By Brent Glass
Alright, my fellow Americans, Sherlock premiered in the good ole U S of A last night. As with previous Sherlock seasons, the show will broadcast on PBS’ Masterpiece on Sunday nights. For those who have been patiently waiting, I hope you found yourselves satiated. And for those who have yet to join the Sherlockian bandwagon, what the heck are you waiting for? I, Saying Something’s Brent Glass, will be covering each episode following the American air date. Hope you will join me.
The episode that fans have been anticipating for two years, “The Empty Hearse,” was sheer perfection. Sherlock’s first and second seasons ended with mammoth cliffhangers. At the end of the first, viewers were left wondering how Sher and John would escape the clutches of Moriarty, while the second season ended with the staged suicide, leaving fans confounded with the question: How did he survive?
Bloggers blog, and in the years between “The Final Problem” (S2E3) and “The Empty Hearse” (S3E1) there were myriads of theories – some bad and some good – about the methods Sherlock employed to ensure his clean, deathless suicide. While a few theories were partly true, none completely captured the acumen. Good news: I will not reveal the actual way he did it.
The third season begins with an over-the-top action scene explaining Holmes’ survival. Returning to the moment just before Sherlock jumped from St. Barts, the viewers watch a complex system of people Sherlock put in place work to make the death happen. Two shady men abscond with Moriarty’s limp body, transporting him to a lower level of the hospital. Sherlock makes the jump, John is knocked to the ground by an intentional biker and, whilst John lay unconscious, Holmes smashes through a hospital window – thanks to the building-colored bungee cord – where Molly Hooper is waiting. He flips his hair and kisses her. (What!?) Meanwhile, Moriarty’s body was fitted with a lifelike Sherlock mask. His body was placed on the cement. When John returns to consciousness and runs to check Sherlock’s pulse, it is Moriarty’s contorted body. Unlike any other moment in the Sherlock series, fans had to feel just a bit… off.
Those fans were right. Come to find out, Sherlock’s fan club (in the show) have turned into a cultish band of misfits, led by Holmes’ former nuisance, Anderson. Remember him? Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street. Yeah, he now loves Sherlock and believes in him. That crazy sequence at the beginning? That didn’t really happen. That’s Anderson’s latest conspiracy theory. Oh Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock creators). How clever of you.
The rest of the episode fixated on the reuniting of doctor and sleuth. In (what I’m convinced is) one of TV’s greatest comical scenes, Sherlock reveals himself to John – just as he is about to propose to his girlfriend, Mary. Antithesis of apropos. Unsurprisingly, John is upset. Don’t worry, they get engaged by the end of the episode… I won’t detail the rest of the opener. I want to spend the rest of this piece applauding the writers.
While I have had no reason to doubt Gatiss and Moffat, one just never knows. They could have tried to ride solely on the successful dynamics of the first two seasons, but they didn’t. They changed it up. Now, John’s love interest (both in Sherlock and real life) is a factor. John won’t live with Sherlock anymore which means they can’t be mistaken for gay lovers anymore. Where is the fun in that? Also, Sherlock will have to share his precious John. He won’t have him available at his every beck and call. How will he ever function? Now that he’s done tearing apart Moriarty’s global network (yes, that’s what Sher’s been doing for the past two years).
All joking aside, this episode was great, and, next episode we have a wedding to look forward to!
Brent Glass is a Michigander who graduated from Eureka College in May of 2013. He spent time at the Sagamore Institute in Indianapolis, IN (a non-partisan think tank) where he worked on political economy pieces for Detroit, MI and Elkhart, IN. Additionally, he spent the summer of 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, working on social media management. Currently he is working as a freelance writer for Sagamore Institute, creating a social media management business (Connect You Consulting) and working full-time as a Management Assistant to the owner of a car dealership. He plans to further his education in the fall of 2014 in public policy.