Anyway, very enjoyable, but it's one of those episodes where I'm not sure how I feel about it until I talk about it - so let's do that!
I'm actually going to play it in the background while I type this so that I'll have the audio to remind me what happened. I've only watched it once, but I'll be listening to it a second time (though not pausing if I can help it) so we'll see how it goes!
First off, I LOVE the opening - it's so goddamn sexy, ESPECIALLY the kiss between Sherlock and Molly - which I've now watched three times, because GODDAMN! But then I thought that the weird hypnotist was completely unbelievable...and then I we find out that it's all just Anderson's theory and I LAUGHED. And then I laughed more when I realized that ANDERSON things Sherlock is goddamn damn sexy... because, I repeat, GODDAMN!
But yeah, hilarious... I really don't think Lestrade is that far off with the guilt thing though - I mean, yes, Sherlock IS alive, but I do think that Anderson just thought he was because he was guilty.
But we find out that while Sherlock's been dead, he's been vindicated, though it took 2 years.
Then we cut to John at Sherlock's headstone - I guess visiting, now that the world knows what John always knew: that Sherlock was real. And we find out that John has a lady friend! Yay!
Cut to somewhere where someone is being chased down by people speaking in a slavic language (which we later find out is Serbian). And we sort of suspect that the man being chased down is Sherlock, but we get confirmation when he deduces the man interrogating him and tells him that his wife's cheating on him RIGHT NOW, which means he runs away to go catch her...
Which leads us into finding out that the guy who had been sitting there watching Sherlock get beaten was MYCROFT! GEEEEEEZ, man, Mycroft and Sherlock's relationship is so messed up. I know a couple of people were upset by how harshly I treated Mycroft in my Merlin-Sherlock fusion fic, but MAN, you can't tell me that he's not a morally grey character when it comes to everything - but especially his relationship with Sherlock.
And I was wondering why we saw such extended shots of the tube at the beginning, but of course it all does come together in the end.
John goes to visit Mrs. Hudson... also it's November, because it's getting close to Guy Fawkes.
The scene between John and Mrs. Hudson is great - and I like how they intercut it with the scene between Sherlock and Mycroft. I love the way Sherlock calls Mycroft on watching him get beating and calls him on enjoying it! Again, GEEEZ... Mycroft is all like "gross, I had to talk to people" and Sherlock is like "so you watched your brother get beaten?!" Haha... also it kind of annoys me that Mycroft only needs a couple hours to learn Serbian. :P
I love how passive-aggressively angry Mrs. Hudson is with John, and we find out that he hasn't been in touch since Sherlock died. Ouch. John explains it well though, and apologizes.
Sherlock, of course, asks about John - I love Mycroft's sarcastic answer. I also love how Mycroft understands that John is not going to be happy to see Sherlock like Sherlock expects.
Oh, also there's a major terrorist plot in London - but I feel that in this episode, it's about Sherlock and John more than the "case" - the case is actually fairly straight forward. And the none straight-forward part isn't explained in this episode.
The conversation between John and Mrs. Hudson about John moving on and getting married is hilarious. I love how Mrs. Hudson is such a hardcore Johnlock shipper that she just ignores the fact that John is heterosexual and assumes he's closeted... she's basically the representation of the Johnlock shipper part of the fandom. This episode is VERY meta.
It's interesting though, from a Sherlock-mind point of view, that Sherlock didn't foresee that John would move on with his life and leave Baker St. I think, for all Sherlock's "softening", he still doesn't understand just how MUCH his death affected John.
I love the making up of the disguise on his way to John's table - and the stupid french accent. I also love the fact that John NEVER LOOKS at him. I love how Sherlock keeps coming up with lead-in lines, and John just DOESN'T LOOK. I think Sherlock is a little bit insulted...
And John is going to propose! Aww, cute.
We get to meet Mary for realz. Played by the lovely Amanda Abbington, Martin Freeman's actual wife. She's great in the role... and I love the way they wrote Mary, but I'll get to that.
I love that Mary knows exactly what is happening and waits for John to stumble through the proposal.
Then Sherlock, of course, has to ruin the moment - and he does manage to get his funny line in... and John reacts, well, accurately for John. Martin Freeman plays the moment so well. I love how he's so ...incensed, shocked, overwhelmed... that he stumbles as he stands, and just BREATHES HEAVILY.... and really, Sherlock should know that when John doesn't know what to do, his default setting is "anger."
I think that's part of the reason Sherlock was trying to be funny when he surprised John - because, he and John always laughed when things got stressful, and Sherlock knew that him coming back would be a stressful emotional moment for John, so he tried to jump-start the giggles. And failed miserably.
Sherlock's "short version: not dead" - I kind of want this to be a call-out to the ADORABLE #notdead cartoons on tumblr. I love those!
And I love Mary's muttered "Oh god, you have no idea what you've done-"
And then Sherlock's explanation gets interrupted because John wants to know WHY not HOW... and Sherlock admits it was Mycroft's plan, which Mary immediately realizes means that John's going to get angry because Sherlock had confidants that WEREN'T HIM!
I don't know why they keep going to restaurants... I mean, they should really have this conversation in a park or something where John can beat on Sherlock without getting them kicked out of places.
Sherlock didn't get in touch because he was afraid John would let it slip...which then causes John to yell that Sherlock is alive in a restaurant, which kind of proves Sherlock right.
I love Mary telling Sherlock that she'll talk John 'round, and Sherlock being surprised that she will. I love the fact that Mary sees what John sees in Sherlock and likes him too. I also like the fact that Sherlock deduces Mary but doesn't say a signal thing - it leaves a bit of mystery, does he approve? Does he see something interesting? We never really find out.
Then we get Sherlock revealing that he's back to Molly and Lestrade. Molly, of course, already knew Sherlock was alive - but I love seeing Lestrades reaction. I love how Sherlock calls him Graham instead of Greg, and then Lestrade hugs him and just DOESN'T LET GO.
Oh, and Mrs. Hudson... that's a bit of canon, I know, because I believe the line is "stopped by Baker St. already and sent Mrs. Hudson into hysterics."
Then we get another version of how Sherlock did it - and it's the Sherlock/Moriarty slash version! Hahahaha, and it's the theory of some girl at Anderson #Sherlocklives club, called, "The Empty Hearse" - and that's when the news hits the wire that Sherlock is alive. Did John give it away in the deli? Was that planned.
Mary reading John's blog... and John shaving his mustache - I forgot to mention how I loved the running gag of making fun of John's mustache. I also love the fact that Mary's accusing John of shaving it because SHERLOCK doesn't like it and not because she doesn't like it - though, really, it's because Sherlock told John that Mary didn't like it. For the record, I like mustaches on friends that kiss me on the cheek, because I like the way it tickles, but I've never actually dated a guy with facial hair.
The scene where we think Sherlock and Mycroft are playing chess but they're actually playing Operation is HILARIOUS. We also get some wee!Holmes information!!! I'm thrilled about that - again, I love thinking about Sherlock and Mycroft's relationship as children. I love the idea that they thought Sherlock was an idiot until they met other children and realized Sherlock just wasn't as smart as Mycroft.
I also love Sherlock teasing Mycroft and trying to figure out if he's been alone for the whole two years that Sherlock's been away... and Sherlock uses a game of deduction to point out that being different doesn't mean that you have to be lonely. Man, I love that bit of character info, because Sherlock is telling us both about himself and Mycroft. Remember, Sherlock doesn't NEED a roommate, he WANTED one - did Sherlock know he was lonely? I think so. And I think he knows that Mycroft is lonely too, though he's right with "How would you know?" when Mycroft says he isn't, because, as someone who's been single for a very long time - well, I can attest to the fact that after a while it just becomes all you know and you don't necessarily feel lonely, or not lonely... you just are.
Then we get John trying to ignore the fact that he's desperate to work alongside Sherlock again, and we get Sherlock seemingly trying to replace John with Molly... only is he? I mean, Sherlock is definitely missing John, and he desperately prefers to have a companion, but I do believe him later when he tells Molly that he had her come along for the day as a thank-you. Molly always wanted to be by Sherlock's side, so he gave her one day, even though he knew from the beginning that it'd only be one day - that she, like John, had moved on.
And John becoming so sure that Sherlock wouldn't let him be, that he accosts a man who he believes is Sherlock in disguise... awkward-funny, which really isn't my cup of tea, but is well done.
Sherlock seemingly hearing John's voice while he's working (and actually responding to it) is a LITTLE bit mental-illnessy for my taste. I kind of think Sherlock would have more control of his facilities than that - but I guess we needed the evidence that Sherlock was off his game without John there. Though, Sherlock DOES figure out that it's all a fake.
Sherlock and Molly go to visit the client that had been 'round earlier. I like that Sherlock returns that hat - I think it's a little sign of Sherlock's humanity, because he DID know that it was a beloved item.
The client shows him the REAL case - guy gets on the tube and then disappears between stations.
And we get Sherlock going through his mindpalace thing with the subway system and the dude's face. At first I thought it might be the sniper on John, and that Sherlock would realize that John was still in danger...
...this was seemingly only confirmed when we see John get drugged and kidnapped a moment later from outside of Baker St. BUT, I've obviously read too many fanfictions where Moran is Moriaty's dedicated sniper trying to punish Sherlock for not being dead.... ah fanfiction, it prolongs the enjoyment, but can muddy the mind when it comes to canon and predicting.
Sherlock thanks Molly, and it's touching. And we find out that she's engaged! And supposedly not a sociopaths - I love that line of Sherlock's, that not all the men she falls for can turn out to be sociopath's, and I love Molly's "maybe it's just my type" after Sherlock kisses her on the cheek. I also love the juxtaposition between Anderson's version of Sherlock's "thank you" kiss and Sherlock's ACTUAL "thank-you" kiss - Sherlock's actual "thank you" kiss is very much more in keeping with Sherlock's way of interacting with Molly, or well, people he cares about in general, which tends to be a little bit on the reserved and tentative side...when he's not steamrollling them with cruelty anyway! :P
Mary recognizing the skip-code and going straight to Sherlock is awesome. Sherlock's dropping of the chips and panicking is also straight out of fanfiction really. I almost thought that this might be a game by Mycroft to get John and Sherlock back together - but then figured it was a little cruel for Mycroft, especially when I saw that there were bystanders and they were actually going to light John on fire.
But, for those people in the Sherlock fandom that like to timeline, we actually know that it's Guy Fawkes!
I want to know where Mary learned how to stay on a motorcycle while it's going over rough terrain and down staircases and the like. I mean, geez... I've never actually driven a bike, but I HAVE been on the back of one, and man, that would have been fun to do, but I'm not sure I'd have been as good as she was at staying on.
They get John out of the burning thing though - and from a lover-in-peril point of view, it's a delicious scene for both Sherlock/John and John/Mary.... or Sherlock/John/Mary if you are me. Seriously, there needs to be more threesomes on TV.
Okay, I actually clicked over and watched the scene with Sherlock's parents again.. because WOW! And I'm pretty sure those are actually Benedict Cumberbatch's parents, who both happen to be actors. They certainly look like them - she's got his blue blue eyes and he's got his cheekbones. But from a character stand-point too - this is DELICIOUS to me, because PARENTS! And they're normal and lovely and they're obviously used to Sherlock because they just let him think and walk about and they're USED to it. I sort of had the inkling they were his parents when he just asks them if they found the lottery ticket and then goes on with what he's doing... but of course, the foot in the door clinched it.
And I love Sherlock's "I promise", because it's SUCH a little-boy "I promise" and then his mother touches his face and he just shoves her out - hahaha, there goes my theory that Sherlock was starved for affection as a kid. Though, in truth, with British culture, he probably still was once he reached his teens.
Of course, John points out that they knew too - that that's why they weren't at the funeral... and Sherlock apologizes again, and he does mean it. You can tell.
Sherlock doesn't know why John was targeted.
And we find out that in THIS version of Sherlock, Moran isn't Moriarity's right hand man, he's a dirty/spy/politician/terrorist.And he didn't disappear off the tube, the whole tube-car disappeared.
And it's the fifth of November.... so, the kidnapping of John was what? A clue? For Sherlock? Or what is a coincidence?
Then it's off to find the ghost station/track that the tube used.
Sherlock won't let John call the police... dun dun dun... I think it was perhaps his plan along to force John into a life-of-death situation so that he could get his emotions out of the way and they could go back to being friends. Personally, I would have killed Sherlock if he pulled this stunt with me - I'd have been angrier than John was when he found out that Sherlock was alive - but then, I'm not John Watson... and death DOES put grievances into perspective. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Or am I, not really... let's just talk about it... Sherlock's emotional manipulation in this episode is kind of off the charts, and I think that's why I was unsure how I felt about the episode in the end. If there's one thing I HATE, it's emotional manipulation by loved ones. My dad did/does it all the time... and yeah, I really hate it. So, I think maybe this just struck a personal cord? My mum does it sometimes to, but only when she has to pull out the big stops to get us to forgive her for something (which is rare)...and huh, I guess that's what Sherlock is doing here. He's pulling out all the stops in order to get John to forgive him, because he loves John and he knows John loves him, but just needs to get to a different emotion other than anger... just needs to realize that there are more important things in the world.
And Sherlock, of course, is a good actor. He knows the whole time that bombs have an off-switch...and he's already called the police, so yeah. It's all an act. I do love the bickering though....
I did buy it though, up until Sherlock started crying, because Sherlock only ever cries when he's lying.... and John calls it at first, but Sherlock's convincing... and John does say what he wanted to say to Sherlock since he jumped off that building. Sherlock gives John his closure moment, though again, he does it in an EVIL WAY.
Then we get Sherlock telling a video-camera how he did it. We find out that Sherlock knew and was in on the plan to release his information to Moriarty... that it was him and Mycroft working together. I wonder if that happened after Scandal, where they were most-decidedly NOT working together and it all nearly went horribly wrong.
And we find out how Sherlock did it of course! Mystery solved! It was similar to how they filmed it! I actually think that's brilliant, because there were people watching the filming, but they would have assumed the giant airbag was for the stunt and not in the shot. But fans DID call both the squash-ball under the armpit and the doctor with the bloodbag in his jacket... so good job, fans!
And we learn Anderson's first name! Phillip!
Oh, and there was a look-alive corpse already because of Moriarty's scheme of framing Sherlock... and that Sherlock has lots of coats. Hilarious.
I love the fact that Anderson's vaguely disappointed now that he knows the truth... the theories got more and more elaborate and there was no sexy kiss!! Hahaha... and it was Anderson who planted the fake body to try to lure Sherlock back, and that's a nice touch. I also love Anderson crying and Sherlock awkwardly patting him on his back... and then Anderson picking apart the theory because it had to be too perfect.
Anderson has really gone quite mad.
But this is also our first clue that the bomb HAS been disposed, because the video takes place after the bomb.
And sure enough we get Sherlock laughing and then trying, once again, to get John to laugh...and this time he's successful, because John's had his honest moment. Sherlock knows how much he means to John, and given the elaborate lengths Sherlock went to to get John to get it... I guess John knows the same. Though, I DID kind of want a scene with Sherlock telling John that he would have been killed if Sherlock hadn't jumped.
And we meet Tom, Molly's fiance, who Sherlock DEFINITELY deduces SOMETHING about... another sociopath?
And we get a Lestrade/Molly moment... I kind of really ship Lestrade/Molly, so whatever is up with Tom, I hope it eventually leads to Lestrade/Molly.
John points out that Sherlock is a show-off who actually loves the figure he's become in the media...that he loves being known as the "hat detective"...
And we get an emotional moment NOT under the gun, and we find out that Sherlock did hear John talking at his grave.
And Sherlock puts on the hat and goes outside... he lets the media have what they want. Does he love it? He didn't in S1, but maybe after two years of not being Sherlock, he does... he DOES like showing-off, John's not wrong about that.
And then we get a glimpse of our villain for the season, watching a tape of John's rescue... and focusing on Sherlock... DUN DUN DUN.
So, yes, liked the episode. I just have a thing about emotional manipulation of loved ones that turned me off the ultimate resolution of the Sherlock-John fight. Hopefully, though, that will sort of resolve itself in the next episode as John and Sherlock move forward after what was, really, a betrayal on Sherlock's part. Because I really do think that John was most upset about the fact that Sherlock didn't trust him - that Sherlock trusted his parents, Mycroft, Molly, and 25 homeless people MORE than he trusted John.
Anyhoo... Mary is awesome. I like her. I want to know what's up with Molly's fiance and I want to Lestrade/Molly to happen still.
Over all, a good episode, and I'm looking forward to having every single moment of it giffed on tumblr. I actually haven't been on social media all day, so I have no idea how anyone else has reacted to the episode - my guess is that it's going to be a mixed bag, with some people, like Anderson, being disappointed because it couldn't live up to their expectations. That's the problem with waiting two years between seasons, too much time for the fans to come up with their perfect episode in their minds that the real thing will never measure up to.
So, yes, good episode. Let me know what you all thought in comments! :)