Screen: BBC

Long Live Sherlock Holmes!

After two years of playing dead, Sherlock's getting the gang back together in order to foil an underground terrorist network intent on wreaking havoc on London.

  • Previously

    Sherlock died and got a very shiny tombstone!

  • Meeting Time
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Wishful Sherlocking

    Who called the meeting? Probably Anderson.

    What's it about? Anderson expounds on his latest crackpot theory of how Sherlock faked his own death, which awesomely includes a bungee cord, a latex Sherlock mask, Sherlock kissing Molly Hooper's face off, lots of fake blood, dance music, and Brit illusionist Derren Brown messing with Watson's consciousness.

    How'd it go? Lousy. Lestrade pretty much tells Anderson he and his "Sherlock Lives!" theories are insane, and goes on to say that Anderson's just feeling guilty for ever doubting Sherlock's brilliance and being one of the crowd who essentially drove Sherlock to commit suicide. Hard to see how someone can recover from being told, "You did this and it killed him and he?s staying dead," but Anderson does in order to shout tremulously after Lestrade, "I believe in Sherlock Holmes!"

  • Snapshot
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    My best friend has been dead for two years and the only way I've been able to deal with it while also tipping my hat to all the Watsons who came before me is to grow a Mourn 'Stache which nobody but me likes so it will be gone before the end of the episode thank god.

  • Alert!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Not Marble Nor the Gilded Monuments

    Alert Type: Poo Alert.

    Issue: A bird appears to have pooped on Sherlock's tombstone.

    Complicating Factors: Watson has been so overcome with grief and mustache and love for the woman who is holding his hand in the cemetery that he can?t see that a bird has pooped on Sherlock's tombstone.

    Resolution: None. The poop abides.

    Spoilers: 1. The woman holding Watson's hand is his nurse, Mary. 2. Sherlock's not really dead, so maybe he won't mind that Watson couldn't even keep his putative place of eternal rest poop-free.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Sherlock vs. Serbian Torturer

    Captured while running through the Serbian woods with Weird Al Yankovic's hair, Sherlock is chained up and pulped until he gives the Serbian Torturer a whole lot of information the dude totally wasn?t expecting. Once the Serbian shouts "I knew it!" and scampers home to see if his wife really is cheating on him with the next-door neighbor and the coffin maker, Mycroft emerges from the shadows, where he's been sitting with his feet propped comfortably and dressed as a Serbian officer. Though he did nothing to stop the actual beating, Mycroft is apparently there to rescue Sherlock, and is a bit piqued that Sherlock isn't properly grateful for this. After all, Mycroft had to do such unsavory fieldwork, and spend a precious few hours learning Serbian! As Sherlock gets straight-razor-shaved, dressed, and his hair back to fighting fluff, Mycroft informs his little brother that he's going back to London to foil an underground terrorist network's attack on the city.

    Winner: Sherlock, but also Mycroft, who just sat on his ass watching Sherlock get beat up, which you just know he figured was payback for Sherlock stealing their mother's love and that astrophysicist's kit he got for his fifth birthday.

  • On The Menu
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    What's On the Menu at 221B Baker Street?

    When you're still not really over your best friend's death, it's always, always best to mope around his digs thinking sad thoughts of your very first meeting and how nobody will ever know you as well as he did.

    Tea: Watson stains his mourn 'stache in the dark and stewed depths of Mrs. Hudson's Earl Grey while she forgets that he doesn't take sugar in his tea and tartly opines that his facial hair is crap and ages him. She says it twice so you know she means it. (Also: she's right.)

    Biscuits: The shortbread looks so dry it would probably take an entire pot of tea to dislodge it from Watson's throat, but musty and dusty bickies are all Watson deserves, given that he's not been in any kind of touch with Mrs. Hudson since Sherlock's death, and she's pretty hacked off about it. Watson feels completely lousy about it all and sincerely apologizes, admitting that he was just too sad to deal and that "it just got harder and harder to pick up the phone. Know what I mean?" Mrs. Hudson knows and grips his arm sadly.

  • Snapshot
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Listen To Me, I Am Not Gay!

    While coughing mournfully through the layers of dust that Sherlock never liked her to remove even when he was alive, Mrs. Hudson admits that she couldn't bring herself to lease the place to anyone else, and Watson announces that he's finally moving on with his life and is...no, not dying and not emigrating, both of which Mrs. Hudson jumps to conclude: he's about to get engaged. This knocks the Marks and Sparks knickers off a thoroughly delighted Mrs. Hudson, who is even more bowled over when she realizes Watson's proposing to a WOMAN.

  • Place Of Interest
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Good Morning, Mr. Sherlock Holmes

    Look how happy London is to see Sherlock alive and well and with hair exhibiting proper length and curl control after he spent the past two years dismantling Moriarty's network all over the world! London is also totally relieved that Sherlock has arrived on scene to take on Mycroft's underground terrorist network and save all Londoners from some nebulous attack. (London realizes that Sherlock is also back to tell Watson and various other friends that he's not really dead, but London cares less about that than it does trying to figure whether it's the boiled wool coat itself or the popped collar on it that makes such an unlikely item of clothing so damn sexy.)

  • Dialogue
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Heeeeeeere's SHERLOCKY!

    Taking complete leave of his deductive senses as to exactly what Watson might be doing in a fancy restaurant, Sherlock decides a fancy restaurant where no one appears to recognize one of the city?s most famous dead citizens is the best place to ambush Watson with his aliveness. Snagging a bow tie, glasses and kitting himself out with a pen mustache and comically nasal French accent, Sherlock vainly attempts various "A-HA!" moments as his dramatic reveal. Unfortunately, Watson can't see over his bristling mustache and all of Sherlock's theatrics pass by hilariously unnoticed, until Watson is stuttering through a proposal to Mary. With one final "voila!," Sherlock finally grabs Watson's attention and totally ruins the proposal. Poor Watson is shocked, happy, speechless, devastated, potentially closer to a heart attack than he even was when serving in Afghanistan, and completely enraged as he throttles Sherlock across the dance floor to a toe-tapping rumba.

    Oh, no, you're...
    Oh, yes.
    Oh, my god.
    Not quite.
    But you died. You jumped off a roof.
    No.
    You're dead.
    No, I'm quite sure I checked.
  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Watson vs. Sherlock

    Watson gives Sherlock a few more smacks every time his former partner tries to make light of his faked death and explain the ridiculous intricacies of how he did it. Watson — UNLIKE THE ENTIRE VIEWING PUBLIC — doesn't give a fig about how Sherlock did it; he just wants to know why Watson wasn't told, and who else was in the know. Sherlock admits that Mycroft, Molly Hooper, and some component of his homeless network were let in on the plan, and that he didn't tell Watson because he was afraid he'd say something "indiscreet," which means Sherlock totally deserves that bloody nose and lip.

    Winner: Watson, in a way, since he refuses to have anything more to do with Sherlock now, but we all know they're really both losers until they're back together again.

  • Dialogue

    Despite the ruined marriage proposal and horrific exhibition of insensitivity where Watson's feelings are concerned, Mary immediately likes Sherlock (which immediately makes her a delightful character, since there?s nothing more tiresome than a drawn-out "Bros before Hos" pissing fight) and promises him she'll "talk [Watson] 'round." Meanwhile, in a fascinating fleshing out of his character, Sherlock reveals himself to be a fan of Friends and clearly sees himself as the Chandler of their group.

    Gosh, you don't know anything about human nature, do you?
    Nature? No. Human? [beat] No.
  • Snapshot
    GIF: Previously.TV

    GIF: Previously.TV

    Even though you still can't get my first name right, I am so happy you are alive, and with this satisfyingly intense bear hug, I hereby convey the emotions of millions of fans everywhere!

  • Meeting Time

    Morlock Slash Is Alive And Well

    Who called the meeting? Anderson, the founder of the Empty Hearse society/club.

    What's it about? Sherlockians who hold fast to the belief that Sherlock is still alive and kicking gather to discuss their theories and proofs of how Sherlock faked his death, including this most recent hypothesis from a woman who suggests Watson was talking to a Sherlock statue while Sherlock and Moriarty made out on the roof, and who firmly believes that the Empty Hearsers should not wear hats.

    Screens: BBC

    Screens: BBC

    (Fun Fact: the Empty Hearse is a nod to Conan Doyle's "The Adventure Of The Empty House," the story in which Sherlock returns from the dead and encounters baddie Col. Moran.)

    How'd it go? Excellently! It ends with the entire world finding out that Sherlock is still alive.

    Sherlock

    (Though that probably means the society is now dissolved, which might be sad for many of them.)

  • Alert!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Bros Before Presuppose

    Alert Type: Brotherly Love Alert.

    Issue: While playing chess with him, Mycroft continues to nag Sherlock about the imminent terrorist attack on London, and reminds him once again that an agent died to give them their info. (Maybe just maybe Sherlock would take the situation more seriously if "many Bothans" died to bring them that information instead of just "an agent." IDK.)

    Complicating Factors: Mycroft takes pot-shots at Sherlock's intelligence, and the brothers Holmes try to out-deduce each other in a rousing game of "Guess The Client's Life Just By Examining His Nasty Woolen Hat.?

    Resolution: Sherlock gets Mycroft to admit that he's lonely and has no friends.

    Spoiler: The brothers aren't really playing a cerebral game of chess as the initial shot suggests; they're playing Operation. And Mycroft killed the patient.

  • Original Documents

    From the Desk of Mycroft Holmes
    Age 7

    Dear Sherlock Holmes,
    I posit that you are a feces-feces head and mine is the superior intellect and always will be and I shall endeavor to remind you of this for the entirety of your lifespan even if you try to fake your own death. Furthermore, no one needs friends when they have that which matters most: the grey matter. Oh, my, I am quite suffused with laughter over the cleverness of that persiflage. But back to the matter at hand: what is that quaint phrase all the village children seem to say these days while they are out mindlessly chasing bits of bouncing rubber and string? Oh yes: Nanny. Nanny. Boo. Boo.

    With sincerest wishes for your good health, etc. I remain,
    Mycroft Holmes

  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Molly, Molly, You're Not On My Mind

    Since Watson still refuses to speak to Sherlock and instead chooses to stagnate in his office seeing patients who bring him piles, thrush, and undescended testicles, Sherlock gets Molly to be a Watson stand-in on his investigative cases. Sherlock can't get Watson out of his head, however, and ends up calling Molly "John," which clearly breaks her heart even though we will soon learn that she's actually engaged. After hanging with Lestrade on a faked Jack the Ripper case and gnawing over a real head-scratcher brought in by a train-obsessed Tube worker involving Underground security tape capturing a man getting on at one stop but disappearing before the next, Sherlock and Molly agree that working together wasn't a good idea. Before they part ways, Sherlock thanks her for her part in helping him fake his death by kissing her on her cheek telling her, "The one person [Moriarty] thought didn't matter at all to me was the one person that mattered the most. You made it all possible." Damn, he?s good with words.

  • Hell Yeah!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Your Motorcycle. Give It To Me.

    Thumbs up to Sherlock for commandeering a motorcycle after Mary receives texts in skip code telling her that Watson has been abducted and is about to be kindling in a Guy Fawkes bonfire. Without the motorcycle's ability to go down stairs and do a few other things cars can't, Sherlock and Mary would not have been able to dive straight into the fire and drag the drugged, injured, and slightly kippered Watson from the bonfire, thus saving his life.

  • Character Study
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Meet The Parents

    Name: Mr. and Mrs. Holmes.
    Age: Old.
    Occupations: Doddering around, losing things behind couches, buying lottery tickets, finishing each other's sentences, making Mycroft take them to Les Miserables, never losing faith in Sherlock, and actually being Benedict Cumberbatch?s real parents.
    Goal: To get Sherlock to call more often.
    Sample Dialogue: "I said, 'Have you checked down the back of the sofa?' He's always losing things down the back of the sofa, aren't you dear?" "'Fraid so."
  • Alert!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Totally Tubular

    Alert Type: Cracked Case Alert.

    Issue: Lord Moran, a peer of the realm, is the man behind the underground terrorist cell planning an attack on London. He may be a "pillar of the establishment," but that hasn?t stopped him from working for North Korea since 1996. He is also the man caught on the Underground security tape getting on a tube car and disappearing between stops. Sherlock realizes that the underground terrorist network is literally underground, and that Moran managed his tube car disappearance by diverting the tube car to another location.

    Complicating Factors: Sherlock has no idea where the other location is, and the clock's ticking as Sherlock and Watson both realize it's Guy Fawkes Day and there?s an important anti-terrorist vote happening in Parliament. It?s now clear that Moran plans to blow up Parliament in a nod to the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

    Resolution: Watson and Sherlock scour old and new rail maps with the train-obsessed Tube worker who initially brought them the security tape. The Tube worker suddenly remembers an unfinished station that never opened on the surface. The unfinished station is located right under Parliament.

    Spoiler: Watson and Sherlock are back together. Also, there's a bomb on the Tube car.

  • Alert!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    An Explosive Situation

    Alert Type: Mind Palace Alert.

    Issue: Having located the underground bomb in the bowels of the London Underground, Watson and Sherlock hang out in the tube car and freak out a bit, since it turns out that the bomb isn't just on the Tube car: the Tube car is the bomb. Using one of those always-popular and unfailingly stylish briefcase bomb detonators, Moran remotely arms the device. Unfortunately, Sherlock has a brainfart, which results in a complete failure of his Mind Palace system, and he is unable to defuse the bomb.

    Complicating Factors: Watson, Sherlock, and a whole lot of other people are about to die in a massive explosion.

    Resolution: As Watson freaks out about life, death, Mary, and the fact that Sherlock annoyingly refused to call the police before they found the bomb, Sherlock tearfully apologizes for the whole faked-death thing. Cries. Watson tells Sherlock he was the best and wisest man he has ever known. Cries.

    Spoiler: Watson forgives Sherlock. Things are really tense.

  • Flashback
    Screens: BBC

    Screens: BBC

    How Sherlock Really Did It

    While Anderson records him with a fairly ancient camera, Sherlock explains that he and Mycroft devised a plan to get rid of Moriarty for good. First, they had to play along as Moriarty destroyed Sherlock's reputation. After Moriarty shot himself on the roof, the game was afoot. Sherlock's faked death involves an air mattress, a dead Sherlock look-alike previously used and abused by Moriarty, an armpit, a squash ball, and lots of planted blood spatter.

    Anderson finds the reality of the faked death incredibly disappointing and immediately starts picking holes in it, after which Sherlock chides Anderson for being behind the faked the Jack the Ripper case (which he staged to possibly tempt Sherlock out of hiding, I guess?) and for diverting police and Sherlock resources when a terrorist attack on London was imminent. Anderson feels horrible about this, and after Sherlock leaves, he has a total meltdown and tears down all his crackpot Post-It notes and billboards that were the mainstay of the now defunct Empty Hearse society. Of course, it's entirely plausible that Sherlock isn?t actually telling Anderson the entire truth about his great escape, because as Anderson himself notes, "If you'd pulled that off, I am the last person you'd tell the truth to!" but it doesn't really matter. Because: alive and coat and still hot.

    2014-01-19-sherlock16
  • Symbolism
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    But What Of Lazarus?

    The Symbol: In the Bible, a guy named Lazarus died and had been buried for four days in a tomb when his friend Jesus got to town. Not happy with this turn of events, Jesus went to the tomb with Lazarus's family and told them to roll the stone away from the tomb's entrance. When the stone was moved, Jesus called Lazarus to come on out, and he did, all resurrected and stuff.

    The Scene: In the flashback, Sherlock texts Mycroft the code name "Lazarus" to set one of thirteen possible escape plans in motion.

    The Meaning: Sherlock will come back from the dead, which sort of makes Mycroft Jesus. But no one tell him that.

  • We Made A List
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Code Names Of Sherlock's Other Faked Death Escape Plans

    • Zombie
    • Monkey's Paw
    • Spock's Katra
    • Bobby In The Shower
    • True Love's Kiss
    • It Was All a Dream
  • Dialogue

    J/K!

    As Watson prepares to meet his Maker back in the Tube car bomb, Sherlock starts cracking up, because it turns out that he knew all along how to shut off the bomb and was just playing it out to get Watson's forgiveness. Also, he had already called the cops, who now arrive on scene to do whatever else they need to do now that the bomb is disabled.

    You cock!
    There's an off switch. There's always an off switch. Terrorists can get into all sorts of problems unless there's an off switch.
  • Snapshot
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Arrested Development

    It's all for the best, really, since "Guy Fawkes Day" rolls off the tongue a whole lot easier than "Lord Moran, Peer of the Realm Day."

  • Meeting Time
    Screen: BBC

    Screens: BBC

    Molly Is Not A Crackpot

    Who called the meeting? Sherlock and a bottle of champagne.

    What's it about? Mrs. Hudson, Mary, Watson, Sherlock, Lestrade, and Molly celebrating Mary and Watson's engagement, and Sherlock's official and public return to the living.

    How'd it go? Swimmingly. Everyone is happy. Molly is happy to be engaged to a man who everyone thinks looks scarily like Sherlock though I personally don't see it; Sherlock is happy to put on his deerstalker and be Sherlock Holmes again; Watson is happy to see Sherlock showing off as Sherlock Holmes again; and the reporters waiting all this time on the doorstep of 221B while people upstairs swill champagne and chew the fat are happy to finally get Sherlock?s press conference over and done with so they can eventually go home to their families.

    Sherlock
  • Alert!
    Screen: BBC

    Screen: BBC

    Another Mystery For Another Day

    Alert Type: Loose Thread Alert.

    Issue: Sherlock still doesn't know who abducted Watson and nearly burnt him to a crisp in the bonfire.

    Complicating Factors: Sherlock doesn't like not knowing.

    Resolution: None.

    (Possible) Spoiler: Watson's abductor might be Dr. T.K. Eckleberg.

Almost all readers liked this episode
What did you think?