First let me say that when I heard that Charles Augustus Milverton was going to be featured in Series 3 I was very excited because I felt he was the best villain that Holmes had faced in the original ACD adventures.
So they changed Milverton to Magnussen and made him as creepy and slimy as possible. Did they go too over-the-top in trying to make him as despicable as possible? Maybe. After all having Magnussen pee into Sherlock's fireplace and wash his fingers in Sherlock's water glass and lick Lady Smallwood's cheek was cringe-worthy but after I heard Moffat in the Commentary saying that Magnussen was supposed to be a petty bully the 'eccentricities' did not seem that extreme.
What I really had a problem with though in this episode was the Mary is AGRA the super spy-in-hiding being blackmailed by Magnussen. Then she shot Sherlock and I had as much trouble forgiving her then as John did. In the end though, she seems to fit into the dysfunctional partnership of Holmes and Watson and I guess I will have to see how it works out in Series 4.
Of course, since I have read the ACD stories I now that Mary dies and there has never been offspring for Watson... Moffat and Gatiss are too true to the canon to do something as drastic as let Mrs. Watson and her child live. guess will see in time to come. ^^
Anyway, this should be a proper review... let me list what I loved about Sherlock S03 E03:
1. Shezza in the crack house, though he was way too old to be liming with that crowd, Shezza was a great persona. XD
2. Billy Wiggins makes an appearance as the deductive apprentice....cool.
3. Christmas with the Holmes' great scene!! Mycroft and Sherlock's banter was the best.. Starting with being caught smoking outside by Mummy and Mycroft declaring that Sherlock is a dragonslayer and his loss would hurt him....(bring out the tissues)
4. Sherlock in his Mind Palace after being shot and getting advice from Molly and Anderson and Mycroft on how to survive... extremely creative. XD
5. The big reveal of the truth and confrontation between Sherlock and Mary with John sitting at the end of the 'building' with his mussed up hair. I love this because it shows that Sherlock was committed to keeping John in the loop after he realised how much his 2 year absence had affected John and he had promised not to cause John such heartache or deception ever again. *sniff*
6. Sherlock shoots Magnussen after realising that there were no vaults. I did not expect that until they went outside. Sherlock was willing to become an outlaw to protect John and his new life. A true friend indeed.
7. For pure shock value and fanservice - Sherlock/Janine romance. This bit of Sherlock acting on his view of the fallibility of Human Nature was excellent Sherlock as he had been established in 'The Blind Banker'...'The Great Game' ... etc.
The ending "Did you Miss me?" courtesy of Jim Moriarty was very interesting. I have no doubt that Moriarty s indeed dead but the question remains who is behind the broadcast and what are their motives. Given that it helped cut Sherlock's exile and eventual execution short, I would suspect either Mycroft or Irene Adler to be behind it. XD Both would be rather intriguing if true.