The Empty Hearse, Sherlock Season 3, Episode 1 Review
Sherlock is back after a two year hiatus, it was a long wait, but was it worthwhile? We last saw Sherlock tumbling towards what seemed to be a certain death in the epic confrontation with Moriarty in the season finale. We knew that the consulting detective survived, because we caught a glimpse of Sherlock at the cemetery when an inconsolable Dr. Watson was visiting what he thought was Sherlock’s grave. So how did Sherlock defy gravity and survive the fall that should have killed him. The show gave us three likely scenarios two of which ended in a kiss, knowing Sherlock my guess would be that the most plausible scenario was the one without the kiss. Who were the lucky recipients of the lip lock with Sherlock? Molly Hooper and Moriarty, poor Watson-Lock shippers were left high and dry.
Anyway, the highlight of the show was not the mystery behind Sherlock’s survival nor was it the detective story . It was how Sherlock’s friends react to his return from the dead. Present day Dr. Watson is not as forgiving as Conan Doyle’s Watson. I can’t say I blame him. Mrs. Hudson was shocked while Lestrade was so happy that he hugged Sherlock. Not quite what I had imagined, but it worked. Sherlock’s reunion with his co-conspirators Molly Hooper and Mycroft was memorable as well. Sherlock and Mycroft definitely have some childhood sibling rivalry issues that they haven’t worked out yet. His reunion with Molly was sweet, he was actually nice to her. We also got to meet Sherlock’s parents and Dr. Watson’s fiancé.
Sherlock’s fall has made Anderson, Lestrade’s crime scene investigator a bearded conspiracy theorist. If you remember Anderson and Sherlock were barely civil to each other. He, along with the other members of the Empty Hearse Club believe that Sherlock is not dead and keep trying to come up with alternative theories of how the detective survived. Donovan, the curly haired detective who has always been skeptical about Sherlock’s abilities was nowhere to be seen.
The episode was thin on the story and high on camp, the subway bomb plot was too slapstick for me to enjoy. I also didn’t quite get the Guy Fawkes Day plot and the kidnapping of Dr. Watson. Also, watch out for Mary, I don’t think she is what she seems. She could crack a code that lead Sherlock to Watson’s whereabouts on the fly. Very suspicious!
Overall it was a funny and an engaging episode, loved the interaction between Martin Freeman’s Watson and Cumberbatch’s Holmes. The rest of the cast including Rupert Graves as Lestrade,Louise Brealy as Hooper, Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson were wonderful as usual, as was series co-creator Mark Gatiss as Mycroft. You can get the full credits here.
I am hoping that the the next episode has a mystery that we can sink our teeth into.