Let's get to the important part of why this new first episode reeks of misplaced writing arrogance. Even the Irene Adler opposing Jeremy Brett in his immortal portrayal of Sherlock Holmes met her opponent as an equal. An equal in brains. No gender fight needed. Ironically Jeremy's nemesis was more of a feminist than the incarnation we now have before us, who uses misplaced sex and sex appeal in every scene and which manages to push back feminism by at least 50 years. Even the Irene Adler who seduces Robert Downey Jr didn't have to rely on this much innuendo or plain nudity.
Surely some will argue that the use of sex-appeal was used quite appropriately and that it was to prove a point about Holmes' non-interest in the subject matter. Is that really the message you're stuck with in your head though after you've seen the episode? Personally I felt left with the same old stereotypical woman-saving hero and damsel-in-distress who can't help but have feelings for the lead. Moffat cleverly uses Adler's nude entrance into Holmes' life by explaining it away as a method of preventing Holmes from obtaining any relevant information through one's attire. Really? Is that how we the audience are supposed to feel after that scene? Guys will enjoy the erotic entrance and women will bask in the knowledge that even an emotionally dead person such as Holmes can be changed by the physical elegance and appeal of a naked female body. Sorry but it's that simple. In one swoop it removes the two characters from center stage, who had the potential of being the most interesting leads in a long drought of BBC dramatic productions, and relegates them to the speaking parts of hopeful extras. All of a sudden Moriarty seems to be the most interesting character but he was only Mycroft's puppet it seems.
Speaking of the new leading character, how about Mycroft Holmes? Holmes's much smarter brother apparently took over the plot, the details, the characters, the twists and pretty much everything else Doyle knew not to mess with. Mycroft was interesting in the first season because he was this bumbling political genius who pops in now and then to assist and to bail his younger brother out of a bad situation. Instead we have a master criminal slash overlord who is everybody's better daddy. How about Holmes himself who refused to put on his clothes even at the seat of Britain's royal power. Holmes might be infantile and adolescent but he would definitely not be stupid enough to persist in that little game that doesn't gain him anything he cares about.
After countless scenes of "yes he figured it out, no she wasn't dead but she is and she isn't and they like each other but they don't and we won't know until later when we won't care anymore" we've arrived at the last scene. A scene which I seriously hope was a dream sequence and an actual depiction of events because that seriously puts the new Sherlock Holmes in the shoes of a contrived and poorly developed Indiana Jones.