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Sherlock, Series III: The Empty Hearse

Two years after Sherlock’s "death", Dr. John Watson has got on with his life. But, with London under threat of a devastating terrorist attack, Sherlock is about to stage his outrageous resurrection. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award winning series Sherlock as seen on MASTERPIECE on PBS. #SherlockPBS

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    • Julie Moussot

      I had to read this aloud in my best British accent. As entertaining as the actual episode. I am so looking forward to next weeks’ episode AND synopsis. Well done!

      • Morgan Goode

        Thank you! It was great fun to write; I only hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

      • Audis Joseph

        I can’t wait myself. I watched this episodes four times. I still have it on my dvr. Everytime it shows on tv I keep watching it and loving it more each time

    • jlin

      By the way, did you notice the scene where John mistakenly thinks an old man who sells DVDs is Sherlock in disguise, and the name Verner is mentioned? This is an allusion to the original return story The Empty House, where Holmes re-introduces himself to Watson disguised as an old bookseller, Verner is supposedly the name of Holmes ancestor’s family.

      • Morgan Goode

        Yes! Did you notice in the same scene that he offers John a magazine called “British Birds,” which is the title of one of the books Holmes tries to sell him in The Empty House? I love all the allusions!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Great job Morgan, and thanks for getting me hooked on Sherlock! I never watched it before this weekend and now I wouldn’t miss one! I was going a bit crazy trying to figure out where I know the actress who plays Mary from. I finally figured it out; she’s on Mr. Selfridge.


      • Morgan Goode

        Thank you; welcome to the party!

      • BB

        And she was on Case Histories too.

    • LFG

      Very clever, Morgan – very clever, indeed!

      • Morgan Goode

        Thank you!

    • jimnfl

      I’m not sure I actually understand something. The part wherein Sherlock tells Anderson exactly how he faked his death… It seems way too simplified and base for it to actually be the way it happened, and I was definitely confused by Anderson’s reaction… almost as though he had lost his mind and his next stop will be the psyche ward. Are we to assume that Sherlock was telling him the truth, or just toying with him? And what exactly are we to take away from his meltdown? (PS: My Fawkes avatar was mine way before this episode)

      • Morgan Goode

        Well, I think it could go either way. On one hand, perhaps Sherlock did tell Anderson the real deal because he would welcome the chance to brag. But on the other hand, would Sherlock even bother trying to impress Anderson, who “lowers the I.Q. of the whole street” whenever he opens his mouth, or his “little fan club?” Moreover, he may have good reason to keep the details of how he did it a secret. When Mark Gatiss, Steven Mofatt, and Benedict Cumberbatch were questioned about the difficulty of keeping how they did it a secret at a December screening they, of course, gave these cheeky replies:

        MG: To be honest, we knew right from the start how we were going to do it. Unlike the original story where Sherlock disappears into the waterfall and the body’s mysteriously irretrievable even though it’s a waterfall and
        bodies float… We had absolutely no idea it was going to take on the epic
        proportions it has, so that really by the time we came to actually do
        it, we really had to address the fact that it’s become so huge because
        there are only so many ways you can jump off a building and not hit the
        pavement. I think people were expecting something mystical. The TARDIS… [laughter].

        SM: Assuming of course that Sherlock Holmes has bothered to tell Anderson the truth.

        MG: Indeed. That is a very plausible version of how he did it.

        BC: I was sat there wondering at the end, gosh, I wonder if I even know? [laughter].

        source: http://www.denofgeek.us/tv/sherlock/231844/sherlock-the-empty-hearse-qa-with-cumberbatch-freeman

        So to answer your question, I think you understand perfectly what happened and the details of how Sherlock faked his death are still open to debate!

        • Chris D.

          It does seem odd that the marksman hired to kill John would not be able to see the landing pad from his lofty vantage point, but then maybe that is why Mycroft’s people had to “talk him out of it,” as Sherlock said. So, if they were able to foil the sniper anyway, this seems like an enormously elaborate rouse to fool, basically, John.

        • Morgan Goode

          Good point. Perhaps it was necessary to focus so much energy on fooling John so that the rest of the public (excepting Anderson and The Empty Hearse) and Moriarty’s network would believe it as well.

        • Chris D.

          Right. Obviously, it was necessary for the network to believe he was dead, and I don’t have any problems with the story, though I also think it’s likely Holmes didn’t give Anderson the straight scoop either.

        • Morgan Goode

          No arguments here! I think both possibilities are plausible and I agree it is very likely he didn’t give Anderson the full story.

        • Marie

          Maybe I’m digging too deep but in order to stage what Sherlock claims he did (to Anderson), he’d have to have a lot of people in on it, and count on their secrecy, and why should they be so loyal to him to keep the big secret 2 years? AND how could he count on nobody in the hospital or nearby buildings seeing any of it happening? Plus, wouldn’t Moriarty know Sherlock uses a homeless network, and have some of his own people infiltrating his contacts to find out what he’s planning? Plus there was that moment on the rooftop where Sherlock seems to have an epiphany, then claims he’s the same as Moriarty, what was that about? *proceeds to tear hair out and laugh insanely*

        • Morgan Goode

          Yes! What’s also been plaguing me is how did they get Sherlock past all the hospital personnel once they wheeled him into the building? The entire staff of St. Bart’s couldn’t have been in on it. And wouldn’t the death of the sniper make any of Moriarty’s network suspicious?

    • LSS

      What I don’t understand is Sherlock’s statements to Molly that “the one person Moriarty didn’t think mattered matters the most.” What? Since when did Molly matter the most? This was a confusing scene, his tenderness with her and his words with her.

      • Morgan Goode

        I took it to be indicative of the evolution of their relationship. She didn’t always matter the most, but he grew to appreciate her and respect her capabilities. As he said, he couldn’t have pulled off faking his death without her. I can see where that scene might seem like an outlier. However, there was the Christmas scene in A Scandal in Belgravia where he also delivered a sincere apology to her. There is no denying their friendship has been tumultuous and strange, but I do believe it to be a real friendship.

    • JJBC

      Bravo !! Two thumbs up for you ! :) by the way, I still don’t understand with the suicide of moriarty in ‘The Reichenbach Fall”.. so, does it mean there is no ‘Moriarty’ in Season 3, and Moriarty has been defeated.. am I right ? and I’m still confused with the ‘Underground Network’, is it one of the moriarty’s plan or Magnussen’s ? and thank you for your useful article :)

    • Darkness

      well he didnt want to make a fool of himself wait he did

    • Heidi

      The only word I found that isn’t on your list of Sherlock’s deductions of Mary is the word “scar”, perhaps in relation to her appendix. Thanks for posting. Mary getting the cryptographic message and deciphering it was bothering me. Knowing Sherlock thinks she’s a linguist and a liar will help me rest easier.

    • Nicholas Coachman Jr.

      Sorry for being very late to this party, just finished the first two seasons, and peeked at the 3rd season episode 1 for 10 minutes. OK so is it just me or wouldn’t the sniper in the window who was suppose to shoot Watson saw or heard Sherlock bust that window and/or seen him tied with a rope around his waist? And did anyone else notice across from their flat was a graffiti black angel wings with IOU in red across the middle? Meant anything or nothing?
      My wife said it was Anderson’s theory to Lastrade about his death escape scenario i say if true, that sniper would of killed him and Watson the moment he leaped off the building. Noticing he was tied to something.

      I guess as Walter Sobchak says” Your out of your element Donny.”