“The Empty Hearse” is the best Sherlock episode, so far. Unlike most Sherlock fans, I am not completely in love with the series. It has it low points and high points. There are two episodes I find completely unwatchable, yet the good episodes are markedly better than most modern television. Also, John Watson is my favorite character, not the eponymous one. That’s probably why I loved this episode: it focused mostly on John.
After a two year hiatus, in both real and fictional time, Sherlock returns alive. We all knew he didn’t die. There was always going to be a series 3. No one’s watched “The Empty Hearse” thinking that Sherlock is dead. We tuned in because we wanted to know how John is doing, which was better than expected. He grieved and moved on. He misses Sherlock, but he is in love with Mary Morstan, who becomes his fiancée.
While John wished Sherlock wasn’t dead, Sherlock came back at the worst possible time. John was getting ready to propose to Mary, but Sherlock thought it was the perfect time to act like a French waiter and refer to a wine as “a face from the past.” He doesn’t mean to be narcissistic, but Sherlock thinks everything’s about him. We know he has trouble with social cues. However, he should be aware of John’s habits, which typically don’t include dressing up in a suit and bringing a woman to a fancy restaurant. The master of deduction either can’t or chooses not to analyze his best friend. Every time John punched him, Sherlock deserved it. I found it hilarious because John’s reaction was completely natural. They love each other like brothers, yet Sherlock found it necessary to hide the truth from John for two years. John was perfectly justified in his reaction, which proves that some things never change. John and Sherlock fight like brothers, may threaten to never speak to each other again, yet they always find themselves solving crimes together.