TVTV Recaps

SHERLOCK Series 3 Episode 1 “The Empty Hearse” Recap

The much anticipated 3rd series of Sherlock (on Masterpiece on PBS) has returned, and it has returned in great fashion!

(BEFORE YOU BEGIN READING THE REST OF THE RECAP, be warned that this will likely have spoilers from the episode so if you haven’t watched and don’t want to be spoiled, watch first!)

Sherlock Grave


So the 3rd series begins 2 years after the events of The Reichenbach Fall, in which we saw Sherlock Holmes jump to his “death” and John Watson beginning to mourn the loss of his best friend. At the end of that episode we saw that Sherlock actually faked his death and was alive and well. How exactly did he survive that fall? In The Empty Hearse, we are treated to a few different theories. One of them, included Moriarty still being alive and them both watching a  dummy Sherlock falling down and then suddenly looking into each others eyes and leaning in for a kiss. Another moment found us seeing Sherlock jump off with a robe tied to him and kicking himself into a room and sharing quite a nice kiss with Molly and running off. Honestly, each way they described it was awesome. All of these were Anderson and his Empty Hearse people’s theories. Also, Derren Brown? I’ll tell you guys what Sherlock himself says what happens towards the end of the recap.

Sherlock, John, Mary


Mycroft enlists the help of his darling brother Sherlock, because of a looming terrorist threat in London, and that begins the one by one revealings to each of his loved ones that he is indeed still alive. Mycroft tells Sherlock that John has moved on and his with a girlfriend now and seems to be living a happy life. Of course, Sherlock doesn’t think it’s possible he’s happy without him so this begins the moment we all were waiting for as Sherlock goes to a restaurant where John is sitting and waiting for his girlfriend Mary and the big reveal happens. As Mary joins John, it happens…Sherlock reveals himself (after having put on a fake mustache and acted like a french waiter and continued to attempt to reveal himself by hoping John would look up at him and once he does Sherlock says a classic quote, “Not dead”). John reacts as we all expected him too, charges at Sherlock with rage, anger, confusion and perhaps some relief. Along with Mary, they keep on going to different food places and John continues to let his anger go on Sherlock until he finally leaves him at 221B Baker Street. As for everyone else’s reactions: Mrs. Hudson let out uncontrollable yells, Lestrade says, “Oh, You bastard!” and then hugs him, Molly had the calmer reaction of them both since she knew he was alive. We get a series of moments where the screen goes from Sherlock to John and we get a “f-cough” moment. It was perfect. Also, we see just how much Sherlock needs John. Then Sherlock enlists the help of Molly Hooper. He then she’s that she’s engaged and after a day out with Sherlock, she can’t Although, the plot of the whole episode was this terrorist attack threat, we get a moment where John is taken hostage by some people and put under a load of wood and is mere seconds away from being burned alive when Sherlock and Mary appear to help him out in time. They get back on good terms and begin working with each other again.

Sherlock and John Watson


Sherlock then  figures out, from video, that a whole carriage had completely disappeared. They set off to go searching for the carriage. When they find the bomb that is in the carriage, Sherlock says he doesn’t know how to stop it and mere minutes away from its explosion, Sherlock and John share a tender moment where John is telling Sherlock he forgives him. Sherlock finally describes what actually happens, to Anderson, it involved messed up views, Molly dropping a body in place of Sherlocks, a large inflatable cushion, liquid in form of blood color,  and the squash ball he was bouncing in the hospital which was used for stopping his pulse. Anderson’s quote at the end of Sherlock telling him all of this is perfect, “Not the way I’d have done it. I’m not saying it’s not clever, but a bit disappointed.” it’s such an Anderson quote. Also, immediately after all of that…Anderson reacts like a complete fangirl, in other words he was literally like all the Sherlockians out there who reacted the same exact way when figuring out all of this. And then we go back to the carriage and find out Sherlock actually called the cops and switched the bomb off with an off switch that was literally on the side of it. John reacted so angrily, but seemed to enjoy the moment too. Back at 221b Baker Street, Sherlock walks outside to meet the media, in the famous hat, we also meet the man Molly has been seeing. At the end of the episode, we get a glimpse of someone who might potentially be the person who orchestrated the moment of John’s kidnapping.

Here are some quotes from the episode that I felt like were perfect:

  1. “We’ll have to get rid of that. He looks ancient. I can’t be seen walking around with an old man.” — Sherlock says this as he discovers John is sporting a new mustache.
  2. “Not dead” – Sherlock says to John, as his short description of him being alive.
  3. “What’s his name?” – Mrs. Hudson says this to John as soon as he says he’s found someone he’s moving on with, thinking it’s liking a man.
  4. “What life? I’ve been away.” – As Mycroft tells Sherlock that John has moved on with his life and doesn’t go to 221B Baker Street anymore.
  5. “Oh, yes! We meet up every Friday for fish and chips.” – Mycroft sarcastically says this to Sherlock as he asks if he’s seen John.
  6. “It is familiar but with a quality of surpriseee!” – In a French accent, Sherlock says this to John as he is trying to reveal that he is the waiter.
  7. “It’s time to come back. You’ve been letting things slide, Graham.” – Once again Sherlock says Lestrade’s first name, Greg, incorrectly.
  8.  “Clients?” “No, just my parents.” “Well … that is not what I … they’re just so … ordinary.” “It’s a cross I have to bear.” – John and Sherlock talking about Sherlock’s parents (who are actually played by Benedict’s real parents!)
  9. “Oh please, killing me? That’s so two years ago.”— Sherlock.
  10. “Not the way I’d have done it. I’m not saying it’s not clever, but a bit disappointed.” – Anderson’s reaction to Sherlock telling him how the whole faking of his death actually happened.

So many more quotes, I don’t want to put them all up, because I’d love for all you Sherlockians out there to comment in the comments section below and tell me which ones are your favorite(s) and which ones I should put up! What did you guys think of this episode? Sound off below!!


Find Karin Abcarians directly on Twitter @Danger_Karin and be sure to follow @Screen_Invasion for the latest in entertainment news and reviews!

(Picture credits to BBC!)

Previous post

GIRLS, "She Said OK" Episode Recap

Next post

SHORT TERM 12 Blu-ray/DVD Review

The Author

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians is an advocate for geek girls everywhere. She runs the REAL GEEK GIRLS and REAL GEEK MOMS features. She's a writer, movie buff, and loves about 45 million shows. She's Captain America's biggest fan. Her alter-ego is BatKarin. Also, she loves Leonardo DiCaprio more than you do.