Thoughts on ‘The Empty Hearse’

Warning this contains spoilers

I want to start with the disclaimer that I absolutely loved this episode. For me there were many, many of my boxes ticked (especially the underground secret network one) and I think it’s important to remember that ‘Sherlock’ episodes are not isolated, they’re all linked so there didn’t need to be a neatly tied up explanation to everything at the end.

Things I loved:

– The foreshadowing. Not just John being mysteriously kidnapped or the shadowy figure at the end watching footage on a loop but the interaction between Sherlock and Mycroft. Sherlock is suggesting his brother needs someone, he doesn’t need to be lonely and it’s okay to be different – we have the knowledge that there is something big coming and we know he’s the Worst Man in London. Poor Mycroft, not a great time to be contemplating a change of personal circumstances.

– Underground secret network. Nothing more to say on this other than my geek is well and truly satisfied.

– Mary. Mary is smart (seriously she got that it was a cypher being sent to her!), and she’s fun. She’s someone that’s clearly going to be utterly wonderful for John and very importantly, she ‘gets’ it. Loved her and I really hope they don’t kill her off, if they do you can bet it’s going to be a heart-wrenching game changer.

– Molly Hooper.

– Lestrade’s reaction to discovering that Sherlock is alive.

– Poor Anderson. The bloke’s lost his job, probably his wife and Donovan and gone off the rails as a result. He’s probably the one person who really, really needed Sherlock to be alive. I particularly loved the fan club he’d created, and I don’t think there was anything mean about the fan service with the Sherlock/Moriarty tease. I think people need to calm down a bit about fan-service, not all of it is about poking fun and I took it as a well-intended nod to the audience and a bit of fun.

– Sherlock needing John to forgive him and I thought it was very moving that the only way they both could do so was under pressure in one of those “what do you say in your last moments” moments. The pair of them can only have a discussion about feelings in a moment of high tension.

– Holmes parents existing and being so ordinary.

– the return of Anthea.

– Moran not turning out to be Moriarty’s right-hand lover. Canonical Moran is very well educated and served with some honour so there’s an excellent chance that BBC Moran is still those things, but without the being a sniper-lover for Moriarty. Excellent way to dispatch a minor canonical villain early on so we can focus on the big bad coming.

– Sherlock. In the 2yrs he’s been away, he’s fooled himself (either through the need to or just being unaware) into thinking that everything will be exactly as it was before he left and he can just pick up where he left off.

– Sherlock & Mycroft playing games.

– Mycroft doing field work. I wonder how long it took him to infiltrate the ranks.

– Mycroft stuck at ‘Les Mis’. I hope he didn’t have his phone on the auditorium and pretended to go off to the loo rather than faked a phone call to escape.

– the many, many canonical references! Highlights for me were blending the hat deductions from ‘The Blue Carbuncle’ with the brothers deducing from ‘The Greek Interpreter’.

There isn’t a “what I didn’t like” as I liked all of it. Bring on episode 2! 😀


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