After two years of pining, marathon-ing the first two series again and again and reblogging every gif on tumblr you came across Sherlock finally returns to our small screens. If the internet hasn’t broken, I’d like to discuss with you my heart palpitations after the series 3 premiere. Well, was it everything your heart desired? Were you amazed, (whispers) disappointed, or are you, like me, still processing your feels? Well let’s process it together. All aboard, spoilers ahoy!
First and foremost, how did Sherlock fake his death? Mark Gatiss (also our delightful Mycroft) had the difficult job of writing this crackpot episode, an episode two years in the making as fans frantically theorised and speculated. So were we given a straight answer? Nope, what we were served were theories and some fanfiction brought to life. To some people that may seem disappointing or rather a bit of a cop-out, however Sherlock says it best when he comments that everyone’s a critic. As Anderson speculated at the end, when Sherlock gave him a version of what occurred that may or may not have been the truth, why would he tell him (let alone us) the truth? Telling us how he faked his death would ruin the mystery, wouldn’t it? A bit like finding out the Doctor’s real name in Doctor Who. By never really allowing the viewer to know this great secret, a certain element of mystery is maintained in regards to this particular aspect of the show.
What I loved was seeing these brilliant actors and characters interact, John had by all accounts moved on with his life- granted I didn’t agree with his completely stone-walling Mrs Hudson, I do understand. Mrs Hudson, and 221b Baker St, would have reminded him too much of his best friend. This is where the episode excelled, what we all needed was for Sherlock and John to be reunited and to feel so good- and for them to just solve crimes together like Sherlock hadn’t pulled a Lazarus (that is came back from the dead a la the Bible, google it) but there was no way that was happening. It had been two years! Two years in which John had never stopped asking Sherlock to not be dead. So this entire exchange was perhaps my favourite of the entire episode, barring that between John and Mary when he’s shaving his stache off.
Speaking of Mary, Amanda Abbington is wonderful as Mary Morstan. I already like the character, who’s funny, intelligent and likes Sherlock. I knew I liked Mary even before she tells Sherlock she’ll turn John around and he studies her, coming up with some interesting finds (Liar? Disillusioned?). So I really hope they don’t go the way of Conan Doyle canon and kill her off.
Lestrade’s reaction to seeing Sherlock alive may have been my favourite, bar John’s… and Anderson’s…and Mrs Hudson’s scream- okay I loved them all. But not as much as Mrs Hudson continuing to believe that Sherlock and John had a more than platonic relationship. If one had the choice between solving crimes and having dinner with Sherlock which would you choose? Definitely solving crimes. Molly, who Sherlock is treating much better these days, helps Sherlock solve a few crimes in John’s place. It’s rather adorable, we definitely know that she was involved in helping him fake his own death. I like that he emphasised that he wanted Molly to be Molly, not John.
Granted I then felt shafted when he called her John at the end, but I suppose considering he’d been hallucinating during that entire scene it wasn’t intentional- the entire scene seemed off with him seemingly under a bit of strain. John, confronted with the life and best friend he’d been grieving for two years, is also under strain. The expertly juxtaposed scenes between Sherlock solving crimes with Molly and John’s ’embarrassing bodies’ patients before culminating in him assaulting one of his patients thinking it was Sherlock in disguise, was gold.
One relationship that continues to intrigue me is the Holmes brothers’ relationship, Mycroft helped Sherlock fake his death in order to help him stamp out Moriarty’s network completely- but sat there while Sherlock got pummeled. Then they’re playing operation and deducing things from a hat and Sherlock points out that Mycroft’s lonely and they’re both not keen to entertain their awesomely normal parents, who funnily enough were Cumberbatch’s real life parents.
So was it worth the wait? The V for Vendetta/Gun Powder Treason Plot storyline was nerdbaitingly brilliant, the cheeky fanfic theory winks were hilarious (heyooo that Moriarty and Sherlock kiss) and just seeing John nearly strangle Sherlock was a complete highlight. I think it most definitely was worth the wait and I now can’t wait for the rest of the series, that is the next two episodes. Oh UK shows with their extremely short series lengths.
– Mary’s already a better co-detective than John. She’s already decoded the message she got by the time she reached 221b Baker St seeking Sherlock’s help to find John who’s been kidnapped by this series’ big bad, Magnussen.
– ‘I founded The Empty Hearse so that like-minded people could meet, discuss theory.’ (Does this mean Anderson ships Sherlolly?)
– Anderson gets his own award for this episode.