The Empty Hearse - Review
This was the episode we had all been waiting for. The return of Sherlock and the on screen return of Sherlock Holmes back from the grave.
The episode opens with a rather elaborate explanation of the Fall by putting Sherlock into the role of master spy Bond as he bungy jumps from Barts' and then crash into the room that Molly is waiting for him in, he lands on his feet and kisses Molly hello and goodbye just before sauntering into the sunset. Meanwhile John had been knocked to the ground and was hyptonised by illusionist Derren Brown into thinking that no time had passed before he got to Sherlock's blood-splattered side in front of the pathology dept. at Barts'.
BULLOCKS!! Exclaims Greg, as we realise that this is just another of Anderson's ridiculous theories as to how Sherlock survives the Fall and once again Greg admonishes Anderson that Sherlock is dead and nothing can change that. At the same time News reporters proclaim Sherlock's innocence 2 years before and Moriarty's existence as well.
This reunion episode gives us everything that we needed from series 3.
- We got an explanation as to how Sherlock survived the Fall, (like Anderson though we might be a little disappointed about the actual reveal).
- We found out that Anderson lost his job while Greg kept his... John was able to get on with his life he has a good steady relationship and a lucrative practice as a Doctor. Punishments for bad deeds is cool. Thanks for this bit.
- We know that Sherlock spent the last 2 years hunting down Moriarty's network and that the end of that group took place in Serbia where Sherlock infiltrated the group and used his skills at deduction to stop his torturer from damaging him with an iron pipe. Sherlock was deep undercover and looked like a rather fit bum what with his long tangled hair.
- It was all Mycroft's plan it seems. I am glad that Gatiss stuck to the original storyline and made Mycroft integral to Sherlock surviving in his self-made exile. I also love that Mycroft went undercover to retrieve Sherlock from potential trouble in Serbia... go Holmes boys!
- Mycroft and Sherlock are really really closer than anyone would expect given their sibling rivalry and the way they bicker. The friendly bickering between Sherlock and Mycroft in TEH was definitely laden with affection and to quote Mrs. Hudson "He's secretly pleased to see you again.... Both of you!"
They were playing Operation! The scene was set up to look like they were playing speed chess esp. given the serious conversation they were having about terrorism but them Mycroft buzzed on the broken heart and Sherlock won the game. I loved Mycroft's cry of "Bugger!" XD
Oh, and I cannot forget the deduction game! I had missed this bit in series 1 when TGG established the sibling rivalry in the form of taunts and bickering instead of a deduction show down. I am glad the chulla hat deduction was shown here. Mycroft won this round deducing that the client was not isolated, while Sherlock wont he war by calling Mycroft on his lone wolf existence.
- John had grown a moustache... no one liked it and it took Sherlock coming back from the dead to convince him to shave it off. Here I quote Mary - "6 months of bristly kisses for me and then his nibs comes along and there it goes."
- Of course JOhn could not win the argument with "I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes!" Yes you do John, yes you do!
- Mary is very likeable and has no intentions of breaking up the best bromance in history. She tells John - "I like him". twice in the same scene. She is as perfect a mate as John could ever pick....Sherlock deduces she is a Liar... is this foreshadowing a sinister past for Mary? We will see... The dynamics between John and Mary is perfect for a couple in love and the dynamics between Sherlock and Mary is that of amicable allies rather than anything else. Perfect.
- The actual reunion scene was in parts hilarious, heartbreaking and very intense. Hilarious as Sherlock, shows his lack of social skills by trying to play a trick on John instead of just breaking it gently that he was still alive. No, Sherlock decides to pretend to be a French waiter at John's table to 'surprise' him. I don't think we need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce how that went down. So Sherlock shocked John, John reacted badly and broken and then Sherlock unable to discuss his feelings at reunion with John makes a joke about John's moustache. ..so John decks him, full body slam onto the floor. They get thrown out of the fancy restaurant.
Then they sit at a diner and Sherlock tries to explain how he survived and John interrupts by saying that he does not care how but rather WHY!? Sherlock reveals that Mycroft and Molly and his homeless network were in on the plan. This angers John so he punches Sherlock... they get thrown out of the diner.
Then they end up in a kebab joint. Sherlock tells John that he was not in on the plan because he cannot keep a secret and is not a good liar. Furthermore he makes deductions about John and Mary and then asks John for his help to take down terrorists. John is not pleased..... he butts Sherlock on his nose.... but he did not break it, John is a good doctor. XD
I loved this scene so much, far better than the original where Watson faints.^^ It shows the emotional reunion and John's sense of betrayal and love for Sherlock and under the anger we see that John is happy that Sherlock is back.. in the next scene John shaves off his moustache after all. LOL
Sherlock does not know how to handle seeing John again and so messes it all up; he doesn't know how to tell John that he missed him and he fought hard to keep him alive and that he was happy to see JOhn again, so he makes a joke and gets a beating.
- The use of the underground in this ep. was visually stunning as it lends a gravitas to Sherlock and character to London. In other words we really get a revitalised London seen anew through Sherlock's eyes after having been away so long.
- Molly has a boyfriend that looks a bit like Sherlock.. he's ordinary and sweet. The question is though does she want a cute, sweet version of Sherlock or does she want the real thing? XD Only time will tell.
- The scenes with Sherlock and Molly solving crimes together was great. They show that Sherlock can be nice when he wants to and he had a lot to be thankful to Molly for so he showed her a good time as his partner for the day. Lovely heartwarming scene.
- Sherlock has ordinary parents! This was such a cool touch.. of course later in the series we learn that Mummy was a genius but otherwise they were just in London visiting their baby boy who was finally absolved of all wrongdoings and fraud in the public eye 2 years after his 'death'. John remarks that they are very ordinary, implying that is unlike both Sherlock and Mycroft. I love the reference that John thinks Sherlock is brilliant. XD
- The big-bad enemy is introduced as he had John kidnapped and placed within a Guy Fawkes bonfire and set ablaze! Sherlock and Mary arrive in the nick of time to rescue him! Exciting!
- The terrorist cell is revealed in the person of Lord Moran the Giant Rat of Sumatra Road Underground Station. Lots of ACD references there ^^ John and Sherlock end up on the train carriage rigged to blow up Parliament. Thankfully Sherlock was able to disarm and save them all. The imminent danger, have them professing their love for each other and now the team of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is back! Yeah!!
I loved this reunion ep. as I said before I have seen it about 5 times so far on iPlayer and I think that alone illustrates how much I enjoyed watching TEH. Re-watchability is my benchmark for shows I really love. XD So join in on Sunday on PBS and we can all watch this great show together ^^