Sunday, January 19, 2014

BBC Sherlock (2014) - The Empty Hearse

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!


  1. Gatiss is fantastic. He's a brilliant actor, a terrific writer, and a magnificent Mycroft -- but that bomb switch had me laughing hysterically. That's the glaring flaw in an otherwise terrific episode.

    It's funny, usually I'm all over the John and Sherlock friendship, but this season has shifted the characters around so much that I'm becoming fascinated with the Mycroft - Sherlock dynamic, as brothers and (though they won't admit it) as friends.

    Overall, lovely work, all around.

    1. Gatiss is brilliant, absolutely. I just wonder where he dug up that bomb off-switch idea and why nobody stopped him!

      Well, Mycroft had quite a lot of screen-time in this season. I like that. It gives us more insight into his character and its motivations, particularly the final episode. He and Sherlock are intriguing to examine and ponder!

    2. I don't know... but it's just sad. Have Sherlock remember some unimportant detail in his Memory Palace that helps him diffuse the bomb -- or John just storms over there and yanks a wire and it shuts off.

      Sherlock needs Mycroft now that John is married. He's still in Sherlock's life, but not as big a part of it, so they're substituting and building Mycroft more as a potential "friend," which I think is nice. This season let us see under Mycroft's hard shell, and that's been lovely.

    3. I can see John yanking out a wire. He would figure that they're going to die anyway, so why not!

  2. Good review! I like what you said about Mary, I was predisposed to like her too. And she and Martin being together in real life reminds me of Ryan and Jenny as well! They're all so adorable and awesome. :) I'm liking the change in Sherlock's character too, and his relationship with Mycroft is suddenly very interesting. I do think the third solution for the fall works really well, but I guess that's the nice thing about it not be definitive -- you can accept it if you like it, or not if you don't! A promising beginning for the new season, and such a hilarious episode, I can hardly wait for the next one!

  3. Whoa... wait. What? Kevin and Jenny Ryan are a RL couple too? Sweet! (Please understand that I'm just now finishing season 4 of Castle and avoid reading pretty much anything except the occasional blog post about it since I'm so far behind and try to remain relatively unspoiled. Which is impossible -- I do know that Castle and Beckett are together now -- but it means I miss out on stuff like the fact that Ryan and Jenny are a RL couple. So thanks for mentioning it, cuz that's cool!)

    I think one of the things I like best about Watson in the books is how absolute he is. He befriends Holmes very quickly and then is loyal for life. He proposes to Mary Morstan after what, four days? Two weeks? Very, very quickly, anyway. When he knows, he knows.

    The off switch was a bit funny, but I was pretty much not caring. My husband said it reminded him of a bomb that recently went off in the Middle East where the people who made the bomb and set the timer didn't use daylight savings time, but the people who were going to plant the bomb did, and so the bomb went off in the middle of a freeway on the way to the target instead of at the target. Bombers aren't always all that smart.


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