the show's 8.8 million viewer average represented a fall from the gradually decreasing levels of the previous two episodes, the drama still; managed to net a sizeable audience with enough glowing reviews to ensure plenty of additional iPlayer views.

Not that 'His Final Vow' left fans with little to talk about though: after last week's rather derided, crime-light wedding episode, Sherlock and Watson came face-to-face with the deliciously nasty, blackmailing, foreign newspaper magnate baddie Charles Magnussen, played with flair and indulgence by the brilliant Lars Mikkelsen who simultaneously insulted the English whilst urinating in Sherlock's fireplace.

We were thrown into the surreal, dizzying depths of Sherlock's "mind palace" which proved crucial to unravelling the mysteries and piecing together the plot as it emerged that [Massive Spoiler!] Mary Morstan was actually an assassin and had married Watson to start a new life. Of course, for the squeal-prone fan-types of Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock, his character getting a girlfriend, proposing, then being shot all within the same episode will have served up some reckless emotional turmoil.

Sherlock Cast
Few Were Disappointed With The 'Sherlock' Finale.

The Guardian's Lucy Mangan spear-headed the wave of exultant reviews, describing the episode as "perfect" and a "ceaseless flow of wit, invention and intelligence." The Telegraph found plenty to love in the breakneck third episode but sensed an air of smugness, evaluating "The episode belted along, was neatly structured, and boasted not just the one jaw-dropping surprise [...] but a couple more narrative broadsides" yet adding "the programme has indeed become a little vain, rather a show-off."

The Independent enthused that the show "had intelligence, humour and obscure fanboy references galore" and praised the references to Sherlock author Arthur Conan Doyle's original storylines. Alongside the reliable cast of Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Una Stubbs, Mikkelsen's turn as the villain was highlighted as extraordinary performance that "was enough to send a shiver down any spine."

The Daily Mirror's Josh Wilding provided an appropriate soundbite to sum up the series, lauding "some amazing visual sequences, a number of clever twists, a truly detestable villain and a strong story" making Sherlock "simply one of the greatest TV shows of all time."