Thursday, January 02, 2014

My Review of Sherlock's 3x01: "The Empty Hearse"

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Jeremy Lovering

Mycroft: "Sorry, but the holiday is over, brother dear. Back to Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes."

You wait for this show to return and when it does, it comes out with an opening episode that actually managed to be delightfully bonkers. While I don't believe that Sherlock is the best thing on television (despite my enjoyment of it), there was a lot about this opening story that kept my attention.

First of all the various theories as to how the great man survived that fall in the first place were fun to watch and some of the theories were actually more satisfying than what we really got (assuming what Sherlock told Watson was true, it's hard to tell). I especially liked the cheekiness of the first two theories surrounding both Molly and Moriarty the best but I think everyone did if I'm being honest.

Of course the main plot of this episode was the reunion between Sherlock and Watson and I'm actually glad it wasn't that easy either. Watson was understandably mad and tried to keep his distance and in some ways both him and Sherlock used substitutes as a means of not being a team (Watson his job, Sherlock teaming up with Molly/Lestrade) before one of them nearly being burnt to a crisp reunited them.

The emotional weight of the episode was what made this episode the most gripping to watch. Sherlock and Watson's eventual team up against a terrorist threat (that wasn't well explored), followed by the actual explanation was the highlight. I'm not sure if the explanation holds up too logically but it's the time of sleight of hand that works well enough for the show though.

- Amanda Abbington, the real life partner of Martin Freeman played Watson's love interest, Mary Morstan in this episode. I liked her a lot in this episode and I'm glad she'll be around for the rest of the series.
- Benedict Cumberbatch's real life parents actually played his parents in this episode. Can I also just say that Mycroft was a lot of fun this episode too? My view on him has changed a lot in the last two years.
- Molly's new boyfriend, Tom. Is the lady protesting a little too much about being over Sherlock?
- We got a brief glimpse of the new villain of the series at the end of the episode. I have a feeling that him and Mary might be working together.
- Anderson literally became Tumblr during this episode. Actually the metatextuality was on Ryan Murphy levels at times.
- So does Mycroft have a special 'goldfish' in his life? Loved watching him and Sherlock deducting and playing Operation.

Overall this was a fun opening episode. While it loses points for the terrorist plot not being well thought out and rather paper thin, it does make up for it with the cheeky needling of fandom, nice emotional beats and the sheer daftness at times. Looking forward to the next two installments.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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