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To paraphrase T.S.Eliot, this is the way the world ends- not with a bang, but with a new season of Sherlock. The blame goes to the genius co-creators Gatiss and Moffat, who once again have well and truly pulled the rug from under my feet and re-defined my humble notion of great plot twists.
Now, where is it? Sherlock asks and confuses Mycroft with his vague question, but a second later it is being brought to him – his coat is on his shoulders again and the game is officially back on. He returns as a hero, as a conqueror from his battles against Moriarty’s network and this marks the start of a new Sherlock era. However, his return doesn’t go as smoothly as expected – to Sherlock’s disbelief John doesn’t live on Baker Street any more, and it appears he is ready to embark on a new stage in his life with the sweet and amiable Mary. However, there is this air of mystery around her and Sherlock’s gauging never lies. John is furious at Sherlock who fails miserably to explain to him how and why he faked his suicide and his nervousness always ends up producing questions about John’s moustache and thus, the whole drama series turns into a comedy. At times The Empty Hearse felt surreal to me with so many moments that warmed the cockles of my heart and kept me entertained until the very end. The episode doesn’t miss out on the lurking evil out there and a new villain by the name of Magnussen comes forward to torture the lives of our beloved characters as if they haven’t suffered enough.
Just as heart-warming as the first episode, The Sign of Three revolves around John and Mary’s wedding and Sherlock’s best man speech. The detective cases remain in the background and are used as flashbacks to focus more on Sherlock and John’s growing and unbreakable bond. The ‘funny hat detective’ appears to be subject to a character development for he shows that he is more human than he appears to be, and reveals aspects of himself that were previously hidden. His uncertainty leads him to ask Lestrade for help in preparing his speech because this is a big moment for him, the title of ‘best friend’ is not particularly familiar to him but of a huge importance and he doesn’t want to let John down. He surely doesn’t, and his words convey a sheer honesty and tenderness. Yet again he doesn’t miss out on the opportunity to show his sardonic side by making his typical remarks, but he is far more than a high-functioning sociopath now- he’s vulnerable and fearful of losing his friend, who is not only married now but about to become a father too. And just as you start to think this episode is too soppy and missing out on the thrill, Sherlock turns on his mojo and solves a crime mystery right in the middle of the wedding. This was surely all too good to last forever, and left me to question what the writers had saved for last episode to ruin this bliss.
One thing to learn from His Last Vow is that everyone has a pressure point: Sherlock’s weakness is John, John’s is Mary, and mine is the end of series 3. The hour and a half episode was devastating and uplifting at the same time and the creators proved again that they are the masters of leaving the viewers open-mouthed. It turns out that John has a tendency of bounding with psychopaths and the word LIAR coming out of Sherlock’s quick gauging of Mary isn’t accidental. She alone has enough dark secrets to draw Magnussen like a magnet and cause all the drama. The good news is that the funny hat detective escapes the death trap (credit goes to Moriarty saying ‘John is in danger’ which brings him back to life); the villain is beaten, Mary is forgiven and Sherlock’s exile doesn’t last for long – only 4 minutes to be exact. Villains come and go but interestingly one has decided to rise again from the ashes, Moriarty. I really hope he is back for real and this is not just some kind of a trick because, admit it, you have all missed him too. He has this elegance and style that Magnussen lacked, and no one can pull off a better comeback than him. The ending of this series can’t help but make me turn my Sheldon Cooper mode on- I don’t need sleep, I need answers.