…is absolutely amazing. As good as “The Reichenbach Fall”? Well, not quite, but that’s sort of like asking if “The Departed” is good when compared to “Goodfellas”. Just because one is better than the other doesn’t mean they’re not both great. And “The Reichenbach Fall” is a masterpiece.
But “The Empty Hearse” is a Hell of an episode. The acting, as always, is brilliant, the dialogue is bang on target, and the ending, which had a LOT to live up to, was perfectly paced and satisfyingly climactic. It wasn’t as spectacular as the ending of “The Reichenbach Fall”, but then nothing really can be anyway.
The episode was also, in a nice change of pace from the previous installment, very funny. “The Reichenbach Fall” was disturbing and felt utterly out of control. “The Empty Hearse”, in contrast, brought us back into Sherlock’s world with a comforting familiarity. From beginning to end Sherlock knew exactly what he was doing. There was a mystery and he did indeed need to solve it, but never at any point in the episode did I feel that he was not in total control and wasn’t going beat the bad guys.
I’m not quite sure if we ever actually learn how Sherlock survived the fall. In the once scene where he explains it, the man he’s explaining it to at points out a couple of problems with the theory then makes the very good point that Sherlock had no business discussing things with him anyway. I think that was supposed to be the real explanation, but I’m not entirely sure. Anyway, the explanation made enough sense to satisfy me. There were only so many ways the creators could go with it, and I think they did a fine job.
Sherlock is a brilliant show, and if this episode is any indicator of the quality of the third season then I doubt I’m going to be disappointed.