Sherlock Season 3, Episode 1

WARNING: Spoilers for Sherlock Season 3, Episode 1

SherlockSherlock finally returns after a two year break. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two seasons, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing what the creators of the show can bring us this time.

When we last saw our eponymous hero, he was leaping to his presumed death, with Watson watching from below. Since that’s the mystery that everyone’s been wondering about for so long, I’d like to discuss that first.

I don’t really buy the solution that Sherlock tells Anderson. Airbags, duplicate bodies and make-up just doesn’t seem like an elegant way for him to survive, in my opinion. At the start of the episode, we see Anderson’s version of events, which is suitably ludicrous, but I don’t see that the actual event was that much less ludicrous.

As Anderson says, what if John moved, or a hundred other things didn’t go as planned. There’s the possibility, of course, that Sherlock is just making up the whole thing for Anderson’s sake. In which case, the creators are doing the same thing for the audience.

Of course, in the original stories, Sherlock had to be brought back due to public demand. Here, however, the creators knew that he was coming back. So why wasn’t there a better way to let him survive? In interviews, the creators even said that you could see how he survived in the previous episode. Here’s a clip that I’ve looked over a few times. I can’t see it:

Anyway, on to the other events of the episode. John and Mary are getting married. Mary was a fun new character to introduce. She seems positive and likes Sherlock. I enjoyed her few scenes.

John reacted quite strongly to Sherlock returning, as you’d expected. I don’t know why, but I just wanted something other than physical violence followed by acceptance and a return to normality. A few punches and everything is mostly okay again seemed light.

The terrorist plot took a bit of a back-burner in the episode, with it being solved in a cursory way by Sherlock near the end. I did like the scene with the old station and the bomb, though.

There was a loose thread, with Watson getting kidnapped and put into a bonfire. Sherlock has to race to save him, while an unknown enemy taunts him via text. I loved that. It was a taste of what a usual Sherlock episode is like. A race of wits against time.

And there were a half dozen other cases that were solved in minutes by Sherlock. They were entertaining enough, but unnecessary, I think.

If it seems like there were a lot of little things going on, it’s because there were. This episode had to pick up the pieces from the end of season two by necessity. This meant that there wasn’t time for a full investigation. We didn’t get to see Holmes and Watson in full swing as usual. It made the episode a little disappointing, to be honest.

I don’t see what else they could have done. They had to have a realistic reunion between Holmes and Watson. They had to deal with the aftermath and explain how Holmes escaped. They had to wrap up any personal stuff that happened and explain where he was for two years. It was just a large burden to place on one of only three episodes that we’ll get this year.

I’m looking forward to the next episode, when things can get back to normal with a full case (hopefully).


Photo by Robert Viglasky – © Hartswood Films 2013


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