Imagine living 2 years without your best friend. Everything points to that person being dead. You've finally managed to move on, although life doesn't have quite as much excitement or meaning as before. Then, on a seemingly normal evening, you take your girlfriend out to dinner, planning to propose, finally meet the eyes of your waiter, and discover that it is none other than Sherlock Holmes, risen from the dead. Yeah, John didn't handle that one so well!
Needless to say, Sherlock isn't dead. John's been living an average life for 2 years, actually fallen in love, grown a mustache, and when Sherlock pops back into his life, he runs the full gamut of emotions in the span of thirty seconds. Then, in true John fashion, he grabs at Sherlock's neck in a blind rage. It's funny. Yes, it's absolutely hysterical because John punches at him not once, but three times, and each time they get thrown out of the restaurant, moving to one progressively lower class. It's AWESOME!
The brilliant parts of this episode are:
1) Mary Morstan! Fortunately for me, I'm one of the sane fans who actually loves Sherlock Holmes beyond just this one show and understands the canon. John Watson is a romantic, falls in love, and gets married. It's a beautiful part of his personality, so I was already set to LOVE Mary.
Mary Morstan. Is. Brilliant.
She is the light of John's life. Plus, Sherlock likes her and she likes him. And she brings out the best in John, loving him just as he is. They are the perfect couple. Plus, Amanda Abbington is Martin Freeman's partner in real life. I love it when that happens! Like Kevin and Jenny Ryan in Castle!
2) Sherlock Holmes is nicer. Yes, you heard me, he's a changed man. I think being alone for 2 years with no friends made him miss the one friend that he had. So, he's changing, and all for the better. He appreciates the friendship of John Watson, and even though he can never, ever remember Lestrade's first name, at least he tries. I like this Sherlock Holmes and I hope he never regresses to the jerk we see in the 1st season. Those 2 years away did him good.
3) John in danger. Sorry, but I love that. I adore John and would never want him hurt, ever, but having him in danger made Sherlock and Mary work together. They did it flawlessly, and that's when I realized that both of them, in their own way, love John Watson. Sherlock's a man in desperate, almost tragic, need of a friend. That moment of rescuing John highlighted how deeply Sherlock cares about his best friend, and it revealed that Mary Morstan is in their relationship for the long haul.
Now, on to the crazy bits that don't make sense.
1) The kiss. Nope, America didn't edit out a gay kiss. There never was one. That entire theory was thrown in as a poke at the slasher fans, hence Anderson interrupting that idiot girl in wide-eyed horror. *eye roll* People on tumblr are absolute crackheads.
2) What bomb comes with an off switch? Gatiss, I love you, but bomb squads would argue against that theory 99.9% of the time.
3) The survival theory. The writers must have penned themselves into a corner because none of the theories on how Sherlock survived the fall made sense, let alone the one Sherlock told Anderson. Sorry, the concept's success is based entirely on whether John stayed in one place, and frankly, as someone who shares the ISFJ personality type, there were no guarantees that the moment Sherlock started falling, he wouldn't start running. So, no, the survival theory doesn't work.
Regardless of all that, however, I still love, and will always love, this episode. There's no naked women in it for one thing! John Watson is very much in love with his girlfriend. He finally convinces Mrs. Hudson that he is not now, nor has he ever been, gay. And now that Sherlock is back, I'm basking in the awesomeness that is the 3rd season!
This is going to be bloody BRILLIANT!